Enquiry archive

Since we launched our website in 2010 we have received a number of enquiries. These are circulated to members and now, when we receive specific consent, added here (in batches).

Here is a selection from the enquiries (latest on top; edited) with the answers our members have offered (also edited). Occasionally we send information directly to the enquirer that does not appear here.

    • [Comments like this, in italics, are from our SLHS backroom. Unattributed answers are also from our backroom]
    • Some of the questions are STILL OPEN.

If you would like to offer an answer, or add more detail to any of the enquiries, please Contact Us and quote the Enquiry number.

If you want to search this Enquiries list, use your browser’s own Search utility (Ctrl+F in most cases) to skip quickly down. OR use our Search tab to search the whole SLHS website.

Note: The websites in the replies below may have been recommended a few years ago. Please let us know if any link is broken.

Please remember that questions about specific people are better referred to the Gloucestershire Family History Society. Such enquiries are not normally published on this page, nor are enquiries that have been forwarded to neighbouring local history groups.

Stroud College of Art – Enquiry 567 (Oct 2019)

Q: I am trying to find information about the history of the Art College.
A: John Libby’s 1890’s book Twenty Years’ History of Stroud is a good detailed source for the early days of the Lansdown building (copy in Stroud Library). Gloucester Archives has an inventory compiled by retired governor Mike Farmer that includes the prospectuses. https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/

Stroud’s recent history – Enquiries 538 and 543 (Aug 2019)

Q: My A level Geography includes a project to research changes in the town centre over the past 20 years. I will be interviewing residents but need to source secondary data, esp shops and commercial premises.
A: the most recent old map is 1921 -1943, which was how it was in the early 1960s. By 1967 work had started on demolition, widening roads and creating car parks. There are comparison maps here too, with an OS map from 1949-1968


A: Try these books: Stroud Streets and Shops by Wilf Merrett, which lists the changed shops up to 2003, Stroud a town changed by community action by Camilla Hale and Dominique Shead looks at 1975 to 2012

On our website www.stroudlocalhistorysociety.org.uk/research/30-years/ looks at 1984 to 2014.

Piano making in Glos – Enquiry 533 (July 2019)

Q: I am doing a series about heritage crafts in Gloucestershire for the BBC. Piano Making is listed as ‘Critically Endangered.’ I know the Bentley Piano was made in Woodchester and I’d love to speak to someone from the His Soc about why it closed – or if you know of anyone who used to work there, about their time making pianos.
A: You can find some newspaper reports about this on our website.

A: (MiP) The museum does have some material relating to this company including portraits of the owners and promotional literature, and in fact we do also have a Stroud Piano made in 1926. None of these things are currently on display, though we could arrange for you to view them if you wish. We also have an archive relating to Ian Harley McIver, a piano maker who lived and worked in Nailsworth and developed a very special kind of upright piano – again, this archive is not currently on display.

Stroud’s Industrial Heritage – Enquiry 527 (June 2019)

Q: I am researching Gloucestershire’s industrial heritage and would like to see a resource book you mention on your website.

A: The book is Industries – Exploring Gloucestershire’s Industrial Heritage ed Ray Wilson, pub 2005 by GSIA (Glos Society for Industrial Archaelogy) – a comprehensive, indexed and mapped list of industrial buildings in the county. Copies are available in most of the county libraries and the 1992 edition is on sale, online. The GSIA book only has one paragraph about each site which has probably come from the Victoria County History for Glos, and that the best website to visit for detailed information is that of the GSIA itself: https://www.gsia.org.uk/


Military burials in Stroud Cemetery – Enquiry 524 (June 2019)

Q: I am curious as to the number of military headstones in the cemetery, up Bisley Road. Has there been any research conducted on the men who and why they are buried there?


Sampson & Co – Leather Belt Manufacturers – Enquiry 511 (Mar 2019)

Q: I am trying to find the Sampson Belt Works in Lower Street. Was that at Piccadilly Mill? It was established by Thomas Sampson who lived at Linden Lodge

A: Linden Lodge is now the Linden’s nursery school. The belt works was listed as 19 Lower Street in 1867, which is next door to Lindon Lodge. The Atelier workshops are now on the first floor of No 19. The earliest entry for Piccadilly Mill was an 1844 wood turner and by 1923 it was the workshops of Baughan Motors.

Convent in Stroud – Enquiry 510 (Feb 2019)

Q: I’m researching the historical impact of nuns in Gloucestershire for a radio documentary. Can you help about the Convent in Stroud?

A: An online search for “St Rose’s Convent Stroud” will bring several results. Some of the nuns are buried at Woodchester Roman Catholic church. Elgar’s sister was Prioress

A: (JB) Catholic History Society will tell you why there are so many convents and religious houses in Glos. Mostly Dominicans, Sister Wulstan from St. Roses was parish visitor for Stroud for many years, a historian. She is buried at The Priory Church of the Annunciation, Woodchester; Priory demolished 1970 both built by William Leigh, also Woodchester Mansion. The Poor Clare Franciscans were at Woodchester. Handmaids of Precious Blood, Little Company of Hope, both in Brownshill, now Bernardines.

A: (EC) I went to the funeral of Miss Beatrice Scott, who taught the violin in Stroud for many years, which took place at the convent at Randwick near Stroud. It was not until her funeral that I realised she had been a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. Relatives went to other countries and could not come to the funeral but sent messages. During her last years I gather that Miss Scott was cared for by Roman Catholic nuns who also arranged her funeral.

Aircraft Collision near Stroud March 1940 – Enquiry 500 (Jan 2019)

Q: I am making a study of all RAF parachute escapes up to April 30th 1940 and wonder if any SLHS members can help with a collision at Callowell Farm between Pilots P/O James Reginald Bryan “Jim” Meaker and P/O Charles Francis Ambrose around Feb/March 1940? I know of a box of Glos Gladiator bits labelled “”Gladiator. Collision Callowell Farm Near Whiteshill, Stroud 14th or 21st March 1940. Aircraft believed to be from 5 o.t.u. Aston Down”. A written report also mentions Bail Out (i.e Parachute) and three aircraft in formation at the time. There is also an account by Meaker which says he was flying in formation when the collision occurred, and a report that also says Meaker involved in a Gladiator Collison. Also Meaker and Ambrose were at 12 Group Pool at Aston Down at the same time – So a number of factors are right.
A: Details of aircraft and date from G E, added Nov 2022

29.03.40 N5588   Gladiator II, 263 Sqn, Collision with Gladiator N5960, Alveston

29.03.40 N5960   Gladiator II, 263 Sqn, Collision with Gladiator N5588, Alveston

Wades Farm, The Vatch – Enquiry 498 (December 2018)

Q: I am trying to find some history of Wades Farm.
A: This is a fine untouched farmhouse which was owned by the Taylor family for 150 years.
A (EW): I suggest you look at the British Newspaper Archive online – you can search it for a short time as a trial. I have just had a go and there are a lot of references over the years. There are a few hits on the Gloucester Archives catalogue but nothing of great interest, I thought.

Warman family at The Woodlands – Enquiry 495 (December 2018)

Q: I am researching the Warman family who for many years were solicitors in Stroud and lived at The Woodlands. Do you know where it was?
A (MH): The house was, and still is, in Slad Road. I discovered some history of this house which can be found on http://www.johnhearfield.com/House/Driver.htm, and when researching for my book about the old Stroud Brewery discovered more about the fourth Peter Leversedge, of Stroud Brewery, who lived there in the 1830s.

Wicliffe Cycles of Stroud – Enquiry 494 (November 2018)

Q: Has any member come across Wichcliff Cycles of Stroud? I found a reference to them in a booklet of the Hereford Wheelers cycle group, mentioning my great grandfather who had been works manager there.
A: The closest we can suggest was Wicliffe Cycles and details of the follow-on Wicliffe Motors can be found in the Companies Local section of this website. Peacocks is there now.

Stroud Cemetery – Enquiry 491 (November 2018)

Q: A general request for any early information on Stroud Cemetery, laid out by Robert Marnock, an important garden designer, in the 1850s.
A: Maps, newspaper mentions, and a print sent, with excerpts from Fisher and details of holdings in the Museum in the Park. Also see Clive Burcher’s article in the Members’ Research section of this website.

House in Cainscross – Enquiry 482 (September 2018)

Q: any information on the large house in Cainscross where the Whitehouse houses are now. It was Field House on the 1880s map.
A: When I lived in Cainscross until 1956 it was the Whitehorse Pub.
A: The nearby footpath is part of a long-distance track leading through Hill Orchard up Dudbridge Hill to Rodborough Common.

Co-op Society Branch no 5 – Enquiry 479 (September 2018)

Q: I have a photo of an uncle standing in the door of this shop in the 1920s. Would you be able to tell me where that was?
A: Branch no. 5 of the Cainscross and Ebley Co-op was at Kings Stanley. A company advert showed that Stroud’s branches were at Chalford, Ruscombe, Brimscombe, Painswick, Rodborough and Stroud. The enquirer subsequently matched her photo to the Rodborough Hill branch.

Griffin Mill and Stroud Scarlet – Enquiry 477 (September 2018)

Q: I’m looking for old images of the various uses of Griffin Mill in the past, for instance, I am told that during WW2 glider winds were made in the attic space of the mill, and that it was a walking stick factory at one time. We’re also interested in recipes for dyes which were used.
A (PS): For Stroud Scarlet, see if WSP Textiles can help.
Tylers of Stroud, who were cabinet makers at Griffin Mill, made gliders for wartime troop transport. Information on the mill and on stick making can be found on

www.digitalstroud.co.uk/landmarks-thrupp-griffins-mill and https://www.gsia.org.uk/reprints/1996/gi199635.pdf

Arch in Kings Street – Enquiry 476 (September 2018)

Q: There was an arch in Kings Street in the early 1900s. Was it to celebrate Edward 7th’s coronation?
A (HB): It was part of the celebrations for the visit to Stroud of the County Agricultural Show. These visits were in 1892, 1907 and 1912, and there were arches at the second two – five arches in Stroud at the last. If you have a photo I can probably date it and, very likely, say who the photographer was.

Portrait of Joseph Watts, Subscription Rooms – Enquiry 464 (August 2018)

Q: I am trying to trace the original painting by H P Briggs which used to hang in the Subscription Rooms. I have seen the print which was made from it.
A (MH): I have found a newspaper cutting showing that this portrait was still hanging in the Subscription Rooms in 1961, but it has since disappeared.

Harriet Lane’s song – Enquiry 459 (August 2018)

Q: I am looking for a copy of the tune “Downfield” which was written for the hymn ‘Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,’ by Harriet Lane of The Lawn, Cainscross.
A: Various newspaper excerpts and details of the Lane family at Cainscross sent, links to graveyard records, etc.

James Bradley Astronomer – Enquiry 458 (August 2018)

Q: I am an astronomer hoping to find more details of James Bradley’s life and also about William Cowle and the telescope in his observatory.
A (MH): Information from her book on William Cowle sent.
A (BH): Was preparing a talk on Bradley and offered information.

Sevilles Mill Chalford – Enquiry 453 (July 2018)

Q: I am trying to find historical images of the original Sevilles Mill at Chalford.
A (HB): I have selected four images from my photograph collection to send you, but do not have a straight-on view. If you find one I would be interested to see it.

Canal-side companies – Enquiry 452 (July 2018)

Q: The Cotswold Canal Trust would like to find the names of old companies in Stroud such as Daniels, Redlers to use in a new project.
A (MH): The GSIA paper that lists the barge-owning businesses is here https://www.gsia.org.uk/canals/projects/s08_traffic_hcj.htm
The GSIA booklet Exploring Gloucestershire’s Industrial Heritage includes a map of old canal-side businesses.
Once you have a company name it is worth checking Grace’s guide for logos, adverts, products. https://gracesguide.co.uk/Main_Page

The Retreat School Cainscross – Enquiry 448 (July 2018)

Q: We live in part of this former school – are there any photos or documents about it?
A (MH): There is a bit about the school in the centenary book about St Matthew’s Church, but no photograph.

Old hospital near Eastcombe – Enquiry 429 (March 2018)

Q: My grandmother talked of a hospital or colony type of place somewhere near the Vatch side of Eastcombe/Toadsmoor, near a Daniel’s Farm, I think.
A (PS): The 1903 OS map on Know Your Place shows St Elizabeth’s Orphanage of Mercy, Eastcombe, and details of this can be found on www.childrenshomes.org.uk
A (JS): There is more information on the orphanage in the book ‘The Unknown Cotswold Village’ about the village of Eastcombe. The oldest building in the village is Rodways, formerly Daniel’s Farm.

Park House Gardens – Enquiry 428 (February 2018)

Q: I’m working with the Independence Trust and we are working on the gardens at the back of Park House. Do you have any details of their history or photographs?
A (MH): From my research on the Cowle Estate I am sending you the house history I wrote, which contains a plan of 1900, and details of some source material found at the Museum in the Park. There are no photographs known.

Hill Street – Tower Hill – Enquiry 415 (January 2018)

Q: I am interested in any old photos of Hill Street – Tower Hill around the Orange Tree pub area.
A (PS): There is information and a picture of the Orange Tree on this website

Stroud Fever Hospital, 1940s – Enquiry 413 (January 2018)

Q: My mother was a nurse in this hospital in the early WW2 as noted in the 1939 survey. Was this part of the general hospital/ Was there a nurses’ home?
A (PS): This was Cashes Green hospital built 1902-4 and closed in 1996.
There is a history of the hospital on www.stroud-history.org.uk/articles.php?article_id=175

Missing Houses in Middle Street – Enquiry 411 (January 2018)

Q: In the 1950s we used to live in a house behind Middle Street properties, reached by an alley next to 33 Middle Street, but many of these houses are now demolished. Any information or the date of demolition required.
A (PS): Part of a 1920s map sent, and some information about Chapel Street, which is behind Middle Street. Many of its houses have been demolished and the street rebuilt.

Brimscombe Railway Station – Enquiry 409 (January 2018)

Q: I am researching the station for a railway model, and need photographs of the goods shed or the station from the road side.
A (HB): I have many photos which may help, and you are welcome to view them.
A (MH): Since 2019 there are several Brimscombe photographs in the Shepheard Collection that you can find through our website, here:https://www.stroudlocalhistorysociety.org.uk/people-places/people/shepheard/.

Maps of Paganhill – Enquiry 406 (December 2017)

Q: I live in a cottage dated c1860 in Whiteshill – where can I see a printed map of this area?
A (PS): Maps of various years can be found at the National Library of Scotland and Know Your Place websites.

The Holbrows of Badbrook House and the dyeing industry – Enquiry 405 (November 2017)

Q: I am connected to the Holbrow family of Badbrook House and would like to know more about them and their dyeing industry.
A (LW): Information from Lionel Walrond and from her own research given, also links to the online Holbrow family history at https://archive.org/details/cu319240297866658 and the Victoria County History given, also the online N&R which has relevant details at https://archive.org/details/notesandrecolle00fishgoog

Red Coat School and St Loe’s School – Enquiry 400 (November 2017)

Q: Does the SLHS have information about these two schools, which were integrated into the Marling School foundation in 1887? The GRO has little information.
A (MH): There is good information on St Loe’s in the Victoria County History and on the Red Coat School in Fisher’s ‘Notes and Recollections.’ The Museum in the Park has recently acquired Fisher’s bound cuttings book with the early draft of N & R. The relevant pages may contain more information.

