High Street History in Halesworth

Working with BBC Learning, the Centre of East Anglian Studies (part of the School of History at the University of East Anglia) is running a small project to investigate the history of shops and shopping in Halesworth in north Suffolk.

Halesworth is a delightful market town full of independent shops, many of which have been there for decades, if not centuries!  This town has recently fought off a sustained attempt by Tesco to build a large supermarket in the town and, whilst not everyone in town necessarily agreed with the campaign, it has highlighted just how important the independant ‘high street’ is to the local community.

Staff and undergraduate students from UEA including Lucy Marten, Sarah Spooner and Jon Gregory, have arranged to take over Halesworth Library on Sunday 28th November from 11am to 3pm to run a drop-in workshop with archive materials provided by Suffolk Record Office and Halesworth Museum.  Staff from the Suffolk Record Office, Halesworth Museum, Halesworth Library and Archaeologists from Suffolk County Council Archaeology Unit will also be available to help.

Members of the local community will be encouraged to drop-in for this one day event, research the history of their shops or the high street in general from written sources to oral recollections and record their findings, to uncover the history of retailing in the town. This event will be followed up by an evening lecture and an exhibition in the town plus publication of the team’s findings on the Halesworth town website.

Text by Rachel Broomfield, undergraduate student in History and Landscape Archaeology.
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