Lest we forget

The lettering on Rodborough’s WW2 memorial has been repainted thanks to generous donations to Remembering Rodborough. The wording is much more legible, though the reflective stone is difficult to photograph.

Calling the Haines family!

Rodborough Parish Minute Book – 9th April 1840
“At a special vestry meeting held this day according to a notice fixed on the church door and pursuant to the Act of Parliament it was resolved that the application of Jacob Haines to be sent to Australia with his family of six sons and one daughter should be acceded to and notice then sent to the Board of Guardians.”
(Provision for the emigration of the poor, with the cost being borne by an emigrant’s home parish, was included in section 62 of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.  http://www.workhouses.org.uk/emigration/.) 
It seems, however, that Jacob didn’t go, as the family are found on later census records at Houndscroft. He was a woollen weaver born in 1796 and lived to the age of 84. With all those sons there must be lots of Haines descendants around – wondering if they know how close they came to being Aussies!


Ordnance Survey benchmarks in Rodbrough

I have a feeling of delight and amazement when I become aware of something that I must have passed hundreds of times and not noticed. Cresby Brown or ‘Mr Red’ has been carefully recording Ordnance Survey benchmarks before they disappear.

Looking at http://benchmarks.mister.red/#rodborough I realise how unobservant I have been. There are 28 benchmarks photographed in Rodborough.

This bench mark is on the wall outside 34 Spillmans Rd.

The term benchmark, or bench mark, originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made in stone structures, into which an angle-iron could be placed to form a “bench” for a leveling rod, thus ensuring that a leveling rod could be accurately repositioned in the same place in the future.


Kitesnest Lane Cottages

All the news in the media about the Armistice centenary has stimulated many family memories.

We have been sent a photo of Albert Edward (Ted) Clarke who lived in a cottage in Kitesnest Lane. He survived the war and emigrated to Australia with his family in 1927.

Albert Edward Clarke

We know he lived at a group of cottages and out buildings known as the Homestead above the allotments in Kitesnest Lane.

From https://britainfromabove.org.uk. 1933. The Homestead right.

We believe the buildings were demolished in the 80s. The photo below shows cider making at The Homestead in the 70s

Does anyone have any photos of the cottages?

Name added to WW2 memorial

It’s finally time for Rodborough to say thank you to Sergeant John Cuthbert who gave his young life in 1944 when his plane was lost, believed to have been shot down near Brest in France. He was 23 years old and left a young wife and a baby born three weeks later. His name has now been added to the WW2 memorial.

In tribute to the Rodborough boys

After a beautiful service on Remembrance Sunday flowers and messages were placed under the WW1 memorial in an attempt to recreate an impression of the striking display at the unveiling in 1920.

Initially placed randomly they formed a rather artistic floral heap!

A talented lady has now worked her magic and they are transformed to a beautiful display that will last a little longer.


In tribute to the fallen of the Great War

The war memorial was cleaned yesterday and is looking much better. It may continue to lighten a little in the next few days as the cleaning agents continue to work.

Apparently this memorial would cost around £6,000 if it was commissioned today! It cost £62 in 1920. Taking care of it is a fitting tribute to the fallen of the parish and we are very grateful for the support of the community, the Church and the Parish Council.

Scouts photos galore!!

We are very excited to have been loaned Rodborough Scouts Archive. We will be busy scanning for quite a while, but hope to share some of the pictures here.

This little snap was in the bottom of the box with the woodlice! Any thoughts?

Rodborough Scouts – unlabeled.

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.                                                                      

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 coming from Birmingham to stay with grandparents at 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. www.kypwest.org.uk


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 http://stroudvoices.co.uk/find/#rodborough






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.

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.