The Society publishes original research on a range of local topics and new publications are available to members at reduced prices.

Details of available publications, and how they can be ordered, can be accessed by clicking here.

The Society welcomes proposals for new publications and you can contact us by clicking here.

Journal 75 - Cover
Journal 75

The Journal

JOURNAL 81 - Published in March 2017, which includes articles on:

  • Archdeacon Charles Thorp, the University of Durham and the Brontës by Bob Gamble
  • Sunderland Markets and the Myth of the South Shields Donkey by Gillian Cookson.
  • Vera Brittain and the 1935 General Election in Sunderland by Glen Lyndon Dodds.

Mark Egan has recently taken over as the Society’s Journal Editor and this is his first Editorial.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to edit the Journal of the Durham County Local History Society. Firstly, I wish to thank my predecessors, Margaret McCollum and Pat Mussett, for their work in editing the Journal for many years. I know I speak for many readers in expressing my appreciation for their efforts, made all the more meaningful in my case now I have seen how much work is involved!

Although I live in Jersey I am a native of South Shields and have been a member of the society for several years. My main interests are the history of South Shields, river pilotage and elections. However, I can honestly say that I have read every article in the Journal in the last 15–20 years and find something of interest in them all. I hope other readers will be able to say the same about the articles published during my time as editor.

This Journal has been a little delayed as I have learnt the ropes but I aim to publish annually from now on, with the next Journal due to be published before Christmas 2017. I would like to publish occasional themed issues and aim for the first such issue to focus on the county's rivers and river trades. However, I rely on the Society's members either to contribute articles or to suggest people I should approach to ask them to write for us. Perhaps you've seen a recently-published book or monograph which would be a good subject for review or which might form the basis of an article; or you may have heard a talk on a local subject which could be written up and published. If so, please get in touch with me – I can be emailed at And yes, 'sanddancer' is deliberate. I hope you enjoy this edition of the Journal.

If you are considering submitting an article for publication in a future Journal, preliminary advice in the form of the current Notes for Contributors can be accessed by clicking here.

The Society's Journal (formerly Bulletin) is now published annually:-

Full Index covering Bulletin 1 to Journal 70. (180k).

Full List of Articles published between 1964 and 2015 - showing Titles and Authors.(142k).

JOURNAL 80 - Published in November 2015, view the contents of Journal 80 (156k) which includes articles on:

  • Sir Robert Hodshon, a lunatic knight by Jose Bosworth, Pat Hudson, Maureen Johnson and Denise Shillitoe
  • Durham Aged Miners' Homes - a unique provision for retired workers by Helen Caffrey.

JOURNAL 79 - Published in November 2014 and includes articles on :

  • Robert Cloughton {a Trafalgar veteran who was transported to Tasmania} by Nigel M Clayton and Tony Barrow.
  • Colliery Health Care in the Nineteenth Century North Durham Coalfield by Marian Morrison.
  • Children of the Pit Villages by Philip Dyer.

Journal Reviews : A History of Whitwell Colliery & The Letters of John Buddle to Lord Londonderry 1820-1843. These reviews were intended for publication in Journal 79 but were omitted from the printed version in error and are published here (28k).

DS9 Bowes Book

Documentary Series

VOLUME 9 - George Bowes' Canvassing Books for the Parliamentary By-Election in the City of Durham January 1729/30 by Elizabeth Fewster was published in September 2015. The Society’s first publication in its documentary series for twenty years, by Elizabeth Fewster, has been well received. It was featured in 2016 in the British Association for Local History Review Editor’s round-up ‘highlighting recent work across a broad geographical and chronological spread’ in The Local Historian, April 2016, vol. 46, no. 2. See below for the review by Dr Sarah Rose.

The North East of England also has a long history of significant privilege when it came to power and authority, with the County Palatine of Durham being controlled by the bishop. The longevity of these institutions raises important questions about the rights of citizenship – questions also provoked by Magna Carta in terms of political participation, rights, and liberties. In Durham, such was the power ofthe bishop, that it had no right to elected representation until 1673. Given how relatively recent parliamentary representation came there, the Durham City by-election of 1729/30 thus forms an important episode. Records relating to event have been published by the Durham County Local History Society to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2014 (congratulations!). George Bowes’ Canvassing Books provide numerous insights into the processes of election in an era when the franchise was limited within the City to Freeman (a member of the City’s trade companies). As is explained in the thorough introduction to this volume, George Bowes dominated local politics, having represented Durham County for over thirty years. He had used his considerable wealth to literally buy the support of voters to secure his own position, before turning his attentions to helping the Tory candidate for the City. Bowes’s canvassing books name the potential voters – 1,405 people in all – giving their address and occupation, as well as annotations about whether they could be swayed. A variety of social class is represented among the electorate, together with some fifty occupations and some 65 Roman Catholics (who were barred from voting unless they swore oaths of Supremacy and Abjuration). To aid future analysis, this edited version has done away with the alphabetical arrangement of the original text and grouped people according to company. An additional column has also been added, giving dates of admission to each company, drawn from the Durham City Guild Records. This information can thus lend much to our understanding of the City and its workings in this era, as well as assisting research into individuals or families.

Biographies 6- Cover


The following volumes in the Durham Biographies series, which was published in six volumes between 2000 and 2009, are available :

Volumes 1-4 and 6 at 4.00 GBP plus 2.50 GBP postage and packing.

Click here for a cumulative index to Durham Biographies.


List of DCLHS news publications in PDF format.


All of the files linked to are saved using Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) which, if you wish to print any of them, will appear precisely as they do on screen unlike web pages. To read them you will require Adobe Reader or a suitable plug-in for your browser. If your browser does not have a plug-in to read PDF files, which is very unlikely, you can download Adobe Reader from here for free.

Each of these links will open either a new tab in your browser window or a new window- the exact result depends on which browser you use and how you have it set up. You can also save the files on your own system by right clicking on the link then choosing where to save it.

Hosted by DurhamWeb.