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Gissing centre new exhibition

For information about the new exhibition please look on the dedicated page: Gissing Trust

Eboracum Roman Festival, York 1-4 June

The Eboracum Roman Festival will be based in the York Museum Gardens with a number of exciting events including military parades, siege weapon demonstrations, a camp showing what domestic life was like during the period, as well as stalls selling themed goods.

The Yorkshire Museum, home to some of Britain’s most treasured Roman artefacts, will be running various activities and workshops over the course of the weekend, with additional events taking place at venues across the city. There will also be a series of guided walks and talks by leading experts.

More information: Eboracum Roman Festival

Heritage of Walton - the HOW Project

Do you live in Walton, or are you interested in the history of Walton? It is hoped that in 2017 a group of people from the village will explore the history of Walton in order to develop a history trail extending the Walton Colliery Nature Park Heritage Trail to Waterton Historic Park and Haw Park Woods. For more information and to see the suggested areas for research please download this flyer:

The HOW Project

Wakefield Cathedral to mark the First World War Centenary

Wakefield Cathedral has received a grant of £9,200 from the National Lottery for a special project called ‘Then and Now, There and Here: The Imprint of the First World War in Wakefield’. Awarded through The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) First World War: Then and Now programme the project will ask local people to help uncover the lesser known stories of Wakefield’s experience of The Great War.

This new project will mark the Centenary of the First World War by enabling local people in Wakefield to come together and find out more about the role the city and its people played; discovering the impact of the First World War on the people of Wakefield both at the time and in the 21st century.

More information: WW1 Centenary at Wakefield Cathedral

Contact Gillian Bunn at Wakefield Cathedral on 01924 373923 for more information.

Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016

Paul Readman, a professor of Modern British History at King's College London has contacted us about a project on pageants called 'The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016', which has a new, free-to-use resource for local history:

Dressing up and re-enacting the past through dramatic performance was a popular activity across much of twentieth-century Britain. Historical pageants were put on in villages, towns and cities up and down the country; hundreds of thousands of people were involved as volunteer actors, organizers, dressmakers, fund-raisers, and much else besides; millions more enjoyed these often large-scale events as spectators. Pageants told the stories of local communities through chronologically-ordered scenes or episodes featuring notable events from local history. Sometimes captured on film, these pageants are vivid, fascinating, and extraordinarily rich sources for local historical research.

Until recently, relatively little was known about the spread and extent of this 'pageant fever'. But now a team of researchers have created a free, publicly-accessible database of historical pageants. This database, which is fully searchable, contains detailed information about hundreds of historical pageants.

'The Pageant of Wakefield and the West Riding' in 1933 includes factual material (e.g. names of organizers, dates and times of performances, financial profit/loss, content of episodes) and also a readable essay setting the event in its local and national context.

book 'Yorkshire collieries 1947-1994'

collieries book

This recently published book, which took 9 years to research and write, contains 440,000 words on 680pp and includes around 700 illustrations. It has a comprehensive history, including social history, of 137 Pits across the whole of Yorkshire (from sinking to closure). These Pits came under the stewardship of the NCB and British Coal Corporation. A lot of pit sites can be traced back to the Domesday Survey and before, so site histories are also included. There are also chapters on Yorkshire Disasters, Mines Rescue, the NUM, Yorkshire Coal Seams and the NCB. The librarian at the National Coal Mining Museum has stated that this book is now the go-to reference for Yorkshire Coal Mining history.

The author, Eddie Downes is a qualified mining engineer with a degree from the University of Leeds. He worked as an undermanager in the NCB Doncaster Area before specialising in the treatment and prevention of underground fires and large falls of ground at pits in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Spain, while working for a couple of private Mining Companies.

The book, price £25, can be obtained by contacting Eddie Downes, Phone no: 01924 820202 or mobile 07958331262 Email








22 MAY 2017 MEET THE AUTHOR - wakefield court Roll series

David Scriven, editor of the latest volume in the Wakefield Court Roll series, published by the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society, will be holding a “Meet the Author” session in the Main Library at Wakefield One on Monday 22 May 11.30am – 1.00pm. He will follow this at 1.30pm with a short talk on “The People of the Manor of Wakefield” in the Library’s Learning Zone, in conjunction with the Wakefield Local & Family History Network.

The book includes all the transfers of copyhold property in the manor of Wakefield in 1781-1782, a period when the American War of Independence was drawing to a close, and mentions a large number of people ranging in status from the duke of Leeds to labourers some of whom were directly affected by the economic and political impact of the war.

Some copies of the book will be for sale at the meet the author session on 22 May, or it can be purchased by going to which directs you to their agent Jeremy Mills Publishing. The cost is £20.

york festival of ideas 6 - 18 June

    The festival includes various exhibitions and talks of interest to historians including:

    Fragments of the World- Exhibition
    Rediscover the Legend, the York Helmet - talk
    The Story of Hats - talk
    Small Finds and Stories that Matter - talk
    Why the English sailed to the New World
    - talk
    Cyclists; 200 Years of cycling history
    - talk
    Anglo-Saxon Bread; Making and Meaning
    - talk

    To discover the full list of events see: York Festival of Ideas

Leeds central Library, Local and Family history month

Various events are being hosted by Leeds Central Library during May including two workshops: 'Getting started with Old Photographs' on 4 May, and 'Getting Started with Old Newspapers' on 9 May.

For more information please download: Local and Family History Month

West Yorkshire Archives Kirklees at Heritage Quay project

Kirklees Archives have received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the West Yorkshire Archives Kirklees at Heritage Quay project. The project aims to improve access to Kirklees' archive collections, create opportunities for volunteering, formal and informal learning and exhibitions for the first time, and to radically improve the storage and physical conditions for the collections. This work will be achieved through a partnership between Kirklees MBC, West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee and the University of Huddersfield.

Thanks to National Lottery players development funding of £80,100 has also been awarded to help the project partners progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. If successful, the Kirklees archive collections will move to the multi-award winning facilities at Heritage Quay on the University campus in 2019.

More information: Kirklees Archives project

South Leeds Archaeology

South Leeds Archaeology is planning a programme of Events and Activities and is looking forward to attracting new members in the area. They are moving to the Rothwell Community Hub in March 2017, Marsh Street, Rothwell
LS26 0AE. Their monthly public presentation evenings will be on Wednesday evenings 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, starting Wednesday 22nd March 2017. All are welcome. £4.00 for non-members, including refreshments.

Mor information: South Leeds Archaeology

Historic walks and events at Bretton Hall 2017

Join the YSP Heritage team for a free series of short introductory walks to explore the Park's interesting past, historic walks, lakes and woodlands at YSP.
Each tour will showcase a particular aspect of the park’s history, from the building of the Chapel, interesting historical features and follies, including the old pump house and Belle Vista.  More information: Bretton Heritage Walks

The Heritage Team have also published details of events at Bretton for the year ahead, to see the information please download their flyer: Special Heritage Events 2017

The Red Shed, 50 years

This year Wakefield Labour Club has celebrated fifty years at the Red Shed on Vicarage Street, nowadays tucked away behind Trinity Walk. Originally an old Army/RAF hut, it has survived vicissitudes in its fortunes, but is now thriving not only as a club, but as a real ale venue hosting live music, as well as talks about the history of the labour movement. Notable speakers at the club have included Ken Livingstone, John Prescott, Vanessa Redgrave, Dennis Skinner and Tony Benn.

A book about the Red Shed has just been published 'THE RED SHED---50 years a socialist club' which is available at the club and costs £5.

More information: The Red Shed