Shortlisted for National Museum and Heritage Awards

Shortlisted for National Museum and Heritage Awards

City Voices, Gloucester History Festival and Gloucester Heritage Forum are delighted to announce that their collaboration project of Gloucester Looking Up has been shortlisted for the National Museum and Heritage Awards.

The National Museums and Heritage Awards have celebrated the very best within museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions across the UK for over 10 years.

‘ It’s wonderful that the collective effort of so many of Gloucester’s wonderful Heritage, community and creative organisations has been recognised. A great endorsement of what we can achieve when volunteers are valued and celebrated and culture and community work together’

The three lead partners in the project, City Voices, Gloucester History Festival and Gloucester Heritage forum were supported by film production company Squeaky Pedal and marketing consultants Flying Geese to ensure that Gloucester Looking Up project reached as many people as possible and deepened engagement with the City. Other artists part of the project include: Ellie Shipman, Elle Bry Thomas, Phil Campbell, Dominic Lofters and Ratson. 

The shortlist for the Pandemic Pivot Award comprises:

  • Northe Front – for demonstrating how heritage sites have an important role to play during the pandemic
  • Thelma Hulert Gallery – for their project the Creative Cabin – art and nature on tour
  • Ourselves
  • Chawton House – for their project transforming Chawton House: The Covid year
  • South West Museum Development – for their Pest Partners project.


Gloucester Looking Up created a unique opportunity for new and existing, local, national and international audiences to be inspired by the City where three strands of interconnected artworks were commissioned. This resulted in an interactive online map which lead audiences to film, photography and downloadable resources. These resources showcased local people as they shared stories about the spaces they love. A Living History programme, in which libraries, archives and heritage sites worked with the community to collect and share their experiences of lockdown was created and a series of cultural commissions, co-created with artists, venues and communities brought alive the stories of the City in new and innovative ways.

In total, Twenty five artists, 125 volunteers, and over 40 organisations collaborated within an extraordinarily tight period of time to create an astonishing range of work. The stories were fantastic – we traced the descendant of a kindertransport child, and installed his image in former hostel – the polish tenants who now live there were so proud they took the day off work; colourful artworks were installed across the city in windows for people to encounter on their daily walks; we showed our support for Black Lives Matter by sharing We See You ( Do You See Us?) in heritage venues across the city; we told the stories of all the people of the city, from the cleaners to the town crier, the poet to the veteran through interviews, poetry and commissioned films, and in novel and accessible ways, including an animated  British Sign Language Tour, downloadable artists maps, and activities for families and children.

To deliver this, a tiny team worked round the clock, with just 2 months to pull together the content, and create a new website for Gloucester History Festival to showcase in September 2020.

As well as being well received critically by local and national audiences, this new digital content allowed the partnership to build and grow new and more diverse audiences. Over 26k people watched the films, and new social media activity generated a reach of 1.3M people – all of whom are now more aware of the special stories that Gloucester has to tell than they were before.

The national online awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 1 July – please wish us luck and we will let everyone know the outcome as soon as we know.

Everything you need for the Spring Festival

Everything you need for the Spring Festival

How to access your events

We are pleased to announce that all Spring Weekend events can be accessed through your own personal Events Page on our website

You will have been sent an email which takes you through to your personal, email protected events page.
1) When prompted, type in your email address  (the one you used to book your tickets)
2) You will see your events displayed here.

If you log into this page before your event has started, you will be informed that your event has not stated yet. At the event start time, please refresh your page, and the event will start for you

If you log into this page, after your event has started (or if you choose to watch your event on demand, you will see your event ready for you to watch).

If you are not able to find the email, please scroll down to our trouble shooting section


Can’t remember what you booked?

Don’t worry if you can’t remember what you booked. You will be able to see all the events connected to your email address when you access your events. The date and time of the events you have booked will appear in on your page.

Information regarding the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Gloucester History Festival Spring Weekend was planned, and all events were filmed, before the sad death of HRH Prince Philip. The date of his funeral coincides with the first day of the Spring Weekend. We understand that the Funeral will be televised and will take place at 3pm. No events of the Spring Weekend coincide with this time.

We understand that some audience members may choose to pay their respects to Prince Philip during the day. All events within the Spring Weekend are digital events which have been pre-recorded, enabling those who choose to follow the nation’s coverage of Prince Philip to do so, and catch up with their Spring Weekend events at a time convenient to them.

