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420) Graham Lennon 
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Saturday, 2 December 2017 19:41 Write a comment

Hi all,

I have some letters from my Great Grandfather to his father, written from 'Dursley School' in 1881.
Does anyone know if this school still exists, where it was/is and if there would be any records kept?
Many thanks

Andy Barton Saturday, 2 December 2017 20:59
Hi there. There were several small schools in 1881 but you're probably referring to the National School which became the C. of E. School behind St. James' Church. The C. of E. School still exists but not in those buildings, though they still stand. Was your Great Grandfather a pupil or a teacher at the school? What was his name? I actually have the log books from that school for that year. It may be best to contact me directly via the email address on this website.
Bath Location
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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 16:10 Write a comment

Trying to find a Great Grandfather of mine a James Smith Corkcutter might he be the James Smith of Cam/Dursley Tailor and later a Rope Maker who died in Dursley in 1866 aged 72 this James Smith was connected to the Harding Family Rope Makers of Dursley as Jane Smith a Daughter of this James married George Jabez Harding in 1856.
Any help would be most appreciated.
Bath Location
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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 16:03 Write a comment

417) Russell Schofield 
Cambridgeshire Location
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Monday, 6 March 2017 14:52 Write a comment

Came to Dursley/Cam in 1971 and started at Woodfields Primary School. Did 7 years at Rednock and lived with my parents at 4 locations in Dursley & Cam, before heading to University then work in Cambridgeshire. Have great memories of my youth in Dursley and still have a few friends living there, even though I see very little of them nowadays
416) Judith hall 
West yorkshire Location
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Wednesday, 1 March 2017 18:20 Write a comment

I am trying to find someone who remembers a family called Swallow who live on summerhayes, dursley during late 1950s to early 1960s they then moved to Australia

Richard Cooper Friday, 15 December 2017 15:38
I know the Swallow family I think you are referring to.
Please call me if you want further information
Richard Cooper
415) Judith Varley 
Leeds Yorkshire Location
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Thursday, 22 September 2016 14:45 Write a comment

Hi what an interesting site .My husbands GGrandfather Joseph Wm Vizard was born in Dursley in 1846, it must have broken his heart to have to leave such a lovely place to come to Leeds to find work
Judith Varley
414) Maureen Surman 
Birmingham Location
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Sunday, 14 August 2016 21:33 Write a comment

For many years we have been trying to find the origins of Joseph SURMAN born, c.1756, who became a Minister in Chesham, Bucks. Having failed, research has been undertaken on his Tutor, Cornelius Winter, a Methodist Preacher. From one of Cornelius's letters we have the following:- 'Mr. Surman, an excellent youth in humble life, always engaged my notice when I preached at Dursley; and I seldom left the congregation without exchanging a word with him; but as I hardly ever had time upon my hand, we did not abound in conversation. Being upon a visit in Gloucestershire, in the Midsummer of 1782, and having appointed on a Lord’s day to preach at Frampton, entering the court, I unexpectedly saw him'. Additional research: 'In 1910, a story about the closing of Christ Church in the Painswick newspaper spoke of Winter as a “very influential pastor at Christ Church”. As he had done at Marlborough, Winter established an Academy at Painswick, which operated from 1788 until his death'. Joseph Surman had 3 sons, Joseph, Cornelius and John. It is possible that Joseph's father was named either Joseph or John. Could the family have been non-conformists before Cornelius Winter's time? Has anyone else got a SURMAN in their family history? Any help greatly appreciated.
413) Pat Jacobs (Smith) 
London Location
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Sunday, 19 June 2016 17:56 Write a comment

Hi I attended Dursley Grammar School 1956-1963 and would love to hear news of old school friends I am still in touch with, Susan Fisher, who also went to the Grammar School. Lots of happy memories of my school days.

Clive Moody Saturday, 5 January 2019 22:42
Hello Pat.Such along time to be out of touch. We now live in New Zealand.Our email is
Clive and Margaret
412) Emma Fletcher 
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Sunday, 22 May 2016 09:48 Write a comment

Just came across this website. Lovely to read all the history.
411) Julie Greenstreet 
Uley Location
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015 19:17 Write a comment

Great site, really interesting.
410) Dave Webb 
Dursley Location
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Thursday, 5 November 2015 14:50 Write a comment

Hello looking forward to contributing.
409) Rosemary Fowler 
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Monday, 12 October 2015 21:38 Write a comment

We were talking about the happy years we spent in Dursley and the many friends we made there. Then I found your site and I wanted to say how much pleasure it has given me to read the interesting articles and look at the photos on it. Dursley has somehow remained the same yet tried to keep up with the times without spoiling it. I think of all the places I have lived in England, Dursley is the one place I would call home.

I used to work in the Cotswold Care Charity Shop and spent many happy hours there and met some lovely people.
Thanks for the great memories and for the comprehensive and useful information given. Hopefully we can use it when we come to visit sometime.
Keep up the good work.
408) Sue Harris (Brinkworth) 
Slimbridge Location
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Saturday, 22 August 2015 16:10 Write a comment

During the mid 1970/1980s there was a rather nice Pub/Restaurant in Long Street Dursley just down from Lister's Club. It was known for its Duck a l'Orange and it was the only place that us teenagers were able to do our 'courting'. The only thing is just recently we have been trying to remember the name of it. Can any one enlighten me?

