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Book places online for the events listed below.

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Events: March 2023

ONLINE Third Thursday Talk: Newton Aycliffe and Peterlee - a history in publicity photographs, 1948-1988


by Susan Shanks, archivist
Thursday 16 March 2023, from 10.30 am to 11.30am
£0.00

Five female factory workers modelling dresses made at the Runpoint garment factory, Aycliffe Industrial Estate, c.1980 (

This talk explores the development of two of Durham's New Towns, Peterlee and Newton Aycliffe, through the lens of publicity photographs taken by the Aycliffe and Peterlee Development Corporations.

From the 1940s to the 1980s, local Development Corporations had the complex task of developing and sustaining New Towns across the UK, including Peterlee and Newton Aycliffe. Publicity was a key element of their work in attracting businesses, individuals and families to the towns. As a result, the archive of Aycliffe and Peterlee Development Corporation contains over 4000 publicity photographs depicting life, work, business and construction in the towns as they grew.

The photos paint a picture of the towns from a single perspective, which we will attempt to unpick as we view some of the key photographs from the collection, as well as exploring themes that reflect the unique histories of the two towns.

This free event is hosted on Zoom.
Your booking confirmation email will contain instructions on how to join the event online.
Donations are welcome, by optional payment link.

Events: May 2023

ONLINE Third Thursday Talk: Surprised by Parish Registers


by Pete Bradshaw, archivist
Thursday 18 May 2023, from 10.30am to 11.30am
£0.00

Baptism entries from a parish register in the year 1599

I thought I knew about parish registers. I had added records to my family tree intensely since inheriting it from my dad in 2001. Working at the time in IT, I had designed a database to hold our research. This quickly grew to encompass much more than my own ancestors. My curiosity about village life in earlier centuries led me to attempt to add records for an entire parish (1538 to 1900). I was interested to see how interconnected the resident families were, and to gain an insight into household makeup and changes through time.

Looking at the whole register, rather than searching for individuals or families, gave a very different viewpoint, and I was soon struck by a number of unexpected patterns...

This free event is hosted on Zoom.
Your booking confirmation email will contain instructions on how to join the event online.
Donations are welcome, by optional payment link.

Events: July 2023

ONLINE Third Thursday Talk: 'A Plan so replete with advantages...' - The Building of Durham's North Road


by David Butler, archivist
Thursday 20 July 2023, from 10.30am to 11.30am
£0.00

Looking down North Road from the railway viaduct towards Framwellgate Bridge, Durham city (D/CL 27/277/1547)

North Road, running from Framwellgate Bridge to St. Leonard's School, is now so much an integral part of Durham's road network that it is difficult to imagine it not existing; yet it is a comparatively late addition to the city's roads, opened in 1831. Why was it built and what problems did the project face?

This free event is hosted on Zoom.
Your booking confirmation email will contain instructions on how to join the event online.
Donations are welcome, by optional payment link.

Events: September 2023

ONLINE Third Thursday Talk: Country Banks and the Durham Advertiser circa 1815


by John Banham, local historian
Thursday 21 September 2023, from 10.30am to 11.30am
£0.00

Drawing of a gentleman named Bowes seated in an armchair, reading a newspaper, early 19th century

John Banham, Secretary of the Durham County Local History Society, researched early banking in North East England for his PhD thesis in the 1990s. With the advent of the online British Newspaper Archive, this talk extends that research to cover the reporting of the activities of local banks in the Durham County Advertiser in the early years of the nineteenth century.

At the time the Advertiser pronounced itself "the only newspaper between York and Newcastle" and covered the activities of country banks in County Durham and North Yorkshire, particularly during the banking crash of 1815/16.

This free event is hosted on Zoom.
Your booking confirmation email will contain instructions on how to join the event online.
Donations are welcome, by optional payment link.