The end is nigh…

The plastering is finished, the electrics signed off, walls are being painted, carpets and the furniture ordered. We will soon be moving back into the re-built Heritage Hub.

To make the move as smooth as possible and so all staff are available to help get everything back into place the Archives will close for two weeks from 4.30pm Thursday 8th March. We will re-open at 9am on Tuesday 27 March. Continue reading

Blogging a building (15)

Artists for Gloucestershire Archives

This week we’ve been celebrating the national #ExploreArchives campaign, so it seemed appropriate to demonstrate just how many ways there are of exploring the collections.

If you have visited the Archives’ garden lately you will have noticed that there is a very large oak tree trunk lying on the ground. This is the raw material for our new vertical sculpture to be carved by Cheltenham based sculptor Natasha Houseago. The tree trunk is two and a half metres long and has a diameter of about half a metre. Or if you still hanker for the olden days, 15 feet long and about 20 inches across.

Continue reading

Blogging a Building (14)

by Heather Forbes, County Archivist.

Why did Genie visit the Archives?   Read on and find out more.


“It’s like watching concrete dry…” is a phrase normally associated with something exceptionally boring. But we all found the concrete pouring and polishing exercise particularly interesting.


We knew that the concrete pouring was going to be a long job – the contractors notified us and the neighbours that work would start at 7.30am on Friday morning and continue into the small hours of Saturday..  This was because the foundations of the three new strong rooms needed to be poured as a single job.   Initially a large concrete pump with a contraption like an elephant’s trunk pumped concrete into the metal mesh.


We were then surprised to see several workmen in wellies walking in it with rakes to level it off.   Later on they used hand-held hovercraft-like contraptions (parafloats) to smooth the surface.  Finally sit-on parafloats were used to polish and seal the surface.  I think several of us secretly wanted to have a go on these but we refrained – this was a job best left to experts!


35 trucks, 500 tonnes of concrete, and 19 hours later the strong room foundations were completed.   Next step – the walls and roof.

So why did Genie visit the Archives?   Because it’s a telescopic  forklift truck for loading the ¾ tonne parafloat onto the concrete slab.   We were particularly taken with this truck as it shares its name with our genealogical database (Genie), now accessible via Ancestry.  And we always welcome genealogists on site, whatever form they take!


Mayor Visits Gloucester City Charters, by Rachel Wales

It’s an exciting day when the Mayor of Gloucester calls in.   But it’s not me he’s here to visit – along with several Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, he has come to see the gorgeous Gloucester City Charters, kept here at Gloucestershire Archives since 2012.  The City Council consider the Charters to be amongst the most significant items held here because they document the development of Gloucester as a city.  Continue reading