Exhibition “A History of Gardens, Gardeners and Gardening in Dursley”

Cottage garden near the old Lister site

A new exhibition has opened at Dursley Heritage Centre which looks at the history of gardens, gardeners and gardening in Dursley. It will take a look back at the many gardens, both large and small, which have graced the town of Dursley over the years. It will also take a look at the people who owned them and those who tended to them as well as the activity of gardening itself. The exhibition will run until 27th July 2019.

Photo collections to browse

The Heritage Centre now has a collection of folders on display for visitors to browse. The folders contain numerous photographs and pieces of information relating to all parts of Dursley and provide a fascinating insight into the town’s history.

Exhibition “Dursley’s Cinemas”

A new exhibition has just opened at Dursley Heritage Centre which looks back at the history of the town’s two cinemas – the Victoria (Odeon) and the Regal (ABC). These two venues were a great source of entertainment to the town’s residents and are remembered fondly by many. The exhibition features photographs and artefacts from both cinemas showing the buildings, the publicity, the staff who ran them and the film goers who attended. It will run from Tuesday 25th September until 30th November 2018.

Exhibition “Dursley Town AFC”

A new exhibition has just opened at Dursley Heritage Centre looking back at the 125 year history of Dursley’s own football club. Since its origins in 1893 as ‘Dursley St. James’, the club has been in continuous operation since. Photographs, posters, programmes and other memorabilia are on display so if you’re interested in football, or the local history of the area then do come on in. You may even spot yourself or someone you know! The exhibition is due to run until 21st July.

Exhibition “The Quest for the Castle”

R.A. Lister & Co. – 150th Anniversary

A new exhibition has just opened at Dursley Heritage Centre commemorating the 150th year since R.A. Lister & Co. was formed in 1867 by Robert Ashton Lister. Lister’s went on to become Dursley’s largest employer, occupying a huge site in the valley below the town and providing employment to thousands. It manufactured a wide range of engineering and industrial products; including dairy and sheep shearing equipment, agricultural implements, woodcraft items and most significantly a wide range of petrol and diesel engines for use in many applications. The company went on to become renowned throughout the world for the quality of its products. Lister’s and Dursley became synonymous!

The exhibition will run until 16th September 2017.

Tabard Players Exhibition

Just opened at the Heritage Centre, an exhibition to commemorate 50 years of the Tabard Players, the Tabernacle based amateur dramatics group. Come on in and find out more about the history of this local group and some of its great productions. See if you recognise anyone, maybe even yourself! The exhibition will run until mid-July.

Old Dursley Gazettes on show

Many volumes of the Dursley Gazette from previous years are now held by the Heritage Centre and we currently have two large bound volumes on display. The volumes date from 1953 and 1959 and are available to browse so come along in and take a look. Perhaps you’re researching a particular topic or just want to be reminded what life was like in Dursley over 50 years ago? Whatever the reason the old newspapers make fascinating reading.

The volumes will be changed over the next few months so if there are particular years you’d like to see please mention it to a volunteer and we’ll see what might be possible.

Future Exhibitions

Exhibitions planned for later in 2017 include an opportunity to view bound volumes of the Dursley Gazette, many of which are now held in store by the Heritage Centre. Most copies between 1950 and 1971 are available and some of these will be on view between March and May.

During the summer months, June, July and August, it is intended to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of R.A. Lister & Co. an important part of Dursley’s history. If anyone has anything of interest please do get on touch.

Following on from the Lister exhibition, the old cloak once worn by the Bailiff of Dursley will be on view. This bright red cloak was worn by the last Bailiff when the post was discontinued in 1896 and has been recently restored.

An ongoing small exhibition commemorates those men (and one woman) from Dursley, who died during the equivalent three month period one hundred years ago. If anyone has any information about anyone we’d love to hear from you.