The Tewkesbury Historical Society
Welcome to our local History Society websiteMethodist Church at The Cross. Society Meetings are open to non-members and speakers talk on aspects of history. In addition, THS publish books and an annual Bulletin of Research, to which contributions are invited. Members have the option of accessing online the Society's extensive Woodard Database of Local History data.
'The Making of Miss Brown'
Message from David Elder, author of joint THS Publication, Literary Tewkesbury
One of the projects I've been doing during these strange times is to write and produce a film version of a play about the life of Elizabeth Brown (1830-99) who was an accomplished amateur astronomer who lived in Cirencester.The 30-minute film is called ‘The Making of Miss Brown’. It is viewable online for £3 from the Stroud Theatre Festival 2020 web site. To access it:
1. Please set up a simple account at http://stfonline.co.uk.
2. Then go to Watch Now! (https://stfonline.co.uk/watch-now/). Please note it will be available for a 24 hour period after registration.
Further information about the play
Winner of 2020 Woodard Award
VE & VJ Days 75: a Virtual Commemoration
Even though the government moved the May Day Bank Holiday away from the usual Monday so we could commemorate VE75 on 8 May, all public commemorations are now impossible.
- Biographies of all those who lost their lives fighting the Germans from the Tewkesbury area [including neighbouring villages]
- The context of this war.
New: Cemetery and Burials database for TewkesburyOver the years we have collated information from the various burial grounds in the town and now is the time to release a one-stop location for all of them on this site. The new Burials Database in our Research section tries to do this. There is also an accompanying history and guide to finding the resting place of persons buried in the town. There are currently an impressive 18,564 records. For the decades 1841 to 1881 we can also link to the Census Database (not guaranteed they are same people)
Janet Benson (nee Martin)
We regret to announce that our secretary, Janet Benson, passed away on December 28th. This news is something of a shock to us all, even though Janet had been bravely fighting a long illness. She had been our secretary for many years and will be sadly missed by all her friends here in the Society.
Tewkesbury Medical Volunteers at Mitton in WWI
Book by John Dixon: 'Tewkesbury's Two Forgotten Railways!'
With the support of THS, John Dixon has published his labour of love – Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways! – along with a reissue of Roger Butwell's 2011 commemoration dvd.
Although THS has now sold out, digital copies are available from the 'Shop'.
Review Railways Dec 2019
Dear John As a birthday present, Cathy gave me a copy of "Tewkesbury's two Forgotten Railways!" earlier this week. I have not been able to put it down (except when forced to the sink to do the washing up). I have to tell you that it is quite wonderful, really well written and evidently the product of much and exemplary research. Rarely have I enjoyed an historical document so much. I have often wondered why I have never seen a photo of a steam engine crossing the high street, but now I have and I understand why I haven't (if you see what I mean). Best wishes Spencer
Also reviewed by David Aldred and Andrew Reekes:
THS 29th Season - First Meeting
Bryan Jerrard Award
Derek has revealed that nothing is as simple in history as we would like it to be and he explains thoroughly all the issues surrounding it. Suffice it to say that Baron Tewkesbury was the winner and reigned - reasonably happily ever after - as King George I!
THS Bulletin 27 is available from Alison’s Bookshop in the High Street.
Two large scale maps of Tewkesbury from 1811 and 1880We are proud to present two maps on our site using new zoom and pan technology.
We have the 1811 Enclosure Map of Tewkesbury and the huge 1:500 scale map of Tewkesbury created in the 1880s, both full of amazing detail. Use your mouse wheel to zoom and left mouse to drag.
Through the Magic Door
Through the Magic Door is a 244-page illustrated biography by Colin Davison of local author Moray Williams. She was a prolific author of the children's classics Gobbolino, The Little Wooden Horse and many others. She lived for much of her life at Teddington Hands - where she wrote and illustrated The Good Little Christmas Tree, and then at Beckford and Kemerton. The biography tells of an exceptional life and how many of her stories were drawn from an extraordinary childhood with her identical twin sister at an isolated, tumble-down mansion in the woods. Ursula was also a very talented artist and the book includes many illustrations, a large number of them her own. The biography had endorsements from fan Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit, friend Anne Wood, creator of Teletubbies, and Ursula's illustrator Shirley Hughes.
If anyone would like a signed copy, they are available from the author at £6 each, of which £1 would go to THS. Colin can be contacted on email@example.com
Margaret DayThe Society is sad to announce that our Life Member, Margaret Day, died peacefully at home on Saturday 27 April 2019. Dearly loved wife to Cliff, much loved mother to Paul and Peter and Grandma to Lucy and Amy. Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.
Gloucestershire Local History Association
The Gloucestershire Local History Association includes representatives from many local history societies in the county, the county archives and local studies centres, and meets quarterly to discuss matters relating to local history in Gloucestershire. Details of events organised by the Association and member organisations may be found on their website:
Even more Census DataWe are pleased to announce that the Tewkesbury Census Data for 1841 to 1891 has doubled in size. We now have 37,608 people spread over 9,575 property records. Take a look here.
THS Life President, John Dixon, with Peter Dawson who gave an interesting and well attended talk on 'Burgage Plots in Medieval Towns' at our 15 November meeting.
Tewkesbury Historical Pageant of 1931.
Account of 1931 Pageant
Remarkable Incidents Relative to Tewkesbury
1739. On the 25th of December, a very severe frost began, and continued till the 19th of February following during which time, the Severn was so hard frozen, that loaded waggons and horses passed over at the upper and lower lodes. A sheep was roasted on the ice above the quay bridge. What was roasted on the ice above the quay bridge. What advanced price from 5s. to 9s. 6d.; beans from 2s. to 5s. 7d. the bushel; and hay from 15s. to 3l. per ton.