We have assembled a catalogue of relative ages, metallicities and abundance ratios for about 150 local galaxies in field, group and cluster environments. The galaxies span morphological types from cD and ellipticals, to late-type spirals. Ages and metallicities were estimated from high-quality published spectral line indices using Worthey & Ottaviani (1997) single stellar population evolutionary models. The identification of galaxy age as a fourth parameter in the fundamental plane (Forbes, Ponman & Brown 1998) is confirmed by our larger sample of ages. We investigate trends between age and metallicity, and with other physical parameters of the galaxies, such as ellipticity, luminosity and kinematic anisotropy. We demonstrate the existence of a galaxy age-metallicity relation similar to that seen for local galactic disc stars, whereby young galaxies have high metallicity, while old galaxies span a large range in metallicities. We also investigate the influence of environment and morphology on the galaxy age and metallicity, especially the predictions made by semi-analytic hierarchical clustering models (HCM). We confirm that non-cluster ellipticals are indeed younger on average than cluster ellipticals as predicted by the HCM models. However we also find a trend for the more luminous galaxies to have a higher [Mg/Fe] ratio than the lower luminosity galaxies, which is opposite to the expectation from HCM models.