GSIA Page Banner

Summer Visits 2017

Click on links for full details (where available). The outline list of dates for the summer programme is given below.     We also have a Winter Lecture Programme

Sunday 23rd April 2017 Afternoon walk: Stonehouse in World War II
Wednesday 17th May 2017 Afternoon visit to Maisemore Court
Sunday 11th June 2017 Afternoon walk, Angidy Valley, Tintern
Wednesday 28 June 2017 Afternoon visit to Stone Works at Catbrain Quarry
Sunday 23 July 2017 Visit to Hopewell Colliery and Underground Tour
Sunday 13th August 2017 Afternoon walk, Features of Eastington’s Industrial Past [Part 2]
Sunday 24 September 2017 Afternoon walk in the Oakwood Valley near Bream in the Forest of Dean

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Afternoon walk: Stonehouse in World War II

Our first walk of the year will be led by Jim Dickson of the Stonehouse History Group who has provided the following notes. “There was a dramatic increase in the population of Stonehouse at the beginning of the Second World War due to the setting up of two “shadow factories” by Sperry Gyroscope and Hoffmann Manufacturing, and the arrival of sections of the Air Ministry’s Meteorological Office. At the end of the War, the Air Ministry staff and some of the shadow factory staff returned to their pre-War locations. However, the shadow factories remained, establishing Stonehouse as a small industrial town.

We will start our walk at Bond’s Mill (formerly Sperry’s factory) followed by the former Hoffmann factory (which still makes bearings for the aerospace industry). We will then walk along a section of the Stroudwater Canal and, weather permitting, visit a WWII pillbox which is still in good condition and can be entered. We will also see the large viaduct which carries the Bristol-Midlands railway line, a cricket-bat willow plantation, and remnants of the Kemmett Canal.

Meet at 1.45 for a 2pm start at the car park at Bond’s Mill. This is located south west of the A419 by the Stroudwater Canal at Grid Ref SO793052 (Post Code GL10 3RF). Turn off the A 419 at the Oldends Lane roundabout and continue to the end of the car park at the gatehouse by the bridge. Stout shoes are recommended.

Top

Wednesday 17th May 2017

Afternoon visit to Maisemore Court

We have the opportunity to visit the site of a Model Farm at Maisemore which, after conversion, has become The Steadings, a modern business centre. The visit arises from the talk we had in October 2015 on the Victorian Model Farm given by Bill Evans. One such farm was at Maisemore Court, owned by the Chamberlayne family who still run part of the site as an arable farm.

We will see the former farm buildings and hear about the Victorian agricultural developments which were transforming farming practices across the country. Jeremy Chamberlayne will be showing us around and the visit also gives us a chance to see how older buildings can be sensitively converted and used for modern purposes. The site has also been developed on a very “green” basis with an extensive array of solar energy panels.

Meet at 1.45 for a 2pm start at the Steadings Business Centre, Church Road, Maisemore, GL2 8EY. This is just off the A 417 at SO 814216, second on the right after crossing the Severn coming from Gloucester.

Top

Sunday 11th June 2017

Afternoon walk, Angidy Valley, Tintern

It is many years since GSIA last visited this very interesting area with the remains of an early furnace, forge, wire works, leats, storage ponds and industrial housing, situated just out of county, across the Wye. It is timely we should go again now as the sites have received a considerable amount of attention as part of the Heritage Lottery funded project “Overlooking the Wye”. The sites have been conserved and their history further researched and interpretation made available.

Our walk will be taken at a gentle pace over level footpaths and will be about 2½ miles. Then we can visit the remaining sites around Abbey Mill (near the main road) by car and then for those who wish to can end the afternoon with a visit to one of the tea shops or pubs in the village.

Meet at 1.45 for a 2pm start at the Lower Wireworks car park in Forge Lane just west of Tintern [SO526000, NP1 66TQ]. Travelling north on the A466 road between Chepstow and Monmouth, continue past Tintern Abbey for about a ¼ mile and turn left into Forge Road immediately before The Royal George Hotel. The large free car park is on the right ¼ mile along Forge Road. As ever, stout footwear recommended (some short sections were rather muddy a few weeks ago but that was after three days of continuous rain!).

