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Heritage events

Sidney Francis: a life through a lens

Free display in foyer from Wednesday 1 May - Friday 31 May during

Our opening hours

  • An extraordinary record of ordinary lives in Woking in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Explore images from wonderful glass plate negative collections held at Surrey History Centre and created by prolific Woking photographer, Sidney Francis. Travel back in time and discover how the people of the borough lived, worked and played. From fashionable weddings to burials at Brookwood cemetery, from carnival celebrations to local sports events, from religious life to local activities, these photographs record a vibrant and diverse community in the interwar years.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.

Mystical myths and legends - free half term activities

Tuesday 28 May - Saturday 1 June during

Our opening hours

  • Come along to the Surrey History Centre to find out about Myths and Legends from Surrey and around the world. Enjoy fun crafts like making a Pharaoh headdress, or collage a Chinese dragon as well as colouring in and other activities!
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for supervising their children.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.

Victorian passions from the USA: Surrey-related writers and artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

Saturday 8 June, 2pm - 3.30pm

  • Mark Samuels Lasner, collector, bibliographer and typographer, is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library. His many publications include The Bookplates of Aubrey Beardsley (2008) and England in the 1890s: Literary Publishing at the Bodley Head (1990). He has curated exhibitions at Harvard University, the Grolier Club, and the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. In 2003 he was awarded the Sir Thomas More medal from the University of San Francisco, for his achievement in making private book collecting a public benefit. In 2017 the University of Delaware Library celebrated his gift of over 9,500 works of Victorian literature and art with a symposium and exhibition, Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection. In this talk Mark will share his passion for collecting Victorian books and highlight some fascinating Surrey connections.
  • Tickets - £10, £5 for Surrey History Trust members.
  • 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.

Suffragette planners and plotters: The Pankhurst, Pethick-Lawrence story

Saturday 15 June, 11am - 12.30pm

  • For six years Emmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence were central to the leadership of the Suffragette movement, providing its headquarters, its organization and much of its funds, marching shoulder to shoulder with Mrs Pankhurst, even into prison. But in 1912 the couple were dramatically ousted by the Pankhursts in a move that has often been misrepresented. Kathy will tell the story of an extraordinary and inspirational couple without whose wealth, determination and business skills we might not now be talking about the Pankhursts and the militant suffragettes. Kathy will reveal the vital role played by the Pethick-Lawrences, their relationship with the Pankhursts, and the reason for that devastating split as featured in her latest book Suffragette Planners and Plotters: The Pankhurst, Pethick-Lawrence Story (Pen & Sword, 2019).
  • After an MPhil in 17th Century Studies, Kathy wrote much of 'H' as an editor at the Oxford English Dictionary. She then spent 10 years as a city lawyer during which time she came across the plaque marking the site of Fred and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrences' London home, once the headquarters of Mrs Pankhurst's Women's Social and Political Union. She has been researching the lives of Fred and Emmeline ever since, and the fight for the vote in the Surrey Hills area for more than ten years. Suffragettes, Suffragists and Antis - the fight for the vote in the Surrey Hills was published in 2017 by Dorking Museum's Cockerel Press and her new book on the relationship between the Pethick Lawrences and the Pankhursts builds on this research by shedding more light on the lives of this fascinating local couple.
  • £5, 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.
  • Books will be available on the day for the special price of £11.00 (cash and cheques only please).

Surrey History Trust AGM followed by a talk

Monday 15 July, refreshments 6.30pm, AGM and talk 7pm - 9pm

  • The Life and Loves of Ada Lovelace - The World's First Computer Programmer by Dr David Taylor FSA
  • Ada Lovelace was the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron. A gifted girl, her mother arranged for her to be tutored by some of the most brilliant minds of the day. She met Charles Babbage who had invented a mechanical machine called the Difference Engine. Ada devised a method of using the machine to calculate numbers. Ada married William King, Lord Lovelace who owned estates at Ockham and East Horsley. The couple had a stormy relationship This talk will look at Ada's early life in Surrey, her friendship with the scientist Andrew Crosse of Fyne Court, Somerset – sometimes called the model for Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' – and her relationship with Crosse's son John.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Tickets are free and include refreshments but please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

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.

Summer of Craft-aeology

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

Cross Stitch a Prehistoric Flint

Thursday 18 July, 10am - 3pm

  • Using real prehistoric tools found in Surrey for inspiration, learn to cross stitch a flint design in a hoop to take home. No previous experience necessary, all equipment included.
  • £35, 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.

Archaeological Photography

Thursday 25 July, 10am - 12pm

  • Learn how photography is used in archaeology, with the opportunity to photograph real artefacts found in Surrey. Participants are encouraged to bring their own camera, but we do have some available to borrow. No previous experience necessary.
  • £25, 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.

Top of the Tudor pops

Saturday 27 July, 10am - 11.30pm

  • 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.

"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.

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