It is time for our second quarterly blog looking at accessions we have recently received at Gloucestershire Archives. These can be from any place, person or organisation in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.
This quarter we have added 94 new accessions onto our online catalogue. This includes material relating to both Gloucestershire County Council and South Gloucestershire Councils response to Covid-19, hundreds of Magistrate Court registers, material from the former Chair of Stroud Local History Society Philip Walmsley and much more!
Find a full list of accessions for this quarter in the downloadable PDF below.
Some items within these collections may be closed in accordance with the Data Protection Act and/or if they contain sensitive information. However you can find details of all the accessions, and further information if they have been catalogued, by visiting our website Online Catalogue – Gloucestershire Archives.
My name is Natasha Young and I have recently completed the National Archives digital skills training program: Bridging the Digital Gap. This program was a 15 month hands-on placement at the Gloucestershire Archives, where I have had access to amazing people, and learned not only the skills of traditional archiving, but the challenges and needs of digital archiving.
For day 26 of #Archive30 we are getting to know some of the amazing #ArchivePeople at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub. Learn more about some of our staff and volunteers below!
John Putley, Community Heritage Officer
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Work with the public and do outreach
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? The collections: we have stuff on more or less everything & you learn something new every day!
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? Item: the Gloucester Castle accounts roll from the second Barons War 1264-5 (D4431/2/56/1) Collection: Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Works (especially the photograph albums)
Favourite tearoom snack? Sainsbury’s jam doughnuts but homemade cakes & cookies come a close second!
Sue Webb, Gloucestershire Constabulary Archives
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Rummage around in police personnel files, documents and photographs
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? The expertise of people around you
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? The birch in the Chester Master Room
Favourite tearoom snack? Chocolate hobnobs
Ally McConnell, Senior Archivist
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? I catalogue, accession and package records at the Heritage Hub
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? The other lovely people! It’s a fun place to work
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? A map of Long Newnton (Wiltshire) drawn by Stephen Jefferys of Minchinhampton, aged 68, in 1748. He’s drawn himself surveying the area on the map and signed it, I see it as a very early selfie! (PC/905)
Favourite tearoom snack? Sue Webb’s ginger cakes
Laura, Graduate Trainee Archivist
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Looks at cool stuff to organise and write descriptions of
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? Sharing our stories and findings with people
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? Elizabeth I seal – it’s so big and feels very important holding it!
Favourite tearoom snack? Homemade chocolate brownies that appear in a tin every so often…
Helen B, Senior Archivist and Customer Services Manager
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Oversee Customer Services, answer queries, accept deposits, plan new ventures.
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? The documents which are unique, interesting and normally quite well-behaved.
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? Map of Thornbury with pen and ink drawings of ships sailing down the River Severn, 1716 (D1655)
Favourite tearoom snack? Banana
Kate O’Keefe, Archives Assistant
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Meeter and greeter, document orderer and search room guide
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? Without a doubt my wonderful colleagues
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? There are some tiny weeny little recipes in the Dodington Park collections which I absolutely love (D1245/F64)
Favourite tearoom snack? Tricky. We have a lot of talented bakers in the team and often have wonderful home-made cakes
Sal, Cheltenham Local History Society volunteer
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? We [CLHS] catalogue deposits that have not yet been catalogued in detail.
What is the best thing about volunteering at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? Meeting a wider circle of friends, socially and engagement in a worthwhile activity.
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? Mostly enjoy the deposit we are working on at the time.
Favourite breaktime snack? The cakes I make for the CLHS gang and the ‘extras’ from the GFHS!!
Brenda, Archives Team Administrator
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Finance, Customer Service, Room Bookings general all-rounder!
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? The team of course!
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? The Seals – (who would have had the opportunity to see them when they were first made/used ?– only a privileged few and now I have looked upon something that a Royal would have seen)
Favourite tearoom snack? anything that appears! It is great to celebrate the team’s birthdays and holidays
Kate Maisey, Archives Development Manager
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? I look for ways to connect people with archives
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? My brilliant colleagues and the wider Heritage Hub community
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? A beautiful, manuscript history of Denmark Road girls school, Gloucester written and illustrated by teacher Miss Emily Middleton in 1958 (D9374/1)
Favourite tearoom snack? Fruit cake especially home made
Rhianna Watson, Community Cataloguing Archivist
Explain what you do in 10 words or less? Support and work with volunteers and catalogue cool archival stuff!
What is the best thing about working at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? As cheesy as it sounds, the amazing people I work with!