Top

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Afternoon visit to Stone Works at Catbrain Quarry

This limited numbers visit was outlined in the previous Newsletter before the exact date had been fixed and several people have already notified their interest. Prior booking is essential so please contact Frank to see if any spaces are available (01452 538366). We will meet from 1.45 for a 2pm start. Safety footwear will be needed to enter this working site which is located at Grid Reference SO868117. This is on the minor road across Painswick Hill reached from the B4073 or the A46 (look for lorry signs to Catbrain Quarry).

Top

Sunday 23 July 2017

Visit to Hopewell Colliery and Underground Tour

This Colliery is a good example of a working “Free Mine” and the visit will include an underground tour. There is also a good café and various exhibits which portray the story of mining in the Forest of Dean and the practices and lives of the free miners. The tour is not suitable for children or those with limited mobility. You will need sturdy footwear and warm clothing but helmets and lamps are provided. Members must book in advance and the fee is £6.50 per person payable in advance. Please send a note with your contact details and a cheque payable to GSIA to Frank Colls, 1c Edwy Parade, Gloucester GL1 2QH. Assemble at the colliery from 12.45 for tour at 1pm. You can arrive early to look around and use the café, and have some further refreshment afterwards

Top

Sunday 13th August 2017

Afternoon walk, Features of Eastington’s Industrial Past [Part 2]

Following his 2016 walk in this area, Steve Mills will again be our leader for a look around further sites in the vicinity of Eastington. The walk will start at the cluster of interesting features associated with the Stroudwater Canal as it rises through the village via 5 locks. Eastington once had three working woollen cloth mills and we will look at all three during the course of the walk.

In our previous walk, we looked at the interior of the newly-converted Millend Mill. This time we will focus on examining some of the surviving features on the outside – this includes evidence of a Boulton & Watt engine house. It will then be on to Steve’s house at Cress Green for tea and refreshments. After this we will make out way back to the canal, taking in some village history associated with several of the wealthy individuals who were largely responsible for developing the local cloth trade.

The walk is around 3 miles, mostly on roads and footpaths. Meet from 1.45 for a 2pm start at Pike Lock where there is some parking on the old road. This is located at Grid Reference SO784061 just off the roundabout on the A419 south-east of the M5 junction 13. The parking is somewhat limited so car sharing is suggested. We need to know numbers to help with planning the tea stop, so please phone Frank on 01452 538366 if you intend to join us.

Top

Sunday 24 September 2017

Afternoon walk in the Oakwood Valley near Bream in the Forest of Dean

John Foley is our guide for this Forest of Dean walk along the track bed of a section of the Oakwood Tramroad looking at a number of former industrial sites and features. It will be in 2 halves, firstly going northeast from the car park towards the Flour Mill Colliery, then returning to the start and going northwest along the Oakwood Valley towards Noxon Park, then finally returning to the car park. A number of sites on and nearby the route will be seen including the Bromley Hill Furnace, Oakers Corn Mill and the China Engine Mine as well as various small quarries. The 1825 tramroad was vital in transporting coal, stone and iron ore out of the valley and down to an interchange with the Severn and Wye Tramroad at Parkend. After the walk, those who have time might like to add a brief look at the Bream Cenotaph opposite the Rising Sun.

We meet from 1.45 for a 2pm start at the parking area at Oakwood Bottom (Grid Ref SO 600064). This is on the road from Bream to Mill Hill and Sling; look out for Oakwood Road just near the Bream Prinary School. The meeting place is then on the RHS at the bottom of the hill at a prominent bend. A nearby Post Code is GL15 6HS about half way down the hill. Walking is fairly level on good tracks but some rougher areas will be met so stout footwear is recommended. Overall length is around 4 miles. If you have any queries please contact Frank on 01452 538366.