About Herefordshire Lore

Living local history

Herefordshire Lore is the county’s oral history group. Our oral historians have been collecting, publishing and archiving first-hand accounts, recollections and memories.

Herefordshire Lore People


We’re a voluntary group and we’ve been collecting, recording and publishing people’s memories since 1989. Herefordshire Lore was started by writer Bill Laws and story-teller Lenny Alsop with support from two Herefordshire arts officers, Veronica Jamset and Natalia Silver. Since then over 150 people have been recorded – half a million words of oral history, which are currently being archived and will be stored for posterity at Herefordshire’s Archive and Records Centre.


In projects like ‘River Voices’, ‘Weeping Poppies‘, ‘Home Made – Home Grown‘ and ‘Butchers, Bakers, Cider Makers‘, we interview ordinary, working people: munitioneers, housewives, farmers, railway men, domestics, butchers, shop keepers, publicans, cattle dealers, auctioneers and many more. We have interviewed hundreds of people and talked to over 50 local groups, published books, booklets and a decade of Age to Age before launching In Our Age.


When we find funding, our team records people, one-to-one, transcribes the recording, and lodges the master copies with Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre (HARC). Projects are monitored by a group of older people. We work closely with the Museums and Libraries Service.


We rely on grants, subscriptions, donations and advertising and on our volunteers. In Our Age costs over £6,000 a year. It’s free, because we want everyone to read it.

Key dates

  • 1989 Herefordshire Lore founded
  • 1992 Amazing How Times Change (published). Dramatised extracts performed by Hereford Youth Theatre
  • 1993 Launch of Age To Age
  • 1996 The Shopkeepers Tale published
  • 1997 The Schoolchildren’s Tale published
  • 2002 South Wye Community Funds preliminary interviews with former munitions workers
  • 2003 In The Munitions: Women at War in Herefordshire (published)
  • 2003 Funding crisis: Age To Age shuts down after eleven years
  • 2004 A Wartime Walk leaflet, Rotherwas (published)
  • 2005 Home Front Lottery grant for Home Made – Home Grown
  • 2006 In Our Age first published
  • 2007 Heritage Lottery grant for Butchers, Bakers, Cider-makers
  • 2007 A Slap of the Hand – The History of Hereford Market (published)
  • 2008 Issue to mark 60th anniversary of the NHS
  • 2009 Launch of our City Shop Front project
  • 2011 Partnership project with the Cathedral Close
  • 2013 MILK, our first Little Herefordshire History, published
  • 2014 Opening of our campaign for a Rotherwas Munitions Memorial
  • 2015 Telling The Story – Memories from World War One
  • 2017 Julie Orton-Davies takes over as chair
  • 2018 Weeping Poppies audio project
  • 2018 River Voices book published
  • 2019 Herefordshire’s Home Front in World War Two book published
  • 2020 Health Herefordshire, our Second Little Herefordshire History book published

Herefordshire Lore People

  • Chair – Julie Orton-Davies
  • Treasurer – Harvey Payne
  • Secretary – Eileen Klotz
  • Proofreader – Sandy Green
  • Editor –  Marsha O’Mahony
  • Archive editor – Bill Laws
  • Webmaster – Chris Preece
  • Rosemary Lillico
  • Chris Tomlinson
  • Irene Tomlinson
  • Betty Webb
  • Keith James
  • Krystina James
  • Joyce Chamberlain
  • Jean Mayne
  • Peter Mayne
  • Linda Ward