Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Archives

Crowdfunding campaign

On 18th March, we launched a four week crowdfunding campaign to transform Gloucestershire Heritage Hub’s outdoor space into an accessible, wildlife-friendly community garden. Making the garden into a beautiful community space is outside the scope of our 'For the Record' project so we are hoping the crowdfunding campaign will enable the Heritage Hub to realise its ambitious plans for the garden.

We’d love to raise £5000 for the garden transformation. If you would like to donate – this can be money, time or materials and plants – then please have a look at this link.

This campaign ends on the 15th April.

Thank you in advance!


Kate Maisey and Ally McConnell

Now there’s even more to discover about Gloucestershire on ‘Know Your Place’!

Find out about support for Women’s Suffrage …

Volunteers at Gloucestershire Archives have completed a winter-long project to upload images and information about local supporters of women’s suffrage. Thanks to the original research of Dr Sue Jones (who generously agreed to share her findings with this project), the new layer on KYP for ‘Women’s Suffrage’ holds entries for over 500 individual supporters.

Screen shot from KYP for Gloucestershire ( The Women’s Suffrage layer has been selected from the menu. Each green/purple icon on the map links to an individual entry .

Sue used local newspapers and national suffrage newspaper accounts of activities to identify high-profile activists. But a unique source for the Cheltenham area is a 1912 book of signatures of women and men presented in gratitude to their M.P. James Agg-Gardner for introducing the second reading of a women's suffrage bill that year. It is preserved here at Gloucestershire Archives (reference D5130/6/6). The book identifies many more suffrage supporters who did not emerge from the newspaper accounts. Additional details have been gathered from the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Images have been sourced mainly from contemporary newspapers, particularly the Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic.

You can also search KYP layers - for example for an individual name. This screenshot shows the result for a search of the Suffrage layer for ‘Platt’. Click on Map (at the end of the entry) to take you to the location on the map and thumbnail.

Emily Platt’s entry includes an image that appeared in the local newspaper at the time of her death in 1929. It gives more details about her life:

Seeing local mills through the eyes of a local photographer - coming soon to KYP

Keen local historian Miss Gwladys Davies travelled around the county during the 1930s-1960s photographing mills and other structures that caught her eye. Her photographic collection is preserved at Gloucestershire Archives (GA ref D14791) but until now it’s been very difficult to use because it is mostly negatives, without much description. Thanks to GA volunteers from the  Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology led by Dr Ray Wilson, a project has begun to scan the original photographs to make accessible digital images. Miss Davies left around 1000 images and the GSIA team has concentrated so far on the 400 or so views of mill buildings. The exact locations have been identified for each image so that they can be uploaded to KYP in the near future.

New to the ‘Community Layer’

One of the fun things about my role at the Archives is that, as an ‘approver’ for KYP Gloucestershire, I get to see new content before it goes live. Some of these images are submitted by GA volunteers, some by other local heritage organisations and some by individual contributors. There are well over a thousand images on this layer now. This cheery group caught my eye recently:

Painswick postmen outside their post office, c.1910 (from GA collection, ref GPS244/56)

To everyone who has images to share, whether from a personal collection or as part of a local community heritage project, please have a look at the KYP website where there are helpful step- guides to contributing new material. And at Gloucestershire Archives we’re always pleased to hear about local archive collections and projects, so please do get in touch with us if you have any queries about using KYP or more generally about looking after your archives. 

My colleague Claire Collins is taking over from me when I retire from the Archives at the end of March. Having been here since I first qualified as an archivist, I’m older than many of our collections – which is a sobering thought. Best wishes to all in the Heritage Hub network and I look forward to keeping up with developments in future Newsletters!

Julie Courtenay, Collections Leader

Goodbye Julie

Friends and colleagues at Gloucestershire Archives gathered to wish Julie Courtenay all the very best for her retirement at the end of March. Julie came for her archives job interview on the day the Record Office opened in Alvin Street in 1979. Since then she has contributed significantly to the development of the service, to change and innovation, and importantly to the collections. As a well respected colleague, she will be very much missed.


Julie has handed over the baton to Claire Collins who will be leading the next phase of collections development. Good luck Claire.

The Great Matson Bake Off.

