Kidderminster Civic Society

Notices, Imminent Events and Activities

 

  Kidderminster Civic Society Events: Coming Soon

 

2020

Please note We have decided to cancel all meetings and outings from today 17th March because of issues related to the Corona Virus. This includes those listed below. 

We wish all members the best of luck over the next few months. Stay Safe!




MARCH: Tuesday 17th 7.30pm. Visit to Holy Innocents Church, Foley Park. Visit, tour,  talk and light refreshments. Car parking on site

APRIL: Tuesday 21st  6.15pm. 'A Rangers Walk at Hurcott Pools and Woods. This is a Iocal nature reserve incorporating the largest area of SSSI wet woodland in the county. Meet at Car park off Hurcott Lane.

MAY  Tuesday 19th at 7.30pm at the Museum of Carpet, Green Street. The twenty seventh Annual General Meeting of the Society.


Heather Flack has just released a new book called 

'Walking Kidderminster History'

£7.50

It is available at the Museum of Carpet or you can use the 'Contact Us' page on this website and we will put you in touch with Heather.




Our latest Historic Kidderminster Project Reports


Our most recent report was added on 4th August 2020 and is Kidderminster Town Hall commissioned by Hamish Wood for the Kidderminster Town Council and compiled by Iain Soden and Joe Prentice. Also recently Anna Wyatt has detailed the history of the buildings in Chaddesley Road (formerly Spirit Lane) Chaddesley Rd & Holmcroft Nurseries. This follows other relatively recent reports: Spennells Pool and Mill108 to 111 Coventry Street (once the Timmis Hardware shop), 'Alpine Cottages' at 100 & 101 Offmore Road, and the Anchor Inn in Worcester St: dating from before 1656 it was demolished in 1956.  'The Shrubbery' still stands in Birmingham Road although it has lost the top floor of the original building and is now a 2-storey Nursing Home. The reports about the Horsefair Tavern and that of Russell's TV & HiFi shop in Coventry Street have been revised as has that for the Butts Depot. Also new Civic Society member Mike Loftus has added a report on a property in Reservoir Road 'Highclere'. Report 733 Park Lane SW has been updated to reflect a reinterpretation of the early occupants of the 'Doll's Houses'. Finally the report related to a windmill in the area of Blakebrook and Proud Cross has been rewritten to take account of recently acquired information suggesting that the windmill was situated at the top of Mill Lane near to Proud Cross rather than where Kemp Hospice now stands. Blakebrook/ProudCross windmill

There are now 194 reports about some of the historic buildings of Kidderminster available on this website: see:   HKP: OUR COLLECTION OF BUILDING REPORTS

 

 

We would also draw your attention to a number of items 

of local historic interest available on this website.


'A COLLECTION OF OLD MAPS'

These maps range in date from the Doharty plan of 1753 to the 1:500 1883 OS maps.  

The most recent additions have been the Parliamentary Polling District map of 1868



and a pair of maps drawn in 1870 related to an imminent Sewerage scheme.



These maps, to an extent, fill in the gap between the Broadfield 1859 plan and the 1883 OS maps. 

Have a look at the whole map collection that can be accessed on the OLD MAPS page.


'AN ECLECTIC COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL ITEMS'

This extensive collection of articles could well be worth your visiting. Here you will find a wide range of topics including: descriptions of past characterful residents, a variety of reminiscences, photographic collections and pure historical information such as maps of the town dated 1883 and Trade Directories from 1820.

Some examples of the more recent additions to this collection are given below:


'SUTTON PARK ROAD'


Mike Loftus has produced a detailed account of the development of this residential street, and pulls no punches in describing the wheeling and dealing that, from time to time, was involved.

SUTTON PARK ROAD



'WHO WAS RICHARD EVE'


The above is on of the panels on Richard Eve's memorial monument that stands in Brinton Park. If you would like to know more about him then click this link:

Richards Eve




'KIDDERMINSTER AND ITS BORDERLAND.'

This historical account of Kidderminster was published in 1936 by Mr I L Wedley. It covers a lot of ground and, as well as dealing with the origin and development of Kidderminster, includes much detail about Churches, Friendly Societies, and social life; and is particularly informative about the development of music in the town.

Kidderminster and its Borderland



'WILLIAM WHEELER'

and his Brush with the Law


During a Weavers' strike in 1884 William Wheeler appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffered 2 months hard labour at Worcester Gaol for offences that everyone except the Magistrates and the Birmingham police considered him 'not guilty'. You can make your own mind up on this by reading the of the associated disturbances as told in the press at the time:

Weavers' Strike 1884



William Edward Wadely was organist and choirmaster at St John's Church in Kidderminster for 66 years. He was a friend of Sir Edward Elgar and had been a fellow student with him. William died 'in harness' in 1943 and the obituary published by the Kidderminster Shuttle describes much of his life and career as well as the funeral.

Shuttle Obituary


The Great Wall of Kidderminster is the impressive retaining wall that runs alongthe Ring Road between the Comberton Hill and Worcester Road junctions. The story of this uniquely decorated piece of artwork in concrete is told by Mike Loftus and can be accessed via the link below. We think this stunning example of public art designed by William Mitchell is worthy of national recognition, and we are in the process of applying to have it entered on the 'National Heritage List' for England.

