Chairman’s newsletter

February 2019

Richard III and the Beauforts

Our first foray for a long time into public lectures went far better than most of us anticipated. Though advance ticket sales were modest, the number of people who paid at the door left us worrying about running out of floor-space and seats.

We were entertained to interesting and insightful talks from Matt Lewis and Nathan Amin. The number of questions they were bombarded with was an indication of audience interest.

If suitable topics and speakers can be found, afternoons like this might become a regular feature of the calendar.

Aldi carpark

There has been no sign of work starting on the car park yet, but the day will assuredly come.

An unintended consequence of the Aldi application has been the formation of the Battle Road Residents Association, who have been discussing the enhancements to Lincoln Green Lane which Aldi have promised with the Borough Council, and have been considering ideas beyond Aldi’s budget. They include creating a ‘gateway’ to the road (and the battlefield) with sculpture and trees and using the lamp-posts to display heraldry-themed banners. These are positive ideas which the Society supports.


The power of Facebook was demonstrated recently when a call was made on the Society’s page for banner painters, which was shared to the ‘Tewkesbury Noticeboard’, attracting in a big increase in volunteers, which has resulted in us taking extra room in the building and faster progress in painting. All very positive!

In order to make the fixing of banners faster, easier and safer we have invested in a stock of new brackets and we’re encouraging owners of the original ‘Christmas Tree’ brackets to fit. The banners put strains on the old brackets which they’re not made to withstand. Last year, we had one part company with the wall. Without causing damage or injury, fortunately. The new brackets will mean that banners can be fitted more easily and will always be hanging properly.

The Gastons

It doesn’t seem like it, but it was five years since we started our bid to buy it. The first move was to use a newly introduced facility to have it registered as an Asset of Community Value, which gave us a ‘community right to bid’. The registration lasted five years, so we’ve had to re-apply. Happily, Tewkesbury Borough Council have approved the application (and in very quick time) so we have another five years right to bid, if it should be marketed again.

Three Castles Tour

On Sunday 10th March, we’re having an outing to Grosmont, Skenfrith and White Castles on the Herefordshire/ Monmouthshire boundary. We might also fit in an interesting church or two.

The outing will be by car. Meet at 10.00am at Morrison’s Carpark on Ashchurch Road where we’ll fit into as few cars as possible. The route will include a visit to the pub at Grosmont and a stop at Monmouth, to look at Henry V’s birthplace.

There’s no need to book, but if you say that you’re coming we’ll be less likely to leave without you!

A Bit of a Slap

At long last, the Society’s supposedly annual magazine has been printed and circulated. Yours should arrive shortly through the post. If it doesn’t, please let us know.

There were some extenuating circumstances which led to the delay, for which we apologise. If all goes to plan, there’ll be another edition later in the year.

It’s embarrassing to have to admit this, but despite rigorous quality control a mistake has sneaked through into that bit of the magazine which proof-readers don’t usually need to look at; the front cover. We’ve managed to mis-name our patron, which isn’t a clever move.

Battlefields Trust AGM

The Society is a member of the Battlefields Trust (who also welcome individual members). The Trust takes an interest in battlefields all over England and Wales and is a powerful advocate to those in authority. The Trust AGM this year will be held at the University of Winchester on the weekend of Friday 26th – Sunday 28th April. They have been able to assemble a range of distinguished speakers on a variety of topics. In addition to historical talks there’s the opportunity to hear the latest thinking in battlefield archaeology and preservation. In addition to the talks programme there will be walks around military Winchester, a conference dinner and a coach trip to the battlefield of Cheriton for a guided walk. If this interests you, there’s more information on the website;

Membership Secretary

Advertising works! In the last newsletter, we asked if there was anyone prepared to take on the role of Membership Secretary, and we had an application. Emma Fowler, who lives locally in Tewkesbury, offered to take on the role and has since been familiarising herself with procedures and the paperwork. Unless you pay by standing order, or renew at the Medieval Festival, it’s Emma who will be in touch with the renewal requests.

Study Day

On Saturday June 1st, The Gloucestershire branch of the Richard III Society are holding a study day at Emmanuel Church Hall, Leckhampton on the subject of war and welfare in the late middle ages. There’s an interesting set of speakers, including Professor Anne Curry, talking about the armies of the Wars of the Roses and  Kevin Goodman (known to many of us as Owain Leech, barber surgeon at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival) who is talking about the surgical treatment of the wounded.  

Cost is £20; details from Angela Iliff; 07739 559853;