Kingswood, South Gloucestershire


Kingswood, South Gloucestershire

infobox UK place
country = England
population= 62,679 (2001 Census)
official_name= Kingswood
latitude= 51.4710
longitude= -2.5046
os_grid_reference= ST649748
unitary_england= South Gloucestershire
lieutenancy_england= Gloucestershire
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Kingswood
post_town= BRISTOL
postcode_district = BS15
postcode_area= BS
dial_code= 0117

Kingswood is a town in South Gloucestershire, England. It is on the eastern outskirts of the city of Bristol, on the A420 road, as this main road leaves Bristol for Oxford. Kingswood is contiguous with Bristol, and although does not lie within the city limits, it acts in several capacities as a suburb of the city.

Kingswood should not be confused with the village within non metropolitan Gloucestershire, also named Kingswood. (Note however that, "prior to" the 1974 Local Government reorganisation, "both" Kingswoods were in Gloucestershire - see talk page)

In the 18th century it was a small coal mining village where George Whitefield's open-air preaching greatly influenced John Wesley in the founding of Methodism. The construction of a number of chapels, Tabernacle and schools by Whitefield, Wesley, and their associates and followers is held to be one of the factors contributing to Kingswood's growth.

History

Coal Mining

The Kingswood area first came into industrial prominence in the late 17th century, because of coal mining. Typical of these were coal fields in the Easton and Coalpit Heath/Yate areas. See [http://www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/~rstephen/livingeaston/local_history/coalmining/Kingswood.html] The coal mining history still affects the town with gardens occasionally opening up. The local MP has petitioned in Parliament for full surveys of the coal mines under the town.

Boot and shoe manufacturing

In the early period Kingswood boot factories tended to be small, family-run units relying heavily on outwork. The various parts of the boots were collected by the outworkers from the factory and made up at home, the boots being returned to the factory to be 'finished'. This type of production which was later superseded by larger, more mechanised factories better geared to mass production, such as GB Britton on Lodge Road (now closed).

Douglas Motorcycle Company

Douglas started out making drain-covers and lamp-posts but in 1907, thanks to Bedminster designer Joseph Barter, the company fitted a unique horizontal twin-cylinder engine on to a standard cycle frame. It was the start of a legend.

During World War I, the works was taken over by the government and turned out 300 motorcycles a week for the Army. When the war ended it was appointed motorcycle maker to King George V. It’s doubtful whether the stout monarch ever ventured out on a Duggie but his two sons, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of York (later George VI) certainly did.Fact|date=February 2007

The first model was a bit primitive but by 1910, Douglas had started racing. In 1912, Douglas machines took the Isle of Man TT and Grand Prix of France titles and the company’s 20 year domination of the sport had begun. By 1923, Douglas machines held 150 British and world records.Fact|date=February 2007

Kingswood Temperance Parade

For many years Kingswood was the focus of an annual temperance parade featuring musical bands and 'floats' with local children and church groups on board. The parades attracted crowds numbered in the thousands and were hugely popular. With the demise of the temperance league participants dramatically reduced. The parades, which were always held on Whit Monday, were supplemented by evening fireworks in the early 1990s and re-branded as the Kingswood Festival. At one festival the pop band Worlds Apart performed. The Whit Monday parades have now sadly stopped.

Governance

Though the town is now viewed by many as a suburb of Bristol (hence the common reference to it as Kingswood, Bristol, which is also its postal address), prior to 1974 it was in the administrative county of Gloucestershire, and Kingswood constituted an urban district within that county. In 1974, the new Bristol-based county of Avon was formed. Kingswood UD was merged with Mangotsfield UD to form a larger borough of Kingswood, within Avon. The adjacent area of Gloucestershire, renamed as Northavon, was also moved into Avon. With the breakup of Avon in 1996, Kingswood and Northavon were not returned to the administrative county of Gloucestershire but were combined in a new unitary authority of South Gloucestershire. Much of urban Kingswood remains an unparished area.

The present parliamentary constituency of Kingswood also covers a small part of Bristol. Its MP is Roger Berry.

Geography

Kingswood is largely flat, apart from the hilly parts.

Landmarks

* Church of St James, Kingswood
* Whitefield's Tabernacle, Kingswood

ee also

* Whitefield's Tabernacle, Kingswood
* Kingswood (UK Parliament constituency)
* Kingswood, Gloucestershire a village near Wotton-under-Edge
* Kingswood School
* Bristol Community Church

External links

* [http://www.southglos.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/4F9058EE-ADF6-4378-8817-21726BFE6661/0/KINGSWD.pdf Kingswood and Mangotsfield Archaeological Assessment Report 1997]
* [http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=859145&uid=570503/ Photographic Record of Kingswoods Past]
* [http://www.ten-sing.co.uk/ Kingswood Ten Sing - Youth performing arts group]


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