Great Wall of Kidderminster


George Edward Roberts was member of a family which ran a Drapers business in the Bull Ring in the 19th century. He was also a keen Geologist and local historian and wrote extensively about Kidderminster and its environs. Some of his works can be discovered via our 'An Eclectic Collection of Historical Items' page. 


In 1853 he collected together proverbs and other historical information into a hand-written notebook that he called 'A compendium of Proverbs', a transcription of which can be viewed via the link below.

The collection ends with a Riddle to which the answer has not been given. Feel free to solve the riddle but we are afraid that Prizes are not being offered for correct solutions.

Compendium of Proverbs




The Rev Treadwell R Nash published his History of Worcestershire in 1781. A second edition appeared in 1799. A transcript of the section related to Kidderminster can be viewed here: 

Nash Kidderminster



In 1945 whilst the VJ celebrations were in progress the old wooden police traffic pulpit in High Street disappeared. Here you can read about how that happened.

We do not have a photograph of the wooden pulpit but we do of its concrete successor.

Wooden traffic pulpit


 


The Foundation of the old Kidderminster Free Library demolished in 1992 has survived in the Council's Green Street depot. The link below will take you to the story of this find by Mike Loftus.


 

In 1916 a Zeppelin raider on its way to Halesowen dropped a bomb whilst over Kidderminster. The bomb did not explode and remained undiscovered for many years. The bomb was subsequently discovered accidentally in 1939 but seemingly not reported locally until this Kidderminster Shuttle article appeared in 1945.

Zeppelin bomb raid on Kidderminster



Getting into the Swim by Mike Loftus. Some us will remember the swimming pool in Castle Road and many will have received swimming lessons there as well as going to Dances or to see the Wrestling. There may even be a few that remember taking the plunge in the outdoor pool in the old Reservoir in Foley Park. However, it is doubtful if anyone will remember swimming in the indoor pool in Mill Street until someone gets in touch to prove us wrong!Sir

Well you can read all about the history of bathing facilities in Kidderminster in this account put together by Mike Loftus. A captivating detailed story of a piece of Kidderminster's past that seems to have slipped by without the tale having previously been told. 

Getting into the Swim



Sir Herbert Smith, Bart. founder of Carpet Trades Ltd. in 1919 was a particulalry successful and formidable business man in the town. He died in 1943 and the link below will lead you to a transcription of his obituary published in the Kidderminster Times on 17th July of that year.

Smith obituary




The Old Carolians who died in the Second World War are remembered on awooden Plaque that was once found the old King Charles I Grammar School hall wall but is now at the King Charles I School, Comberton Road. An account describing the backgrounds and achievements of the men whose names are inscribed in gold lettering on this plaque can be found at:

Old Carolians who died in WW2


 

Daniel Wagstaff Goodwin moved to Kidderminster from Holt in 1884 when he purchased the long established flour mill 'Town Mills' in Mill Street. He converted the mill from water to steam driven mechanisms and developed the business into a thriving concern. He became a Magistrate, served twice as Mayor and was a generous benefactor to the town. He donated land and money for the College of Arts & Science and the Library and built a Fountain for public use at Blakebrook close to his house 'The Elms'. None of these buildings survive. 

A group of his descendants visited Kidderminster on 4th October 2018 and we helped frame their itinerary for them to follow in the footsteps of their ancestor as far as was possible. A tour of the Town Hall where DWG had officiated was provided by the Mayor Martin Stooke and Councillor Rose Bishop was much appreciated. 


The 'Goodwins' were also taken to see the building in Mill Street that is the only surviving part of the Town Mills complex. Sadly, unbeknownst to us, the architectural merit of the building had been diminished in 2016 by the removal  of the date bearing Gable End (1881) from the roofline; but at least here was a substantial construction with a direct connection to Daniel Wagstaff Goodwin.








                        Before 2016                                    November 2018

The group organiser, Stephanie Bryant, kindly donated to the Society a book 'Goodwin Family History' written by her father David Burrard Smith, who was a Gt Grandson of DWG. This genealogy study records the historical background of Daniel Wagstaff Goodwin and his descendant though the line of his eldest son John Rowland Goodwin. 

A digital copy of this book can be seen by following the link below:

'Goodwin Family History'



The Shenton School for Ladies

This school was run by two spinsters the Misses Sarah Charlotte Shenton in the mid-19th century. From 1830 to 1848 the school were housed at 2 Hall Street, the building shown in the photograph opposite.

Click: The Shenton School 




St George's Choir in the 1940s and 1950s. Melvyn Thompson regales us with evocative memories of the choir of that period which was so ably led by the organist and choir master Harold Evers.   

Click:  St George's Choir



Memories of Hoo Road in the 1940s and 1950s as recalled by Dave Berry. This article is concerned with a section of Hoo Road just up from Worcester Cross that disappeared from Kidderminster when the ring road was constructed in the 1970s. 



Henry Brinton in Australia 1843

 

1836 Map of Port Phillip area, NSW, Australia

 

 

Henry Brinton just 21 years of age set out on an adventurous journey to Port Phillip - a newly developing area of what was then classified as being in New South Wales, but now in the state of Victoria. Read about his voyage there, his experiences in the fledgling town of Melbourne, his work and life on a large cattle station and his exploration of the 'bush'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 









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