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Living Links

Local History Groups

This information was produced in Spring 2011. It will be updated annually. If you have been involved with Living Links and would like to be included in this directory please contact Mark Pitchforth, email

Alton and Villages Local History Forum

  • The group active 2 years
  • Representatives from Alton and 11 villages
  • Contact Jane Hurst, tel 01420 86701
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group Jane Hurst
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Our aim is to collect, preserve and share the local history including putting on a FREE Local History Day for all in May. The Forum meets twice a year and would welcome representatives from other nearby villages.
  • Plans for the future
    To keep in contact, help each other with our aims and put on the next Local History Day.

Friends of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery

  • The group active over 75 years
  • 150+ members
  • Contact Jane Hurst, tel 01420 86701
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group - Jane Hurst
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Our aim is the education of the public by promotion, support, assistance and improvement of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery including engaging in, supporting and co-ordinating research, publishing and education. We meet 9 times a year for talks, have summer outings and produce a volume of ‘Alton Papers’ each year.
  • Plans for the future
    To continue with the above.

Christchurch Local History Society

  • The group active 22 years
  • 250 members
  • Contact Ann Briggs, tel 01202 499725
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group - Mike Andrews, Ann Briggs
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Promoting and encouraging the study of our local history through our archive, guided walks and talks, journal, publications and website.
  • Plans for the future
    We would like to widen community access to our archive through more publicity.  We want to involve local schools by offering research facilities and outreach projects, as well as continuing the work of cataloguing indexing conserving dealing with enquiries and liaising with our local museum, the Red House.

Fleet and Crookham Local History Group

  • The group active 25 years
  • 150 approx members
  • Contact via website
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group - contact via website.
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Identifying, collecting, conserving, scanning, cataloguing and providing access to any material relating to the local history of our area. Nine meetings with a speaker (visitors welcome) and two outdoor visits a year. Three newsletters a year. Transcription, indexing and other projects. Research projects and publication. Public displays and 'Meet the Local History Detectives' events.
  • Plans for the future
    Continue to promote the Group, encourage donations of material and complete scanning of the entire archive. Build on links already made with local societies, Hart Voluntary Action, schools and HRO. Try to acquire a secure resource room with space for our archive and room for displays, workshops and access for the public.

Freshwater & Totland Archive Group - Isle of Wight

  • The group active over 1 year
  • Ten group members
  • Contact Pauline Tyrell, tel 01983 754285
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group -Max Cooper, Pauline Tyrell
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Our aim is to establish a local Archive that will be easily accessible to local people and to encourage the sharing of memories and depositing of records; thus enabling future generations to understand and appreciate their rich local history; to acknowledge those who’ve made our villages what they are, and to safeguard the characters of our villages in the future. Activities up to now have consisted of working with Parish Councils and various other groups, advertising our presence, appealing for material, recording memories on tape, conducting Reminiscence Walks, holding public displays of photographic and written material, and showing film which features past local events and interviews with local people.
  • Plans for the future
    Complete the cataloguing of material, to raise funds in order to obtain appropriate storage items e.g. acid free boxes and photo-sleeves; collaborate with local organisations and schools in promoting the value of Local History; conduct Reminiscence walks; display material and talk to local groups; explore the possibility of publishing reminiscences currently recorded on tape; attempt to locate an alternative base in the event of the closure of the library.

LTVAS Group (Lower Test Valley Archaeological Study Group)

  • The group active 38 years
  • 400 group members with our two associated village societies
  • Contact Phoebe Merrick, tel 01794 513751
  • Main interests/activities of group
    History and archaeology of Romsey and other places in the lower Test Valley. We have two history workshops weekly and three or four public meetings each month, as well as producing a newsletter and publishing our research.
  • Plans for the future
    To continue with our research programme and to publish our work on the history of Romsey Show. To continue by talks, exhibitions and conferences to make our work generally available.

Minstead Local History Group

  • The group active 1.5 years
  • No membership, average attendance 24 at monthly meetings
  • Contact Alec Coutts
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group Alec Coutts
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Minstead Local and Family History. Researching all aspects of the village, past and present. Preparing for an Exhibition May 7/8 2011.
  • Plans for the future
    Regular meetings (2nd Tuesday of each month) to discuss items of interest to the group in the Social Club of Minstead Hall.

Newbridge Village Archive

  • The group active 2 years
  • Two group members
  • Contact:  Hilary Higgins
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group: Chloe Sutherland
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Digitally storing shared photographs and memories of the village. Annual display. Enquiries and research welcomed. Priority is given to material in private hands which might otherwise be un-recorded and lost.
  • Plans for the future
    We hope to continue with an annual display, and eventually create a website and permanent record held in the Community Centre.

Ryde Social Heritage Group – Ryde, Isle of Wight

  • The group formed by a group of friends in 2002 RSHG became a formally constituted group in 2005
  • 70 approx of group members
  • Contact: Janette Gregson, Chairman
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group Janette Gregson
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Researching, documenting and sharing information about the history of Ryde, Isle of Wight. We record inscriptions from the memorials in the cemeteries in Ryde and then research the lives and deaths of the people buried there. We support the Heritage and Learning Centre in Ryde Cemetery and regularly have exhibitions about Ryde History in the Heritage Centre and in other venues in the town. We also give guided walks and talks to other interested groups. We have a vast and growing archive of information about the people and town of Ryde.
  • Plans for the future
    We will continue to support the Heritage Centre in Ryde Cemetery which we man on most weekends on a voluntary basis to enable members of the public to use the facilities there. We will also continue to record information from the cemeteries and church graveyards in Ryde and then carry out research into the people, buildings and development of our town and to make this information available to as wide a public as possible. Our website receives contact from people from across the world who are researching their ancestors from Ryde , and whom we help with their research where possible.

Wherwell History Group

  • The group active 3 years
  • 57 group members
  • Contact Andrew Flanagan
  • Archive Ambassadors in the group Andrew Flanagan, Mike Gee, Brenda Bryant-
  • Main interests/activities of group
    Programme of monthly meetings (talks & visits & open evenings). Regular (monthly) articles (eg Parish Magazine). Creating and expanding archive material (we have received contributions from 38 individuals over a 30-month period – photographs, maps, souvenir programmes, village booklets, etc). Since January 2010, we have been archiving the Parish Magazine and the Church Newsletter on the village website. Oral Interviews. Projects – eg Scrapbook 2010
  • Plans for the future
    Continuing our established activities (see above) plus new projects such as ‘Profiles of village people’, Archiving the Wherwell Anthology (yearly) publication (commenced 1974), Calendar of bygone photos, Tour of village using ‘Then & Now’ photos.