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Medieval monarch talks to take place in Stow

Events, Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

King Edward II, Source: WikipediaThe life and legend of controversial English monarch King Edward II will be the subject of a series of afternoon lectures in Stow in the Wold next month.

Local historian Tim Porter will visit Stow Library, in St Edwards Hall, The Square, for a trio of talks in February, under the banner of ‘The Life and Times of ’. The three talks will provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of the strangest, most contrary and controversial ruler that England has ever produced

Edward II was the first English prince to hold the title ‘Prince of Wales’ after being born at Caernarfon Castle in 1284, and after succeeding his father Edward I in 1308, he pursued a military campaign against the Scots. He was ultimately defeated at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and later died at Gloucestershire’s Berkeley Castle in 1327. His tomb can be found at Gloucester Cathedral.

The first lecture, ‘Young Edward and his Father’ takes place on Monday February 4th, while the second talk, ‘The King’s Friends and Foes’, is held on Monday February 11th. The final lecture in the series is called ‘Tyranny and Downfall’ and is hosted on Monday February 18th. All three lectures run from 2pm-4pm.

Tickets cost £6.50 per talk, with a 10% discount for annual season ticket holders and Friends of the Corinium Museum. Booking is essential.

For more details or to book, please contact Stow-on-the-Wold Library, St Edwards Hall, Stow-on-the-Wold, on 01451 830352.

Source: Cotswold District Council

Image of King Edward II from Wikimedia Commons freely licensed media file repository.

Tags: stow | history | gloucester

Land and Sea – an exhibition of original photographs by Kate Barry

Events, Places by Tony No Comments »

St.Anthony’s Lighthouse, Copyright Kate Barry photographyTuesday 15th January – Friday 1st February at The Theatre Chipping Norton

A fine art photographer who lives in the Vale of Evesham and exhibits in the Cotswolds is staging her first major solo show at The Theatre Chipping Norton.

Kate Barry initially studied fine art and black and white photographic printing at Wolverhampton University, working in a variety of photographic formats such as portrait and commercial. For several years she worked as a photojournalist, starting out on The Banbury Guardian and later moving to the Evesham Journal Series.

Kate currently lectures at Evesham and Malvern Hills College in digital photography and Photoshop skills.

She specialises in images of landscapes, seascapes and natural forms and is interested in how the changing light and weather conditions can transform the landscape into a spectacle of form, tone, light and colours.

“I hope to capture the essence of what I see and feel in order to create an emotional response of wonder, delight, and surprise that celebrates the beauty of nature.”

Kate’s exhibition – Land and Sea – at The Gallery at The Theatre Chipping Norton will include some of her early black and white images that were taken on black and white film and processed and printed in a traditional darkroom, and which have now been transferred onto digital format. There will also be a cross-section of her more recent work captured on digital format.

Kate’s work is exhibited and sold in the 6HQ Photographic Gallery in Chipping Campden and The Gallery @ the Guild in Chipping Campden and is available as limited edition giclee* prints on fine art papers, each signed and numbered.

*Giclee is an invented name for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. In recent times Giclee as a fine art term has come to be associated with prints using fade resistant “archival” inks. 

The Theatre Chipping Norton
2 Spring Street
Chipping Norton
Telephone 01608 642350
The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 – 13.00 and during films and performances and admission is free.

Tags: cotswolds | exhibition | gallery | photography | chipping norton

The life of literature legend at Museum talks

Events, Features by Adam No Comments »

Discover a fascinating insight into 14th Century England and its colourful characters when the Corinium Museum hosts two lectures in January. 

Both lectures will focus on the life and times of Geoffrey Chaucer, a renowned author and poet in medieval Britain, in an era of British history which saw literature and architecture flourish.  ‘The Age of Chaucer’ lectures will be hosted by local historian Tim Porter. 

The first lecture, on January 24th, is called ‘Chaucer and His Favoured Friends’, while the event on January 31st is called ‘Regional Celebrities’.  Both lectures run from 2pm – 4pm. 

The lectures will then link to a day school called ‘The Downfall of Richard II’ on Saturday February 9th.  This event, from 10am-4pm, tells how Cirencester came into the national spotlight in 1400 after Richard II’s last supporters were arrested by townspeople.

Tickets for the two lectures cost £6.50 per talk, with a 10% discount for season ticket holders and Friends of the Corinium Museum.  Tickets for the day school cost £25 per person (including tea, coffee and biscuits) and booking is essential.  Lunch is not included. 

For more details on either event or to book, please contact the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611 or email:

Source: Cotswold District Council

Other Corinium Museum articles:

Historic shoes and footwear fairytales at the Corinium museum
Classic pottery comes to Corinium Museum

Tags: museum | cirencester | history

Fly-tipping crackdown is hailed a success

Features by Adam No Comments »

Stop and search in the CotswoldsA major operation in the Cotswolds targeting fly-tippers and other offenders has been hailed a resounding success.

