On the 25th October 1919 a feature in The Cheltenham Chronical and Gloucestershire Graphic, was printed to inform of an impending meeting that would be taking place on the 30th October 1919 to discuss the beginnings of a new organisation that would support the deaf people living in the area.
The meeting was brought together by The Bishop of Gloucester, the very Reverend Dr E. C. S. Gibson at his Palace and was interpreted 'in the finger and sign language'. The Rev. Vernon Jones, M. A, chaplain to the deaf of North London preached at the meeting. At the time is was believed there were approximately 200 people in the county living with deafness.
Following the meeting 'The Gloucester Diocesan Association for the Deaf and Dumb' was formed. It's purpose was to identify and serve the local deaf population; to educate and look after their spiritual needs.
By 1924 the Association had a register of 117 deaf people that it was supporting, 12 of whom were children. There was reference in a newspaper article printed in The Citizen on 20th February 1924, that it was believed the Association 'had plenty of money'. It was quickly pointed out that this was not the case. The article also reflected on the trouble the Association had on how 'to supply properly qualified workers and clergymen for work among the deaf and dumb'. There were concerns about how few people truly realised just what it was like to be deaf - even all that time ago, the Association's work focused partly on raising awareness to better deaf people's lives.
As time went on the Association continued provide a family community for it's members. In 1927 they enjoyed an outing to Clevedon, where two charabancs took the members from Gloucester for a day out by the sea.
In March 1932 an appeal was published in The Citizen for 'funds to carry on the noble work of the Gloucester Diocsean Association for the Deaf and Dumb'. The Mayor of Gloucester, Mr A. Daniels had presided an annual meeting held at the Guildhall, where concerns over the financial situation had been discussed. While the 'afflicted were doing all they could to help themselves', the organisation was seeking £1,000 to help sustain the social club enjoyed by so many of the Association's members.
Take a look at some of the features:
Come back tomorrow for more snippets from GDA's 100yr history...