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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.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Cheltenham in Black and White (The Black and White Motorways coach company)

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

It is now more than 30 years since the Coach Station in St Margaret’s Road, just to the north of Cheltenham’s town centre closed. Opened in 1931 it was at one time the busiest coach station outside London as it was the ‘hub’ of the Associated Motorways group. Each day hundreds of coaches would arrive and depart, from and to all parts of the country. Here passengers would transfer to another coach to take them on the next stage of their journey and at 2pm prompt there was a mass exodus of the coaches often causing gridlock in the town centre. We are delighted to welcome Dr John Chandler, recently the Gloucestershire editor of the Victoria County History, to give a fully illustrated talk on the Black and White Motorways company which was based at Cheltenham and an important component of the Associated Motorways group. The talk with cover the rise of coach services in general(including excursions) before looking looking in detail at the company and its operations for more than 50 years.

Wednesday 31 October 2018

A Cathedral of Industry – Stanley Mill in the History of Iron framed Buildings

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

Walking into this magnificent iron-framed mill you cannot fail to be impressed and understand why it has been referred to as 'A Cathedral of Industry'. The main building dates from 1813 is listed grade I and unqiue in the world. Professor Jennifer Tann's fully illustrated talk will look at the significance of the mill in the development of iron framed/fireproof factory buildings.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Annual General Meeting and talk "The Gwladys Davies Photographic Collection"

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

After the formal business there will be a "first look" at this remarkable photographic collection taken during the 1930s through to the late 1960s. The collection has examples from all over Gloucestershire, but of particular interest to GSIA are the 350 images in the "mills section". Members have been busy scanning and processing the photographs at Gloucestershire Archives which are mainly in "negative" form. Thus many of the images are being revealed for the first time. Some of the images on display will show changes that have occurred over the past 50 plus years while others will show buildings that have disappeared completely.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

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

‘The Well Trained Eye’, the Artists view of Victorian railway travel As railways spread across the country the rules to operate them were developed by trial and error. Travel brought opportunities for many but challenged existing morality. Each step was captured by artists and cartoonists until photography began to develop. Come for a Victorian train ride. We are pleased to have Tony Conder returning to be our speaker.

Thursday 31 January 2019

History of farming in Gloucestershire from prehistory to WW1

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

This is an illustrated presentation by John Putley about the development of farming in Gloucestershire from prehistory through to the Great War. It looks at the various historical periods, the advances & innovations in farming technology that occurred in them and the prevailing livestock & crops. It highlights the pressures on farming that influenced land use and rural society – most of which continue to reflect on our countryside as we know it today.

Wednesday 27 February 2019

The Ashchurch to Tewkesbury Railway

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

The length of this railway (just 2 miles) belies its interest. The line connected Ashchurch station on the Bristol and Gloucester Railway with with the original Tewkesbury Station right on the High Street. Both stations were opened in 1840, but Tewkesbury station was was replaced in 1864 by a new station built a short distance away to the north-east for the Tewkesbury and Malvern Railway. The sites of both Tewkesbury stations were explored on a 2016 GSIA field trip and the two portals of the Mythe tunnel were visted in September 2018.

The Ashchurch branch closed to passengers in 1961 and little remains. Fortunately our speaker, Ian Boskett, has collected many historic photographs over the years which will illustrate his talk and some of the artefacts he has collected over the years will be avaible to view on the night. The talk will also touch briefly on the Upton on Severn and Evesham lines.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

The Construction of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal

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

Our speaker, Nigel Jefferies is a founding member of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Society (now Trust). He has researched extensively the fascinating history of the construction of the canal which took place in two phases. Full of optimism, construction started in 1793, but inevitably there were difficulties which caused costs to spiral, in particular for the 1¼ mile long tunnel at Oxenhall. In 1798 worked stopped altogether one mile out of Ledbury a distance of just 18 miles from Gloucester. This was barely half of the planned 34 miles to Hereford. In was not until 1839 that work restarted under the direction of Stephen Ballard as clerk and engineer to the company. The canal finally reached Hereford basin in 1845 but by now we were firmly in the Railway Age.

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.