Gloucestershire Branch Meeting Programme

Meetings normally begin at 7.30 p.m., and are usually on Mondays.

The venue for Cheltenham meetings is the University of Gloucestershire's Park Campus, Cheltenham, (GPS: enter The Park, Cheltenham).

Gloucester meetings are at the Oxstalls Campus of the University of Gloucestershire. 

Both venues have large car parks, and bus 94U runs to both campuses from the centre of both Cheltenham and Gloucester.

If you are coming to the Park by car, there is a map at
This shows the layout of the Park 
Campus itself; the main car park is to the left of the lake. If you then zoom out, you will see the location of the campus within the overall Cheltenham area. (For GPS, just enter 'The Park Cheltenham'.)

Click on 'Map of the Park Campus' on the left of this page for a map which shows with arrows the route from the main car park (bottom of the map this time!) to the Reception building. Once you are inside the building, follow the Historical Association signs to the meeting room. 

The bus stops are also shown on this map.

At Oxstalls the parking is very close to the building where we meet. The map at shows the location of the campus within Gloucester (zoom out if necessary); and if you then centre the campus on the map and zoom in, you can see where the main car parks are in relation to the building where we meet (marked with a mortar board!) The bus stops are also shown.

Meetings are free for members, £3 for visitors. (School and university students are always welcome to attend free of charge.)  

For further details please contact the secretary, Robert Sutton, tel: 01242 574889. 


2019-20 season

Monday 16 September (Cheltenham)

Annual General Meeting, followed at 8.15 by

Robert Sutton, Branch Secretary

Glimpses from the Archives: The History of our Historical Association Branch

Monday 7 October (Cheltenham)

Black History Month event

Dr Hannah-Rose Murray (University of Edinburgh)

It is Time for Slaves to Speak’: African-American Abolitionism in the British Isles,



Dr Murray's research focuses on African American transatlantic journeys to Britain between the 1830s and the 1890s. She has created a website ( dedicated to their experiences and has mapped their speaking locations across Britain, showing how Black men and women travelled far and wide, from capital cities to small fishing villages, to raise awareness of American slavery.

Throughout the nineteenth century, formerly enslaved African Americans visited the British Isles to lecture against U.S. slavery, racism and lynching. They had an extraordinary impact on the British and Irish public, revealing that we walk past sites with a rich history of black activism on a daily basis. Their tireless activism often created and sustained antislavery momentum across the Atlantic, and their international missions inspired further action as well as apoplectic rage in the United States. Dr Murray’s talk will highlight some key and interesting figures such as Frederick Douglass, Moses Roper and Ellen Craft, and will explore the controversies they became embroiled in on British soil.

Monday 21 October (Gloucester)

Black History Month event

Garry Stewart (Director, ‘Recognize Black Heritage and Culture’ Project, Birmingham)

Stories of Omission: The Conflict and Experiences of Black Soldiers in the

First World War

Monday 18 November (Cheltenham)

Roisin Inglesby (William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow)

A New Guild of Craftsmen’: William Morris and the Bauhaus

At first glance, the dense floral patterns of William Morris (1834-96) share little in common with the sleek machine-driven aesthetic of the Bauhaus, the German school of design which opened in Weimar in 1919 and celebrates its centenary this year. Yes despite the many differences between the two groups, the Bauhaus was, from its conception, deeply indebted to the ideals of the English Arts and Crafts movement.

This talk, drawing on research for the exhibition ‘Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus’, on display at the William Morris Gallery in London (19th October 2019—26thJanuary 2020), focuses on craftsmanship, an often overlooked aspect of the Bauhaus. It asks how the Arts and Crafts principles of simplicity, unity, unity, and community were reinvented at the Bauhaus and investigates Morris’s influence on the Bauhaus mission to design a better world.

Monday 9 December (Cheltenham)

Dr Steph Mastoris (National Museum of Wales)

The History of the Christmas Card


Dr Pastoris's illustrated lecture considers the history and development of the Christmas card, and how the imagery on the cards illustrates the changing nature of some of the customs associated with Christmas.

Monday 13 January (Cheltenham)

Professor John Hughes (University of Gloucestershire)

Voicing Change: Bob Dylan in the 1960s


Monday 24 February (Gloucester)

Professor Barbara Yorke (University of Winchester)

King Alfred and the Vikings

Monday 23 March (Cheltenham)

Dr Johannes Lotze (University of Birmingham)

Chinngis Khan and the Mongols, c. 1200-1350: From Pastoral Nomads to

Universal Emperors

Monday 20 April (Gloucester)

Dr Tim Mason (University of Portsmouth)

The History of the Plague


Plague! The very word is inclined to strike fear into the heart, but what is it, where did it come from and is it still about? This talk will cover the history of plague from the Bronze Age, through the mass deaths of medieval times to the atrocities of its use in germ warfare in the twentieth century. The story encompasses everything from the science and history through to morality.

Monday 18 May (Cheltenham)

Dr Gillian Spraggs (author and lecturer)

The Highwaymen’s Lawsuit’: Criminal Networks in London between 1720 and 1735

For details of previous years' programmes, please go here.