Presidential Introduction

Welcome to the website of the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History.

CALH is the representative body for any individuals or organisations concerned with any aspect of Cambridgeshire’s heritage.

These are desperate times for those of us researching any aspect of our county, be it history, geography, archaeology, folklore, transport or any of a thousand topics.  Our libraries, museums and archives are facing cutbacks that will severely limit their ability to make available all those resources that have over the decades been collected and placed in their hands for safe keeping.  At the same time there has been rapid growth in the resources available online, much of which is unknown to many of us. And of course, what is online today may have disappeared the next time we seek it.  Websites and computers are poor substitute for the advice and guidance that we are entitled to receive from trained staff in public collections.  Staring at our screens we are out of touch with others who, like us, have a passion for our county and its story. 

CALH provides an opportunity for us to come together and share our knowledge. Our annual book, young peoples and individual awards allow us to recognise some of what is continuing to be investigated and the way an interest in the past can bring together both old and new residents of a community.   The fact that you are reading this online means that you must have access to the internet. Do explore the links and information the site opens up. And do keep us updated on resources you discover, services that you find useful.  And do join us so that you too can be part of this Association that for over half-a-century has spoken out for Local Historians.

We look forward to welcoming you to our meetings. We are a friendly lot. But you will only find out how friendly we are if you talk to us. You have a voice, please use it.

Mike Petty, CALH President


Chairman's Introduction

Welcome to the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History.

We aim here to ease your path into the opportunities for local studies that we and our associated societies offer, whatever the nature of your interest.

Our Association began over 60 years ago (as the Council for Local History) and has throughout that time held regular meetings and published original articles on a very diverse range of topics in this field. We aim to act as an umbrella organisation, advertising our members’ activities and co-ordinating responses to issues affecting local interests and studies. Although our meetings are mostly based in Cambridge, our Associate groups span the county – if you live in Cambridgeshire, there will be one near you. If you live elsewhere, this site will keep you in touch. We regularly help enquirers find the answers to local history questions, if not from our own members’ expertise, then through our contacts with similar organisations.

We hope to see you at one of our meetings - if not, to hear about your interests or to further your researches.

Honor Ridout, CALH, Chairman