Displays and Events, University Archive

Memory Booth at Graduation 2015

Archive staff were very privileged to be involved in this year’s graduation ceremonies at Cheltenham Racecourse. Working with first-year students from the School of Media, we ran a Memory Booth at two of the ceremonies on 26 and 27 November, where past and graduating students were able to share their most memorable student experiences.

Racecourse 27-11-2015 AM 1 Graduation 2015

The ceremony on the morning of 27 November paid homage to both our graduating Education students and members of the Old Students’ Association, many of whom were present at the ceremony. As an institution we have been educating teachers in Cheltenham for nearly 170 years and old students from as far back as the 1940s were present last week to share their memories.

Radio Production student Alex Hawkins interviewed old student Martin Fry (1975-1979).

Martin Fry, Gloucestershire University Alumni interviews 2015

Martin said:

I knew that I wanted to be a teacher at the beginning. The interesting thing was at that time the first four weeks we went straight out into schools. And we went into a primary school, infant school sorry, then a junior school and then a secondary school. And after those four weeks there were a number of students who decided it wasn’t for them. You were already teaching, and don’t forget here I was at 18, just left school and then in front of a class and in the Royal Forest of Dean Grammar School I was teaching music the second week, having not any real skills in music, to sixth-formers who were literally six months younger than I was. That was obviously a great test and I think it was a real good point that you knew you wanted to be a teacher or you didn’t after that, and I did.

We hope to make these recordings available on the Special Collections and Archives catalogue very soon.


University Archive

University Archive

The University Archive is the official repository for the historic records of the University of Gloucestershire and its antecedents since its original foundation as the Cheltenham Training College in 1847. The records included within the collection reflect a long and distinguished history over the past 170 years.

The archive comprises many different formats, including documents, manuscripts, deeds, reports, publicity, maps and plans, photographs, multimedia, clothing and artifacts.

Material is wide and varied, giving snapshots into life as a student or staff member from the Victorian era right through to the present day. It reinforces a sense of community and identity throughout the history of the institution.

A list of the University Archive content categories can be found here and gives information on the nature and scope of the collection. Access to some categories such as staff records may be restricted in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. For all enquiries please email archives@glos.ac.uk.

Special Collections and Archives staff regularly compile displays using the University Archive. These can be for many events from Old Students’ Association or Practising School reunions to staff training sessions.

Much of the content of the University Archive has been donated by former staff and students. We are constantly working towards the future of the archive and are active in sourcing new material to fill in the blanks. We welcome new material which depicts both the history of the institution and the present — as today’s items will become tomorrow’s archive. Please contact us if you think you have anything of interest.

Degreeplus, University Archive

Internship Opportunity for UoG student

Special Collections and Archives Internship Opportunity:

Remembrance Memories Co-ordinator

During World War II, the University’s Francis Close Hall campus was the site of St Paul’s College, a male teacher training college. A practising school for local boys was also located in what is now the Bodley Building. The University Archive holds material such as photographs, eyewitness accounts and other memories from this era. The wider St Paul’s community is still home to some residents who lived here during the conflict, which included bombing raids on the area. Gloucestershire Archives and Cheltenham Local Studies Library hold newspapers from the time that detail the unfolding conflict and the impact this had on the community. This internship will utilise both material held in the University Archive and the wider community to produce a memories display for this year’s remembrance commemorations on 11th November.

The intern will be fully briefed and work alongside special collections and archives staff as part of a small team. The project will involve researching material held both in the University Archive and Gloucestershire Archives/ Cheltenham Local Studies Library. There will also be the opportunity to liaise with members of the St Paul’s community to gather material and memories for the display, and promote this through local media channels.


This internship would suit any University of Gloucestershire student interested in a career in archives and/ or research, or with a general interest in social history and the St Paul’s area. The internship will run from September – November 2015, and the student can go on to complete a Degreeplus Award. Other useful personal attributes can include:

  • An interest in social and cultural events
  • Creative and inquisitive
  • Motivated and able to work without direct or constant supervision
  • Accurate and detailed
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Good interpersonal skills


  • Communication – both written and personal
  • Team working
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Research skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Time management

To apply login to the Degreeplus portal via the student homepage and search “Remembrance Memories Co-ordinator”

Displays and Events

Upcoming Heritage Open Day Tours

The University is once again taking part in Cheltenham’s Heritage Open Days initiative. This year we’re offering tours of both Park and Francis Close Hall campuses, where you’ll be able to find out about the history of the sites and the students who have studies here.

The Park Campus
The Park Campus

The Park Campus remains a remarkable example of the early development of Cheltenham’s green spaces. Solicitor Thomas Billings bought the land in 1831 and had ambitious plans to open the “Gloucestershire Zoological, Botanical and Horticultural Gardens” to entertain the town’s pleasure-seekers. Today the campus is home to some of our 10,000 students plus a herd of Canada geese. Come along for a tour of the grounds and find out how it’s inhabitants changed from elephants to Ursuline nuns to female trainee-teachers over the years (plus a visit by the Queen Mother!).

Thursday 10 September. Tours 1pm/ 2pm/ 3pm from Elwes Reception

FCH picture
Francis Close Hall

Francis Close Hall campus is one of Cheltenham’s best examples of a Victorian-Gothic building. Opened in 1850, it originally housed 39 male teacher-training students at Cheltenham Training College. Today FCH is one of the University of Gloucestershire’s thriving campuses for our 10,000 students. Come along for a behind-the-scenes tour of this Cheltenham landmark and discover what life was like as a student over the past 165 years. Who was Francis Close? Who burnt down part of the campus in 1914? Just how many ghosts are there at FCH?

Friday 11 September. Tours 1pm/ 2pm/ 3pm from the Chapel

To book email archives@glos.ac.uk or call 01242 714851