Alston Moor Historical Society

Alston Town Hall -
Archives Office

Alston Town Hall Archives

Alston Moor Archives

The Alston Moor Archives are open every Saturday from 10.30 to 2.30 (or 4.30 during Library summertime opening hours), with times for individual quiet research by arrangement.

If you are interested in helping please get in touch.
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"Saturdays at the Archives"
Come and join us

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Alston Moor Historical Society Archives are open on Saturdays from 10.30 to 2.30, upstairs at Alston Town Hall on Front Street and when the Library changes to its summertime schedule the hours will be extended to 4.30pm.

Developing the Archives for public use in this form is a new and dynamic direction for Alston Moor Historical Society that was first made possible last September by the gift from Alston Moor Parish Council, acting as the Sole Trustee of Alston Town Hall, of office space for a trial period of three months.

For general interest there are many old photographs, old postcards and old maps of the district, while for the researcher there are lots of local records on many subjects, such as lead mining, education, local family names, churches and chapels, local government, agriculture, etc. We can offer help with family history investigation by arrangement with St. Augustine’s Church. Pride of the archives are sets of first and second edition O.S. maps of the area that show how Alston Moor has changed – or not – over the last 160 years. If you have a particular topic of interest then the volunteer archivists will help you to find the information you need. But look at our online catalogue elsewhere on the Alston Moor Historical Society website to find out exactly what is available.

Around the walls of the Archive room are photo’s of the old town, with a brief guide as to the stories they tell. Several photograph and postcard albums are permanently available to look at, as well as a slide show, in which the photo’s go back to the 1870’s, when Richard Von Dix first set up shop here as a ‘Photographic Artist,’ and postcards that date back to the reign of Edward VII in the early 1900’s.

We also organise small temporary displays of local interest. This month’s display is about Agriculture on Alston Moor, written records for which go back to the Middle Ages, but most of it is about photo’s.

Alston Moor Historical Society with its Archive is run not so much on a financial shoestring as on a financial thread. We need support, not just moral support and your presence as a visitor, but also your financial support. We need to buy archival quality storage files, boxes, wrapping paper, plastic envelopes for photo’s and archival quality cabinets, not to mention the need to raise funds towards the running costs of the office, which will help the upkeep of the Town Hall itself. There is a bowl beside the Visitor’s Book for donations or you can "Donate here" – please give generously.
Entry to the Archives is FREE (although donations - and volunteers - are very welcome). The annual membership subscription for the Society is £10, and entry for visitors to each talk is £3 on the night.
Alston Moor Archives Open

The Society's Events

A series of talks has been planned for Spring and Summer, on the first Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the Masonic Hall: (Opposite the Town Hall through the snicket!)
The title of the talk next month, June, is 'Industrial Railways of Alston Moor', with the sub-text "Manpower, horsepower, gravity, steam, aerial, electric, petrol power - Alston Moor has had the lot.” The talk is at 7.30pm not 7pm.

‘The 1,000-year lease of Alston Moor’

1000 year lease

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A bit about the Society

Alston Moor Historical Society was founded in 1973 and, due to the geographical situation of Alston Moor, it is a member of both the Northumberland Association of Local History Societies and the Cumbria Federation of Local History Societies.

After many years of talks, outings and occasional exhibitions, declining membership led to the Society being ‘mothballed’ in 2015. Then, with the prospect of the 120th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Vieille Montagne Zinc Company of Belgium to commemorate in 2016*, the Society has been revitalised, and, by way of a new venture, it looks forward to collaborating with other historical groups ‘on the Moor’ in a loose association of mutual interests and shared activities.
In the meantime, we are working on digitalising the Alston Archives and putting interesting local stories on the website. There is a new story every few days, so plenty to read and come back for!
Alston Moor is full of things historical and there are several organisations that cater for some of them. They are:
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The Society

Alston Moor is very fortunate among local history societies to have its own archive.

A group of volunteers is in the process of organising all of the Society's historical records so that they can be more readily available for research.

Archives in the Town Hall Library

Alston Library in the Town Hall also houses a good selection of local history reference books and items to view on microfiche. See the Archives page for the list of contents.
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Hundy Publications

Hundy Publications is Alastair Robertson. He has lived on Alston Moor since 1991. Soon after moving here he became fascinated by this unusual place. He went to the library to find a book that would tell him all about it - there was no such book. So began his quest in libraries, records offices and archives, collecting scraps of information that culminated in an enthusiastic desire to share with the world the results of his research.
The History of Alston Moor
Alston Moor Historical Society acknowledges with grateful thanks the support and the financial contribution provided by Alston Moor Parish Council and the people of Alston Moor, without which none of our work would be possible. 
Alston Moor Parish Council logo
The history of our unique community, from its earliest records to the present day, is of great social and cultural importance.  We have links all over Europe, in the Americas and in Australia and New Zealand and doubtless in other places.  People come from across the world to see where their ancestors came from, and the study of our two millennia of mining history alongside farming, road engineering and more, the rôle of women in rural communities, the development of compulsory education, the transition from mining to the 21st century economy  (and much, much more) makes our archives a very important resource.
Get in touch and we'll be right back
About Us
Alston Moor Historical Society was founded in 1973 and, due to the nature of Alston Moor, it is a member of both the Northumberland Association of Local History Societies and the Cumbria Federation of Local History Societies.
Alston Moor Historical Society
LOCATION
Alston Moor, Cumbria. UK.
Alston Moor Historical Society