A local history group in York has won a second major national award – this time for the way it engaged with local people during the Covid pandemic.

The Clements Hall History Group was last night named the winner in the ‘community engagement’ category of the Community Archives and Heritage Group’s annual excellence awards.

The win comes just three years after the group won an award for its website from the same organisation.

Local history group chair Anne Houson said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive another national award for our work.

“We share our stories using a mixture of traditional activity, exploring archives and using oral history, with new techniques, such as smartphone apps and Zoom talks. Following our publicity and engagement efforts, by the end of last year we doubled our membership from around 50 to over 100.”

Susan Major, a volunteer with the group, added: “During last year and this year we’ve used a variety of ways to keep engaged with our local audiences in the face of the pandemic, and to encourage new people to join in with our local history work.

“We moved our talks to Zoom, but at the same time we enlisted the help of our local York Press to run features about our researches, for those not online.

“And we adopted a pub, the Trafalgar Bay on Nunnery Lane, to be our ‘local history hub’ for our shops and pubs research, making good use of their beer garden.”

The group has also produced a series of books about the local history of Nunnery Lane and South Bank, Susan said, which have proved ‘tremendously popular’.

Find out more about the history group’s work at clementshallhistorygroup.org.uk