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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.’

Stroud Subscription Rooms

Thanks to Deborah Roberts for the above Photo.
www.deborahroberts.biz

 

Thanks to Mark Hewlett for the above Photo.

 

‘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.’

‘You speak of Brexiteer and Remainer?’

‘No, sir.
I speak of people who shop at the Farmers’ Market and not at Iceland
and those who shop at Iceland and not at the Farmers’ Market.
They sometimes pass each other as though the other were invisible.’

‘And is there nowhere, madam, where these differing people meet?
Where the invisible is made manifest?’

‘The Subscription Rooms, sir, for there you find all manner of amusements that appeal to everyone in Stroud.
It is one of the few places that unite rather than divide,
One of the few places where every one can meet, eat and drink together,
Sing together, dance together, listen together, learn together,
Watch together, gaze together,
Walk up and downstairs together,
Find out where to go and how to get there together.
And it is the only place where you can buy a ticket for a National Express bus.’

‘These Subscription Rooms sound an admirable place, madam.
A place where all differing sections of a community can meet.
A place that brings unity and sharing of experience and purpose.
A place that brings a sense of belonging
And strengthening of bonds across a variety of people
Who otherwise might not share much social intercourse.
And the only place where one can obtain a permit for the turnpike toll house.’

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


Below Photos by James Bee.