Aldborough Roman Museum — Celebrating 150 years!

The Friends of Roman Aldborough are holding a fortnight of varied events from Thursday 17th July to Friday 25th July.

These include a weekend of family activities and three evening talks about the Romans in Britain and the history of Aldborough.

There is still time to book on the ‘Make A Mosaic’ day as well. Create your own mosaic and take it home with you!

Click here for more details


WYHF — First Conference of 2013

A great day the other Saturday!   A full report will follow shortly

Parkinson BuildingClick here for pdf version

Venue: Brotherton Room, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds.

Date:     Saturday 13th April

10.00 library opens its doors (No coffee/tea at this time)

10.15  Intro to WYHF, by Paul Boothroyd — please be seated for a prompt start!

10.20 intro to the Brotherton Library and Special Collections, by Richard Davies (librarian)

10.35 The Brotherton Library’s historic Cookery Book Collection, by Eileen White (food historian)

11.05 Legacies of War: commemorating WWI in Leeds, by Alison Fell (Dept of French)

11.35 coffee break in foyer/look at display items

11.50 Leeds University Museum of Science, Technology and Medicine, by Claire Jones (Museum Director)

12.20 The Marks & Spencers Archive, by Katharine Carter (M & S archivist)

13.00 Close (we need to leave by 1pm as Special Collections will close)

lunch : either packed lunch in the Parkinson Court or sandwiches in a cafe across the road

14.00 tour of the historical scientific collection led by Claire Jones. This will take in some prominent campus buildings and will end at the Marks & Spencers museum at around 3 pm where we will be able to see the Marks in the Past exhibition. The museum closes at 5 pm.

West Yorkshire Heritage Forum and the First World War

The West Yorkshire Heritage Forum exists to keep all of you, who are interested in preserving aspects of our heritage, informed as to what is going on.

As the anniversary of World War I grows nearer, we know that there are many projects out there which are being set up to celebrate the local heritage.  If you belong to or know of such a group, we would be interested to hear about your project and share it with members of the forum.

We have already heard from the Nidderdale Project and the BBC are about to launch their own project, we look forward to hearing about others.  When we have enough, I can set up a section dedicated to this important heritage topic within our site.

WYHF Programme September 2012

The next meeting of the West Yorkshire Heritage Forum
will be held at Knowl Club, Mirfield

where we will be guests of the
John Wheelwright Archaeological Society.

The meeting will take place on the 22nd of September starting at 10.00 a.m.

Programme  (pdf version)

10.00  Tea/Coffee
10.20 Christine Clayborough Welcome
10.30 Paul Boothroyd About the Heritage Forum
10.40 Nicola Thorpe
Workers Educational Association
The WEA Inclusive Archaeology Project
11.10 Dawn Mason
West Yorkshire Joint Services
An  Archaeological Project in Ravensthorpe
11.40 Break
11.50 Grace Tebbutt
South Yorkshire Heritage Forum
Community History and the Hands on our Heritage Project at Manor Lodge, Sheffield
12.20 John Hudson
Local potter
Title to be confirmed
12.50 Lunch
14.00- approx. 16.00. Dave Weldrake
Freelance Heritage Educator
Guided walk to Mirfield Church returning via the canal

Except for the starting point the afternoon walk will be the same as that outlined on Dave’s website at

There are no prolonged or steep climbs but suitable outdoor clothing and footwear is advised in case of bad weather.

Knowl Club is located at 17 Knowl Road, Mirfield, WF14 8DQ (Tel: 01924 493301).
The bar will be open for the sale of drinks during the lunch break.

Lunch is not provided.

A Highly Successful and Informative Meeting!

The third West Yorkshire Heritage Forum met yesterday at Claremont, the home of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

After a warm welcome by YAS President Sylvia Thomas we had a morning of excellent talks.

Iona McCleery from Leeds University gave us an entertaining introduction to the ‘You Are What You Ate’ project.  Now in its second year, the project is reaching out to thousands of people in the West Yorkshire area through a number of different programmes of activity.  More information can be found by going to the ‘You Are What You Ate’ website.  You can also find details of this year’s activities by clicking here:

Beckett Park has long been known as a teaching training college in West Yorkshire.  However the site has a much longer history, traces of which remain within the grounds of the present buildings.   Ian Crossland gave us a comprehensive account illustrated with old maps and photographs from the beginning of the last century through to the present.  Ian can be contacted via this forum, click on the Contact Us tab and select ‘Forum Coordinator’ and Paul will forward your message.

