Bedfordshire Local History Association


Welcome to the website of the Bedfordshire Local History Association (BLHA)

The BLHA has been the successful umbrella organisation for local history in the county for over thirty years. Members include: almost all of Bedfordshire’s local history societies, institutions such as the Bedfordshire Archives, and an increasing number of individuals.


The association promotes the study of local history within and around Bedfordshire and provides a forum for discussion and cooperation between interested groups, individuals and its members.  We also seek to improve communications between local history societies and the broader historical network both regionally and nationally.

BLHA Activities

The BLHA organise a variety of events, such as walks, lectures, visits, workshops, exhibitions and conferences throughout the county, as well as publishing our newsletter, History in Bedfordshire, four times a year. We can also provide information and assistance in the study of local history.

BLHA About us

Please see all about us in our leaflet.

BLHA Leaflet

BLHA Spring Event – Local History in a Pandemic – Saturday 27th March 2 pm (Zoom Talk)

With ongoing restriction related to the current pandemic, the BLHA is very pleased to be able to present the Spring 2021 Event on Saturday 27th March.  Geoff Saunders (Archaeological Officer, Planning Services, Bedford Borough) and Matt Tuohy (Historic Environment Record Officer, Bedford Borough) will be the speakers and present a talk entitled ‘Local History in a Pandemic’.

The talk will cover the complications we have faced during the pandemic, how they have been overcome (or not!), with a focus on the recent work of the Bedford Borough Historic Environment Team over the past year. This work includes the recent large scale evaluations along the proposed route of the new A428 bypass in the east of the Borough along with numerous small and large scale investigations associated with various development proposals.

The talk will also cover the results of archaeological works reported on which we have reviewed over the past year.

Our HER Officer Matt Tuohy will provide updates on the Historic Environment Record and some of the more interesting recent enhancements he has made to it.

The event will take place via Zoom on Saturday 27th March at 2 pm.  The talk will last for approximately 1 hour and there will be a questions and answers session to follow.  If you would like to join us for what will be a fascinating talk, then please contact the BLHA Secretary to book your place and receive full details on how to join us.

Please provide your name and the name of the society to which you belong to:

Evaluation Trenches at the Black Cat Roundabout

Evaluation Trenches at the Black Cat Roundabout


LiDAR for the Deserted Medieval Settlement in Chellington

LiDAR for the Deserted Medieval Settlement in Chellington



UPDATE – BLHA 2021 AGM & Conference  – ‘Life on the Home Front’ 

BHRS had proposed to host the 2020 BLHA Conference, with the theme of ‘Life on the Home Front during both World Wars’. Preparations were well-advanced last Spring, but sadly we had to postpone it due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We re-booked the conference for the autumn, but that also had to be cancelled due to the restrictions on gatherings. I made a further attempt to re-arrange it for June 2021, but it now looks highly unlikely that this date can go ahead.

We considered running a cut-down programme by ‘Zoom’, but concluded that talks from two or three speakers would be unlikely to do justice to the subject. I have therefore agreed with the BLHA that we cannot proceed with a conference this summer, but BHRS will hold open its offer to host the conference in a future year.

Please accept my apologies. BAALHS, however, planned to produce a special June 2021 issue of Bedford Local History Magazine, focusing on Bedford during World War II. This will still go ahead and may be of interest to you.

If you would like to receive a free copy by post, please email your address to the BLHA Secretary and I will send you a copy when it is available.

Bob Ricketts 

BLHA Sponsored booklet – Henry John Sylvester Stannard

Please click below to purchase a copy of this publication:

Stannard Book Purchase

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