And the 4th place winner is "The Heritage Springboard Group" with a pre 1916 recipe, Guard's Cake, from Michael Hicks Beach (gent, politician, officer killed on the 23 April 1916 in the battle of Katia, thirty miles from the Suez Canal). (GA reference D2455/F3/10/9/3). 

Rachel Wales from Gloucestershire Archives suggested the recipe to the Springboard Group who meet weekly at the Heritage Hub.

And, for those intrepid readers who would like to make the cake the recipe is as follows:

Guard’s Cake

1 lb flour

½ lb butter

½ lb brown sugar

½ lb currants

½ lb raisins

Little mixed peel

4 eggs

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp of Carbonate of Soda or 2 of baking powder

Soften with a little milk

Butter & sugar should be well beaten together then add each egg separately & sift in the flour & other ingredients.

Bake in a slow oven.

Rachel's Guard's cake

To read Rachel's Blog (February 2017) and her tips for making the cake visit

Gloucestershire Archives Blog


Local History

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,

Further details of the Group may be found on its website,  or by contacting Carol Clammer (Secretary, tel: 01291 623736) or Liz McBride (Treasurer, tel: 01291 623736).


Victoria County History

Maintaining progress across three areas of the county – Cheltenham, Cirencester, Yate and the Sodburys – relies on continual fund raising, so that we can employ experienced researchers to work alongside our valued (and valuable) volunteers. In February we were lucky enough to be able to hold an event at Cheltenham Town Hall, thanks to the generous support of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire. Around 50 people bought tickets to the event. John Chandler, our former County Editor, described the background to the VCH and talked about our work in Cheltenham. He was followed by our Cirencester editor Katy Layton Jones, who used the example of the post-war Polish resettlement camp between Daglingworth and Baunton to demonstrate how a significant recent event in a community's history can leave little visible evidence on the ground.

Sadly Katy has now left us to take up a role with the Open University.

We're continuing to post drafts of our Work in Progress on the VCH Central website We welcome comments on these, so do please have a look and let us know what you think.

If you are interested in finding out about volunteering with the VCH, do contact me.

Jan Broadway, VCH Co-ordinator

Update about Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden

We are delighted to announce that our fundraising appeal has now raised £22,000 and so Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden will be able to open for the 2019 season.

In September 2018, we broke the news that the former home of vaccine pioneer Edward Jenner faced closure unless we could raise £20,000 by March 2019. Thanks to the support of visitors, friends from around the world, and businesses and organisations both from the local area and further afield we are very pleased to have reached our target in good time to plan for the forthcoming season.

Although we will enjoy celebrating the success of this campaign, we are aware that there is still much work to do. The momentum generated has been huge and has given us a fantastic opportunity to start discussions with potential partners and funders to secure the long-term future of a site that so many people locally and around the world hold dear. £20,000 will allow us to continue as we are for another year, however to enact lasting change and to grow our work we must keep fundraising.

Our plans for 2019 include the return of Discovery Day, our flagship science festival which was attended by 244 visitors last year, significant improvements to our education programme and a full strategic review of our operations. We are still not in receipt of any ongoing public funding and we are now asking our friends around the world to consider making regular donations which will help us to inform these plans.

Please continue to support our work as an independent charity preserving Jenner’s house as a continuing memorial to his remarkable life and legacy. One-off and regular Direct Debit donations can be made online at, or for cheque, standing orders or more information about partnering with us to deliver a project please contact or call 01453 810631.

Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden will reopen to the public on Sunday 31 March. It will then be open between Sunday and Wednesday until Wednesday 30 October. This year, the museum will also open on Good Friday and Saturdays in Gloucestershire school holidays. Full visitor information can be found at

Reporting our Archaeological Heritage with the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Every year, hundreds of thousands of archaeological items are found by members of the public. On the whole, most items are found by metal detector users but there are still a substantial number found by people walking their dogs or even digging in their back gardens. For instance, one lady found a bronze coin whilst gardening; it was identified as a Follis of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI (Leo the Wise or Leo the Philosopher) date to 866-912 AD. (See Fig 1).

