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.
September 2021 Meeting
Railway Heritage Walk
The Bryan Jerrard Award
The Bryan Jerrard Award is given annually for what is judged to be the best published article on an aspect of Gloucestershire’s history during the past year.
The Award finalists for 2020 are -
Courtenay, Adrian, ‘“The Greatest Crusade of all – the Crusade for World Peace”: Cheltenham and the League of Nations Union, 1920-21’, Cheltenham Local History Society Journal 36 (2020).
Deeks, Roger, ‘The Persistence of the Brass Band Tradition in the Forest of Dean’, The New Regard 34 (2020).
Freeman, Karl, ‘Great Balls of Fire. A Brief History of Tewkesbury Mustard’, Tewkesbury Historical Society Bulletin 29 (2020).
Hare, Michael, ‘The Church House at Deerhurst’, Glevensis 52 (2019).
Jones, Sue, ‘The Forgotten Half? How Cheltenham men supported the women’s campaign for the vote’, Cheltenham Local History Society Journal 36 (2020).
Maxwell, Carol, ‘Painswick 1851 to 1911 – an exploration of the census returns’, Painswick Chronicle 22 (2019).
Rhodes, John, ‘The Barn of Llanthony Secunda Priory’, Glevensis 52 (2019).
Waller, Jill, ‘The Quaker Burial Ground in Grove Street’, Cheltenham Local History Society Journal 36 (2020).
Walker, Keith, ‘Local Voluntary Hospitals’, The New Regard 34 (2020).
Woolacott, Amy, ‘Leckhampton’s Stone Legacy’, Leckhampton Local History Society Research Bulletin 5 (2020).
The winner and runner-up for the 2020 Award will be announced at the GLHA’s Forum on 6 December 2021, when there will be a display of the submitted journals.
We have been contacted by researchers at University of Bristol who are asking for research participants:
What does vaccination mean to people aged 55+?
We invite you to talk about your views on vaccination and getting vaccinated
Would you like to help understand why people choose to get vaccinated and why not?
If you are aged 55+ and living in Tewkesbury we would like to hear from you!
How to participate
You would join an online group discussion on a video call for up to 90 minutes. We will organise online focus groups with up to six other participants. The group discussion will be run by a member of the research team and recorded. You will be offered a £30 high street voucher as a thank you for your time. Focus groups are expected to take place in July-October 2021. See the project website for further information.
How to express your interest
Please complete this short questionnaire https://forms.office.com/r/Z8Jf09vn1x to tell us a little about yourself. We will then contact you based on the contact details you provide on the questionnaire.
If you have any questions about the project please see the project website or contact Research Support Assistant Taru Silvonen via email@example.com
Annual General MeetingClick here to view the video. [First couple of minutes has some comedic value as we get to grips with the technology!]
Woodard Award 2021Woodard Award 2021 has been awarded to Karl Freeman for his article Great Balls of Fire (the Story of Tewkesbury Mustard). The award was made at our 'Zoom' AGM.
Alderton SaxonsJulia Woodman.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Links With Tewkesbury
'Zoom' Meeting 22 April 2021Nicola Nash gave a talk on Recovering the Remains of Lost Soldiers from World War One. A video of the talk is available on YouTube.
Results of recent Tree-Ring Dating for Tewkesbury BuildingsGloucestershire Dendrochronology Project. A fascinating talk was given on the 13th of March which can viewed on the Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey website. This extremely accurate process can give dates down to the season and since green wood was preferred by medieval builders, we can be fairly sure that the year they were cut down was the year (perhaps the next) when the wood was used to construct the timber frames and roofs.
Wars of the Roses stampsRoyal Mail selected Tewkesbury for their alternative first day cover postmark for the new stamps issued in May celebrating the key battles of The Wars of the Roses: https://shop.royalmail.com/special-stamp-issues/the-wars-of-the-roses/the-wars-of-the-roses-first-day-cover-with-tewkesbury-postmark
1832 Cholera Epidemic in Tewkesbury
One of our members, Dr Peter Raggatt, who is a retired NHS Clinical Biochemist at Addenbrookes Hospital and Lecturer in Cambridge University School, was moved to research and write an article about this epidemic with its comparisons with the present pandemic. [see attached PDF above]
It links in with previous research on Cholera in Tewkesbury.
Such was the impact of these two epidemics on the town that a monument was commissioned which now resides in the Cemetery, adjacent to the ‘Cholera Pit’ where many victims received a mass night burial [see attached].
Although John Snow, clean water for the Mythe Waterworks and improved housing conditions have ensured that 1849 was the last appearance of cholera, the brutality which occurred in World War II Japanese POW camps caused the death of several Tewkesbury soldiers of cholera in 1943-44. Here is a biography of one of them, Frederick Key.
Smallpox was another medical curse of the18-19th centuries but by the late 19thC vaccinations were made compulsory and a significant number of people in Tewkesbury became anti-vaccination. For more on this familiar tale, see Martin Holt's award winning article.
History is always so topical!
Zoom Meeting 25 February 2021
Stone Stiles Project
Tewkesbury Medical Volunteers at Mitton in WWI
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)
An Upsetting Discovery in our Cemeteryhere to read the full story. If anyone can add any more information, please contact us. [ John Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org ]
"Anchor University" Lectures
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remarkable Incidents Relative to Tewkesbury
The earl of Essex with his army came to town, the 10th of September, 1643, and lay here five days; from hence they marched towards Newbery, a great battle was fought there.
Our programme of talks for 2021-2022 has been established and is on our Meetings Page.
Next Season's Talks
Home movie courtesy of Kevin Nickson [poor quality video].
A Trip on the Mill Avon in the 1960s
Currently closed due to Covid-19 Lockdown. Click here for their latest news.
Tewkesbury Historical Pageant of 1931.
Account of 1931 Pageant
Find My Past
Find My Past is currently providing free access to their records. THS would like to research Tewkesbury people appearing in their Prison Records. If you are interested in helping with this, email John Dixon on email@example.com who will provide details of how to go about it.