Heritage of Learning Team


Heritage of Learning- History of the WEA in the South West Region

The project aimed to deliver heritage courses across the region to train and support volunteers to research the history of the WEA in the region since its founding by a local man in 1903.The exhibition and workshops will show off what has been discovered regarding the development of adult education in this part of England.

 The Heritage of Learning Exhibition has been on tour of the region.

 Taunton Museum   8th - 12th June 2016

 Bournemouth Library15th - 18th August  2016

 Exeter Regional Offices  30th August - 2nd September 2016  

 Gloucester History Festival   8th  - 17th September 2016

 St Ives Library 19th - 23rd September 2016



 We were pleased that the exhibition was  received so well across the region, with  many local dignitaries including the  Head  of Heritage Lottery Fund South West,  Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress of  Exeter, Mayor of Bournemouth,Lord  Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester, Joanna  Cain Director of  Education WEA, Curator  Gloucester History Festival  attending as  you can see in the photos .


A series of talks were held across the region, including the "Life and Times of albert Mansbridge" and "From Poldark to Midsommer Murders".

A booklet was produced documenting the history of the WEA in the South West, this includes some fascinating photos, click here to view

We also have a photo diary of the project, click here to view

We also collected  oral histories of students and tutors, well worth a listen, these are held on the Heritage of Learning website, weaheritageoflearning.org     listen here

What Next?

Smaller exhibition packs for area managers and branches to use with members, students and  volunteers have been  produced.

There has been an exciting development in Long Sutton branch who hosted the exhibition  and have been writing a book about the history of Long Sutton which will be published  on Oct 3 2017, watch this space.

Albert Mansbridge Memorial Garden

As part of the project students from our provision for adults with learning difficulties designed and worked on a memorial garden to commemorate WEA founder Albert Mansbridge, who retired in Torbay. The garden was opened by the Mayor and students in November 2017.