Stonehouse History Group

Welcome to the web site for Stonehouse History Group


- promoting  interest in the History of Stonehouse & the locality.

News

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Stonehouse Post Office opening ceremony information board unveiled


The October 2012 meeting of the Stonehouse History Group was a very special one as it began with the unveiling of a new Information Board featuring the Opening of the Post Office on 2nd November 1933.


History Group member Valerie Blick is the owner of a collection of old photographs of the Post Office. Valerie’s husband, Alan, who was only three years old at the time, presented a bouquet of flowers to Lady Marling, a guest at the Opening Ceremony. Blick’s building firm designed and built the new building using bricks from the Stonehouse Brick and Tile Company and employed local craftsmen to do the work. They were extremely proud of their work which they intended to be a timeless building and a landmark in Stonehouse.


In order to provide a lasting memorial to the Blick family business, Valerie decided to sponsor a new Information Board with the story of the new building and some of the old photographs.


This was researched by Stonehouse History Group members Shirley Dicker and Vicki Walker and completed by designer Steve Roberts from Stroud. They produced a large aluminium board fixed to the inside wall of the Town Hall, which now occupies the old Sorting Office.


The Group hope that the Post Office Board will be the first of many around the town where people can learn more about the history behind the familiar buildings in Stonehouse.







Click on Pictures for more…..

Shirley Dicker presents a bouquet of flowers to Valerie Blick after the unveiling of the new Information Board in Stonehouse Town Hall.

stonehouse_post_office_panel.pdf

Stonehouse History Group special presentation.



Stonehouse History Group welcomed special guests Mark Heywood and Dr Freddie Pemberton-Pigott to their meeting on December 10th to make a special presentation.

2nd November 1933 - Official Opening More on this story

Stonehouse GWR Signal Box


Jill G emailed us from Lincolnshire to say :-

“I was delighted to find a photograph of the signal box at the GWR station on your website”.


My grandfather, Harry George Smith, was a signalman there for nearly 30 years from the early 1920s until the late 1940s.



I have very fond memories of that signal box. As a little girl in the 1940’s, l spent day after day with my grandfather in the box. The brass levers were highly polished and l would 'help' him to move them. The box was always warm, even in the height of winter, because there was a lovely fire burning. I remember the smell of the lubricant on the levers and the passing trains. My grandfather knew all the train drivers and they would wave to us as they passed through the station. They were wonderful days.




She went on to say:-


This is a photo of my maternal grandfather HARRY GEORGE SMITH who was a railway signalman for all of his working life. He was born on 6th July, 1883, at Lodgemore in Stroud, one of fifteen children. Before arriving in Stonehouse, around 1920, Harry Smith had been a signalman in Aberfan, South Wales, and Bishops Cleeve, near Cheltenham. He married my grandmother, Emily Jacobs, in 1908.

During their years in Stonehouse, my grandparents lived in a terraced house in Bath Road called 'Pretoria.' This was next to a tobacconist's shop at the end of the terrace near the chapel of Wycliffe College. After they left, I believe that their house was re-named.

My grandfather loved the Great Western Railway. GWR's employees took great pride in their work. The Company's colours were brown and cream. Stonehouse Station in Burdett Road was always immaculate, flowers in hanging baskets, the two platforms and waiting room swept and clean and the paintwork fresh.

As a little girl in the 1940s, l spent very many happy hours in my grandad's signalbox. I 'helped' him to move the shiny brass levers which changed the signals. He knew all the drivers who would wave to us as their trains passed through the station. The smell of the lubricant in the box was wonderful.

I lived with my parents in Beards Lane, Stroud, but l stayed with my grandparents often. My parents would take me to Stonehouse on the railcar which picked up passengers at Downfield Station, near to our home. It was an ideal childhood and l have very many happy memories.

My grandfather died in 1951, my grandmother in 1956.





Jill’s grandfather - Harry George Smith

The tobacconist's shop “W Holmes” at the end of the terrace near the chapel of Wycliffe College. - 1952

Stonehouse Burdett Road Signal Box.