Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Archives

Community Garden update


Over the past year, we’ve been working hard on garden signage. During the spring and summer of 2021 we focussed on producing attractive panels to tell visitors about different aspects of the garden.  We also sourced two lectern style signs for information about the mosaic panels and vertical sculpture.  The panels and lecterns all include QR codes which link to pages on the Heritage Hub website.

 In June 2021, we were awarded external funding for our final pieces of signage- a large entrance sign above the garden’s gate at a height which made it visible from the road, and two moveable A boards. 


We’ve positioned one of the A boards to signpost to the garden from both the main entrance and the pedestrian alleyway.  The other A board is in the heart of the garden to promote the community raised beds, garden volunteering opportunities and our “Friends” support group.  


Now the signage is complete, we can focus on encouraging as many people as possible to visit and enjoy the beautiful green space.

We were delighted to receive a 5 star review in an accessibility audit in November, along with the rest of the Hub.

To read more visit

Roots community café included the garden in their October half term treasure hunt and again for a “scavenger hunt” as part of a Christmas event for local families.  We have also been asked to include the community garden on Gloucester’s emerging “local list” which will identify the city’s heritage assets.

Accessions accessions accessions!

If you only have a passing knowledge of what we do at the archives, let me explain it a bit. I’m a trainee archivist, so I’m well placed to break it down as not too long ago, this was all completely new to me too.

Organisations and individuals can deposit records with us for safekeeping, and when this first arrives it is ‘accessioned’. This isn’t the same as cataloguing. Accessioning is like an acknowledgement that we have something, and it’s given a running number. Cataloguing puts the items in a specific collection, breaks it down into sections and gives us more details. Often this is done at the same time as accessioning, but large collections will sometimes be earmarked for a later project.

So it shouldn’t take too long to accession something, right? Well, that question is like ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Sometimes it’s one piece of paper, sometimes it’s 20 boxes. This is why we try to stagger it and have no more than one per day to give the collections management team time to get through it.

At the end of last year we had a challenge on our hands, because of a combination of staff working from home/isolating/a sudden influx of deposits after lockdown. The decision was made to not take any more accessions until 2022. Slowly but surely, we managed to start crossing off accessions one by one.

As a trainee this was both overwhelming and a wonderful opportunity. I love to-do lists but this was something else! You just had to get stuck in. Accessioning itself doesn’t take too long, it’s a bit like writing out a receipt. It’s a very important stage, as it’s when we can collect as many details as we can about a collection, and what copyright or access restrictions might be in place. We look through the material to decide if we want it all, as sometimes people give us things we might already have. We also need to make sure the depositor details are correct. Even if we don’t move onto cataloguing (which we try to anyway) it’s useful to think about where it might go, as we can divide up and package the collection in the simplest way possible. You just need to keep asking the question: ‘How is someone going to be able to find this again?’

Most of the material I’ve accessioned and catalogued in that time have been marriage registers. On 4 May 2021 the law was changed so that future marriage registers become digitally made, and hard copies were closed and handed into registry offices. Many copies of these came to us, and I’ve personally accessioned 52 of these. It sounds like a lot but 52 of the same type of document becomes a very repetitive process, and I managed to speed things up to spending 20 minutes per register!

Other times something completely random ends up on my desk. One in particular I enjoyed was D15821, which was sent to us by Buckingham Palace! This was the papers of Helmut Gieselmann, a prisoner of war in Britain during the second world war, with a letter asking for his release to return to work in Cheltenham. The papers were sent by his son who wanted them to be in a British collection to illustrate British-German relations.

In January 2022 we came back with a hugely reduced list so were able to start taking in new accessions again. Bring on the exciting finds of 2022!

Laura Cassidy, Trainee Archivist at Gloucestershire Archives

Cotswold Life October

Each month the team at Gloucestershire Archives delve into our diverse collections and put together a piece that appears in Cotswold Life magazine. This article, written by John Putley, appeared in the October 2021 issue. 

