Heritage Hub Community Open Day and tea party
A total of 426 visitors flocked to the Heritage Hub for our Community Open Day on Sunday 2nd September. There was plenty to see and do, including a treasure hunt and quiz for the children, a rather handsome roaming Highwayman (who gave a talk on his infamous trade of highway robbery in years gone by) and lots of original documents on display.
Visitors in the research room MP Richard Graham and John Putley from Archives.
Exhibitions on display included the founding of the Crypt School, women’s policing in Gloucestershire, and the landscape and communities of the Severn Vale in South Gloucestershire. 'Behind the scenes' tours, including stepping inside one of the strong-rooms, were particularly popular. There were two film shows, showing a selection of films and other media from our collections. An illustrated talk on “Treasures of the Archives”, discussing favourite gems from the archives chosen by staff from Gloucestershire Archives attracted a large audience.
Display about Joan Cooke, founder of the Crypt School
Gloucestershire Family History Society volunteers ran drop-in taster sessions on family history, and these were very much appreciated. The city-wide “Volunteer Makers – Engage in Gloucester” volunteer recruitment project was also officially launched.
Special guests included Wilbert Smith, Heritage Lottery Fund South-West trustee; Gloucester’s MP, Richard Graham; County Councillors, Jeremy Hilton and Lesley Williams; the Mayor of Gloucester, City Councillor Joanne Brown, her consort, County Councillor David Brown, and the Sheriff of Gloucester.
One of the very popular attractions was the cake stall, in the new training suite (the Dunrossil Centre). This was expertly run by members of the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives (FOGA). Walls ice cream, at Barnwood, kindly donated 250 ice creams to FOGA to sell at the Open Day, to raise funds for specialist packaging for Gloucester's city charters.
Members of the Friends looking after Musicians from Gloucestershire Traditions entertaining visitors in the Dunrossil Centre
Local folk musicians played music in the foyer and in the Dunrossil Centre. Sculptor Natasha Houseago set up her workbench in the community garden where visitors could watch her carving and chat to her about the piece she will be creating. Lynda Knott and Angela Williams from TomatoJack Arts also chatted to visitors about the mosaic panels they have created for the community garden.
Musical Folk playing in the foyer Natasha Houseago Angela Williams from TomatoJack
Following a photographic competition over the summer, we launched the Heritage Hub 2019 calendar at the Open Day. Over 100 photographs were entered and judged by a panel including Professor John Ingledew, an international photography lecturer, and Cabinet Member Ray Theodoulou. The winners were announced and calendars presented to the overall winner, Mike Barby, whose stunning image of Selsley covers one of the walls of the Dunrossil Centre.
Mike Barby (centre left), with Heather Forbes, A vintage view of Selsey near Stroud taken from Doverow Hill. By Mike Barby
Wilbert Smith and Prof. John Ingledew, in front
of his winning photograph.
Last but not least, we ran a competition to name the friendly but fierce-looking archives rat! A few weeks ago we ran a social media campaign to introduce him to the public and Open Day visitors were asked to vote for their favourite name from a shortlist of three, all suggested by our Facebook followers. He/she has been given the name Raikes.
Raikes the Archives Rat.
Sorry you missed all the fun? Well, as it was such a success, we’re thinking of doing something similar next year – watch this space!