August Newsletter

The latest edition of our newsletter is now available. This monthly newsletter contains the latest meeting report, society notices, information on the next meeting and other information related to current events.

The current edition (web optimized pdf file of about 300 KB) can be downloaded at:

http://www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk/index_htm_files/2019_1_5_August_Newsletter.pdf

A link to the current newsletters and to an archive of the earlier version can be found at:

http://www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk/newsletter.htm

Our next Meeting at the Oasis Christian Centre is on Monday 9th September beginning at 2.00 pm.

The presentation is entitled ‘A walk around Eastern Redditch using a 1903 OS map’ and is given by me, Tony Green.

The walk route is split into six sections. At the beginning of each section there is a video clip of how it looks today and this is followed by historic images of how it looked around the time of the map.

Anthony Green

Secretary, Redditch Local History Society

e-mail: anthony.green@RLHS.org.uk

 

Newsletter June 2019

The latest edition of our newsletter is now available. This monthly newsletter contains the latest meeting report, society notices, information on the next meeting and other information related to current events.

The current edition (web optimized pdf file of less than 300 KB) can be downloaded at:

http://www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk/index_htm_files/2019_1_3_June_Newsletter.pdf

This new format newsletter replaces Redditch History Matters, which was produced and distributed from August 2011 to April 2019, and contained a range of information related to the Society and the history of the area.

A link to the current newsletters and to an archive of the earlier version can be found at:

http://www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk/newsletter.htm

The Society will be at the June 15th Bandstand Event.  This is themed as a “Vintage Day” and we will be sharing the Community Gazebo with other groups and will be promoting this year’s Carnival Event being held on September 28th. Members are invited to help us promote the society or just come along and share the event.

Anthony Green

Secretary, Redditch Local History Society

e-mail: anthony.green@RLHS.org.uk

web: www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk

Meeting held on Monday 11th March 2019

For the meeting held on Monday 11th March 2019  at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road we had an attendance of 35 members and 11visitors, giving a total of 46 attendees.

For today’s talk, Mike Butler recounted the ‘Story of the Regent Motorways Coach Company’ which was founded during the 1930s in Redditch, Worcestershire by Harry Jakeman. The business prospered for many years under the stewardship of Harry, and later his son John.

Mike’s father, Les Butler, was a driver for Regent for many years and loved the job and Mike began his research as a tribute to him, but, once started he met so many nice people who worked with his father that he  was hooked! This was a story of gentler times, when a coach trip to the “seaside” or “The Villa” was an important event in people’s lives.

Mike has a wide range of material which he had put together for the presentation and he emphasised that the Company was as much about the people who worked there as well as the coaches themselves.

He took us through the early days, on to untimely death of John Jakeman in October 1965, when the business entered other hands and eventually folded in 1980.

Mike covered a wide spread of material about the Company and much more can be found at his website dedicated to Regent Motorways.  https://sites.google.com/site/regentmotorways/

Notices….

  • Our exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum this year entitled ‘Redditch Memories’ will run from Thursday 31st October to Sunday 24th November. We need your stories!
  • The programme for 2020 is currently being developed. We are looking for members willing to give a presentation.
  • Members were encouraged to be involved in the RBC Consultation on Town Centre Regeneration
  • Subscriptions for 2019/2020 season are payable after the AGM on the 8th April.

 

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 8th April at 2.00 p.m. It is our Annual General Meeting, followed by some short West Midland History films.

The AGM is an important meeting and we encourage members to attend. At the meeting we elect the officers and committee, examine the finances and decide on the future of our Society.

Anthony Green – Secretary     12 March 2019

First meeting of the year held on the 11th February 2019

We began our 2019 season (our 10th season!) on Monday 11th February 2019  at our venue at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road with an attendace of 38 members and 4 visitors, giving a total of 42 attendees.

Today’s talk was by John Cartmell and he gave a thoughful and knowledgable overview of the relationship between Family History research and Local History research.

John examined the differences and similarities and suggested that those conducting their individual research have much to learn from each other.

To summarise John’s presentation. Family History is about the history of people and usually about the familiy of the person doing the research and, as people move around, it may concern many different areas and often not the area where the researcher lives. Local History is quite the opposite. It is about place, usually the place where the researcher lives and the history of an individual is only followed where they are important to an aspect of the history of the area. However, as the research deepens there is significant overlap of the two disciplines.

John is the leader of the Redditch U3A Familiy History Interest Group and today he gave us  a very interesting presentation which gives much food for thought.

Notices….

