VCH Gloucestershire XIII Launched with Double Event

22 September, 2016 (All day)
The presentation of the volume to the Lord Lieutenant, Dame Janet Trotter.

The latest volume of VCH Gloucestershire, comprising the histories of thirteen parishes to the north of Gloucester, was launched with two events to celebrate its arrival on Wednesday 14 September.

In the afternoon, County Editor Dr John Chandler presented some of his favourite 'Tales from the riverside', drawing upon the content of the volume to give an account of life in these commuities in the Leadon and Severn valleys over the centuries. The well attended talk took place at Blackfriars in Gloucester as part of the Gloucester History Festival.

Then that evening the focus turned to Wallsworth Hall, the home of Nature in Art, north of Gloucester, where Prof Christopher Dyer address a packed audience with his first thoughts upon the volume. Prof Dyer highlighted the importance of the Severn as both a barrier and a conduit for these riverine communities, enabling them to trade as far away as Ireland, but also occassionally wreaking devastation upon them. Next he considered the diverse and changing societies within the parishes, and finally he reflected upon the important influence of Gloucester over the area. Prof Dyer congratulated the volume's three authors, Drs John Chandler, Simon Draper, and John Juřica, on their achievement. Sadly Dr Juřica was not able to attend the launch due to illness.

Following Prof Dyer's talk, the volume was formally launched by the presentation of a copy to Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, by Dr James Hodsdon, Chair of the Gloucester County History Trust. The evening was completed by Prof Laurence Goldman, Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London, which oversees the Victoria County History project nationally. Prof Goldman paid tribute to everybody whose contributions had made the volume possible: the three authors, volunteers and fundraisers in the county, staff at Gloucestershire Archives, colleagues at central office in the IHR, and the publishers, and praised the work of the Gloucestershire County History Trust in bringing the volume to completion.

The publication of Volume XIII marked the fulfilment of the original aim of the Trust, which was created in 2010 when funding from Gloucestershire County Council and the University of Gloucestershire was withdrawn from VCH Gloucestershire. Following this, County Editor Dr John Juřica and Assistant Editor Dr Simon Draper both departed the project, leaving volume XIII still half-written.The Trust was formed to raise sufficient funds to complete the volume. Thanks to generous donations, in particular from the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Dr John Chandler was appointed to finish the writing and oversee the volume through the press, a feat which was achived last week. The fundraising efforts of the Trust have been so successful that it is now overseeing research in three other areas of the county - Cheltenham, Cirencester, and the Sodburys - all of which are anticipated will comprise future red books in the VCH Gloucestershire series. A paperback history of Yate was published last year.

A gallery of images from the launch event can be seen on our Facebook page. If you would like to acquire a copy of Volume XIII, it can be purchased directly from the published, Boydell and Brewer. A discount of 25% is available on all orders placed before 1 January 2017, with the offer code BB041. To learn how you can support the ongoing work of VCH Gloucestershire, see here. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep uptodate with all of the news from the project.