Photograph of the Month

Gloucestershire Archives GPS/368/149

You can almost hear the cacophony of sounds, feel the heat and smell the coal smoke in this wonderful picture of the traction engine ‘The Duchess of Worcester’ at the Winchcombe Mop Fair sometime after 1901.  The people include the owner Mr Peters, who may be the man on the left with the blackened hands (or he might be the fireman!).  The ‘Duchess’ was built by Charles Burrell & Sons of Thetford, Norfolk in 1900 and was a Showman’s Road Locomotive (No. 2350).  These were made for travelling showmen who operated roundabouts and other fairground rides.  They were typified by a full length canopy with twisted brass supports and bright painted bodywork that was usually personalised – as can be seen here with the legend ‘F. Peters & Son Galloping Horses’ visible on the canopy.  The engines were practical dual-purpose machines that hauled dismantled rides in wagons from fair to fair and also generated electricity to light and drive the rides (via a belt-driven dynamo visible at the front).  Sadly, this particular engine hasn’t survived but the next one in sequence, No. 2351 ‘Ephraim’, does and can be seen regularly at county steam fairs. 

Heritage Hub Honey and Candles

In July 2021, the Bee Team were finally able to extract the first lot of honey from the beehives in the community garden. As we didn’t yet have equipment, we went to a beekeeper friend in Tuffley with the frames of honey and extracted it there. From the first batch we got 28 pounds of honey, which was a wonderful surprise.

By October, we had our own equipment and so we were able to extract our own honey on site, which was very exciting. We set up the equipment in the staff room, put our masks on and spent a fun afternoon manually spinning our frames and getting a good workout! This batch gave us another 8 pounds of honey, which was a real bonus. Towards the end of the season, it’s best to leave the bees with as much honey as possible over winter, but we decided we had enough surplus on one of our hives to take some of their honey.


We’ve been able to sell most of both batches to colleagues and friends, but we hope that the bees survive the winter (at the time of writing it’s very cold, but they should be huddled together with enough food to keep them going through the next few weeks) and we can then get a spring harvest from them once they start foraging again. We plan to sell this honey properly so look out for it on reception!

We’ve also been experimenting with other things to make from the bees. Head of Archives Service Heather brought in a huge amount of beeswax from her father who used to be a beekeeper, and in preparation for using our own beeswax (as yet we don’t have enough surplus) I’ve been working out how to make candles and another colleague has made some beeswax food wraps. We hope to also sell craft products made with the wax in due course too.

Have You Heard About Vicarious Trauma?

The answer is quite probably no, although it is being increasingly talked about, and is something that archives services are becoming more aware of. Also known as “secondary trauma”, it has the potential to be experienced by many of us.

Secondary trauma is a recognised occupational hazard for police officers, paramedics, rescue workers and counsellors. It defines the process by which indirect exposure to disturbing or horrific events, often affecting loss of life, impacts on those who may be required to deal with the aftermath of, for example, a civil war, a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Of course, these occupations are probably even more likely to be subject to primary trauma, whereby they are directly involved in dealing with casualties, civil war, earthquakes or loss of life from some other cause.  

For example, soldiers from regiments serving in Europe, at the end of World War II, could be excused from volunteering in the reconnaissance parties of Allied troops that entered Nazi concentration camps, in order to liberate them, for this very reason.   

So what, exactly, is vicarious trauma, and how do we deal with it? In terms of archives, vicarious trauma can come about because of reading through coroner’s reports, victim statements, records of historic childhood abuse, records of atrocities and similar material. It defines the unwanted, intrusive and distressing emotional impact of having seen, or heard, extremely upsetting accounts of people’s experiences, often at the hands of others.

It is the extreme nature of vicarious trauma that really defines it – it is not about feeling sad, or a little disturbed; it is about being affected, on a deeply emotional level, by what you have been researching. It may be cumulative, or it may be a one-off, and it is something that archives’ users may well mention to us, although this is a rare occurrence.

One very obvious example of vicarious trauma is when archives researchers may be looking at records about the way people were treated in the past. It can become very real, and very emotional, if you happen to be looking at records of your ancestors, and their treatment in the past, in whatever institution they were incarcerated. We all know, for example, that the individuals who participate in the TV programme “Who Do You Think You Are?” are frequently tearful, having unearthed stories of the hardships their ancestors experienced. This is not really what we would describe as vicarious trauma, but a common, human, reflection rooted in empathy.

