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Winter Lectures 2017/2018

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 4 October 2017

H. H. Martyn & Son: Gloucestershire’s Fabulous Industrialists

Venue: Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

This remarkable company was founded by the gifted craftsman of that name in 1888 and became renowned for the quality of their workmanship with stone, marble, wood, metal and stained glass, They were responsible for interior decoration of ships the Cenotaph in Whitehall and the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons. During World War I they moved into aircraft production and were part founders of what became the Gloster Aircraft Co. For many years Martyns were Cheltenham’s largest employers but sadly they ceased trading in 1971. We are very pleased that James Rendell will be telling the story of Martyns and its creator and his son.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

The Hereford, Ross & Gloucester Railway

Venue: St Johns Church, St Johns Ave, Churchdown, GL3 2DB at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

This illustrated talk by Rev Dr Martin Connop Price begins with an account of the opening day as experienced by the people of Ross, and will continue by taking us on a journey from Gloucester to Ross. It will also include a brief diversion to get a glimpse of the upper part of the Wye Valley line down as far as Lydbrook Junction. The second half of the talk starts with an account of the 1869 gauge conversion before resuming the journey from Ross to Hereford.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Annual General Meeting and talk on the Heritage Hub at Gloucestershire Archives

Venue: Highbury Church Hall Priory Walk, Cheltenham GL52 6DU at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

After the formal business, Sally Middleton, the recently appointed Community Heritage Development Officer at Gloucestershire Archives will talk about the new Gloucestershire Heritage Hub at the Archives and what the new facilities will provide for users like GSIA members.

Thursday 14 December 2017

Clifton Rocks Railway

Venue: Highbury Church Hall Priory Walk, Cheltenham GL52 6DU at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

Thousands of people pass the bottom entrance to the Clifton Rocks Railway as they drive along Bristol's Portway, with most not knowing what secret is buried in the rock of the Avon Gorge. Constructed with great difficulty inside the cliffs of the Avon Gorge in order to reduce its visual impact on the picturesque surroundings, this water powered 'funicular' railway opened on 11 March, 1893 and operated for 40 years against diminishing trade. Its closure in 1934 did not mark the end of its useful life as it became a secret transmission base for the BBC during WWII. It has been empty and disused since the BBC moved out after the war. The Clifton Rocks Railway Trust has been formed by a group of volunteers to restore the Railway. Our speaker, Peter Davey, is the chairman of the trust and he will talk about the history of the railway and bring us up to date on the restoration project.

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Industrial building reuse: Burton on Trent, Newark on Trent and comparisons with Gloucestershire

Venue: Rodborough Community Hall, Butterow West at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

Amber Patrick, a former Chairman of GSIA and long standing committee member will base part of her talk on a paper given this Summer at a seminar in Utrecht on the reuse of large industrial buildings. The paper concentrated on the malting and brewing industries in Newark and Burton with a comparison with industry in Gloucester, specifically the Wagon Works. This talk will also look at examples in Gloucestershire and how successful reuse has been and whether it has improved over the years.

Wednesday 28 February 2018

The Avon Navigation Trust

Venue: St Johns Church, St Johns Ave, Churchdown, GL3 2DB at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

Members may not be very familiar with the River Avon as it only flows wholly within the county for just one mile before it joins the Severn at Tewkesbury. However the river has a fascinating history with improvements to the navigation beginning in 1635. Sadly by the end of world War II the river had become virtually derelict as a navigation. Two very ambitious restoration projects were carried out during the 1950s to 1970s on the Upper and Lower divisions of the Avon. The river is now fully navigable from Tewkesbury to Stratford-on-Avon and is in the care of the Avon Navigation Trust. We are very pleased to welcome Clive Matthews, the chief executive of the Trust as our speaker to tell us about the history of the navigation and it's present status.

Thursday 22 March 2018

History of Alney Island

Venue: Highbury Church Hall Priory Walk, Cheltenham GL52 6DU at 7.30 p.m.   (Directions)

We welcome the return of Tony Conder, former curator of the then National Waterways Museum at Gloucester as our speaker. Alney Island is Gloucester’s most Western district. Shaped by the Severn it has a long history from agriculture through industry to nature reserve. It is a relatively secret world worth exploring with an individual history that is worth searching out. This talk illustrates Alney’s development and its place in the City’s history and the story of the Severn.

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.