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Hands-on history sessions over half-term at the Corinium Museum

Events, Features, Places by Adam 1 Comment »

Rancid remedies and ancient legends are just two of the sessions available for families at Cirencester’s Corinium Museum this half term.

The first feast on families’ agendas takes place on October 24th when the Park Street museum hosts a ‘Myths and Masks’ session. Children and their families are all invited to the drop-in activity session from 1pm-3pm, where youngsters can make a Medusa mask with waving snakes or make a mask based on Jupiter, king of the gods, with moving thunder bolts and lightning flashes. Entry is included in admission price.

‘Medicine Through Time’, held on Thursday 25th October (2 – 4pm), is a fun quiz for family teams, which will look at bizarre medical practices and strange potions throughout the years, with hands-on activities and gruelling brain teasers for all ages! Cost is included in admission, and booking is essential.

Finally, taking place on Thursday 25th October from 10.30am – 12pm, ‘Medieval Tile Making’ takes inspiration from some of the medieval clay tiles on display in the Museum from Cirencester Abbey and is for children aged 7 – 12. Learn the skills of the men who made these beautiful objects and make your own to take home. Cost: £4 or £2 to annual season ticket holders.

For more information or to book, please ring the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611, or contact Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester, Glos GL7 2BX.

Article included with kind permission of Cotswold District Council - www.cotswold.gov.uk

Public invited to attend Millennium Cathedral Service

Events, Features by Adam No Comments »

‘A Service Celebrating 1,000 Years of the Shire of Gloucester’

(c) Gloucestershire 1000 and its associate partnersMembers of the public are invited to a special service being held at Gloucester Cathedral to mark 1000th birthday of the county.

The service takes place at 3pm on October 14th 2007 with readings from key people living and working in the county. The readings are being divided into a celebration of Gloucestershire’s working life, cultural life, spiritual life and natural life, with hymns and anthems that have a Gloucestershire link. Each one will be giving recognition to a few of Gloucestershire’s sons and daughters who have contributed to the county’s past.

‘We only have time for a few readings, so we had the difficult task of making a selection of people from Gloucestershire’s history,’ explains Laura Fleming, Project Co-ordinator for Gloucestershire 1000. ‘But we hope the short readings will offer a chance for the congregation to discover more about some of the people who contributed to our local history’.

Where possible, organisers have tried to find pieces written by each person rather than a biography about their life. ‘We thought that it might be more interesting if we heard each person’s own words about their county or the work they did here. Gloucestershire Archives has been incredibly helpful in providing us with information and documents.’

There are a limited number of tickets available for members of the public wishing to attend the special service. Anyone or any faith who is interested in celebrating the county’s millennium as part of the significant service should write to the address below as soon as possible.

Gloucester CathedralInvitations will also be sent to a wide selection of representatives from different faiths, community groups and volunteer organisations, local councils and the military.

The Cathedral Service follows a military parade at RAF Innsworth earlier in the day by The First Review of the Gloucestershire Army Cadet Force under their new RIFLES badge.

Both events will be accompanied by the Corps of Drums of the ACF under the direction of Drum Major, Andrew Casey.

A Gloucestershire 1000 Prayer has also been written by the Bishop of Gloucester. It is hoped that this will be read in every church or religious building in the county on the day of the service.

www.gloucestershire1000.org.uk
www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk

Related articles about the Gloucestershire 1,000 celebrations from this site:

Fold 1,000 cranes for good luck
Big Boddington Bonanza 1000
Gloucestershire 1,000 celebrations – The past is present
Gloucestershire’s Birthday – Last chance to share your view
The County of Gloucestershire is 1000 years old

Life in the 1500s

Chipping Campden Bulletin by Adam No Comments »

A taste of life in England during the 1500s by Roger Keight, Campden and district historical and archaeological society.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. They were starting to smell, however, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children, with last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”.

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice and bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs”.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house from the roof. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor”. The wealthy had slate floors which would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. Hence the thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to go cold overnight and then start again the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they would obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon”. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit round the table and, “chew the fat”.

Those with money had pewter plates. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach on to the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next four hundred years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle and guests got the top or the ‘upper crust’.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather round, eat and drink and wait to see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone house, and re-use the grave. When re-opening these coffins, one out of twenty-five were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer”.

Roger Keight. Campden and district historical and archaeological society.
If you are interested in joining CADHAS or want to find out more information, you can visit the Chipping Campden History website.

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

Gloucestershire 1,000 celebrations – The past is present

Features by Adam 2 Comments »

Gloucestershire 1000Festival explores historical discoveries

New discoveries about our county’s past are set to be unearthed this autumn with the launch of Gloucestershire’s first history festival as part of the Gloucestershire 1000 celebrations.