Andy Wednesday, 10 August 2016 22:30
Hi Sue. Could it have been the Crown or maybe the Inn Place?
407) Maggie hogan 
Australia Location
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Sunday, 16 August 2015 14:04 Write a comment

Terrific website. My mother and grandparents lived in Dursley from 1911 to the 1980s. Does anyone remember The Mercury Cafe in Cam? It was run I believe by Alice Edith Williams or Rhodes in the 1940s. Would love to know its actual location (road) and any history etc. Many thanks.
406) Peter Davies 
Dursley Location
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Sunday, 19 July 2015 20:15 Write a comment

Hi, bit of a random question........does anyone remember the cafe/bakery called The Forge in Silver Street? I used to buy what they called Buttered Buns for myself & colleagues at Mawdsleys & have never found them anywhere else, anyone any ideas?

Lynn James Wednesday, 2 January 2019 16:08
A gentleman called Sid King ran it. He was a renowned model plane flying expert too. Made gorgeous hot cross buns as well. Long retired but still lives on Whiteway estate if he is still with us.
405) John R Jones 
Lytham St Annes Location
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Tuesday, 23 June 2015 22:15 Write a comment

Very interesting website about the history of Dursley and surrounding areas. A lot of effort has gone into this website for its detail.

This part of The Cotswolds is beautiful and has a lot of interesting heritage as well as the nearby Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, Slimbridge Wetlands and more.
404) Arthur Ayliffe Mellerup 
Cam Green Location
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Monday, 1 June 2015 11:07 Write a comment

Lived in the town for the last 90 years.
403) Alex Livall 
Cromhall Location
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Sunday, 17 May 2015 15:52 Write a comment

I have just come over a postcard dated Ju10 06 with a picture of Cam Longdown/Cam Peak. It says on the front The New Rifle Range Cam Peak Dursley I know my grandfather used to shoot there as I have a couple of silver spoons he won and I also think the cup they used to shoot for was the Dursley Lee Metford which is now shot for at Bisley Surrey in the first stage of the Gloucestershire full bore championship but my 17 year old would like to know what distance they shot there and when the range was opened and closed. I wondered if you had heard anything about it.

Andy Barton Sunday, 17 May 2015 20:30
Hi Alex
Cam Long Down rifle range was opened on Saturday 27th August 1898 by Miss Mary Wendon. The first shot was fired from the 500 yard range. The total length of the range was 800 yards and they also had 200, 300, 500 and 600 yard ranges. I know the range was still open in the 1920s but I don't have a closure date.
402) Geoff Whiley 
Dursley Location
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Tuesday, 5 May 2015 00:12 Write a comment

I've just been listening to a programme "There's More Here Than I Thought" on BBC Radio 4 Extra, available online to early June. It's about the artist and social reformer Winifred Gill; I think it was made in 2009.

Presenter Kate Mosse and Dr Christopher Fletcher of the Bodleian Library, Oxford inspect some of Gill's papers. Around 25:29 the discussion moves on to her Second World War internee relations work and he says (I think I hear correctly):

"[Reading] Notes on the visit of the Bishop of Bristol to the Refugee Institute at [brief pause] Dursley on Monday November 4th 1946. [To Mosse] Has anyone else ever recorded that? Probably not."

Through Google I've found only a passing reference in an Exeter PhD thesis (N Burkitt) to 'another refugee from Dursley, sixteen year old Klaere Loeb' but nothing as 'grand' as an Institute. That and the fact that Bristol, if the wrong diocese for Dursley is at least next door suggest to me that I heard correctly.

Does anyone please know any more?

Andy Barton Tuesday, 5 May 2015 21:00
Hello Geoff

Thanks for that, an interesting observation - you did hear it correctly.

The Dursley Institution was what was once Dursley Union Workhouse, in Union Street, built in 1834 and demolished in the 1950s.

At the start of WW2, many refugees were moved to Dursley from Bristol and the southern part of Gloucestershire as they were deemed “alien protected areas”. In June 1940 there were 120 German and Austrian refugees in residence at the Institution and it was run as a hostel. As “Category C” aliens they were all exempted from internment – for the most part they had all been victims of Nazi persecution. To make way for them, Dursley was given 24 hours to evacuate all patients and inmates from the Institution.

The refugees ran the hostel mostly themselves but Miss Winifred Gill organised many leisure time occupations including classes in history, geology, shorthand, musical appreciation, folk dancing and English conversation. The refugees also did knitting for the Red Cross and made toys for child air raid victims.

The Bishop of Bristol may have been the Roman Catholic Bishop as Dursley is in the Clifton (Bristol) diocese. Equally it could have been the C. of E. Bishop of Bristol as the refugees were all moved out from Bristol in the first place.

The refugees were all very appreciative of the assistance they received while in Dursley.

I hope that helps.
401) Margaret Beadley 
Somerset, England Location
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015 13:06 Write a comment

I have been talking to Nev Taylor on Facebook. We attended Prince Rupert School in Wilhelmshaven, Germany at the same time and both knew Graham Shotter. I just wondered if it is the same person who posts here
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