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‘In short, sir, you have it in a nutshell.
Where would Stroud be without it?’

We live in such divided times that anything that unites us is to be admired,
And just as a nation can be divided, so a town can be divided in so many ways:
Hefts can build up based on social class, or ethnicity, or politics, or education,
Or for so many whatever varied reasons,
As people find and accentuate commonality,
And whilst Stroud and the Five Valleys is not exactly ‘Town and Gown’,
It can feel a bit like Disraeli’s Two Nations at times:

‘Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets.’

'In short, sir, you have it in a nutshell.
Where would Stroud be without it?'

We live in such divided times that anything that unites us is to be admired,
And just as a nation can be divided, so a town can be divided in so many ways:
Hefts can build up based on social class, or ethnicity, or politics, or education,
Or for so many whatever varied reasons,
As people find and accentuate commonality,
And whilst Stroud and the Five Valleys is not exactly 'Town and Gown',
It can feel a bit like Disraeli's Two Nations at times:

'Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets.'

read more

Painswick Beacon and Botany Bay

The solstice is a time for wonder and the imagination,
But sometimes you need facts, figures and measurements:
Lines of latitude and longitude – maritime chronometers too,
Were needed for New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land,
For those weavers, cloth-workers, hatters, labourers and servants,
Transported as convicts, far distant from their Painswick homes,
On ships such as the Emma Eugenia, Florentia, Lady Ridley,
Duncan, Gilmore, Persian, Lord Hungerford, Bengal Merchant;
People such as Ann Alder, Henry Beard and Samuel Beard,
John Birt, Isaac Estcourt, James Green, William Haines, Charles Cook;
And at winter solstice-tide, we gathered at Painswick Beacon,

The solstice is a time for wonder and the imagination,
But sometimes you need facts, figures and measurements:
Lines of latitude and longitude - maritime chronometers too,
Were needed for New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land,
For those weavers, cloth-workers, hatters, labourers and servants,
Transported as convicts, far distant from their Painswick homes,
On ships such as the Emma Eugenia, Florentia, Lady Ridley,
Duncan, Gilmore, Persian, Lord Hungerford, Bengal Merchant;
People such as Ann Alder, Henry Beard and Samuel Beard,
John Birt, Isaac Estcourt, James Green, William Haines, Charles Cook;
And at winter solstice-tide, we gathered at Painswick Beacon, read more

Nailsworth Shoddy

I often walk the cycle track at the bottom of Rodborough Hill,
The old Midland Railway spur from Dudbridge into Stroud,
And I often cycle the track on to Nailsworth through Woodchester,
Musing on the springs and watercourses, the ancient holloways,
The Roman villa, medieval ridge and furrow, the woollen mills,
The occasional mill chimney, still rising high into the Stroudwater sky,
And I have often walked the surrounds of Avening, Minch and Amberley,
Recreating the 1916 tragedy of Dorothy Beard and Archibald Knee,
A young woman and a young new recruit,
Drowning together in a millpond.

In short, my head is usually lost in the clouds of the past,
Where I am entranced rather than perturbed by novelty –
Unlike Scrooge, I see few phantoms that repel –
Until last night, when just before our show
Trenchcoats for Goalposts,
At the Comrades’ Club,
In Nailsworth,
Jon Seagrave mentioned a local radio history programme
About that local branch line and the First World War,
Did I know that? …

I often walk the cycle track at the bottom of Rodborough Hill,
The old Midland Railway spur from Dudbridge into Stroud,
And I often cycle the track on to Nailsworth through Woodchester,
Musing on the springs and watercourses, the ancient holloways,
The Roman villa, medieval ridge and furrow, the woollen mills,
The occasional mill chimney, still rising high into the Stroudwater sky,
And I have often walked the surrounds of Avening, Minch and Amberley,
Recreating the 1916 tragedy of Dorothy Beard and Archibald Knee,
A young woman and a young new recruit,
Drowning together in a millpond.