Putting an age on when a building was built Enquiry 391 (Oct 2017)

Q: I sometimes need help in identifying when a house was built in Stroud area. Is this something you could help with? Do you know someone who could?
A: (MH) You might find it useful to have a copy of Nigel Paterson’s ‘The Vernacular Architecture and Buildings of Stroud and Chalford’ if you can find a copy.
A: (MA) I have a booklet produced by G.C.C. in 1993 cost 80p. – “A brief guide on how to trace the history of a building”….Gloucester Library…..Gloucester Archives….plenty of help via Google!
A: You can now freely search online the National Library of Scotland, or Know Your Place for Gloucestershire, and browse/compare large scale maps over several decades.

Tylers Cabinet Makers Enquiry 388 (Sep 2017)

Q: Could you tell me please was there a firm that made bedroom furniture called Tyler’s of Stroud in the 1900s?
(A): In Stroud trade directories: 1902, 1906, 1910 Arthur George Tyler furniture dealer’s showroom was at 48 High St (factory at Brimscombe). The company had an advert in the 1903 Stroud Valley Illustrated.
(VCH): From 1912 another part of Griffin’s Mill was occupied by Tyler’s Ltd, cabinet-makers, who remained there until 1956. Newcombe’s Mill at Bowbridge – in 1936 it was used as an upholstery works by Tyler’s Ltd. of Griffin’s Mill.
A: (MA) My paternal Grandfather had carpentry skills and worked at Tylers during the 1940s until retirement age in 1945/6 – I think they may have also made gliders for the war effort. I remember a friend saying that her mother worked there applying size to the canvas. My Grampy lived in Lower Little London and walked up over Rodborough common, across a potato field (now The Hythe) onward down the track on the bottom left of Winstone’s Icecream factory to Griffin Mill.

Coopers Bakery Enquiry 384 (Sept 2017)

Q: I’m trying to find out anything about Coopers bakery in Rodborough, My father said his granddad worked there. I can’t find any photographs as it was then but it is a photograph framers now. All I know is that I was told it was run by a Mr Charlie Cooper.
A: (MA) The road at Wallbridge was altered and widened in the 1960’s – no doubt that was why Cooper’s bakery moved to Paganhill. The bakery was there with the shop on the opposite side of the road and confirms my memory of an old style green van with a small oval window in each of the back doors. I think that the arrival and increased demand for the convenience of sliced bread led to a decline of small local bakeries.
A: (via MS) The building looks exactly the same as it did, from the outside. When Mr. Cooper packed up Roger Tennant took over and I worked for him for a while. We took over the rounds of Mr. Cooper, as far as I know. Then Roger packed up and moved to Guiting Power. Mrs. Cooper had a shop the other side of the road before it was altered that sold Allsorts including arrowroot sticks and fizzy sherbet. You had to go down steps to the shop, it was by the river bridge.

Lansdown home for homeless girls Enquiry 376 (Jul 2017)

Q: In the 1970s Charles Irvine (MP for Cheltenham), the vicar of Stroud (Peter Minall) and Clive Ind (general manager at Holloways), set up a Trust to help young people. They were buying a property in Lansdown for homeless 18 year old girls when Clive moved away. Was this Home ever set up?

31 Gloucester Street Enquiry 368 (August 2017)

Q: I am interested in finding information on my old house, 31 Gloucester Street – the corner shop opposite the old police station in Stroud. It was demolished in the 60s.

A: (PS) Stroud Trade Directories have been digitised here http://www.johnhearfield.com/Dir/Dir_top.htm and you can find the early occupants of the shop over the years there.

A: (MH) Keith Glover gave us a copy of his 1960s photograph of the road junction with Merrywalks at Badbrook, which shows the shop. Note: We sent a copy and the enquirer then sent a photograph of her mother behind the shop counter, together with an evocative description of life there for a small child. MH provided details of the enquirer’s family, all now in our own archive.

A: (LW) The shop was one of a row of four houses, built in 1860, which later became shops. A press cutting of 1961-01-27 marked the closure of the shop, then Bill Chipp’s, previously Mr Burmingham’s – The shop was demolished in that summer. Another earlier cutting describes the shop.

Workhouse occupants Enquiry 367 (July 2017)

Q: Is there an online resource about the occupants of Stroud Workhouse?

A: (PS) This website has information and the 1881 census for the workhouse: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Stroud/ And this one has general information about its condition in 1937: http://www.stroud-history.org.uk/articles.php?article_id=176

Violet Mary Lane Enquiry 362 (July 2017)

Q: My grandmother (1894-1969) of Stonehouse was a member of the Stonehouse Friendly Circle, the Cainscross Co-op Women’s Guild, Ebley Silverthreads and St Matthew’s Mothers’ Union. Can anyone provide information on these groups’ activities and meeting places, etc.? My grandfather William Lane was Manager (for John Biddle) if Stratford Mill 1845-c63 and other Stroud mills, before taking over Ebley Stroud Mill, now Snow Mill.

A: (Stonehouse) The Friendly Circle still meets – Google it. We have recently acquired some newspaper photos which are probably rather later.

Former Stroud business on the Tesco site – Enquiry 361 (July 2017)

Q: I’m trying to find out the name of the business on the site before Tesco was built. It involved grain.

A: (MH) This was the site of the Stratford Mill, later Townsend’s Mill, a flour mill. Tesco has on display a history board which describes it.

Ebley Court Finishing School near Stroud, 1880s Enquiry 360 (July 2017)

Q: I have been trying to find out about this school which my grandmother attended. I have a school prospectus with a picture of it.

A: (LW) The school probably began in the late 1870s and moved elsewhere c1886. It was run by the Misses Kimmins and had a French branch in Dieppe. The enquirer kindly scanned her prospectus for the SLHS to add to our archives.

Private School in Slad Road 1935/6 Enquiry 359 (July 2017)

Q: My mother was at a private school in Slad Road run by a Miss Tayloe. The hat band was navy blue and silver grey, it was a private house and probably all girls. Can anyone identify it?

A: (LW) This information will give you the basic details. It doesn’t sound big enough to run to a uniform! http://www.digitalstroud.co.uk/landmarks-uplands-hawthorn-cottage

Ammunition Girls in World War I Enquiry 358 (June 2017)

Q: An aunt was a munitions worker in Stroud in WW1. Does anyone know where these factories were? I understand there were many accidents and a lot of worker died.

A: (PS) There was a factory at Quedgeley: http://www.gsia.org.uk/reprints/1994/gi199432.pdf National Filling Factory No.5 Quedgeley

and one at Slimbridge: http://www.gsia.org.uk/reprints/1995/gi199513.pdf The Slimbridge Munitions Depot

A: (HB) There were also factories at Daniels in Lightpill and HJH King’s in Nailsworth.

A: (Remembering Rodborough) Dudbridge Ironworks and TH&J Daniesl were involved in making shells; Stroud Museum has man photographs of Daniels; some female workers are named. They walked a long way to these factories but some special trains were laid on. I don’t know of any accidents in Stroud. Try ‘The Stroud Valleys in the Great War’, Camilla Boon (ed), History Press 2017

A: (Peter Daniels) At Daniels most of the munitions workers were women working 12 hour shifts round the clock. The munitions were kept in a cave at the lower end of the site. Daniels was involved with the design of Cluster bombs and probably machined parts for Gloucester aircraft. The site is now being sold. A history has been published: ‘Daniels of Stroud’, Chris Daniels, 2018

Butcher at London Road Thrupp Enquiry 357 (June 2017)

Q: Can anyone remember the name of the butcher here in the 1950s?

A: The butcher’s name was Fred Clarke. He was also a musician playing a bass wind instrument and often guested for Chalford Silver Band.

A: (added by MaryH from Australia in Feb 2020:) I suspect that the Butcher’s shop at Thrupp referred to is the one which my father took over. His name was Gregory Suwala, an ex Polish soldier who settled in Gloucestershire post war. I was small when Dad took over the shop but the previous owner worked with him for 6 months or so. Dad later added a little grocery shop at The Bourne which then also sold meat to order. We lived in Thrupp Lane. Around 1963 Dad bought Baughan’s shop at Wallsquarry [previously run by Charles Baughan and home to his brother Harry, the motorbike inventor, MH], diagonally opposite the Yew Tree Inn and the Thrupp butchers shop was closed. He later built a new mini supermarket at The Bourne which he sold when he retired in the early 1980’s.

Ebley Orphanage late 1950s and 1960s Enquiry 356 (Jun 2017)

Q: My sisters and I were at this orphanage in the late 1950’s for a few months. Is there any way of contacting people who were also there then?

A(PS) Try the http://www.theirhistory.co.uk NCH site which has a contact page.

Bourne Gospel Hall, Brimscombe – Enquiry 337 (Mar 2017)

Q: Does anyone know about this hall? There are a few references in the British Newspaper archives for the 1930s. It may have been a Brethren Hall, and short-lived. A Mr Disney officiated. Do you know where it was?
A: A friend says the Brimscombe Gospel Chapel was next to the old Post Office and she remembers Mr Disney. The Brethren Hall was 2nd turning left off Brimscombe Hill.
A: (further info from the original enquirer, April 2017)
The building was situated on the north side of the canal at Bourne Mills (Noah’s Ark today). It is marked on the 1936 OS map. A newspaper report suggests it had been an old granary building. Two postcard photos have been found; it appears to have had an outside staircase to the first floor. (Howard WA0361) Disney, a former missionary in Burma and India, moved to Brimscombe by 1932 and ran a shoe repair shop on London Road.

Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field, Dudbridge – Enquiry 335 (Mar 2017)

Q: I’m aware that this field previously belonged to Copeland Chatterson and was wondering if you have any photos or information about this earlier period, which we could include in an information panel.
A: Redlers had a Sports and Social Club and I believe they used or shared the field with Cope-Chats, certainly in the 1950s and maybe earlier. You might find some history online – reports of matches. Redlers held Christmas parties and excursions for employees and had a room above Bateman’s shop for social gatherings where the men could play with Scalextrix tracks and cars. The Flamingo Cafe was also in that area. There was also Redler stuff in Kimmins Mill.
A (MiTP): The Museum has a large collection of Cope-Chat and Redler material which you would be welcome to look at.

Morton Chappell – policeman killed on duty – Enquiry 333 (Mar 2017)

Q: Morton Chappell of Middle Street was killed in April 1964 in a road accident near Claypits. Is it possible to locate his grave – the funeral was at Holy Trinity Church?
A (PS): The cemetery is managed by the Stroud Town Council, try them first.
(there was no record of the burial there)

Air Raid shelters WW1 – Enquiry 331 (Mar 2017)

Q: Do you know if there is a map anywhere showing air raid shelter locations in Stroud?
A: (PS) In ‘Survival and Revival’ by Joy Thacker p13: Sub Rooms forecourt (smelled so no one used it much); 36 more dotted around the district; Ritz underground garage, Co-op cellars Slad Rd, Wood & Rowe’s garage Wallbridge, Drill Hall or Old Brewery Nailsworth, Chalford, Thrupp, Lower Spillmans, Rodborough – ‘distinctive with a zig-zag roof’
(MA) Some were excavated in Cashes Green but were never roofed over, they filled up with water and children made rafts and paddled about on them, Terry Jones and Gerald wrote about them.

Iles Lane Enquiry – Enquiry 300 (Nov 2016)

Q: I have found an old photograph dating back to 1933, showing a car hill climb at Iles Lane near Stroud. I can’t find it on a map.
A (DW): Iles Lane runs from the A419 across the railway line and up to Hyde.
A (PS): It runs past Iles Mill, Chalford, between St Mary’s and Belvedere Mills, up to Hyde, but today it is only a footpath after the railway line.

Cashes Green Methodist Church and 307 Westward Road – Enquiry 293 (Oct 2016)

Qa: Cashes Green Methodist Church – I’m currently renovating this building to be my home and would be interested in any information you have on its history or any photographs. As part of the renovation I’m intending to rebuild the organ facade (unfortunately never to be played again).
Qb: The Whitehouse, 307 Westward Road – this is a building that I rent out to young professionals in Stroud. I want to replace the sign at the front of the building with something more suitable but wanted to include the year of construction. Do you have any idea when it was built?

The Rifle Butts and The Targetts, Bisley Road – Enquiry 288 (Oct 2016)

Q: I am trying to trace the rifle butts at The Targetts which is shown in school records for my family in 1930/1940.
A (PS, DS): The Targets was an area between Bisley Rd and Bisley Old Rd, which looked over the Horns Valley where the butts were. The Target Inn was on Bisley Road. A large council estate was built in the area as shown on the 1938 OS map.

New bridge over canal at Wallbridge – Enquiry 287 (Oct 2016)

Q: I’m wondering what the six or so windows are underneath Stroud’s new bridge?
All seem to have thick iron bars on them, and there appears to be a way up from the canal to a door (on the right side). Could this have been the site of Stroud’s Old Jail, as I seem to recollect that there was mention of a jail (lock-up) at Wallbridge, and wondered if this is it?
A: (MH) The windows under the new bridge (called Stroud Brewery bridge) belonged to the basement of the Wines and Spirits Dept of the old Stroud Brewery. The building was demolished in the 1960s when the county council wanted to widen the Bath Road and join it to a widened Merrywalks to make that the new route for the A46. The bars were to keep thieves out, not in!

Cashes Green Isolation Hospital 1945 – Enquiry 279 (Sep 2016)

Q I would like to know about the Diptheria ward at this hospital in 1945 where I spent 14 months as a Diptheria carrier. Does anyone know the name of the nurses or matron? I am writing my autobiography and need a few reminders or photo of that time please.

Laurie Lee’s early life – Enquiry 274, 276 (Aug 2016)

Q: We are told we live in the house on Slad Road that Laurie Lee lived in before moving to Slad. The address is given as 2 Glenview Terrace which is not the name now.
A: (previous owner) Yes, that is the house. I left all the research documents for the new owner(s) when I moved. I confirmed them with the biographer Valerie Grove who I contacted through her publisher. Your enquirers could access her biography of Laurie, and also check the School register of Uplands school around the date of his birth to find the old address and the registration of Jack, Laurie’s brother. The school records book is at Gloucester records office, as far as I remember.
A: (Enq 276) Whilst looking for something else, we discovered that in the 1930s my mother-in-law was greeted every morning by Laurie Lee as he went to the offices above hers. A biography says he worked for Randall and Payne (accountants) at 4 Rowcroft.

Private Road, Rodborough Common – Enquiry 275 (September 2016)

Q: My family and I moved into Lotus, Private Road, Rodborough Common exactly 12 months ago. The house was previously known as Cotsmoor/ Rodborough Crest / Vaikuntha! It is one of the original houses in Private Road and was designed by the architect, Thomas Falconer. The house has been extended many times over the years and we are trying to date some of the earlier extensions. Does anyone have or could point me to likely sources of old aerial shots of Private Road, say from the 1920’s onwards or indeed where records of plans/extensions could be found, again from the 1920’s onwards?
Try the Remembering Rodborough website.
A: (JB) Have you looked in the revised Pevsner, Gloucestershire 1; the Cotswolds. All of these Private Road houses were researched by Alan Brookes and myself independently from the planning records then at Shire Hall, now at the Records Office in Alvin Street.

Richard Merrett clock – Enquiry 272 (Aug 2016)

Q: My ancestors were from Stroud and I’m looking for anyone who has a watch or clock made by Richard Merrett of Stroud 1710-1767.
A: There is a memorial to Richard Merrett in Stroud Parish Church, and the Museum has a Richard Merrett long-case clock in storage.

