Report & Photos courtesy of GloucestershireLive 08 Jan 2019
Gloucester received a royal visitor today to mark the culmination of multi-million project to protect the county’s heritage.
The Princess Royal made the journey from her Gatcombe Park home to Gloucestershire Archives, in Alvin Street, to see how the facilities there have been upgraded and improved over the course of a four-year programme costing more than £2.7million.
Her Royal Highness was welcomed by Edward Gillespie OBE, Lord-Lieutenant for Gloucestershire to the newly-refurbished building in Kingsholm.
The Princess was introduced to the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Charles Martell, the Mayor of Gloucester Councillor Joanne Brown, the Chairman of Gloucestershire County Council Coun Andrew Gravells, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant Mark Hurrell and County Archivist Heather Forbes.
She then received a tour of the Heritage Hub building and spoke to staff and volunteers from Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucestershire Family History Society, Gloucestershire Police History Project, Gloucestershire Local History Association, Gloucestershire County History Trust, Gloucester Rugby Heritage Group, the Friends of the Archives group, as well as project funders.
She also had the opportunity to view displays of historic documents relating to her home at Gatcombe Park and a selection of royal charters. The Princess concluded her visit by unveiling a commemorative plaque.
Coun Ray Theodoulou, cabinet member responsible for Gloucestershire Archives at the county council, said: “We are very proud to welcome Her Royal Highness to our Heritage Hub facility.
“The building has already welcomed visitors from all walks of life in the local community; from local school children to dementia groups looking to learn about how we gather, keep and share history. I would once again like to thank staff and volunteers for making this project come to fruition.”
Heather Forbes, head of the archives service at Gloucestershire County Council and South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Gloucestershire County Council and our partners were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to commend the volunteering, community and partnership projects now possible in our new facilities.
“I hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon celebrating what has been achieved so far and looking forward to a very positive future for our archives service.”
About the hub
The collaborative ‘For the Record’ project was launched in 2014, aiming to improve the way the documented heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire is gathered, kept and shared. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the ‘For the Record’ project over £1.1million.
The county council’s investment of £1.6million has also been supplemented by generous funding from partners, trusts, foundations, community groups and many individuals.
It is a legal requirement that information such as birth, marriage and death certificates, and council and court records are kept safely and securely in the county.
The upgrade to the Gloucestershire Archives site will allow the council to provide this service in a cost effective and sustainable way.
The Gloucestershire Heritage Hub is made up of many local and family history groups and projects, including Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucestershire Police Archives Group, and Gloucestershire Family History Society.