Amazing what turns up!

Sorting through some boxes of documents relating to The Old Endowed School, these rather interesting pieces appeared.

This accounts book page from the Endowed School features some local shop names that may be remembered.
There is no name of the author on this booklet, perhaps by the vicar of the time?

Both are on their way to Gloucestershire Archives.


Church windows

Today Rodborough’s vicar Peter Francis has been speaking on Radio Gloucestershire about the special stained glass windows in Rodborough Church. We are honoured to give home to the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ window. Rev Awdry spent his retirement years in Rodborough from 1965. His wife Margaret was well-loved in the community and ran the infant welfare clinic at The Endowed School. After her death in 1989 Rev. Awdry commissioned the window in tribute to her. He died in 1997 before it was installed.

A small section from the commemorative window showing the Rev. Awdry shutting the engine shed doors for the last time.

Equally special is the window in the Lady Chapel. This commemorates 2nd Lieutenant Norman Steel who was killed, aged 20, at Passchendaele in 1917 and all those Rodborough men lost in WW1. The window was installed in 1939 after the outbreak of the Second World War. The dove perhaps a hope for peace. The window by Mr Henry Payne of Amberley was the gift of the executors of the late Mrs Steel.

The window in the Lady Chapel shows a soldier bending before a wayside cross with the poppies of Flanders fields above a regimental badge of the Glosters. In the distance is a building in flames.

Remembrance 2017

Huge thanks to Rodborough Scouts who have again tidied the Commonwealth War Graves and those family graves commemorating soldiers who died in the First World War. A map and list appears here

The grave of Herbert Charles Nicholls is marked with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.
Herbert Charles Nicholls died on 15th October 1918 aged 33 of Gun Shot Wounds to his spine sustained at the Battle of the Canal du Nord, near Cambrai.

Stroud ‘Rodborough’ Golf Club

Click on image to view and enlarge

Further to our conversations about ‘Rodborough’ Golf Club, it has been confirmed that Stroud Golf Club was indeed run from The Bear. The club house was the striped building seen in these photos. Interestingly, Rodborough Bowling Club (not to be confused with the Prince Albert Bowling Club) also had its HQ here.

Rodborough Golf links?

We had  some interesting discussions today about the golf course that went around Rodborough Common. It was opened in 1906 and operated until 1930. The only photo we’ve seen of it is copyright of Stroud Museum. It was described to us an the ‘working man’s golf course’ with clubs etc. available from a hut near Winstone’s ice-cream, though  suggests that it was run by The Bear Inn. The course had 9 holes going around the Private Rd and alongside the Fort and back via Over Butterrow. Some of the greens are still visible today.

Does anyone have any memorabilia?

What an amazing day

Thanks to all the lovely people who came to see us at Rodborough Community Hall. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for our local history project. We had those wonderful ‘Antiques Roadshow’ moments when people brought things along, we introduced folks to others with a shared interest, we talked over tea and cakes and at times you were all as quietly absorbed as mice in  a reading room! 

What about this one?

This is another photo copyright of the Gloucestershire Gazette. The labelling is difficult to read. It looks like ‘Audio visual aids feature for R.K. Leadther’s, Rodborough’. Can anyone offer any information?


We need information!

We are hoping to see lots of you on Sunday 15th October for tea and chat and to help us identify people, dates and places. We have all sorts of lovely new photos that will spark some memories and create a bit of nostalgia – the fashions, the wallpaper, the retirement gifts!

What about this one?

Who? Where?When? Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette

And what was going on here?

‘U.N. Work Camp Rodborough’
Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette

Butterrow Book Exchange


Butterrow Phone Box before restoration
Butterrow Book Exchange









Eighteen months ago, Butterrow Book Group approached Rodborough Parish Council in the hope that the iconic red telephone kiosk on Rodborough Lane could be preserved for the benefit of local residents. This quintessentially British treasure was due to be removed by BT, a fate which has befallen thousands of kiosks in recent years – nearly half of the phone boxes in the UK have been removed. This telephone kiosk is an older (1935-1952) K6 model bearing the Tudor crown instead of the more recent St Edward’s crown models which were manufactured after the Queen’s coronation. Butterrow Book Group’s intention was to repaint it and convert it into a community book share.  Indeed, 4000 communities UK wide have joined this scheme.
Happily, RPC agreed to adopt it in a very straightforward process which simply involved the payment of £1. Butterrow Book Group has lovingly restored it to its former glory and given it a new lease of life. Many Butterrow households took part in the restoration, making it a hugely successful community project which has drawn many encouraging and supportive comments.  Thank you to everyone in the area who has spurred them on by expressing their interest, joining in, donating books and by simply expressing their good wishes and telling them how lovely the kiosk looks!

Daniels’ site

Once a prime local employers and notable for the production of munitions during WW1, the Daniels’ site has been the subject of a recent planning application. A member of the Daniels’ family believes that the the site has underground tunnels constructed in 1914 for the the storage of shells etc and a huge underground storage area for water. This appears to have been dismissed by the planning survey.

From Gloucestershire Live by Ben Faulkener (5th Sept 2017)

Peter Daniels of the family who the site is named after, wants the committee to hold off making a decision.