Do you have a favourite item or collection from Gloucestershire Archives? That’s a hard question! I do quite like the random assortments of buttons that can be found in the Erinoid Ltd (earlier Syrolit Ltd) of Rodborough collection (D4251). They are just so colourful and pretty!
Favourite tearoom snack? Brownies or any kind of cake someone is kind enough to bring in!
On the eve of my retirement, it’s a chance to look back at the last (almost) 6 years, and see what I’ve learned.
I was new to heritage, when I arrived, and new to archives. I’d always worked with communities, or individuals, but around social justice or in a therapeutic context. I hadn’t seen, or understood, quite what an impact heritage can have on people and communities.
My name is Natasha Young and I am a Digital Archive Trainee taking part in the 2021 cohort of Bridging the Digital Gap trainees. The traineeship is run by The National Archives and I have been seconded to Gloucestershire Archives to get hands-on archiving experience. I have had the privilege of learning traditional archiving skills from professional archivists and digital preservation experts in an active archive setting. As well as learning whilst working, The National Archives have also set up an online training program that teaches us how to be archivists and how to approach the various considerations for digital archiving and preservation.
I was appointed as a Gloucestershire Archives trainee in January 2021 under the National Archives “Bridging the Digital Gap” scheme. My post has an emphasis on digital and technical skills and one of my tasks has focussed on the Cotswold Roundabout collection (D6112). This wonderful sound archive consists of programmes compiled and edited by the Cotswold Tape Recording Society from around 1960 to 1976. Originally called Hospital Roundabout, the programmes were designed to provide comfort and entertainment to hospital patients. The scope then widened to reach the elderly, the blind and the disabled, through clubs, homes and societies. .Despite being an amateur endeavour, the recordings were made in a professional manner and the quality of the audio is high. The content is extremely varied, showcasing the talents of local people and “characters”, from singing and stand up comedy to telling spooky tales. It also includes people’s reminiscences and unvarnished interviews about local trends.
On 7th December 2020 we signed the completion certificate for Gloucestershire Heritage Hub. This signified the end of the snagging period following the handover of the completed building and site in August 2019. It therefore seemed appropriate to bring to an end this series of Blogging a Building, started by Jill Shonk back in February 2017. You can read the whole series here by searching for Blogging a Building, and see a pictorial record of how the building project developed from January 2017 to December 2020. We accidently missed out number 18, ambitiously jumping from 17 to 19!
Sitting in fourteen boxes in a refrigerated strong room at Gloucestershire Archives, Stanley Gardiner’s collection of over 5,500 old images of views, events and people in and around Stroud’s Five Valleys was an obvious goldmine for anyone interested in local history. The problem was that the collection was uncatalogued. The wrong choice of box number might bring you traction engines, not images of Rodborough, and heaven help you if you were just hoping for something on Edwardian farming!
On a shelf in the Frith Room at the Heritage Hub are two large, fat, blue-bound tomes labelled ‘Return of owners of land 1873’. They tell us that the Returns were ‘Presented to Both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty’ and were printed in 1875. The first volume contained English counties from Bedford to Norfolk (so included Gloucestershire) and the second Northampton to Yorkshire West Riding, also the Welsh counties. London was not included. The information was arranged in two sets of seven columns on each page. They record the surname of the owner in alphabetical order in each county, followed by christian name(s) and title, the address of the owner, the amount of land owned in acres, roods and perches, and the value in pounds and shillings. Nearly a million names were listed, 37,705 in Gloucestershire.
You have to admire the compositors of the time who set up the type, back to front in the ‘forms’ which could then be inked and printed. You have also to admire the clerks in the Civil Service who coped with the varieties of hand-writing on the returns from each Poor Law Union in the country, as were the returns transcribed by a willing and persevering band of volunteers for Lloyd George’s attempt to tax the increasing value of land. The Unions were the effective local governments of the time. Jean Gibbons has searched for some of the mysterious addresses in 1873. ‘Rhirdeville’ – nothing else said – was Rhodeville in Leckhampton. Other house names, too, were given without stating the place.
Owners of land did not necessarily live where they owned land. Ninety-five people lived in Cheltenham, and owned land in Gloucestershire varying from 1 acre to nearly 2,000 acres; Richard R C Rogers owned nearly 3,000 acres. Thirty-six people lived in Bath. The really big land-owners, like Lord Fitzharding at Berkeley Castle (18,264 acres ) or Lord Sherborne at Sherborne Lodge (15,773) owned land in many other places.
At present we are transcribing those owning 10 acres or more: 3,281 names.
by Anthea Jones, Gloucestershire Archives researcher