Local history treats for Summer 2024
The Gloucestershire Local History Association is organising two events for its members during the Summer of 2024.
The first is the Association's annual Summer Afternoon Meeting, which will be held at Coleford on Sunday, 30 June. The meeting, which is being organised and hosted by the Forest of Dean Local History Society, will comprise talks, tours, displays - and an afternoon tea.
The second is a Local History Day, to be held at Hartpury College/University on Saturday, 27 July. The theme of the Day will be 'Life Stories' and GLHA member groups will be preparing displays focusing on the lives of one or more individuals who have made a significant historical contribution to the life of their Community.
The Day will also include two talks. One is to be given by Maureen Anderson on Sir Fabian Ware (1869-1949), the founder of the Imperial War Graves Commission, who moved to Amberley in 1930 and served at one time or another as President of the Gloucestershire Community Council and as Chairman of the Gloucestershire branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England.
Fabian Ware's memorial in Gloucester Cathedral (copyright Andrew R Abbott)
The other talk is to be given by Steven Blake on the artist and lithographer George Rowe (1796-1864), who lived at Cheltenham in 1832-52 and who published a large number of topographical prints of Gloucestershire before travelling to Australia, where - after a failed attempt to dig for gold - he became a successful 'goldfields artist' whose works are held by many Australian art galleries and museums.
'Ancient House, High Street, Tewkesbury', a pencil drawing by George Rowe, later used by Rowe as one of a set of seven lithographs entitled 'Antiquities of Tewkesbury', published in 1839.
Details of both events, including booking details, will be posted on the GLHA website (https://gloshistory.org.uk) in due course.
The story of Storeys
The spotlight fell on one of the Heritage’s Hub’s closest Kingsholm neighbours in November, when a project by Creative Solutions, supported by Voices Gloucester and Gloucestershire Archives, brought over 1000 visitors to Clapham Court to see an important collaboration between artists and residents.
Clapham Court is an iconic feature of Gloucester’s skyline, and it is destined for demolition. To honour the lives lived and the community created here, local creatives worked with residents, past and present, to create unique art in ten empty flats - telling the stories that have been absorbed in the walls over the last 60 years.
Photo courtesy of Phil King
Flats on different floors were matched with artists from across a variety of disciplines - including photographers, sculptors and textile artists. Visitors discovered rooms filled with found materials left behind by departed residents transformed into sculpted artwork, knitted and crocheted household items, intriguing origami miniatures, and spectacular graffiti art.
Pupils at Kingsholm School helped create the 'graffiti' flat'; 'In da Front Room' lovingly re-created a Jamaican family's living room
On the advice of residents the project opened on bonfire weekend which allowed visitors to enjoy some of the best firework views in the city. Open over two weekends, there was also an opportunity to attend a series of artist talks, and anyone could visit by-appointment and have personal tours in the week.
The Dean of Gloucester is shown round by Voices creative director Jacqui Grange
Participating artists and groups included Caroline McCatty, Adam Coleman, Josie Evans, Amy Freeman, David Grange, De Front Room, Jacqui Grange, Kim Kenny, Kingsholm School, Independent Living Art Group, Rider Shafique, Jo Teague, and Georgia Williams.
'Then and Now' by artist Kim Kenny highlighted the loss of orchards from the Kingsholm neighbourhood.
A really important contribution came from Neal Avery, a former resident, who played guitar, reliving resident lounge parties, along with live painting from another ex-resident - the talented artist David Parker.
The Clapham Court Storeys project was made possible thanks to Gloucester City Homes, who manage the building, and was such a success that there are talks about revisiting the project in the Spring and extending the collaboration of artists and residents.
If you enjoyed attending, or hearing about -this project, sign up to the Voices Gloucester newsletter and visit https://voicesgloucester.org.uk/ for all event updates.