Chester Group 50th Anniversary

Chester Group 50th Anniversary

CHESTER FAMILY HISTORY GROUP CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

The Chester Group of the Family History Society of Cheshire celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. The group was formed in 1969 and held its first meetings at Stanley Palace. During that year the group joined with another family history group in Sale to form the Family History Society of Cheshire which was one of the earliest county family history societies in the country. The Society has grown from an initial membership of about 80 to a current membership of over 1,500. There are now thirteen local branches spread across the historical county of Cheshire, a county-wide Computer Group which meets in Hartford, two family history libraries and research centres, one at Mobberley and one at Crewe, and an award winning magazine and website.

At last week's meeting to celebrate the anniversary, Chester Group Leader David Guyton welcomed members and a number of special guests including two whose membership dated back to the formation of the Society in 1969, two former Chester Group Leaders, and representatives from the Family History Society of Cheshire including the recently re-elected Chairman, Alan Bennett, who also happened to be Chairman when the Chester Group celebrated its 40th anniversary. David Guyton gave a short talk highlighting some interesting and amusing items discovered during the course of family history research and showing some photographs of Chester fifty years ago. It was striking just how much the shopping scene has changed and how dated the City of Chester buses and private cars of the period now looked. Following the talk, Alan Bennett cut a ceremonial cake specially decorated with Chester's coat of arms and members and visitors took part in a family history quiz and enjoyed some festive food and refreshments. 

The Chester Group holds meetings on the last Thursday of the month at All Saints Church in Hoole, Chester. Most meetings feature a speaker on an aspect of family history or local history. As well as a talk, there is a family history help desk and the opportunity to discuss family history topics with other members. Many members have particular areas of knowledge on family history or experience with using computers and the internet for family history. There is also a raffle and tea, coffee and biscuits are served at the end of the meeting. New members and visitors are always welcome.

The Group also runs two family history help desks. The help desk at the Chester History and Heritage Centre previously at St Michael's Church in Bridge Street, Chester, is now at the Grosvenor Museum in Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2DD. Opening times are 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm to 4.00 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.  There is also a help desk at the Library at Storyhouse from 10 am to 12 noon on Tuesdays. Whether you are a newcomer to family history or are looking for some local knowledge or have run up against a brickwall or would like some help on a computing or internet aspect of family history, just ask. There is always somebody who would be pleased to help.

For more information check the Family History Society of Cheshire website at www.fhsc.org.uk or contact the Chester Group at  .

Gay J OLIVER

Written by : Gay J OLIVER