The Group runs an informal family history Help Centre in Leiston. It is in the Leiston Council offices, open to all — members and non-members — free of charge.
Opening times of our "surgery" are 10 a.m. to 12 noon on the first and third Saturday mornings of each month: upcoming sessions are listed on the Events pages, the next at the top of the Homepage. The Centre can also be open on Wednesdays, by prior appointment — but if you wish to request one, first please contact our Secretary, who is listed here.
The Help Centre contains much local information which is not available online, including graveyard catalogues for Benhall, Saxmundham, Leiston, Eastbridge, Aldringham and Sutton, censuses, directories, information on local war memorials, books and historic maps. We have a large number of CD's and microfiches of local interest — in fact, we hold a wide variety of records for Suffolk and other counties. An index is available — you can also visit our Index⬇︎Downloads page for the latest published version.
There are also computers with internet, a printer and a scanner.
Experienced family history researchers are present to give assistance if required. The Group looks forward to helping you with your research, including the guilty pleasure of tracing those elusive black sheep!
The Help Centre is upstairs in the old Council Offices, Main Street, Leiston, IP16 4ER, in the same building as, and to the right of, the Library, opposite the Long Shop Museum. Please note that access is by a steep staircase. You can park outside free of charge for one hour, or there's an “unlimited” free car park in Valley Road — go straight down past Barclays Bank and it's 100 yards or so on the right.
To gain access to the Help Centre on a Saturday morning, you will need to ring the doorbell, and wait for one of the volunteers on duty to 'run' down the stairs to welcome you and let you in — we keep the door locked to deter nefarious intruders.
Visitors are always most welcome.