The millennium celebrations provide an ideal opportunity to rediscover the story of Gloucestershire over the centuries and celebrate the achievements of its inhabitants both within the county and the impact of their successes around the world. The festival is in light of the National Trust’s History Matters campaign.

Organisations across the county will be hosting history and heritage events, starting with a programme of activities this autumn featuring open days, talks, tours and activities and a Local History Afternoon on the theme of ‘Non-Conformity in Gloucestershire’.

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is creating an impression of the county in the year of its ‘birth’, and has researched how the county’s natural habitats looked, smelt and sounded in 1007. The Anglo-Saxon population of Gloucestershire would have lived alongside bears, wolves and beavers in a landscape that we would barely recognise today.

The annual Heritage Open Days in September will enable members of the public to see behind closed doors at some of the county’s most interesting buildings, and October’s Black History Month offers a chance to discover more about how the past has contributed to Gloucestershire’s present. A number of the county’s museums are also running history events as part of The Big Draw campaign.

The Festival offers an opportunity to promote the resources available in discovering more about local history, including Gloucestershire Archives and the local museums and heritage centres.

Visit the website www.gloucestershire1000.org.uk
to see more detailed events listings.

For more about Gloucestershire’s birthday and some of the history of the county, see our Gloucestershire 1000 article.

Round-up of countywide events Read the rest of this entry »

The County of Gloucestershire is 1000 years old

Features by Tony 3 Comments »

(c) Gloucestershire 1000 and its associate partners

Happy Birthday Gloucestershire – thats a lot of candles to blow out

Gloucestershire 1000 will celebrate with a variety of local and countywide events to highlight the history, culture and economy of the county. The celebrations will run until spring 2008, and will feature a range of events run by communities, museums, arts organisations and music groups in Gloucestershire.

The purpose of Gloucestershire’s Millennium Year is to raise understanding of the history and international significance of the story of Gloucestershire and of it’s people.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester is Patron of Gloucestershire 1000 and the Lord-Lieutenant Henry Elwes is President of the project.

As part of this raising of awareness a new competition has been launched – Write Around Gloucestershire – celebrating the tradition of the written word in Gloucestershire by inviting anyone who lives, works or studies in the County to try their hand at writing.

It can be a story, poem, anecdote, play, essay, traditional tale, speech or article upto a maximum of 1000 words and must relate to Gloucestershire.

Write Around Gloucestershire Brochure

The competition runs until 25th November 2007 and full details and conditions of entry can be found at www.gloucestershire1000.org.uk

The History of Gloucestershire’s “Birth”

The year 2007 has been recognised as the 1000th birthday of the county of Gloucestershire. Various historians believe 1007 to be the year that the territory of Mercia was divided into shires and the county of Gloucestershire came into existence.
Read the rest of this entry »

Chipping Campden – Sequel to the Scuttlebrook wake verse

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam No Comments »

1915

A sequel to our ’1915′ Scuttlebrook poem saga has emerged. Further anecdotal evidence suggests that Scuttlebrook Wake again came under threat soon after the opening of the recreation ground in 1934 and another Coldicott was involved. A ‘Save Scuttlebrook Wake in Leasbourne’ group ( of which Fred Coldicott was a member) sprang up following the town council’s insistence that all future celebrations, including Scuttlebrook, should take place in ‘their’ new field. The group organised their own ‘Leasbourne’ Scuttlebrook celebrations by putting up stalls, donkey rides and selling refreshments.

Tradition triumphed as Scuttlebrook retreated from the recreation ground to be unanimously celebrated the following year (1935) in Leasbourne. During WWII one stall was erected by Laurence Ladbrook to keep the charter intact and maintain the tradition.

Unfortunately the last line was missed from the poem in the last Bulletin, the last verse should have read

So just let our brave lads know at the front
And the kiddies they ‘ve left behind,
That good old Campden’s flag still flies
For the sake of “Ye Olden Times”!!

The Archive Room at the Old Police Station, Chipping Campden
(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. included with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

 

Ebrington needs help from St. Swithin

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Ebrington Floods 2Friday 20th July – Floods in Ebrington after a day of torrential rain

It rained and rained and rained all day.

It had also rained on St Swithin’s Day, Sunday 15th July and the rhyme says:-

St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain,
Full forty days, it will remain
St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair
For forty days, t’will rain no more.