E Organ Ginger Beer Bottle – Enquiry 264 (July 2016)

Q: A stoneware ginger beer bottle with squirrel motif and marked E. ORGAN STROUD was brought into the Summer exhibition. It was found in a garden in Stroud. The owner would like to know about it.
A: (Museum in the Park) We have a similar bottle with the same Squirrel motif which is marked as being from Walter Organ of Stroud. From 1885 to 1894 (according to the Kelly’s Directory), Walter Organ was the publican at the Bedford Arms at 51 the High Street. He was succeeded by the time of the 1897 directory by Elizabeth Organ – possibly his wife, and quite likely your E Organ I would think. For interest, our bottle is on display in the Companys Arms room.
No 51 is the building on the uphill corner of Church Rd (the High St is numbered up the right hand side and down the left side).

Hooper Family – 1900s and earlier – Enquiry 262 (July 2015)

Q: I am researching the Hooper family who had a sawmill/woodmill in Stroud. My grandfather born 1889 was the manager of the stick works.
A (PS): Provided links to information on the Hoopers at Griffins Mills from the Victoria County History, trade directories, GSIA papers etc.
A (MiTP):Provided a list of items relevant to the Hooper family in the Museum catalogue. These included the Brimscombe Hoopers, the Griffin Mill Hoopers and the Hoopers Sawmill at Ebley.
A: There was a Hoopers cloth mill at Eastington and Miss Hooper lived at Cainscross. An internet search for this mill will find references to it.

Longridge, Sheepscombe – Enquiry 261 (July 2016)

Q: I cannot find a house called Raybar in Longridge (it was there in 1965).
Longridge is near Bull’s Cross, west of Longridge Farm. Perhaps the name has changed.

Celebrity Cricket in 1960s – Enquiry 259 (July 2016)

Q: I’m working on the More4/Channel4 series ‘Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages’ and we are filming in the Cotswolds this week. Penelope is visiting Sheepscombe Cricket Club. She would like to tell the story of the first time she was there – as part of a charity cricket match in 1963. It was the RSC’s cricket team (called “The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Cricket Team” or “The Royal Shakespeare Cricket Team”) playing the Jack Lee’s XI. Players in the team included Peggy Ashcroft and Len Hutton. J.B. Priestley was commentating and Penelope herself was scoring. I am trying to find an old photo to illustrate this story – ideally before Saturday this week. This particular match would be the ideal image, but anything of any celebrity matches in the Cotswolds from the 1960s would be great to see.


Stroud Station Masters – Enquiry 258 (July 2016)

Q: Is there any way of finding out the names of the station masters of Stroud station between 1900 and 1930?

A: (JA) The railway museum at Swindon, has archives and an enquiry service.

Courage Old Post Office Tavern pub sign – Enquiry 257 (June 2016)

Q: I have acquired a Courage Old Post Office Tavern pub sign and wondered if it was for the Post office Inn in George Street as shown in a photograph in Wilf Merrett’s book “Stroud Streets and Shops”, which was taken around 1910.The pub is now Sawyers Estate Agents. I would like to know if there are any more pictures of this pub and if it used to be called Old Post Office Tavern and anything else about it please.

A: (JA) I have found two Post Office Taverns, both once owned by Georges brewery, which was taken over by Courage: Post Office Tavern, Westbury on Trim, and Post Office Tavern, 56 High St, Staple Hill, Bristol, now the Old Mail House. One of these two is more likely to be the one you are looking for, as the one in Stroud was The Post Office Inn owned by Stroud Brewery, which became West Country Breweries and was taken over by Whitbread.

Harrison, Stick Manufacturer – Enquiry 256 (June 2016)

Q: I am looking for information on my grandfather (James Alfred Harrison b.24/10/1893? 1893 raised in The Thrupp) and great grandfather (Alfred Harrison, Stick Manufacturer) who lived and worked in The Thrupp. Alfred Harrison, had something to do with being one of the first to use electricity in his business property.
The GSIA website has an excellent article about the district’s Stick makers. You will find more in the Victoria County History of Gloucestershire (online and in Stroud Library/Glos Archives).

Cashes Green, House numbers – Enquiry 255 (June 2016)

Q: I live in an old worker’s cottage in Cashes Green. I think my cottage originally had a different name or number and I wondered if any of your members would know how I would go about finding out if it did. My cottage is next to, what was, Hamwell Silk Mill and the larger house at the end of my row is Hamwell House.

Isolation Hospital Brick Row – Enquiry 253 (2016)

Q: Does anyone know anything about the Isolation Hospital shown on the Stroud town map of 1903?
A: (LW) It was opened following the 1893 Isolation Hospitals Act that made such buildings compulsory for patients (especially children) with infectious diseases – smallpox, in Stroud’s case. In later years part of the Holloway factory was built over it.

The Jewish tailoring community in Stroud – Enquiry 245 (June 2016)

Q: My grandfather, last name Sidney, was born in Stroud.  He was a tailor and I believe it is very likely his father was one of the tailors that Holloway recruited from London.
A: (PS) Yes there was a strong community and synagogue in Stroud in the 1880s. Please see  this essay” by Harold Pollins, who gave us permission to use his research:
(JB) The Civic Society published this article (needs link to Jewish community in Stroud Jenny Bailey.pdf) about the synagogue in 2004.
(MH) SLHS told this story (needs link to 245 The Jewish community in Stroud MH 2015.pdf) at the Glos Local History Association’s History Day in 2015.

Jagger Tripe Shop – Enquiry 244 (May 2016)

Q: My father Joe Jagger used to tell us that Uncle Jack had a tripe shop in Stroud many years back! Sounds a good yarn, but I wonder if this might be so? The name would be Jagger not usual in Stroud for they were from Yorkshire. I live in Somerset not so far away.
A: (PS) John Edwin Jagger had a restaurant in Stroud at 1 Nelson St in 1911 and 1914 – it does not say what sort of restaurant. John Edwin was half-brother to your grand-father David Ernest Jagger. This area has changed since then. The current building dated 1931 was a Co-op, but now a launderette and cafe face downhill, and various offices and shops are in Nelson St.
(MH) I found this story when researching our book about Stroud during WW1. A feature of the unsettled atmosphere of the first year of the war was the hostility and suspicion meted out to those who had foreign-sounding names. One nasty consequence upset Mr and Mrs Jagger, who ran the Cosy Restaurant in Nelson Street. On 4th June 1915 they put an ‘Important Notice’ in the Stroud News that said they were both of English birth and English parentage. They offered a reward of £5 for information leading to the conviction of person or persons who had circulated the untrue and slanderous statement that they were Germans. The 1911 census shows that Mr Jagger had been born in Cumberland and his wife was a Yorkshirewoman. I wonder if all the fuss was because your Jagger ancestors had funny accents as well as an unfamiliar surname – not at all Gloucestershire.

St Martin’s statue – Enquiry 233 (Mar 2016)

Q: I am trying to locate the statue of Martin de Porres Velázquez, O.P. (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639), was a lay brother of the Dominican Order who was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony.

The statue stands in the grounds of St Rose’s convent Stroud – former Dominican Convent of St. Rose of Lima. St Rose’s school and the church are still there. (Click to enlarge picture)

The Malakoff Inn, Thrupp, Stroud – Enquiry 232 (Mar 2016)

Q: I wonder if you have any pictures of this place? My grandparents ran the place in the mid 50’s and any information/pictures would be great to see.

Register office / old Parliament School – Enquiry 231 (Mar 2016)

Q: Stroud Valley Scout Group hut is behind the above building. I am trying to find out the history of our land which from what I can find out was at one time all part of the land the Register office stands on. I believe it was a big house as we have the old coach house on our premises.

The building on Hollow Lane originally belonged to No 2 Whitehall (number 1 is the Middle St end). In 1860 and 1872 JT Fisher owned the land that the school was built on. It looks as if all the houses on the north side of Whitehall and the land where the school was built, were owned by the Fisher family. Numbers 1 and 2 Whitehall are early 18th century. Number 3 Whitehall was at one time the Vicarage for Holy Trinity, Trinity Rd.
A 1902 map shows the Whitehall terrace clearly (and its coachhouse), and the Parliament St school that is now the Register Office.

Moor Court and Poynder family – Enquiry 230 (Feb 2016)

Q: I am trying to put together the history of the Moor Court, Rodborough (was Mugmore House) house and its past inhabitants, particularly the Poynders.
The Victoria County History for Gloucestershire contains entries for Mugmore House (Stroud Library, Glos Archives, online). There are also The Rev Edward Blackwell’s albums at Glos Archives. It would be worth asking the Amberley, Rodborough and Minchinhampton history societies too.

Local history and geography – Enquiry 229 (Feb 2016)

Q: I am a class teacher about to embark on a main lesson block of local history and geography focussing on Stroud. I would appreciate any resource recommendations.

A: Our website contains a Town Trail. NEW in 2019: our Town Trail guide on paper is on sale in the town or from our website. and around the town’s pedestrian area are History Boards that tell stories about the buildings in the immediate vicinity.
The Digital Stroud website’s Timeline lists events in the town that start in the 1300s!
The animated display Wrapping The Globe was made for Stroud’s Museum in the Park. It explains Stroud’s historical position in the cloth trade.
The Stroudwater Textile Trust specialises in the history of the cloth trade, offers visits to mills to see the equipment running.
There is a 19thC diary online, written by Paul Hawkins Fisher (solicitor and prolific author about Stroud)
If you want your class to participate in a modern local event, try the Stroud Valley Project.
And of course the Museum in the Park has a member of staff dedicated to school projects.

Old Bowling Alley, Merrywalks – Enquiry 228 (Feb 2016)

Q: Please does anyone have any photographs taken inside or outside the old bowling club on Merrywalks?

Digital Telephone Exchange, Lodgemore Lane – Enquiry 226 (Feb 2016)

Q: I am trying to establish the date when the telephone exchange went digital.
According to an employee it was 1988-9.

Nalder Bros & Thompson, Dudbridge – Enquiry 225 (Feb 2016)

Q: This electrical instrument company relocated to Stroud in WWII. My father-in-law (John)’s father worked there and the family lived in a flat in Dudbridge House. John attended Selsley School and had the best years of his life in Stroud, playing around the railway and hitching train rides. Have you any photos of the area and the Company?
See our website Digital Stroud.
A: (Remembering Rodborough) No pictures of the company but Dudbridge House, which had evacuees in the War, became a maternity home and was eventually split into three dwellings. Photos and more are on our Remembering Rodborough website.

Stroud Boys’ Technical School 1948-1953 – Enquiry 224 (Nov 2015)

Q: I am writing a biography for my children and wish to include photographs of the three masters who influenced me, AC Sims, History, C G Levitt, English and J Evans, Geography. Do you have photos or obituaries?

Stroud Boys Tech has a website: https://stroudboys-techschool-oba.co.uk

Co-operative Society commemorative plaque – Enquiry 219 (Nov 2015)

Q: I have a Cainscross and Ebley Co-op Society diamond jubilee plaque dated 1923. It belonged to my mother who worked in the laundry there around the 1940s.
A (PS): This photograph is now on our Cainscross page.

Stroud Public Baths – Enquiry 218 (Nov 2015)

Q: Are there any photos or stories about the old Public Baths in Stroud?
A: SLHS member Elizabeth Wright has just published a book about her research: Badbrook, Merrywalks and Slad Road (£13.50). There is quite a bit there and copies are available from books@stroudlocalhistorysociety.org.uk
A: (PS, DS): I think there was a caretaker’s house attached to the baths. They had a roof lantern and were still there in the 1960s.
A: (member of public) A lot of artefacts belonging to the Museum were stored there, and moved to a new storage unit in Stonehouse around 1985 when Lionel Walrond was curator. Two new Collections Managers were recruited to list, pack and transport them. John Loosley also helped. Stroud District Council kept the town decorations in the cellar below (this was the actual swimming bath). Stroud Museum may have photos (no – EMW from Museum)
A (TM): There is some information on the early years in research work members of the SLHS did on the Board of Health.

Ebley Mill, Scarlet Cloth – Enquiry 216 (Nov 2015)

Q: Do you have any information about the scarlet cloth made at Ebley Mill as I would like to tell my care home residents about it?
A:  Nothing specific that is not already available in the Victoria County History, Digital Stroud, Stroud District Council, websites for Stroudwater Textile Trust, Glos Society for Industrial Archaeology… “Stroud Scarlet” is a good search term to start with.

Arthur’s Press, Woodchester – Enquiry 215 (Oct 2015)

Q: I am researching the history of Arthur’s Press formerly of Woodchester. I have a collection of their booklets, letter headings and magazines back to the 1920s, and some magazines printed for MGM film studios back to the 1930s. Do you have any information in your archives? The collection is too large to list but may be viewed at my house in Minchinhampton.

Lightpill House, Stroud – Enquiry 214 (Oct 2015)

Q: I am looking for information about Lightpill House, where my grandfather William Watson lived in 1912 and my mother Frances was born.
A (MH): I can’t identify the actual house for you. Lightpill is in Rodborough parish. Stroud trade directories around 1900 show it was then the home of JP Charles Kimmins of Kimmins Mill. A Google search puts it on the Bath Road Trading Estate.
A (PS): It was not the old clothier’s house for Lightpill Mill; this was demolished in the 1850s. Later several companies which you may be able to contact have their addresses at various suites in Lightpill House, these include Siren Alarms, the Thames Chiltern Trust and Coral Communications (UK) Ltd.

Lendon family and coach works – Enquiry 213 (Oct 2015)

Q: My great grandfather was John Lendon (1832-1910) and his father was William Lendon, blacksmith and coach smith (1806-1875). I have found their joint gravestone in Slad Church yard. John lived at London Villa, Slad Road where he had retired after being noted as ‘a clever gardener’ in Surrey. His brother was Isaac Lendon and his obituary was in The Stroud Journal 1821. It seems that he was quite a prominent man in Stroud, having a coach works for many years sited on the junction of John Street with London Road in the centre of Stroud and he lived in London Road. I wondered if you knew anything more about any of these men, possibly Isaac. Does anyone in your society have access to any archives, or local newspapers where Isaac and his business might appear? Any articles or photographs would be really appreciated.
A:  (MH) Your Lendon coach-builders appear in a number of Stroud trade directories, as you will already know. Unfortunately they did not include trade adverts in those days. However, Isaac Lendon’s advert appeared in the Stroud Valley Illustrated published by Burrows in 1902 (the complete directory’s pages are scanned here). In the 1960s  it was Steel’s motor showroom.  The corner was demolished and rebuilt in modern times, which is a great pity. I wonder what happened to the coach wheel? You will find a mention of Steels’ 1960s motor showroom (but no later photo) in Stroud’s Streets and Shops by Wilf Merrett, published by History Press in 2004.

Badbrook House/Badbrook Hall – Enquiry 210 (Sep 2015)

Q: I believe my ancestor, Thomas Holbrow, built Badbrook Hall. I understand that this is now demolished. Do you happen to have any photographs of Thomas Holbrow and/or Badbrook Hall please?
A:  Badbrook Hall, at the bottom of Gloucester Street has recently been made into flats  I think you mean Badbrook House, which is on this aerial photo  At one time part of St Rose’s School, it was demolished for road-widening. There is some information in Notes and Recollections of Stroud (Paul Hawkins Fisher, 1871), on the Digital Stroud website and a photo in Stroud Through Time by Howard Beard. Thomas Holborow was also connected with Badbrook Mill, but there are lots of hits about that online.

