The Open Day at police headquarters is always a great opportunity to showcase Gloucestershire’s amazing police heritage. This year’s event, on Saturday 17 September, was the best one yet with over five and a half thousand visitors coming through the gates.
The Police Archive Group, Gloucestershire Archives and Gloucestershire Family History Society were all brought together in the “history zone”, with complementary displays and expertise. Everyone was kept very busy with people finding out what will be on offer in the new Heritage Hub as well as seeing what’s available in the police archives. There were lots of enquiries about police ancestors and the team of police volunteers will be following up many of over the coming weeks.
We made sure to take along the register of rural Constabulary- a star item from the official police archives. It’s packed with information about the earliest recruits to the new Force in 1839, and the neat copper plate handwriting is a source of wonder to children of the digital age.
And there’s still interesting material at large in the community – we had promises of photographs and memories from ex officers and from people who had suitcases, belonging to ex members of the constabulary, in their attics. There were also some tentative enquiries from people not connected to the police who were interested in joining the archive group. It was also great to hear that many people were already aware of the police archive website that went live just a couple of weeks ago.
All in all, a very productive day.
Co-authored by Sue Webb, police archive officer, and Kate Maisey, Gloucestershire Archive development officer.
Police archive website – www.gloucestershirepolicearchives.org.uk
Founded in 1899, the Victoria County History (so named because of its dedication to Queen Victoria) aspires to create a scholarly history of every parish in every County in England. It is organised on a County basis and the first Gloucestershire volume was published in 1907. There was then a gap in production until the 1960s, but volumes have since been produced on a regular basis.
This week we’ve had specialist site investigators on site, making trial pits and bore holes around the main Archives building. Thankfully, most of the work was outdoors. But we couldn’t avoid the hole in the visitor coffee lounge – sorry!
These geological investigations will tell us about the engineering and environmental characteristics of the areas we plan to develop or build on. And our project architects will use this information to fine tune decisions about building design, including the sorts of foundations we’re going to need for the new strongrooms and Heritage Hub spaces, which is pretty exciting!
We appreciate it has been a bit noisy this week but the work is paving the way for project dreams to become a reality, so please bear with us.
We will be able to announce a start date soon – so watch this space!
In other news…
Don’t forget there are still lots of events going on in the city for Gloucester History Festival. Visit http://gloucesterhistoryfestival.co.uk/ or see our blog post from last week for more details.
Heritage Open Days (8-11 Sept)
The city is proud to take part in the national Heritage Open Days’ Scheme. The Open Days encourage people to discover the wonderful diversity of our local heritage and in Gloucester members of the public have the opportunity to go behind doors and gates that are normally closed to the public; some of the city’s real gems are hidden from the first-time visitor. The Open Days give people an opportunity to discover and explore the wonders of the city. Many volunteers lead guided tours of the city and buildings, often in traditional costume and make history come alive. Find out more at https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting and search for Gloucester.
Did you know that the Archives’ site is used for purposes other than just caring for and making available the County’s historic documents? For instance, the Gloucester branch of Gloucestershire Family History Society holds their meetings here once a month, currently in the Frith Centre. Anyone is welcome to attend, although a small charge is made for refreshments, and you can find a list of the upcoming events at http://gfhs.org.uk/events-2/action_agenda/cat_ids~29/. Continue reading