Tidenham Historical Group
The parish of Tidenham is well known for its rural beauty and stunning views of the Wye Valley and River Severn.Less well known is its history, dating back to prehistoric times. The Tidenham Historical Group was founded in January 1990 by its current Treasurer, Liz McBride, and Chairman, Keith Underwood. It was always envisaged that it would be a working group of like-minded members keen on the Parish of Tidenham’s history and heritage. Its aims are to research, collate and create an archive of information on the history of the parish and surrounding areas.
It was hosted initially at nearby Chepstow Museum and many of the early monthly meetings took place there, using microfiche readers to scour the pages of the 19th- century Chepstow Weekly Advertiser for references to activities in Tidenham Parish. This led to the creation of an archive of information on parish houses, histories, families, architecture and archaeology, which is still ongoing.
Gradually the membership expanded and outgrew the museum, resulting in a new home at Sedbury and Beachley Village Hall, whose WW1 centenary we celebrated in 2018. The membership widened to include all those keen on local history and the activities broadened to include speakers for monthly evening meetings between September and April.
Tidenham Historical Group Committee members, representatives of the Parish Council and Friends of the historic Tidenham Church at the launch of the Group's latest book commemorating the centenary of the World War 1 Armistice. This was one event of several Historical Group partnership parish activities during the World War1 Centenary years culminating in a gathering of over 400 people for a Remembrance Day ceremony.
The group was awarded an HLF grant for research on buildings of worship, which resulted in the publication in 2014 of its first book, The Churches and Chapels of the Parish of Tidenham: Their History & Architecture. In 2017 the Group partnered with a local publisher to produce an in-depth study entitled Beachley and the First World War, the almost forgotten story of the eviction of an entire community to build a National Shipyard and its subsequent impact on the parish. This was followed in 2018 by Tidenham Remembers, a record of the lives and deaths of the men from the Parish who fell during the Great War.
In the late spring and summer months there are walks and excursions, including exchange visits with other groups. We have hosted several day schools, most recently regarding Offa’s Dyke, a substantial length of which lies within the parish. An on-going partnership project, this may well result in another publication. We are also currently working on the history of education in the parish.
The Gloucestershire Local History Association will be holding its annual Summer Afternoon meeting at Tidenham, hosted by the Group, on Saturday, June 29th. Details of the meeting and a booking form may be found on the GLHA website, www.gloshistory.org.uk
Further details of the Group may be found on its website, www.tidenhamhistory.org.uk or by contacting Carol Clammer (Secretary, tel: 01291 623736) or Liz McBride (Treasurer, tel: 01291 623736).