Day Out: Archive Films
Day Out: Gloucester (1980)
Watch a BBC TV programme made in 1980 of a day spent exploring Gloucester...
Originally broadcast in 1980 was this charming half-hour television programme which took a look round the historic city of Gloucester.
As part of the BBC's 'Day Out' series - which visited a different Gloucestershire and West Country locale every week - presenter Gwyn Richards is seen exploring various places in and around the city.
"Crossroads of England" Gloucester Cross
He begins at The Cross and talks about the city's Roman origins. The "Crossroads of England", he explains, was an important ancient meeting place, and Gloucester remained the lowest crossing point on the River Severn until the Severn Bridge was opened.
Gwyn visits Gloucester Cathedral and tells how the death of King Edward II and subsequent burial of his body in a tomb at the Cathedral led to a boost to the abbey's wealth. He explores the Cathedral's Cloisters, and the nearby Almonery, St. Mary's Gate, the Parliament Room where Richard II held his parliament in 1378, and various locations which were used in the filming of the BBC's 'Onedin Line'.
Next stop is the house of 'The Tailor of Gloucester', made famous in the book written by Beatrix Potter. Gwyn explains how the much-loved children's story came to be written and how it was based on a real-life Gloucester tailor called John Pritchard. We then find out about Robert Raikes, the founder of the Sunday School movement who was born in the city and opened his first school in Gloucester in 1780.
Gloucester Cattle Market
The busy cattle market is the next stop on the tour. Gwyn looks round the "second biggest market in the country" and meets a pig farmer from Abergavenny who talks about why he likes coming to Gloucester and the poor state of the farming industry. He speaks to a Mrs. Davies who'd brought her young family for a day out to look at the animals.
Gwyn's next port of call is The New Inn - "the finest galleried courtyard Inn in England" - dating from 1450. He then moves on to the Fleece Inn and the Folk Museum, also known as Bishop Hooper's Lodging. In 1555, during the reign of 'Bloody' Mary, Bishop Hooper was burned to death just outside the cathedral gates for being an "unrepentant heretic". We then visit other ancient religious heritage sites in the city - St. Oswald's Priory, Blackfriars and Greyfriars.
We learn about Gloucester's connection with 'Humpty Dumpty' - a siege engine used during the Civil War. Then a walk down Maverdine Lane reveals the stunning timber-framed headquarters of the commander of the Parliamentary forces during the Siege of Gloucester in 1643 - now boxed in by the surrounding buildings.
Taking a boat trip at The Docks
We then move on to Gloucester Docks with its eighteen warehouses, and we see the Mariners Church built in 1849 for the use of sailors and visitors to the docks. Gwyn goes aboard The Semington - a former cargo barge - which had been taken over by an arts group and used as a floating theatre.
Gwyn looks aroud 'The Svanskar' - a Swedish fishing boat built in 1937 - and talks to Captain Embleton who'd been busy converting her into a house boat. Finally Gwyn ends his day out in Gloucester with a boat trip at the docks main basin.
Check out the other fascinating films from the 'Day Out' series which were filmed in Gloucestershire by clicking on the links at the top right of this page.
last updated: 21/01/2009 at 14:34
Have Your Say
Do you recognise anyone featured in the programme? What memories does it bring back?