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Gloucestershire is Great!

Events, Features by Adam No Comments »

Young people across Gloucestershire are letting other Europeans know just why our county is such a great place to visit with a competition being run by the Libraries Service.

Together with Europe Direct Gloucestershire and Playing for Success, this week Libraries across Gloucestershire will be running workshops as part of the county’s Gloucestershire 1000 celebrations.

The competition runs from 15th to 31st October during which time special children’s’ events will be held in many of the county’s libraries. Events will include a look at the many visitor attractions and customs in Gloucestershire and in other European countries, to inspire children in their design of a leaflet or poster to encourage overseas visitors to the county.

Entry forms can be collected from all the county’s libraries or downloaded from the website Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in each of the three age groups: 5-8, 9-11, 12-14 and include book tokens, tickets to Nympsfield’s exciting new environment centre ‘Thistledown’ and tickets to a Gloucester Rugby Match.

The Rugby Club are kindly hosting the prize-giving evening on December 4th.

The winning designs will also be displayed at the Rugby Club and in Europe Direct offices in other European countries.

Workshops are being held at the following venues during this rest of this week:
Tuesday 23rd October Berkeley Library 2.30pm-3.30pm
Wednesday 24th October Bream Library 2.30pm-3.30pm
Wednesday 24th October Wotton Under Edge Library 2.30pm -3.30pm
Wednesday 24th October Cheltenham Children’s Library 11.00am-12.00pm
Wednesday 24th October Coleford Library 10.30am – 11.30am
Thursday 25th October Brockworth Library 2.30pm-3.30pm
Friday 26th October Gloucester Library 10.30am – 12.00pm
Friday 26th October Prestbury Library 2.15pm –3.00pm

Compton Abdale’s Crocodile is restored

Features, Places by Tony 2 Comments »

Compton Adbale Crocodile - ‘Before’. Copyright, Nick TurnerCompton Adbale Crocodile ‘after’. Copyright, Paul Felix

The Cotswolds Conservation Board donated funds to help get the crocodile restored.

Compton Abdale is a small typical Cotswolds village lying between Northleach and Andoversford situated in a quiet valley just off the main A40 road to Oxford.

Compton Abdale is unusual in the Cotswolds and probably in England in that the village has it’s own Crocodile! The Crocodile is a stone water conduit carved in the shape of a Crocodile’s head which sits at one of the main t-junctions in the village and has been channelling spring water from the limestone hills into the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames, for over 150 years. Over the years it has become a little worse for wear, caused by water erosion, so the villagers of Compton Abdale successfully applied for a special grant from the Cotswolds Conservation Board, which is designed to help local people conserve distinctive features in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Board donated £2000 towards a total project cost of £6400. It made it possible for Cotswold stonemason Richard Pods to carve a brand new crocodile head complete with a lead lining inside the huge toothy mouth to prevent water erosion over time.

Spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Claire Cunningham said: “We are delighted to be able to fund such a fantastic project that helps to maintain the unique and distinctive qualities of the area. The Compton Abdale Crocodile symbolises man’s respectful interaction with nature in the Cotswolds AONB over time. It literally demonstrates the way in which we have channelled nature for our own use over many thousands of years.”

The grant was distributed as part of a five-year conservation project delivered by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and supported by a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Caring for the Cotswolds ends in December this year.The £2.8 million project has made significant improvements and advances on a conservation level in four areas ; limestone grassland restoration, drystone walling, local distinctiveness and interpretation.

Stonemason Richard Pods

Cotswolds Conservation Board
Fosse Way
GL54 3JH
Telephone 01451 862000

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 40 members, 17 nominated by local authorities, 8 by nominated parish councils and 15 appointed by Government.

The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that it’s beauty and special character are conserved. It covers 2038 square kilometres stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the North, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

The Government has designated AONBs and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.

