About Gloucestershire Archives

Collecting, preserving and sharing the documentary heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire

Delving into Dowty: opening up a new and important business collection

In the 1990s, a large business archive was offered to Gloucestershire Archives by the Dowty Group, an engineering firm based in Cheltenham but with subsidiary companies and factories not only throughout the UK but in South Africa, the USA, Canada and Australia among other far-spreading countries, employing thousands of people. Gloucestershire Archives took the collection, knowing it would require significant external funding to catalogue it. It was necessary to take the collection at the time because the Group had just been taken over and its assets were being sold off; the archive was therefore at risk of being dispersed or destroyed. More recently, the necessary external funding became available with the “For the Record” project, part of which paid for my job as the Community Cataloguing Archivist for two years to catalogue and open up the extensive archive. Continue reading

Getting some perspex (tive)

Some people say they can’t stand computers…

…but people in Hesters Way Library have helped come up with a low-tech solution to this issue. A group of 14 people in a pilot session there were enjoying using the House of Memories technology: the app was doing its job and sparking memories and lively conversations. Continue reading

So farewell then, HORSA…

No, not the legendary Saxon brothers Hengist and Horsa. We have just said goodbye to the Frith Centre, the last remaining HORSA hut on our site, as it has been demolished to make way for our new entrance and training suite.

Frith Centre

The Frith Centre, most recently used as our temporary searchroom

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Remembering the Holocaust

You may have seen Gloucestershire Archives’ online exhibition telling the story of ten young Jewish refugees who came to Gloucester in 1939. As we mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2018, we’re pleased to be able to share the moving story of one of those boys, as told by his son, Michael Zorek.

My father, Warren Zorek, passed away in December of 2006 at the age of 81. 68 years earlier, when he was just 13, his family was awaiting word about his admission into a program started soon after Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass. This program allowed parents to send their children, some as young as 2, but not older than 16, out of Nazi occupied Europe until the political strife blew over. Continue reading