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Preserving our past

Pull -out guide to specialist groups


It’s well worth family historians exploring some of the many groups around the UK and further afield which cater for those with an interest in the history of transport, textiles, industry, cinema and more. The work done by members of these lively and hard-working groups allows us to explore what life was like in years gone by, via a programme of talks, events and re-enactments. Rachel Bellerby has compiled this handy directory to get you off to a flying start

All around the country, thousands of people volunteer on history and heritage projects, or help to run events such as battle re-enactments and open days which cater for anyone with a passion for the past. In the following pages we highlight the work of a selection of these societies, celebrating all of those who give up their time to help preserve our past and bring history to life for millions of people every year.


Railway and Canal Historical Society

The society exists for anyone with an interest in Britain’s transport history, including canals, railways, tramways, roads, aviation and ports. The society has five regional groups and several special interest groups and the website has a members’ expertise register where you can find details of members active in research within a particular field, who are willing to help others with their research.

West Wales Maritime Heritage Society

Founded in 1984, the society aims to carry out research into the maritime history of West Wales and also helps preserve boats, buildings and sites connected with this branch of history.

The group has a visitor centre at Pembroke Dock where you can see vintage boats under restoration and take part in events and open days.


If you’re interested in a particular organisation or society, see if it has a Facebook or Twitter page you can follow, so you know all the latest news and views

National Mining Memorabilia Society

Originally created by a group of colliery check and mining badge collectors, this society now has over 100 members around the UK and further afield, who share an interest in collecting memorabilia from the UK’s mining industry. Collectables include everything from postcards to pit pony items, and the group’s quarterly newsletter keeps members up to date with new items entering the market.

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About Family Tree

There's something undeniably special about visiting our ancestors' final resting places. Read the guide in the latest issue of Family Tree about graveyards and we will help you step back in time. Graveyards and cemeteries are a very real reminder of earlier generations and visiting them will not only spark thought-provoking memories - they may also provide you with new clues and details... And speaking of 'new clues' - don't miss our brand new series 'Taken a DNA test? Now what?'. This is the advice you need if you want to get the most from your DNA test. Discover how to make sense of the results, find more details and grow that fabulous family tree of yours! Join in with the DNA adventure today! We also have a fabulous free guide for you in this bumper issue, Heritage Days Out, packed full of ideas for family and local history trips to take this summer. Enjoy your travels through time!