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Day Out: Archive Films
Derek Jones on a Day Out in Stroud
Day Out: Stroud
Watch a BBC TV programme made in 1977 of a day spent exploring the Gloucestershire town...
Originally broadcast in 1977 was this charming half-hour television programme which took a look round Stroud and its surroundings.
As part of the BBC's 'Day Out' series - which visited a different Gloucestershire and West Country locale every week - presenter Derek Jones is seen exploring the area.
Old buildings in Stroud
He begins by taking in the magnificent view of the five Stroud valleys from Rodborough Fort. He then descends into the town itself to look at some of its historical features such as The Shambles, the old meat market where John Wesley once preached, and the Old Market House.
In St. Laurence's churchyard Derek shows us the grave of Joseph Francis Delmont, said to be one of the last man in England to die as the result of a duel. Delmont died in 1807 at the age of 21.
Derek Jones with Clair Toy
Derek visits the town's Subscription Rooms, and explains that it gets its name because the funds to build it were raised by "public subscription". We hear of the bizarre story of local farmer William Radcliff whose horse accidentally walked up a section of wooden planks one evening when the rooms were being built in 1833.
In the town's museum Derek comes face to face with a life-size model of a dinosaur whose fossilised remains were found in a nearby Cotswold quarry. Back outside Canadian-born Clair Toy, who lives in an old estate worker's cottage, explains why she likes living in the area so much.
The famous Stroud Scarlet
Derek visits Strachan's Mill which is still producing cloth from wool - although the raw material is now imported from Australia and South Africa rather produced locally. He shows us a piece of famous "Stroud Scarlet" cloth which is used by the ceremonial uniforms of the Brigade of Guards.
Inside the mill we see the spinning machines and power looms, and the complete wool making process in action. We learn that the bristly dried flower head of the teasel plant is still the best thing for raising the nap of the cloth, although they now come from Spain and France rather than Somerset.
We learn of the invention of the lawnmower in 1830 by Stroud man Edwin Budding, who got the idea after seeing a new rotary cutter installed in the mill to cut the nap on the cloth. Derek meets former British Airways pilot Michael Maltin who is restoring the Black Boy clock set in the wall of a former school. He tells us it's "one of the few jack clocks still in existence".
Buried in the wall of a furniture shop on the corner of Kings Street we see an old clock set to "railway time". It was made in the days when Stroud time was 8 and a half minutes behind London time, and is believed to be the last remaining clock of its kind in the country. Finally, up on the hill overlooking Stroud, Derek visits All Saints Church at Selsley, built in 1862 by Sir Samuel Marling.
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 14:35
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