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Heritage events


War and peace in Surrey: 1914 - 1919

Saturday 20 July, 11am - 4.30pm, Dorking Halls

  • A century on from Britain's 'Peace Day', when the nation celebrated the official end of World War 1, join us to explore Surrey's wartime people and communities. Browse our exhibitions, listen to talks, and experience the sights and sounds of wartime Surrey through film, a sound installation, re-enactments and children's activities.
  • Come and enjoy displays showcasing the work of our volunteers & partners from across Surrey, children's activities (including mini-digs with Surrey County Archaeological Unit), WW1 Surrey on film, and talks on topics such as Surrey training camps, women in wartime, local war photographer Ivan Bawtree, Dorking during the war, the county's Red Cross, and the Royal Army Medical Corps (by Andy Robertshaw).
  • Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers aims to discover and share the stories of Surrey's people and places on the home front. We've been exploring the role of the county's women, the treatment of the wounded, conscientious objection, rationing and shortages, industry and war work, anti-invasion measures… and much more.
  • Free event, no need to book.
  • Dorking Halls, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1SG
  • For more information and updates, please see the Surrey in the Great War website.

Surrey Record Society AGM followed by a talk

Monday 22 July, refreshments 6.30pm, AGM and talk 7pm - 9pm

  • Travelling through the archives - tracking Surrey Gypsies. A talk by Dr Alan Wright
  • Surrey has been home to Gypsy Romany and Traveller people, their culture and traditions, for over 500 years but their presence is often hidden within the historical record. This talk will explore the challenges and opportunities that researching their itinerant lifestyle presents, as well as the community's struggle with landowners in Victorian and Edwardian Surrey, at a time when travelling life was starting to come to an end.
  • Dr Wright studied history at Birmingham University where he gained a doctorate for his thesis on the decline of the Liberal Party and the rise of Labour 1885-1914. After a career in the Senior Civil Service, he has worked as a freelance consultant in private industry and the public sector and as a volunteer for various charitable bodies. His interest in Gypsies originates from developing case studies and databases on Gypsy-travellers for Surrey History Centre. His book, 'Their Day Has Passed', is the first in-depth look at their experience in an English county. He is currently editing a volume of documents relating to the Surrey Police Census of Nomads 1913 for the Surrey Records Society.
  • The talk will follow the AGM of Surrey Record Society. The AGM begins at 7pm and should last around 30-45 minutes. Non-members of the Society are warmly invited to attend the talk and are very welcome to sit in on the meeting beforehand, although they cannot vote on Society matters.
  • Tickets are free and include refreshments but booking is advisable. Either book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or phone 01483 518737.

Summer of Craft-aeology

  • Join Surrey County Archaeological Unit for a summer of archaeology inspired workshops.

Cross Stitch a Prehistoric Flint and Archaeological Photography

Thursday 18 July, 10am - 3pm and Thursday 25 July, 10am - 12pm

  • Unfortunately, we have had to cancel these workshops due to low ticket sales. We apologise for any disappointment caused. If you have booked a place you will receive a refund in due course, please contact us if you have any questions.

Top of the Tudor pops

Saturday 27 July, 10am - 11.30am

  • Join us for an interactive introduction to Tudor music. Musicians from Passamezzo (as recently seen on BBC1 Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family and Channel 5 Henry VIII and his Six Wives) will demonstrate a variety of Tudor instruments and popular music from the time, with the chance to join in with songs and even have a go playing the instruments. Suitable for all ages, family friendly.
  • £10 per person or £18 if booking both Top of the Tudor pops and Strictly Tudor dancing.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Strictly Tudor dancing

Saturday 27 July, 2pm - 3.30pm

  • Grab your dancing shoes and immerse yourself in an afternoon of Tudor dance. Join musicians from Passamezzo (as recently seen on BBC1 Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family and Channel 5 Henry VIII and his Six Wives) as you learn dances from the period accompanied by authentic live music. Have you got what it takes to impress the Tudor Court? Suitable for all ages, family friendly.
  • £10 per person or £18 if booking both Top of the Tudor pops and Strictly Tudor dancing.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Roman Inspired Mosaics

Thursday 1 August, 9.30am - 12.30pm

  • Taking inspiration from Roman mosaics found in Surrey, design and create either your own set of coasters, or one large mosaic to take home. All equipment included, no experience necessary.
  • £50, includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Marvellous Mosaics for ages 6 - 16

Thursday 1 August, 2pm - 3.30pm

  • Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of mosaic making! Using Roman designs for inspiration, make your very own mosaic to take home. All equipment provided. Suitable for age 6-16. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • £30 per child.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Iron Age Inspired Beaded Bracelets

Thursday 15 August, 9.30am - 2.30pm

  • The swirling patterns found in Iron Age art form the basis of this beading workshop where you will make your own Torc inspired bracelet to take home. All equipment included, no experience necessary.
  • £40, includes refreshments (lunch not included).
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Crochet a Torc

Thursday 29 August, 10am - 3.30pm

  • An experienced crochet teacher will help you crochet your own life size Iron Age torc to take home. A basic level of crochet is needed (chain, slipstitch and double crochet). Please bring your own 3.5mm crochet hooks, but wool and pattern will be provided.
  • £40, includes refreshments (lunch not included).
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey library or phone 01483 518737.

We're all going on a past summer holiday - free drop in family activities!

Tuesday 6 - Friday 23 August during normal opening hours.

  • Come along to Surrey History Centre and learn about the holidays that people went on in the past! Enjoy free drop in arts and craft activities for ages 3 - 12. Parents/Guardians are responsible for supervising their children.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.

