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Oakridge History Group

Oakridge History Group

Oakridge History Group was started in 2004 to explore the history of Oakridge Lynch and the neighbouring hamlets of Far Oakridge, Bournes Green, Tunley and Waterlane.

In that same year the Heritage Lottery Fund through its Local Heritage Initiative Scheme granted the newly formed Oakridge History Group over £18000 to produce a full length history book and for the research required for the book. The authors were Pat Carrick, Kay Rhodes and Juliet Shipman who carried out the research and wrote up the various chapters. We were most fortunate to have in the village a professional editor who freely gave her time to put the material together and an enthusiastic and helpful publisher.

On the 24th February 2006 the book was launched in the village hall by Dame Margaret Weston.

One of the conditions of the lottery grant was the involvement of members of the community in contributing to the research and so a format was established whereby we hold research evenings every other month and talks in the months in between.  

Each year a new subject is agreed for research and these have included tracing local families, transcribing wills and inventories, manorial documents, history of houses, farming, photographs and  village life. Every other year an exhibition is held in the village hall showing the results of the research. 

The area around Oakridge was the home of many members of the Arts and Crafts movement such as Ernest Gimson, the Barnsley brothers and Norman Jewson. Other artists included Sir William Rothenstein, Alfred Powell and William Simmonds. We have hosted several speakers to talk about these characters and their friends who regularly visited the small villages around Oakridge. These talks have attracted large audiences who, in many cases, were unaware of the famous people who once lived and visited the area.

Each year, in July, we visit an historic local house at the invitation of the owner and this has proved very successful, attracting many members. 

In 2009 we were asked by the Oakridge Society if we would take over responsibility for the objects which were in the museum, establish several years earlier in the Methodist Chapel school room. The chapel was being sold for conversion to housing and we agreed to store the objects and arrange for occasional exhibitions of some of the more interesting items.  

On the outskirts of the Oakridge Lynch is the site of a Roman villa, Lillyhorn. Nothing visible remains of the villa which was excavated by a local land owner in the 1840s but there continues to be an interest in establishing the extent of the villa and any other archaeological evidence. In 2012 the group was successful in obtaining a grant from the Heritage Lottery fund to carry out geophysical surveys of the area around the villa, field walking and test pit excavations. Many members of the public took part and exhibitions were organised to display the findings including many prehistoric flints and some roman pottery. 

The group currently has around 40 members and talks usually attract between 20 and 50 members and non-members depending on the subject. We charge an annual membership of £3 and members pay £1 and visitors £2 for each meeting.

The most recent research project was to investigate the services in the village which we all take for granted such as water, electricity, telephones, buses, refuse collection, post, etc.

This coming year we are going to focus on further strengthening our new website 'oakridgecommunityarchives.org' which now features both our previous research and our broader archive. We would be delighted if you could join us in this important enterprise!

We meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month in the Village Hall to hear talks about the history of the area and work on various research projects.

Everyone is welcome at our meetings.

Membership costs just £3.00 per year and you can join at any meeting.

Contacts

John   Loosley 

Stonehatch,   Oakridge Lynch, Stroud, GL6 7NR 

01285   760460 

john@loosleyj.freeserve.co.uk 

Pat   Carrick 

Hillview,   Waterlane, Stroud, GL6 7PH 

01452   770454 

 

Kay   Rhodes 

Middlefield,   Oakridge Lynch, Stroud, GL6 7NR 

01285   760264 

kay.rhodes@jkmiddlefield.net 

Oakridge History Group Programme 2014-2015 

Normally the Oakridge History Group meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the Village Hall at 7.30pm

Members and non-members are welcome to attend all meetings.

At each meeting members will be asked to contribute £1.00 per person towards expenses and non-members £2.00.