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 Strategy 2023/2024

With changing times, the BLHA Committee has a focus on the future development of the Association.  A strategy document has been prepared with goals and initiatives which are likely to develop over time.  The BLHA Committee welcomes your input.

BLHA Strategy 2023/2024

Speakers Directory

The BLHA have reintroduced the Speakers Directory.  This is a very useful online directory to aid societies when putting together their talks programmes and is reliant on society recommendations.  Have you heard a good speaker that would perhaps be of interest to another group, then please suggest to the speaker that they complete the online form to register their talk or talks with the BLHA.

Speakers - Join the BLHA Directory

List of Talks and Summaries

Strengthening Societies – A Tool Kit

The BLHA has developed a ‘toolkit’ to help local history societies who may be facing significant challenges.  When worked through by the group or society it will give suggestions for the way forward.

BLHA - Supporting Societies Toolkit

BLHA – 2024 Inaugural Local History Awards

Bedfordshire Local History Association (‘BLHA’) is delighted to launch four new local history awards for 2024 Our aims are to:

  • Encourage greater participation in all aspects of Bedfordshire local history and heritage.
  • Promote and raise awareness of the BLHA.
  • To give a platform for member societies to promote themselves and their work and attract new members to the association.

Scope: The awards for 2024 will encompass:

  • Best newsletter, journal, or magazine produced by a group or organization: The publication should be about an aspect of local history, family history or heritage relating to the historic county of Bedfordshire. It should be produced as part of a run, rather than a one-off book.
  • Best website or webpage(s) or blogs: Open to organisations and individuals who choose the URLs to submit for judging. This means that you can submit a whole new website or blog, or new pages added to an existing site.
  • Books: Open to organizations and individuals. The publication should be a one-off type of publication but can be self-published. It may be published in hard copy or electronically however it is important that the publication can be made freely available to the judges.
  • Projects: This can be anything that was planned and concluded as a discrete project. It could include trails, guided tours, community outreach, memory projects, oral histories, art projects inspired by Bedfordshire’s history/heritage, collections development.

We propose to increase the categories from 2025 to provide greater opportunities and encourage greater involvement from young people with categories aimed at schools and youth groups.

Eligibility:  Anyone can submit an entry for any of the award categories. The awards are open to members and non-members of the BLHA.

Entries must have been created/concluded between March 2020 and August 2024 and relate to an aspect of Bedfordshire local history and heritage. Entries can be submitted from June 2024 to 30th September 2024 (the closing date).

Awards: Successful entrants will be publicised in History in Bedfordshire, the Journal of the BLHA and on the BLHA’s website, and invited to an awards ceremony which will be held in Autumn 2024. All entrants will be invited to the ceremony to publicise their entries and societies, share learning and celebrate success.

If you have any queries, please contact Bob Ricketts at bob.ricketts57@gmail.com

BLHA - 2024 Inaugural Local History Awards

BLHA – Awards Application Form

Please download and complete the following BLHA – Awards Application Form and return via email or post.

BLHA - Awards Application Form