James Clutterbuck, Builders – Enquiry 209https://www.jewishgen.org/JCR-uk/susser/stroudhistory.htm (Sep 2015)

Q: I am looking for additional information about James Clutterbuck Builders – I have already found them in local trade directories. My distant Grandfather Joseph Griffin, worked there as a carpenter for 40 years.

Chalford Stick Mill – Enquiry 208 (Sep 2015)

Q: I am looking for information about the Chalford Stick Company (William Dangerfield), Alfred Griffin worked for Dangerfield as Foreman for over 30 years and his son Joseph Alfred also worked there as a manager.
A: The current Chalford Stick Company are Morris Dancers!  but Dangerfield’s was not the Chalford Stick Company – it was a separate business. You will find information about Chalford Stick Co online in the Victoria County History, the Glos Society for Industrial Archaeology, and Dr Wilson’s own website at coaley.net

Wimberley Mill – Enquiry 191 (Aug 2015)

Q: I’m looking for information or history of Wimberley Mill and who it was named after or if Wimberley was a local name.

A: It dates from the 1300s. You will find a description in the Victoria County History of Glos and in this Glos Society for Industrial Archaeology paper: www.gsia.org.uk/reprints/1995/gi199537.pdf

A: (ARM) Dr Jennifer Tann’s the ‘Gloucestershire Woollen Industry and its Mills’ (new edition 2012 called ‘Wool and Water’) has a paragraph about the Mill on page 212

Little London, Rodborough – Enquiry at the Summer Exhibition (July 2015)

Q: What is the origin of the name Little London?
A: There are lots of places called Little London all over the country. They are sites created by the Welsh Cattle drovers as early as the Medieval Period – it is where they stayed when they were in our area.
More information at: www.llundainfach.co.uk/

Prince Rupert and the Civil War wool trade – Enquiry 194 at our summer exhibition (July 2015)

Q: What happened to the letter about Prince Rupert’s agents coming to buy cloth? Which mill owner had the letter?

A: We have found a few clues: Digital Stroud website says: “Ham Mill is recorded as a cloth mill from 1608, and in 1634 was sold to Samuel Webb, who received grants of protection against the plundering of his goods in the Civil War from Prince Maurice in 1642 and Prince Rupert in 1643 – a measure of the importance attached to supplies of Stroud scarlets by the Royalists.”
Grace’s Guide online says: “The firm [Strachan’s]  preserves an interesting letter from King Charles to Prince Rupert, written during the Civil War, authorising him to commandeer all the cloth in the Stroud Valley for the use of his troops.”
Covering both these sources, a research note published by Gloucestershire Archives says that the archive includes a photograph of the letter from Charles 1 to Prince Rupert in 1643 concerning supplies of cloth from the Stroud area for the troops. And that  in 1643 Samuel Webb, clothier of Lyppiatt, was given safe conduct by Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice. Interesting times, and clearly more than one mill was involved.

Hortag at Brimscombe – Inquiry 189 (July 2015)

Q: Having just found an advert in The Smallholder magazine of June 1953, I am interested to find out about the company called Hortag.
A (HB): There is a book written by A.S.Bullock who, if I remember correctly, was the founder of the firm that produced Hortag products at Brimscombe, near Stroud. The full title of the book is: Gloucestershire between the wars. A Memoir. I don’t know who published it, but there is currently a copy for sale on ebay!

Hillside House, The Bourne – Enquiry 187 (July 2015)

Q: We have recently moved into Hillside at The Bourne, Brimscombe. It’s a red brick Victorian built in 1893. I am interested in knowing who built it and what family lived here. Was it linked to the Manager of the Bourne Mill?

A (PE):   Sorry, I do not recognise Hillside as being connected with Lewiston Mill – Grist’s where my father was managing director in the 1940s and 50s.  We lived in Lewiston House, associated with the mill.

A (JB): There was a brickworks between there and the Victoria pub (now an Indian restaurant). The Glos Soc for Industrial Archaelogy  has good location maps and might be able to help.


Hope Mill Lane – Enquiry 186 (July 2015)

Q: I have a question regarding a building that once stood on Hope Mill lane in Thrupp. It stood on the opposite side of the Phoenix works inside a gate just before the bridge that led to the mobile home site. I used to cut the grass for what was the school field back in the early 2000’s and access was through this gate. I remember peering inside the building and it being full of old machinery. Does anyone have any information on who’s building this was? I believe it has been demolished since.

A: (VW May 2016) I was born and lived in Thrupp and the building was a paper mill owned and operated by Stroud council as part of the rubbish tip in Thrupp. This was the site of what is now the grassed area between Hope Mill Lane and the football meadow. Newspapers were sorted and bundled in the building and put onto a huge conveyor belt to load onto lorries. So, under the grass is basically landfill!

Fidges Lane, Eastcombe – Enquiry No 183 (July 2015)

Q: How did this lane get its name?

A: This enquiry provoked some fast and deep research by two Eastcombe researchers (MB and JS), but the outcome is that it is most likely to be named after a person. The 1842 Tithe Map shows a very large field called Fidges Piece, and there is a reference in a book about Eastcombe’s history to a John Major who was digging a quarry on the road to Kitlye from Fidges lane and had to go to the Court Baron to agree to fence it in. The date was 1732.

Roxborough House – Enquiry 182 (July 2015)

Q: I was a resident of this children’s home from about 1955 to 1959 and would love to know more about it.

A number of members replied to this enquiry; here is a summary of their answers:

(CT) Rox House became a poor law (later county council) children’s home (meaning children moved out of workhouse) and opened as such in 1910. I think the building was a conversion of a Victorian building. The history of the purchase etc should be in the Stroud Poor Law Board minute books and other records. It was converted to a welfare home for homeless families in 1950’s (‘cathy come home’ style accommodation) then demolished to make way for Youth Centre in 1970’s (now itself shut and demolished as part of stroud valleys school redevelopment 2/3yrs ago. You should be able to get copy of planning file for welfare accommodation in District Council’s planning records. This is unlikely to include a photo but should give you an idea what the building looked like. Glos Archives document D1405/5/9 includes an undated auctioneer particulars that include “Carlton House”, London Road; “Roxburgh House”, cottages, etc. and plan(s).

And on the Digital Stroud website is this: “…. In 1869, his son, Sidney Biddell, sold the house to Miss R.S. Isacke, the headmistress of a school at Roxborough House, Nelson Street, Stroud. She moved the school to Stratford Abbey and renamed it Stratford Abbey College.” (So Miss Cranstoun – see next – must have taken it over).

(MH) In the 1903 edition of Stroud Valley Illustrated on p124 is an advertisement for Abbotsford College, Stroud. Below the name it says (Roxburgh House) Boarding and Day School for Girls. The photograph (by Burrow) shows a large and splendid three-storey stone? white-painted? building with a central porch, outside which are standing three people. The text below says the Principal was Miss Cranstoun, and goes on to describe the classes available.

(PS) During WW1, Roxborough House accommodated soldiers for the Red Cross hospital based at the Trinity Rooms.

(JB) It had been replaced by the Youth Club building by the late 1970s.

Charity Bed Push – Enquiry 178 (July 2015)

Q: Does anyone remember anything about this 1950s fund-raising Bed Push from Gloucester to Stroud and back?


Old chapel at Badbrook – Enquiry 176 (July 2015)

Q: As a result of noticing the mention of a chapel near Mr Dangerfield’s stables in the 1911 census, we quickly discovered that the Brethren’s Chapel is still there, a survivor of the development of the cinema and bus station. It is the single-storey white-painted workshop on Bath Street, just below the flyover footpath that crosses Merrywalks.

Brownshill old stones – Tanglewood House and St Mary of the Angels – Enquiry 174 (June 2015)

Q: The site of St Mary of the Angels in Brownshill may have been built on an earlier foundation perhaps of Anglo-Saxon origin. There are several stones built into walls locally that suggest they have been taken from a church of some kind if not Saxon. Then there is the ruined Templewood House formerly Tanglewood House occupied once by two ladies who founded the present church in 1937. I should like to learn more regarding the origin of the stones mentioned and also find some photographs of Templewood House before it was destroyed by a Lancaster crashing in 1946. There is a large stone in Vine Farm close by that may have been the base of a medieval wine press, does anyone in the society have knowledge in this area? I believe that the old London road passes the church and the farm.


Fawkes & Co – Enquiry 172 sent to our Facebook page (May 2015)

Q: Found a bottle poking out of a stream in Stroud. It says Fawkes and sons wines and spirits. If anyone could give me any info, it would be great.

A (MH): Fawkes & Son had been grocers and corn dealers in Kendrick Street since the 1870s.  In 1902 they (or maybe the next generation) opened a wine merchant’s briefly in the High Street, though by 1906 it had moved back to Kendrick St. Another Fawkes family took over the Town Flour Mill at what is now called Fawkes Place in the town centre.

Who was John Harper? – Enquiry 166 (May 2015)

Q: John Harper Close is a new development off Cainscross Road. Who was he?

A (MA): John Harper, usually known as Jack, was a well-known builder who owned land off Cainscross Road which included gravel pits between that road and the railway line. His property bordered the grounds of the Girls’ Tech. when I was at school in the early 1950’s. He was the President of Cainscross Rugby Club and later a member of the SLHS.

(Pauline’s research was put into a display of Stroud Street Names at our 2015 Summer Exhibition)

Sqdn Ldr Lewis, born South Africa, farmed at Whiteshill – Enquiry 165 from the Battle of Britain Historical society (May 2015)

This enquiry about WW2 Squadron Leader Albert Gerald Lewis, who had married and settled in Whiteshill, resulted in an illustrated story on a CD that we deposited at Stroud Museum. A copy is also stored in the SLHS backroom.

Who was Captain Barton? – Enquiry 164 (Apr 2015)

Q: My great-grandfather George Jones from Slad (1879-1960s) was batman to Capt Barton of the Army Service Corps, and served at Gallipoli. Now I see there is a small road off Slad Road called Captain Barton Close. I think Capt Barton lived near the old Star Inn at Slad and he bequeathed a couple of fields to my GGF.  Please can you tell me more?

A (MA): My husband remembers Captain Barton as a local character from the Slad area who was usually seen in Stroud on his horse every Friday!

A (BH): Captain Barton lived in Lower Woodlands in Slad Rd and used to ride his horse along Slad Road in the 1930s.

Captain Barton and his horse

A (MH) Capt Barton Close is built on the old Woodlands Mill site. One local map shows that it is built on top of what was the rope walk for a ropeworks. Wilf Merrett mentions Capt Barton in his Streets and Shops of Stroud p108: “The Foresters Arms has long gone, and older residents will recall Captain Barton sporting a brown bowler and tweeds with a red carnation in the button hole, hitching his horse in the pub yard before seeking liquid refreshment in the bar.”

A (CH): My grandmother lived at Pine Cottage, Slad Road, Stroud for many years.  Her landlord was Captain Barton, who lived in “the big house”.  She had Land Army Girls lodging with her during the War and my cousin and I, when on holiday at Grandma’s, used to help them on Captain Barton’s farm and in the walled garden.  The housing estate now adjoining Pine Cottage was a field used by Captain Barton when he trotted off to Stroud with his shopping basket on his horse.  I have a nice photo taken with me sitting on Captain Barton’s horse, and Captain Barton is standing alongside. It was taken in his farmyard which was then behind his house.  There was an entrance into Folly Lane

Employment in Stroud 1890s – Enquiry 161 (Apr 2015)

Q: My grandmother was born in Stroud in 1892 although her family were Londoners and all her siblings were born there. For some reason they were living in Spider Lane in the 1891 census; her father was a brass finisher or Ferrule maker. Other children were born in London in 1890 and 1894. Can you think of anything in Stroud’s history which might have made them move to Stroud for a short period?

A (MH): From the census entries, I think that your grandmother’s family lived in one of the tiny cottages of Daisy Bank – up at the top of Spider Lane. At least ten other nearby households in 1891 had moved to this same part of Stroud (a new suburb with many terraced houses) from London – though your grandmother was not there ten years later. One of them was another brass ferrule maker called Sydney Whatley, who had been born in Walworth, and there were others from the East End. The nearby umbrella works in Thrupp employed a huge number of men (over 1,000), and the local wholesale tailoring factories employed a huge number of women (again, over 1,000).
By the 1890s people seem to have been used to moving where the work was, often because a previous neighbour or family member had paved the way, and the railways made it easy to travel. Most houses were rented, too, in those days, which made mobility easier for those wanting work.

Nailsworth-Stroud omnibus service 1840s – Enquiry 159 (Mar 2015)

Q: Does anyone know anything about this omnibus route? It might have been connected to the postal service. There was a John Bradford who ran a similar route from George Street later.


Bath Road Chip Machine – Enquiry 152 (Feb 2015)

Q: Customers in the Albert were trying to recall a chip-selling machine, somewhere near Frome Hall Lane? about 1964. Can anyone help?

A (JB): We remember a similar one in Fairford at Busby’s garage – they were cooked then heated up.

A (PR): Bath Road chip machine was located outside the shop at the top of Frome Park Road, it would be 94 Bath Road. It closed in the 1970s.

Stroud Boys Tech School – Enquiry 149 (Jan 2015)

Q: Please can anyone send me digital versions of photographs or ephemera connected with the Tech School, for the Old Boys Association’s website?


Stroud Boys Tech website is here: https://stroudboys-techschool-oba.co.uk

Josephine Victoria Rowe/Crawford – Enquiry 148 (Jan 2015)

Q: Please can anyone tell me about this Irish poet/lyrics writer who lived in Stroud for some of her life?  She was born in 1861 in Ireland but in 1923 was using an address in France Lynch to sell her books.


Oldbury House, Eastington – Enquiry 147 (Nov 2014)

Q: I am trying to trace some information on the above property and its use in 1942 – 1943. I have been researching an Australian Pilot Thomas Kevin Hurley who had enlisted in the RAF (1938). In 1943 he relinquished his commission in the RAF due to ill health and apparently committed suicide whilst at Oldbury House. I am still trying to trace where he is buried (I would assume a local church). I am hoping that information as to the use of the house may help me understand the medical condition of this brave pilot.

A(MS): I asked a friend who lives in Eastington. Apparently Oldbury House is now Eastington Grange the Nursing Home. Before that it was a Hotel and apparently when they moved there it was home to Church of England Nuns, so perhaps they had it as a hospital. Hope Stonehouse History Group can be more helpful, or you will find some mentions if you search the internet – for example, it is on the Listed Buildings website.

Vesper Hymn by Jack Smith – Enquiry 136 (Oct 2014)

Q: I am trying to identify a Cadet John Smith who was treated in a Cambridge hospital in 1917, and whose home address was Stroud. He composed the music for a hymn and wrote it in the scrapbook of the nurse in charge of the ward. I think he might be John Sydney Smith, son of the Smith & Lee shop owner. His hymn will be performed for the first time since 1917 at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Choir Christmas Concert in eight weeks time!

A: This enquiry provoked a flurry of activity from SLHS members and we were delighted to confirm not only the cadet’s identity, but also locate his grandson, who attended the concert. The story is on our website here: Vesper Hymn

Burials at St Laurence’s Church – Enquiry 135 (Oct 2014)

Q: I am looking for the grave of my 6xgreat grandfather Daniel Gough (clothier) who I believe was buried at St Laurence Church in Feb 1766. He was born in Minchinhampton in 1681. Do you know if any gravestones have survived from that date? I realise they would probably be unreadable.

