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Minie Pit disaster rescue team

People urged to explore county’s heritage during Staffordshire History Festival

Families from across Staffordshire are being invited to join in a two month celebration of the county’s past.

Historic buildings and landscapes, famous people, unique discoveries like the Staffordshire Hoard and the county’s role during the Great War are amongst the stories being explored during the Staffordshire History Festival.

Over 140 events organised by the county council’s libraries, arts and museum services will take place over September and October.

Exhibitions, historic walks and talks, heritage open days, family history sessions and children’s activities will all be on offer to help people celebrate the county’s rich heritage.

Libraries Chief at Staffordshire County Council, Gill Heath said:

“As a county steeped in history, from the Staffordshire Hoard, wonderful buildings like Lichfield Cathedral to the industrial revolution this is sure to be a wonderful celebration of our fascinating past.

“Whether you’re interested in touring one of our historic buildings, finding out about your family tree or community’s history, there will be something for you.

“It’s wonderful to see our libraries playing such a key role in the festival, helping people discover the fascinating stories about the places where they live.  I would certainly encourage people to see what’s happening in their local area.”

Staffordshire’s libraries also hold a range of useful material, such as newspapers, trade directories and parish registers. Some libraries also have collections of local photographs and people can get free access at all library computers to Find My Past and Ancestry Library Edition.

A full list of Staffordshire History Festival events taking place in each district is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/libraries.  Booking is essential for some events and can be made at the venue or through the library.

Below are some of the events taking place.

Staffordshire Moorlands area:

Tours of the Nicholson Institute by Cathryn Walton, contact Leek Library, Saturday 20th October, 10.30 & 1.30, booking Essential, £2.00 library members/ £3.00 non-library members

“The Minnie Pit Disaster, on the Centenary of the Disaster” with Mr. Lloyd Boardman and Mr. Jim Worgan at Biddulph Library.  15th October 2018, 7.00pm, admission is £2 but free for Historical Society members.  Contact the Library for more details.

Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society, talk at Biddulph Library by Paul Walton on “The Gardening Year”. 17th September 2018, 7.00pm, admission is £2 but free for Historical Society members.  Contact Library for more details

Newcastle area:

Josiah C. Wedgwood and the defence of democracy exhibition at Newcastle Library until 22 September.

“Home is the place where stories begin” Maria Whatton will tell traditional tales and read from her book “Home town Tales” co-authored by the comedian Stewart Lee. Home is not just where the heart is – but where the stories begin. At Newcastle Library, 10:30 on 1 October.

Stafford area:

Tolkien Trail, Great Haywood, a 10 mile walk in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien from Brocton Coppice to Great Haywood with a tour of Tolkien sites in the village from local historian David Robbie

Steve Booth – How Stone and its people were affected by the Great War, Friday 28th September, Stone Library 6.30pm – 8:00 pm Tickets £2:00, available from Stone Library

History of Eccleshall walk, Saturday 29th September (subject to minimum numbers) – at 14:30hrs, for about an hour. Free, but need to sign up by Saturday 22nd September

Tamworth area:

Telling the Tale of the Tame, Tamworth Library, Monday 8th October 2.30-3.30pm. Hear the stories of the Tame Valley Wetlands recently collected from local residents by HistoryNeedsYou and watch a short film.

South Staffordshire area:

At Perton Library this Autumn, the ‘Kitchen goes to war’ exhibition, which has been touring schools and libraries this year, will explore why rationing was introduced during the First World War, how it worked and how families on the home front were encouraged to ‘do their bit’ for the war effort.  Perton Library, Thursday 4th October to Friday 29th November, Free to visit (during Library open hours)

Burton area:

Criminal Herstories exhibition, 14 August to 25 October, Free drop-in,More info at this link: https://ruthsinger.com/2018/05/23/criminal-herstories/

Lichfield area:

Front-Line & Home-Life in Lichfield 1918 Talk, On the centenary of the Great War, local historian Jonathan Oates tells stories from the experiences of Lichfield people from home and the front-line.  Includes an opportunity to see original Mercury Newspapers from the Great War period, Thursday 25th October, 7pm, £5 per ticket available from Lichfield Library

Explore the old maps of Lichfield from the collection at Lichfield Library.  Local historian Jonathan Oates will also be on hand to interpret the maps and tell the stories. Saturday 13 October, 10am to 1pm, Free, drop-in.