Vicarious trauma really is something far more than this, and needs to be handled with skill and sensitivity. If this affects you, at any time, you can see some very useful FAQ’s we’ve written, on our website at:

Behind the scenes at Gloucestershire Archives

It is possible that you have joined us in viewing some of our monthly online events. These include – Secrets Revealed, leisurely lunchtime learning sessions for adults and Passport to the Past, an after-school club for children aged 6 -13 years.

Passport to the Past is a live session filmed from the Frith Room at the Heritage Hub. We thought you might be interested to see what happens behind the scenes to prepare for these live monthly children’s events

Jemma Fowkes and Kate O’Keefe are the faces that the young people usually see on their screen but Jemma and Kate also have lots of help from other staff members in particular Jenny Rutland who provides technical support.

Jemma, Kate and Jenny ready for action.

Other staff members get involved too when extra specialist help is needed


John Putley and Ally McConnell lend a hand during the ‘Bugs, Bees and Books’ session talking about being bee keepers. Ally is suitable dressed in her bee keeper’s outfit.


Rhianna Watson is getting ready to make the origami toy for ‘The Best Toy in the World?’ session. Jenny is making sure the tech works.

The image on the screen is of Rhianna’s hands and is what viewers see.


Dolls, teddy’s and games belonging to one of our lovely volunteers brought in for the team to use during the same session.

Other organisations also provide support. The hare used for the drawing task in ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ session was kindly lent to the team by The Wilson Museum and Art Gallery.

These photos represent what happens on the day of filming but of course before the day Kate and Jemma will have done lots of research, had meetings together, picked the brains of volunteers and staff for their knowledge and written their script. The marketing team will have advertised the events, on social media, through the Heritage Hub website and the e-newsletter. And then there is managing all of the bookings, sending out zoom links and making sure customers know what to expect. Finally, we try to evaluate the sessions so that we can develop and improve what we are doing. All in all, I think you will agree lots goes on behind the scenes to make what are hopefully enjoyable, informative and fun sessions for the young people who take part.

For information about events that are coming up visit Gloucestershire Archives 

Farewell to James Hodsdon

We were very sad to hear of the unexpected death of Dr James Hodsdon last Thursday morning.


James was a regular visitor to Gloucestershire Archives over many years, former chair of the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, a key member of the fundraising group raising significant funds for the ‘For the Record’ archives transformation project, notable local historian, and very dedicated and generous volunteer to many Gloucestershire heritage organisations, most notably Gloucestershire County History Trust. He devoted significant time and energy into fundraising, overseeing the work of freelance researchers and generally ensuring Gloucestershire Victoria County History work goes from strength to strength. He was a very wise, kind, generous gentleman (in the true sense of the word), whose diplomatic skills were an inspiration to many of us. I personally learnt a tremendous amount from him in so many ways and will always be grateful for that. 

His contribution to archives and local history in Gloucestershire has been enormous, and he will be very much missed both for this and his warm personality and friendship.   We will publish a full tribute in our next newsletter. Meanwhile we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Judie and his family. 

Heather Forbes, County Archivist.

Community Gatherers Project

Our “Community Gatherers” project takes an innovative approach to strengthening our collections from Gloucester’s black and Asian communities and is supported by the National Archives “testbed” fund.  We’ve commissioned eight “Community Gatherers” from within the communities themselves.  Their mission:  to locate- or create- material for permanent preservation in the Archives, to ensure their voices are heard by future generations.   Two of our Gatherers are established film-makers; the others have chosen to record oral history interviews on a variety of topics, ranging from weddings to allotments.   

This is a new venture and we’re learning a lot along the way, but our first interview is now safely accessioned, with more to come.  

For more information contact 

Sally Middleton is retiring

Sally joined Gloucestershire Archives in October 2016 as part of the ‘For the Record’ archives transformation project.  She has certainly helped us transform our partnerships, learning and outreach offer.   We will particularly miss her positive approach, management and coaching skills, and her fresh perspective arising from her background in social work and libraries, but will do our best to build on her legacy.