A: The church was rebuilt in the 1860s, and Stroud Cemetery opened in 1856. Here are some of the Memorial Inscriptions from the previous church: http://www.glosgen.co.uk/records/stroudmi.htm#lawrence and St Laurence’s does have its own website, here: http://www.stroudparishchurch.org.uk/

The Empire Theatre Stroud – Enquiry 134 (Sept 2014)

Q: I discovered some pages from a Stroud paper that had been placed behind some tiles on a wash stand that had belonged to my Grandparents. The piece of furniture dates to around 1920’s or 30’s unfortunately there is no date on the pages to identify the exact year. I have identified one of the adverts from a Kelly’s dated 1915 C B Gardner of Kings Street (Hatter, Hosier, Glover). What has puzzled me is that there is a poster advertising the showing of a film called “Silver Blaze” a picture of two reels at the Empire, Russell Street, Stroud. I have only been able to find reference to an “Empire Theatre” in London Road, would this be one of the same?

A1: (M&GA) According to “Google” the Empire theatre was built on the south side of London Road in 1913. From 1927 it was called The Palace and also used as a cinema (by 1940’s in my young days, it was known as The Gaumont Cinema and variety shows took place on stage on Sundays).

A2: (MH) Russell Street leads into London Road and the cinema was near the join, which probably explains the two street names. According to Wikipedia, the film was released in 1937 so it is likely that it came to Stroud shortly after that date.

Albany villa, Horns Rd – Enquiry 133 (Sep 2014)

Q: I am trying to find Albany Villa, Horns Rd, Stroud. The address no longer exists but my mother remembers visiting grandparents there during the 40’s and 50’s.

A1: (JB) The 1932 Directory for Stroud shows that Nos 1 and 2 Albany Villas were next to 1-2 Vernon View.

A2: (MH) The houses are still there and their modern street number is Nos 105 and 107 Horns Road. You can find the history of these houses in the FEWC Archive, which you will find on Marion Hearfield’s own website at http://johnhearfield.com/FEWC/FEWC_top.htm If you click the last item in the middle column you will see the the page that puts the research into context for you and offers a clickable link to the 2014 FEWC ARCHIVE out there in the cloud. You need to look for Lot 19 – which is where Albany Villa was built. If you know anything we don’t, please do get in touch.

Stratford Abbey School – Enquiry 131 (Aug 2014)

Q: I am interested to know about Stratford Abbey School and in particular a one time member of staff. It appears as a Boarding School on the 1871 census. I was hoping that you could assist in me trying to locate a member of staff [3rd line of the census return: Charlotte H. J. C. le Cronier, 29 years, French Governess b Countance, France]. Perhaps you could help me in finding records on her [how long she remained at Stratford Abbey School and where she went to after she left].

A1: (ARM) sent various website links found using Google (not repeated here)

A2: I have found this information and websites: From 1869 to 1955 Stratford Abbey College was a private school for girls. It was founded Miss Rosa Isacke and run by several of her younger female relatives after her retirement The building was demolished in the 1960s (and the site is now a petrol station) but if you would like to see what it looked like, there is a picture of an oil painting of Stratford Abbey on the museum website; it is image 19. Digital Stroud has this and on this website we have a photo


Dudbridge/Stroud branch line – Enquiry 130 (Aug 2014)

Q: Please can you put me in touch with someone who can tell me how this branch line crossed the A46 and Dudbridge Road. At the moment I am left at the top of a flight of steps staring across the rooftops in the meadow looking towards the point where it branched from the Stonehouse/Nailsworth line at Dudbridge.

A: There was a bridge across Dudbridge Rd (not A46). I can remember the line was on top of an embankment – that has been removed. On the Dudbridge side were allotments – now Dudbridge Meadow estate. On the Lightpill side was Erinoid’s sports & social club – tenpin bowling, bar, stage, billiard room and tennis courts + pitches (hockey in winter, cricket in summer – Gloucestershire County cricket team have played there). Here are links to old aerial photos: 1920 you can see the railway line, with a tunnel through; 1947 – old railway in foreground, with sports club above Dudbridge Hill going up left, Dudbridge Rd going up centre Bath Rd left to right – 1947 similar view.

Old Pearce – Enquiry 129 (Aug 2014)

Q: Yesterday, Jenny Bailey gave the Society a set of (dressing?) table mats from an auction about three years ago. They are made of knotted and tied embroidery silk in pale blue and crimson and threaded with white ribbon. The Paradry Cleaner’s shirt box in which they were wrapped in blue tissue paper had this handwritten on the outside: “Wedding Present 1949 / Old Pearce / mats he made himself after 1914-18 war, in hospital”. I checked Death registrations in Stroud between 1949 and 1960 and found a number that could have been for Old Pearce, although I cannot find a local match in the WW1 army records and do not know that he was a local man. I would like to display them in our WW1 exhibition at Pate’s in October. Please can anyone tell me any more about them, or him? [Pamela Tawse, Red Cross and VAD Hospital historian, wonders if he might have been treated at Standish for TB. She says it is very likely that the mats were an occupational therapy project but they would have taken some weeks, and a steady hand and eye, to complete]

A: (MA) There was a lovely old chap called George Pearce in Kingscourt in 1940s who was a stone-waller….don’t know anything about him. Your man sounds like an old retainer, gardener perhaps at a big house, there are quite a sprinkling of Pearces listed as serving in WW1 under various villages   in “Lest Ye Forget”. STILL OPEN

French Episcopal Chapel – Enquiry 128 (Aug 2014)

Q: Family research has thrown up a family of Huguenot weaver immigrants ( post revocation of the Edict of Nantes) using the French Chapel in Bristol but one baptism entry ( 1692) for the family appears in the registers of ” the French Epsicopal Chapel, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire”. I wonder whether you could confirm the existence of that chapel/ meeting house at that time?

A: I have found in a book about Stonehouse that the Clutterbucks are descendants of Cloterbooke who were Huguenots – try this link    William Clotterbooke, of Stonehouse, born 13 January 1658. Other local clothiers families were also descendents of Huguenots. But you will probably get more from Stonehouse History Group. STILL OPEN

Polish Resettlement camps – Enquiry 127 (Aug 2014)

Q: A friend of mine says that she saw a publication in a shop in Stroud some time ago. The publication was about Eastern Europeans who came to work in places like Listers. She can’t remember the name of the book. Does this mean anything to you? Can you help at all in suggesting where she can look for it.

A: (JennyB) The title is Polish Resettlement Camps in England and Wales 1946 – 69 by Zosia and Jurek Biegus. It is the book I am using for my Local History Soc research project. Do you know of any other people who would be willing to share their memories?

The Heavens – Enquiry 125 (Jul 2014)

Following earlier contacts with the SLHS I have loads of info about the Heavens (my research is ongoing) but far too much to post online as yet. I am however, willing to answer any questions anyone has about the Heavens if any come your way! Neil Baker <troweldodger@yahoo.co.uk>

Whiteshill – Enquiry 124 (Jul 2014)

Q: At your exhibition today I noticed that you are researching Whiteshill, and that it is Keith Davitte conducting the research. My late husband’s ancestors came from Whiteshill, so I do have a little information on them [Knight /Pitt] which you may find useful in your research.

A: passed the offer on to Keith

Acre St ROUND HOUSE – Enquiry 123 (Jul 2014)

Q: The librarian at Stroud college gave me your contact details as I am trying to research the octagonal church in Acre street. The salvation army are selling it as they cannot afford to up-keep the building.

A: (MH): Fisher’s Notes & Recollections has this: (describing visits to Stroud by John Wesley, who stayed with his friend Ezekiel King in Middle St) “On such occasions Mr Wesley rose at five o’clock in the morning to conduct the early prayers at the Round-house, as his chapel in Acre-edge was then called. It is even now remembered by that name, having been, originally, a small octagonal building of equal sides. On one of Mr Wesley’s visits, about the year 1786, the writer, but a little boy, heard him preach; and remembers his reproving some women of his congregation for their excessive snuff-taking in the chapel.” STILL OPEN

Slad census 1911 – Enquiry 121 (Mar 2014)

Q: Archway’s Year 7 and 8 students are reading Cider with Rosie. I thought it would be interesting for them to see the Lee family in the census returns. Does anyone already have copies?

A (BH): You might find ‘Sheepscombe – One thousand years in this Gloucestershire Valley’ by Elisabeth Skinner useful. Published in 2005 it has extensive census material in it.

A (MH) The 1911 census is not the same as all the previous ones, in that every household’s completed form makes up the published record. No quick skimming down a list, like before. The 1911 Census Summary book does give an overview, street by street, and it handily also identifies shops and other unoccupied buildings, but it only identifies the Head of Household.

Summer St Police Station – Enquiry 119 (Jul 2014)

Q: I am researching the old police station at the end of Summer Street at the junction of Bisley Road. Do you have any pictures, maps or any information. I have established that prior to the building NOUNCELLS CROSS flats, the Police Station was situated on the now grassed area at the junction of Summer St and Bisley Rd. It was used for some time used as a ladies Hair Dressers shop. Ideally a picture would be fantastic.


Pigeon/Pidgeon Cottage – Enquiry 118 (Jul 2014)

Q: Can anyone please help me determine where the above named cottage is or was situate at Middleyard Kings Stanley. My Great Aunts Spinsters Beatrice Mary and Jessica May Lane resided there up to Beatrice’s death in 1958. They formerly resided at The Retreat Middleyard.


Thrupp in WW1 – Enquiry 117 (Jul 2014)

Q: I am the Year5/6 teacher at Thrupp Primary School and am doing a topic about WW1 this coming Autumn term. We are focusing our topic around the Brimscombe and Thrupp memorial and looking at what happened to the men on the memorial, as well as what life was like in Stroud during the war. I was wondering if you had any information about any of the men on the memorial or the local area which would be of help to me. I have already found some things out about the Cole family who lived in Bourne House, Brimscombe – 3 of their sons are listed on the memorial.

A (MH): SLHS is not researching the names on the memorials because other groups are already doing so. But you do know about the Thrupp memorial in Holy Trinity church, next to Stroud Hospital, don’t you? There is a special board on the left as you go in.

Gingko tree in Stroud – Enquiry 116 (Aug 2014)

Q: In Stroud, immediately outside the 99p sho there is a Gingko Biloba tree, a rarity because of its age. How old is it, Why is it there? Does it celebrate part of Stroud’s history? Who/when was it planted. It originated in China/Japan and such a tree survived the Atomic bomb that fell on Hiroshima.

A (ARM): Try the SDC’s Tree Officer.

Stroud during WW1 – Enquiry 115 (Oct 2013)

Q: Our GFHS Stroud Branch are gathering local un-recorded experiences of local people to commemorate WW1. We are appealing for recollections from descendants how their family was affected and how those returning from the front adapted to civilian life. Also those at home what war work they did or jobs they took over and any other changes altered every day life.

A (CT) I have identified records of 9 people who sought exemption from military service on pacifist/conscience grounds (3 were Whiteway colonists – a Tolstoyan community outside Stroud). Only one of the nine went as far as resisting conscription to the extent of being arrested by the military authorities (but the court report gives the impression there were plenty more avoiding conscription). The best source for more information would be the official records of men applying to avoid conscription. Sadly the efficient council authorities in Stroud destroyed the documentation as they were told to do by the Government in the 1920’s. Which means there is not much more research to do in Stroud.

National Trust, Newark Park and WW1 – Enquiry 114 (Oct 2013)

Q: I wondered if it might be possible for one of your members to get in touch I’m currently doing some research for a First World War project in connection with Newark Park. The project is focused on the informal art of the ordinary rank and file soldier of the First World War, drawings and sketches that might be found in letters back home to outpourings of poetry and verse. As part of the project, we’re very   keen to link up with local history societies and develop potential project collaborations. At this stage I’m just doing some background research.

A: STILL OPEN Enquiry also passed to MiP.

Exchange Buildings/Gresham House – Enquiry 113 (Nov 2012)

Q: I now know the location of William Cowle’s Exchange Buildings up at the top of the High St (one half was replaced by Lewis’s, now a charity shop). Howard found a 1910-ish photograph of the Corn Exchange commercial hotel, on the same site. On the railings into the hotel yard is a sign saying: “Gresham House/3rd door on right/No 6/tourists and commercial”, with CTC at bottom left and the signature of ?Marriott at the right. Can anyone tell me more about Gresham House or Mr Marriott?   I have just sent off an enquiry to the Cyclists Touring Club to see if they had a hostel there [they replied sorry but no], and a Mrs Marriott (newsagent nearby 1930-1960s) gave Joan Tucker a very early photograph of The Cross that I now know showed the original Exchange Buildings.

A (CT): Chas sent this explanation, from the CTC’s own website: “Long before Michelin started handing out stars, CTC’s emblem on your business was the ultimate accolade. And it is still a mark that you are something special as you can welcome cyclists to your premises and provide the extra facilities they may need such as secure cycle parking, for example. During the original cycling boom of the late nineteenth century, the gentry were out touring the country and abroad on their bikes. Proprietors of every kind added ‘CTC’ to their hoardings to encourage a pedalling populace to patronise their hotels, cafes and shops. By 1888, CTC was dispensing its official endorsements in the form of a Winged Wheel, a huge circular sign two feet across.”

Edward THORNTON of Rowcroft – Enquiry 112 (Jul 2014)

Q: A direct descendant of Edward Thornton, in Maryland USA, found Dr Thornton in the Old Glos Diary transcript I put online recently. He is interested in DNA testing for genealogical links and Dr Thornton’s children were all born in Stroud – one of them was Henry (possibly the grocer/fruiterer here in the 1850s). I have pointed the researcher – Charles (Chuck) Thornton at the GlosFamHistSoc but just in case anyone here thinks they might be related and would like to get in touch, do contact me and I will pass you on.

STROUD CATTLE MARKET in 1870s – Enquiry 111 (Apr 2013)

Q: Tony Macer and I are having great difficulty finding out exactly where Stroud cattle/sheep market was held in the 1870s. We think it had moved from the Shambles and/or the High Street, to somewhere nearer the church, or Brick Row. It was between the backs of Brick Row and Belle Vue Road by the 1880s but where was it in the previous ten years? It was described in various sources as being within sight of Uplands school playground, near the Fountain, near the School of Art …

A: (CT) Various bits of evidence, and suggestions from members, point to the piece of land between Lansdown and Slad Road that was much later the British Telecom repair depot and is now housing. We still (Sept 2014) have not found it marked on any map.

Stroud display venue – Enquiry 108, Nov 2012,

We have just taken over what was Bar 9, John St, Stroud. We are currently refurbishing, turning it into a traditional style real ale pub, that also offers good food, to be known as The Ale House. We have plenty of wall space which we would like to make available to artists to display their works. I would be thinking of traditional works related to the history and environs of Stroud. Should you know of any interested parties, please could they contact me on 01453 755447.

NB – this is the building that was originally used by the Board of Guardians for its meetings and payments of relief under the Poor Law. A stone plaque is still on the wall of one of the bars.

BURIALS – Enquiry 107 (various)

We occasionally receive requests for help in locating burial sites. Here are some, in case the names are of interest to our members:

Greg, Australia, Mar 2012 – death of Isaac WILLIAMS, greengrocer, B abt 1809 D abt 1881

Penny, New Zealand, June 2013 – Hilda and Joseph COX 1960s (and ancestors in Stroud, Horsley and Kingswood)

Sarah, Apr 2014 – 1881 death in Stroud Union workhouse – where to look?

