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Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group Programme 2019

The Family History Research Centre 

The Group runs an informal family history Research Centre in Leiston.  It is in the Leiston Council offices, open to all — members and non-members — free of charge. 

Opening times are 10 a.m. to 12 noon on the first and third Saturday mornings of each month.  It can also be open on Wednesdays, by prior appointment — but if you wish to request such an appointment, please contact our Secretary, Angela Skelcher, on 01728 830949 or 

The Research Centre contains much local information which is not available online, including graveyard catalogues for Benhall, Saxmundham, Leiston, Eastbridge, Aldringham and Sutton, censuses, directories, information on local war memorials, books and historic maps.  We have a large number of CDs and microfiches of local interest — in fact, we hold a wide variety of records for Suffolk and other counties.  An index is available.  

There are also computers with internet, a printer and a scanner. 

Experienced family history researchers are present to give assistance if required.  The Group looks forward to helping you with your research, including the guilty pleasure of tracing those elusive black sheep!

The Research Centre is upstairs in the old Council Offices, Main Street, Leiston, IP16 4ER, in the same building as, and to the right of, the Library, opposite the Long Shop Museum.  Please note that access is by a steep staircase.  You can park outside free of charge for one hour, or there's an “unlimited” free car park in Valley Road — go straight down past Barclays Bank and it's 100 yards or so on the right.

To gain access to the Research Centre on a Saturday morning, you will need to ring the doorbell, and wait for one of the volunteers on duty to 'run' down the stairs to welcome you and let you in — we keep the door locked to deter nefarious intruders.

Visitors are always most welcome.





Andrew Macdonald  MEDIEVAL GRAFFITI  

Andrew has been interested in history all his adult life. In 2013 he helped found the Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group and around the same time he started exploring medieval and post-medieval graffiti in religious and secular buildings.  His talk is a not too serious wander through his brushes with medieval and post-medieval graffiti, religious and secular, sacred and profane.

The talk will be at 7.30pm on Friday 24 May at Kelsale Village Hall, Bridge Street, Kelsale, IP17 2PB. Admission is £1 for members, £3 for non-members, including tea/coffee.

NB. Kelsale Village Hall is up an external shallow flight of stairs, but there is a stair lift: if you think you are likely to need it, please arrive early, and let Maggie Strutt know beforehand, so we can be ready for you! 01728 602298 or


Pip Wright    The Whistlecraft family – a poacher’s life

FRIDAY   19th July   7.30pm   KELSALE VILLAGE HALL

John Bridges     A Suffolk Town  (Framlingham) in Wartime

MONDAY 16th Sept   ‘A Voyage Around the Coast of East Anglia’, Robert Simper, 7.30pm, Leiston Community Centre.
MONDAY 21st Oct   “Grandparents in the Great War" (audience can bring family medals),Dave Empson, 7.30pm Leiston Community Centre