  • Due to the sad death of Ralph Richardson, the Bordesley Abbey presentation in October will now be given by Don Vincent.
  • The 2019 Feckenham Forrester magazine is now available – we have 10 copies for sale at £3.50 (we make £1 from each sale).
  • We have had a very nice letter from Acts of Kindness to express thanks for our donation towards their Christmas project.
  • Our exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum this year, entitled ‘Redditch Memories’, will run from Thursday 31st October to Sunday 24th November. We need your stories!
  • Our presentation for our June meeting is stories of old Redditch read by members. We can find the stories – we need volunteers to read them!
  • The programme for 2020 is currently being developed. Are there members who are willing to give a 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 12th March at 2.00 p.m., and the presentation will be the ‘Story of the Regent Motorways Coach Company’ by Mike Butler

Anthony Green – Secretary     12 February 2019

Christmas Social meeting on Monday 17th December 2018

We had an enjoyable Christmas Social meeting for members and friends at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road on Monday 17th December 2018 to finish our 2018 season.

We began the meeting with a slide show by Derek of pictures from the Geoff Holmes collection which was donated to the Society in 2012.

What was unusual about this sequence of pictures was that we have not been able to identify where they were and were looking for help from the members. This was very entertaining and a number of pictures were identified.

However, some were very difficult but some, such as the picture seen here, looked easy but could not be identified. So, if you have any ideas, please let us know.

We then followed the presentation with refreshments which, of course, involved a good supply of mince pies and fancy biscuits.

After the refreshments Don and Tony gave an overview of the new 2019 meetings brochure and it was distributed to members. The details of our 2019 programme are now on our website at http://www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk/meetings.htm where you can also download a pdf version. We plan that leaflets will also be available at the Palace Theatre, Redditch Library and Forge Mill Needle Museum.

Derek then gave details on next year’s Forge Mill Exhibition ‘My Redditch Memories’ and how members can be involved. The memories can be from any period and all we ask is that you write down one or more of your memories for us to include in the exhibition. They can be sent in many different formats and more details can be found at  http://www.redditchhistorysociety.org.uk/exhibition.htm Production of the posters for the exhibition from the supplied material will be produced by the Society and the result will be an important archive for the history of the town.

During the meeting we had a raffle for some Redditch history books (organised by Pete, but as he was not able to be there, run by Don) which raised £35. To this was added a donation from Derek of £35 for a talk he gave to a local group which allowed us to donate £70 to the Christmas appeal of the  local charity Acts of Kindness https://aokuk.org.uk/ of which the Oasis Christian Centre is a major partner.

So that’s it for 2018. We have, as always, no meeting in January and so our next meeting is on February 11th, 2019 and is ‘Family History taking good ideas from one another’ given by John Cartmell at the Oasis Christian Centre beginning at 2.00pm.

Anthony Green – Secretary     18 December 2018

Meeting held on Monday 12th November 2018

For our meeting on Monday 12th November, at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road, we had an attendance of 39 members and 12 visitors, giving an audience for the event of 51.

The meetings presentation was Redditch Memories – Amusing stories read by members from the book by Arthur Newbold where he recounts stories about the town and its characters. It had illustrations by Norman Neasom.

The talk was organised by Pete Harris and the stories read by members of the Society.

Six stories were selected from the book. The shorter ones were read complete, the longer ones abridged. In running order: George Russel the carter was read by Chris Jackson, the disaster of the ‘night soil’ cart on Mount Pleasant was read by John Newey, Emma’s crisis at Callow Hill was read by Dianne Martin, Eric a big chap was read by Don Vincent, Boasters, or telling tall tales, was read by Dave Spyer and the goings on at the Unicorn ‘Tap’ entitled Saturday night at the Movies read by Graham Smith.

Illustrations from the book corresponding to the different stories were shown on the display screens.

This was a presentation quite different from our normal ‘fare’ and we were not quite sure how it would go. In reality there was nothing to worry about as it was well received by the audience and brought back many memories of the town.

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

The next meeting, and last meeting of the year, is on Monday December 17th beginning at 2.00 p.m. and is at the Oasis Christian Centre. This is our Christmas Social for members. We will have mince pies and fancy biscuits at the event and drinks will be tea and coffee. The meeting will take place in its entirety in the Reeves Room (the refreshments room). Members can bring a partner/friend.

At the meeting we have:

  • The new 2019 meetings brochure will be distributed with short presentations by those speakers who are at the meeting.
  • More details on next year’s Forge Mill Exhibition ‘Redditch Memories’ and how members who wish to contribute can be involved.
  • Films/slide show provided by Derek.

 

Anthony Green – Secretary     13 November 2018

Meeting held on Monday 8th October 2018

For our meeting on Monday 8th October, at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road, we had an attendance of 41 members and 12 visitors, giving an audience for the event of 53.

Today’s presentation is ‘‘An Eye on Needle Making’ given by David Morgan…
David began the presentation .with an introduction into the wide range of applications which require needles both in the past and today.
It was then followed by an explanation of how needles are made. Here David used pictures he had taken during school trips he had organised to Redditch factories when he was a teacher at ‘The Leys’ High School and compared these to images from the early industry in the town.
He then completed the talk with images of the wide range of needles which were made in the town and provided examples for people to see during the refreshment period.
The talk generated many questions and was well appreciated by the audience.

