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Summer Visits 2018

Click on links for full details (where available). This is the 2018 programme which is left online until the 2019 programme is published to give a 'flavour' of our Summer events.     We also have a Winter Lecture Programme

Sunday 22 April 2018 Afternoon walk: Horsley and Newmarket Valleys
Sunday 20 May 2018 Afternoon walk: Alney Island and Over Canal Basin
Wednesday 27 June 2018 Modern Industry Visit to Andigestion Ltd Bishops Cleeve
Sunday 22 July 2018 Afternoon Walk: Gloucester Docks (Recent Developments)
Sunday 19 August 2018 Afternoon Walk: Tewkesbury: Mythe Area
Sunday 23 September 2018 Afternoon Walk: Mills of the Painswick Valley (Central Area)
Sunday 14 October 2018 Afternoon Walk: Forest of Dean Lea Bailey gold mine and Wigpool iron mine

Sunday 22rd April 2018

Afternoon walk: Horsley and Newmarket Valleys

Mills, turnpikes, the food industry, the site of a gaol, engineering and crafts all feature in this very pleasant and little known walk to the west of Nailsworth. We will pass several mill sites, where in some cases substantial buildings survive but at others there is scarcely a trace remaining. At Ruskin (Millbottom) Mill a large external waterwheel is on view.

We will leave Nailsworth by means of the Horsley Valley, and will pass by Locke Mill, Gig Mill and Ruskin Mill, now a centre for craft workers. It is now possible to walk through the old fish farm so we can see the restored Lower Horsley Mill at close range. Nearby is a good example of an old tollhouse. At Hartley Bridge we will climb out of the valley near the site of the old House of Correction at Horsley.

After crossing to the Newmarket Valley we will pass the site of Nodes Mill and the surviving Lot Mill which was once occupied by the engineering firm of H J H King Co & Co. The final site is Prices Mill which has been converted to a doctor's surgery and from there it is a short step to the car park. The leader will be Ray Wilson.

Details: Meet in Newmarket Road Car Park (opposite Christ Church at ST 846 994) after 1.45pm for a prompt start at 2.00pm. Directions from the sole roundabout on the A46 main road on the stretch through Nailsworth are as follows: Approaching from Stroud pass Egypt Mill on the left and turn right up Spring Hill at the roundabout referred to above. Almost immediately turn left into Old Market which has toilets, and the bus station. Continue to Cossack Square at the end of Old Market. The Britannia Inn is a useful landmark at this meeting of several roads. Clockwise from the left is Market Street, Horsley Road, Newmarket Road, Chestnut Hill (and finally Old Market where you are). If you succeed in picking Newmarket Road you will find the car park after about 200 yards on the left. Please wear stout footwear. There will be some fairly steep uphill walking when we go between the two valleys. The total distance will be about 3 miles


Sunday 20 May 2018

Afternoon walk: Alney Island and Over Canal Basin

Following on from the talk in the winter lecture series we will be taking a gentle walk to look at the surviving industrial archaeological features in this fascinating area, so close to the city, but relatively unknown. However, we will park and start at the Over canal basin of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal. Our leader for the walk will be Amber Patrick and we hope to have a member of the restoration project team at Over to show us the immense amount of progress that they have achieved on the site.

We will then cross the main road so we can walk across Thomas Telford's Over bridge which for nearly 150 years carried the main road to Ross. The bridge suffered from subsidence immediately it was completed as can still be seen today. Here also is the railway bridge carrying the main line to Chepstow. Following the western arm of the Severn we will see Lower Parting (an excellent spot to see the Severn Bore) and pass by Llanthony weir, lock and restored cottages.

Next we will visit the site of Castle Meads Power Station which was built during WWII and see the wharf on the Severn where coal for the station was unloaded from barges. Nearby is the unusual swing railway bridge over the Severn designed by Brunel but which has long been out of use. Finally we will return to Over along the line of the GWR’s broad gauge Docks branch. The total distance will be just over 2.5 miles.