Gloucestershire photography competition winners announced

Features by Adam No Comments »

Trevor Stuart, Rona Orchard and Ryan HowellThree striking photographs of Gloucestershire won prizes today as part of the ‘My View’ photography competition that was launched in celebration of the county’s millennium.

Talented photographers, Trevor Stuart, Rona Orchard and Ryan Howell, were presented with their prizes by representatives from ‘Gloucestershire 1000’ including University of Gloucestershire Vice Chancellor Professor Patricia Broadfoot, Editor of The Citizen Ian Mean and H. M. Lord-Lieutenant Henry Elwes.

The winning entries include an image of a rainbow over the Tyndale Monument taken from a glider, a striking picture of the floods at Wainlode and Gloucester Docks illuminated at night.

The exhibition will run until 11 November at The Atrium, Pittville Studios, University of Gloucestershire and is open Mon, Wed and Fri 9am-5pm; Tues and Thurs 9am – 8pm.

The photography competition was launched to celebrate Gloucestershire’s 1000th birthday as part of the Gloucestershire 1000 celebrations taking place this year. It offered an opportunity to capture the best things about Gloucestershire life and the exhibition reflects a whole range of different aspects of the county.

More details are available on, also see our original article Gloucestershire’s Birthday – Last chance to share your view

Chris Beardshaw says ‘Plant a tree for future generations’

Features by Adam 1 Comment »

Chris BeardshawTV Presenter, Author and Garden Designer, Chris Beardshaw, is encouraging people to plant a tree this year as part of the Gloucestershire 1000 millennium celebrations.

As a lasting legacy of the millennium celebrations, the ‘1000 Trees’ campaign is inviting individuals and companies in the county to plant or sponsor a tree with the aim of planting a total of one thousand new trees across Gloucestershire.

Chris is a fervent supporter of the campaign and the idea of preserving our environment for future generations. ‘My career was founded on the reward that was revealed to me when I started planting trees as a boy’, says Chris. ‘It’s a habit that I am happy to say still persists and as the proverb goes – A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.’

Gloucestershire 1000 is pleased to be working in partnership with The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, to offer tree-planting advice to green fingered individuals or encourage companies to make donations toward the planting of new trees in the county.

Two ways of getting involved in the campaign make it easy to add to the grand total. Individuals can grab a spade and plant a tree in their back garden, even encouraging their children to enjoy the experience. Local businesses can also invest in a greener future by making a donation towards other community tree planting schemes taking place in Gloucestershire.

The saplings, provided by The Woodland Trust, will be planted by school children and their teachers, offering them an opportunity to take ownership of their local environment and watch the trees take root and flourish.

Anyone planting or sponsoring a tree as part of the 1000 Trees campaign will have their names added to the grand total and tree-planting map on the website. Each contributor will also be invited to a special tree event in the spring.

Project Co-ordinator for the Gloucestershire 1000 celebrations, Laura Fleming, hopes that the county’s millennium will offer a chance to consider future generations. ‘Celebrating the county’s past also offers an opportunity to look to the social and environmental challenges facing us in Gloucestershire over the next 1000 years and consider how we want 2007 to be remembered.’

Woodland is one of the UK’s richest wildlife habitats and provides immense social and economic benefits. In the last 100 years nearly half our woodland, including priceless trees more than 400 years old, have been lost to make way for conifer plantations, agriculture, houses, motorways and airports. Research shows that contact with woods and nature makes us feel better about ourselves.

An information pack with details of how to make a donation is available on the website and includes advice for anyone wanting to grab their wellies and plant a tree themselves. Anyone wanting to know more about 1000 Trees or sponsorship options can contact Laura Fleming on 01242 714863.

