Blogging a Building (1)

JS ID photo 2016

When she was very little, my eldest daughter used to say she was “making a baking” when we cooked together.  Nowadays she’s a fabulous baker who makes artisan cakes for a living.  But her funny little turn of phrase got me thinking – I could keep you posted about our own creation, the new Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, by “blogging a building”!  So here’s the first entry in my virtual diary…

Over the past week or so, we’ve discovered what it’s like to be working next to a building site.  Some of us, like me, are quite literally next to it!  Here’s the view from my office door:


To be honest, we’re finding it all quite exciting.  Sure, there’s been a bit of noise and the odd power outage that’s inevitable when deconstructing old buildings but there have been visible changes every day.  Take last Friday, for example: that was the day when the parquet flooring was lifted – it was scooped out of the building by a giant digger!

More recently, the builders turned their hands to one of the sheds at the rear of the site, as part of the preparations for building the new strong rooms.  As you can see, Heather got stuck in with her sledge hammer, under Paul’s supervision (kidding!).

‘Next instalment to follow shortly…

Jill Shonk

Access & Learning Leader


Building work started

Hurrah!  Works to create the Heritage Hub (new facilities and premises) at our Alvin Street premises in Gloucester are now underway, ably led by Paul Lander, the Site Manager employed by our builder, Lakehouse, to oversee things.


Left to right: Heather Forbes, Head of Archives; Paul Lander, Site Manager; Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Gloucestershire County Council; John Herring, Dowty Archive Project; David Poole, Gloucestershire Family History Society (GFHS); Ann Attwood, Hannah Dale, Karen Davidson and Helen Bartlett, Gloucestershire Archives (GA); David Howells, GFHS; and Jill Shonk, GA.

Paul and his team have until the end of this year to complete the planned works, which will be done in two phases.  And, all being well, we should have the new Archives research room and Gloucestershire Family History Centre Facilities up and running by the summer.  Meanwhile, we’re doing our best to offer a service that’s pretty much ‘business as usual’ for everyone that wants to use the documents in our collections.  So we’re running a temporary research room in the Frith Centre, which is next to our main building – it’s a bit smaller than we’re used to but we can assure you of the same warm welcome!