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

31st Anniversary 1993-2024

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.

BLHA 2024 AGM & Conference
Hosted by the Leighton Buzzard & District
Archaeological & Historical Society
Saturday 22nd June 2024

Ten stallholders have already booked for the Bedfordshire Local History Conference at Leighton Buzzard on June 22 – 9.00 am to 4 pm, the first time the annual event has been held in the town.

The conference which is in Cedars Upper School, Mentmore Road, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2AE, features many aspects of the rich history of this ancient town not known by outsiders. For example, how many know Leighton Buzzard was the secret headquarters of UK’s WWII communications and radar for the UK, Europe and the Middle East? Bletchley Park was just an outstation.

Among the stallholders, Stuart Antrobus will be offering a service of confirming if the female ancestors of any local people were Land Girls in the Women’s Land Army in Bedfordshire during WW2 (providing you know their maiden surname).

There is ample parking and good public transport links. A sumptuous lunch is on order and there will be free coffee and tea throughout the day. Tickets are £25 with lunch £20 without.

Below is the conference title and programme. Tickets (links below) should be booked by as soon as possible.

Tickets can be booked electronically here:

BLHA AGM Conference 2024 Ticket Booking Form

If any other societies want to book stalls there is still plenty of room: Details of space requirements can be booked here:

BLHA AGM Conference 2024 Stalls Booking Form

Any questions or information requests, such as for paper forms and alternative payment methods can be sent to lbdahs@yahoo.com.  The in box will be monitored and replies sent as soon as possible.

Tickets will be sent out electronically and exchanged on arrival at the conference for lanyards and name tags with the name of the society the person represents if appropriate. There will be different coloured lanyards for those who have opted not to have lunch.

The  Programme is below:

Bedfordshire Local History Association Annual AGM and Conference

Cedars Upper School, Mentmore Road, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2AE

Saturday, June 22, 2024, 9 am to 4 pm

Hosted by Leighton Buzzard and District Archaeological and Historical Society


High Points of Leighton Buzzard and Linslade Through the Ages

8.00 am               Doors open. Parking for exhibitors and disabled at entrance. Ample general parking across the road. Tables and display boards available.

9.00 am               Conference registrations open, welcome and coffee.

9.30 am               Bedfordshire Local History Association A.G.M.

Talks begin:

10.00 am:          Henry Finch Esq. of Linslade – Publican, Public Servant and Philanthropist. The story of Leighton’s Hunting Heyday before WWI – Kate Crooks

10.30 am            Legacy of Industry: Chronicles of Mill Ownership in Leighton Buzzard (1743-1929) – Sarah Roe

11.00 am            Questions and Answers


11.30 am            Double Bill and wartime mystery – Q Central: Top Secret HQ of Britain’s War Effort and Radar Headquarters in WW2:  Were the 7,000 evacuees part of the camouflage? How did the town cope? – Paul Brown and Delia Gleave.

12.30 pm            Questions and Answers


2.10 pm               The 15th century Market Cross and the poet’s grand daughter, Alice Chaucer, Lady of the Manor – Paul Brown

2.40 pm               Key Note Speaker:  Paul Tate – In Search of Old Linslade’s Holy Well and the Well’s historical context.  This season’s latest Exciting Developments Locating a Lost Medieval Sacred Spring

3.40 pm               Questions and Answers

3.50 pm               Conclusion and thanks

4.00 pm               Conference Close.

Paul Brown

BLHA AGM Conference Programme 2024

BLHA AGM 2024 Agenda, Minutes of AGM 2023, Chair and Treasurer Reports 2024

BLHA AGM 2024 Agenda, Minutes of AGM 2023, Chair and Treasurer Reports 2024