Sally led the Archives in achieving the Archives and Records Association Volunteering Award in 2019.  During her time our volunteer base has grown significantly and she has worked hard to break down barriers to participation.  She has been particularly supportive in her coaching approach with young and disadvantaged volunteers.  She was especially delighted when one of the volunteers she had supported was offered a place at Cambridge University to study history.

Her commitment to Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) has led to some great results including the use of the Dunrossil Centre for English as a second language classes for local parents- leading to a Nigerian asylum seeker to become an archives volunteer.  

Other highlights include her collaborative work on mental health records resulting in the Never Better project which featured at Gloucester History Festival and gave opportunities to several folk with lived mental health experience.  Various other health projects are currently in preparation to build on these helpful relationships. 

She has also demonstrated tremendous commitment to young people as demonstrated by the growing relationship with Kingsholm Primary School through the ‘we love KingsHOME’ days, child ‘take over’ days, and oral history training for a small group of their year 6 pupils as part of their ‘university’ module.   She asked a large class of 7 year olds ‘do you want to have fun?’ ‘Yes, I can’t hear you, do you want to have fun?’ ‘YESSSS! (at the tops of their voices).  Only Sally could do that convincingly.  Sadly we’ve not been able to find funding for her hoped-for ‘young people’s archivist’ but will keep trying.  Her cameo appearance as a cook in the passport to the past session for children based on our county estate archives will be remembered by colleagues for a long time.  If you missed this, you can see this by clicking on this link!

Sally as Mrs Bullas, the cook in Passport to the Past: Stories from the Big House

Sally is a great collaborator as demonstrated by her work with Gloucester Heritage Forum, health contacts, community groups and so on.   As such, the covid lockdowns were unhelpful in delivering her day job.  But she led her team to deliver a new programme of learning and outreach, making the challenging shift to online delivery.  

When asked to sum up Sally, the following phrases come to mind:  ebullient, full of enthusiasm and positive energy, optimistic, forward-looking, egalitarian, very supportive, generous with praise, strategic, able to be direct, and as one colleague said, she has a relish for things – she can make a cup of coffee sound the most alluring thing!    Her catch-phrase was ‘treat each day as an adventure’ which is a very good motto for living a fulfilling life.   I hope you will take your own advice Sally when enjoying a happy and fulfilling retirement. 

Heather Forbes and Kate Maisey

History, Her Story,Their Story, Our Story and Barbers Street at the Museum of Gloucester

As reported in an earlier newsletter, Gloucestershire Archives co-produced this programme with Fresh Air Foundations.  It was generously funded by Arts Council England.

They led to an extraordinary and powerful event at the Guildhall during this year's Gloucester History Festival, where Gloucester artists Thembe Mvula and Rider Shafique shared new works inspired by Vanley Burke's photography; Elle Bry Thomas shared ‘Barber Street - One street, 14 barbershops, many nationalities’ and Pierre Nyongera shared ‘‘Old School’ a short film which looks at the history of Colwell School in Barton & Tredworth 


An artwork celebrating the project by Jusarra Navare was installed on Barton street for the duration of the History Festival, and then all artworks, films and stories and poetry inspired by the project by young people from Denmark Road High School Sir Thomas Riches and St Peter’s were exhibited at the Museum of Gloucester.

A strong outreach and education programme complemented the exhibition, with events including:

Legacies of Documentation- Taking positives from negatives - Representation and Storytelling in Photography

Schools Event - by young people for young people

“Enough of ‘we’ve come so far’ and ‘it’s much better now than it was then’. Performative activism won’t get us anywhere, enough of the white, white lies'

New material generated during this project will become part of the Gloucestershire Archives collections shortly and thus be accessible to current and future generations. 

For more information contact Jacqui Grange 

Local History

Gloucestershire Local History Association

Railway Heritage Walk: Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways

with John Dixon: President of the Tewkesbury Historical Society.

On a beautiful October afternoon, a group of about 25 walkers met in the car park of Tewkesbury’s Morrisons supermarket. The group consisted of young and old, with a good mixture of seasoned historians and rail enthusiasts as well as people based locally who were keen to understand Tewkesbury’s rail heritage.

