ALHA is the umbrella group for local history and archaeology societies in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.
We help member societies by compiling an annual list of recommended speakers, and by publicising societies’ activities through our newsletter and website. We organise a local history study day each year, and our AGM is accompanied by a lecture with a distinguished speaker.
Each year we publish 3-
We have strong links with the Regional History Centre at the University of the West of England, and with the libraries, archives, museums and other organisations in our area.
We offer both Society and individual membership, and further details can be found here..
Click on About Us for how to contact ALHA
Click on Publications for information about our publishing programme, and how you can contribute to the written history of our area.
Click on Events for details of the meetings, walks and other activities organised by our member societies.
Click on Groups for links to our member societies, and details of what they do and how you can contact them.
Click on Archive for back copies of ALHA publications “Quest” and “Avon Past”, and for issues of the Newsletter and monthly Update.
The popular ALHA Newsletter is now available, packed with news, reviews and opinion. It can be downloaded here.
Previous Newsletters, and monthly updates, and other ALHA publications over the past 44 years, are all available for download in the Archive section of the website.
This year’s AGM will again be held by zoom. It will be on Wednesday 17 November at 7.30 and the formal business will be followed by a talk by Dr Richard Stone, University of Bristol. His title is
‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Holding a Laptop: Researching Bristol’s History in the Twenty-
Dr. Richard Stone is a Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the Atlantic Slave Economy and its economic legacies, and his first book, Bristol and the Birth of the Atlantic Economy, 1500-
Our diary of events is growing with the easing of restrictions, and can be found on the Events page. Both actual and virtual events are included.
If your group is a member of ALHA and you would like to see your events listed, please send them to the webmaster.
Click on the link below for more detail and registration instructions. The website of the organisation may also have details of talks later in the year.
20 October Black History Month: Black History masterclass in family history
20 October Thirty Years of Writing Black British History Books. A Celebration
21 October The West Country’s Black History
Louisa Adjoa Parker
21 October Black Poppies in south-
Dr Kent Fedorovich
3 November BALH Digital Webinar : How to Use Legal Records for Local History
Dr Daniel Gosling
4 November The Last Royal Rebel: The Life and Death of James, Duke of Monmouth
10 November ‘I shall speak not so much as a Member of Parliament but as a housewife: Labour Women, Welfare Feminism and Parliamentary Politics, 1945-
Dr Lyndsey Jenkins
18 November Housing the people in Victorian Bristol
Professor Peter Malpass
18 November “Beloved friends”: Researching LGBTQ history at Bristol Archives
Mark Small from Bristol Archives
24 November The Story of China. Voices from the Chinese Past
Professor Michael Wood
Dates: Tuesdays 5 October – 30 November (no class 26 October)
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Course fee: £140
Tutor: Dr Penny Walters
Click here to book your place:
Could you be the BALH Local History Photographer of the Year?
Submissions are open from the start of January 2022, so there's plenty of time to take images through the changing seasons, of your favourite local history views and places. The competition is open to all. You do not need to be a member of BALH to take part. The winners will be part of Local History Day in June 2022, and awarded the prestigious title Local History Photographer of the Year 2022.
The Trade of Bristol in the later Seventeenth Century
by Jonathan Harlow
After the Civil War, Bristol really began to trade with he Americas as well as expanding its
traditional trade with Europe. As trade grew, so the merchant community and the city prospered. This booklet looks at the nature of the trade, at the port and shipping, at customs and smuggling, at seamen and, in some detail, at the merchants and their dealings.
Jonathan Harlow is a retired teacher still working on the history of the Bristol region. This booklet draws on his PhD thesis The life and times of Thomas Speed (University of the West of England, 2008) and The Ledger of Thomas Speed 1681-
The full price will be £3.50 (plus 65p for p&p) but only £2.85 plus 65p p&p for orders received before 15 October 2021. Please click here for an order form to buy at the pre-
Winterbourne Medieval Barn has an extensive programme of events for Autumn 2021. These are listed in the ALHA calendar, but fuller details can be found on the Barn’s own website
As ALHA publications go out of print, we are making them available as pdf files which can be downloaded free of charge. The first two titles are The Bristol Dock Company 1803-
Avon Local History & Archaeology is always looking for volunteers to help with its activities and decision making. If you would like to become a Trustee and join the executive committee, please contact the secretary.
As part of the ALHA Grants Programme, a sum of money has been allocated for the digitisation of local history books and other material, in support of the Bristol Record Society programme detailed below. We are therefore inviting suggestions of suitable items, which should be out of print and out of copyright. Ideas from ALHA groups and members should be sent to the Treasurer.
Since 2015, Bristol Record Society has been working on a programme of digitisation, in line with its core mission to make available materials needed for studying the history of our extraordinary city. While the Society began this initiative with the electronic publication of its own volumes, it has now moved on to other primary sources and scholarly works.
In association with the Bristol Branch of the Historical Association, the BRS digitised and e-
In the last year, the Society has also e-
Details of the items recently digitised are in the Archive section of the ALHA website, together with information about other digitisation initiative concerned with the history of our area.
ALHA offers grants to assist local history research, publications, events, conservation and other projects which accord with its charitable objectives. The Committee has wide discretion over the kind of work to be assisted and the terms of the assistance. Recent grants include one to support the publication of volumes of the Victoria County History to cover parts of Gloucestershire.
Details of the conditions and how to apply can be had from the Treasurer.
The ALHA Summer Walk at Thornbury, August 2019
Follow ALHA on Facebook
The photo of Chipping Sodbury market was found on the Facebook page entitled Chipping Sodbury Photographs. The photo of Stanton Drew Stone Circle is by Michael Day and is taken from flickr. The photo of the Netham Lock in Bristol was taken by the webmaster. Click on each photo to see a full-
Avon Local History and Archaeology is a Registered Charity. No. 270930
This website was last updated on Saturday, October 9, 2021. If you spot any errors or omissions, please advise the webmaster.