Heritage events

Online Talks on Zoom

What's your LGBT+ story?

Wednesday 2 February, 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Zoom

Come and celebrate National Story Telling Week and LGBT+ History Month with Surrey Libraries and the Surrey History Centre. Surrey is a county with a rich LGBT+ history, and archivists at the Surrey History Centre are working to preserve the stories of Surrey's LGBT+ residents, from policeman Harry Daley, lover of E. M. Forster, to Roberta Cowell, the first person in the UK to have gender reassignment surgery. By actively collecting and preserving records of Surrey's LGBT+ people and their lived experience Surrey History Centre ensures that this history is not lost.

Now we want to hear from you! This National Storytelling Week, come and tell us your Surrey LGBT+ story. Library and archive staff are hosting an online session on the 2nd of February, giving Surrey residents the chance to add their own stories to the collection. Come and tell us your memories of being an LGBT+ person in the county, however recent, and contribute to this wonderful record of the history of our community. The night will open with a reading from Surrey History Centre staff with material from the archive, with more readings throughout the session and lots of chances to share your memories and get involved. If you don't wish to share, then you're also very welcome to come and listen!The event is free but booking is essential.

Please book a place online via Eventbrite, you will then be emailed your unique Zoom link.

  • This event will be recorded and a copy added to the archive at Surrey History Centre. If you wish to contribute your LGBT+ story at the event this will become part of the archive and you may be contacted by Surrey History Centre for administrative purposes through your ticket registration contact details. If you do not want your contribution in the event to be part of the archive please let us know so that your content can be edited.
  • If you wish to submit a written rather than spoken story for the archive after the event then we would welcome your contribution. To find out how to do this please go to What's your Surrey LGBTQ+ Story? or email Surrey History Centre at shs@surreycc.gov.uk. We will discuss the format and any sensitivity requirements you may have. With sensitive content you can choose to have your material closed to researchers for an agreed number of years. Please note that, due to the public nature of the event, the closed option will not be available to stories told during the event, only to written stories submitted separately.
  • Please note: not everyone's experiences will be the same and the stories shared are likely to be personal in nature, and therefore it's important that attendees are sensitive to the needs and feelings of other participants. This is a chance for all members of our community to share their memories and perspectives. Everyone's experience is valid, and library and history centre staff will be present to moderate on the evening and ensure that the night remains a safe and respectful space.
  • If you would like to participate but have access requirements or concerns you would like to discuss prior to the event, please contact Grace Woodger, Group Manager – Horley Group, Surrey Library Service at grace.woodger@surreycc.gov.uk.

Recorded talks to purchase

If you missed one of our online talks, why not purchase the talk recording to view in your own time?

The talks available are:

  • Aladdin's Cave: Some Major Family and Estate Archives in Surrey History Centre
  • Corsets and Cameras
  • Sir William More of Loseley
  • Who Do You Think They Were? Discovering the Lives and Experiences of our Ancestors
  • Fashion and Folly
  • Planting Ideas: Sources for the History of Gardening in Surrey.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Sources for the History of Surrey's Mental Hospitals, 1700 - c.1990
  • Portrait of a Surrey town between the wars: the photographic archive of Sidney Francis
  • From Punishment to Pride: LGBTQ+ archives at Surrey History Centre
  • James Henry Pullen (1835-1916) and the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Idiots, Redhill
  • The Book That Changed My Life
  • The Portable Antiquities Scheme in Surrey
  • Richard III: A Drama in Three Acts
  • To the Manor Born: An Introduction to Manorial Records for Family Historians
  • The Changing Face of Nursing: Black Nurses in Surrey Hospitals
  • The Gentleman's Magazine: A Panorama of Georgian Surrey for Family and Local Historians
  • Netherne c. 1955: A Surrey Psychiatric Hospital in Focus
  • The Most Wretched Man in the World: The Life and Loves of the 5th Viscount Midleton
  • Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join our Zoom? Reflections on the Lewis Carroll archives, on the 150th anniversary of 'Alice through the Looking Glass'

All talk descriptions can be found on our Talks and Tours page. Each talk consists of a 45 minute to an hour illustrated presentation followed by questions asked during the live talk. You can also email us with any questions you may have after the talk and we will pass them on to the speaker to answer. Price £5. To purchase a recording please visit the Surrey Heritage Shop. Please note talks may contain references to historical legal terminology, sexual practices and crimes, used in the historical context but which some viewers may find offensive.


Children's activities

Make an Egg Box Bug

  • Here at Surrey History Centre, we look after old books, newspapers and letters. We have to be careful to look after our collections and make sure no bugs get into our store.
  • Discover the ways we do this and get creative with our egg box bug craft video on Exploring Surrey's Past.

Make a Wind Sock

  • Here in Surrey we used to have a lot of windmills. See photos from our collection and learn more about them whilst making a wind sock.

Make a Coat of Arms

  • Surrey's Coat of Arms has gold keys to symbolise St Peter's Abbey which used to be in Chertsey. It also has a wool sack as a reminder of the importance of the wool trade in medieval Surrey. The acorn on the coat of arms represents the trees of Surrey and was also a symbol on the Earl of Surrey's coat of arms. The acorn can still be seen in the logo for Surrey County Council today.

Make a pop up flying honey bee

  • Learn about honey bees and how to make your own pop up version

Find all these and more children's craft videos on our YouTube channel.


Did you know we have a monthly newsletter? Find out the latest news, events and displays taking place at the Surrey History Centre by subscribing to our free newsletter.