Bedfordshire Local History Association


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


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 AGM & Conference 2017

Hosted by Bedford Architectural, Archaeological, and Local History Society (BAALHS) – Saturday 24th June 2017


The Conference theme will be:
Keynote Speaker: MIKE LUKE (Albion Archaeology)
“The Great Ouse Valley in Early Times”

Full details of the programme and booking arrangements will be in
the Spring 2017 issue of History in Bedfordshire (HIB).

BLHA AGM & Conference 2017 Initial Poster


Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service – Autumn Programme 2016

The Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service is running a series of events from July through to December 2016.  A list of the events with full details may be found in the Autumn programme 2016 pdf file, alternatively, here is a link to the BLHA website Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service – Autumn Programme 2016

Workshops at Bedfordshire Archives

Included in the programme are 5 practical workshops which are offered in association with and sponsored by the Bedfordshire Local History Association.

The workshops are aimed at local history groups, parish councillors, churchwardens, societies and organizations who may have, or be considering collecting, historical material and making it available to others.

Anyone can attend and you may book for all or just one of the workshops.  However it is recommend that societies try to have at least one member attend each of the workshops to get the overall picture of current legislation and ideas.  The workshops are being held once a fortnight.  Bedfordshire Archives aim to run the workshops in the morning but if they are oversubscribed they will run a repeat session in the afternoon.

Booking – Please contact the archives service to book.

Cost –  BLHA members FREE, non-members £5 per person.
Note: if you are a member of a group that belongs to the BLHA you are a member of the BLHA too!
If you are not a member why not join? Annual subscription (1st April to 31st March) is £5 for individuals or £10 for societies and other organisations.

What & When

13 October – Keep or bin? Collecting, appraising and cataloguing basics, 10am-12 noon. (repeat session 1-3pm if morning session is oversubscribed)

27 October – It doesn’t matter that it’s old! Copyright and other intellectual property rights you shouldn’t ignore.

10 November – Put yourself in their shoes – data protection issues. Times as above.

24 November – So you want to digitise? – things to think about. Times as above.

8 December – Recording communities – how do we capture how we live now or how our community became what it is? Times as above.


Stevington: The Natural History of a Bedfordshire Parish

The Stevington Historical Trust has published its latest work Stevington: The Natural History of a Bedfordshire Parish.

This book, was inspired by Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selborne (1788-9); we understand that there have been comparatively few systematic studies of the natural history of a single parish since White wrote. The book is the fruit of a study which has taken over eight years’ intensive work. It was constructed in two parts: a Field Survey and a Garden Watch. The Field Survey, led by Jacqueline Gooding, aimed to record the flora and fauna in the open fields of the Parish. The Garden Watch, led by Susan Young, involved numerous householders making a weekly record of garden inhabitants and visitors over a three year period.

The resulting text is the work of a number of hands. It is an amateur project which has benefited greatly from input by recorders of the Bedfordshire Natural History Society and other experts.

The book is richly illustrated with photographs taken, for the most part, by Roger Day and pen and brush illustrations by Jacqueline Gooding.  The work amounts to 344 pages in hard laminated covers. The book is available from Janet Day for £27.50 (plus postage and packing £6.50) at 7 Park Road, Stevington MK43 7QD;; 01234 823081. Cheques are payable to the Stevington Historical Trust.

Bedford ‘Great War’ Home Front Timeline

Stuart Antrobus has researched the weekly copies of the Bedfordshire Times from the start of ‘The Great War’ in August 1914 through to the Peace Celebrations of July 1919 and his selected extracts have been published, free, online through Bedfordshire Libraries’ virtual library website.  Stuart’s aim was to show the variety of ways in which life and business was affected for Bedford residents and elsewhere in the county by the war.