Also see 1000 trees – plant a tree for Gloucestershire’s millennium

The Mickleton Society – October 2007

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam 1 Comment »

(From the noticeboard section of the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

Berkeley Castle, GloucestershireThe Mickleton Society was due to visit Kelmscott Manor on 6th September but the trip had to be cancelled because of the recent flooding problems. At short notice, a visit to Berkeley Castle was arranged for the same date and 34 people set off that morning. The weather was excellent and the visit to the Castle was enjoyed by all. Our ticket also included a visit to the Edward Jenner museum and this, too, was greatly enjoyed. Edward Jenner lived in a beautiful house next door to the Castle. He was, amongst several other accomplishments, a country doctor but is famous for inventing smallpox vaccination – the leaflet says that this discovery was responsible for saving more lives than the work of any other man. There are some quite fascinating relics and photographs in the museum. A very good day was had by all and special thanks are due to Janet Walmsley for arranging this trip at such very short notice. Our winter 2007 program commences on Tuesday October 2nd in King George’s hall at 7.30pm with a talk entitled “Bess of Hardwick”, followed on Tuesday 6th November with “Sahara Marathon”; the final 2007 event being our annual Christmas supper on Friday December 7th. Christmas supper tickets are now on sale and going rapidly! Marguerite Bell will be catering for us again, to her usual high standard and this year there will be entertainment by a member of the Magic Circle. Tickets will be on sale at both the October and November meetings, with the price held at £13. Alternatively they can be obtained from Sandra Barlow (contact us for details), who be pleased to seat you with your friends, if you let her know by November 14th. I am sure you all know early booking is essential as this event is always a sell out.

The Cotswold Way marker stone at Campden square

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam No Comments »

(From the noticeboard section of the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

Very recently the town council was asked about the above stone and, as they had little or no information, they asked around. I was able to fill the gap and below I set out what I know of its history.

It starts at the Cotstone Quarry, which was worked out and was just a large hole in the ground. I believe that it was owned by an Irishman named Macateer, who was in financial difficulty and fled to Ireland to escape his creditors. In the early 1980s Eric Raines, who was and still is a well-known local farmer, went to Ireland and arranged to purchase the quarry.

On his return he applied for planning consent to use the quarry for landfill and was granted permission for only clean soil and for hardcore to be dumped. At this time the M42 was under construction and there were literally tons of surplus soil. Cotstone was the nearest site and hundreds of loads of soil were dumped there.

All this coincided with Campden being flooded on two occasions and therefore a new drainage system was being put in. One section dealt with the eastern end of the town and another the west end. The former meant removing the old stone culvert in Leysbourne, which had collapsed. It was constructed of ‘cut’ stone which is very valuable. To get rid of this the contractors decided to dump it in Cotstone Quarry, paying Eric Haines a fee for each load. Eric told the contractors to leave the stone on the top of the quarry and each evening he, with an employee, collected the stone and removed it to his farm, which was then in Blind Lane.

Subsequently he asked me to meet him in Blind Lane where he proudly showed me the stone he had salvaged. He offered me a piece for a Cotswold Way marker in the Square. The Cotswold Wardens picked it up the next day and erected it where it stands today. They had the ‘Bath 100m,’ cut into it and as this became a traffic sign, it was exempt from planning consent. The little plaque, which reads ‘Cotswold Way, the beginning and end was supplied by the then head warden Ted Fryer, the cost being borne by the Gloucestershire county council.

Just as a matter of interest, the Cotswold Way was the brainchild of Tony Drake a prominent rambler, who for over thirty years was an influential campaigner for the footpath network of Gloucestershire. The Cotswold Way was launched in 1970 and the beginning of the Way was at the Square. Persons who suggest it should be at St James’s church are completely wrong.

Reg Martin. (He was chairman of the north district Cotswold Wardens from the late 1970s until the early 1990s.) Campden and district historical and archaeological society.