One of the old branch lines had been converted to a cycle and pedestrianised path between Newtown and Tewkesbury town centre some years ago, and we joined this and walked westwards towards Newtown where we made our first discovery. John showed the Group the location of the old branch line from Ashchurch to Tewkesbury and where the signal box had been positioned, set back from the cycle path, hidden away in the nettles and undergrowth.

We then headed back towards Tewkesbury, stopping at places of interest along the way, including Station Road, at the back of Morrisons, where the brickwork and gates of the old platform could still be seen – many of the group had known Tewkesbury for decades and had never noticed these features before.

 We reached Tewkesbury town centre, briefly pausing at the old level crossing cottage, and the stocking workers’ cottages, and then on to the High Street to see where the old station once stood. From there, we headed down to Healings Flour Mills, which at one stage had a commercial rail track connecting it with the terminus, before we headed towards the Mythe Bridge along the tow path and towards Tewkesbury’s second forgotten railway station, a branch line that once ran to Malvern. I think one could be forgiven for walking through this un-tarmacked pathway without realising you would have been walking on the old tracks with the platforms on either side.

After a further short walk, we realised that we had come full circle and were back at Morrisons’ car park.

A superb two hour walk was enjoyed by all. The pace was leisurely and everyone in the group was interested in John Dixon’s interactive snippets and tales of Tewkesbury’s two forgotten railways. I would definitely recommend it if it was ever run again; it would appeal not just to railway enthusiasts but also to the casual local historian.

 by James Stedman

Gloucestershire Local History Association aims to arrange occasional visits to areas of historical interest around the County. We are grateful to members of local societies for offering walks and talks about their area to GLHA members. In May and October 2021, John Dixon has taken two groups on a walk around Tewkesbury to look at its railway history.

For more information about Gloucestershire Local History Association visit Gloucestershire Local History Association

Family History

Update and News - Spring 2022

Spring is a time to look forward to the future with some excitement and we in GFHS are no exception, despite all the challenges of the last couple of years.

We’re a patient group - one of the things family history teaches you is that research can’t be rushed and that there is always a new avenue to explore. We’ve been anticipating the 1921 census for the last 10 years so were delighted when it was finally released on 6 January. At the moment you have to pay to view the individual entries which is a bit of a disappointment, especially after such a long wait. However there are other sources available for free in our Family History Centre that can help you find out more about a family or individual in the early 20th century. Our volunteers in the Centre would be delighted to tell you more about these, whether you’re interested in your own family or you’re researching the history of a property or area. Do drop into the Centre to see if we can help with your research.

We’re also looking forward to an exciting new programme of free online talks covering a variety of topics with a family history and/or Gloucestershire slant. You can find more information about these and book a ‘seat’ on our website. We welcome non-members.

In February (Wednesday 9th) we’ve organised a speaker from Find My Past (Jen Baldwin) to tell us more about ‘all things 1921’. (online event)

in March (Wednesday 9th) the talk is by Neela Mann on Aristos, Admirals and an Architect: Memorial Inscriptions of Ss Philip and James, Cheltenham. (online event).

For more information visit


Friends of Gloucestershire Archives

News from the Friends

The Friends is the only organisation which exists specifically to support Gloucestershire Archives. To do that we depend largely on membership subscriptions.  The more members we have, the more we can help the Archives.  If you would like to join, or just find out more about the Friends, please explore our website:

To read the latest newsletter click here and find out how you can support the Friends

Due to coronavirus we have suspended our programme of events. We hope to restart events soon and will be monitoring government advice. In the meantime we send our best wishes to all our members and friends and thank them for their continuing support.



Gloucestershire Archives: Secrets Revealed


The Census: What's the Fuss?

Wednesday 26 January. 1 - 2pm. Free of charge

With the 1921 census about to be released (and despite the fact most of us will have to wait a year for free access to it) this talk will take a brief look at the history of the census, including just how they were undertaken in Britain. We will then focus on just why they are so interesting and so useful to historians and family historians alike.

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events


Future events to add to your diary...

...February's talk

A brief history of Gloucester’s Civic Buildings (aka “You have no authority here!”)

