Evans-Chambers archive

This archive of papers and stories about Stroud, Brimscombe and Minchinhampton is an unexpected consequence of our research into civilian life in Stroud during the Great War. One of the researchers mentioned Elsie Chambers – a professional singer who was born in Stroud and held annual fundraising concerts in the town during the war, when she was not entertaining the troops in France as a member of a concert party. She returned to Stroud during WW2 and ran the Community Centre at the Sub Rooms. She had a cousin called Stanley Evans who became Works Manager of Grists Mill in Brimscombe when he returned from WW1, was a church organist first at Holy Trinity Brimscombe and then at Holy Trinity Stroud and, as a younger man, a town cricketer and county footballer.

In the last few months of 2014 Stanley Evans’ son Peter provided us with family material from the war years, including a lot about his grandparents and the BROWNING family in Minchinhampton. It is this that forms the EVANS-CHAMBERS digital archive, with his encouragement that it be used by local historians. Added to the archive are concert programmes and photographs of Elsie CHAMBERS from the Stroud Local History Society’s collection #28.1.

The digital archive, made available under our SLHS Fair Use, non-commercial copyright conditions, is accessible online using this link.

SHORT INVENTORY (full inventory is in the digital archive)

Abdela boatyard (workers inc BROWNING and EVANS grandfathers) – photo, cutting of 1925? fire

Autograph albums of Violet BROWNING (later EVANS) 1918-20s – airmen and soldiers stationed in Minch

Brimscombe Polytechnic Calendar 1913 – classroom and indoor photographs

Brimscombe Polytechnic Choral Society 1915 concert poster

Brimscombe – War Savings certificates (2) for Brimscombe Canal Iron Works

Brimscombe Port 1826 engraving

Brimscombe Salt-House photo and story pub in The Field magazine 1966

BROWNING 17th-19thC family in Minchinhampton – interview, script for tour, family tree, photographs and stories

CHAMBERS Elsie – photographs and concert programmes

CHAMBERS Zoura – scanned/photographed copy of the memoire of Zoura Chambers (sister of Elsie) writing about her family, Elsie’s career, and her own life and work at Red Bus Company and Erinoid

EVANS Stanley – stories, photographs, Brimscombe Polytechnic logbook 1909, works manager at Lewiston Mill, WW1 and WW2, organist

Grists’ Mill (Lewiston Mill) – set of photographs taken 2014 by Tony Macer, with source references found online

Minchinhampton WW1 volunteers – photograph reproduced in SNJ

Minchinhampton in 19thC – full-page SNJ article (probably written by Peter Evans)

Picture House Stroud – 1920s photo of staff outside the cinema (Stan Evans organist)

Rodmarton Manor (workers included BROWNING grandfathers) article pub 1999

Sperry Giroscope factory Stonehouse – WW2 non-blitz (SNJ whole front page)

Stroud Arts – 1950 full-page SNJ article about professional performers from Stroud

The Times News Team – Peter EVANS and team in action; full page from The Times mag

UNDERWOOD Samuel – 1970s programme of celebratory concert at Marling


The family tree in the archive identifies the people in the BROWNING, EVANS and CHAMBERS families in Minchinhampton and Brimscombe, but the documents in this archive cover many years and mention people other than the direct family, and local organisations and places. They are also identified in the main Inventory.

Marion Hearfield

Stroud Local History Society

December 2014

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