More than 80 vehicles were stopped and checked in today’s (Friday, 18th January 2008) multi-agency exercise at Seven Springs, which was organised by Cotswold District Council and involved Gloucestershire Police, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Environment Agency and Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards’ Road Traffic Enforcement and Rogue Trader teams.

“It went really well and showed that a joined-up approach can be much more effective than agencies working independently of each other,” said Cllr Mark Tufnell, Cotswold District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment. “As a Council we are very grateful to the other agencies for their support.

“Today’s operation will serve as a warning to those traders who charge people to take their waste away but then dump it illegally in the District. There is also a lot of ignorance about the legislation and several drivers were informed about their responsibilities with respect to the carrying of waste.”

Everyone has a duty of care to ensure their rubbish is disposed of properly. People who carry waste illegally face fines of up to £5,000 while fly-tipping carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and/or up to six months in prison.

During today’s operation, the Environment Agency served notices on six drivers to produce a Waste Carrier’s Licence within seven days and one case is being pursued against a driver who was suspected of having committed a waste carrying offence.

The police issued a fixed penalty notice to the driver of an overweight lorry who was then ordered to unload 100 bricks from the back of his vehicle before being allowed to drive on.

Several other drivers were interviewed by VOSA officials for working outside their allowed hours. One of them had been working for 12 days in a row and was subsequently ordered to park up for 45 hours.

Cllr Tufnell added: “This is the second time we have staged this sort of exercise and we will be looking to do more of them in the future as part of our efforts to crack down on environmental crime in the Cotswolds.”

Chief Inspector Bridget Woodhall, of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Cotswold and Stroud Division, said: “Multi-agency operations such as this one are extremely effective in tackling a wide range of issues for the benefit of local communities.

“We are always pleased to work with our partner agencies on listening to and responding to the concerns of local people, as this operation demonstrates.”

Anyone who is in doubt about the company taking away their waste should contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506506.

Source: Cotswold District Council

Related articles:
A blot on the landscape – flytipping

Tags: countryside | cotswolds

Festival of Wind Band Music at The Crypt

Events, Features by Adam No Comments »

On Friday 25th January a Festival of Wind Band music will be held in the school hall at The Crypt School, Gloucester.  This will be the first occasion when all adult wind bands supported by Gloucestershire Music, the county’s music service, will join forces to perform.

Whilst the majority of its work supports music making in schools, Gloucestershire Music also provides opportunities for adults to learn to play instruments in the context of a wind band, jazz band or orchestra. Particularly successful has been the ”Learn as you Play” scheme, designed for complete beginners, whilst more advanced players are also catered for.

Playing in the concert will be:

The 5 Valleys Music Centre Windbands (aka Learn as You Play bands 1 and 2), two adult groups that have been in existence for over 2 and half years and for just one term, respectively, directed by Tim Cambray.

Lakeside Concert Band that has been playing for over 3 years, directed by Jennie Henley.

Colwell Arts Concert Band, the most senior band that has been in existence for over 20 years, directed Philip Cowley.

They will be playing music from a variety of sources and genres, film (Raiders of the Lost Ark and Back to the Future), song (The Green Leaves of Summer), classical (Mars – from the planets by Holst, a selection from the Nutcracker suite, Tchaikovsky) and dance (Jamaican Rumba).

For full details of Gloucestershire Music’s activities, please go to

Source: Gloucestershire County Council

Tags: gloucestershire | music | concert | education

Calling young musicians in Gloucester!

Features by Adam No Comments »

Whether you write songs, play in a band, sing, DJ or play in a community group, and no matter what sort of music you’re into, Gloucester Music Forum want to hear from you.

If you’re aged 14-25, a musician, and based in Gloucester, then Gloucester Music Forum want to know what you’re up to and what help you need to develop. It’s easy to do – Gloucestershire College are hosting an online survey at here and there’s also a Gloucester Music Forum page on Facebook, and MySpace.

Gloucester Music Forum was formed in 2007 to support music making with young people aged 14-25. It comprises Gloucestershire Music – Gloucestershire County Council’s Music Service for young people in schools, the Guildhall Arts Centre, Wired Records, University of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire College.

The online survey is part of the Forum’s first project, a research study to identify what kind of music young people are involved in at the moment and what resources are needed in the future.

The study focuses on Gloucester City (although it will be extended to the County shortly) and is taking into account workshops, classes, performances, recording, rehearsing and promotion, youth and community work, the recording industry, venues, community music, music education and young people-driven activities. It will feed into a wider South West Music Industry research programme being planned for this year.

Cllr Tony Hicks, Cabinet Lead for Adult Services, Gloucestershire County Council said: “This survey will helps us find out what kind of talent we have in Gloucester and enable us to find out if there’s anything else we can do to help musicians in the county.”

Source: Gloucestershire County Council

Tags: gloucestershire | music

Big Garden Birdwatch 2008- Lets do it in the Cotswolds

Events, Features by Tony 2 Comments »

Saturday 26th January & Sunday 27th January 2008 – organised by RSPB

The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s biggest bird survey. It is organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and has been a regular event since 1979 when they asked their junior membership to count the birds in their garden – over the same weekend. In 2001 the event was officially opened up to everyone and more than 55,000 people took part. In 2007 more than 400,000 participants took part by counting the birds in their garden for an hour. Together they spotted 6 million birds across 236,000 gardens.