As a Training Ground for War: How Sport Prepares Soldiers for the Battlefield

Free exhibition from Friday 16 - Friday 30 August in our foyer during normal opening hours.

  • The Army has always played sport. Through peacetime and war, the British soldier has carried the boxing glove alongside the bayonet. Army sport evokes a series of striking images, from footballs being kicked across No Man's Land in the First World War, to 80,000 spectators roaring on the Army vs Navy rugby match at Twickenham.
  • Sport builds qualities of fitness, discipline and camaraderie. It teaches soldiers to negotiate battlefield obstacles, operate effectively together and develop the determination to win. It is recognised as a crucial factor in maintaining the physical development and operational capability of the Army.
  • This exhibition focuses on the ways that sport prepares soldiers for the battlefield. It explores the three key strands of fitness, teamwork and fighting capability through historic and current day examples of military and sporting equipment.
  • These range from the Olympic wrestling medal won by a First World War unarmed combat specialist to the gloves worn by the Army boxing team in Inter-Service and international competitions in 2018.
  • The exhibition draws on the collections of several military and sporting museums, as well as the current Army. It forms part of Sporting Heritage and the Armed Forces, a collaboration between the Army Museums Ogilby Trust and Sporting Heritage networks. This aims to uncover, share, and celebrate collections with a focus on sporting heritage and the Armed Forces.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.

Barnes Wallis - One Man – Many Ideas. The Life and Work of Barnes Wallis, Engineer, Designer, Inventor, Teacher..

Talk with Peter Rix - Saturday 7 September, 2pm - 3.30pm.

Free exhibition from Tuesday 2 - Saturday 28 September in our foyer during normal opening hours.

  • Sir Barnes Wallis is best known for inventing the bouncing bomb that was used to attack the dams of the Ruhr Valley during World War 2. However there is much more to be told of his intriguing life. Peter Rix of The Barnes Wallis Foundation will tell us about the huge range of work of this British engineering genius; from the start of his working life at Barrow in Furness working on airships, later the Wellington bomber, the legendary bouncing bomb and developments leading to supersonic flight. We will also learn about his many other ideas and of his interesting private life.
  • Tickets £5.00. It is advisable to book early as places are limited.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey library or phone 01483 518737.

"Family history research made easy!" six week course

Six Fridays (10am- 1pm): 20 September, 27 September, 4 October, 11 October, 18 October, 25 October

  • Run by professional genealogists and archivists this 6 week course will cover all you need to know to enhance your research as well as providing many tips of the trade.
  • There will be opportunities to handle original historical documents, navigate online resources and importantly discover how and where to find less-known genealogical sources in a small, comfortable workshop environment.
  • Full course information (pdf).
  • £80 booked as 6 week course.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey library or phone 01483 518737.

Romany and Traveller Family History Society Open Day

Saturday 12 October, 10.30am - 3.30pm

  • Come and find out about your Romany Gypsy, Traveller or Fairground ancestors at this RTFHS Open Day at Surrey History Centre. Specialist books and guides on sale. Family history displays. Research helpdesk.
  • At 2.00pm Beverley Walker, Secretary of the RTFHS, will talk about how to research your Romany Gypsy family tree.
  • For full details of this event, please go to the Romany and Traveller History Society website or email them at enquiries@rtfhs.org.uk.

Surrey Heritage Showcase

Saturday 19 October, 10am - 4pm, Staines Methodist Church, Thames Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4SD

  • This year our Showcase will be held in partnership with Spelthorne Museum and Spelthorne Archaeology and Local History Group, to mark the 50th anniversary of the first major excavations in the area. Join us for a day of FREE talks, activities and exhibitions for all the family to discover more about your local heritage and meet the people who make it happen!

The Carol, the Carter and the Collectors. A talk by Irene Shettle

Saturday 2 November, 2.00pm – 3.30pm

  • Irene Shettle is an expert on English folk song, and this talk will explore Surrey's close links with the music for the carol, 'O Little Town of Bethlehem.'
  • Tickets £5.00. It is advisable to book early as places are limited.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey library or phone 01483 518737.

In the Shadow of the Great War: Surrey 1914-1922

Saturday 9 November, 2.00pm - 4.00pm

  • Join us to celebrate the launch of a book that tells the enthralling story of Home Front Surrey, 'In the Shadow of the Great War: Surrey 1914-1922' (edited by Kirsty Bennett, Imogen Middleton, Michael Page and Juliet Warren).
  • This launch marks the conclusion of our Heritage Lottery Funded project, 'Surrey in the Great War: a County Remembers'.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Tickets are free but please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737. It is advisable to book early as places are limited.

Family History Online

Saturday 16 November, 10am - 12.30pm

  • A workshop devoted to tips and techniques for exploring your family history using the many and varied sources available online. In addition to learning more about the large commercial websites such as Ancestry.com and Find My Past, we will also include information on using the Family Search website and hopefully introduce you to many wonderful free websites. We will also touch on how to share your information online and keep it secure.
  • Tickets: £15 includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Tickets are free but please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737. It is advisable to book early as places are limited.

Researching Your Irish Family History

Saturday 23 November, 10am - 12.30pm

  • A talk devoted to exploring sources and resources for Irish family history. During the morning we will cover most aspects of Irish genealogical research, including the recent publication of online Irish records, and there will be a Q&A session along with plenty of opportunities for discussion. There will also be a bibliography and list of useful websites to take away.
  • Tickets: £12.50 includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Tickets are free but please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737. It is advisable to book early as places are limited.

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