Stroud Local History Society - Review of 2018

STROUD Local History Society has had a very full year with exhibitions, talks, visits, and the launch of a new book.

We contributed to four exhibitions: ‘Stroud Between The Wars’ – for Gloucestershire Local History Association; our own Summer Exhibition in the parish church included ‘Stroud in the 1960s’ and ‘That house in ….’ where we were joined by other local history groups; in September we showed ‘Stroud in the 1860s’ for the Parish Church’s commemoration of the rebuilding of the church 150 years ago, and November we were part of the Five Valleys Great War Researchers' exhibition in the Museum in the Park: 'The Stroud Valleys in the Great War'.

At our regular meetings Marion Hearfield showed us a new collection of photographs taken by local engineer and amateur photographer Rodney Shepheard in the 1940s, Howard Beard showed Pictures of Victorian Stroud, taken by John Elliott between 1870 and 1902; as 2018 was the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Canton, Barry Harrison told the story of how this Stroud weaver's son became an outstanding mathematician and philosopher (we would say scientist); Rose Hewlett gave us ideas for how to find out the history of our own houses, by looking at maps, documents and directories; Ray Wilson gave his talk about T H & J Daniels, Engineers of Stroud, to 106 of us, including some members of the Daniels family.

These meetings have all had a satisfying attendance of visitors, as well as members.

Our more light-hearted meetings were at last February's Gala Afternoon when we were entertained by Diana Humphrey and Fred Ward telling us about 'The Stars and Songs Old Time Music Halls', our hugely successful Stroud in the 60s concert at Lansdown Hall and, in December, local poet Peter Wyton read us local and amusing poems with some history.

In April we were invited to view the renovation work at Bedford Street Congregational Church.

Some of us donned hard-hats and went up the scaffolding to see the work to replace the external secondary glazing of the huge windows.

At Wick Court, Arlingham - a Farm for City Children – the children who were there that week expertly guided us around the 17th century manor house and farm.

Also during the summer, we visited Cam Mills and Lodgemore Mill, where we heard about their history and were taken around the working mills in small groups.

At Cam fleeces are transformed into woven cloth, which are finished and dyed at Lodgemore, to become cloth for billiard tables and tennis balls all over the world.

Marion Hearfield’s new book was launched in June telling the early history of Stratford Park and its mansion house, owners and people who worked there.

Published jointly by SLHS and the Friends of the Museum, it is on sale at our meetings, in town, and at the Museum.

Our varied programme for 2019 is available – non-members are welcome at meetings - see website for details.