5th FEBRUARY 2019

Posted by on 18 Mar 2019 | Tagged as: Home

TONY BIBB  1941 – 2019

Tony Bibb

Sadly  passed away on the 22nd January 2019. Tony suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a debilitating lung condition.

TONY WAS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY AND A TEAM MEMBER UNTIL ILL-HEALTH INTERVENED. HE SHALL BE MISSED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM AT THE SOCIETY.

R.I.P. TONY

Funeral service is at St Saviours Church, HATHERTON on Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 10:30am. Followed by cremation at Bushbury Crematorium, Underhill Lane, Wolverhampton, WV10 8NS at 11:30am
This will be followed by a wake at The Barns Huntington.

St Saviours Church, Church Lane, Hatherton, Cannock WS11 1RR
For more detail go to www.Tony-Bibb.muchloved.com

2018

Posted by on 31 Dec 2018 | Tagged as: Home

31st DECEMBER 2018

LAST DAY OF YEAR AND HOPE YOU’RE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO A
HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

A BUSY YEAR HAS PASSED, WE ARE MISSING THOSE WHO ARE NO LONGER WITH US, BUT WE HAVE (AND ARE) DOING OUR UTMOST TO HONOUR THEIR MEMORY AND CARRY ON WITH DOCUMENTING AND BRINGING THE HISTORY OF OUR VILLAGE TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE  LIVED HERE AND THOSE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO LIVE HERE NOW.

OUR OPEN DAY, ON DECEMBER 2nd, AT THE BETHEL WAS A SUCCESS, EVEN THOUGH WE HAD TO MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.THE GODS WERE AGAINST US –  THE ROADWORKS, THE WEATHER, THE PRODUCTION OF THE BOOK AND THE CHANGE OF DATE.
ALL THE REPORTS WE RECEIVED WERE GOOD AND THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO HAD NOT COME BEFORE. THE LATEST TOME OF THE “DEFINITIVE HISTORY” SOLD OVER 100 COPIES AT THE EVENT.
THEY SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FROM OURSELVES AND ALSO FROM “MARTIN’S” IN CANNOCK, “PREECES NEWSAGENTS” IN NORTH STREET AND “HOLLYBUSH GARDEN CENTRE” IN CHESLYN HAY.
THE NEXT ONE TO BE PRODUCED SHOULD BE ALL ABOUT THE “BRAG” (BRIDGTOWN RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP) ERA.

THE NEXT TALK WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY 16th JANUARY 2019 AT THE BETHEL STARTING AT 10.00am AND WILL BE FROM A MEMBER , Mr STEVE GEALE WHO WILL TALK ABOUT “STAFFORD GAOL”.
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE (at the Bethel…..not the Gaol!!)

URGENT NOTE : WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF MATERIAL FOR THE BRIDGTONIAN – SO IF ANY OF YOU HAVE ANY BRIDGTOWN RELATED HISTORY OR STORIES THEN PLEASE FORWARD THEM TO DAVID WILLIAMS OR ONE OF THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS. ANY WAY YOU WANT TO DESCRIBE THEM IS OK AS IT WILL BE EDITED BY DAVID BEFORE PUBLICATION.

16th NOVEMBER 2018

WEDNESDAY 21st NOVEMBER AT THE BETHEL CHURCH, 10.00 TO NOON WILL BE OUR NEXT SPEAKER.
KERRY FROM CANNOCK LIBRARY WILL GIVE AN INSIGHT INTO THE HISTORIC BACKGROUND OF CANNOCK TOWN.

PREPARATIONS ARE UNDERWAY FOR THE ANNUAL EVENT ON DECEMBER 2nd AT THE BETHEL CHURCH. WE WILL BE OPEN FROM 10.30 TO 2.30 AND WILL INCLUDE THE NEW BOOK LAUNCH AND  EARLY MINCE PIES.

7th OCTOBER 2018

FIRSTLY, I MUST APOLOGISE IF SOME OF YOU COULDN’T ACCESS THE SPRING 2018 WEB VERSION OF THE BRIDGTONIAN, BUT I ONLY JUST NOTICED IT WAS IN A DIFFERENT FORMAT. I HAVE NOW CHANGED IT TO THE PDF FORMAT USED BY ALL THE OTHERS.

