Apperly and Curtis Electrical Inovators
Posted by on January 01 1970 00:01:44
Apperly and Curtis, the once great Dudbridge Clothiers, which had started were a great inovator in the use of electricity. A power house was opened in 1912 to power machinery by electricity, although the family appear to have been using electricity for at least 25 years before, which may have been supplied by the Mill.
Sir Alfred Apperly  - Times Advert 1913Rodborough Court





Rodborough Court was built in 1888 as a new home for Alfred Apperly and his family which appears to have had electric lighting from the start. 

In December 1894 the supply at Rodborough Court was used to provide lighting for the first election of Rodborough Parish Council. This is recorded by the Tory leaning Stroud News in a sarcastic report.

"It was apparent to the most careless observer tht the first parish meeting under the Parish Councils Act was thought to be a very important affair by the Radical Party at Rodborough. The electric light installation at Rodborough Court was brought into service as an attraction. A double wire was run from the Court to the schools, and a large arc lamp swung over the centre the centre of the open square, which was brilliantly lighted up, together with the surrounding buildings and one side of the Church tower. This light served as a beacon to guide any Radical who was a stranger to the Endowed Schools and its locality." 
 
The original design of Rodborough Court when it was rebuilt in 1888 was by Alfred Bucknell, part of the long established Rodborough and Stroud family and brother of the more well known Benjamin Bucknell. The house was extended in 1899 to the design of Percy Morley Horder, who was related by marriage to Alfred Apperly

The sale particulars, when the family's private landholdings were sold off in 1923, notes that lighting was provided in the house using a supply from the Mill, suggesting that the new owner might be able to negotiate to continue this with Apperly and Curtis. It was clearly a direct current system as the property description includes an accumulator room.

In December 1894 the supply at Rodborough Court was used to provide lighting for the first election of the Parish Council. This is recorded by the Tory leaning Stroud News in a sarcastic report on the statutory first meeting at Rodborough.

"It was apparent to the most careless observer tht the first parish meeting under the Parish Councils Act was thought to be a very important affair by the Radical Party at Rodborough. The electric light installation at Rodborough Court was brought into service as an attraction. A double wire was run from the Court to the schools, and a large arc lamp swung over the centre the centre of the open square, which was brilliantly lighted up, together with the surrounding buildings and one side of the Church tower. This light served as a beacon to guide any Radical who was a stranger to the Endowed Schools and its locality." The report notes that the meeting was attended by about 250 voters.

In the period up to Sir Alfred's death and for a short period beyond the family became the dominant family in Rodborough, owning not only Rodborough Court, Stringers Farm. In 1913 a new mansion - Cotsmoor -  was built  for wastrel son Charles Apperly. Later the family bought the derilict Rodborough Manor site (which was destroyed by fire in 1906.

Cotsmoor also had lighting direct current electricity and the sale particulars in 1924 record that the property had a generator.

Cotsmoor from Selsley by Chas Townley 2006




















Chas Townley
February 2006