In short, my head is usually lost in the clouds of the past,
Where I am entranced rather than perturbed by novelty -
Unlike Scrooge, I see few phantoms that repel –
Until last night, when just before our show
Trenchcoats for Goalposts,
At the Comrades’ Club,
In Nailsworth,
Jon Seagrave mentioned a local radio history programme
About that local branch line and the First World War,
Did I know that? …

read more

Sixty People Gathering

Sixty people gathering
In the welcoming woodland of Stroud Brewery,
Watching the preview of Day of Hope,
Listening to tales of weavers’ riots
And Chartist dreams;
Quaffing Chartist porter
While Paul Southcott sang us songs
Of the world we have lost …
Resting by a sun warm red brick bridge,

Sixty people gathering
In the welcoming woodland of Stroud Brewery,
Watching the preview of Day of Hope,
Listening to tales of weavers' riots
And Chartist dreams;
Quaffing Chartist porter
While Paul Southcott sang us songs
Of the world we have lost …
Resting by a sun warm red brick bridge, read more

Commemorative Walk Saturday 26th

The team at Stroud Brewery were thrilled to have another excuse to brew something special, this time to commemorate the great efforts of the chartists. We have produced a small batch of smoked porter aged in oak barrels. Come along and see if this beer gets your vote…

Saturday November 26th 1pm Stroud Brewery: A Chartist Walk with a Porter

The team at Stroud Brewery were thrilled to have another excuse to brew something special, this time to commemorate the great efforts of the chartists. We have produced a small batch of smoked porter aged in oak barrels. Come along and see if this beer gets your vote...

Saturday November 26th 1pm Stroud Brewery: A Chartist Walk with a Porter read more

Echo Chambers – Archibald and Dorothy

Echo Chamber: Voices of Conscience – a sound and photography exhibition marking 100 years of conscientious objection – owes its inspirational existence to Fiona Meadley, Dom Thomas and Ruth Davey. The exhibition includes information submitted by living relatives of Conscientious Objectors from WW1: it was a privilege to contribute to this history, with our performance of the story of Dorothy and Archibald.
The link: http://radicalstroud.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Archie-And-Dorothy.m4a takes you to a recording made of Dorothy and Archibald , featuring the voices of Rachel Simpson and Stuart Butler, as they read the words of Alice Butler and Stuart, during the Stroud Book Festival in November 2016.

Echo Chamber: Voices of Conscience - a sound and photography exhibition marking 100 years of conscientious objection – owes its inspirational existence to Fiona Meadley, Dom Thomas and Ruth Davey. The exhibition includes information submitted by living relatives of Conscientious Objectors from WW1: it was a privilege to contribute to this history, with our performance of the story of Dorothy and Archibald.
The link: http://radicalstroud.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Archie-And-Dorothy.m4a takes you to a recording made of Dorothy and Archibald , featuring the voices of Rachel Simpson and Stuart Butler, as they read the words of Alice Butler and Stuart, during the Stroud Book Festival in November 2016. read more

Saturday November 26th 1pm Stroud Brewery: A Chartist Walk with a Porter

A performative walk starting at Stroud Brewery to christen the new Chartist porter. The walk will commence at the Brewery, with explanation, contextualisation and performance; then wend its way along the canal to Wallbridge and then along the old railway line to Dudbridge. We will then climb up to the Bell for more porter and thence to the top of Selsley Hill. The walk will be interspersed with performance, bringing the local and national Chartists to life in the landscape. Walkers make their own way back to wherever they wish to go: that’s the Chartists’ seventh point. We should be finished on Selsley by 4pm.

A performative walk starting at Stroud Brewery to christen the new Chartist porter. The walk will commence at the Brewery, with explanation, contextualisation and performance; then wend its way along the canal to Wallbridge and then along the old railway line to Dudbridge. We will then climb up to the Bell for more porter and thence to the top of Selsley Hill. The walk will be interspersed with performance, bringing the local and national Chartists to life in the landscape. Walkers make their own way back to wherever they wish to go: that's the Chartists' seventh point. We should be finished on Selsley by 4pm.
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On the Evening of August 27th . 1916

‘Dorothy and Archibald’

On the evening of August 27 1916, Private Archibald Knee, 25 years old, and of the Gloucestershire Regiment was due to return to his battalion on a train from Stroud station, cured of his German measles. On any other Sunday evening, Dorothy Beard of Gravel Hill, Burleigh, eighteen years young, would have been preparing for work at Brimscombe Mills. But Archibald missed his train, and Dorothy did not appear at work the next day. Instead, having walked out to Longfords Lake, hand in hand, they tied themselves together with the belt of his mackintosh, and they drowned in Iron Mills Pond, Avening, in the early hours of August 28 1916. Dorothy’s watch had stopped at 3.51 a.m.

