History Courses

I am an adult education tutor running courses in social history, local and family history in various venues in Northallerton and parts of the Yorkshire Dales. I have been researching local history in the Yorkshire Dales for 25 years, and have previously taught for the University of Leeds and the University of York in their adult education programmes.
I have written a series of courses using diaries as a primary source, which open a very intimate window on how ordinary people experienced events in history.

This term I am taking time out to write up my own research. If you have a group who would like a workshop or a short course please let me know, as I hope to get back to teaching in 2016

I have a list of courses ranging across social and local history, and the minimum number of students would be twelve, maximum twenty. see below for course titles


email me



Courses comprise weekly two hour sessions.

  • Family History for beginners
  • Family history part two  - for those who have already made a start
  • Delving into Archives  - for local historians
  • Counting the people - looking at demographic trends in social history, birth, marriage, death, diseases
  • Shaping the Nation - looking at education, employment, religion and more
  • Dear Diary - I have many incarnations of the Dear Diary course, using personal documents to explore our rich history
  • Ladies of Letters - the writings of women in the 17th century express the changing role of women in society
  • Travelling Back In Time - looking at the history of transport
  • The History of Holidays - from pilgrimages to package holidays
  • By the Sweat of their Brow - documents written by working men and women in the 18th and 19th centuries illustrate the jobs they did, conditions, and legislation which controlled them
  • Famous Folk from Yorkshire - looks at the lives of some well known Yorkshire men and women
  • The Never Setting Sun - explores the British Empire through personal letters and diaries
  • To the Beat of the Drum - using letters and diaries of soldiers and wives of soldiers, we march  with them into battles across the world
  • The Humble servant - from the Royal Household down to the humble maid of all work, a life now almost disappeared
  • Strangers to these shores - what did foreign travellers think of Britain and the British ? using letters and diaries sent back home this course gives and insight into why they came and what they said about us
  • Yorkshire Dear Diary - using diaries at the North Yorkshire County Record Office this explores the rich variety of life within God's Own County 
  • The Jervaulx Journey - tracing the history of Jervaulx from the first  monks to the Victorian shooting estate
  • Tenants of the Crown - the history of Middleham in the 16th and 17th centuries