Details: Please meet at Over Canal Basin after 1-45pm for a prompt start at 2-00. This is located just off (and to the north of) the A40 dual carriageway from Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye. The junction is about 300 yards west of the roundabout where the A417 (leading north to Maisemore) crosses the A40. If heading towards Ross you will turn right across the dual carriageway but fortunately the junction is controlled by traffic lights. Drive down past The Wharf House Restaurant for about 150 yards and park. NGR SO81601976 Post code GL2 8BY. As usual please bring stout footwear as the area can sometimes be muddy, but we will be mostly on level footpaths. Please contact Ray Wilson if you have any queries.


Wednesday 27 June 2018

Evening Visit: Modern Industry Visit to Andigestion Ltd Bishops Cleeve

For this years “modern industry” visit we are very privileged to have a guided tour of the “state of the art” anaerobic digestion facility for food waste that was opened in 2016 at Bishops Cleeve. The plant has an annual capacity of 34,000 tonnes and the gas produced is injected directly back into the gas network. The plant serves several Local Authorities (e.g. Stroud District Council) as well as commercial customers.

We are very pleased to have Tom Brown, the Environmental Compliance Officer on the site, as our guide. As the site is busy during the working day, Tom is kindly staying behind after work to give us our tour. Please see the note below that access to the site will be at 5-30 pm after which the site gate will need to be locked. Please allow plenty of time as the site is in a fairly remote rural location.

Details: Meet after 5-15pm for a prompt start at 5-30pm. Booking is essential and numbers are strictly limited. Please book by emailing or phoning Ray Wilson [01453 860595]. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing for an industrial site visit.


Sunday 22 July 2018

Afternoon Walk: Gloucester Docks (Recent Developments)

This walk will look at the Bakers Quay developments as well as the already developed industrial buildings of the Gloucester Quays designer outlet. It will also look at the reuse of some of the buildings at the northern end of the Bristol Road, notably the Morelands Industrial Estate and the remains of the Wagon Works. The route of the first part of the walk round the Bakers Quay developments will depend on how far they have progressed by 22 July.

After meeting outside the Waterways Museum we will cross the Gloucester and Sharpness canal via the Llanthony bridge and walk down in front of the college on the west bank of the canal to get a good view of Downings Maltings Nos 3 and 4 and the building which replaces Fosters Oil Mill. We will then walk across the St Ann Way Bridge to take a closer look at the buildings and the already renovated maltster’s cottages. Work permitting we will walk down Merchants Road looking at the new build and with the unconverted maltings on either side. Then there is a short length of walk along Llanthony Road to go down High Orchard looking at the Matthews buildings on the way and the front of the maltster’s cottages. Then it is onto the Bristol Road to look at the Morelands Industrial Estate and the Wagon works. If there is time we will walk back across the St Ann Bridge and look at the industrial area from the west bank of the canal as far as Monks Meadow dock. There may also be time to look at other developments in the Docks.

Details: Meet at 1.45pm for a prompt start at 2.00 pm outside the Waterways Museum, Gloucester Docks. The walking is flat with the exception of steps up to/down from bridges. The paths are pavements or gravelled paths alongside the canal.


Sunday 19 August 2018

Afternoon Walk: Tewkesbury: Mythe Area

In 2016 we took a look at the industrial heritage of Tewkesbury town. In this follow up walk, our leader will again be Ray Wilson and we will forsake town for country and take a very pleasant walk to the North West. The total distance will be 3 miles on pavements or field paths. We will meet at the bottom of Quay Street and start with a second look at some of the sites we saw in 2016 (Healings Mill, opened in 1865and the fine 1822 cast iron bridge leading to the Mill Avon, Tewkesbury Lock and St Johns Lock).

