Thursday, 26 September 2013

Steve Kelly: Rodborough Memories

Steve Kelly

I remember how you loved the Boulevards,
The spring-green trees, the shade of summer,
The array of autumn and the tracery of winter;
I remember how you loved to chat,
Out there in the front garden,
Pleased as Punch with all your building work;
I remember your laughs with your neighbours,
Bell and Frank and Phil and Colin and ad infinitum,
You had an old time music hall feel to your life;
I remember how you kept the home fires burning,
Tending to the wood and the hearth in the Albert,
That twinkle in your bespectacled eye;
I remember you out the back at the pub,
Fag in hand, pint by your side, rapier wit,
Flashing smile and tinkling laughter;
I remember our trips to London,
Old haunts in Highgate and Hampstead,
Literary talks in the Holly Bush;
Radical Rodborough resident,
Stroller in the lanes and across the fields,
Pondering by the waters of your beloved canal;
A baby in the Big Freeze of ‘62 to 3,
You saw the thaw of adulthood,
But we’ll miss you in the spring,
And every summer, and every autumn,
And every winter in the Boulevards,
In the pub, and in the lanes, and in the fields,
And think of you on the towpath,
By the waters, of your beloved canal.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Captain Swing and the Stroud Valleys

 I’m sitting by the fireside, poking the ashes,
Ghost-thoughts and fears rising with the smoke,
Reawakening all my memories
Of those dark days back in 1830;
They threshed the corn by hand back then,
Flailing in the barn in the winter months,
Until the farmers brought in those damned machines;
What with 7 shillings a week for our wages,
High bread prices and low poor relief,
Then the news of Captain Swing in Wiltshire –
We met in --------- ------------‘s cottage in November.
We smashed the damned Horsley machines the next day,
--------------- left a note by the church door:
‘This is to tell all you gentlemen that if you don’t pull down them infernall machines then we will you damnd dogs. An yew mus rise the marrid mens wages tow and sixpence a day an the single tow shillins or we will burn your hay ricks.
From Swing.’
I lost my nerve and stole back in the night,
To hide that note safe within my bible;
But some of the men went on to Tetbury,
Up through the lanes near the Troubled House Inn.
Lord Sherborne sent in the cavalry,
The men tried to escape across the fields,
But they arrested twenty-three good friends;
That wasn't the end of it by any means - 
There was more trouble then at Cherington,
Tetbury, Chavenage and Beverston;
Poor Elizabeth Parker got seven years:
‘Be d----d if we don’t go to Beverston to break the machines!’
Is what she cried out and was condemned for;
May all their souls rest in Van Diemen’s land,
And may this letter die with the fire.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Gazetteer of Anglo-Saxon Gloucestershire Spring Names - with thanks to Neil Baker

A gazetteer of Gloucestershire spring names

There over 1500 surviving Anglo-Saxon land grants of which some 840 have attached boundary clauses.  Typically, they are descriptions in Old English (and sometimes Latin) of the boundaries of land-units recorded in charters dating from the seventh to the eleventh centuries.  To an archaeologist, or for that matter anyone with an interest in historic landscapes, it is the boundary clause or the boundary that are the most interesting.  They are descriptions in Old English (and sometimes Latin) of the boundaries of land-units recorded in charters dating from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. Each clause details the limits of the estate, and typically walk the reader clockwise around the perimeter of the estate citing features which the boundary passes, crosses or follows. 
In 1935, a book entitled ‘Saxon Charters and field names of Gloucestershire’ was published which contained all the known boundary clauses for pre- 197? Gloucestershire (Grundy, 1935).  This was supplemented in 1972 by ‘The early Charters of the West Midlands’ (Finberg, 1972) which contained other charters and boundary clauses.  A gazetteer (below) was produced which contains all the known mentions of Anglo-Saxon (i.e. pre 1066) springs and where known, the date they were recorded.  Some of the springs are actually named as a ‘wyl’ (in its various guises) which is an Anglo-Saxon word which meant a place where water issues from the earth (Grundy, 1935, 19).  It should not be confused with the modern meaning of ‘Well’, which is a deep hole or shaft sunk into the earth to obtain water. 

Finberg, H. P. R. 1972.  ‘The Early Charters of the West Midlands’.  Leicester:  University Press
Grundy, G. B. 1935.  ‘Saxon Charters and field names of Gloucestershire’.  Council of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society.

