This page is aimed at people 'out there' who might have information to help the with queries given below.

Posted January 2018

One of our members, Michael Loftus, is writing a history of bathing facilities in Kidderminster. He has much and detailed information about the Mill Street Baths (pictured above), the Castle Road Baths and the out door (reservoir) swimming pool in Foley Park. He would very much like to get in contact with anyone who has personal memories of using the Mill St Baths that closed in 1935 or, possibly, someone who has secondary indirect reminiscences derived or derivable from elderly relatives or friends.

If you can help then please use the 'Contact us' facility and we can put you in touch with Michael. 

Posted  May 2017

Query about Short Brothers Aircraft Company in Kidderminster during the 2nd World War

Jeff James has asked if anyone has  any memories of Short Bros. when they were in Kidderminster during WW2. They were located to the offices of Victoria Carpets in Green St.

Short Bros. designed and made the 'Sunderland' flying boat and the RAF's first 4-engine bomber, the 'Stirling', before the Lancaster and Halifax came into service. Short Bros. were located in Belfast and Rochester, Kent, but due to heavy bombing, they relocated drawing office staff to Kidderminster during the latter part of 1940 and stayed for over two years.

No Stirling aircraft survive. However, 'The Stirling Project' charity is building from scratch a forward fuselage section as a memorial to this under-rated and over-shadowed aircraft. The Stirling aircraft was converted for towing gliders and played a major role in Operation 'Market Garden' and the attempt to capture Arnhem bridge.

You can use the 'Contact Us' form if you have information to share. We will either pass on the information to Jeff or put you in touch with him directly.

Posted August 2016

A query from Australia

The above sketch is taken from a book of sketches associated with the 1843  diary of Henry Brinton (1822-1857). He was the son of Henry Brinton  Senr. (1796-1857) who had initiated in 1819 the expansion the Brinton's carpet factory from small beginnings behind the old Vicarage in Vicar Street.

In 1843 Henry Brinton Junr. travelled to Australia to work for his uncle John Gardiner who the year before had set up a cattle station some 25 miles north east of the newly established town of Melbourne.  His diary contains his reflections about preparations for the voyage, the voyage and his first few months in Australia. A short extract from his diary tells of a visit to David Gardiner (brother of John): "Rode this morning to Kangaroo Park where I was warmly greeted by Uncle David & Aunt Jane. When I had time to look about we found the house (an ‘elegant’ one for the bush) beautifully situated commanding a view of a large flat & bounded on each side & in the distant with high ranges & mountains covered with timber & this is the bush. It is a glorious country. Now for seeing a little of the life.”

The 1843 diary is held by the Victoria State Library but has been transcribed by Australian Wayne Keating. Wayne has established that subsequent diaries by Brinton (until at least 1846 when he returned to England) were still in existence in the 1920s when they were in the possession of Henry Brinton of Leamington Spa.

The whereabouts of the post-1843 diaries is presently a mystery. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts that might help Wayne Keating trace the missing diaries? If you do please use the 'Contact Us' facility and someone will get back  you.


Posted 22 January 2016

A query from Tim Booth: an enthusiast with extensive knowledge of wind and water mills in the Midlands.  He has given us much advice about, and help with, mills in Kidderminster for Historic Kidderminster Project reports - some of which are 'still in progress’.

His query is:  "Do you know anything about a Kidderminster millwright called John Harris? He advertised good French millstones for sale in the Worcester Journal of April 26th 1781.”

Does anyone have anything to help Tim.  It would also be of local interest because there is the possibility that John Harris had some input into the windmills at Clensmore, Blakebrook and Spennells.


 Posted 21 April 2015

A query from Ian Garner of Whitchurch Museum about a Viper Motor cycle.

The Viper Motor Co. of Kidderminster produced the Viper motorcycle from 1919 to 1921. Can anyone provide information about this short lived company?

The query is based on the machine shown in the photograph below.

Update 27 June 2015: Roger Watkins has provided the following information abstracted from a 'Motor Cycling' magazine of 1920: Motor Cycling Viper 4 . We still have no further information about the Kidderminster firm who built the Viper 4 motor cycle.


Posted 28 December 2014

Gillian Bishop is asking if anyone has information about the family of Edward Hughes. 

She writes: "I am the great-great-granddaughter of Edward Hughes who, with his sons, were carpet manufacturers in Kidderminster from about 1851 to 1919. Whilst researching my family history I uncovered some interesting stories. For example, Edward Hughes's son Joseph Edward was married to Abraham Lincoln's chiropodist.

Unfortunately I have had less luck with Edward's father Joseph. One of Joseph's census returns records his birthplace as Coleorton in Leicestershire. I cannot find him there but there is a large Hughes family with a Joseph of the right age in Newtown Linford about ten miles from Coleorton. I would be most grateful to hear from anyone who has any information, however trivial, about Joseph senior.

My great-grandfather John William Hughes died of consumption at the family home in 1890. My grandfather, another John William, was born a month later. His mother  Annie (nee Holland) then married a clerk from Blackpool called Frederick Saunders Lewis. My grandfather was apparently sent to Canada for some years. I have not been able to trace him, his mother or his stepfather and again I would love to hear from anyone who has any information about them.

I have a great deal of information about the Hughes family and I would be glad to share it with anyone who might be interested."

You can contact Gillian by using the 'CONTACT US' page of this website.  You message will be forwarded to her.

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