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.
There’s been lots of respectful remembrance activity across Gloucestershire over the last week, and it’s not quite finished yet. If you’re attending Cheltenham races on Sunday (18th), please make time to pop into the Centaur for a day long programme of activities and displays called Gloucestershire and Racing Remembers. Gloucestershire Archives will have a presence, in partnership with Cheltenham Local History Society.
An image appearing in the Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucester Graphic for Saturday 16 March 1918. When the racecourse should have been celebrating the annual National Hunt festival, it was instead being used as a VAD Hospital.
Having lived close to the Dorset border for more than twenty years, one is inclined to take an interest in the works of Thomas Hardy. For me the ‘Mellstock Quire’ going their Christmas rounds is a memorable image, and even better is the same cast of characters who appear in a short story, leading the singing in church, then falling asleep during the sermon, and waking up to find themselves playing a dance-tune instead of the final hymn, being thrown out of church for ever by the squire, and replaced by a barrel organ. It is funny and poignant, with scarcely any of the accustomed Hardyesque melancholy.
Because archives are frequently top-heavy with records created by officialdom, it’s easy to lose sight of the amazing things that can be found.
Illuminated notation, used as cover of manor court book [D4289/M1]
Taking music as one example, we have a hugely diverse range of records. One interesting piece is an illuminated fragment of medieval religious music from the 1400s that was re-used as the cover of a manorial court book in the 1500s. Continue reading →