Fig 1. A copper alloy coin of the Byzantine emperor Leo VI Date: 866-912 AD (database ref GLO-D4B576)

Originally, these coins were dismissed as souvenirs that were brought to Britain over the last two centuries but recent studies of these casual loss finds demonstrates a much more complex story. Some may be regarded as souvenirs but the majority recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme were found near the coast in the South Western region of the country. This has led some experts to theorise that these coins, rather than being modern loss, are actually traded items that demonstrate the west of Britain at least continued to have contact to the Eastern Roman Empire long after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Originally, the only mechanism to identify and record these publicly derived archaeological finds was with the help of the museums around the county. However, this service was not only in addition to their core responsibilities, but many did not have the mechanism to help and meant that far fewer than 100 finds could be recorded in a year, far short of the hundreds of thousands that are thought to be found.  The solution came about because of a change in the Law of treasure in 1997.  The law of treasure is there to insure the most culturally important archaeological finds are protected and stay within the public domain, which will be their local museum, for which the finder and landowner are given a cash reward.  However, critics of the original law of Treasure Trove argued that it was vague, ambiguous and not fit for purpose.  For example, under Treasure Trove, the gold of Sutton Hoo was not classed as treasure and therefore not protected by law. (Fig 2.)


Fig 2. A 14th century silver seal matrix that shows the Archangel Michael spearing a dragon at his feet and the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus to the left this is surrounded by the inscription S': WILL/I: DE: ST/INTES/COMBE which translates as the 'Seal of William of Stintescombe' (Database ref GLO-F457F2). This is treasure under the 1996 Treasure Act but would not be treasure under the old Treasure Trove.

As a result, experts had been lobbying for over a hundred years to come up with something more suitable but it was not until 1997 that Treasure Trove was finally superseded by the 1996 Treasure Act. Under this new law, objects of more than 10% gold or silver that are older than 300 years or groups of coins, again over 300 years old, are classed as treasure, importantly this also includes the finds associated with them as well, see for more details.

However, treasure does not cover base metal items such as copper alloy (Fig 3) or pottery, stone and flint (Fig 4), all of which account for the vast majority if items that we see.                                                                            


Fig 3.                                                                                  Fig 4.

Fig 3. An extremely rare Anglo Saxon brooch that dates to the 6th century. These brooches are found in the Kent area, but Gloucestershire in the early 6th century would have been largely under British control, so its discovery could show trade with the Saxons in Kent or an heirloom that was brought with the Saxons as they conquered this area. (Database ref GLO-4E0EBD)

Fig 4. An extremely rare Palaeolithic handaxe that is about half a million years old and is one of the oldest human made artefacts that can be found in the county with only twelve example recorded so far. (Database ref GLO-325A27)

So together with the change in the Treasure Law in 1997, a pilot Portable Antiquities Scheme started with the aim to record all archaeological finds that were not protected but this new law. These humble beginnings saw 6 finds specialists recording objects in key parts of the country and proved to be so successful that it was expanded in 1999 and 2003 so today we now have 37 specialists called Finds Liaison Officers covering the whole of England and Wales, inputting their data on an online database that has nearly 1.5 million recorded objects see The recording of these items is voluntary with everything handed back to the finder when we are finished.  We assume that this is the only time an archaeologist will see these items so detailed reports are made of each object which can be added to the archaeological record.

By working with the public in this way, we are able to see some amazing finds that give us a glimpse into past lives. Some of these items can be staggering in their own right.

Gloucester Roman dog hoard, this is an assemblage of copper alloy items that are thought to have  been looted from a temple of Diana. The most staggering piece of which is a standing hunting dog that is unique to archaeology. (Database ref GLO-BE1187)

The majority are far more modest.


Badly worn Roman coin often referred to as a ‘grot’ for grotty but these humble coins often prove to be the most important archaeological discovery as they have led us to discovery many new archaeological sites. (Database ref GLO-AE25D8)

The recording and mapping of these more humble items can be much more valuable to archaeologists than the gold and silver objects that are protected by the Treasure Act as these simpler items often help us to discover brand new archaeological sites that give us a greater understanding of our past.


A geophysical survey of a site that shows roman and prehistoric settlement that was discovered as a result of recording poor quality Roman coins nicked named Grots.

