Blogging a building (21)

Building news – all about the Artists

The artists have been busy throughout the year researching, meeting with volunteers, visitors and staff, preparing and finally making. The mosaic panels and the textile panels are now complete and are here for visitors to come and see. If you are visiting the new Heritage Hub, have a look at the artwork and see how heritage can be presented in very different and beautiful ways.  Continue reading

South Gloucestershire arrivals

Earlier this year, we were pleased to receive a large deposit of over 500 minute books, documenting the business of South Gloucestershire Council, mainly for the period 2005-2009. This was the latest addition to our existing holdings for South Gloucestershire Council, and all predecessor authorities for this region, dating from the 1890s up to 2009.

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Robert Raikes, education pioneer – and now archives mascot inspiration.

Some say that your school days are the best days of your life. I suppose that from the point of view of not having many of life’s worries, they could be right.

But having said that, when I was at school, there were plenty of things to worry about. Such as- would I get to “be” the footballer John Barnes whilst having a kick about during lunch time? (Mainly yes, as everyone else wanted to “be” Gary Lineker or Chris Waddle.)

There were so many other worries too – what was the best way to get out of the pointless cross country PE “lesson”?; who was responsible for nicking my pencil sharpener?; could I swipe an intriguingly named Hedgehog flavour crisp from Daniel during break time without him seeing?; how much Space Dust popping candy could fit in my mouth before it spat and foamed out uncontrollably?; could I make it back home in time to see the next episode of ChuckleVision on TV? And the biggest worry of all – how much of a telling off would I get from my mum after I’d fallen in the brook that ran by the school’s perimeter whilst attempting to jump over it on the way home?

However, a few hundred years ago, there was no such thing as school or education for children. Children were set to work or to simply survive in the city’s disease ridden slums. They had plenty of worries far more serious than crisps and pencil sharpeners, one of which was just trying to stay alive. Continue reading

Join us at upcoming Heritage events – Part 2

Our last post announced our History Festival events over the coming week, but there’s much more happening involving the Hub and its heritage partners over the rest of the Festival.  At 14.30 on Friday 7th September Dr John Chandler, a Trustee of the County History Trust, delivers his talk Before the Spa at the Heritage Hub, looking at Cheltenham‘s development from Anglo-Saxon times until the 18th Century.  The event is fully booked though, so please don’t attend it if you don’t already have a ticket.

Image of Gloucester's first royal charter, from the time of Henry II (c.1155)

Gloucester’s first royal charter, from the time of Henry II (c.1155)

The Archives cares for a range of royal charters relating to Gloucester, and these will be on view at Blackfriars Scriptorium between 10.00 and 14.00 on Saturday 8th.  You can also attend an illustrated talk about them in the Buttery at Blackfriars at 11.30 that day.  Again the exhibition and talk are free, but pre-booking is required, quoting reference CV15. Continue reading

Join us at upcoming Heritage events – Part 1

Yes, Heritage time is firmly upon us again, beginning this Saturday (25th August) with Gloucester Retro Day.  We’ll have a stall providing information about the Heritage Hub in Kings Walk, and we’ll be joined by members of the Fielding & Platt Heritage Group with a display about the Company, and by Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology with a Lister’s display.  We’ll be there 10.00-16.00, so do come and say hello.

Image from Retro Day 2017: Members of the Fielding & Platt Heritage Group meet some famous faces

Retro Day 2017: Members of the Fielding & Platt Heritage Group meet some famous faces

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District Nurses and the Central Midwives Board

A recent addition of the personal collection of Mary Doyle, Nurse Dundon McGuane, District Nurse of Brockworth, led to interesting questions regarding ownership of case registers, the history of district nurses, the Central Midwives Board and trends in pregnancy care.  It can be found on our Gloucestershire Archives online catalogue under D14737.  It’s a small collection, but covers a fascinating time in British and Irish medical and social history.

To establish context, we begin in 1902, with the passing of the 1902 Midwives Act, which was designed to regulate the practice of midwifery.  It ordered that midwives be certified practitioners and established penalties for those without certification.  The exception to this was those giving assistance in emergencies.  The act established the Central Midwives Board, which continued to exist until 1983, whereupon updated legislation and multiple mergers with other nursing organisations formed the current Nursing and Midwifery Council.  The Central Midwives Board was responsible for the regulation of the certification and examination of midwives, admission to the Roll of Midwives and annual publication of the Roll, along with regulating the practices of the midwives and the appointment of examiners.  Training would take at least three months, whereupon certified midwives were encouraged to keep case registers of their attended deliveries. These registers passed from district nurse to district nurse, each successor picking up where the last left off, often hopping across the country during her working life.

Innocuous covers, but holds information on: the name and address of the patient, her age, date of booking, and expected date of delivery; the name of the doctor, when they were booked, if they were called in case of an emergency and if they were present at the delivery; the previous number of children and miscarriages the patient has had; any antenatal care given, the date and time of the midwife’s arrival/patient’s admission; the date and hour of the baby’s delivery; the weight, sex and health of the infant; the date of the last visit/discharge; the condition of the mother after giving birth; along with any drugs given during labour and finally any additional remarks.  It’s a lot of information for such small books, and obvious why the closure periods are necessary!

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