Do you still put a ‘Guy’ on your bonfire? Children displaying their homemade ‘Guys’ and asking ‘penny for the Guy?’ is thought of as an iconic British tradition.
Most people know that after King James I survived an attempt on his life by Guy Fawkes and his conspirators, bonfires were lit around London to celebrate. This continued across the country and gradually became part of tradition to commemorate the event.
The holiday is often been associated with violence in one way or another, not least because of the dangerous nature of fire and fireworks. It’s associated with Protestant ideals, and as such is used for anti-Catholic sentiments. Nowadays the politics of the celebration isn’t celebrated, but it is used as an excuse for a social gathering to observe the winter months coming on.
In the 18th Century children began to create their own ‘Guy Fawkes’ effigy to burn on the bonfires, carrying around their homemade guy and asking for money. In the 1960s however, the City of Gloucester Headteachers Association petitioned to not only stop the practice, but make it an offence. This petition was unsuccessful, as it was a seasonal practice and not considered threatening. It was also pointed out to them that what they were concerned about (children begging) was already covered under the Vagrancy Act of 1824.
Whilst children were allowed to continue begging a penny for the Guy, the teachers might like to know that the practice has now almost totally vanished. Instead, we’ve seen the rise of trick-or-treaters on Halloween who ask for sweets rather than money. Would they have shown similar disdain and anger towards this? The answer is: very likely.
As Remembrance Day approaches, I thought I would share my findings in the Gloucester Borough Records (GBR/L6/23/B5018), on how the names of World War Two fallen on the Gloucester City War Memorial, in Gloucester Park, were collected by the Council using official sources and a public appeal.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
A very peculiar unsolved missing persons case took place between 1660 and 1662 in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. On 16 August 1660, a 70 year old man, William Harrison disappeared! He was steward to the Lady of the Manor and left his home to walk two miles to Charingworth. His manservant John Perry was sent to look for him, neither returned by the next day. So his son Edward Harrison was then sent to look for the pair, and on his way, of course, he meets John Perry, who had not been able to find his master; so they head for Ebrington and heard that Harrison had been there the previous night (he was going to see a tenant). During their return to Chipping Campden they heard that some of William Harrison’s items had been found on the road locally; including a hat slashed by a sharp implement, a bloodied shirt and neckband.
The “It” is the Barton and Tredworth community heritage website, an outcome of the Hidden Lives project of 2011-12 in which the Archives was a partner. The site was created using a bespoke platform designed by Community Sites, who specialize in assisting local communities to create their own web sites. However the format wasn’t ideal for the wider range of devices that can now access web sites, so Community Sites have just converted it into a WordPress based site.
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.
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 →