Stroud Cemetery records (from 1856) are held by Stroud Town Council and the staff there are very helpful. Earlier than that, burials were recorded in the parish registers. There are copies in Stroud Library’s Local Studies room and at Gloucestershire Archives. The Glos Family History Association may also have information.

MILES Report 1839 – Enquiry 106.3 (Mar 2012)

Q: There existed, about 30 years ago, an excellent local history SIGNAL series, including one on the 1839 Miles Report. Does anyone have anything on the Report that I might briefly borrow for the book I am writing on Stroud’s Radical Past?


STROUD WEAVERS – Enquiry 106.2 (Sep 2011)

Q: My ancestors (Neale) were weavers in Stroud before moving to Tewkesbury in the 1830s. Do you know where I can get a copy of the book Stroudwater Riots 1825 please?

A: second-hand copies are available online.

ANOTHER WAY HOME – Enquiry 106.1 (undated)

Q: I am writing to you from New Zealand. A dear friend is moving to Stroud in the next Month and I would like to try to purchase, as a gift, a copy of the book Another Way Home 978-1-906662-07-3. I have tried Book Depository and Amazon to no avail. Could you possibly recommend someone locally that I could purchase a copy from?

A: This was a limited edition book to raise money, by local people with a local publisher. Sent website details our local second-hand bookshops.

Church group 1924 – Enquiry 103 from Australia (Jul 2014)

Q: I am trying to identify a group of about 15 women plus 3 children and a CofE minister that was taken on the porch of a building, not unlike the design of the School of Arts at Stroud, in 1924. I believe two of the children, a girl and younger boy, belong to the rector and one of the women is his wife. I also have their studio wedding photo, postcard size. And one of them with the little girl when she was a toddler. The local librarian referred me to you. Could you advise who was the anglican rector around 1924, and whether there was an Anglican weatherboard building associated with the church? The doors of the porch entrance are double doors with top forming an arch.   Would appreciate any information you could give me. Maybe you already have a copy of this group photo in your archives? Thank you.


BOY SCOUTS 1940s – Enquiry 102 from Scotland (Mar 2013)

Q: I wondered whether the society held any information or photographs of the Stroud Scouts’ band, which would march through the town on high days and holidays. This would be around the middle-to-late 1940s, when my father-in-law was a member, as a flautist.

A (BH and JB): The best place to look is in ‘The World of Netlam Bigg’, It should be available in the Library but we have a copy if you cannot find one. Netlam Bigg was the Scoutmaster at the time. and in the book are several photos of the Scout Band and at least one of the people named in the photos is still alive. You may know of them.

and a PostScript from Katie: Great excitement in Scotland! I purchased the book you so kindly recommended and had it sent directly to my father-in-law – who wrote back to say he’d found a photograph of himself from 1942, standing in front of a flag pole. He’s really thrilled. I can’t thank you enough for being so helpful.

RESTALL family – Enquiry 101 (Jan 2014)

Q: I have many many photos of my family who have lived in Stroud for several generations. They include my great great grandfather who was the sexton of Stroud Churchyard and the Butchers Arms pub which my grandfather ran in the 40’s and 50’s, now pulled down; and him as a choir boy at Holy Trinity and later in the football team of 1928. I wondered if anyone would be interested in looking at them and possibly copying them for research/records.

A1: (BH) We are in touch directly with Jane since a lot of her pictures are connected with Uplands and Slad areas, and plan to meet her soon.

A2: (MH) One of Jane’s photographs is of the Holy Trinity football team in 1929 – I have put a copy in our backroom files. It shows: H CARTER, Rev C COLE (President), J W COOPER, P CERESSWELL, J CROSBY (Asst Treasurer), R FLUCK, C J HAWKINS, Canon E H HAWKINS, G HAWKINS (Capt), H F KNIGHT, S J KNIGHT (Secretary), P MILES, A PEARCE, S PULLEN, A RESTALL (Treasurer), W RUSSELL, C SHIPWAY, L SHIPWAY, R TURNER, J WATTS, F WEAREN.

HOBBS – Enquiry 100.4 from New Zealand (Sep 2011)

Q: Kerrie wrote to ask for help tracing the death of a 12-year-old boy in Stroud in 1909. His brother was adopted as a newborn – presumably in the workhouse – and she is trying to trace descendants. Unfortunately she never gave us a name.

STROUD surname – Enquiry 100.3 from Arizona (undated)

Q: My family has roots in England as the Lawrences married the Strouds. My grandmother’s father’s name was Harrison E. Stroud and he was a medical doctor in the late 1890’s and had a large practice in Phoenix Arizona.


HEAVEN surname – Enquiry 100.2 (undated)

Q: I have been told that my ancestor came from the area around Stroud. Where can I research the name Heaven in the district?


PARISH RECORDS – Enquiry 100.1 (undated)

Q: Are the Stroud parish records online or on CD please?



Q: I am the Senior Archivist of the South Western Electricity Historical Society and we have been advised by Kew Records that Hay Maryon Co. Ltd had a manufacturing unit in Stroud in the 1920’s. Have you any info on this?

A: Nothing in the 1920s trade directories. One item in Gloucester Journal 6 Aug 1921 – New Company. Hay Maryon Works (Stroud) Ltd. Private company registered July 26th 1921 to carry on the business of electrical, mechnical, motor and general engineers etc. The first ditectors are M Hay and J F Maryon. Registered Office Lightpill, Stroud.

They designed and marketed water turbines and were connected with Daniels

QUARRIES on Stroud Hill – Enquiry 95 (Oct 2012)

Please does anyone know of any existing publications that talk about the many small quarries up on Stroud Hill, between Bisley Old Road and Bisley Road? I am investigating the urban myth that there was a tunnel from the Workhouse to the Cemetery across the road! Our local Junior school pupils are convinced there was one but possible truer versions might be connected with wells, or with quarrying tunnels nearby.


RED ROW – Enquiry 94 (June 2011)

Q: I’m researching my family hstory, and have found that many of the one side once lived in Red Row, Brookthorpe/Wheatenhurst. I have not been able to find this, probably the houses are no longer in existance, but it would be interesting to know roughly where it was. Some censuses mention Stroud Road.


CASHES GREEN HOSPITAL – Enquiry 93 (Mar 2012)

Q: I am looking for information about G P MILNE who was the local architect for the above.


LIGHTPILL MILL SITE – Enquiry 97 (July 2014)

Q: I recently meet some of your members at the museum in the park with their display of local photos of Stroud and asked them if they had any information as regards to the old mill of the Bath road next to Stroud auctions in the trading estate. I would be very interested if you have any more information for when the mill was water powered, reading the text it once had three wheels, plenty of power there for the machinery. Any paperwork from the early days (or when it was a cotton mill) would be of great interest to me!

A: Have a look at the Digital Stroud website and the Nailsworth website. You will find more on the Stroudwater Textile Trust website and in the VCH.

BURCHELL Thomas – Enquiry 91 (June 2014)

Q: I am currently working on a BBC2 Documentary on missionaries and I am looking at the story of Thomas Burchell. I have found an article written by Philip Walmsley about Stroud and Slavery. I would also be interested in talking to anyone at the SLHS who has an interest or knowledge of Thomas Burchell.

A: We have spoken to Philip, but due to his poor health, he is not able to help. He sends his apologies and wishes you well. STILL OPEN

WATER POWER – Enquiry 90 by Alice (May 2014)

Q: I am student and Stroud High School and am planning an A level project prior to studying a combined History/Geography degree. I would like to find out how water power shaped the development of the Stroud valley around the 18th and19th centuries. I was just wondering if there are any members of The Stroud Local History Society with a particular interest in this area of local history.

A: we recommended a number of books and websites already listed on our own website pages. STILL OPEN

EARLY FOSTERING? – Enquiry 89 (July? 2013)

Q: The 1911 census shows that widow Annie Munt and her single daughter Blanche (who had her own daughter), of 1 Upper Lyppiatt Terrace (now 125 Horns Road) gave a home to four adopted children. At least two neighbours also had child ‘boarders’ living with them. Only one of the children was local. Does anyone know the story? Might it be an early form of fostering, or connected with a children’s home? This is part of our research into The Field Estate of William Cowle.

A: (CT) It was not unusual for workhouse children to be boarded out although I don’t know what the practice of the Stroud guardians. Additionally the 1908 children act provided for registration, inspection etc of people providing accom which were not their children. This suggests it was fairly common place and there were neglect/abuse issues. As far as the adoptions – this is likely to be a private arranngement agreed between families as the adoption arrangements we know today arise from the mid war period.

A2: (MH) I discovered later that about this time govt legislation encouraged workhouses to place young orphaned children with families in a fostering arrangement.

ROSS – Minister? – Enquiry 88 (July? 2013)

Q: The 1901 census has Mrs Rhoda ROSS living in Bisley Road. Her 7-year-old son was born in Amoy, China. Her husband is absent. Does anyone know if a Mr ROSS was a minister in Stroud around then? I have found a Richard (minister) + Rhoda ROSS sailing from Canada to Plymouth in 1913 (she was b. Plymouth) and wonder if it was the same chap. There are quite a few non-Conf ministers lodging in Bisley Road in 1901!


GRANVILLEs in Bisley Rd – Enquiry 87  (July? 2013)

Q: I have recently been lent the title deeds for Granville Cottages – the two lovely stone houses at the bottom of Bisley Road. I now know they were built in the 1820s probably by/for Robert KEENE who had to sell them on. When Bisley Road was developed after 1873, a pair of villas up at the top was named Granville Villas. Please can anyone suggest a good reason for these houses being called Granville, fifty years apart?


 STONE EAGLE on Bisley Rd – Enquiry 86  (July? 2013)

Q: The present owner of the house (No 32), and of the large stone eagle on the gable, does not know why it is there. I thought it could have resulted from an unpaid funeral bill because his family used to be builders/undertakers there, but he has never heard any family story of where the eagle came from. He can only think of a name link to the Eagle Mill (down the hill on the River Frome), or the old Spread Eagle pub in Bisley Old Road. Please does any SLHS member know the story?


GRIFFIN Gabriel George – Enq 83 from Netherlands (June 2014)

Q: I am trying to find out more about the following airman, is there anyway you can help me out with this, for example how to trace any possible relatives?  Flight Sergeant, Navigator/Radar Operator, Service No: 1401177, Date of Death: 17/09/1944; Age: 23; Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek war cemetery. Son of Ernest James Griffin and Elizabeth Wilhelmina Griffin, of Brownshill, Gloucestershire.

A: suggested asking local newspapers; first name not familiar locally; also many websites now offer searchable records for WW2. STILL OPEN  


Q: I am currently working on the text of a book on the 1851 Religious Census (to be published next year) and wonder if any members could help me with any of the following.  Some directly relate to Stroud or nearby:

a)       George Proctor the incumbent of St Lawrence 1845-58(?)

b)       Are both St Pauls and Holy Trinity in the Whiteshill area?

c)       Primitive Methodist chapel (1836) when did it close and when did it re-open as the Playhouse theatre (1999?)

d)       Christian Brethren worshipped in a room in Davidbridge Mills (was there such a place?)

Nearby areas:

e)       Slad – Consecration day of Holy Trinity Slad … October 1834.

f)         Rodborough Tabernacle – the name (and ideally the dates when he started and ended his ministry) of the minister in March 1851. It could be Samuel Thodeg? or Eliezer Jones (died 1867)

g)       Randwick – The name of the minister of the parish church of Randwick in the 1730s and 1740s (during the visits of Whitefield and Wesley)

Help with any of these points would be much appreciated!

Af) (MA) Samuel Thodey was the Minister at Rodborough Tabernacle from 1849 – 1858.

Ab) We have St Paul’s, Whiteshill; Holy Trinity, Slad; Holy Trinity, Stroud (by the hospital); Church of the Holy Spirit (Paganhill) – see our local churches website

Ac) The Cotswold Players bought the playhouse in 1951 see their website. Someone at the Cotswold Playhouse may be able to help you if you want to know more.


Q: I wonder if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of the MINUTE BOOK FOR THE LIGHTPILL TO BIRDLIP TURNPIKE, this will be dated from 1800 to something like 1810. Others exist from this time, for example the Nailsworth Minute Book which formed the basis for Christopher Cox’s research for his doctoral thesis.

A1: (ARM) With reference to your enquiry made to the SLHS, I found a copy of  Nicholas Herbert’s “Road travel and transport in Georgian Gloucestershire” at the Oxfam shop a short while ago. As you appear to have an interest in turnpikes, I guess that you have seen this book already. If not, you may like to borrow it.

A2 (CT): Whether turnpike trust records survived is usually a matter of luck as trusts were private bodies and they ceased to operate before the collection of archives by counties began. I regularly walk in area of Uplands, Slad and Vatch and have some theories about where roads previously went and happy to share these with you.

STROUDWATER – Enq 78 (May 2014)

Q: In the 1860’s did the name Stroudwater apply to a specific area within Stroud or was it only a reference to the canal system?

A: The Victoria County History says: ‘The name Stroudwater, besides being used as an alternative name for the river Frome and to designate the whole of the Stroud Valley region, was also sometimes applied to the town.”  It mentions the Stroudwater Flying coach as well as the Stroudwater canal.


Q: Would your Society know anything about the history of the above from 1940 – 1945? I am interested in its WW2 history as both my mother and father were each stationed there whilst serving in the army. I believe Woodchester House served as an intelligence base and thought you may have had some info\photos.

A: (from Woodchester Historical Soc) I have replied with information about the film company at Tower House in WW2 but I have had no success with activities at Woodchester House. STILL OPEN

SUBSCRIPTION ROOMS – Enq 76 (Apr 2014)

Q: I am transcribing a hand-written list of the local men who bought shares in 1832-35 to fund the building of the Subscription Rooms. I have identified all except three, who do not appear in any of my usual cross-references (Fisher, GRO, census, trade directories, Glos Archives). They are: DAVIS Handy and Jesse STANTON Jno (John), Can anyone help please?

A: (MiP) Handy and Jesse DAVIS were leasing Iles Mill, Bisley from J Pitt of Cirencester in 1836 – this is the only trace I have of them.

AREA EIGHT – local ARP in WW2 – Enq 74 (Apr 2014)

Q: I have found a flyer about Area Eight – any ideas?

A: Glos Archives hold a copy; the online catalogue describes it as:  1945 “Area Eight” in the war against Hitlerism, being an account of the civil defence services and ARP in Stroud and Nailsworth by P.R. Symonds D5847/3/19

RICE Honoria and Ellen – Enq 73 from Ireland (April 2014)

Q: I have just learned that two great aunts, Honoria and Ellen RICE emigrated to Stroud sometime after 1911 (they are listed in Dublin in the 1911 Census Returns).  These two ladies are a mystery to the family, I intend to visit England particularly Stroud later this year so advice about sources will be very helpful.

A1: I suggest you start at the Family History Society which has its main base and an excellent reference room in Gloucester – on the site of the County Archives, which can also be handy. Stroud Library has a local studies room but you will almost certainly find more in Gloucester. If you can find their death certificates (which might cost about £20 each unless you can find free details in the GFHS search room) they should give a home address, and you can come and find it in Stroud.

A2: (MiP) Given that death is post 1911, the local Register Office should still have copies of the Death Certificates [Aug2014: checked; old registers are now held in Cheltenham, Stroud Reg Office is only open by appointment]. There is nothing in our collections relating to either lady.

