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 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, 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.
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 was held on Wednesday 18 October at 7 p.m., when the speaker was Professor Helen Meller. Her talk was titled "How to live in the modern city: women's contribution in Bristol 1860s-
The 2018 AGM and Joseph Bettey Lecture was held on the evening of Wednesday 17 October at Glenside Campus of UWE, Blackberry Hill, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 1DD. The meeting was jointly hosted by UWE and the Glenside Hospital Museum, and the history of the hospital was the subject of the lecture. Our guest speaker was Stella Man, development director at Glenside Hospital Museum, and the title of her lecture was Discover the secrets to well-
The 2019 AGM and Joseph Bettey Lecture was on Saturday afternoon, 5 October at 2 p.m.. The Joseph Bettey Lecture was given by Dr. Madge Dresser, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, UWE, after many years as an Associate Professor in Social and Cultural British History. Her lecture was titled Landscapes of slavery -
The covid pandemic of 2020 meant that no public meetings could be held. The delayed AGM therefore took place as a Zoom meeting hosted by Fampton Cotterell & District LHS on 18 January 2021. After the formal business, five groups described the activities they had been involved in during lockdown.
In 2009, we started a project to publish compact but authoritative books on aspects of Avon's history, and 31 titles have now been published.
A full list of available titles can be found at Publications.
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 2018 Local History Study Day was held on Saturday 21 April at the Frenchay campus of the University of the West of England. The topic was Religion and Community, Conflict and Change. You can download the texts of the papers given by the six speakers here.
The 2019 ALHA Local History Day was held on Saturday 27 April in the Severnside Suite at Thornbury Leisure Centre. The theme was Getting About, and dealt with various aspects of the history of transport in our area, including Roman Roads, the Port of Bristol in the Seventeenth Century, the Dramway, travel in the Victorian era, and the Clifton Rocks Railway. You can download the texts of the papers given by four of the five speakers here.
The 2020 ALHA Local History Day has been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis. We have not yet fixed a date when it will be held.
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. In addition, there is a monthly update in months which do not havea full newsletter.
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)
Roger Angerson has now stepped down from the post of President after many years involvement with ALHA, and the post is currently vacant.
Flat 1 Chartley, 22 The Avenue, Sneyd Park, Bristol, BS9 1PE
Treasurer, Membership Secretary
and Newsletter Editor
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0117 968 4979
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Bristol, BS20 8PN
Editor: ALHA Books
and Reviews for Newsletter
Hardings Cottage, Swan Lane, Winterbourne, BS36 1RJ
Summer Walks Organiser
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Bristol, BS4 4QL
Editor, Walks & Talks List
Webmaster and Events Diary
Flat 1 Chartley, 22 The Avenue, Sneyd Park, Bristol, BS9 1PE