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.
VE Day 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.
Society Programme of Talks for 2019/2020
Janet Benson (nee Martin)
TEWKESBURY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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.
Janet’s funeral will be in the Abbey at 12:30pm, Friday January 24th. [Close family flowers only, donations if desired for Sue Ryder, Leckhampton Court Hospice may be sent c/o Alexander Burn Funeral Directors, 23-24 High Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5AL. Enquiries tel: 01684 276200, email: email@example.com ]
We also regret that, for the reason above, as well as the fact that we’ve had fewer-than-anticipated bookings, we’ll have to cancel our Social evening that had been planned for January 23rd at the Hop Pole. We apologise for having cancel this at such short notice.
We do look forward to seeing you at our next Society evening on Thursday February 20th, at the Methodist Church, at the normal time of 7.30 for 7.45pm. We’ll be hosting Robert Skelt, providing an illustrated talk on “The Second Oldest Profession - the Wonderful Life of a Spy”. The speaker and subject had been specially chosen by Janet as the subject had been of much interest to her. During the evening there will be a collection in her memory for the Sue Ryder Hospice.
Sam Eedle, on behalf of the Committee, Tewkesbury Historical 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, copies are available from Alison’s Excellent Bookshop, 138 & 139 High Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5JR.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
"Anchor University" Lectures
19 March 2020 Meeting
Remarkable Incidents Relative to Tewkesbury
On the 24th of July, 1571, being a fair-day, such a quantity of bats came floating down the river Avon at this town, that they covered the surface of the water for above a land’s length, in heaps more than a foot thick, which so dammed up the mills for three days, that they could not go, ‘till the bats were dug out with shovels. Vide Wantner’s Papers in the Bodleian Library.