Kurt Adams (Gloucestershire County Council Archaeology)

Family History

40th Anniversary Celebration


Celebrating 40 years

On SUNDAY 28TH April 10.00am – 3.00pm at

The Heritage Hub, Alvin Street, Gloucester GL1 3AH

Come along and see the Society at their new Family History Centre

Meet the volunteers and discover the resources that are available.

Exhibitors – Bristol & Avon FHS, Gloucestershire Police Archives, Know Your Place, Guild of One Name Studies, Gloucestershire Registration Service, Gloucestershire Archives, Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, Forest Branch of GFHS, Rose Hewlett (Flood Defence & Land Drainage Records). 

Talks on Starting Your Family History at 11.00am & Nick Barratt (of Who Do You Think You Are) on The Future of Family History at 2.00pm.

Behind the Scenes Tours of the Heritage Hub, help desks, books and CDs for sale, displays and refreshments.

Free Entry

For more details & full programme please see the website

Tel 01452 524344

Friends of Gloucestershire Archives

Rococo Gardens, Painswick

A glorious warm and sunny St Valentines day saw members of The Friends enjoy a guided historical tour around Painswick’s Rococo Gardens. The gardens were designed in the 1740’s by the Hyett family to delight guests at Painswick House. Our guide, Jill, gave us a brief history of the gardens whilst we looked at the spectacular views as shown. The gardens had been abandoned to woodland in the 1950s. The restoration, starting in 1984, has been led by Lord and Lady Dickinson who live on site.

The tour took us to all the ‘historic’ buildings on the site, including the Pigeon House where a few adventurous members climbed the steep steps to the top. Continuing round amongst swathes of snowdrops to the Plunge Pool and Excedra, members puzzled a route around the Maze from a high vantage point before making our way to the Red House, scene of many of the weddings which take place in the gardens, where our guide left us to enjoy additional exploring time or tea and cake in the café.

John Williams

The Gloucester City Charters

Thursday 21st March saw members of The Friends of Gloucestershire Archives and a number of visitors gather in the Dunrossil Centre to hear Julie Courtenay and Rachael Wales from Gloucestershire Archives talk about the Charters granted to Gloucester City that are stored in the strongrooms at The Heritage Hub. The charters stored there range from the first surviving one from 1155 up to Local Government reorganisation in 1974.

Julie gave us a gallop through the history of the charters and the rights and responsibilities that they bestowed on the city. The current systems of Mayor and Alderman and the setting up of Quarter sessions are just some of the rights together with acknowledging that the residents of Gloucester are entitled to the same rights and privileges as the residents of London!!

Rachael, wearing her conservation hat, spoke about how the charters had been stored in the past; the effect that this had had on their condition and the work being undertaken to ensure no further deterioration takes place. The charters had been stored, in not ideal conditions, at Gloucester museum, apart from the one which had been missing for years and then discovered in The Dean’s Office at Gloucester Cathedral. Brought together at The Archives whilst building work was taking place at the museum it was realised that storage facilities were preferable there and so the arrangement became permanent.

The charters vary in size, with some being small, as seen above, and others which take two people to handle. Whilst most charters are single sided one page documents, one of them is seven pages long and another an incredible eleven pages. The charters had been mounted on non archival card, again as seen above, folded multiple times, folded to allow some portions to fade because of the light, had their seals folded over the documents, had their seals damaged or missing and generally not stored in the best possible way in a large old oak cabinet.

Fundraising, including help from Gloucester City Council and The Friends, has allowed individually designed and made storage boxes to be made by a packaging arm of The Bodleian Library, Oxford and a new storage drawer cabinet to be purchased, as illustrated below.


Following the talk and some quick refreshments, members were taken to the strongrooms to look at the charters at close quarters and the new storage facilities.

The picture below shows the Elizabeth the Second Charter dating from 1974 in its new storage box.

The talk took place on the last working day for Julie Courtenay and The Friends were pleased to present her with a bouquet of flowers as a token of thanks for the work she has done over an incredible 40 years working at Gloucestershire Archives.

John Williams


Saturdays at the Heritage Hub

The Heritage Hub is open the first Saturday of each month, 9.00 – 4.30pm. In the afternoon we offer family friendly activities alongside the traditional service to encourage new audiences. No booking required.