Wednesday 23 February, 1 - 2pm. Free of charge

his presentation will look at the various buildings that have had a role in the governing and administration of Gloucester from Roman times to the present day.  Using archive maps, images and documents it will reveal the history and nature of places including the Roman basilica, Saxon Great Hall, the Norman castles, the medieval Gildehall and Boothall and then the Tolsey, Guildhall and a few more besides.  We will investigate how these places helped the civil administration evolve and what happened to the buildings when they passed out of use.

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.

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events


.....and coming in March

Throw away the key! – a brief history of Gloucestershire prisons & prisoners

Wednesday 23 March, 1 - 2pm. Free of charge.

There has always been a need for somewhere to put wrongdoers and criminals, so this presentation will provide an overview of some of the lockups, bridewells, gaols and prisons in the county and how they functioned with the justice systems of the time.  The criminal history of the county is well represented in the archive record and so this presentation will also look at what crimes took place, the punishments that were handed out, some of those who were incarcerated and reveal the hidden aspects of what their day-to-day regime could be.

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.

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events

Other useful information about the talks.....

This monthly series of leisurely lunchtime learning sessions are great for those who are new to learning about the past and for those passionate about history, keen to expand their knowledge on a given subject in a focused session.

Led by experts at Gloucestershire Archives they are easy to digest, laced with humour and full of headline facts and context information ready to unlock an the secrets of a time gone by.

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.

We also have online exhibitions some of which are related to the Secrets Revealed talks.

Visit our online exhibitions here.




Gloucestershire Archives: Passport to the Past

Drawing on the past - Gloucestershire castles and the Cathedral

Wednesday 2 February, 4 - 5pm. Free of charge. For 6-13 years.


Gloucestershire is home to some wonderful historic buildings, including some Mediaeval castles and a magnificent Cathedral. Becky, the archivist at Gloucester Cathedral, is one of our friends and we are very happy to say that she will be coming to talk to us about some of the history of this iconic building. We’ve also persuaded Karen, the archivist at Berkeley Castle to share some of the castle’s incredible history with us.

Many of you enjoyed our session on drawing from life led by artist Georgia. This time we will be joined by another artist, Jamie, who is fascinated by architecture and specialises in drawing buildings. Bring pencils, pens and whatever you need to release your inner artist! As before, we would love to see and share your work.

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events

Coming in March...

Tykes, ragamuffins and scallywags: children, punishment and the law

Wednesday 3 March, 4 - 5pm. Free of charge. For 6 - 13 years

For this session Jemma and Kate will be joined by Sue Webb, a former Police Officer and an expert on the history of the Gloucestershire Police Force.

The archives hold many examples of children being insulted, caned, beaten, and made to stand in a corner for hours. Young children could even be made to do ‘hard labour’ or imprisoned. These records help to show how attitudes to children have changed over the years.

Not all that long ago teachers used to physically punish their students: the cane, the slipper and the ruler were all used to beat ‘naughty’ children. We are going to look at some examples of the kinds of punishments children used to receive in and out of school - and YOU are going to decide if the children really were ‘naughty’ and the punishment was fair.

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events

Other useful information about the sessions.....

For every monthly Passport event, we create new resources which can be used during the session. These will appear on the Passport to the Past: fun activities and resources for families and schools page at least 48 hours before each event takes place giving you time to print them off. This link will also be sent to you a couple of days before the event takes place.

If you can’t print off the pages for the session, please don’t worry! We will display the pages on the screen during the event and all your child will need is a couple of pages of blank paper and a pen or pencil.

Please note that there are other pages listed as downloads which you can also print and enjoy in your own time if you want to do so.

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.


Gloucestershire Archives: Training event

Ask Us How...

Wednesday 9 February, 1 - 2pm. Free of charge.

On-line event

For February’s training session we’ve assembled a crack team to answer some of the most frequently asked “how” questions which are sent to the Archives inbox.

