As the days shorten and the temperature drops, people swop their outdoor pastimes for those they can pursue indoors. For many people this means their attention will once again turn to tracking down the family tree, investigating the history of their home, digging into the secrets of an historical figure or researching the development of a community or group. But it needn’t be a lonely pursuit as there are many individuals and groups out there delighted to share their knowledge and experience and Northumberland History Fair to be held at Woodhorn on Sunday 28th October will be a great place to meet up with some of these organisations.
“This is the third time we’ve held the fair at Woodhorn,” said organiser Liz Ritson, “and it’s a really useful way of getting in touch with other people who share a passion for local and family history. Individuals and organisations are always very happy to share their knowledge and expertise, resources and contacts.”
Attending the fair will be Clan Johnstone Association, Hexham Local History Society, Northumberland and Durham Family History Society, Wallsend and Glendale Local History Societies, Border Family History Society, Mining Institute, North East War Memorials Project, Isaac’s Tea Trail, Relatively Helpful and a couple of very useful book stalls.
Northumberland Archives at History Fair
Staff from Northumberland Archives based at Woodhorn will also be available to offer advice, so even if you have never visited an archive before or don’t know where to start, help is at hand. For those who now have files of facts but don’t know how to make it more readable for family and friends, writer Barbara Henderson will be around. She’ll be happy to tell you about the writing courses she’s leading at Woodhorn as well as offering the odd tip.
Woodhorn is home to the Northumberland Local Studies Library which contains 18,000 items including works by or about people who were born in Northumberland. It is the largest collection of secondary source material relating to Northumberland and also includes publications relating to the North East at large and the Scottish Borders. Librarian Anne Newbury will be giving a behind-the-scenes talk and tour at 11am but places are limited and so need to be booked in advance ( 01670 624455 ) to avoid disappointment. The tour will include a chance to look at some of the rare and interesting items in the collection. Everyone at the History Fair will have the opportunity to pick up a bargain book too as surplus copies of local history books from the library will be available to purchase.
The History Fair will also include demonstrations of local crafts as the ladies from Wansbeck Matters and The Travelling Spinners will be showing off their skills. Woodhorn’s artist-in-residence Clare Money will be holding an open studio event during the day too.
“Although we have a full and interesting programme for the History Fair, we would still be interested to hear from any other groups or organisations who might like to attend,” explained Liz. “There’s such a lot of interest in the past, and it’s a great chance to link up with others who share the same passion.”
Full details of the event are on Woodhorn’s website www.experiencewoodhorn.com but anyone who would like to find out more about booking space at the fair should contact the events team on 01670 624455 or email email@example.com