For our Meeting held on Monday 12th March 2018 at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road, we had an attendance of 39 members and 11 visitors, giving an adudience for the event of 50.
We began our meeting with our ‘History Society Notices’ which included the next exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum which is by the Redditch Model Railway Club celebrating their 50th anniversary. It begins on Thursday 15th March and runs until Sunday 22nd April. The club will have working layouts and models running on weekends over Easter. See the clubs website for details – http://www.redditch-mrc.com/Forge%20Mill%20Exhibition%20-%20Intoduction.htm. Also , we have a request from St David’s House that several of the tenants are interested in having some reminiscence groups. We are looking for volunteers to support this?
Today’s talk was ‘The Redditch Area in Domesday’ by celebrated local historian Ralph Richardson. Ralph, using his extensive local knowledge gave us a fascinating and entertaining introduction to the famous Domesday Book as it applied to the local area.
Ralph gave us an insight into the importance of this survey to William I (the Conquerer), how it was conducted, the information requested and how quickly and efficiently it was conducted. An interesting aspect of the survey was that Norman scribes were writing, in latin, names and details spoken by Anglo-Saxon villagers. This goes a long way to explaining how many modern names have changed so much from the original ‘old english’ names. Ralph concluded his talk by providing the meeting with copies of the Domesday reference to the Anglo-Saxon village of Ipsley and supporting those present in translating this into modern english. Using information from the Domesday record for Ipsley and Tardebigge, it would appear that the area which is now Redditch (the town did not exist before 1066) had a total population of about 300 people.
This was a fascinating talk which was much appreciated by the audience. Ralph had examples of Domesday for the area, and other information, and spent significant time discussing this after the presentation.
The talk was followed by tea/coffee and biscuits in the adjoining room.
The next Meeting of the Society will take place at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road on the 9th April at 2.00 p.m. and is the Annual General Meeting. The AGM will be followed by a talk on the Paolozzi Mosaics by Philip Roberts and Mike Butler will be showing and commentating on a film of old Redditch.
Anthony Green – Secretary 13 March 2018