On Friday I think that we got the full forty days of rain in the one day.
Ebrington Floods 1
Like most places in the Cotswolds and in both Worcestershire and Warwickshire the village was inundated with water. The drains and ditches could not cope, the roads rapidly became streams, the streams became lakes and the water just ran off the fields in torrents into the houses.

In spite of all the water damage, and some people have seen their properties damaged very badly, the British spirit rang true and all the travellers who could go no further, and there were many of them including families with small children and a pregnant lady, because all the local towns were cut off and all the local roads flooded, were accomodated locally.

Some have had to stay a second night as, because of the sheer volume of broken down cars in the area, the rescue services cannot get to them until Sunday.

Ebrington is no different to any other village and was certainly not as badly hit as some villages in the area, but in a time of stress everybody does pull together and look after those less fortunate.

So St.Swithin please do not send rain like that again – we have had our forty days.

St.Swithin was an early Saxon Bishop of Winchester and is buried in the Cathedral. It is said that he requested to be buried in a common graveyard, “where the rain would fall on him and the feet of ordinary men could pass over him.” His wishes were followed but then it was decided to move his body inside the Cathedral. When this was done there was a great storm.

Prayers to St. Swithin met with miraculous cures and he was canonized.

There is no evidence to support the “40 days” but the rhyme has stuck and become familiar.

Chipping Campden – Scuttlebrook wake verse

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam 1 Comment »

1915
CHIPPING CAMPDEN
YE OLDE WAKE OF SCUTTLEBROOKE

The “Church and State” and Scuttlebrook Wake
Have into conflict come,
“This dreadful Wake it SHALL be stopped”
Says Leysbourne’s ‘Peeping Tom’.

We’ll have a committee terror strike
At the root of this innocent fun
And make the promotors feel that we
Are like the German Hun.

They shall have their festival once more
And woe to those who say,
That Scuttlebrooke Wake for old times sake
Shall live another day!

So, wake up, Campdonians, as of old
And stick to your colours true,
And let them see that the good old Wake
Shan’t be smashed by a Committee that’s only a
fake, For we are fighters too.

Now there’s “good old Bob” as has done the job,
And kept the Wake alive,
But “the goodies” say its time that we
His “honors” do divide.

So just let our brave lads know at the front
And the kiddies they’ve left behind,
That good old Campden’s flag still flies

So just let our brave lads know at the front
And the kiddies they ‘ve left behind,
That good old Campden’s flag still flies
For the sake of “Ye Olden Times”!!

This timely piece of verse has appeared among the Campden & District Historical and Archaeological Society (CADHAS) archive records and we wondered what the story was behind it. The Evesham Journal records reveal nothing but the minutes of the parish council for llth May 1915 appear to tell the story:

“After a lengthy discussion on the subject of Scuttlebrook Wake on Whit Saturday, the clerk was directed to write to Mr. Lucas and say that the council recommend the inhabitants of Leasbourne and others interested to form a strong committee to carry out the arrangements – particularly the finance side – on strict businesslike lines, so that any damage which may be done to the grass or otherwise, may be met by funds received from the stallholders or other sources”.

It has been suggested that the possible opposer to the Wake was Mr. Charles Lucas, who lived in Leysbourne, and was clerk to -the solicitor family of Griffiths at Bedfont House. Mr Lucas was also clerk to the magistrates and rent collector for the Earl of Gainsborough’s estate, a role which did not add to his personal popularity. The defender of the celebrations may have been Mr. Robert (Bob) Coldicott, who kept The Kettle, also in Leysbourne. A balance sheet, signed by Mr. Geo. Ebborn on behalf of the committee, was presented to the parish council in June 1915 showing reserves of £1 after expenses had been paid!

Can you add to this story? If so, add a comment on this blog or contact THE ARCHIVE ROOM at the Old Police Station, Chipping Campden.

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

For more information about Scuttlebrook Wake, click here

Chipping Campden CADHAS local history and archive room

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam 1 Comment »

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

THE LOCAL HISTORY AND ARCHIVE ROOM

You may have seen my colleagues or me, hurrying down the High Street clutching files or papers, heard us call ‘just off to the archives’: or noticed us scurrying into the Old Police Station at all hours. Perhaps you have wondered what we do there?

The CADHAS local history and archive room is in the Old Police Station on the first floor. It is run by Olivia Amphlett, CADHAS archivist and her main assistants, Monica Bedding, Judith Ellis, Jennifer Bruce and Carol Jackson with a team of fourteen volunteers. The archive room was first set up in 2003 and since that time has been open regularly on Monday afternoons, Wednesdays am & pm, Thursday and Saturday mornings for members of the public, Campden locals, CADHAS members or visitors to the town to visit and consult CADHAS records. Read the rest of this entry »

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