Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Archives

Passport to the Past revealed

We’ve been running our ‘Passport to the Past’ events for children and families for over a year now and have covered topics from Toys and Games through Police and Crime to Victorian Education. We choose topics based on what we think will be interesting and relevant to children, and which we can support with items from our collections which have the ‘wow’ factor.

As former teachers of History and English & Drama, we try hard to make the sessions as interactive as we can and make sure that everyone can have fun taking part. Our youngest participants are 6 years old and the oldest 11 or 12 – so it’s quite a challenge to make sure everyone feels included.

Here’s a glimpse of our most recent presentations:

May 2022

In May we looked at House History and for this topic we included dwellings of every kind – from caravans and houseboats to country piles. The children had to imagine that they had to make a planning decision about building 10 new homes in a small village. As always, the insights they brought to the topic were surprising and impressive.

June 2022

For the Queen’s big 70th anniversary in June, we had a look at Gloucestershire’s Royal connections - with a special focus on the Tudors. We showed the children the spectacular Royal Charters and asked them to try to write like a Tudor and play a game of Fox and Geese.


Coming up: July 2022

Our event for July this year has been inspired by Carers’ Month and to bring it to life for children we have taken the concept of ‘caring’ to include looking after pets, toys and plants. Our collections include lots of lovely Citizen photos of pet shows, police dogs and working horses. There’s also the story of John Daniel, the gorilla who lived with a family near Stroud in the 1920s…


So, what’s next?

Now that Covid restrictions seem to finally be coming to an end, we are changing our outreach programme for children and families to include more face-to-face events here at the Archives – including our new monthly programme of surprising Saturday sessions! We’ll still be doing some recorded events, but on a school-termly, rather than a monthly basis.

We may have to respond to popular demand and reprise our roles as Miss Honey and Miss Strict – Victorian School ma’ams. (This video has been viewed over 1000 times).  Watch this space!

Click image to see the video

Kate O’Keefe and Jemma Fowkes June 2022

Family History

Welcome to the Family History Centre


The enthusiastic and experienced volunteers who run the Family History Centre love to meet people and talk about everything Family History.  This is one of the things we missed so much during the lockdowns when the Hub was closed and although we all know that you can meet up on Zoom it is just so much better when you can sit down together to share your research successes or problems.

Therefore we’re delighted that the Hub is going to open on a Saturday again and we’re looking forward to contributing to all the different events.  We’ve thought hard about what we can do to add a family history angle to such a wide range of subjects and we’ve come up with two different options - 

- 10am and 12 noon we’ll open the Family History Centre so researchers, whether Gloucestershire Family History Society members or not, can visit us before the main Hub event itself starts.  We’re very aware that many people just can’t come in during our normal opening hours so this their chance to take advantage of the many resources available in the Centre. 

- 1pm - 4pm we’ll offer a ‘Help Desk’ so folk can bring us their ‘brick walls’ and we’ll see if we can chip away at them.  This can be an exciting experience for the visitor and volunteer alike - more often than not we all learn something new which is always a good experience.  Almost a ‘repair cafe’ for genealogists!


Even if you don’t think family history is for you, please reconsider and look at the possibilities!  As many of you will know the life experiences of people, whether individuals or whole families, underpin many different research projects.  This means that you don’t actually have to investigate your own family although most of our members will tell you that this can lead you to some unexpected places.  You can look at the people who lived in your house or on the land where your (modern) house was built.  You can take it a step further and look at the people who lived in a particular place, whether a village or just a few streets in a town, or worked in a particular industry.  The sources in the Centre can help you to understand more about how local, national and even international events shaped their lives and the lives of their descendants.


We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Family History Centre on 25 June and are anticipating a fascinating series of Saturday events each month from 2 July.


