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

People interested in finding out more about Staffordshire’s fascinating history are being invited to join in a two-month long celebration of the county’s past.

The Staffordshire History Festival, organised by Staffordshire County Council’s libraries, arts and museum services will run throughout September and October.

The annual event, which saw over 10,000 people joining in last year will include exhibitions, historic talks and walks, heritage open days and library events.  An online festival with photos and videos from the past, quizzes, crafts and activities for families, posts to highlight famous people from Staffordshire and little-known facts about the county’s history will run alongside the physical events.  People can follow the action using the hashtag #StaffsHistFest.

Highlights include a heritage open day at the Staffordshire Archives Museum stores in Stafford on 9 September with a chance to see and handle historical objects and learn the stories behind them from the team.  The service will also be launching ‘Knowing where you stand: an introduction to local history’ adult learning course in partnership with Keele University on 3 October.

A mini walking tour of historic Eastgate Street in Stafford and an exhibition created by David Robbie about the history of Great Haywood at Rugeley library is also part of the programme.

At Burton Library on 23 September, a local author day will give people the chance to meet with history authors promoting their books.  At the Perton Library History Fair on Saturday 7 October people can explore stalls, exhibitions, re-enactors and enthusiasts and a special escape room activity for young people.

Tamworth library will be celebrating its 50th birthday with a ‘Tamworth Then and Now’ photographic exhibition, created in partnership with Tamworth Castle. And, at Newcastle library, customers will be celebrating the town’s 850th birthday with a series of events for children during the October half term break.

Libraries Chief at Staffordshire County Council, Victoria Wilson said:

“Our annual history festival is always a wonderful celebration of our county’s rich past and it’s great to see our library, archives and museums teams working together to create such a brilliant programme of events.

“For many of us, our local library, archives, and museums services are our best gateway to learning more about family or local history. We also know that local cultural experiences inspire, foster pride, and connect communities, which is so important to us all.

“I’d urge everyone to get involved, visit their local library, attend an event near them and follow all the action on social media.”

Other events include talks in libraries from local historians and authors, including Andrew Lound, Joy Stephenson-Blank, Shaun Farrelly, Emma Venables, Carolyn Kirby, and Steve Booth.  a book signing with Nick Thomas at Stafford library, Sylvia Baddeley at Newcastle library and another with Philip Leese at Kidsgrove library. Taster sessions on the Ancestry website, quizzes and treasure hunts for children will also take place in libraries.

The Pop-up Stafford Film Festival is also back this September, with The Mace Guide to the Midlands, a celebration of the customs and traditions of the Midlands region. Films will be shown every lunchtime in Stafford Library between 12 and 17 September.

Perton library and Burton library will also be hosting ‘Their Finest Hour’ digital collection days on 19 and 21 October. People are encouraged to bring along Second World War artefacts and family stories for recording and uploading as part of a national project organised by Oxford University.

Further information and details of the events are available at Staffordshire History Festival events

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