Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society

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2019-20 Season

Meetings are held at Redcatch Community Centre on Redcatch Road (BS4 2EP) unless otherwise stated. A loop system is used for the benefit of those with hearing aids.


Members pay £1.50 entry fee, visitors pay £3

Membership runs from September to August at £7

September 13th - Harry Dolman: the man with 100 patents.

The Life and Times of Harry Dolman. In 2016, Clive Burlton bumped into Marina Dolman at a ‘do’ at M Shed and they chatted about Harry Dolman’s ‘Flying Flea’ that’s on display in the Museum. They also talked about whether there would be any interest in a book about Harry’s life. A year later Harry Dolman: The millionaire inventor who became “Mr Bristol City” was on the bookshelves.  Harry rose from humble rural roots in Wiltshire to become a multi-millionaire thanks to his fantastic inventions, draughtsmanship and engineering skills. He loved football and his business success (Brecknell, Dolman and Rogers) led him to Bristol City FC where, during 38 years, he became director, chairman and president.


October 11th - AGM followed by Mike and Peter with "more from our archives"

We never know what photographs they'll dig out but we look forward to an entertaining evening pulled together from our collection.


November 8th - Know Your Place

Award-winning Peter Insole returns to tell us all about the developments and changes of Bristol's award-winning website.


December 13th - Christmas Toy Memories

Dave Cheesely returns with stories of toys from our past. His talk will be followed by our annual Xmas buffet.



January - no meeting


February 14th - The Architecture, Sculpture and Symbolism of a Victorian Garden Cemetery. Our very own Alan Bambury has kindly agreed to give us another talk focusing on the beauty of our local cemetery at Arnos Vale.


March 13th - Bath Abbey Footprint Project by Cai Mason, Senior Project Officer for Wessex Archaeology

Since 2018, Wessex Archaeology West have been undertaking extensive excavations in and around Bath Abbey in relation to the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Footprint Project. The archaeological work has uncovered evidence of Mesolithic activity, Roman streets and buildings, and an Anglo-Saxon monastery and associated cemetery that contains example of rare 'charcoal burials'. In the medieval period, a huge cathedral priory was constructed on the site, the remains of which have been found 2m below the floor of the present early 16th-century abbey. Later remains include 18th/19th-century burials, Georgian buildings and a Victorian print works.


April 17th - The History of the Weston RNLI  (Note 3rd Friday)

We're delighted to be joined by Glyn Hayes who will talk to us about the history and work of the amazing men and women of Weston's branch of one of the nation's most popular volunteer organisations


May 15th - The Great Houses of the Gordano Valley  (Note 3rd Friday)

Sandy Tebbutt, popular visiting speaker to our group, returns with more tales of the Gordano area. This time concentrating on some of the big houses.


June 12th - The 1893 Bristol Fine Arts and Industrial Exhibition

A talk with photos by Mike Hooper