The WEA was founded in 1903 to promote Higher Education amongst working men in order that they might improve themselves. Today, in Portsmouth, it provides for adult literacy and numeracy, art, literature, history as well as basic computer skills.
The Local History Group was originally a class run by a paid tutor at the City Museum. It published it's first booklet, on Deadman's Lane, in 1976. The class later moved to the WEA New Road Centre and published a second booklet on New Road in 1980. Further booklets followed before the paid tutors moved on to leave the class to carry on the work themselves. By 2009 the group had been working for over 30 years and by now had moved their meetings to Buckland Community Centre in Malins Road (Tuesday nights 7-9pm).
The group has continued to publish their work which is mainly in the form of oral reportage and to date have produced 42,700 booklets covering 49 titles. Although originally issued as cheap duplicated copies, the booklets are now professionally published. Many of the early booklets are now long out of print but an agreement with History.InPortsmouth means that many of them will be available on this site.
The booklets can be purchased at the City Museum and Record Office and at some libraries and bookshops. A list of titles currrently available together with an order form and contact details can be downloaded here (114kb-jpg).