ALHA was founded in 1976 with the then new County of Avon. Avon County has long since been abolished, but ALHA still flourishes as an independent organisation owing nothing to local or national government.
ALHA exists because, whether politicians choose to incorporate it or not, the Avon region is an economic and social and historical entity, not so much separate from as special within the grand historic counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire.
There are some eighty societies in ALHA, with a collective membership of about 10,000. Some are region-
We also have links with local institutions, such as Record Offices, Libraries, Museums and Universities.
We are managed by an elected Executive Committee meeting once a quarter, and operate through a small number of voluntary officers.
Membership of ALHA is open to both groups or other institutions, and to individuals. Group members receive a free copy of the Speakers List and all members receive a copy of the Newsletter.
Subscription rates for 2017/8 are as follows:
£5 if newsletters are received by e-
£7 if newsletters are received by post
£3 if newsletters are received by e-
£5 if newsletters are received by post
Members also benefit from the concessionary rate for admission to the Local History Day, and are welcome to attend Executive Committee meetings. ALHA publishes details of the meetings of member groups on its website and in the newsletter.
For further information, please contact the membership secretary whose details are on the right.
Started in 2011, and now a feature of the local history calendar, the annual lectures are intended to inspire listeners to undertake local history work and give them some ideas of how to set about it. They are named for Dr Joseph Bettey who has written, taught and promoted so much history in this region. The lecture takes place after our AGM on an Autumn evening.
The first Joseph Bettey Lecture was given by the late Mick Aston, who was well-
The 2015 AGM and Joseph Bettey Lecture were hosted by Abbots Leigh Civic Society and held on Wednesday 14th October 2015 at Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh, Bristol. The lecture was given by Professor Murray Stewart, and the topic was rhe sale of the Abbots Leigh estate in October 1915.
ALHA member Marshfield & District Local History Society hosted the 2016 AGM on the evening of Tuesday 18 October in the Marshfield Community Centre, The Hayfield, Marshfield SN14 8PG. The Joe Bettey lecture was delivered by Dr Alex Craven, contributing editor of the Victoria County History of Gloucestershire. His topic was The Limits of Authority: Boundaries, Borders and Bloodshed in the West of England 1500 -
The 2017 Lecture will take place on Wednesday 18 October at 7 p.m., when the speaker will be Professor Helen Meller. Her talk will be "How to live in the modern city: women's contribution in Bristol 1860s-
In 2009, we started a project to publish compact but authoritative books on aspects of Avon's history, and 24 titles are now available.
Our latest title is Wilkins of Westbury & Redland, which was published at our Local History Day on Saturday 22 April. All the earlier books are still in print. They are sold at Bristol Record Office and some other outlets depending on local interest, all at £3.50 except Nos. 10 and 20 which are £3.95.
Our scope is Avon-
We offer grants to members to help them in local history research, publication or events projects. 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
Each year in the spring we hold a full day's conference on a local history topic, with presentations from both amateur and professional historians, and displays by local history societies and institutions.
The 2017 Local History Study Day was held on Saturday 22 April at the Frenchay campus of the University of the West of England. The topic was The Streets where We Live.
The theme for next year’s local history day, on Saturday 21 April at UWE’s Frenchay campus will be around religion and change, broadly interpreted. We hope to look at how religious beliefs changed, how religious organisations changed within themselves, and how those changes affected local people at large. Our area is rich in religions and their impact: two abbeys of historical importance; a battleground of the reformation and of the religious ferments on the 17th century, which both had political consequences; a hotbed of nonconformity in the 18th century, with Moravians, Unitarians, Baptists, Quakers, Independents and Methodists prominent, and driving political and social reforms in the following century. Sects (Lady Huntingdon’s in Bath?) have come and gone. Religion declined in Victorian times, yet it was then that it was prominent in public life. Church buildings have dominated our towns and villages for centuries, but not all are still in use and the uses of some have changed. Wesley’s new room has been revamped, but Whitfield’s tabernacle is at risk. In the 20th century we have seen gurdwaras, mosques and other buildings to meet the needs of immigrant communities, while St Werburgh’s is used for climbing, St Paul’s for circus training, and St George’s for concerts. Highbury chapel, originally Congregationalist, became Anglican. Some chapels, in villages as well as towns, are now flats or houses. Topics could include the importance of religious beliefs and practices at various times; how they changed; and how they changed the lives of people, places, and politics.
ALHA invites proposals for talks, presentations and displays: max 500 words please to Bob Lawrence, Flat 1 Chartley, 22 The Avenue, Bristol BS9 1PE, firstname.lastname@example.org or William Evans, 5 Parrys Grove, Bristol BS9 1TT, 0117 968 4979, email@example.com
We produce a quarterly Newsletter, covering recent events, current issues, recent publications, ongoing projects and opportunities and forthcoming activities, including the Diary of all the events we know of for the following four months. The circulation is about 200 copies, but many of these reach multiple readership.
An increasing number of members take the e-
Please send notices or other copy to the Editor.
Deadlines are printed in each issue, but anything reaching him by the middle of March, June, September or December should make the issue for the succeeding quarter.
A collection of suggestions for those thinking of starting a new local history group. There are some general ideas on what a local history society might do and how to form one; a draft constitution, a note on legal considerations, and a brief booklist.
Each month from May to August there is a guided walk in some part of the region, or a visit to some place of special interest not generally open to the public.
A booklet with the names and contact details of some sixty people who are ready to lead walks or give talks (with a list of the topics they offer). The Programme Secretary's prop! Currently we aim to bring out an updated edition every year.
We only include Speakers who have been recommended to us; and we are prepared to delete speakers who have serially disappointed. Recommendations or reports please to the List Editor.
(Official invitations and acknowledgements)
141 Overndale Road, Downend,
Bristol, BS16 2RN
0117 956 9490
Treasurer, Membership Secretary
and Newsletter Editor
5 Parrys Grove, Bristol BS9 1TT
0117 968 4979
3 Black Rock Villas, Portishead
Bristol, BS20 8PN
Editor: ALHA Books
and Reviews for Newsletter
Hardings Cottage, Swan Lane, Winterbourne, BS36 1RJ
Summer Walks Organiser
59 Birchwood Road,
Bristol, BS4 4QL
Sales Manager ALHA Books
Editor, Walks & Talks List
45 Nore Road,
Portishead, BS20 9JY
01275 843 566
Webmaster and Events Diary
Flat 1 Chartley, 22 The Avenue, Sneyd Park, Bristol, BS9 1PE