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Winter Lectures 2018/2019

We also have a Summer Programme

Free admission to Members.  Visitors are most welcome.   We ask £1 per visitor to help with the costs.

Wednesday 9 October 2019

The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal - in operation and restoration

Venue: St Johns Church, St Johns Ave, Churchdown, GL3 2DB at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

This is a follow-up to the talk we had in March on the construction of the canal and the afternoon visit in June to two of its major sites, Over Basin and Oxenhall. Our speaker is Dick Skeet, the author of “Rescued from Obscurity: The Continuing Story of the Hereford and Gloucester Canal”. The fully illustrated talk will provide a brief recap of the construction of the canal which took about 45 years from 1783 to complete the 34 miles to Hereford, but will be more concerned with its operation and eventual demise after being leased by the Great Western Railway. In recent years the H&G Canal Trust have been carrying out major restoration projects along various sections of the canal and we will learn about the considerable successes and some of the tribulations.

Thursday 31 October 2019

The South Gloucestershire Coalfield

Venue: Highbury Church Hall Priory Walk, Cheltenham GL52 6DU at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

Our Speaker, David Hardwick, is a co-founder of the very active South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group which “was set up by local people to understand, record and where appropriate preserve the remains, of what was once an extensive industry”. He was our guide on a most interesting GSIA Summer visit this year to the area. The talk will cover the general history of the coalfield and some of the sites where there are visible remains.

Wednesday 13 November 2019

AGM and Two Films “The End of an Era” and “Never Enough”

Venue: Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West, GL5 3TZ at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

After the formal business there will be a rare showing of two films made in about 1960 by Tom Meredith a farmer who for 50 years has made films recording life and events in the Severn Vale. The first film shows the whole process during the final year of salmon fishing at Oldbury-on-Severn before the river bank was given up for the construction of the nuclear power station. This includes the weaving the kypes and putchers (the willow ‘baskets’ which catch the fish) and positioning them in the river as well as the actual fishing. “Never Enough” shows the traditional method of making cider at that time. The films were shot using an 8mm cine camera with a single lens (i.e. no zoom). It has to be said that the quality is lower than present day standards but the their unique content makes them well worth watching.

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Beachley and the First World War. The Story of a Shipyard, a Railway and the Transformation of a Rural Parish

Venue: Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West, GL5 3TZ at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

Late on during World War 1 the Government commenced the building of three National Shipyards to build large numbers of pre-fabricated cargo ships. The largest of these was to be at Beachley on the Severn Estuary and was a massive enterprise. In the end, not a single ship was completed before the Armistice. Our speakers, Richard and Carol Clammer, co-authors of a book on the subject have drawn on a wide a range of contemporary written and photographic material to tell the absorbing story of this largely-forgotten aspect of World War 1.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

The Severn Estuary: Gloucester to the Bridges

Venue: St Johns Church, St Johns Ave, Churchdown, GL3 2DB at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

We are pleased to welcome back our speaker, the Rev Dr Martin Connop Price, this time for a wide-ranging exploration of the River Severn below Gloucester. We will be taken in turn down both sides of the estuary looking at various features including a look at the designs of the two road bridges. We will hear about an 1812 scheme to build a tramroad tunnel under the river, the once navigable Berkeley Pill, the various docks and harbours and a lot more! The great flood of 1607 will also be considered.

Thursday 27 February 2020

Gloucestershire Breweries

Venue: Highbury Church Hall Priory Walk, Cheltenham GL52 6DU at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

GSIA Member, Amber Patrick will be looking at the county's breweries and the malthouses associated with them. They range in date from the 18th century to the 20th century. There will also be a brief mention of hops and cider mills, the former not found in the county but the latter more common in part of the county.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Underground quarrying in the Cotswolds

Venue: Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West, GL5 3TZ at 7-30 p.m.   (Directions)

Our speaker, Arthur Price is well known to fellow GSIA members for both his talks on the quarrying industry and for leading some truly memorable trips underground to visit long abandoned workings at Minchinhampton and Whittington. He is also the author of “Cheltenham Stone” which gives a rich account of the quarries that provided the stone for many of the town’s fine buildings. However, this talk will cover the broader area of the Cotswolds and look at the different types of stone and how it was quarried and the uses it was put to.

All meetings are from 7.30 To 9.00pm.  For further details (or advice on Directions) contact: Ray Wilson (01453 860595)

Directions to Venues

St Johns Church Hall St Johns Ave, Churchdown, Gloucester GL3 2DB SO 873210 (Map)

St John's Church is situated at Churchdown on Cheltenham Road East (the B4063 road between Gloucester and Staverton). Travelling from Gloucester, continue for just under a mile beyond the Elmbridge Court roundabout and at traffic lights turn right into Parton Road. After 50 yards turn right into St Johns Avenue and then almost immediately turn right again into the church car park where there is ample parking.

Highbury Church Hall , Priory Walk, Cheltenham GL52 6DU     (Map)

Highbury Church is situated just to the east of the town centre at the top of Oxford Street, which runs north from London Road. There is ample parking on site and the hall is located at the rear of the church.

Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West, Rodborough, Stroud GL5 3TZ,       SO 847044     (Map)

To reach the Rodborough Community Hall from Stroud (the bus station at Merrywalks on the A46 road) take the A46 south towards Nailsworth. After about a third of a mile turn left uphill immediately before the Clothiers Arms pub which lies on the left hand side of the A46. After climbing a third of a mile turn left at the crossroads into Butterow West leaving the Prince Albert pub on your right. Continue for about 150 yards and keep a sharp lookout on the left for the entrance to the Rodborough Community Hall car park (Note there is small sign at ground level). The hall has free parking on site.