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August is a very chilled out month when nothing much happens and an indolence overtakes us all.  So it has been with me but September has kicked in and I’m ready to get going again and tell you what I’ve been up to.

Saturday 17 August I attended a Gloucester Civic Trust Tower Talk in St Michael’s Tower in Gloucester. 

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The talk was being given by Ian Holt, a member of the Trust who was very knowledgeable, particularly about the early world history of the Jewish people.  I booked this talk many months ago as it is the subject of my next book tentatively entitled, Blood Libel, beginning in 1168 in the city of Gloucester when a young boy named Harold was found murdered.  The blame was placed on the Jewish community.  Ian Holt touched on this incident and many other fascinating events in the history of the Jews in Gloucester.  They were eventually expelled from the city in 1275 by Queen Eleanor who didn’t want any Jewish people living in her Dower towns – Gloucester being one of them.  Most of the community fled to Bristol and Hereford and as far as I can tell the community never quite recovered in numbers.  When the Synagogue was built and consecrated in Cheltenham in 1839 most of the community migrated there.

After the talk, I myself ‘migrated’ over to the Guildhall Cafe to have some lunch.  This is one of my favourite places to go in Gloucester.  The food is homemade, good value and they stock local brew.

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Organic Cider from Much Marcle in Herefordshire and our very own Gloucester Gold from Gloucester Brewery.  I had a small tipple of the Golden stuff along with a homemade Leek and Mushroom pie which was flavoured with fresh herbs and was delicious.

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For anyone who is interested, the next Tower Talk is on Saturday 28 September on the history of bell-making in Gloucester.  The talk is to be given by Phil Moss.

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