SMITH, Alfred Newman – Enq 71 from New Zealand (April 2014)

Qa) In 1838, Leonard Stanley church was painted by ‘A Smith’. Pleae can you tell me his full name?

Qb) I am descended from COLEMAN and BEARD families who sailed for Port Jackson, Australia, in 1839 on the ‘Bussorah Merchant’ in 1839. Are there any relatives still in the area?

Aa1): (MH) The painter’s name was Alfred Newman SMITH. I have not seen the painting you mentioned, but in the 1840s Alfred Newland Smith was a prolific landscape painter in and around Stroud. He had been born in Chelsea but his wife was local and his children were born here. He lived in the town and his son set up as a photographer here. I have just googled Alfred Newland Smith and got a good set of hits – including his painting of Kings Stanley church, so it could be the same man. Hope this helps. If our backroom team has not already suggested that you should contact the Gloucestershire Family History Society about your Colemans and Beards.

Aa2): (MiP) We have a selection paintings by him and his relatives in our collections – you can see some here on a BBC website:

Alfred published a book Twenty Lithographic Views of Ecclesiastical Edifices in the Borough of Stroud in 1838 and the image you refer to is part of that publication.

Aa3: (HB) His full name was Alfred Newland Smith, born around 1813 I believe and son of Daniel. ncidentally, my Beards were in Tetbury rather than Stroud at this period, so I doubt if I am related to the Beards you mention.

Ab:) STILL OPEN [although MarionH has since been in correspondence for the GLHA’s 2015 exhibition theme and has been sent extracts from an upcoming book]

FOLLY on FOLLY LANE – Enquiry 68 (July 2014)

Q: At the Stroud Local History Society exhibition that is on in the Museum in the Park in Stroud at the moment, I saw “Folly Lane – derives from a charming little structure – a summer house, or folly – built on the edge of land surrounding the country mansion for long known as the Grove, now Hawkwood College” (no folly now, but Folly House is on the site). Unapproved developments have just been made next to Folly House, listed as a Heritage Asset in an AoNB. Stroud DC has since refused permission and required restoration of the damage but it hasn’t yet been done.


WEYHOUSE HAMLET – Enquiry 67 (Jan 2014)

Q: I was wondering whether you have any information about the ‘lost’ Weyhouse hamlet which is pictured in Howard Beard’s photography book? I especially want to find out more information about Weyhouse Cottages (the ones for which only the base of the walls remain east of Dry Hill Woods) and their immediate surroundings. The site is so difficult to access I was wondering what was their primary purpose of being where they are. The deep mark left by what must have been the main path from the cottages to the town and the realisation that there used to be a quarry very close made me wonder whether actually the cottages were built for quarry masters or something similar and actually lie on an old ‘main route’ of limestone transport from the quarries in the area into Stroud.

A: We passed this enquiry on to Neil Baker, a local achaeologist who has been researching the Heavens since 2009. We know he responded but then their correspondence became direct. He knows a lot about the hillside – his email is heavensarchaeology(at)yahoo.co.uk.

MISERDEN PEACE CELEBRATIONS 1919 – Enquiry 66 (Nov? 2013)

Q: I collect postcards showing the celebrations for “Peace” across the U.K on the 19th. July 1919, and I recently acquired one showing part of Miserden’s procession. I like to write-up the cards using the report/s in the local newpapers, but in this instance I have been advised by Andrew Fripp of Stroud Library that the Stroud Journal did not cover the events in Miserden, the Library does not have the Stroud News on microfilm, and none of the Gloucester newspapers covered the events either.

A: (BH) Miserden news did not get covered by Stroud News or Journal, doesn’t now even. I contacted the Wilts and Glos Standard editor and she said it does cover Miserden but does not know if anything in 1919. She suggests you ring Lyn Gillett 01285-642642 she could help arrange for your to check the old editions but they do not have resources to check themselves.

Miserden does have a website and there is also Gloucestershire Archives where you might find something.

Joy Thacker wrote a book about Whiteway and did some local research some years ago – Whiteway Colony – a social history of a Tolstoyian Community.

UPPER GRANGE, LOVEDAY MEAD – Enquiry 65 (Nov 2013)

Q: I am doing a research project on the Genii Loci (Spirit of Place) on the home and grounds at Upper Grange, Loveday Mead.  I am looking for any and all history that may be known about this house and the grounds.


FIELD HURST BOWBRIDGE LANE – Enquiry 64 (Oct 2013)

Q: My Uncle Robert (Bob) Lane married to Dorothy Weaver (Occupation Weaver) resided at “Fieldhurst” Bowbridge Lane Stroud. He was shot down and killed over France 28/29th July 1944. I would like to find out where Fieldhurst was, maybe it has since been demolished to make way for new build. NB: Not to be confused with Fieldhurst Blackness.

A: [summer 2014 – Mike emailed to say he had identified the house – it is now No 42 Bowbridge Lane]

THE STROUD BUILDING in Holland- – Enquiry 63 (Sept 2013)

Q: In Putten, Netherlands, is a multi-function community centre called the “Stroud” building. An image can be viewed here:   It has some connection with Nazi reprisals late in WW2. Does anyone know any more?

A: (MS) Many years ago when I was working in the Tourist Information Centre in Stroud two lovely young Dutch people called into the Subscription Rooms (hope I have got this right). Apparently when the war was ending the army got to Putten and heard of the terrible experiences with the Germans – how all the able bodied men had been taken and hardly anyone returned. There must have been some soldiers from Stroud and they were so shocked by what they heard that some time later they invited all the children over as guests to Stroud. The young man said that because of this when they re-built their town hall they called it Stroud. I sent them along to our local paper Stroud News and I think they did print something about it but the people of Putten will always be grateful to those soldiers.

WILLIAMSON & TRATT, Clothing manufacturers – Enquiry 62 (NewZ, Sept 2013)

Q: I am interested in the company Williamson and Tratt who built what is now known as the Paul Building which is featured on the home page of your website.  I am undertaking work on the emigration of Scots from South Lanarkshire, one of whom was David Williamson who established the partnership Williamson and Tratt and constructed the building.  I also have a personal interest as my mother was a Williamson and David Williamson was her great uncle.  I would like if possible to talk to anyone who knows something about the building and/or the history of the company, particularly the early years (late 1870s/ early 1880s) of the company.

A: MarionH had replied “I will be happy to pass on what I have about James Tratt and his mysterious orphaned wife (perhaps a niece of David Williamson), and the fact that they bought and lived in the house built by William Cowle after his death. I also have the quote and plans for the conversion of the earlier warehouse to that wonderful Hill Paul brick factory that is a landmark in our town – and I have tracked David Williamson from his home in Scotland to his house in Stroud – Thanet House – now used by Stroud Town Council as offices. There is a photograph of David Williamson in Molly and Alfred Hoy’s book “The Met in a Barn” because he was the Sunday School superintendent at the Independent chapel (off Acre Street) for many years.” Gael did turn up and Marion gave her a tour of the buildings in town connected with DavidW.

NEW INN LOWER ST – – Enquiry 61 (Sept 2013)

Q: I believe this building may have come into being in abt. 1820. [Source: Stroud Walk 2 published by Stroudwater Textile Trust].  There is now a stone set into the wall by the door which reads The Old Pub. PS (Apl 2014) Following your reply I have discovered that the premises that became known as The New Inn (probably when it was taken over by Stroud Brewery in about 1890) – was in 1861 called Old Inn – and was occupied by a Samuel Smith

A: There are two websites that might help: one on local pubs and another on pub history

A2: Penny has since donated a copy of the book she wrote about her 1830s family in this house – see Enquiry #57

A3: 2015 Penny’s article New Inn

WATKEYS William John – Enquiry 60 (Aug 2013)

Q: I am a student at Nottingham, writing a paper on this portrait artist, who is a distant relative. He lived in Stroud and died there in 1873. Some of his work is in Swansea museum. Can anyone help?


BISLEY BOY – Enquiry 59 (Jun 2013)

Q: I am a London-based producer for NBC News. We are looking into the Bisley Boy conspiracy that claimed Elizabeth 1st was actually a boy. I would be interested in any information from local historians.

A: (MA) There were some interesting letters printed in the Daily Mail of 12th June [2014] giving convincing reasons why the legend can’t be true!

A2: (BH) We think the following sources may help you:

1) ‘It happened in Gloucestershire’ – Phyllida Barstow published by Merlin Unwin Books – chapter on Bisley Boy – book available in Stroud Tourist Office

2) Old Newspaper cuttings – a) Stroud News article – ‘Bisley folklore’ – think June 1938; b) Stroud News article ‘Topics of the Week’ – Bisley Boy Legend – September 1930? (we have a part printout of these and it might be on microfiche in Stroud Library records)

3) Cotswold Life – November 2003 – article on Cotswold Legends ‘The Riddle of the Bisley Boy’ Modern research by Prof. Brian Locke and Marie Jennings on page 66.

DANIELS – Enquiry 58 (Canada then NZ) (June 2013)

Q: Aside from Thomas and Joseph’s Iron Works, where did all the Daniels in Stroud come from?

A: (MA) Descendants are still around the Stroud district and would like to be put in touch with you (they are not SLHS members but neighbours of MA).

STROUD FIELDS – Enquiry 57 Apr 2013

Q: Where might Stroud Field or Fields have been located in the 1930s?

A: (MH) It’s a difficult name to pin down, since there are so many possible variations. I am pretty certain it was not used as a description in The Field estate of the Arundell family (The Field was the name of their house, Penny, and it was not the same as Field Place, another big house at Paganhill!). But the Victoria County History has one exact match on “Stroud Field” (none at all on “Stroud Fields”), and it puts it within the Lypiatt manor, as you suspect.

A2: Penny has since found more from Ian Mackintosh’s booklet produced by the Stroudwater Textile Trust entitled ‘stroud town walk 2: the upp end’. In Aug 2014 she gave us a copy of her own book about her gt-gt-gf John Gay’s life as a maltster in Lower Street. It covers turnpikes too – esp the widow Gay and her sons at Brimscombe – and her later emigration to Wisconsin. The book is now #130 in our SLHS Collection.

HARRIS & MCLEAN, STANLEY MILLS – Enquiry 56 (Australia) May 2013

Q: My Gt-gf Charles HALL b 1804 Leicestershire joined the Australian Agricultural Company in 1825. He was interviewed on their behalf by Donald Maclean, wool merchant and partner in the King’s Stanley mill. The interview was successful and his salary started on the date of his embarcation. Can anyone please explain what a woolsorter had to be able to do?

A: given, but not copied to our backroom. PLEASE RESEND

BOWNHAM HOUSE – Enquiry 55 Ontario (Feb 2013?)

Q: Currently researching Rev Joseph TOWNSEND (1739-1806) of Pewsey, Wilts. NatArchives of Scotland has a letter from him dated 1806 likely to be Thomas SMITH JP of Bownham House near Stroud. Does anyone know of any surviving papers [this student seems to be looking for original correspondence, for his PhD]


GANNICOX HOUSE – Enquiry 54 (Feb 2013)

Q: Please do you know what ‘Gannicox’ means? I am interested in the name derivation, not the house itself or any social history.

A: There are two – Upper and Lower. The Victoria County History  has an early description of both but no derivation. STILL OPEN

STRATFORD LODGE – Enquiry 53(Jan 2013) (Feb 2013)

Q: [Diane] As a child, my aunt lived at Stratford Lodge. Do you know its history? Tt was owned by a family called Grimmes or Grahame and this would be about 1900 to around 1905. [Tracy only wanted to know local sources for more info about the house].

A: Do you mean Stratford Lodge, Stratford Road, that is now a Premier Inn? It was previously called The Old Nelson and before that the Nelson school (private).

A2: (JL) Stratford Lodge was built in the early 19th century. It became the Nelson pub. It was the last home of Walter Stanton M.P. and later an independent day school for boys and girls called Nelson School, until around 1990. It was named Nelson after the headmaster of the school.

A3: (MH) The Stroud Journal of 5th June 1875 has this advert for Stratford Lodge. “Stratford Lodge to rent for £80. Dining and drawing rooms. Library. 4 bedrooms, 3 dressing rooms, kitchens, pantry, attics. Stabling for 3 horses, flower garden, croquet lawn, large kitchen garden. Advertised by Mr Clark, Bookseller, Stroud”

BELL MARSHALL Mark – Enquiry 52 (Nov 2012)

Q: Birdhopecraig URC church in Northumberland is closing. Want to locate any living descendant of Mark Bell MARSHALL who was a JP in Stroud in 1902, to move out a plaque donated by him.

A: Michael LANE [a previous correspondent] replied directly to the chapel. His family connection is that our Geo HOLLOWAY’s daughter Florence married Mark BM. The minister of the church was very pleased we put them in touch. We have a photo of the plaque if any member wants to see it.

SHARP John Taylor – Enquiry 51 (Nov 2012)

Q: My paternal grandfather John Taylor SHARP lived at The Firs, Brimscombe. He was killed in a motor accident in the late 20s/early 30s. I have a photograph of a gravestone but the date is obscured. Where will there be a newspaper report of his death?

A: STILL OPEN  [there are two local D regs for John T SHARP:1931Q1 Cirencester and 1932Q4 Gloucester – presumably he was taken to a local hospital. 1911 census gives YoB as 1875 so his was the Cirencester entry MH]

ROXBOROUGH HOUSE – Enquiry 50 (Sep 2012)

Q: Is there a photograph of Roxborough House, esp when it was a children’s home?

A: (CT) Rox House became a poor law (later county council) children’s home meaning children moved out of workhouse and opened as such in 1910 I think the building was a conversion of a victorian building. The history of the purchase etc should be in the Stroud Poor Law Board minute books and other records. Now demolished.

A2: (MH) I have a very worn copy of the 1903 edition of Stroud Valley Illustrated. On p 126 is an advertisement for Abbotsford College, Stroud. Below the name it says (Roxburgh House) Boarding and Day School for Girls. The photograph (by Burrow) shows a large and splendid three-storey stone? white-painted? building with a central porch, outside which are standing three people. The photograph is over-exposed so I am not sure how well it will scan. The text below says the Principal was Miss Cranstoun, and goes on to describe the classes available. [NB  Stroud library has a replica copy of the 1903 guide published in 2008 by History Press ISBN 978 0 7524 4817 6]

ALDRIDGE, tailor – Enquiry 49 (Sep 2012)

Q: I am looking for a tailor in Stroud in late Victorian era called ALDRIDGE.

A: (MH) The 1911 census has a Frederick H ALDRIDGE, 29, single, tailor’s presser, born London, living at 22 Church Street in Stroud, and his watchmaker brother Ernest was born in Stroud two years before him, but this is not mid-Victorian. There were a lot of ALDRIDGEs in Stroud all through the 19thC, but no tailors (unless in Rodborough).

WOOLACOMBE HOUSE – Enquiry 48 (Aug 2012)

Q: Where was Woolacombe House on Stratford Road – home of Doris Marshall who died 1969.

A: (JB) In Stroud and Mid-Glos Directory it was between Beech Villa and Totland, the seventh house after the first council houses going towards Paganhill. Alpine Lodge, or thereabouts.

STANDISH HOSPITAL – Enquiry 47 (Jul 2012)

Q: I am trying to find out the history of Standish hospital and looking for old photographs of the hospital and surrounding grounds.

A: There are photos in Glos Archives, and an online search brings up quite a few others you could try.

A2: Added Aug 2014 – see the pamphlet in our Citizen archive of cuttings.

