April 2024

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

Welcome to the April 2024 edition of the Heritage Hub e-newsletter.

Showing our drawers in public!

No other collection is likely to have more personal relevance to the residents of Gloucestershire than the County Council collection, also known as the Corporate Archive. This collection records everything that surrounds us on a day-to-day basis.  Our roads, our health, our education, our support mechanisms, our entertainment, our safety. In other words every decision made about our local existence is incorporated within this collection.


Therefore, as we contemplated themes for upcoming Saturday events back in Autumn 2023, it didn’t take long before a  Council themed event was suggested. And there was also another legitimate reason to dwell on Council activity. April 2024 marks the 135th anniversary of our County Council’s creation [1889] and it is also the 130th anniversary of our local parish and district councils [1894] many of whom have deposited their records at Gloucestershire Archives.

So, we had reasons to do it but how could we make it interesting in both a visual and contextual sense?  We were inspired by a recent community project involving Clapham Court, the large tower-block facing the Heritage Hub due to be demolished later this year. A set of defunct index drawers was used at their farewell celebration, to hold written memories of former residents or symbolic objects.  For example, one resident liked to look at the fantastic view of the city from her high level flat whilst washing up at her sink. Consequently, she placed a crocheted washing up bottle in an index drawer!

We decided to repurpose this same cabinet and place a different function of the County Council in each index drawer. Before long, drawers were heading off to the homes of various staff and Hub partners and tearoom talk was no longer about missing teaspoons, plants, or tea-towels but glue, resin and fake trees. In the end, twenty drawers, each showing a Council function were completed, involving 10 members of staff to varying degrees but all in their own time. The ‘Big Drawers – Our Cabinet of Curiosities’ was revealed at the Council themed event, ‘Our Corporate Memory’, on 6th April 2024.   


If you’re now saying ‘Oh I wish I’d gone to that’… do not worry!  The cabinet will be staying intact with us at the Heritage Hub for some time to come, for all to enjoy.  Indeed, it has now become part of our repertoire to promote the work we do.  After all, Gloucestershire Archives is itself an important Gloucestershire County Council service…and even has a pair of drawers to prove it! [Archives and Conservation/Collections Care]



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July 2024 newsletter copy deadline is Monday 22 July 2024. Approx. 250 words with title, photos/images and a link to your own website. Delivery late July 2024.