How we started
The origins of the Suffolk Local History Council lie in the early 1950s. At the time of the 1951 Exhibition interest in local history was increasing and the Suffolk Rural Community Council encouraged villages to mark this great event with an historical display. This led to the official formation of the Suffolk Local History Council in 1953, one of the many such institutions to be set up during this period.
With the general aim of fostering and encouraging an interest in local history, the Suffolk Local History Council, from the beginning, developed a wide range of activities, many of which continue to the present day. Encouragement of research in local history and publication in its journal, The Suffolk Review, was a central aim. Publicising news and information about the activities of member societies was always important. Originally included in the Review, this material is now contained in three separate publications – a Newsletter, Calendar of Events and Speakers List. The Recorder Scheme was another important early initiative that continues to flourish, but the very popular residential local history weekend at Belstead House has ended now that the house has closed. We hope the Conference in Honour of Peter Northeast, now an annual event, will become a worthy successor. Many other successful projects have included the programme of Day Meetings, Societies Day, the Photographic Survey and encouragement for the creation of the Museum of East Anglian Life.
The Suffolk Local History Council remained under the protective umbrella of the Suffolk Community Council and received its generous support until 1986. It then became an independent entity, although the Community Council’s successor, Suffolk ACRE (now merged with other groups into Community Action Suffolk), continued to provide much appreciated help and office space until 2009. Modern communications technology has since allowed us to operate successfully without premises, and the Suffolk Local History Council continues to grow and expand its activities