Tudor Medicine               Saturday 6 April, 2 -4pm

Meet the medieval Barber Surgeon and discover how the Tudors went about curing their ills.

Gloucestershire Maps   Saturday 4 May, 2-4pm

Explore where you live online through old maps and archive images. There will also be old maps on display.

Bug Hunt                            Saturday 1 June, 2-4pm

Find out about the bugs and pests that can live in the Archives and go on a bug hunt in the community garden.

UFO!                                       Saturday 6 July, 2-4pm

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings with our look at UFOs in the county and have a go at making some stomp rockets and flying saucers!


FoGA programme of events 2019

Thursday 16th May 7pm @ the Heritage Hub   Coventry Cathedral.

Sarah Hosking MA will give an illustrated talk about Coventry Cathedral and the impressive artworks that its architect, Basil Spence, commissioned for it.

Sunday 9th June   Mystery Tour

John Chandler will lead another of his famous Mystery Tours. Where will he take us this time? Cost anticipated to be Members £20, Non members £25. Booking priority given to members.

Thursday 11th July   A day out in Coventry.

Coach trip to look at Coventry Cathedral following Sarah’s talk; also an opportunity to visit the 1430s’ ‘Doom’ painting in Trinity Church, medieval St Mary’s Guildhall, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and a possible tour of Coventry archives: a self-guided day out with notes and hints provided. Cost anticipated to be Members £20, Non-members £25. Booking priority given to members.

September   Gloucester History Festival takes place this month.

Watch out for City Voices and events from archives staff

Thursday 10th October 4pm @ the Heritage Hub   Annual General Meeting.

Followed by Behind the scenes. A talk by archives staff on the various aspects of the workings of The Archives and The Heritage Hub.

28th November 2.30pm @the Heritage Hub

A talk (to be confirmed) and Christmas Social.

Check out the details on the Friends website

The Memory Café

We're looking forward to our first Memory Café here at the Heritage Hub on Sunday 7th April 2.30pm.

People we spoke to told us that Sundays can feel long and empty, so we’re offering a chance to meet old friends and make new ones in a friendly, relaxed and safe environment. Many of our staff and volunteers are Dementia Friends, which means they understand some of the challenges which can face people living with dementia and the people closest to them.

For more information contact Kate O'Keefe - Katherine.O'

Oral history training


The Heritage Hub, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester, GL1 3DW

Date: Monday 8th April

Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm

Free of charge

This module is aimed at anyone involved with oral histories.

  • Would you like to learn how to gather, keep and share oral histories?
  • Do you need “hands on” experience in using audio recording equipment?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, this module can help.

We will look at :

  • how to plan an oral history project and prepare for an oral history interview.
  • any legal and ethical issues linked to gathering, keeping and sharing oral histories.
  • how to use oral history recording equipment and save and back up a recording

To book visit

This training has been organised by Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub

Bookbinding Exhibition


Saturday 15th – Sunday 23rd June 2019 open daily from 10.00am

Anne Weare has exhibited, taught and demonstrated the craft of Bookbinding throughout the county for many years. The 2019 June Exhibition is likely to be Anne’s last major exhibition.

There will be photographs of many bindings Anne has worked on over the years and examples of repair bindings to look at. For the 2019 exhibition Anne has focused on making new work. All work is made by hand using traditional bookbinding methods and equipment.  A large part is conservation repair binding using paper, cloth or leather. 

Work shown at the exhibition is designed and made by Anne.  The original artwork for the hand blocked designs was either created by her father or herself.

Anne trained with her late father Theo Merrett, Gloucester College of Art & Design and in the bindery of Douglas Cockerell & Son in Grantchester, Cambridge, under the tuition of Sydney Cockerell.  Both Douglas & Sydney were closely involved in the Arts & Crafts Movement.

During the exhibition Anne is happy to discuss binding options on any project you are working on, and give advice on repair bindings. 



Sudeley Castle and Gardens

Help needed to unearth one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens

History lovers are being invited to help archaeologists unearth a long-lost Tudor garden and banqueting house at Sudeley Castle.

