The Gloucestershire Society
The Gloucestershire Society is the oldest surviving county society. Founded on 1st December 1657 by a group of fifty "Gloucestershire gentlemen that inhabit within the City of Bristol", a set of rules was established for a county charity, whose aim was to support those who are Gloucestershire born and bred and have fallen upon hard times.
Each year a President is chosen to head The Gloucestershire Society and lead the fundraising for the year. The President presides over the Committee and each summer organises the Society's annual Feast and church service.
The aims of The Gloucestershire Society in the 21st Century are fundamentally unchanged from its inception in the 17th Century. Grants are still made to the poor and needy of the old County of Gloucestershire, but nowadays the applications for support tend to come through local councils and local charities, which support those in need. Grants are handled swiftly and tend to be between £50 - £200 on average. In total some £55,000 is granted each year.
In 2018 it was decided that after five years of service, it would be good to upgrade the website to use new features to help make it stand out better than the old website. Consequently, Cotswold Websites were asked to come up with a new design using WordPress as the platform.
The new website has a freshness to it which comes from the use of parallax images, mega menus, and grids to keep the content visually simple, yet dynamic in its operation.
The homepage was designed to encompass three important messages to get across:
- Visual representations of Gloucestershire, through the top slider and the parallax image dividing the page.
- The President's message about The Gloucestershire Society.
- How to apply for grants, including a dynamic contact form to direct the enquiry to the correct person to deal with it.
The President and Committee
The President & Committee page was designed to highlight the President's annual message to the donors of The Gloucestershire Society, before going on to list the Trustees and other officials, who sit on the committee.
The Past presidents pages are, once again, a simple construction. They are intended to provide a straight-forward list of every President and Steward in The Gloucestershire Society's history, from 1657 to the present day.
Where available, the amount of money raised in each year is shown. These pages provide a good social history record of how The Gloucestershire Society was seen in each era. From the original merchants and businessmen of the first century, we see ever increasing interest and interaction from the aristocracy, through to a more generalised section of society in the modern era. These pages are therefore an important Gloucestershire historical record.
Georg Ridler's Oven
The pages covering George Ridler's Oven are another historical resource for Gloucestershire. George Ridler's Oven is the heavily dialected folk song which is sung at every Feast of The Gloucestershire Society.
The song is claimed (falsely) to contain many Royalist secrets hidden within its words, though this has proven to be a Victorian era fabrication.
The Gloucestershire Society provides grants through social services, welfare charities and other local government organisations. It does not accept direct approaches. It was a major consideration to show the current organisations it works with, to give those in need the opportunity to get in touch with an agency who can contact The Gloucestershire Society on their behalf.
The Contact page is important for any website. For The Gloucestershire Society, the Contact page needed to perform two main functions. It needed to list the contacts for both administrative and grant-giving purposes.
In addition to the list of names and numbers, there is a dynamic contact form which will direct the grant application to the correct person through the choice of a specific geographical region. The form also allows the upload and transmission of a grant application document from the agency making the application, which helps simplify the grant application process