Leaving the town we will we follow the north bank of the Old Avon to its junction with the River Severn. We will then walk north along the east bank of the Severn past the much altered Mythe Water Treatment Works up to the Mythe Bridge of 1826. Like Over Bridge, seen on the Alney Island walk in May, the Mythe Bridge was designed by Thomas Telford. Here he used a cast iron single span of 52m rather than a single stone arch of 45m at Over. The former toll house which is of a neo-Gothic design survives at the eastern approach to the bridge along with a very unusual toll collector’s shelter across the road from the main toll house. We will then continue alongside the river to the Red Pool, a former extensive source of clay for brick making and now a delightful lake about half a mile in length. On our return journey we will see scant remains of the Tewkesbury and Malvern Railway.

Details: Meet after 1.45 pm for a prompt start at 2.00 pm at the bottom of Quay Street near the cast iron bridge over the Mill Avon [SO 8924 3299, GL20 5BE]. Most of the car parks in the Town are not free, even on Sundays. However, you may be able to find free on-street parking on a Sunday in the High Street. Any queries please contact Ray Wilson


Sunday 23 September 2018

Afternoon Walk: Mills of the Painswick Valley (Central Area)

Painswick, sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the Cotswolds’, is today not readily associated with industry. However, the parish can boast of more than 30 former mill sites connected with the production of woollen cloth. In some cases nothing is now visible on the ground whereas elsewhere the main buildings survive, often converted into residential use. Pin manufacturing was another important industry in the area after the demise of the cloth industry.

Clearly in the time available it will only be possible to include a few of the sites on what should be a pleasant walk which will take in the village and footpaths in the immediate countryside. We will generally view each site from the public road and hear just a brief description of it. However, we are able to inspect the restored wool drying stove just off Kemps Lane. At one time almost every mill had one of these small stone circular buildings, but today only about three survive in Gloucestershire and this is far and away the best example. An account of these little known structures was published in the GSIA Journal for 1989. ( The late Mrs Colleen Haine wrote four articles on the mills of the Painswick area and these are online at the same place. The 1983 article covers all six of the mill sites we will see (Loveday’s, Brookhouse, Capp, Painswick, Skinners and King’s)

The walk will be led by Ray Wilson and the total distance will be about 2½ -3 miles on generally flat footpaths in the valley. However, the walk back to the car park through the town has a steep final stretch but you can take it at your own pace.

Meet after 1.45 pm for a prompt start at 2.00 pm at Stamages Lane Car Park [GL6 6UU, SO86570953]. This is the main car park in Painswick and lies just south of the parish church, adjacent to the main road [A46] Parking will be free at this time.


Sunday 14 October 2018

Afternoon Walk: Forest of Dean Lea Bailey gold mine and Wigpool iron mine

This is an interesting part of the Forest of Dean which we have not visited for many years. We are very pleased to have a GSIA member and local resident, Dr John Sheraton as our guide. John is a co-author of Exploring Historic Dean: Fourteen Scenic Walks in and Around an Ancient Forest which feature quite a bit of the industrial archaeology of the area.

The walk will include Lea Bailey Light Railway, on the old gold and iron mine site. The LBLR is also on part of the trackbed of the Mitcheldean Road and Forest of Dean Junction Railway, completed by the GWR, but never used throughout. We will also look at what remains of Wigpool Iron Mine: several entrances and a former engine house. There is even some WW2 interest in the 'Yankee Cinema'

Details: The walk is approximately 2.5 miles and parts of it can get quite muddy after rain, at the moment all the paths are dry, but please come prepared. There is one fairly steep descent and return climb from Lea Bailey to Wigpool but we will have plenty of time and you could sit this bit out.

We will meet after 1.45 pm for a prompt start at 2.00 pm on Wigpool Common, at a road T-junction (or cross-roads, where the fourth 'road' is a gated forest track) at SO653196. A second parking area is at another T-junction near SO652197.) Parking will be at the roadside near the junctions where the road is wider, making sure that no access is blocked. People parking at the latter place can wait there as we will be passing it on the walk. As parking is limited, please car-share if possible.

Travelling via the A4136 through Longhope and Mitcheldean, turn R at the traffic lights in Nailbridge, then R again towards Drybrook. Follow this road through Drybrook for just over 1 mile, then turn R and in 250 yds L signed Wigpool. The aforementioned T-junction is just under a mile ahead.