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival 2007

Events, Features, Places by Tony 1 Comment »

Tall shipsFriday 26th October – Monday 29th October Gloucester Docks

The first Gloucester Tall Ships Festival will have four tall ships sailing up The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, following the historic trading route to Gloucester,

Ebrington Anglers – two personal bests for Common Carp

Features by Tony No Comments »

Kevin RightonMarc WalkerKevin Righton and Marc Walker catch personal bests

Kevin Righton caught a personal best 28lb 15oz common carp

Campden and District music society with a Russian Connection

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam 1 Comment »

The Campden and District Music Society launches its 47th season on Tuesday 9th October 2007 with a concert by the Fitzwilliam string quartet. Lucy Russell, Jonathan Sparey, Alan George and Andrew Skidmore founded the group in 1968 when they were Cambridge undergraduates and became well known through their close association with Dmitry Shostakovich, who entrusted them with the Western premieres of his last three quartets. With a busy concert programme across the world, many recordings and international awards, Campden Music Society is delighted to have them launch their concert series. They will be joined by another well known musician, the principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra, Moray Welsh, whom some will have seen at the Campden music festival in May. Moray studied cello under Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatoire and has enjoyed a long music career of solo performances, recordings and teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music for 18 years.

The concert opens with a short work, “More Fools than Wise” by Jonathan Rathbone who was musical director and arranger for the Swingle Singers for twelve years. It is inspired by the words and music of the seventeenth century composer Orlando Gibbons’s madrigal “The Silver Swan”, which tells how a swan, having been silent all her life, reportedly sings most beautifully just before she dies. The title comes from the last line – “More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.” – a line particularly important to Rathbone, as it expresses a dilemma in music today. Borodin’s 2nd string quartet in D, written between 1881 and his death in 1887 is one of the most beloved works in the entire quartet literature. Written on a summer holiday and dedicated to his wife, this tuneful work exudes contentment. Some of its glorious melodies were made even more popular over sixty years later as songs in the Broadway musical “Kismet”. The concert ends with the string quintet D.956 in C major of Schubert, written in 1828 with two cellos, just one of many astonishing compositions dating from the composer’s final months. Every moment in this, his last and greatest chamber work, completed only seven weeks before his death, is magnificent in its tragic beauty.

This not-to-be-missed concert takes place in Chipping Campden School Hall, Cider Mill Lane. Chipping Campden at 8pm on Tuesday 9th October. With an annual membership subscription of £40, members have free access to the season’s five concerts and may introduce a guest. Members also have opportunities to join group visits to ballet, operas and concerts at different venues and bookings for these have now opened. New members (£40 for five concerts, i.e. ONLY £8 PER CONCERT) are warmly welcomed. To ensure that you receive full details of membership, contact Campden Music Society, c/o Treasurer, Saxfeld, Hoo Lane, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AZ or phone 01386 841520.

The Society thanks its commercial sponsors: Cutts of Campden, Cotswold House Hotel, Martin Gotrel, Andrew Greenwood, Robert Welch, Mark Annett Estate Agents and Graphic Print Partnership.

(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. included with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

Another successful Campden flower festival

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Letters by Adam 1 Comment »

(From the letters section of the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

Dear Jeremy,

Another wonderful flower festival is over and now many of us are reflecting on the very successful weekend it was. In our tea rooms we had a really happy five days serving lunches and teas to over 1,000 people, but none of that could have happened without our enormous band of helpers: firstly, all the kind people who donated the food (over 100 cakes) and also the non-food items; and then the large number of friends who worked in shifts in the kitchen. The stars of the tea room “staff were the children. They behaved beautifully and were polite and helpful to our customers, especially the elderly and disabled, and we all enjoyed their cheerful company. So a very big thank you to Maricon, Olivia, Tyler, Theo, Felix, Ellie, Daisy, Alexander, Kelly, Sidney, Hamish, Serena and Rosanna.

Last but certainly not least I want to give a huge thank you to my “Stalwarts” – Jenny, Carol and Avril. They worked so hard but together we had such a fun and happy weekend. Thank you to you all.

Yours sincerely,
Jessica Brook

Also, see our other Flower Festival article here.

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