Dursley News - October 2009

Another memorable event occurred in Dursley this month with a day of celebration to commemorate the part that Captain George Augustus Graham played in saving the Irish Wolfhound breed while he lived in the town between 1865 and 1909. He was instrumental in this field of work and is revered across the world by wolfhound owners to this day. He was also a key figure in local life, being a magistrate as well as Chairman of the Parish Council and the Highway Board. He lived at Rednock House, on the site of the new school and it was him who actually gave it the Rednock name. During the last three years, following the creation of a fund by Andrew Barton and Dr Nicholas Wilkes, a wolfhound owner from Northumberland, donations have been raised to enable the forgotten grave to be restored in his memory. These funds also enabled two plaques to be created for display at Rednock School to mark its connection with Capt. Graham.

On the day of commemoration, October 23rd 2009, exactly 100 years since Captain Graham's burial, approximately 100 people along with 10 wolfhounds, came from as far afield as Ireland, Scotland and Norway to take part in the event. The day started with a service in St. Mark's Church after which the newly restored grave was rededicated and wreaths laid. Accompanied by a police escort, the party then processed to St. James' Church to view memorials to the Graham family and to take part in a photo opportunity on the grass outside. Following lunch at the Community Centre, everyone went into the hall of the brand new Rednock School for a unique assembly. Accompanied by a wolfhound on stage, Rory Webster (Graham's great grandson), Nicholas Wilkes and Andrew Barton told the audience of the significance of the site of their school, of Captain Graham's work wth the wolfhound breed and of the history of the Graham family. The proceedings culminated with the unveiling of the two plaques, one by Rory Webster and the other by Jane Ball, Mayor of Dursley. It was truly a memorable day and its accomplishments should ensure Captain Graham's memory lives on for many years hence.

Elsewhere in town, the foundations for the new Sainsbury's supermarket were completed and erection of the framework began so visible progress should now be rapid. At Rednock School, the car park outside the old reception, now demolished, is nearing completion as landscaping of the whole site proceeds at a fast pace.

  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)
    View of the Sainsbury's site in Dursley town centre
A view of the Sainsbury's site as final work is completed on the foundations in preparation for the framework to be erected.
(October 3rd 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Foundations completed
The rear of the Sainsbury's site required substantial concrete foundations and culverting to be created to take into account the change in ground level and the water flowing under the site.
(October 17th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Sainsbury's framework
Erection of the steel framework for the new Sainsbury's store in the town centre began during October. The rapid progress ensured that the view changed daily.
(October 28th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Rednock reception demolition
Demolition underway on the old reception of Rednock School in preparation for extention of the car park and continued landscaping of the site.
(October 10th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Community Centre and Rednock car park
Outside the Community Centre and the old entrance to Rednock School a new car park is being laid out.
(October 10th 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    The unrestored grave of Capt. Graham at St Mark's Church
This view shows the very sorry state of Captain Graham's grave, seemingly forgotten. It was this sight that prompted the establishment of a fund to enable it to be restored.
(October 15th 2006 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Captain Graham's newly restored grave
Wreaths were laid on the newly restored grave of Captain Graham following the service at St. Mark's Church to commemorate the part he played in saving the Irish Wolfhound breed.
(October 23rd 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
    Wolfhound at the restored grave of Capt. Graham
Dr Nicholas Wilkes with his wolfhound Loulou at the restored grave of Captain Graham. during the rededication ceremony at St. Marks' Church.
(October 23rd 2009 - copyright Kim Horsley)
    Rednock celebrations
Nicholas Wilkes, Rory Webster, Andrew Barton, Jane Ball and David Alexander outside the reception of Rednock School after the plaque unveiling to Captain Graham.
(October 23rd 2009 - copyright Carol Barton)
    Captain Graham small plaque
The small memorial plaque to Capt. Graham now in place in the hall of the new Rednock School.
(October 23rd 2009 - copyright Kim Horsley)
    Captain Graham large plaque
The large informational plaque to Capt. Graham to be erected on the new 6th Form centre whenthe landscaping is complete.
(October1st 2009 - copyright Andrew Barton)
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