Parish                                      Anglo Saxon Name                 Modern Translation                 Date (A.D. where known)                                             

Adlestrop                                 Beagan Wylle                          Baywell (Wood)                                                ?
                                                Hwetten Stanes Wylle             Whetstone spring                                 ?
                                                Hertescumbes Welle                Harts Combe spring                              ?
                                                Monneswalle                           Man’s spring                                         ?
Sparteswelle Mor                     Swamp spring                                      ?
Bickmarsh                                Fildena Wyllan                                    Spring in the folds (of land)                 ?
Bourton on the Water               Swellestowe                            (Holy place where) water springs up     949
Broadwell                                Bradwell                                  Broad or wide spring                            ?
North Cerney                            Willan Dic                                Dyke or ditch spring                             852
                                                Winterwellan                           Winter spring                                        852
Bishop’s Cleeve                                   Scirwyllan                                Clear (boundary?) spring                      ?
                                                Myle Wylee                              Mill spring                                            ?
                                                Swel Hongre                            Hanging wood of the gushing spring    ?
Cold Ashton                             Eanswythe Wyllas                   Eanswith’s springs                                931
                                                Holan Wylle                             Hollow spring                                       931
                                                Hlamnys Wylle                         Echo spring                                         931
                                                Linleg Wylle                            Flax Lea spring                                                931
                                                Hafoc Wylle                             Hawk spring                                          931
Cutsdean                                 Codeswellan                           Code’s Well                                          855
Gutincges Aewylm                   Great spring of Guiting                                    974
Daylesford                                Baegewellan                           Baega’s spring                                     718
Deerhurst                                 Scead Willan                           Boundary spring                                   ?
                                                Beorgwillan                             Barrow spring                                       11th century
Donnington nr. Stow on Wold  Blinde Wylle                            Blind spring                                         779
                                                Caerswylle                               Watercress spring                                 779
Dowdeswell                              Dogodeswellan                                   Dogod’s spring                                     781-798
Dyrham                                                Loddra Wellan                         Beggars’ spring                                                972
                                                Bridewyllan                             Bird spring                                           972
                                                Aetheredes Wellan                  Aethelred’s Spring                               972
Evenlode                                 Heortuuelle                              Hart spring                                           772
                                                Heort Wellan                            Hart spring                                           969
                                                Hwete Wellan                          Wheat spring                                        969
Hawling                                               Waeteres Sprynge                   (seasonal) Water spring                                    816
Iccomb                                                Uuilesuuelee                           Wibel’s or Wil’s spring                           781
                                                Saltuuelle                                Salt well                                              781
Kemble                                                Awilme                                     Ewen (great spring)                              931
                                                Lydewelle                                Hollow spring                                       1250-1300
Littleton on Severn                  Aewelburhe                             Enclosure camp (with a) great spring   986
Maugersbury                            Cealdanwyllan                                    Cold spring                                          ?
                                                Sealterawyllan                                    Salt carriers spring                               ?
                                                Fiscwille                                  Fish spring                                           949
                                                Maeswille                                Maple spring                                        949
                                                Sealter Wille                            Salt carriers spring                               949
Mickelton                                 Maercumbes Wylle                   Spring in a hollow                               1005
Notgrove                                  Turcan Wyllas                          Turc’s spring                                        743
                                                Swelstowe                               Spring at the sacred place                  743
                                                Seofenwyllas                           Seven springs                                      743
Olveston                                  Hring Wylle                              Ring spring                                          743
Pucklechurch                          Loddrawyllon                           Beggars Springs                                   950
                                                Hreodmorwyllon                       Spring of the swampy ground              950
                                                Bydewyllon                              Boyd springs                                        950
Stoke Bishop                            Waldes Wellan                                    Wood spring                                         883
Upper Swell                             Maer Wylle                              Boundary Spring                                  1055
Winson                                     Burhwalles                               Camp spring                                        ?
Withington                               Halgan Wyllan                         Holy spring                                           ?
                                                Alre Wyllan                              Alder spring                                         ?
Wotton Under Edge                 Aewylme                                  Great spring                                         940
                                                Wraeccena Wyllan                   Strangers’ spring                                  940
                                                Byrnes Wyllan                          Bourne spring                                      940