Gloucester History (and Retro) Festivals; Gloucestershire Archives recommends….

Gloucester History Festival 2016The following sessions are being run by colleagues, volunteers or researchers connected with the Archives.  Full details for most events are available in the History Festival booklet – available on-line or in hard copy from Gloucestershire Archives.

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Behind the ‘Thin Blue Line’ – making connections with the Gloucestershire Police archive

At the end of April Gloucestershire Constabulary appointed Sue Webb as their project assistant. Sue brings a wealth of useful experience to the project from her background as a former police constable and head teacher.

She will be supported by expertise from three University of Gloucestershire interns who will be helping with the police archive activity strand during the 2016-17 academic year. They will be adding content to the police archive website and recording spoken histories of current and former Force members.

Sue recently took part in the recent Collections Care pilot training alongside three of the core police archive volunteers and one of our interns, Alex Griffiths.

Sue said, “The project is very exciting, although the Force archive group has been in existence for 16 years, in several different forms, the items for the collection seem to be scattered far and wide.  Part of my role is to try to bring some consistency and continuity to the archive and explore some of the elements that the volunteers do not have time for. So many elements so little time!“

The project website has been in a fledgling state for about 18 months and is nearly ready to go live:

It will not only share information with other stakeholders but also bring the archive group to the attention to both police and non-police persons. We want to encourage everyone to get involved with the force history, helping the collection and information grow.

Sue said, “We have already started putting out feelers to start a project on the floods of 2007 and may try to link this to reminiscences of the floods of 1947. We are aware that there are now a large number of police staff involved in these operations and want to ensure that their views are heard as well as those of police officers.  All in all it will be a very exciting year.”

Sue Webb (right) and Marion Chandler, who was the first woman superintendent in Gloucestershire, taken at the Cheltenham local history afternoon on 13th August.


150 years of Engineering Excellence

The celebrated Gloucester engineering firm of Fielding & Platt (F&P) was based, until the early years of this Century, at the site of what is now the Quays retail unit. Eagle eyed visitors to the Quays can spot information panels giving background information about the Company in a number of locations. In its day F&P had a world-wide reputation and was involved in the building and developing of machines and equipment that have touched our everyday lives – everything from Concorde to the first vacuum cleaner! Continue reading

Back to the future – the Virtual Heritage Hub

The ‘For the Record’ Stakeholders Advisory Board has made good headway with plans to develop a virtual Heritage Hub.

What is it?

Like the onsite Hub, it will offer facilities – in this case, digital ones –  that support people to gather, keep, share and use archives. The Board has already agreed a specification and we are setting up a stakeholder team to develop and manage the virtual Heritage Hub – so watch this space!

The virtual hub will be made up of the website and social networking sites so you can share your stories with everyone. Until then, we need your help to do it the old fashioned way:


Your Place in History

We’re looking for quotes and archival images to display in the new onsite Heritage Hub and would welcome your ideas:

  • Pithy comments about your experience of archives. E.g. ‘History is the glue that holds communities together’ (Historical Research Group, Sittingbourne, Kent);
  • Short quotes from archives and/or iconic archival images to inspire or intrigue Hub visitors.


Birthday celebrations

2016 marks the 80th birthday of Gloucestershire Archives and the 90th birthday of the building. So we’re also looking for contributions to our birthday celebrations in the autumn:

  • A story or anecdote about Gloucestershire Archives or our current home, the former Kingsholm School;
  • Or nominate your favourite archive (with reasons why) to feature in the birthday celebrations or future blogs.


We’d love to hear from you. Please contact or send your contributions by post to Gloucestershire Archives by 23 September please.