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New history groups being launched by Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre this Autumn

With the launch of two new community groups this Autumn, staff at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre hope to bring residents together to collect and preserve Wiltshire's rich heritage.

Published 28 September 2023

With the launch of two new community groups this Autumn, staff at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre (WSHC) hope to bring residents together to collect and preserve Wiltshire's rich heritage.

WSHC serves as a focal point for heritage services in Wiltshire and Swindon and is home to more than 800 years of recorded history.

The new groups are being run by staff at WSHC will include Wiltshire Inclusion Panel and the Memory Box Reading Group.

Monthly meetings of the Wiltshire Inclusion Panel will take place at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, where the panel members will be key to investigating the current collections with a view to improving the collections on underrepresented areas of the community and ensuring that every Wiltshire community, voice and ethnicity is represented. 

The Memory Box Reading Group come together fortnightly to share memories and thoughts inspired by books about Wiltshire's history. During the sessions the group will listen to extracts of books from the Local Studies Library, look at documents from the centre's archives and study photographs. Topics covered by the group include 1950s Chippenham, cinema, fairs, ironworks, and education.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Heritage, said, Everyone in Wiltshire plays a part in shaping its history and with the launch of these two new groups, we want to encourage anyone with a keen interest in local history to come along, get involved with other like-minded individuals and help us uncover the untold stories of our heritage.

A key aim in our business plan is to ensure that our communities grow sustainably with good access to leisure, arts, heritage, and culture. The implementation of these new groups hopefully ensures that every voice is represented within our collections. We'd love for the centre to better reflect the wonderfully diverse community we are.

People looking for more information about the Wiltshire Inclusion Panel can visit www.wshc.org.uk/our-services/archives/inclusion-panel.html (opens new window).

People looking for more information about the Memory Box Reading group can visit: www.wshc.org.uk/memory-box-reading-group.html (opens new window)

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