“There are caves under the site to support ammunition, underground water facilities require investigation. Local women worked 12 hour shifts and were the main suppliers of shells. Those people in Rodborough helped us win the First World War and that should not be forgotten. Please defer this application – if it is no we have lost this application to investigate the site.”……

Paul Fong, Hunter Page Planning: “A very detailed historic and archaeological assessment has been done to avoid delay. It is clear this is mixed use and I don’t want housing and employment to escape you.”

Does anyone have any information to support this?


Lots of new photos

Here at remembering Rodborough we are very excited to have received a large shoebox full of negatives from the Dursley Gazette office. We will be working our way through these, so that we can display them at our forthcoming events. We are going to need help in identifying names, places and dates for many of them!

Can you date this photo?

Sharing our history

Despite the pouring rain, we had a great turn out at the Coffee Pot yesterday. We are always thrilled at the little gems of information gleaned. It feels like adding extra pieces to the jigsaw of Rodborough.

Who knew that this milestone sits on Dudbridge Road? I, for one, have never noticed it.

Rodborough – a vibrant community

We are very grateful to Rodborough Parish Council for a generous donation that has enabled us to set up this website.

The grant awards evening was an uplifting experience; Rodborough has so many active community groups, among them the Butterrow Book Group, who have adopted the redundant phone box on Rodborough Lane (It has been bought by the Parish Council) and will be converted to a book share kiosk. It dates from somewhere between 1936 and 1952. Does anyone know?

It’s interesting to reflect that photographing what we think of as ordinary may have huge historical value.

This photo was taken in 2012 as a modern day comparison to …..
…this photo of Butterrow Pike pre-phone box.

Also spotted and both in use, were two phone boxes in Dudbridge

Dudbridge Hill. The Police car registration dates from 1987. Note the man on the roof and the apparent lack of any safety precautions!
Dudbridge, opposite Redlers 1990

Another successful exhibition

On Sunday 26th March Rodborough’s Community hall was filled with lovely people, lots of buzz and chatter and interesting exchanges of information. Thanks to everyone for their support and to those who have offered to help – ‘Welcome’.

Photo – thanks to Rodborough Parish Council

If you missed the event, we will be at The Coffee Pot, Community Cafe, The Old Endowed School, Walkley Hill on Weds May 17th from 10-12 with our vast archive of photos, which you may browse at leisure and enjoy good company and delicious refreshments.

Book now available at discounted price of £10 from Remembering Rodborough

We are delighted to announce the launch of our book. It has chapters on Eugene Paul Bennett V.C. of Rodborough and a chapter on  Rodborough dealing with how the whole community coped during the First World War


This welcome new addition to the library of books dealing with the local history of the Stroud area is meticulously researched, informative and often – perhaps surprisingly – quite amusing. It summarises the investigations of groups and individuals involved in studying the story of the First World War in Stroud, Rodborough, Minchinhampton, Woodchester, Stonehouse, Brimscombe, Chalford, France Lynch and Bussage. In addition, it is enhanced by introductory and concluding chapters from distinguished journalist Peter Evans, born locally and former leader writer for The Times.

Some contributions to the book deal in detail with the history of individual combatants in the First World War, others record more about how the conflict affected local people. Fund-raising events, the work of volunteer groups and the use of women to fill employment gaps caused by the conscription of so many men, are just a few of the subjects covered.

Four chapters concern single topics: Paul Bennett’s VC, Minchinhampton Aerodrome, Woodchester Wayside Cross and the Cole brothers of Brimscombe. Other sections tell of the impact – and unintended consequences – the war had on parishes and individuals. Stories included describe Stroud’s intriguingly named ‘1917 Patriotic Economy Exhibition’, Rodborough’s unique ‘fruit evaporator’, Minchinhampton’s tragic double suicide, the mirror and Bible that saved the life of a Chalford soldier, a Woodchester hen that laid a 6 ounce egg with three yolks and how a Stonehouse soldier survived a torpedo attack.

All this, and a great deal more, makes ‘The Stroud Valleys in the Great War’ a compulsive read for all those interested in how local communities endured and survived the ‘War to end wars’

The Dudbridge Blackbirds

The Stroud News carried several pieces about a family of blackbirds who achieved acclaim in 1911. House painter, Samuel Haden of Bay Tree House, Dudbridge, kept a tame female blackbird, who was allowed to fly freely within his house. Feeling so much at home, the bird constructed a nest on the mantel shelf in the living room and laid four eggs. Accounts vary as to whether a ‘Mr Blackbird’ was involved; it has been suggested that Mr Haden substituted fertile eggs from the wild. However, four baby blackbirds hatched, thrived and eventually flew away. Stroud News readers were invited to view the chicks and Mr Haden proudly wrote to the new King, George V and his mother, sending photos and received a royal response.
Such was the notoriety of the birds that at Stroud Carnival, in June 1911, a float was paraded with a nest made of hay and little boys in black clothes, with blackened faces sat inside bobbing up and down.
The original nest can be seen at the Museum in the Park. It sits on the mantelpiece in Gallery 7, alongside a changing display of old old local scenes from the Wilf Merrett postcard collection.