Local History Month: May 2022

on Wednesday, 20 April 2022. Posted in Events, Wiltshire Places

May is Local and Community History Month and in Wiltshire we are celebrating local history with an array of events and exhibitions at libraries across the county!

Events are running from Wednesday 4 May through to Friday 27 May: download a full list of Local History Month events with details and booking information.

Did you know local libraries have many resources available for you including free access to various online services such as the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry? You can join us at Royal Wootton Bassett Library (Monday 16 May) and Calne Library (Thursday 26 May) for an introduction to using Ancestry for family history research on the library computers. The British Newspaper Archive gives access to millions of newspaper articles from the British Library newspaper collections including articles from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries and we’ll be showing you how to make the most of it at Salisbury (Wednesday 4 May), Warminster (Thursday 19 May) and Melksham (Friday 20 May) Libraries. Of course it’s not just online resources that we hope to help you get to grips with this Local History Month: come and delve into the posters and cuttings of Salisbury past with a look at Salisbury ephemera - a veritable feast of interesting bits and bobs for your delight (Wednesday 18 May)!

© Dan Farrell. The Hall, Bradford on Avon

There are plenty of chances to hear from local experts on some fascinating topics: have you ever wondered what made Fisherton what it is today? Come along to Frogg’s interesting talk to explore Fisherton at Salisbury Library on Thursday 5 May. Or discover the history of The Hall and its significance in the town of Bradford on Avon with Sarah Murray, House and Estate Manager at the Alex Moulton Charitable Trust at Bradford on Avon Library on Monday 9 May. Find out more about Jane Faulkner’s surprising and exciting journey to discover more about Pudding Brook and the historical landscape between Corsham and Chippenham. Hosted by Corsham Library on Friday 13 May, Jane will offer insight and tips to help others research their own places of interest whilst enjoying the natural environment too. You’ll also have the chance to hear Tom Rogers from Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service describe the excavations undertaken in Calne in 2021 and the evolution of a medieval plot, which provided a window into the development of the town from the establishment of the High Street to the present day. Tom will be at Calne Library on Monday 23 May. Julie Davis takes a fascinating look at the development and evolution of Wiltshire folklore, with examples of Wiltshire myths, tales and remedies and will be at Malmesbury Library on Monday 9 May and Chippenham Library on Friday 27 May.

Perhaps what you are really after is honing your own research skills so you can delve into the history of your local area or your own house. We have you covered with an Introduction to Palaeography on Monday 23 May at Trowbridge Library, where Ian Hicks will help you confidently decipher and make sense of old handwriting. Perhaps you’ve always thought you need to live in an old house to research its history. Whether you’re in a sixteenth century thatched cottage or a 1980s semi, there’s a wealth of information waiting to be uncovered; Julie Davis and Max Parkin will give you all the skills you need to get started researching the history of your house and the people who called it home before you on Wednesday 25 May at Devizes Library

As well as talks there are also several exhibitions you can drop in to see including:

Amesbury Library
Roses School: A History

Bradford on Avon Library
The Hall: Portrait of a Country Estate between the wars

Calne Library
Calne Town Centre Excavation

Chippenham Library
1952 Chippenham

Corsham Library
The Flemish Weavers

Devizes Library
Prison Life in Devizes

Marlborough Library
Crime in Marlborough

Malmesbury Library
Local Folklore

Folklore image

Here is the full list of events – don’t forget to download the full programme for booking information and further details about all the events:

Discover the British Newspaper Archive
Salisbury Library
Wednesday 4th May, 2.30-3.30pm, Free

Frogg Moody
Exploring Fisherton
Salisbury Library
Thursday 5th May, 7-8pm, £3

Sarah Murray
The Hall: Bradford on Avon’s Hidden Gem
Bradford on Avon Library
Monday 9th May, 7.15-8.15pm, £3

Julie Davis
Wiltshire Folklore
Malmesbury Library
Monday 9th May, 7.15-8.15pm, £3

Jane Faulkner
In Search of Pudding Brook
Corsham Library
Friday 13th May, 5.30-6.30pm, £3

Kathryn Preston
Workshop: A Beginner’s guide to using Ancestry
Royal Wootton Bassett Library
Monday 16th May, 10.30am-12pm, Free

Discover Salisbury Ephemera
Salisbury Library
Wednesday 18th May, 2.30-3.30pm, Free

John Garland
Discover the British Newspaper Archive
Warminster Library
Thursday 19th May, 2.30-3.30pm, Free

Kathryn Preston
Discover the British Newspaper Archive
Melksham Library
Friday 20th May, 2.30-3.30pm, Free

Tom Rogers
The Pippins, Calne: The Evolution of a Medieval Plot
Calne Library
Monday 23rd May, 10.30-11.30am, £3

Ian Hicks
An Introduction to Palaeography
Trowbridge Library
Monday 23rd May, 2-4pm, £6

Julie Davis and Max Parkin
How to Research the History of Your House
Devizes Library
Wednesday 25th May, 10.30-12.30pm, £6

Discover the British Newspaper Archive
Salisbury Library
Thursday 26th May, 9.30-10.30am, Free

Jo Smith
A Beginner’s Guide to Using Ancestry
Calne Library
Thursday 26th May, 2.30-3.30pm, Free

Julie Davis
Wiltshire Folklore
Chippenham Library
Friday 27th May, 7.15-8.15pm, £3

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