Dursley News - September 2015

The event of note this month was held at Kingshill Cemetery to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the re-interment of Mikael Pedersen. Around 1888, Mikael Pedersen came to Dursley from Denmark. He brought with him a design for a unique bicycle, the Dursley Pedersen, by which he is mostly known today.

Mikael was a highly talented engineer and for several years he was unofficial consultant to the engineering firm of R A Lister & Co. Ltd. When he arrived, Dursley was still suffering from the disastrous collapse of the woollen cloth trade several decades earlier. It can be said that it was because of Mikael’s ingenuity that the town and surrounding area began to pull out of poverty and declining population.

Soon after the end of World War One, Mikael Pedersen returned to Denmark. Almost penniless because of a lifetime of openhanded generosity, he ended his life in an old people's home in Copenhagen, largely ignored by his family. He died in 1929 and was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1995 his remains were brought to England and reburied in Dursley’s cemetery. That event created great interest and was widely reported in the Gazette and national press.

During the 20th anniversary ceremony, local historian David Evans spoke briefly about Mikael, his importance in the history of the town and the reason for moving his remains. The Deputy Mayor of Dursley, Cllr Neil Grecian, representing the Town Council, also paid tribute to Mikael and laid flowers on the grave as did Janet Presley in her role as Secretary of the Dursley & Cam Society.
  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)

Kingdom Hall
Once used as a doctors' clinic this building is now established as the Kingdom Hall used by local Jehovah's Witnesses.
(September 20th 2015 - copyright Andrew Barton)


Grave commemoration
Standing behind Mikael Pedersen's grave are David Evans, Neil Grecian (Deputy Mayor of Dursley), Janet Presley (Secretary of the Dursley & Cam Society) and Andy Barton (Chairman of the Dursley & Cam Society).
(September 20th 2015 - copyright Carol Barton)


Wreath laying
David Evans lays a flower on the grave of Mikael Pedersen.
(September 20th 2015 - copyright Andrew Barton)


Pedersen's grave
Following the small ceremony, Pedersen's grave rests surrounded by flowers from those who attended.
(September 20th 2015 - copyright Andrew Barton)

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