Whether we want to understand more about our community and its history, or learn about aspects of the society we grew up in through documented or oral history, local history is accessible to us all on many different levels.
Local history is the study of how ordinary people lived, worked and raised families. It is the study of what used to be where and why a street was named in a particular way. It is the study of our roots and our ancestors. Most people are not descended from royalty, and without local history we would not know our story.
Delving into the local history of where we live can often bring up surprising results and challenge what we have previously known. Anyone who’s moved to a different area will know how eagerly they receive news from their home town. It is the same feeling we get when we discover something new about our home town. The more we understand about our local history, the more we understand about ourselves.
The changes and developments that have taken place over time can help inform the past and make us think about the future, including changes to industrial and transport heritage, fashion and entertainment.
The Victoria County History project dedicated to Queen Victoria and started in 1899 is still a work in progress today. In 2012 it was rededicated to Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee year.