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”.
The end of June newsletter is now available, and is packed with good and interesting reading. It can be downloaded here.
Previous Newsletters, and monthly updates, are all available for download in the Archive section of the website.
ALHA’s year starts 1 April. The government has not postponed it. We hope you will renew your membership. Subscription rates are as before; £3 for individuals by e-
If you can pay online to the bank, that saves you postage; saves the treasurer some work, as well as depriving him of the pleasure of queueing in (or outside) a bank; and may also help reduce virus contact. If you can pay by standing order – saves time, saves memory, saves work – that is even better: the treasurer can supply a form.
In view of the current covid-
Click on the file you want.
If your group is a member of ALHA and you would like to see events listed, please send them to the webmaster. Please also contact if you have events before the end of August that are still taking place.
All libraries and archives are now closed to visitors, but some may still be dealing with enquiries by post or e-
As you sit in isolation with time hanging heavily, why not order some of the titles from ALHA and keep your interest in local history alive?
For the first 120 years of Bristol’s hospitals, an Apothecary was their only full-
Brian Vincent and Raymond Holland
The cover pictures show portraits of John King as Surgeon with a skull, and as artist with sketch pad and brush. For he, like several other surgeons, was also a prolific artist, one of what has been called the Bristol School as it flourished in the period 1800 – 1840. Here Michael Whitfield (author of many other ALHA booklets) tells their story.
Alan Clarke gives a fully documented account of the movement and the opposition to it – not only from the drinks industry. Although never quite achieving its aims, at the level of individual conviction or of national legislation, it spread temperance hotels and coffee houses all over the townscape – and remnants are still to be seen today.
Because our print runs are short, ALHA publications can become unavailable quite quickly. Some of our publications are already out of print, while stocks of others are very limited. Others which were formerly unavailable have recently been reprinted. If you wish to order copies, please bear this in mind. Full details of availability can be seen on our Publications page and on the order form.
The ALHA committee has heard with great sadness of the deaths, within two months of each other, of Angus and Brenda Buchanan of Bath. RAB helped found the Association for Industrial Archaeology and with Neil Cossons was a founding member of ALHA member Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society. They dedicated their The industrial archaeology of the Bristol region (David & Charles, 1969) to the members of BIAS, of which RAB was president from 1974 to 2015. RAB contributed many articles on a variety of subjects to Bath History, which BJB edited for many years. BJB, an individual member of ALHA of long standing, was best known for her Gunpowder (Bath University Press, 1996) and Gunpowder, explosives and the state (Routledge, 2006), both of which drew on local research.
The History Group for Oldbury on Severn has now reformed, and contact details are available here.
The theme of this year’s Festival of Archaeology is Climate and Environment. The Festival of Archaeology will run in two parts -
The future BGAS programme can be found at www.bgas.org.uk. All meetings have now been postponed until further notice.
The local branch of the Historical Association was reformed in 2017, and has now joined ALHA. It offers an interesting and varied programme of talks and events. Details are in our Events calendar, and for more information you can access their website here. In its original formation, BHA published 120 pamphlets between 1960 and 2007 on various aspects of Bristol history. These have now been scanned and are available as downloads from the BHA website.
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.
Click for details of the exhibitions, tours, walks and other activities taking place in Bristol in future weeks and months.
Click for details of the exhibitions, tours, and talks taking place in Bath.
The ALHA Summer Walk at Thornbury, August 2019
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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-
The photo of the summer walk is by Jan Packer.
Avon Local History and Archaeology is a Registered Charity. No. 270930