The only event which will be affected differently is HUM Sing It Back. This event is a live event, which will be recorded and added to your personal page on Monday 19 April.


How to access your events on demand

To access your event on demand

1) Visit your personal events page, using the link in the email sent to you.
2) Follow the instructions to log in
3) Any events which have previously taken place will be ready to watch


How to order books connected to your events

Blood and Iron by Katja Hoyer can be purchased here 

Silent Village by Robert Pike can be ordered here 

Dead Famous by Greg Jenner can be ordered here 

The Power of Geography can be ordered here 

Event access – Trouble shooting

On Tuesday 13 April, all ticket buyers were sent an email with the subject line “Everything you need for the Spring Weekend”. Please find this email and click the button to access your events

If you purchased tickets after this date, your booking receipt contained a button at the top of the email taking you to your own personal events page

If you are unable to find either email, please click here to be taken to your personal events page. Please use the email address that you used to book your tickets

Gloucester History Festival to receive £12.5K from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

We are delighted to announce that Gloucester History Festival are among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

This award will support the preparations and development of an exciting autumn festival for 2021, making it possible for Gloucester History Festival to present an engaging programme of events.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Culture Recovery Fund.

This grant is the much needed support we needed to develop an inspiring festival for the autumn. A festival for our communities to come together, develop their understanding of the world, both past and present and learn about the Frontiers and Pioneers that have shaped all of our stories.”

Jacqui Grange, Festival Manager

Gloucester History Festival has received a grant of £12.5K from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and develop their future offer. 

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Gloucester History Festival in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today. 

Gloucester History Festival is committed to bringing history to life for everyone. We present an annual two week festival to celebrate the city’s rich history, heritage and culture. The festival celebrates local, national and international history through a highly acclaimed programme of Blackfriars Talks; the City Voices programme of workshops, performances, tours, parades, exhibitions and digital content; the Heritage Open Days and the much loved Gloucester Day, to give people the chance to learn from the past and shape their life today for the future. During 2020 the festival took place online, providing history and culture to people in their homes. 

With the first Culture Recovery Fund grant, Gloucester History Festival has been able to develop an online Spring festival, which will bring history and culture to homes near and far from April 17th-18th. The festival presents a programme of talks from historians including Greg Jenner, Janina Ramirez, Tim Marshall, Robert Pike and Katja Hoyer. The festival also offers an array of special experiences, enabling people to engage with the past in different ways, from rare opportunities to see Gloucester’s historic venues virtually to singing historical songs, and an interview with Vanley Burke.

This second Culture Recovery Fund award will support the Gloucester History Festival to prepare, secure and develop an exciting programme of events for the autumn on the theme of Frontiers and Pioneers, to mark a year which sees a multitude of significant anniversaries of frontiers and pioneers of all kinds. 2021 includes anniversaries of the end of the USSR 30 years ago, the building of the Berlin Wall and Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight 60 years ago, the Battle of the Imjin River during the Korean War 70 years ago and, much further back, this May marks the 550th anniversary of Gloucester’s city gates closing against Margaret of Anjou as she approached Gloucester before the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. 

The Culture Recovery Fund will support the development of an autumn festival full of stories of crossing boundaries, new discoveries, change and advancements of the past. A festival to re-unite local communities and empower all generations to explore history and develop their understanding of the world, both past and present. 

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The second round of awards made will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.


We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

The funding awarded is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

A New Spring Festival Announced

Gloucester History Festival are delighted to announce a new Festival this Spring in addition to the much loved autumn events, with a view of deepening relationships with history enthusiasts by offering a year round programme.

This decision is following the success of the 2020 festival that reached nearly 11,000 people at home around the world during the two week festival, and a further 9,500 viewers experiencing the festival by watching the recorded talks on demand.

Akin to the 2020 Festival, the spring festival will be presented online – allowing people from around the world to come together virtually and engage with stories and insights of the past. The festival will include special speakers in a selection of talks and City Voices events, offering a taste of history ahead of the main event in September.

This smaller festival will take place in April, with the programme and dates to be announced.

Gloucester History Festival 2021 Announced

We are thrilled to announce our 11th annual festival, taking place from 4th-19th September 2021.

