January 2020 – Chairman’s News

Seasonal Greetings This newsletter has been delayed for far too long, and is only just sneaking out in December! Christmas has passed, the New Year is nigh and we’re about to embark on a new decade, and a couple of years of activity for the Society as the 550th anniversary of the battle approaches. Items connected with it will be dominating our activities for a while. I hope that everyone enjoyed Christmas and has a wonderful New Year.

Post-Christmas Meal Our now traditional post-Christmas meal will be on Friday 24 January. We’re planning going back to Indian again, with a table at Panache, in Tewkesbury High Street. If you’d like to come along, please get in touch as soon as you can, to give time for booking the table.

Banners Banners are now all down and undergoing maintenance. Painting sessions are in full swing, held every Monday afternoon at Elizabeth Wyatt House, 1.00 – 4.00pm. Everyone is welcome and there are tasks for all level of skills. Tea and coffee are provided! The summer season starts with our banner display and booking days in the Town Hall. They’ll be on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May 2020. The date for putting them up has still to be arranged, but is likely to be the first weekend in June.  

Nibley Green Society member Adam Dolling gave an excellent presentation about the Battle of Nibley Green on December 3rd as part of Tewkesbury Museum’s series of talks. He had an audience of 40 on a cold and damp Tuesday evening. Though the battle was a private affair it was only a year before Tewkesbury and some of the same characters, notably the Berkeleys, were involved.   

Robert Hardy’s Tree Robert Hardy’s yew tree has been quietly replanted and is surviving well, despite the difficult weather we’ve had over the last few weeks.

Gastons Purchase funds When the Gastons purchase scheme was set up, we gave donors options to contribute to purchase or fighting funds and in the event of our bid not being successful then the purchase fund would be returned to donors and the residue of the fighting fund, after costs were settled, would be divided between the Battlefields Trust and Tewkesbury Nature Reserve, as organisations representing the two main themes we were proposing for the Gastons site. The recent Nibley Green talk was an ideal opportunity to publicly hand over a cheque for £750 to the Battlefields Trust. We have still to arrange a similar event for the Nature Reserve. 

Study Day in Warwick The Battlefields Trust Mercia Region has organised what looks to be a very interesting study day on the subject of the Earls of Warwick, father and son, on Saturday 21 March. The topics covered include talks about the two Earls and the battles of Barnet and Northampton as well as a visit to St Mary’s Church. Cost is a very reasonable £15. Booking is via ‘Eventbrite’; https://www.eventbrite.com/e/battlefields-trust-study-day-the-earls-of-warwick-and-battle-tickets-83426915149 We’re planning a group outing from Tewkesbury, so if you’re interested in attending and travelling from this direction please let me know and we’ll arrange for car sharing. Make your own booking, of course.  

2020 Events We have some events penciled in for 2020, of which there’ll be more details as the year progresses:
24 January: Society Meal (see details elsewhere in newsletter)
21 March: Battlefields Trust Study Day (see details elsewhere in newsletter) Sunday 26 April: The annual Tredington walk
Saturday 2 May: The Anniversary Walk
Saturday 13 June: Henry VI lecture (details to follow)

2021: The Museum There has been no progress so far on plans for the museum’s battle display, though we’ve been given a few ideas. The museum is getting close to the end of another project and once that’s finished we can work on a refreshed layout for the exhibits and some new interpretation, including, we hope, a touch-screen facility to give access to some of the archives, particularly about banners and their owners, to make use of the confined space.

Gupshill Visitor Centre There is little to report yet about the proposed visitor centre at the Gupshill. Since a meeting on site in August, progress has been slow, and discussions between the Gupshill and Borough Council.

2021: Walks We’re in detailed discussion with the Gloucester Cathedral rambler’s group and others about surveying and promoting a walking route from Gloucester to Tewkesbury. As far as possible it will follow the 1471 route (or at least the assumed 1471 route) but using footpaths as far as possible in preference to roads. We’re going to explore ideas for using technology as an alternative to signs or leaflets, but there’s a lot of work to do on that yet. The ramblers are interested in establishing an annual pilgrim walk between the Abbey and Cathedral, which would follow a different route, on the opposite bank of the Severn, for half of the walk (to include more churches). For 2021, a proposal is being developed to follow the planned rejection of Margaret of Anjou tableau at Gloucester with a massed horse ride from the Gloucester South Gate to Tewkesbury. This would be on May 4th, so form part of the Tewkesbury commemoration once it arrived.  

Aldi Carpark After a delay, the planning consent to extend the car park at Aldi’s store has been implemented and at the expense of a copse of trees and a small area of the battlefield there is now room for more cars. The local Residents Association are hoping to create a ‘gateway’ to the battlefield at the entrance to Lincoln Green Lane, and are debating what it should be. They have a planting scheme funded and about to start, but the ‘wow’ factor idea which will tell visitors that they’re entering a significant historic site has yet to be found.  
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