For example:

  • How can I trace the history of my house
  • How can I reinstate the number plate of my vintage motor vehicle
  • How do I find out about my ancestor who was in Gloucestershire Constabulary

As well as an experienced archivist, our panel will include:

  • local history researcher John Chandler
  • Sue Webb, Gloucestershire Constabulary archivist
  • John Loosley of the Gloucestershire Family History Society

 If you’d like us to answer your particular “how”, please email your question in advance to 

To book this talk visit Gloucestershire Archives Events

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.

A new sculpture for the Community Garden

Monday 31 January - Wednesday 23 February (during Heritage Hub opening hours).

The Heritage Hub community garden is delighted to be hosting a new sculpture by Natasha Houseago called Displaced Child


Inspired by The Walk with Amal project Displaced Child is with us for three weeks.

In 2021, from the Syria-Turkey border all the way to the UK, The Walk brought together celebrated artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organisations, creating one of the most innovative and adventurous public artworks ever attempted.

At the heart of The Walk is ‘Little Amal’, a 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young refugee girl. representing all displaced children, many separated from their families. Little Amal travelled over 8,000km embodying the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”.

The Walk | July to November 2021 (

Natasha spent several weeks at Nature in Art carving the sculpture and it will be sited there permanently once it has visited other venues.

The sculpture has already been hosted by Gloucester Cathedral and The Everyman Theatre. From the Heritage Hub it will visit the University of Gloucestershire.


We are hoping young people from a local primary school will be able to join Natasha and discover more about how she made the sculpture. Young people will also have the opportunity to add to the sculpture making their own peg doll and finding out more about the refugee children who have inspired Displaced Child.

To find out more about the sculpture and the project visit the Heritage Hub community garden.

South Gloucestershire

South Gloucestershire Museums Group

South Gloucestershire Museums Group is an unincorporated association whose group members are museums and heritage centres that are open to the public and whose collecting area is wholly or partly within South Gloucestershire:

  • Acton Court
  • Aerospace Bristol (Bristol Aerospace Collection Trust)
  • Avon Valley Railway (Avon Valley Railway Trust)
  • Dyrham Park (National Trust)
  • Frenchay Village Museum (Frenchay Tuckett Society)
  • Kingswood Heritage Museum (Kingswood Heritage Museum Trust)
  • South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group (click here to see events)
  • Thornbury and District Museum (Thornbury and District Heritage Trust)
  • Rolls Royce Heritage Museum (Rolls Royce Heritage Trust)
  • Winterbourne Medieval Barn (Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust) (click here to see events)
  • Yate and District Heritage Centre (Yate Town Council) (click here to see events)

The aims of the group is to promote inspiration, learning and enjoyment through the exploration of museum collections for the benefit of local communities and the general public.

The group meets about four times a year at different museums.

Latest Newsletter: Festive activities and a look back at 2021

The link to subscribe

Gloucestershire Police Archives

Police Archive Update

We have had a very busy few months and it has been wonderful to see the volunteers returning to the office it’s been lonely without them. We have also managed to recruit a few more volunteers so things are looking up.

Our volunteers are working on all sorts of projects, SH has just finished a project on Police Houses she has plans in hand for another project, DW is working on officers that served in both world wars, PD is adding to information found in General orders, JN is compiling a list of where officers served and LH is updating our photograph albums as lots of photographs have come in over the last 2 years as people have been sorting out. I have been working on the death in service information and our early Irish officers and we are looking forward to and planning for the return (fingers crossed) of the Police Open Day next year. We also have some unofficial volunteers who send us information and are able to put us right when we get things wrong and we often ask them questions about all sorts of things. Thank you MH and DH.

The number of queries has risen to 187 some very quick and general and others that take many hours of work, plus several pop ins at the HH office just for a chat or to impart information and to look at the items on display.

There have been two talks given in the Heritage Hub one for Gloucestershire family History Society on helping to find police ancestors an amalgam of in person and Zoom and one for Gloucestershire Local History Association on the history of the constabulary. Requests for talks for next year are coming in again and we have three bookings already, dates are going fast. We have expanded our reach and are giving talks all over the pre 1974 county of Gloucestershire.


Displays were put up in HQ for remembrance and police memorial day.


Poppies were made using the old black uniform buttons

The archives were recognised at the Constabulary awards for the service that they provide. Sue Webb is pictured receiving the award.

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