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

Notices….
• The society will be supporting the WW1 100 years Exhibition of the Fallen which also includes a tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. 1918- 2018. This exhibition is being mounted by Phillip Jarvis and will be held at St. Phillip’s Church, Webheath B97 5 PD. The Opening times are: 10th, 12th and 13th November 10.30 – 5pm and Sunday 11th November 12.30 – 5pm. Admission: Adults £2.00, children £1.00 which includes refreshments.
• Our exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum for 2018 is ‘History that flows through the River Arrow’ and runs from Wednesday 24th October until Sunday 25th November. Please see the Forge Mill Museum website for entry times and entry cost. The exhibition will include an original tapestry produced by Redditch Recorded in Art Group (RRTAG) and is entitled ‘’Remembered in Thread’.

The next meeting is on Monday November 12th beginning at 2.00 p.m. and is at the Oasis Christian Centre. The presentation is Redditch Memories – Amusing stories read by members and is a ‘bit’ different from our normal style of presentation. It is based on the book by Arthur Newbold where he recounts stories about the town and its characters. It has illustrations by Norman Neasom.
The talk is organised by Pete Harris and the stories are read by members of the Society. The illustrations will be shown on the display screens.

Anthony Green – Secretary 11th October 2018

Meeting held on Monday 10th September 2018

For our meeting on Monday 10th September at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road, we had an attendance of 36 members and 6 visitors, giving an audience for the event of 42.

Today’s presentation was ‘The Growth of the Christian Church in Redditch in the 19th Century’ given by one of our longstanding members, Gil Barlow.


Gil began with the importance of Bordesley Abbey and St Stephens Gatehouse Chapel and how this became the principle place of worship for the residents of the local area until 1805.
He then expanded on to the phenominal increase in non-conformist, typically Methodist, churches which were typical of industrial towns in the 19th Century.
Gil gave us many fascinating details on the differing groups involved within the Methodist church and the many local figures who were involved in their development. His presentation was well illustrated by his personal photographs and archive images.
This was the first time that Gil had given a PowerPoint presentation, but that was by no means obvious, and was very informative and fascinating introduction to this aspect of our towns history. It was much appreciated by the audience and promted many questions.

The talk was followed by tea/coffee and biscuits in the adjoining room.
Present at the meeting was Terry Meinke, the Avery Needle Case enthusiast from the USA. At the coffee meeting she was able to make a request to members for information related to her current research visit to Redditch.

Notices….
• Saturday 15th September 12-4pm Redditch Bandstand – Community Festival.
• Saturday 22nd September is the Moons Moat Conservation Group Community Fun Day. Support from members to man the stand would be appreciated.
• We have been invited to attend this year’s Headless Cross Apple Day on Saturday 6th October. Again, support from members to man the stand would be appreciated.
• Our exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum is ‘History that flows through the River Arrow’ and runs from Wednesday 24th October until Sunday 25th November.

The next meeting’s is on Monday October 8th beginning at 2.00 p.m. and is at the Oasis Christian Centre. The presentation is ‘An Eye on Needle Making’ given by David Morgan.

Anthony Green – Secretary 11th September 2018

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.

Notices….

  • 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

Meeting held on Monday 9th July 2018

For our meeting held on Monday 9th July 2018, at the Oasis Christian Centre, Plymouth Road, we had an attendance of 34 members and 13 visitors, giving an audience for the event of 47.

Today’s presentation was a selection of film of Old Redditch which was given by Derek Coombes.

Derek, who as well as Chairman, is also the Society’s archivist, gave us four films of assorted lengths related to the history of the town. These films having been digitised are now held in the society’s archives.

First was a 1 minute clip of the famous High Duty Alloys ‘Big Hammer’ at work in 1941. The thump of the hammer was well membered by anyone who lived within a few miles and it appeared that no-one worried about ‘health and safety’ at that time!

Next up was a 4 minute film which showed a craftsman making Green-heart rods at the fishing tackle manufacturer A. E. Partridge.

The third film was a 7 minute publicity film made by Redditch Development Corporation which used the ‘Reddibus’ to tour Redditch and promote the many advantages of the ‘New Town’.

The final film lasted 40 minutes and was commercially developed from old photographs and postcards   showing a wide-ranging miscellany of buildings, people, marches, fetes, events and other images dating back to the early 20th Century.

This look back at old Redditch on film was much appreciated by the audience.

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

Notices….

  • Saturday 14th July 12-4pm Redditch Bandstand – ‘local choirs and dancers along with stalls and activities’.
  • Saturday 11th August 12-4pm Redditch Bandstand – ‘free family fun’
  • Sunday 9th September Free Entry Heritage Open Day at Forge Mill Needle Museum. The History Society will have an exhibition.
  • Saturday 22nd September is the Moons Moat Conservation Group Community Fun Day. Are any members up for running a History Society stand?

The next meeting is on Monday August 13th beginning at 2.00 p.m. and is at the Oasis Christian Centre. The illustrated talk by Anthony Green is entitled. ‘The River Arrow – flowing through Redditch History.

Anthony Green – Secretary     11th July 2018