Miniature Museum of Museums Take the imagination of two Blakes, Add the wheels and cogs of Newton’s physics, The electric magic of Frankenstein – Then secrete the Stroudwater cloth mills, Within the shadowed drawers of a table; Take a metaphorical orrery, Together read more
It’s an atmospheric railway station
At Stroud, at night, slipping into gas light time,
And it’s a great venue, Stroud’s good shed,
Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel,
Built back in broad gauge 1845
(Where was the stone quarried?
If time could run backwards,
Where would the goods shed go?),
Inter-war legend still proudly proclaiming
To passengers to Paddington:
‘GWR STROUD STATION
EXPRESS GOODS TRAIN SERVICES
ONE DAY TRANSITS BETWEEN IMPORTANT TOWNS’;
But inside, you can still scent the ash and steam
And still hear the clangour of the wheels and points,
While outside, the tail lamp of an express
Disappears into the Stroud valleys’ darkness,
With only the signal lamps or weavers’ candles
To stipple the damp winter gloom of the past;
But tonight, Jack Wimperis has rekindled the shed,
With a 3-D scintillant refulgence,
A dazzle of artful light that sends railway
Timetables spinning into a vortex
Of illumination and bright colour.
And I swore I saw, over there in the corner,
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, himself,
Top hat, fingers in his waistcoat,
Smiling a gentle smile of approbation.
Keep the Home Fires Burning is an innovative performance bringing together community choirs, local actors, musicians and dancers to remember Stroud’s role in the First World War. Written by Stuart Butler, the performance follows the history of the war using songs and ar read more
Rodborough Fields and John Clare Day, July 13th Living in Stroud, with common land all around The hilltops above Stroud’s Five Valleys, And living in a county with Royalty’s Seal of approval, chocolate box second homes, And reverence for quilt-work field hedgerow read more
As we walked out on our Laurie Lee walk, Discussing moments of peace and war, In an inter-textual – meta-textual Wander from Slad to Whiteway, We tripped through the harmony of landscape And the poetry of past and present cartography: No blue line motorways or red read more
Centenaries abound where ere the sun doth his successive journeys run: Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee, World War One, my dad … but Tuesday May 20th marks the 150th year since the death of John Clare. ‘JD’ pointed out in the Guardian on Saturday that there is only one national read more
A Stream of Consciousness at Stroud Museum On the Occasion of the Exhibition: ‘Artefact or Fiction?’ A stream of consciousness, a ream of conscience: Art, artifice, artefact, artificer, fiction, faction, Manufacturer, artisan, artisanal, fashion, zeitgeist, Ornament, us read more
Thomas Duncombe. and ‘No Pasaran!’ 10 km stroll, mid-May
‘No Pasaran!’ walk in Wotton Under Edge on Saturday 17th May to celebrate the life of Thomas Duncombe of the International Brigade and Wotton; killed in action at Gandesa. Meet at the parish church at mid-day.
Let me know if you want to attend.
There will be readings from A Gloucestershire Declamation when we reach the Spanish mountain oaks that we planted at the tail end of the last century.
This piece of research records the names and contributions of supporters of the anti-fascist cause in our area.
It is a unique piece of research that we lost and then re-discovered in a dusty old box, just before the box was thrown out.
Thank goodness Trish suggested one last search and a proper search inside the capacious and paper-filled box.
May Day Walk: from the Source of the Slad Brook to its Confluence with the Frome Seventeen of us gathered at Bulls Cross, (Oblivious of the midnight ghost coach spectre) To cross longitude line 88 and a threshold To another liminal world, Where the hangman swung in Dead read more
Laurie Lee Centenary Walk: Slad Brook from Source to Confluence (As featured in the Site Festival 2104 Programme) ‘Without the Slad Brook there would have been no cloth trade in the local valleys around Slad. Without the cloth trade there would have been no riots in Sla read more