A two-week excavation is set to take place in the grounds of the Cotswold castle in May, to further explore a site which experts believe could reveal one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens - hidden in the castle grounds for nearly 300 years.

Initial findings at the site in October included fragments of post-medieval pottery, masonry and animal bones, consistent with garden archaeology. 

Members of the public are now being invited to join a team of archaeologists from social enterprise company, DigVentures, for the excavation in May, and help uncover more of the site’s secrets.

Lisa Westcott Wilkins from DigVentures says: “This buried garden is believed to be one of England’s last surviving Tudor gardens. Most were destroyed in the 18th and 19th centuries when a popular landscaping craze swept the country. We think it is one of perhaps only two in the whole country where the original paths are still in place.”

Find out more at

DigVentures is a Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Registered Organisation.

To find out more about Sudeley castle visit

Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society (BIAS)

SWWRIAC 2019 (South West of England Conference on Industrial Heritage)

The Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society (B.I.A.S.), will be hosting this year's conference. 

6th April 2019, start at 9:30 with Registration.

Saltford Hall, Wedmore Road, Saltford, Bristol, BS31 3BY  

There will be talks, walks and visits.

For full details visit SWWERIAC Conference


South Gloucestershire



9.30 – 4.30 SATURDAY 27 APRIL 2019



How people moved both themselves and their goods has left many traces, and has shaped where and how we live and the environments we live in. The Roman military occupation brought paved roads, not only the fosseway. They were not much improved on until the turnpikes of the 18th century, by which time canals had arrived, followed by railways, and later by motorways. Meanwhile huge quantities of goods were shifted by ship, and Bristol became an international port, with consequences for local traffic. Coal gave rise to mineral tramways, including the tramway linking south Gloucestershire’s coalfield with the Avon. Some railways were very local and specialised, eg at Clifton, and some unorthodox. In the 19th century when the population grew, the victorians had to work out how to cope with congestion, and reshaped our cities.

ALHA has accepted proposals from speakers to represent different modes of transport and different parts of our area. They include -

  • Bev Knott on Roman roads, military and non-military, in Avon, especially north Somerset
  • Dr Jonathan Harlow on traffic through the port of Bristol in the later 17th century and its consequences
  • David Hardwick on the dramway
  • Professor Peter Malpass on getting around in victorian Bristol and the knock-on effects of the solutions
  • Maggie Shapland on the Clifton Rocks railway

This will be the first ALHA Local History Day held at the Thornbury Leisure Centre. Talks and displays will be in the Severnside suite; tea and coffee morning and lunchtime is included in the charge. You can bring your own lunch or make your own arrangements; there is a small café in the leisure centre itself, and several cafes in Thornbury; snacks and light lunches can be booked if there is demand and ALHA can order a week or so before the event. There is ample free parking on site; and a lift from the ground floor to the Severnside suite.

Doors open from 9.15. We welcome displays and sales stalls – with two free tickets per booked exhibitor.

You can see further details and download a booking form by clicking here. If you prefer to book online and pay by card, please go to Eventbrite.

A Forgotten Landscape's Tales of the Vale volunteers

Congratulations to the Tales of the Vale volunteers, who received a certificate of commendation from the judges of the Historic England Angel Awards in the category of Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording.

The accompanying letter said: ‘It is so encouraging to see the wonderful rescue projects taking place across the country, including yours…We greatly value the work you are doing to protect England’s heritage for present and future generations.’

To find out more visit

Gloucestershire Police Archives

Police Archive news

2019 has had a busy start in the police archives having had 30 enquiries already as well as planning five displays for the first few months of the year, Including the opening of the Hub.


The Constabulary contingent at the official opening of the Heritage Hub.

Details for Charles Mason on display in the Heritage Hub
for the official opening by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives 8899)

We have met lots of people to borrow and copy documents and photographs as well as listening to their memories of police life. This has helped us to add pages to the website with help from members of the wider police family who are adding their extensive knowledge and often amusing family memories to the archives.

We are planning a variety of events for the year culminating in the 180th anniversary of the Constabulary in December. If you have an artefacts, documents or photographs that you think should be included please get in touch through the website.

We are also hoping to repeat last year’s success of attending events with NEV and CEV (Neighbourhood and Community Engagement vehicles).


Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life