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Gossip around the village pump.

then and now

A Village Property

Stinchcombe Local History Society – “A Village Property” 

Stinchcombe Village is full of wonderful properties both large and small. Each property has its own House History. All properties are rich in history and memories. Other Villagers know little or nothing about those histories. Indeed, sometimes the owners themselves know nothing!

Your Own House History

The Stinchcombe Local History Society is suggesting that once a month a local homeowner may like to publish what they know of their house history for all. To include photos and any other interesting stories and put on the Parish website. Then maybe other local people can add their own extra titbits to that property history with their own stories.The History Society can then build up a comprehensive history of the Stinchcombe Village Properties. 

The First Village Property

The first history of a “Village Property” is planned for the New Year as “Combe House & Street Farm”.

Suggestions for topics

Rather than being too prescriptive here are some suggested bullet points to get people started

  • when the house was built
  • description
  • how it’s changed over the years
  • past residents and their occupation/role
  • significant events
  • anecdotes
  • how they’ve researched the house’s history
  • what it means to them to live in an historic house
  • photos old and current

To get Involved

Roger Batty will collate stories and details. Contact Roger Battycreate new email (07765468756) if you would like:

  • to be involved with “A Village Property”
  • get your own property published
  • would just like to help in the project

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Click & Drop Logo

Parcel Collect

The new Royal Mail Service

Just used the new Parcel Collect Service from the Royal Mail. The Royal Mail is now offering this extra service on top of handing over the mail – picking up parcels from households to deliver elsewhere. 

Although a new idea for Royal Mail, the concept of having letters and parcels picked up from your home has been around for more than a decade – being offered by competitors such as DPD, Hermes, DHL, TNT and the Royal Mail parcel spin-off Parcelforce. 

The new Royal Mail service means the postman coming to your door can collect up to five items.

The service costs 72p per item on top of usual postal charges – or 60p for returning items bought from online sellers such as Amazon. 

So a 10kg parcel costing £16.80 to post at a post office counter will cost £17.52 to be picked up. 

Customers use the Click & Drop service to pay for and download a label which must be stuck on the letter or parcel. Also to arrange for a “Safe Place” for the parcels to be collected. Bookings can be made up to five days ahead although pickups can be made the day after a booking.

Personally, I found the site OK to use for the first time, but my second parcel would be much easier.

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Slow ways

Slow Ways

In the News

You may have seen Slow Ways featured on both BBC News and ITV News on October 16th?  “Slow Ways…seeks to elevate the position of walking in our national conversation, to be seen not just as a worthy, healthy hobby but part of our national transport infrastructure”.

Slow Ways in a snail shell

Slow Ways is a project to create a network of walking routes that connect all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages.

Using existing footpaths, people will be able to use the Slow Ways routes to walk between neighbouring settlements or combine routes for long distance journeys.

During lockdown 700 volunteers from across the country collaborated to produce a first draft of the Slow Ways network, creating a stunning Slow Ways map in the process. This incredible effort has led to the creation of 7,500 routes that collectively stretch for over 110,000km.

While COVID-19 has forced millions of us to stay at home and indoors, that hasn’t stopped us from being collaborative, imaginative, creative and productive.

We are currently working on building a website that will host all of the Slow Ways routes information and hope to launch that later this year.

All of the routes information that we collate will always be free to browse, search, view, share, download and enjoy.

Want to find out more? Read the FAQs on the Slow Ways Website.

Slow Ways Group

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Slow Ways Group in Stinchcombe. And be in at the start of the project in January 2021.

Further Reading

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Fighter Plane

It must be true

It must be true…Russ told me!

I have received the following story in from Russ about a previous Speed Watch group. He swears it is true…

Back in 2003, (the time of the Iraq war and terrorist high alert) when we last ran a speed watch in the Village, I was part of the organising committee and responsible for the radar guns we were issued with.

A Highway’s chap delivered the radar guns and gave me instructions, one of which was to ensure that no one pointed a gun at any military aircraft.