 FRENCH MEETING – Enquiry 46 (Jul 2012)

Q: My gt-gf lived at the Tara at Oakridge. A family tree mentions French Meeting on several occasions relating to births and deaths. Might it be connected with silk workers from Frence settling there?

A: (PS) See the Victoria County History (Stroud library or online at british-history) which describes the old non-conformist meeting place (dating from 1662) as being called France Meeting, in France Lynch. According to the info I found – see below -The France Meeting burial ground, south of France Lynch church, survived in 1972. We don’t know if they mean the Congregational or C of E church. Here are some possible sources: map with France Lynch and Chalford Hill churches, France Lynch Congregational church here and here;  France Lynch Church C of E here, here, and hereChalford Hill Methodist Church and there is also info on Chalford on Wikipedia.

ABOLITIONIST ARCH – Enquiry 44 (May 2012)

Q: Would like to know if any research has already been done.


A2: Aug/14 MH: NOTE ONLY: restored 2003 by Stroud Preservation Trust; also our SLHS publication of 2003 Stroud versus Slavery – sorry now out of print. English Heritage has a page. Glos Archives has material. 

LANE family – Enquiry 43 (Devon) (Apr 2012)

Q: I have been researching my family for many years and have a great deal of information on the following names if anyone would like more:

Family surnames List 1: LANE from Chaceley moving to Bisley, Ebley, Cainscross and Stroud | GAWN (GHAWNE) (GAWNE) from Bisley | LAWRENCE from Horsley & TILLEY from Uley | WALLACE from Stroud & FRY from Cirencester | PROUT from Nympsfield/Frocester | BURFORD from Uley/Dursley

Family surnames List 2:  CUMMINS and HYETT from Stroud | HOLLOWAY and STRUDWICK from Stroud | BALL and RICHARDSON-COX from Stroud | FAWKES from Bisley/Stroud | DEE and KEARSLEY from Avening | HAWKES and BROWN from Chalford | WHEATLEY and SMITH from Stroud | FRYER and POWELL from Painswick | ARMSTRONG and HARPER from Stroud | PITT and JEFFRIES from Stroud | RIDLER from Painswick/Nailsworth

My email address is mikej.lane(at)tiscali.co.uk [for security, deliberately written so the hyperlink does not appear MH Ed]

WOODCHESTER PARK – Enquiry 42 (Apr 2012)

Q: I am a PhD student interested in the Canadian and American military presence at Woodchester Park during WW2

A: (MA) my Dad took part in Home Guard exercises in Woodchester Park during WW2 and I have a photograph of the group when they disbanded. He was a stretcher bearer and his uniform always had lots of khaki packs hanging from it. When I peeked I saw they were dressings and bandages. But that’s all.

STROUDWATER 1810S – Enquiry 41 (Feb 2012)

Q: Writing a novel set on the Stroudwater canal, Dudbridge or Brimscombe in the early 1810s. Can anyone suggest sources for details and descriptions?

A: (AB) Try ‘Diaries of Agness Witts’ pub Amberley-books.com – Vol 1 ‘The Lady of Rodborough’ covers 1788-1973 and includes descriptions of building the canals.

A2: (ARM) Try Vols 1 and 2 of The Stroudwater and Thames and Severn Canals from Old Photos.  Also Humphrey Household’s book about the Thames & Severn.

VAD HOSPITALS – Enquiry 40  (Chalford)

Q: Can anyone help a colleague researching Stroud VAD hospital?

A: Try the stories on angelfire.com/az/garethknight/redcross/

STRATFORD PARK ABORETUM – Enquiry 39 (Jan 2012) and Peter (Feb 2012)

Q: Does anyone have a planting plan? Is there a connection with Westonbirt?

Q2: the museum’s pamphlet says the Park and arboretum collaborated in the purchase of trees for both places. Anyone know more? The Museum staff would also like to know!


PATTEN family – Enquiry 38 , Australia (Nov 2011)

Q: My mother Norma Hathaway was b Stroud Dec 1935, and sent to Australia on an orphan ship around 1948-9. Her mother was Ivy May Ellen Patten/Patton b May 1902. [passed to Sue Stafford, local researcher]

A: (SS) sent Gennie some info about the Patten ancestors in Stroud workhouse.

GOLF COURSE AT KING STANLEY – Enquiry 37  (Nov 2011)

Q: I research lost golf courses. I have a postcard showing two golfers. Date has been damaged but ‘Kings Stanley Glos’ has been pencilled and the addressee is a Mr Mason, butcher, King’s Stanley. Can anyone identify the golf course?

A: (CT) don’t know of one actually at KS but there was a 9-hole course on Rodborough common that disappeared in the 1920s.

TYLER Ltd cabinet maker – Enquiry 36  (Oct 2011)

Q: Here in Oklahoma, USA, I have a wooden chest made by Tyler Ltd and stamped 6327-77. Can anyone tell me more?

A: (JB) Tylers were at Belvedere Mill, Chalford, in 1903 then at Griffin Mill Thrupp in the 1950s. A friend has an oak sideboard 1920-30s. Another bought a veneered bedroom suite in the 1950s.

A2: (MiP) Previous A G Tyler of Hack’s Mill Brimscombe around 1900.

A3: (MA) Tylers in Thrupp made wooden gliders during WW2.

STRATFORD ABBEY – Enquiry 35  (Oct 2011)

Q: Grandmother attended this training college when she was 23. What was the training for?

A: (from MiP) It was a private school for girls from 1869 to 1955, then demolished (now the location of the petrol station in Tesco carpark, Stratford Rd)

BYERLEY Ann and John – Enquiry 34  (Sep 2011)

Q: John, who lived at Farm Hill, died Jan 1837. He had owned the patent of Oleagine [used instead of soap and oil in woollen manufacture] and I am trying to find a will.


BEARD Samuel – Enquiry 33  (Sep 2011)

Q: In 1821 Samuel BEARD and his son George Samuel of Painswick were transported to Tasmania in 1821 [from Glos Assizes, for stealing cloth, 7 years]. He was a hatter.

A: STILL OPEN [lots online about his descendants in Australia. Glos Archives has D1070/I/147 Assize papers 1820-29; GBR/G3/G/3/2 Register of prisoners 1816-1835, and Q/Gc/5/1-7 Registers of prisoners for trial at Quarter Sessions and Assizes 1815-1844]

REGISTER OFFICE – Enquiry 32 (Sep 2011)

Q: Where was Stroud Register Office in 1844?

A: (CT) in the Poor Law Union offices at the junction of John St and Union St (now a bar, but with original features retained)

SCOTT Samuel – Enquiry 31 (Aug 2011)

Q: 1912 death of Charlotte BECK or SCOTT in Stonehouse. Bigamous marriage on Malta to my gt-gt-gf Samuel SCOTT, a steamship engineer – where buried?

A: Added Feb 2013:   Try Stonehouse  History Group.

A2: Apl 2014: Fiona let us know Charlotte was buried in Surrey.

WYNN Samuel – Enquiry 30  (Aug 2011)

Q: 1841 Samuel WYNN b Stroud went to Hereford. His father was Samuel WYNN too – possibly the chimney sweep. Any info?


HERBERT Frank at Marling – Enquiry 28  (June 2011)

Q: Frank HERBERT (b 1917) attended Marling School. He did not know his parents; his schooling was funded from a trust, the manager of which ran off with the money! Nobody knows who set up the trust or who Frank’s father was. Any ideas please for a long-distance researcher?


EBLEY NCH – Enquiry 27 (May 2011)

Q: When did the NCH orphanage at Ebley House close?

A: Added Mar 2016: We bought a glazed pine Dresser, 2 sliding doors and 2 cupboard doors below painted white, when the NCH had closed and were trying to clear the last items from the house. I can remember having it stripped by John Green when he had a shop on the right hand side of the High Street almost opposite Church St. Probably circa 1979. (Andrew C)

LEONARD STANLEY – Enquiry 26  (May 2011)

Q: looking for copy of Leonard Stanley Remembered, by Leonard Stanley History Soc. Cannot now find either.

A: booklet was published Jan 2005, editor Ron Gardiner; many of the contributors still live there. Suggest you contact the Leonard Stanley Parish Council.

COLEY chemist – Enquiry 24  (Apr 2011)

Q: Is there a photograph of the chemist’s shop of S J COLEY, High St/King St, around the turn of the century?


Added Feb 2013: See mentions of him in Stroud trade directories, between 1876 and 1923, at 24 King St and 57 High St.

Added Aug 2014 MH: Coley of 12 King St had a full page ad in the 1902 edition of Stroud Valley Illustrated. Unfortunately the copy in Stroud Library (bound in with Libby’s 1890 book) has a damaged page 30 and the central photograph of the shop is obscured.

BUTLIN family Woodchester – Enquiry 23  (Apl 2011)

Q: 1930s Woodchester Violet Farm – my grandfather worked for the BUTLIN family there – any info please?


AMBERLEY INN 1918 AUSTRALIANS – Enquiry 22 (Feb 2011)

Q: 1918 – Australian airmen training in Minchinhampton might have been billeted at Amberley Inn. Any info please? or on the history of the Inn?


POWER Stephen snuffbox – Enquiry 21  (Feb 2011)

Q: have 1746 snuff box inscribed Stephen POWER, Stroud – any info please?

A: (not mentioned in 1776 Stroud Poll Book, or Fisher’s Notes and Recollections) STILL OPEN

ISACKE Rose and James – Enquiry 20 (Jan 2011)

Q: Rosa Stella ISACKE – can I find her burial plot? and are there any pictures or records of James ISACKE (brushmaker)?

A: Rosa is buried in Block E3/60 in the Stroud cemetery (the area on the RHS of the main path to the chapels, about halfway along. Stroud Town Council has a site plan, if you ask. Stroud Journal 17th March 1855 has an ad for James’ scrubbing brushes (used on mill equipment). Have info on the sale of an ISACKE fossil collection, and a poem.

Embroidered tablecloth – Enquiry 19  (2010)

SLHS were asked for help in identifying names on an embroidered tablecloth
Click here for the story


COWLE William – Enquiry 18  (2010)

Q: William COWLE (b Faringdon 1820) is the subject of a research project being carried out in 2009-14 by two members. Any info on his family or personal papers will be welcomed.

A: (2014) Personal papers rescued just in time; biography completed; digital archive for houses built on The Field estate now online – see FEWC home page on website of member Marion Hearfield.

 McNALLEY Esther – Enquiry 17

Q: 1859 burial of Esther McNALLY (age 31), and any record of her dau Alice Martha b 1856 in an orphanage?

A: Contact Stroud Town Council – all the cemetery records are there.

 CARRICK James – Enquiry 14  (Oct 2010)

Q: 1881 James CARRICK was a librarian at the Subscription Rooms. He died in 1882 – how long had he worked there?

A: There used to be a Reading Room where the Tourist Info is now, but there were not enough subscribers. There used to be a caretaker’s flat upstairs at the back.

A: [added Feb 2013] He is first mentioned as librarian there in 1867’s trade directory.


Q: is any member interested in medieval field systems?


WESTWARD ROAD CHANGES – Enquiry 12  (2010)

Q: Change of land use in Stroud over past 100 years: esp plot on Westward Road where second-hand car dealership and neighbouring car wash now stand.

A: A member suggests you could contact Cainscross parish or, was that land anything to do with Cainscross House? Try these websites for old maps: Alan Godfrey maps, where the Stroud 1901 map covers the area you want, and British History Online has an 1887 map (your site looks like an orchard on this one).

ABDELA & MITCHELL boatyard – Enquiry 11

Q: Abdela & Mitchell boatyard at Brimscombe abt 1900-25 – any photos please?

A: Lots of possible sources: Stroud Museum has photographs in store (make an appointment). Then try these websites: Junction Heritage, The Waterways Trust, and this paper from the GSIA website.

Also, try these books: The Stroud Navigation by Joan Tucker ISBN 0 7524 2806 3; The Thames Severn Canal by Humphrey Household ISBN 7153 4475 7; The Thames & Severn Canal by Viner ISBN 0 902907 65 4 and the many books by Howard Beard and Gardiner & Padin

WALL Joshua, sculptor – Enquiry 10 (2010) and (Apr 2013)

Q: Joshua WALL, sculptor (no date) – any info please?

A: a member says there is a statue of him in Chalford Church, above the door; and he worked on the Houses of Parliament. Also see this Glosgen link for his memorial inscription and this Victoria County History entry for the story of his work on Stroud’s St Laurence’s church. Also he is mentioned in a book by Ebley historian Crystal Harrison [sorry, not sure of title].


Q: Is there a print of Dyehouse Mills in Minchinhampton? Ancestors worked there.

A: Best source would be the Stroudwater Textile Trust

ALDRIDGE Edwin 1870s – Enquiry 8  (2010)

Q: 1870s onwards, Edwin ALDRIDGE lived at Albion Villa in Uplands. A son lived at Northfield House. Could not find either on a recent visit.

A: BH – Northfield house is in Folly Lane above the junction to Upper Springfield Road.

A2: CT – Now a residential home. Could locate Albion Villas if given names of neighbouring houses from census.

A3: MH Oct 2012– Stroud directories show no tailor Aldridges; tailor appears in 1911 census


Enquiry 7  (2010)

Q: mid-1800s where was Burley? mentioned in [unspecified] source at GlosRO. Residents were paupers – a workhouse?

A: best match is Burleigh, in Minchinhampton parish.


Enquiry 6  June 2010

Q: 1824 Peter Geoffrey CROPPER (31) died after a riding accident. He left his estate to his mother Edith Loftus CROPPER of Hazel Manor, Stroud. Where is that, and where might he have been buried? (he is not in Stroud cemetery)

A: Howard suggested a place; Barry confirmed it – but the answer is not recorded here

 BECK William 1840s – Enquiry 5 , May 2010

Q: 1841 census has William BECK, carrier, at Swan St. Any info would be welcome.

A: Swan St leads into Swan Lane.Wm BICK {BECK} married Sarah PARKES in Hardwick on 13 Aug 1815. GHFS baptism transcripts for Stroud has: James son of Wm+Sarah bapt 24 Oct 1819; Elizabeth dau of same bapt 19 May 1822; Sarah dau of same bapt 21 Aug 1825; George Wm son of same bapt 30 Sep 1832. Wm BECK died 3 Oct 1848 aged 58. Widow Sarah and dau Sarah are in Swan St in 1851 census.

DEAKIN & Son –

Enquiry 4  May 2010

Q: A DEAKIN & Son regularly attended Stroud Show. Does anyone have any photos or stories?

A: STILL OPEN  but see the Stroud Show newspaper cuttings for what we do have.

HALE Mary Ann 1850s – Enquiry 3

Q: 1853 is approx YoB for Mary Ann HALE, but who were her parents? Lots of possibilities, so need to contact someone who has Mary Ann SANSUM (her married name) in their tree.
A: a member has suggested you contact the Gloucestershire Family History Society

Methodist burials – Enquiry 2

Q: Does any list exist of persons that were in the [Methodist] churchyard [in 1970] and who were reburied, including in Stroud Cemetery, following the closure of the Methodist chapel on Parliament St. Surname of interest is WORKMAN.
A: a member has suggested that you try the Coroner’s records – they would have to give permission for reburial, or the Stroud News & Journal archives

George St wool shop 1840s  – Enquiry 1

Q: 1849 wool shop in George St run by Winifred, Kezia and Eliza JAY, who emigrated to New Zealand in 1850s – any info?
A: only found 1851 census entries; no more

Back to top