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Family Tree Workshop

March 24, 2014 in Activities, Adults, Family History, News by Stuart Williams


A special adult workshop taking place at Walsall Local History Centre later this month is all set to show participants how they can discover more about their family tree, both online and off.

‘Beginning Family History’, which takes place at the Essex Street centre on Saturday 29 March 2014, between 10am-1pm, will be led by Ruth Vyse, head of the Centre.

If you have ever wanted to find out more about your family history or if you have started and are not sure about how to get further back this workshop is for you. 

Participants will find out about and have an opportunity to try online searches, and will discover a variety of sources and what you can find out and what you cannot, including who their ancestors were and what they did.

They will also look at examples of original source material as well as ideas about how to record and share information.

The cost of the workshop is £8.00 per person, and advance booking is essential, telephone 01922 721305.

Walsall Local History Centre is Walsall Council’s archives and local studies service for the whole of Walsall Metropolitan Borough.

Admission to Walsall Local History Centre is free of charge during normal opening hours.  Telephone 01922 721305 for details or view Walsall Local History Centre’s website:

Eggstraordinary ‘Eritage

March 24, 2014 in Activities, Children/Families, News by Stuart Williams


Children’s Activities

Eggstraordinary ‘Eritage

Monday 14 April 2014. 11am-1pm.

Come along to Walsall Local History Centre in Essex Street  to make amazing clay egg cups and decorate them with eggciting historical scenes! Perfect for Easter Sunday and your boiled eggs in the morning!

Age 5-12 years, accompanied by an adult.

Cost £1.50 Booking essential, telephone 01922 721305.

Jack Haddock’s Transport Memories

March 24, 2014 in Exhibitions, News, Photography by Stuart Williams

WLHC Jack Haddock Panorama 4 Feb 2014 2048

The latest exhibition at Walsall Local History Centre opened on Tuesday 4 February, and is already causing a stir amongst heritage-minded local people and fans of historic transportation alike.

‘Jack Haddock’s Transport Memories’, which is the largest display ever put on show at the Essex Street centre, is a retrospective of the photographic work of well-known Walsall photographer, local historian and cyclist Jack Haddock, a familiar figure on local roads for decades who has been taking pictures in and around the borough from the vantage point of his bicycle since the 1950s!

More than 5,000 of his historic photographs are preserved for posterity as part of the borough archives, and he has written several books based on these and his oral history tape recordings and personal notes over the years.

Prepared in-house from around sixty of Jack’s original slides and prints by Walsall Local History Centre’s own photographer Stuart Williams, and mounted for display by the Centre’s Conservation staff, the exhibition showcases some of Jack’s finest pictures of steam railways, trolleybuses and canals in the Walsall area from the 1950s -1980s, and runs until 17 April.  Admission is FREE during normal Centre opening hours:

  • Tuesday 9.30am – 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 9.30am – 7pm
  • Thursday 9.30am – 5.30pm
  • Saturday 9.30am – 1pm

The spotlight also fell on Mr Haddock, who is in his mid 80s and still going strong, for a very different reason last year, when he appeared widely in national and local newspapers as the borough’s longest-resident council/housing association tenant following an anniversary celebration by Walsall Housing Group.

On-site parking and disabled facilities are available at the Centre in Essex Street, Walsall, WS2 7AS, which is the archives and local studies service for Walsall Metropolitan Borough, and is part of Walsall Council.

Telephone 01922 721305 for details of Walsall Local History Centre or view the Centre’s website:

English Civil War talk

March 21, 2014 in News, Talks by Stuart Williams

Civil War

Here at Walsall Local History Centre we continue our popular series of public talks next month, when our latest guest speaker will shed light on how the English Civil War divided the nation in the mid-1600s.

‘Cavalier Dogs and Roundhead Rogues’ is a talk by historian and well-known speaker Mary Bodfish, and will take place at the Centre in Essex Street on Monday 7 April 2014, at 7pm for 7.30pm-9.00pm.

The area between Wolverhampton and Birmingham suffered much upheaval and damage during the war between Royalists and Parliamentarians as the local people took sides and their forces engaged each other on numerous occasions.

It had a great effect on the Walsall area, setting neighbour against neighbour, with Rushall Hall, alternately occupied by Roundheads (Parliamentarians) and Cavaliers (Royalists), being laid siege in 1644 by the Roundhead Earl of Denbigh. During the war Walsall’s church was desecrated. The organ was pulled down and burnt, along with prayer books. Monuments, carvings and windows were destroyed, and the building was used as a stable.

The conflict is one of the reasons for the traditional rivalry between Bloxwich (the centre of the Foreign with its then-Royalist leanings) and Walsall (elements of which had Parliamentarian sympathies).

Admission to the illustrated talk costs just £2.00 and advance booking is essential by telephoning 01922 721305.

Free parking and disabled facilities are available on site.

Walsall Local History Centre is the archives service and local studies library for Walsall Metropolitan Borough and is part of Walsall Council.

Further information about Walsall Local History Centre may be found on the Centre’s website:

Family History Basics

March 20, 2014 in Activities, Adults, Family History, News by Stuart Williams


Family History Buddy

Beginning family history or hitting a brick wall with your research?  Book a free one hour session with our family history buddy to get started or inspire new ideas.  Diana Wilkes is at the Local History Centre 9.30am – 1pm and 1.45pm-5pm every Wednesday.

FREE Booking essential.

Ancestry Online at the Local History Centre

Last Thursday of every month 2pm – 3pm.  A one hour induction session, explaining how to get the most out of Ancestry online.  The Ancestry database is the most widely used family history database, containing a wealth of information from civil registration to First World War medal holders.

FREE Booking essential.

Beyond the Census

Third Wednesday of every month 6pm-7pm.  A one hour session introducing non-computerised sources for family and local history.

FREE Booking essential.