The Friends of Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies started as an independent body in 2009.

We  fully support and promote the work of the Archives through fund raising, providing volunteers to work on Archives projects and helping at Archives events.

The Friends enjoy a full programme of regular  meetings throughout the year  which are held at the Molineux Hotel, the home of the Archives service.  We provide a range of speakers  on a variety of history subjects and we organise occasional walks around areas of local historical interest during the summer months.

2024 Programme of talks.

On behalf of the frinds, Ann Bailey presents the Pershouse papers to the City Archivist, Heide Macintosh.

The Friends are represented on the Queen Street Heritage Project

The City of Wolverhampton Council has secured Heritage Lottery Funding to support The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme.  The Scheme will provide grant assistance towards the cost of external repairs and enhancements to buildings of historic interest in Queen Street.  The award will help to support the city's Interchange scheme, improving an important pedestrian route from the bus and rail stations through to the city centre's main retail shopping area.  £815,000 will be made available in the form of grants which will facilitate the repair and enhancement of historic buildings, focusing particularly on the reinstatement of historic shopfronts, and the provision of sound and attractive external envelopes that will encourage the full use of the buildings

Our main funding activities come from providing refreshments at Archive events such as the Local History Fair and the Local History Symposium.

At some events, we transform one of the meeting rooms into a traditional  tea room with white linen table cloths and  table flower arrangements. Teas, coffees and light refreshments are available with cakes and filled rolls provided and home made by our members.   To complete the ambience, traditional platter table-ware is used for service.

Our fundraising has enabled us so far to purchase items such as new lenses for the Archives viewing machines and to fund the purchase of digital photographic equipment.

200 Year Old Letters Preserved

When the Friends of the Archives discovered that a series of letters, written in the 1790’s by the Pershouse family of Penn Hall, were up for sale, they decided to buy them to donate to the Archives, so they could be preserved as part of the history of the city.
The letters reveal something of the life of Elizabeth Pershouse, who had inherited Penn Hall from her father, Thomas Bradney in 1782. Her husband, William, and one of her 2 children had died in the late 1780’s, which had left her feeling very nervous and anxious about her remaining son. However, this did not prevent her carrying out
building works to the Hall, managing the workmen and purchase of materials herself.
She also assisted her nieces in claiming legacies that were due to them under a family will. Perhaps the strangest thing mentioned is the pineapple plant, which was regarded as such a novelty that it was passed around the wider family.
Anne Bailey, Programme Secretary for the Friends, who presented the letters to City Archivist, Heidi McIntosh, says she hopes visitors to the Archives will enjoy reading these letters, which have much the same style and language as Jane Austen, who was just beginning her writing career in the 1790’s.

Friends are represented on the Express and Star Project

The project aims to carry out vital archiving work, digitise the collection and make the photographs available through a single web portal, allowing free on-line public access to the unrivalled images of local events, momentous and everyday, for the first time.

The Express & Star photo archive has been described as one of the most important regional photograph collections in the country, including photographs of royal visits and speeches by Prime Ministers, through to images of local ways of life which have since disappeared.

Development funding of £59,800 has been awarded to help progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later date


The Friends provide Members with regular Newsletters updating them on our meetings, talks and any issues of interest that are arising.

Read some our past Newsletters here.

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This web site is promoted by Hazel Keirle on behalf of The Friends of Wolverhampton City Archvies and Local Studies Group and provides the .friendsofwca.org web site as a service to the public and Web site owners.

The Friends of WCA  are not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site. While the information contained within the site is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date.

This  site may include links providing direct access to other Internet resources, including Web sites. Friends of WCA are not responsible for the accuracy or content of information contained in these sites. Any links to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by Friends of WCA of third parties or their products and services.