Lucky 13 for Gloucestershire history

Founded in 1899, the Victoria County History (so named because of its dedication to Queen Victoria) aspires to create a scholarly history of every parish in every County in England.  It is organised on a County basis and the first Gloucestershire volume was published in 1907.  There was then a gap in production until the 1960s, but volumes have since been produced on a regular basis.

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Coming soon to an Archives near you

Did you know that the Archives’ site is used for purposes other than just caring for and making available the County’s historic documents? For instance, the Gloucester branch of Gloucestershire Family History Society holds their meetings here once a month, currently in the Frith Centre.  Anyone is welcome to attend, although a small charge is made for refreshments, and you can find a list of the upcoming events at http://gfhs.org.uk/events-2/action_agenda/cat_ids~29/. Continue reading

Gloucester History (and Retro) Festivals; Gloucestershire Archives recommends….

Gloucester History Festival 2016The following sessions are being run by colleagues, volunteers or researchers connected with the Archives.  Full details for most events are available in the History Festival booklet – available on-line or in hard copy from Gloucestershire Archives.

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Crime on Yate Common, By Catherine Vaughton

The town of Yate in South Gloucestershire has recently had its history published by Victoria County History books.

The name that Yate was given historically means Gateway, which is derived from the old English word giete or gete, which meant ‘gateway to a forest area’. During the Anglo-Saxon and into the medieval period much of the area now known as Yate was enveloped within Horwood Forest; this forest land was a place for the privileged and rich, along with medieval Lords and Bishops to visit. In later years farmers and peasants were also given the opportunity to visit the royal forest. Through the centuries the forest had been cleared for farming and for mining industries, such as coal, limestone and sandstone.  In more recent years Yate’s industrial history has included aircraft production and it now boasts an innovative shopping centre. Continue reading

“Constitutionally incapable of refusing action”

The Scene: A heaving unsettled sea, and away over to the western horizon an angry yellow sun is setting clearly below a forbidding bank of the blackest of wind charged clouds.

Extract from Whispers From The Fleet by Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock, KCVO, CB. 1908

The above words almost describe the prelude to the Battle of Coronel, a naval battle fought between British and German forces on 1st November 1914 off the coast of Chile. This has a link to a previous blog – about HMS Gloucester and her involvement in the pursuit of the German warships Goeben and Breslau. Although these incidents may appear unrelated, they are not, for the first actually had a direct bearing on the latter.

Rear Admiral Sir Christopher 'Kit' Cradock

Rear Admiral Sir Christopher ‘Kit’ Cradock

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Coming to Gloucester

October is Black History month and this year we are celebrating the stories of people from Gloucester’s Caribbean community – in particular, the reflections of a few folk who arrived from Jamaica in the late 1950s and early 1960s to live in Barton and Tredworth. They saw moving to the UK as an attractive option as they believed there were greater opportunities for financial advancement and they would enjoy quality housing. But there were drawbacks too – in this pre-Concorde period the BOAC flight from Jamaica took a long time. Continue reading