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Stroud >  Google™ Map Sep 2021  Gloucestershire Coat of Arms

strod Old English marshy ground. Population - 32,670.

England-Gloucestershire Flag UK > England > Gloucestershire

Sep 2021

Gloucestershire Coat of Arms

They're rightly proud in Stroud, proud and rather rebellious, actually. During a period in the late '70s and early '80s, protesters objected, nay nearly rioted, at the council's attempt to demolish a handful of historic buildings in the centre.

Railings were chained to, possibly, and rooftops were raided, definitely, as people power won out over the fat cats at Stroud City Hall who saw it as progress, right comrades!

Stroud - King Street

It looks like they missed a bit, however, and it's not thought any direct action was arranged when they replaced whatever was there before Woolworth™s was.

That's a bit unfair, elsewhere is eye-catchingly engaging including the Art Deco facade of the, very nearly missed, multistorey.

Stroud - Multi-Storey
Stroud - Subscription Rooms

Center stage, however, goes to the Subscription Rooms[1] building, still staging all forms of entertainment since the 1830s, Beatles included.

More power to the people prevailed in 2019 when the charitable Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust took it off the council's hands although, this time, the council hadn't threatened to demolish it.

[1] 'Sub Rooms' if you want to blend in like a local.

So they're a right bunch of bohos as well as being proud and revolutionary but let's not forget the bit about them being fit. That's surely the case since this is hilly terrain with the marshy ground that named that toon likely to be found at the bottom of this slope? Or this one?

Stroud - Union Street
Stroud - Cornhill
Stroud - High Street

Or even this one?

This is actually the high street and, rather remarkably, here is the swathe that was due to be demolished back in the early '80s. That was the cause of those protests and it's hard to imagine a ring road running through here but that was the seemingly ridiculous reason why.

Now, getting into Stroud involved a 30-minute crawl on the A419 before looping back in on Dr Newton's Way, whoever he was, before nearly missing a multi-storey car park. Admittedly, this nearly qualified as rush hour and some inconsiderate picking up of schoolkids may have been involved but 30 minutes?

Having now seen the high street, just saying like.

Independent traders abound on Kendrick Street with more, well, independent traders than you might find elsewhere.

Stroud - Kendrick Street

That's particularly true of Made in Stroud who specialise in all things, well, it's thought you can figure that. This is something you definitely won't find elsewhere, not unless they're a global chain with outlets in the USA and Australia.

Or Hampshire, actually, where it appears marshy ground isn't that uncommon a feature to warrant other places with the same name.

  The Lord John Russell (Russell Street) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Lord John Russell.

George Holloway was a wealthy industrialist-cum-MP and during the 19th century was a great benefactor to Stroud, they say. He's credited with introducing the steam-powered sewing machine, no less, so that makes him an ideal candidate for the name of the local Wetherspoon™s, surely?

Stroud - George Holloway

Lord John Russell was a wealthy MP who is credited with introducing the Great Reform Act of 1832 with male heads of households now entitled to vote and women officially excluded, for the first time officially, in writing.

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale but the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming gets a routine (2/5) for what was essentially a coin toss between him and Holloway. He only served Stound for six years but he may have won the toss by virtue of having served as PM, twice, but at least women are officially allowed in their watering holes.

With wool waiting ready and grazing on the hills and rivers running rapidly in the valleys below, it wouldn't be long before industry arrived but with that came insurgency, the first wave of insurgency.

Those getting tactile with the textile demanded fairer pay and working conditions with 3,000 strikers from the surrounding mills, quite literally, read the Riot Act. They responded to the muskets with sticks and stones before going on to dunk strike-breakers, not shopping trolleys, in the canal.

Stroud - Thames & Severn Canal

The 1825 Stroudwater Riots have influenced the town ever since and are the root cause and reason to be stroppy and proud in Stroud, these days, including the saving of the local Post Office™.

Here may lie rolling hills and Cotswold stone but this ain't no Bourton-on-the-Water and visitors are far fewer this far west. The altitude and attitude has led to an influx of bohemians including a long list of authors you've never heard of and the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion™, no less, although Gail Bradbrook's background can be considered more grounded.

The just-discovered canal is the Thames & Severn Canal, of course, and was carved out in the late 1700s for the benefit of many an emerging industrialist.

Stroud - Thames & Severn Canal

The wool had to go somewhere and this feat of engineering would link London to Bristol via the rivers, erm, Thames and Severn, respectively.

Leaky limestone and seasonally dry springs, however, caused some unexpected and expensive maintenance but it still trickled on for going on 150 years surviving the arrival of the railway.

It's no longer entirely navigable and the charitable Cotswold Canals Trust have their work cut out to restore its entirety, your best bet being a simple stroll along the old towpath.

Several mills remain nearby along the River Frome, variously repurposed for the retail and the residential, but just a single, looming reminder in Stroud itself.

Stroud - Hill, Paul & Co. Ltd

The former Hill, Paul & Co. Ltd. building was saved from demolition following an inevitable campaign before the developers went against the protestors' pleas for preservation and went and put a penthouse on top.

Now, the last couple of days have been absolute scorchers and this industrial aspect looks to be just about south facing. On closer inspection, all of their windows are wide open so it looks like another campaign is called for.

Not to complain at the paper-thin walls of which these conversions are invariably constructed but to get some air conditioning in as this will, after all, be an ongoing issue.

That's what Extinction Rebellion say, anyway, but it's hard to see them getting actively involved with this injustice, eh?

What's What
 Subscription Rooms
 Thames & Severn Canal