'Dorothy and Archibald'

On the evening of August 27 1916, Private Archibald Knee, 25 years old, and of the Gloucestershire Regiment was due to return to his battalion on a train from Stroud station, cured of his German measles. On any other Sunday evening, Dorothy Beard of Gravel Hill, Burleigh, eighteen years young, would have been preparing for work at Brimscombe Mills. But Archibald missed his train, and Dorothy did not appear at work the next day. Instead, having walked out to Longfords Lake, hand in hand, they tied themselves together with the belt of his mackintosh, and they drowned in Iron Mills Pond, Avening, in the early hours of August 28 1916. Dorothy’s watch had stopped at 3.51 a.m. read more

Voices of Conscience, Trenchcoats for Goalposts & All Our Stroud Yesterdays

Announcing three new events this November and two more this December:

Saturday 12th November 7.30 pm £12
TRENCHCOATS FOR GOALPOSTS
Prince Michael Hall, The Bacon Theatre, Hatherley Road, Cheltenham

Friday 11 – Sunday 13 November
ECHO CHAMBER – VOICES OF CONSCIENCE
The Old Town Hall, Shambles £1 all profits to Stroud Refugee Aid

Wednesday 16th November
ALL OUR STROUD YESTERDAYS
9 pm Subscription Rooms £5/£4

Friday 9th December 8:00 pm £10
TRENCHCOATS FOR GOALPOSTS
Painswick Centre, Painswick

Saturday 10th December 8:00 pm £10
TRENCHCOATS FOR GOALPOSTS
Comrades Club, Nailsworth

Announcing three new events this November and two more this December:

Saturday 12th November 7.30 pm £12
TRENCHCOATS FOR GOALPOSTS
Prince Michael Hall, The Bacon Theatre, Hatherley Road, Cheltenham

Friday 11 – Sunday 13 November
ECHO CHAMBER - VOICES OF CONSCIENCE
The Old Town Hall, Shambles £1 all profits to Stroud Refugee Aid

Wednesday 16th November
ALL OUR STROUD YESTERDAYS
9 pm Subscription Rooms £5/£4

Friday 9th December 8:00 pm £10
TRENCHCOATS FOR GOALPOSTS
Painswick Centre, Painswick

Saturday 10th December 8:00 pm £10
TRENCHCOATS FOR GOALPOSTS
Comrades Club, Nailsworth read more

Hidden Stroud Walks

Announcing two new walks in collaboration with the Hidden Stroud project this weekend:

Stroud History Reimagined

The walk will reimagine the history of Stroud, touching upon springs, streams and weavers; radical canal history, Stroud Scarlet, slavery and the Black Atlantic.

A walk for anyone interested in walking, history, literature and an imaginative blurring of genres.

http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/whats-on/stroud-history-reimagined-with-stuart-butler/

https://www.facebook.com/events/340825872919858/

For ages 14+
08 October 2016
Start times: 10:00-13:00
Tickets: £2 donation on the day
Box office: 01453 760900

A History of Radical Stroud

A performative walk from the front of the Subscription Rooms, up to Rodborough Common along the Frome, re-imagining the history of Stroud by looking at the Captain Swing Riots in Gloucestershire; Chartism in Stroud and the Five Valleys; the relevance of John Clare to our landscape and history, and then down to The Prince Albert.

A walk for anyone interested in walking, history, literature and an imaginative blurring of genres.

http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/whats-on/a-history-of-radical-stroud-with-stuart-butler/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1770295653243313/

For ages 14+
08 October 2016
Start times: 14:30-16:30
Tickets: £2 donation on the day
Box office: 01453 760900

Announcing two new walks in collaboration with the Hidden Stroud project this weekend:

Stroud History Reimagined

The walk will reimagine the history of Stroud, touching upon springs, streams and weavers; radical canal history, Stroud Scarlet, slavery and the Black Atlantic.

A walk for anyone interested in walking, history, literature and an imaginative blurring of genres.

http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/whats-on/stroud-history-reimagined-with-stuart-butler/

https://www.facebook.com/events/340825872919858/

For ages 14+
08 October 2016
Start times: 10:00-13:00
Tickets: £2 donation on the day
Box office: 01453 760900

A History of Radical Stroud

A performative walk from the front of the Subscription Rooms, up to Rodborough Common along the Frome, re-imagining the history of Stroud by looking at the Captain Swing Riots in Gloucestershire; Chartism in Stroud and the Five Valleys; the relevance of John Clare to our landscape and history, and then down to The Prince Albert.

A walk for anyone interested in walking, history, literature and an imaginative blurring of genres.

http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/whats-on/a-history-of-radical-stroud-with-stuart-butler/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1770295653243313/

For ages 14+
08 October 2016
Start times: 14:30-16:30
Tickets: £2 donation on the day
Box office: 01453 760900 read more