Frome Local History Festival 2023

old market place

Frome Local History Festival is a new annual celebration of the long history of Frome and the surrounding villages. The inaugural festival will take place from Friday 12th to Saturday 20th May with walks, talks, workshops and open days. The main theme this year is Woven in Time, with a focus on the history of the town’s textile industries.

Co-director of the festival, David Lassman, said, “It is very exciting that Frome is getting its own local history festival, which will shine a light on its rich and illustrious past. The first weekend includes a Frome Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Open Day, and a blue day (20th May) where we ask the town to wear blue clothing to represent the colour of the cloth that made Frome famous.”

The spotlight will briefly shift outside of the town on the first Saturday through a village focus, which this year will showcase Witham Friary, and will see a day of activities organised in the nearby village. There will be further events during the week representing other aspects of the town’s history – these include a play about wartime evacuees, a local history charity quiz night and a heritage café.

To mark a century of council housing in Frome, there will be a talk at the Town Hall and there will also be an exhibition about Keyford Asylum running throughout the festival at the Black Swan. The story of the town will also be told through a new permanent exhibition at Frome Museum, which starts long before the founding by St Aldhelm and continues through to more present times. More details on all of this to come.

The final day on Saturday 20th May sees a Local History Day at Frome Library which will offer the chance to learn about the various heritage organisations and groups in Frome and the surrounding area. This will include Frome Museum, Frome Society for Local Study, South-West Heritage Trust, Keyford Local History Group and many more. There will also be a genealogist, a local history book sale and the opportunity to learn how to trace your ancestors.

In addition to the events taking place, people will be able to enjoy the Frome Museum About Town with local businesses displaying artefacts from the museum’s collection. A list of participating businesses can be found at the Discover Frome Information Point.

David Lassman added, “We hope this will become an annual fixture in the town and something that will allow people to learn about what a fascinating place Frome has been over the centuries.”

You can find out more on the Frome Local History Festival Facebook page or look through the events listings:

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