Welcome to ANLHS

This is our new website and is still  being developed so please be patient if everything doesn’t work quite as it should!

To find out more about ANLHS please click on ‘About ANLHS’ at the top of the page.

Below you will find the planned events for 2015. For further details of any of these please click on ‘Events’ at the top of the page.

 The Annual Subscriptions for 2015/16 are due for renewal on 1st April 2015. please do not forget to forward your subscriptions as soon as possible and BEFORE 1st April. Details of how much your subscription costs and where to send it can be found by clicking on ‘How to Join’ at the top of the page. Thank you.

The first meeting in the spring will be our annual Members Meeting on 28th February. A discussion session on topics of interest or concern to member societies and individual members will follow our speaker Dr Liz O’Donnell who will be talking about her recent oral history project ‘Voices of Stannington Sanatorium’.

The talk is about the history of the first purpose-built children’s sanatorium in the country which opened in 1907, based on the records held at Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn and a series of oral history interviews with former patients and members of staff. Their stories provide a vivid insight into the treatment of tuberculosis both before and after the introduction of antibiotics, and about the impact it had on the lives of the young patients.

Segedunum BathhouseThe second event is the Round the County Day on Saturday 9th May. This year the event will be hosted jointly by the Friends of Segedunum and Wallsend Local History Society at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum. A hot buffet lunch will be available in the café for those who pre-book. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Wallsend and the Segedunum site so book early to avoid disappointment!

Magna_CartaThe third event is the Study Day ‘Magna Carta’ on Saturday 3rd October in Warkworth to commemorate the 800th Anniversary of the signing of this historic document. There will be three excellent speakers – Dr Nicholas Vincent, the UK’s leading authority on  Magna Carta, Dr Hugh Doherty and Michael Thomson and an opportunity to view a facsimile of one of the three surviving 13th century copies.

The final event of 2015 will be the AGM on 7th November at Stannington Village Hall.  As well as the business we plan to be launching the ‘Dr Constance Fraser Memorial Publication’, a book of essays by noted historians, written as a memorial to Constance and her significant contribution to local history.


The latest edition of our annual journal Tyne & Tweed, Volume 68 is available price £5. It makes an ideal present for Northumbrians living outside the region – particularly those abroad! Click on ‘Tyne & Tweed Journal’ at the top of the page to find a list of its contents and how to order.

Another ideal present is Joan Wright’s book Eleanor’s Diary. Joan discovered the diary of Eleanor Weatherly some years ago. Eleanor was a ‘feisty 20year old daughter of a widowed gentleman farmer’ who lived near Belford in the north of Eleanor's DiaryNorthumberland. The diary was written in 1804-5 just before the novels of Jane Austen were published. Joan spoke on the diary at the ‘Round the County Day’ hosted by Belford LHS in 2008 and wrote an article on it in Tyne & Tweed, Vol.63. Both her talk and the article were enjoyed so much that she was persuaded to publish the diary, and her notes on the Weatherley family, and bring a previously undiscovered piece of social history to a wider audience. Copies can be obtained from mail@anlhs.org.uk – price £9 inclusive of postage & packing.

SPEAKERS LIST – Help please!

ANLHS issues a ‘List of Speakers’ to all Member Societies/Groups. It is to be updated ready for issue in 2015. In the past Societies have advised the names and addresses of new speakers and the information has been used to increase the number of speakers available for other Societies.

If you know of any speakers who may not be currently included on the list please let us know their name and address so that we can contact them direct to see if they would be willing to have their details included for future reference.

Please send the information to: M Thompson, 21 Melrose Avenue, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, NE25 0JR or email: mikeevelyn@o2.co.uk .

Volunteer Opportunities with Northumberland Archives

Northumberland Archives is working with The National Archives to create an up-to-date web-based searchable database of extant manorial records for the pre-1974 county of Northumberland. The project began in April 2014 and is expected to continue through to December 2016. During this time they will be looking at catalogued and uncatalogued collections held by Northumberland Archives at Berwick-upon-Tweed and Woodhorn as well as Northumberland material held in both UK and international repositories. The project will also identify and record Northumberland manorial records retained privately. The project has been made possible by grant funding provided by The National Archives and The Federation of Family History Societies.

They are looking to recruit four volunteers with research experience to work with the Archives to prepare Manor Authority files – brief histories of each of the Northumberland manors. The work involves looking at printed secondary sources and preparing a chronology of the descent of the manor. This work can be undertaken remotely from home and full training will be provided. For an informal discussion please contact Andrea Cameron by telephone on 01670 624487 or by email at acameron@woodhorn.org.uk


In July 2011 four Tynesiders – the Port of Tyne’s writer in residence Michael Chaplin, artistimage002 Birtley Aris, photographer Charles Bell and poet Christy Ducker, set off to walk the tidal length of the River Tyne from South Shields to Tynemouth via Wylam.

Their walk took them through changing communities, vital industry and through urban, rural, industrial and post-industrial landscapes. Along the way they interviewed people who work alongside the river from boat builders and taxi drivers to a horse dentist at Bill Quay farm to capture reflections on the past and the future of the Tyne. The resulting book includes pen and ink illustrations, photography, poetry and a written and poetic narrative that captures the ordinary and extraordinary people of the river and the river itself at a point of change. Part social history, part psycho-geography and part love letter, Tyne View captures the soul of Tyneside’s big river.

Michael Chaplin is available to come and talk to local history groups about Tyne View and share his experience. If you would to take up this opportunity please contact Debbie Sharratt at Port of Tyne, Maritime House, Tyne Dock, South Shields, Tyne & Wear NE34 9PT. Debbie can also be contacted on 0191 440 7450 or by email on debbie.sharratt@portoftyne.co.uk.


We have been contacted by ‘The Friends of the Union Chain Bridge’, an organisation launched in June 2014, and asked to bring their campaign to the notice of our website readers. They are campaigning for the full restoration of this grade I listed structure for its bicentenary in 2020. They tell us that:

The Bridge, which spans the Tweed between Horncliffe in England and Fishwick in Scotland, was the first large-scale suspension bridge in the world and has global significance in the history of engineering, as well as being a magnificent feature in the Border landscape.  However, after almost 200 years of wear and corrosion, the old structure, which last saw major repair works in 1977, urgently needs major restoration. The estimated cost of the necessary work is about £5 million. Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council share responsibility for the structure and each are expected to earmark £500,000 towards the restoration costs, with bids being prepared for additional funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Historic Scotland.

‘The Friends’ organisation, established to show community support for the project and to submit bids for grants that are unavailable to public authorities, now has about 250 members from the immediate area, throughout the UK and further afield.

You can find out more by visiting their website https://www.facebook.com/unionbridgefriends. You can join ‘the Friends’ through the website or at Chain Bridge Honey Farm or Paxton House.


We have also been contacted by Amberley Publishing who are looking for an author to help them publish a local history book on Ashington. The book could be produced in one of several formats which Amberley Publishing have used in the past to publish books on other towns and places other places.

One is their flagship ‘Through Time’ series which is a full-colour book of then and now photographs of a town with a short accompanying caption of the changes.

Another is the ‘From Old Photographs’ series, which takes old images of a place, each with a short caption describing the photograph, and perhaps any significant changes that have occurred since This format contains either 128 pages of black-and-white photographs (240 images) or 96 pages if there are more colour photographs. The word count should be around 10,000 to 15,000 words.

A third series is ‘The Postcard Collection’. This is a 96-page format, with at least 50% colour and a maximum of 25% black-and-white photographs. The word count should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words.

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