Bringing the war home!

Last Saturday evening we were proud to host a performance by Spaniel in the Works Theatre Company of Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl. It was a powerful and emotional performance depicting the lives of one Gloucestershire family in WW1 and fitting that it was held in the church alongside the war memorial for which we are raising funds to clean. Thanks to all who supported us and to the additional generosity of Rodborough parish Council, we now have the funding to go ahead.                                                                      

Ernest Cook 1918 -1993

Does anyone have any photos or memories for his daughter who is writing a book?Nov 8th this year would have been Ernest’s 100th birthday.

  • Played cricket for Rodborough Tabernacle and football at Marling School and for Rodborough.
  • Leading light in the RT Players from its inception up to the 1950s.
  • Worked as a Draughtsman at T H and J Daniels engineering works.
  • Was a member of the Concert Party there and was key in introducing the entertainment for the Cowley Manor Conferences that Daniels ran.

Last post for war memorial details!

Please help! We are putting the finishing touches to a book about the Rodborough men who lost their lives in WW1. It would be a pity if there was some information that we had missed and we wonder if anyone can tell us more.

In addition to those named on the war memorial we have found a number of other war deaths:

BISHOP James, BURFORD Alfred Charles, BURROUGHS Charles Henry, FREEBURY Grantley G. V., JONES Edward, KNEE Ephraim Charles, LUSTY Henry John, PHILPOTTS Harry Stephen, POWELL Samuel Huntley, STOCKWELL John, TAYLOR Robert Frederick, CULL Thomas Bishop, CULL William Strange, WALKER William

The Pike House

One of the best things about Remembering Rodborough’s website is reaching people across the globe. We’ve had contact from a delightful lady in the US who has very special memories of being evacuated from Birmingham to The Pike House opposite the Prince Albert. This photo of the garden is from c1940. Does anyone have any photos of the Pike House?

Old treasures

Thank you to everyone who made this morning’s event such fun. Sometimes it’s like the Antiques Roadshow without the cameras. These exciting packages bundled in old newspaper and brown paper have a remarkable story; Ernest Mills of Park Lodge, Dudbridge Hill was employed by the Apperly and Curtis Woollen Mill when it became bankrupt in 1933 and Charles Apperly “moved quickly to the South of France”. His workers were paid off in cloths lengths and those seen here have been a treasured family possession. Today they were on their way to a safe home at Stroud Museum.

Do you love old maps?

Have you had a look at Know Your Place ?

Covering the South west of England, Know Your Place is a digital heritage mapping resource to help you to explore your neighbourhood online through historic maps, collections and linked information.

It’s worth the effort required in learning to navigate the maps.

Look at this screenshot of Rodborough in 1835 – there’s not much there!

Rodborough from an 1835 Stroud map.



It was lovely to see our youngsters today enjoying the snow with sledges and various improvisations, just as always…

Some smart equipment and trusty plastic bags here. This is undated Copyright of Gloucestershire Gazette
These boys in the mid 50s look well kitted out. taken above Kingscourt Lane.


Seasons Greetings

We would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas. We appreciate the support we have received from so many people and local groups. Your enthusiasm and contribution has kept Remembering Rodborough thriving. We are eagerly looking forward to  2018. Take a look at our planned events.



Stroud Voices

Remembering Rodborough began as a Heritage Lottery funded project in 2009. Part of the brief was the audio recording of memories. A very precious archive was acquired then and has been added to and we are delighted to be gradually passing this material to the Stroud Voices website who will publish, edit and reference  it so that searches of place and subject are possible.

For a bit of nostalgia on a wintery day, take a look at






Beautiful family photos

We have been given permission to use these family photos by the Facebook page Stroud Valleys Photographs.

The post reads:

“This is a Stroud Family called Cooke of Mum, Dad and 9 children and was taken around 1907/8.

They lived at one time in Lower Street, Stroud and then by1911 Spillmans Road, Rodborough. The children’s names were: Florence (1891), Julia (1893), Charlie (1894), Ivy (1895), Myrtle (1896), Alma (1899), Zina (1902), Martha (1904), Leah (1907).

Some of the girls later emigrated to America and married out there…  The remainder stayed around Rodborough with the girls working at the Strachans Cloth Mill at the bottom of the hill.

Myrtle and Zina became famous in 1947 when they were photographed make the cloth for The Duke of Edinburgh’s suit for his wedding to the Queen.

… Hope you enjoy the story and history. Oh I love the dolls as well, can you spot them.”

Charlie Cooke pictured in the family photo was remembered in an interview recorded for Remembering Rodborough. He was a chimney sweep and the interviewee as a small boy had set off in his pedal car down Walkley Hill to meet his father. He was ‘rescued’ and brought back in the sweep’s cart by Charlie.

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.

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?