Short of conversation when phoning elderly relatives in lockdown?
Want to capture family stories for future generations?
Know someone who witnessed significant local events?
One activity that households self-isolating together could do together is to chat to each other about their memories. Our memories are unique. Even if a group of us have witnessed the same event, all of us will remember it in a different way. Sharing memories across generations is a particularly powerful way of both inspiring younger people, and confirming to the elderly that their lives have value and are important.
When, on Sunday 3rd September 1939, the public were informed that Britain was again at war with Germany, few people were surprised. Initially life remained oddly ordinary, but although as time passed there were air raids and other characteristics of the war, nothing particularly terrible or terrifying took place on a large scale. Gloucestershire was never in the front line in either the 1940 invasion scare (though if the Germans had invaded, the Severn Estuary was the goal of a second assault) or the 1944 D-Day preparations, but the sense of involvement in the conflict thanks to the Blackout, the media and rationing, made the Home Front very real for most people.
The diaries of William Thomas Swift, schoolmaster & teacher, 1860-1915 are a remarkable series of documents with entries for every single day from 31 December 1859, when the diarist was eighteen years old, until 5 February 1915, just five days before his death at the age of 73. Early entries are brief, but as time goes on they become more and more comprehensive and none more so than the entries for the various Christmas holidays that he recorded. They reveal a Christmas that most of us would easily recognise today, despite the fact that they took place over a century ago.
Sunday December 1st – our last Memories Café at The Hub for the year.
The Memories Café has been a regular feature in our programme on the first Sunday of every month since the spring. Sunday afternoons can be an empty point in the week for some older people, so we decided to fill that space with companionship, conversation and cake. The café offers free refreshments, live music and activities with a nostalgic flavour. It is open to everyone and we take pride in making sure that all our customers have a good time. Many of our staff and volunteers are Alzheimer’s Society ‘Dementia Friends’, so people living with dementia and their friends and families can be sure of a safe and welcoming experience. We are very lucky to have the support of committed volunteers who help to make sure our customers have a friendly, enjoyable time with us. Our ‘regulars’ tell us that the café adds a ray of sunshine to their day:
‘We love coming here. Mum really looks forward to it.’
‘You’re all so good at making people feel relaxed.’
Next week is the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. If you carry out a search of the phrase Three Choirs Festival on our online catalogue you get 579 hits, including programmes, musical scores and printed histories of the Festival and its key performers. The Festival was originally called the music meeting and was in existence by 1718. If you’re visiting it don’t forget that you can see any of the items listed on the catalogue here at the Heritage Hub, as long as you give us prior notice of the items you wish to see. You can either order documents directly through the catalogue, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Heritage Hub is making its own contribution to the Festival by hosting two talks, both of which are free to access without prior booking, and are specifically timed to avoid events on the Festival programme.
Gloucestershire Archives has been stock checking, listing, enhancing and structuring the collection ready to being fully catalogued into CALM, with the help of volunteer Amber Patrick, also a member of GSIA (Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology) and an expert in the Maltings Industry. Is she partial to an amber ale then? No, she doesn’t drink beer!
Gloucestershire Heritage Hub’s nearest pub, which has a West Country Brewery plaque on the exterior
The series of photographs taken of the staff at the brewery is an interesting feature which can be useful for family history reseachers, looking for relatives employed by the brewery. Another good set of photos are of b/w inn signs which again allow locals to identify with their specific landscape and memory; and connecting their local pub with an image of what the sign would have looked like in the past.
After a period of hibernation the Heritage Hub building project has come back to life. On 1st April 2019, our new contractors, Beard Construction, took over from where Lakehouse left off. Beard is aiming to complete the building project by August 2019.
Howard Read, the new site manager getting ready to complete the project.
Not quite Sports Personality perhaps, but there’s been so much happening and so many achievements this year, that it’s worth a quick look back now before we move too far into 2019.
Due to problems with our contractors, our building work isn’t quite complete, but our shiny new public area is, by universal agreement, a huge improvement on what went before. It was good to leave behind our temporary research rooms at the end of March and to introduce improved opening hours including the first Saturday of each month. We’re particularly pleased to co-locate with our friends from Gloucestershire Family History Society, so the Heritage Hub really does feel like a partnership space now. Continue reading →