With so many people taking part the RSPB are able to gather imprtant data which helps them to understand more about the population trends of UK garden birds.

Over the years the survey has recorded the huge declines in some of our most familiar birds. Since 1979 the number of house sparrows counted has fallen by 52%, the number of starlings by 76% and the number of blackbirds by 44%. However chaffinchs and great tits have both seen their numbers increase by 36% and 52% respectively. 

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2008 on 26th & 27th January. Simply spend an hour counting the birds in your garden or local park on either day.

Full details of how to take part are explained on the RSPB website and you can download a counting sheet to help you keep track of how many birds you’ve seen. You submit your results online using an online form which will be open from 26th January for you to enter your counts. The results will be published by the RSPB in March 2008.

Go on – give it a go – it only takes an hour!

Source – Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Tags: cotswolds | countryside | gardens | birds

Moreton-in-Marsh is one of Britain’s top 10 country towns

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Weekend Telegraph Property Section – Caroline McGhie seeks out the best small market towns in Britain. Moreton-in-Marsh is in the top ten

Moreton-in-Marsh has made it into the top ten beating near neighbours like Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Norton and Shipston-on-Stour.

“Small market towns are becoming increasing desirable, as much for their natural beauty as their shops and schools” Britain’s finest country towns sparkle like precious stones in the property market; beacons of prosperity, enterprise and asperation. They are the setting for some of our most unusual shops, our greatest novels, our agricultural highs and lows. They are the heartbeat of the countryside.”

“Moreton-in-Marsh is a Cotswold beauty with a glorious main street of golden stone houses with back lanes running off. Strategically placed between Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Bath and Oxford, it once thrived as a coaching stop, but now attracts commuters who use the local station for the 90 minute journey into London.”

“It is Heythrop Hunt country and the town has its very own horse and agricultural show in September. In the summer it fills with opera buffs flocking to the Longborough Festival, the Cotswolds’  answer to Glyndebourne. It is accessible to everywhere, a crossing point that is set in beautiful countryside and the Tuesday market, where you can buy everything from slippers to saucissons, is protected by a Royal Charter granted by King Charles I.”

Other local towns in the list of top 50 towns to delight were:

Come and stay at Little Gidding and spend some time in these five top 50 local towns. All five towns are within a 1/2 hour drive through the lovely local countryside.

Also visit other local country towns like Chipping Norton, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwick, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe which didn’t make it to the top fifty but which have lots of character and charm and many supporters. Let us have your views and comments.       

Source: Daily Telegraph Weekend Property Section 

Tags: cheltenham | cirencester | cotswolds | countryside | evesham | gloucestershire | moreton | places | property | shipston on stour | stow | winchcombe

Princess Royal to visit Tewkesbury on Friday 18th January

Features by Adam No Comments »

The Princess Royal plans to make a quick 1 hour working visit to Tewkesbury to show support for residents who are being affected by the floods.

The Princess will arrive at the Canterbury Inn, Ashchurch Road in Newtown, Tewkesbury, on Friday 18th January where the Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Mr Henry Elwes will present: the Councillor for Newton, Graham Dawson; Town Clerk, Major Michael Wilson; Chairman of Tewkesbury Chamber of Commerce, Mr Bruce Keen; Captain, 1st Tewkesbury Company Boys Brigade, Mr Andrew Baldwin.

Previously in July 2007 the Princess Royal visited residents from Gloucester whose homes were flooded last year. N.B. If there is further flooding tomorrow in the area the Princess Royal may cancel the visit to enable recovery work to take place.

Source: Gloucestershire County Council

Tags: gloucestershire | tewkesbury | floods

Gloucestershire joint highest performing county council for equality

Features by Adam No Comments »

Gloucestershire County Council has risen to 29th place, out of nearly 300 employers, on the Workplace Equality Index published by Stonewall on 9th January 2008.

The index is the definitive national benchmark, ranking the UK’s top 100 employers in terms of positive attitude to gay, lesbian and bisexual staff, and serving our customers.  Gloucestershire shares the position of highest performing county council alongside Kent.

Employers are ranked according to criteria ranging from implementation of an effective equality programme to demonstrating how they engage with lesbian and gay staff, customers and service users.

Pete Bungard, Chief Executive, Gloucestershire County Council said: “I’m very proud that Gloucestershire County Council has been recognised amongst the top 100 gay-friendly organisations, and that we have moved up 34 places since last year to joint best performing county council.  We will continue to use the Index to develop best practice.  I really feel this is a fair recognition that for all matters of equal opportunity we take these issues very seriously.  We want to be best able to serve our diverse communities, and for the Council to be a great place to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination for any reason.”

Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying and also works with a whole range of agencies to address the needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the wider community.

Tags: gloucestershire

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