This news follows the success of our 2020 festival that reached nearly 11,000 people at home around the globe, within the two official weeks of the festival, and a further 9,500 viewers who enjoyed the Festival’s on-demand content beyond the festival dates. 

‘After the success of last year’s festival, I am excited for what Gloucester History Festival has up its sleeve for 2021.

I am thrilled to announce the theme for 2021’s festival is Frontiers and Pioneers, which not only will share world-changing-moments in history, but also feels so relevant to the history we’re living through today. Engaging with history is a constant reminder, that the stories of the past help us to gain perspective and remind us to have hope through challenging times.

Whether we’re welcoming visitors to the history-rich Gloucester venues this autumn or virtually online, we can’t wait to share a programme that will inspire and provide something for everyone.’

– Janina Ramirez, Festival President 

This year Gloucester History Festival will run from 4th-19th September, exploring the theme of Frontiers and Pioneers. 2021 sees a multitude of significant anniversaries both close to home and further afield: the end of the USSR 30 years ago, the building of the Berlin Wall and Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight 60 years ago, the Battle of the Imjin River during the Korean War 70 years ago and, much further back, this May marks the 550th anniversary of Gloucester’s city gates closing against Margaret of Anjou as she approached Gloucester before the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. All feature frontiers or pioneers at the heart of the story.

This year also sees the anniversaries of a host of ground-breaking pioneers including Frank Whittle’s very first jet engine flight in Brockworth 80 years ago and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gloucester-born Herbert Cecil Booth who invented the vacuum cleaner – changing our everyday lives to this day.  

Whether crossing new boundaries in the world of science and space, erecting barriers that will echo uneasily through history, manning the barricades and holding the line, or breaking boundaries to unite, work together or gain freedom, 2021’s anniversaries mark frontiers and pioneers of all kinds. As we find ourselves in a memorable yet challenging time in history, these stories also inspire us to look at the changes, hope and advancements through difficult times and the pioneers and breakthroughs which have prevailed.

With events cancelled and postponed across the world in 2020, Gloucester History Festival was one of the first across the country to develop a fully digital festival experience, reaching more people than ever before. This September, we hopes to offer both online and in-person events and will follow guidance on this nearer the time. The Festival is committed to continuing an online programme as well as real-life events where possible, aware of the positive impact that online events have in reaching people near and far. A virtual visitor from Canada said:

‘I am immensely thrilled to be able to attend the festival this year from Canada. The programming was impeccable. I am blown away by the programming!’


The 2020 festival was praised by many for the quality of the talks on offer. 

‘I enjoyed viewing the events online, there was a great deal of interesting material in the lectures and the discussions were friendly, stimulating and often thought provoking.’

The full programme and speakers will be announced later in the year.

The 2020 festival included household names such as Janina Ramirez, Mary Beard, Neil Gaiman and David Olusoga. 

Gloucester History Festival receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

We are delighted to announce that we have been nominated to receive a £25,000 life line as part of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

This emergency funding will enable us to:

  • Recoup against financial loss from this year’s festival, which, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, forwent all live events
  • Future proof against the on-going climate by finding new ways to develop the Festival with online content

This is a great time for Gloucester as three other heritage organisations, as well as us, received financial support from the same fund, totalling almost £300,000.

We wanted so very much to be able to offer live events this year, but at the eleventh hour that the decision was made to digitalise all events. Although this opened many doors of opportunity, and we engaged with more people online than ever before, the financial situation has been an on-going concern, as it has with many arts, cultural and heritage organisations nation wide.

With social distancing conditions remaining in place, we plan to use a proportion of the funding to futureproof ourselves against ongoing restrictions by learning from this pilot year of digital activity, using that learning to guide future festival plans.

“We are so relieved Although we were thrilled to be able to offer the Festival online this year, we lost a massive line of income from ticket sales because we were not able to hold any live events. Its been a massive concern”

Jacqui Grange, Festival Producer

The support that our audiences and subscribers have given us through individual donations has been so gratefully received, and we thank each and every person who has contributed in this way. However, we are still in the position where we rely very heavily on this support fund, if the future of the festival were not to be in jeopardy, and this much needed funding gives us the lifeline that we need to journey into 2021 slightly more confidently.

This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.