At one time they may have been sniffed at by serious historians as the tea time brigade, those retired and well meaning individuals with time on their hands and an over enthusiasm for all things parish pump.
But as my old friend Ian Meadowcroft often repeats these are the very people who not only make local history come alive but often are the ones who dig up and re-present vital information which feeds into the big picture that the so called serious historian writes about.
They are there in village, town and city suburb, collecting photographs, rescuing neglected documents and explaining how a building or an occupation is part of the local story and feeds into that big one.
And so today I am back with the Furness Vale Local History Society and their latest newsletter,* which is not only packed with some very interesting local activities and links but also mentions me and the blog, so come on down Furness.
Now I won’t spoil the voyage of discovery but in the light of what I have just said would point you to the link to a picture archive of New Mills.** For most of us the old photograph is the first entry into a lost world and one which instantly helps open up the past, and then once drawn in it is the job of local historians to make sense of that picture and give it meaning.
So enough of the serious stuff, go off and read the newsletter and get to see them.
Picture; courtesy of the Furness Vale Local History Society, http://furnesshistory.blogspot.co.uk/