At that time we did have regular flights of Hercules transports out of Lyneham practising low level flights round the edge of the escarpment. Apparently a few weeks before at a site in the middle of Wales near where fighter pilots were trained, an elderly and probably bored, speed watch volunteer casually aimed his radar gun at a fighter plane.

Military aircraft are immediately aware if they have radar locked on to them as it usually precedes a missile attack! The pilot in this case took evasive action and wheeled round to strafe the presumed terrorist.

Fortunately as he approached the location he realised that the radar source was an elderly man in a yellow jacket!

Fact Checking

Having tried to check the facts on this story I have found references about it

I leave it to you, but I believe you Russ!

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CBeebies

Poppy’s Day

Poppy’s Day by Jayne Kirkham

I have just listened to Poppy’s Day on BBC Cbeebies read by Falklands War veteran, Simon Weston. Written by our own Jayne Kirkham it is a special story all about remembering for the young at heart!

Poppy finds out about why we wear poppies and watches a remembrance parade. The story introduces little listeners to the importance of remembering not just things, but people too.

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Windows swap

Window Swap

Different Views from world windows during pandemic

My sister sent me an email with different views on the world which was a bit of fun. So I sent her back a picture looking out of my window describing all I could see. However just doing a bit of research on the internet and I came up with this site…

This is where all the photos came from, but the site itself is fascinating. Each window is a “live” view from someone’s house, somewhere in the world. I love it! Try it….

You can also follow on Instagram but I prefer the site. It’s the background noises when people forget….

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Don't lose your way

Lost – 49,000 miles of footpaths

Curry and Sarcasm

When you move from America to England there are things you appreciate in a special, deep way only made possible by being raised bereft of them. The NHS is one that springs to mind. Also curry, sarcasm and footpaths.

When I lived in the mountains of North Carolina, surrounded by hundreds of acres of beautiful forest, it was all off-limits to me, except for the area set aside as a national park. There, you can’t walk through privately owned land. Unless you risk being prosecuted for trespassing, or possibly being shot at. Meaning unless you know the landowner, all you can do is look from a distance.

The missing miles of footpaths

In England the footpath network contains paths dating from 5000 BC, used by Neolithic people to move from place to place. Some date from the Romans, and some from Anglo Saxon times. Given the prevalence of long barrows and other sites sacred to Neolithic humans in this area, it is likely that some of the paths we enjoy were walked on many thousands of years ago. I think that is pretty marvellous. Our right for free access these footpaths has been fought for by the Ramblers, established in the 1930s to protect the rights of people to access the countryside.

Obviously a lot has changed in the last several hundred years, and the Ramblers recently pored over old maps, square kilometer by square kilometer to find lost footpaths. What they found was shocking. There were over 49,000 miles of historical footpaths missing from modern maps, almost a thousand miles in Gloucestershire alone! This represents almost a third of the footpath network in England.

Walking a Footpath
Walking a local footpath

Finding and reinstating 

The government has given a deadline of January 1st 2026 to re-map the routes and preserve them. This seems like a long way away but will be upon us before we know it. This deadline was established as part of the Countryside and Rights of Way act of 2000. However, as the clock ticks down the government has taken no action towards mapping and preserving historic footpaths. Of course at the moment they have quite a lot of other things on their plate.

Some of these paths have been:

  • developed over or
  • legally extinguished or
  • are small fragments

The Ramblers Association – Don’t Lose Your Way

The Ramblers are prioritizing paths which add value to the footpath network, such as

  • completing circular routes
  • resolving dead ends
  • adding walking to areas without many off-road walking options.

They are looking for volunteers to help with this mission which they’ve named Don’t Lose Your Way, by finding and mapping these routes, and where appropriate applying for them to be restored.

For more information on how you can help with this work, you can go to the Ramblers Website where there is an extensive FAQ.

These footpaths have been established over many hundreds, or indeed thousands of years, and are easy to take for granted, but once they are gone they are gone forever. To join the South Cotswold Ramblers see their website

Jessica Burchfiel

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