Business Conducted By The Trustees

The Minutes of the Meetings which have been maintained since the 11th August 1930 provide interesting reading, and show how frequently the same problems have recurred. The first Meeting was held on the 11th August 1930, with Sir Stanley Tubbs in the Chair. Mr. R.H. Penley was appointed Honorary Treasurer and Secretary. The Counterpart Lease dated the 28th November 1929 of the Golf Course to the Trustees of the Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club was produced and the Conveyance of the 1st January 1930 by Sir Stanley Tubbs, of the land which he had purchased on Stinchcombe Hill to the Trustees, was duly read and executed. A model form of Bye-laws was considered. These were later adopted with the approval of the Charity Commission. A discussion, which was adjourned, followed on the desirability of appointing a parking place for cars. This problem was not resolved until a Meeting held on the 10th April, 1931 when a Car Park was appointed near the Hut used by the Dursley Golf Club. At a Meeting held on the 28th December 1932 it was found that the Golf Club had committed an encroachment t on land not let to it.

On the 15th March 1933 at a Meeting with Mr. George Lister in the Chair, the proposal to erect on the Hill a permanent Memorial to Sir Stanley Tubbs' generosity was discussed. It was proposed to erect a stone seat to a design prepared by Captain Blacking, FRIBA., at or near the summit overlooking Yercombe Wood with an inscription. This was duly completed.

The inscription reads " This Seat was erected by the inhabitants of Dursley and District to perpetuate the generosity of Sir Stanley Tubbs Bt., in making this Hill and the surrounding woodlands free to the Public for ever. 185 acres of grassland and 50 acres Westfield and Sheep Path Woods. AD 1930."

The Second World War brought its own problems to open spaces, particularly through the need to increase the Nation's food production, and at a Meeting held on the 31st March 1942 Mr. George Lister was appointed to negotiate with the County War Agricultural Executive Committee and to select parts of the Hill which could be ploughed up. The Secretary was empowered to make arrangements for a tenancy with the Committee or their nominee. It was also recorded that more publicity ought to be given to the working of the Trust. At this Meeting the Trustees unanimously recorded their deep regret at the death of Sir Stanley Tubbs, and at the same time drew attention to Lady Tubbs' power to appoint new Trustees following the death of her husband. In 1947 she appointed herself and four other Trustees.

In July 1942 the erection of a Memorial Shelter on Stinchcombe Hill as a further recognition of Sir Stanley Tubbs' generosity was discussed, but this did not make much progress until 1951. Mr. F.C. Penley, who was then Secretary, was instructed to obtain tenders for building a Shelter to a design prepared by Mr. Horsfield. It was not until 1954 that the Shelter was ready for a formal opening.

Mr. Banks the Blacksmith from Westonbirt made the weather vane to Mr. Horsfield's design. Sir Percy Lister was the moving spirit behind the building and opening of the Memorial Shelter. A bronze plate records :-
"This Shelter was erected by the Trustees of Stinchcombe Hill Trust with the assistance of the Rural District Council and of the Stinchcombe Hill and Darsley Golf Clubs as a further tribute to the memory of Sir Stanley William Thbbs, Bt., who having provided facilities for these Clubs gave the land on Stinchcombe Hill in trust for the public forever.

MCMLIV

The Iron Age fort at Brakestone Point has always been well known. Standing 725 feet above sea level it commands magnificent views eloquently described in Blunt's History of Dursley and its Neighbourhood. This extends from the Malvern Hills and Gloucester in the north to the borders of Somerset and Devon in the south west as well as penetrating deep into Wales. It has been formally recorded as an Ancient Monument under the Ancient Monuments Act l9l, and this was recorded in the Minutes on the 29th February, 1951. Official enquiries about its condition are received from time to time.

From time to time the Trustees had to consider at their Meetings the provision of space for games other than golf. At the outset they endeavoured to provide sandpits for children. Boy Scouts have camped regularly at the Seven Sisters, and arrangements were made with the Club House for drawing water and use of conveniences there.

In 1953 the Dursley R.F.C. was allotted a playing area on land outside the Golf Course. In 1958 model aeroplanes appeared, which caused some consternation, as they were potentially dangerous to members of the public and to golfers. As this activity was contrary to the Bye-laws the Trustees were able to stop it before it became a problem. In 1957 an area was laid out as a Second Car Park, and this was subsequently enlarged and proved a great success. Notices were erected on the Hill and the Bye-laws were also published in the hope of keeping the general public better informed about the purpose of the Benefaction and matters dealt with by the Trustees.

At a Meeting held on the 28th February 1967 it was agreed that a handout card should be prepared which could be distributed by the Trustees to members of the public. This was designed and printed by Mr. Philip Brooke, a Trustee, and has been distributed whenever possible. Recently the Trustees have considered erecting an Orientation Table near the Car Park.

At a Meeting held on the 8th February 1965 the provision of public conveniences was discussed, but in view of the cost and the fact that at that time there was no proper water supply no scheme could be implemented. In 1977 a litter bin (later increased to 2) was provided at the Car Park, and arrangements made with the District Council for them to be emptied regularly. On the whole the two bins provided proved a success, but unfortunately birds do from time to time find the contents very interesting and scatter litter Just as freely as members of the public.

In 1972 plans were undertaken to clear the overgrown paths round the Hill, which caused consternation in some quarters, until the scars healed over.

From time to time attempts have been made to plant trees on the Hill. Mr. Shapland was interested and planted 500 in 1954, but they did not flourish, probably because of the very hot Summer of 1955. Again in 1973 50 to 60 trees were planted, but the two exceptionally hot Summers of 1975 and 1976 proved fatal to young trees.

The Conservation Volunteers helped to clear paths leading to Drakestone Point, and the Trustees also employed NACRO for the same work. Scrub has taken over in many parts of the Hill, which were formerly open ground with a close knapped turf. The cause would appear to be no more grazing by sheep or rabbits, following the introduction of Myxomatosis, coupled with a combination of a run of very mild Winters during which seedlings and saplings never stopped growing. The result, unfortunately, has been to make some of the paths difficult to use, and to deprive the public of picnic areas.

The Gloucestershire Trust for Nature Conservation carried out a survey and Mr. C.R.Cuthbert's report made in February 1977 is included in Appendix 6.

In 1980 and 1981 the Trustees had to deal with troubles from motorcyclists improperly using paths and rough ground for testing their skills and agility, and also with Hang Gliders who wanted to establish a right to fly from the top of the Hill overlooking Stancombe. The Trustees consistently refused to authorise this activity, which could easily create a nuisance to the public and golfers, and it is hoped that hang gliders have found that the area is not as suitable as they hoped.

On the 28th February 1983 Mr. J.F. Penley was appointed Secretary in succession to his Father, who retired on being appointed a Foundation Trustee.