Gloucestershire Archives: Secrets Revealed

A Right Royal County

Wednesday 22 June, 1 - 2pm. Free of charge

Gloucestershire has had interactions with the Kings & Queens of our nation for almost 1500 years – from the defeat of Romano-British Kings Coinmail, Condidan and Farinmail at the Battle of Dyrham in 577AD through to providing homes to the future monarch Charles and his younger sister today.

During this time the county has been witness to the coronation of a king and the murder of another.

We’ve seen Royal houses fighting each other, at least two rebellions, a whole city defying a king and a king ordering the start of government officialdom.

We’ve also had numerous royal tours and visits and even a royal mystery – find out about all this in our next Secrets Revealed presentation.

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events


Secrets Revealed are live Zoom seminars that bring together a community of people with a shared interest in history, heritage, culture and their importance in today’s world.

You should receive your Zoom link as an automated message when you book on to this event (remember to press the "Book now" button once you've entered your details). If you don't, please check your junk folder. If it's not in there, please contact and we will send you a link.


Open Garden at the Heritage Hub

In association with Kingsholm & Wotton Neighbourhood Partnership

Saturday 25 June, 11am - 4pm

Free parking on site. Free refreshments available.



Relax in the beautiful surroundings of our community garden

Family friendly garden games and activities

A “right royal” display of records held at Gloucestershire Archives

“Tracing your roots” help available from Gloucestershire Family History Society


Drop-in session - stay as long or as little as you like! 

Don't forget to visit other gardens on the trail as well!


Photographs by Phil King and Gloucestershire Archives

Saturday events at the Heritage Hub

Make and Mend

Saturday 2 July, 1 - 4pm

Repair and conserve your favourite item; make something new out of something old and admire the crafting skills of local people.

Includes a talk on the Hart Silversmiths Trust and a demonstration of silver working by David and Will Hart, Freemen of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmith, 1 - 2pm.

Free parking on site.

Booking is encouraged to save disappointment

For more information and to book visit Gloucestershire Archives Events

Flora and Fauna

Saturday 6 August, 1 - 4pm

A buzzy event featuring the Heritage Hub beekeepers, Glos Wildlife & Orchard Trusts, garden related talks, and archive treasures on display 

For more information visit Gloucestershire Archives Events


More information coming soon about the following events. Keep an eye on our Gloucestershire Archives Saturday Events page


Saturday 3 September, 1 - 4pm

A talk by Amelia Bennett explains how to make sense of your genes; and make memories through oral history


Saturday 1 October, 1 - 4pm

A celebration of past, present and future architecture


Saturday 5 November, 1 - 4pm

A military history focus day

‘Anything that moves…’

Saturday 3 December, 1 - 4pm

A Gloucestershire heritage transport extravaganza

And don't forget.....Gloucestershire Family History Centre is open 10am - 12am so researchers, whether GFHS members or not, can take advantage of the many resources available in the Centre before the main Hub event itself starts. 


Gloucestershire Archives: Passport to the Past

Pet Project

Wednesday 6 July, 4 - 5pm. Free of charge

For 6-13 year olds.


 June is Carers Month when we focus on people who look after others.  Some children help care for family members - and all humans have the capacity to care for other people. We’re also good at caring for other animals, and there are lots of records in the archives of people and their beloved pets - and working animals like sheepdogs and police dogs.


What or who do you look after? Do you have a pet, a plant, a special toy or something else? We would love to hear about it – or even better – see it! Can you bring it along to the session on July 6th and tell us about it?


Did you know?

  • One of the first electronic toys was the Tamagotchi. They were invented in Japan and were said to help children learn how to take care of something by giving it food, sleep and hugs! One of the archivists here still has hers from when she was a child.
  • John Daniel was a very famous pet gorilla who lived with a family in Gloucestershire and died in 1922 – one hundred years ago. We’ll be hearing his story.
  • A Gloucestershire pet shop was invaded by elephants in 1934.

We look forward to seeing you. July will be our last Passport to the Past session before we break for the summer – so let’s make it extra special!

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives events page 

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