Janette Martin from Huddersfield University gave us a thought provoking talk about the influence of the ‘Luddites’ within the industrial areas of the Pennines.  The ‘Luddite Link Partnership’ has been created to provide a gateway for information and access to resources, 2012 being the bicentenary of the uprising in Yorkshire.  Perhaps  the most regrettable piece of information in Janette’s talk was the demise of ‘Enoch’s Hammer’, a Linthwaite brewed ale.  Further intensive internet research (in the interests of Community Heritage activity) confirms this, although apparently according to one expert Enoch’s Hammer can only claim to be one of England’s strongest ales.  However, the fact remains that the brew was named after Enoch, a prominent local Luddite.  Much more about the Luddites and the ‘Luddite Link Partnership’ can be found by visiting their website.  Janette also gave us notice of a public meeting and conference in May.

Jo Heron who is the secretary of the Yorkshire Archaeology Society, is also the President of the Huddersfield Archaeology Society.  She gave us an interesting talk describing the recent activities of the society.  She also talked about the excellent work being done with young people through the Kirklees Young Archaeologists.  This group is one branch of the Young Archaeologists Clubs organised through the CBA.  Jo mentioned that the CBA might be forced into a position where they can no longer financially support this movement.  Let’s hope that were this to happen, the youngsters in Kirklees could continue to develop their interests in archaeology in the future.  To learn more about the society visit their website.

After lunch, it was the turn of the Yorkshire Archaeology Society to offer us three choices.  A guided walk around the area; A tour of the library and archives; the guided tour and the archives!!  Naturally most of those present chose the third option!

Freda Mathews from the Little Woodhouse Community Association who has lived just round the corner from Claremont for many years, took us on a short tour of the ‘Little Woodhouse Squares’.

We started off having a look at Claremont itself which originally had grounds extending down to Park Lane and adjacent to the hamlet of Little Woodhouse near to but in the country outside the town of Leeds!  In the 19th Century two squares were developed within these grounds and a large house- Denison Hall was built.  Freda took us round both squares pointing out which houses were built when and who lived in them.  A most fascinating description of a part of Leeds which I’m sure most people are completely unaware of, tucked away behind Park Lane College.

Back in Claremont we had a plenary session led by Paul Boothroyd the Forum coordinator.

For those who missed the first tour of the library and archives, Sylvia and Janet volunteered a second tour of their building.  Janet, the assistant librarian, gave us a warm welcome and took us on a ‘treasure hunt’ through the library.  Where was bookcase 63 and what would we find when we got there?!  Having introduced the filing system that I’m sure only Janet understands, we set off to see just how much was crammed into the Claremont rooms. For those who like me had not visited before, it was a revelation and eventually we reached Bookcase 63 but to find out what’s there you will have to visit!  Sylvia had arranged a collection of items from the archives.  From early books to an 18th century funeral invitation giving precise instructions as to to how the event would be arranged and my favourite a 17th century handwritten recipe book with family favourites such as ‘Horse Dung Water’ which apparently will cure all ailments!

Finally, in conclusion Sylvia and her team from the Yorkshire Archaeology Society must be especially thanked for organising such a varied and well balanced programme of speakers and activities.  The hospitality was excellent and the venue was ideal bearing in mind the informality of our forums.

Plans are already in mind for the next meeting.  Watch this forum for more details once they have been agreed.

Programme for the next Forum Meeting

Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Claremont, 23 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9NZ

Saturday 18 February 2012




10.30     Arrival and coffee/tea

11.00     Introduction and welcome to YAS – Sylvia Thomas, President

11.15     ‘You Are What You Ate: Food Lessons from the Past’ – Iona McCleery, University of Leeds, Project Coordinator

11.40     Beckett Park, Leeds – Ian Crossland, Leeds Metropolitan University

12.05     The Luddite Link partnership – Janette Martin, University of Huddersfield, Project Administrator

12.30     Huddersfield Archaeological Society/ Kirklees Young Archaeologists – Jo Heron, President, HAS

12.55     Lunch

13.50     Heritage walk around Little Woodhouse – Freda Matthews, Little Woodhouse Community Association

And/or a chance to look at the YAS Library and Archives – Sylvia Thomas

15.00     Plenary session

15.30     Close

The Forum at the WYAAS Day School 2011

The West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service held their Day School at the Royal Armouries in Leeds last Saturday, 12th. November.

South Leeds Archaeology had a display and also hosted the Forum as well as having lots of information and magazines from the CBA to give away.

Many thanks to WYAAS, WYJS and the CBA for their help and support and to Friends of Middleton Park for the loan of the display boards.

There was a large amount of interest in the Forum with many individuals and groups leaving email addresses and over fifty leaflets about the Forum were taken. We are hoping that this means a surge of visitors to this website and many requests for entry in the Heritage Organisations section.

WYHF – Date and Venue for Next Meeting

The next meeting of the West Yorkshire Heritage Forum will be on Saturday 18th February 2012, commencing at 10:30 a.m.

The venue will be:

Yorkshire Archaeological Society
23 Clarendon Road

The programme will be announced on this site, once the details have been agreed.

25th. January 2012 UPDATE.

Please see the Forum Meetings page for the programme of this meeting.