Forge Mill Needle Museum Heritage Open Day on Sunday 9th September

Forge Mill Needle Museum Heritage Open Day on Sunday 9th September from 11am to 4pm.

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers and is entirely Free.

The event includes free entry to the whole site, tours of the Forge Mill Needle Museum and the Bordesley Abbey site by the Forge Mill volunteers, songs and music by Indigo Arts (The Violettes), the ever-popular display of motor cycles by the regional Royal Enfield Owners Club, a display of working model boats by the Little Radford Model Boat Club, free entry to the current exhibition, ’The Language of Flowers’ by well-known textile artists, Hilary Beattie and Jenny Rolf, and here will be children’s activities linked to the history of the area.

Redditch Local History Society will have a display based on our 2017 Archive exhibition and you will find us in the main Heritage Centre opposite the Museum Shop.

Refreshments are available at the Forge Mill volunteer run tea bar.

Newsletter August 2018

The latest edition of our Newsletter, Redditch Heritage Matters, has just been published. I hope you enjoy its contents. This edition, and all previous Redditch Heritage Matters, are available at the Redditch Local History Society web site at:

where you can read it on-line or download it as a pdf by clicking the appropriate icons.

Heritage Open Day – Forge Mill
On Sunday 9th September the Friends Of Forge Mill will be hosting the annual Heritage Open Day at Forge Mill from 11:00am ‘til 4:00pm  The Society will have a display there and we hope as many members as possible will support the event.

Band Stand Event
On Saturday 15th September there is a Band Stand Event on Church Green from 12:00 ‘til 16:00 . The Society will have a stand there and we hope as many members as possible will support the event.

Moons Moat Community Fun Day
The Moons Moat Conservation Group are organising a Community Fun Day on Saturday 22nd September at the Moat site. We are looking for volunteers to man the RLHS stand that day.  If you can help, even for just a couple of hours, please contact me.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on the 10th September 2018 at 2:00pm. As usual it’s at the Oasis Christian Centre on the corner of Bromsgrove and Plymouth Roads. At this meeting Gil Barlow will give a talk entitled “The Growth of the Christian Church in Redditch in the 19th Century”.

Contributions to The Newsletter
The contributions barrel for the Newsletter is once again looking very dry.  If you have research material, photographs or memories of old Redditch we would like to share them with our members. Please send electronically if you can but we will type up handwritten documents and scan photographs if needed.


Derek Coombes, Newsletter Editor, Redditch Local History Society


Meeting held on Monday 13th August 2018

For our meeting held on Monday 13th August 2018, at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road, we had an attendance of 39 members (including 2 who joined on the day) and 6 visitors, giving an audience for the event of 45.

Today’s presentation was ‘The River Arrow – flowing through Redditch History’ and was given by, yours truly, Anthony Green, and, in this presentation, I looked at the River Arrow in terms of its importance to Redditch and how it has a story throughout the history of Britain.

Using a mixture of my own photographs and videos, aerial images and maps from Ordnance Survey, Bing and Google, and information, images and videos from numerous sources, I followed the history of the river.

Beginning 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, when the Arrow Valley was formed, we passed through the early pre-Roman period, the importance of the Roman Road, Icknield Street, the Anglo-Saxon period, the Norman invasion and the expansion of monasteries in England and the monastic landscape at Bordesley Abbey, the early industrial revolution and the rise of Redditch as the centre of the needle industry based on the water mills on the Arrow, and, finally, modern development and the establishment of the Arrow Valley Park as a ‘green space’ for Redditch residents.

Each of these topics are worth a presentation in their own right, so it was very much a descriptive overview of each aspect. However, it was well received by the audience and I was very pleased with the response.

Since the presentation was very visual, the new overhead LCD screens, which have replaced the projector at the Oasis Christian Centre, gave an excellent visual experience and were much appreciated.

The talk was followed by tea/coffee and biscuits in the adjoining room.


  • Sunday 9th September Free Entry Heritage Open Day at Forge Mill Needle Museum. The History Society will have an exhibition.
  • Saturday 15th September 12-4pm Redditch Bandstand – Community Festival.
  • Saturday 22nd September is the Moons Moat Conservation Group Community Fun Day. Are any members up for running a History Society stand?
  • We have been invited to attend this year’s Headless Cross Apple Day on Saturday 6th October. This can only happen if we have support from members.

The next meeting’s is on Monday September 10th beginning at 2.00 p.m. and is at the Oasis Christian Centre. The presentation is ‘The Growth of the Christian Church in Redditch in the 19th Century’ given by Gil Barlow.

Anthony Green – Secretary     14th August 2018