THE ANNUAL EVENT WHICH HAS BEEN MOVED TO 2nd DECEMBER 2018 AT THE BETHEL CHURCH WILL NOW HAVE A DIFFERENT FORMAT  DUE TO THE SIZE OF THE BETHEL AND FOR THIS YEAR AT LEAST WILL INCLUDE THE XMAS FESTIVITIES AS WELL AS THE BOOK LAUNCH.

THE THEME OF THIS YEARS EVENT WILL BE “CELEBRATING BRIDGTOWN”. MORE OF THIS AFTER OUR NEXT PLANNING MEETING ON OCTOBER 3rd.

THERE WAS A DISPLAY TEAM AT THE CHESLYN HAY EXHIBITION AGAIN THIS YEAR. THANKS TO KATH PAGE, JOHN DEVEY AND BARRIE AND JEANETTE CARTWRIGHT FOR THEIR HELP.

LAST  MONTHS TALK BY BARRY PICKIN ABOUT THE REMEMBRANCE POPPY AND THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER WAS AN EVOCATIVE AND EMOTIONAL ONE  AND MANY THANKS GO TO BARRY FOR HIS GREAT TALK.

THIS MONTHS TALK, DUE TO THE CHANGE IN DATES, ON 17th OCTOBER, KATH PAGE HAS AGREED TO GIVE A PRESENTATION ON HER VISIT TO CHINA. I HOPE YOU CAN ATTEND AS IT WILL BE AN INTERESTING TOPIC.

ON ANOTHER NOTE , TWO OF THE HISTORY SOCIETY TEAM WERE INVOLVED IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION FREEDOM OF CANNOCK CHASE PARADE THROUGH HEDNESFORD ON 29th SEPTEMBER. BOB LEIGHTON AND BOB BREVITT, DONNED THEIR RESPECTIVE SERVICE BERETS TO JOIN OTHER VETERANS ALONG WITH THE RAF BAND, RAF COSFORD TRAINEES, ATC AND CCF FROM THE AREA AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL AND LORD LEIUTENANT OF STAFFORDSHIRE .

7th SEPTEMBER 2018

ANNUAL EXHIBITION 2018 – CHANGE OF DATE AND VENUE

DUE TO  UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES OVER VENUES AND THE NEW BOOK – THE ANNUAL EXHIBITION HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL 2nd DECEMBER 2018 AT THE BETHEL CHURCH.  WE HOPE TO HAVE THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE BRIDGTOWN HISTORY SERIES OF BOOKS READY FOR THAT DATE . IF YOU KNOW ANY MEMBER WHO DOESN’T HAVE WEB ACCESS PLEASE TELL THEM ABOUT THE CHANGE.

6th JULY 2018

More on the dedication of the Heritage Board and Bench at the Leighton Memorial, Union Street and the outline figures of the soldiers on guard at the Memorial.

The dedication ceremony was carried out by the Reverend Edwin Myers from the Bethel Methodist Church and the memorials were unveiled by children from the church. In attendance were the Chairman and members of the Parish and district councils along with veterans from the Royal Engineers and active servicemen from the Royal Military Police and the Territorials. After the dedications were completed all went to the Bethel where various speakers gave updates on the dedication and a service was held by Rev. Myers. Refreshments were then the order of the day.

HERITAGE BOARD NO.5 – A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRIDGTOWN

HERITAGE BOARD NO. 5   -  A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRIDGTOWN
HERITAGE BOARD NO. 5 – A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRIDGTOWN

THIS BOARD DESCRIBES THE BEGINNINGS OF BRIDGTOWN AS A VILLAGE AND THROUGH TO THE PRESENT DAY, IT’S UPS AND DOWNS AND ITS FIGHT AGAINST LOSING THE VILLAGE TO INDUSTRY WITH THE LOSS OF A GREAT SPIRIT. THAT FIGHT WAS WON AND THE LEIGHTON MEMORIAL IS PART OF THAT FIGHT. JIM LEIGHTON AND HIS IDEAS FOR AN ACTION GROUP TO TAKE ON THE “BIG BOYS” HAS BECOME A PART OF HISTORY THAT CHANGED THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY.

THE MEMORIAL BENCH AND SOLDIER OUTLINES GUARDING THE MEMORIAL

MEMORIAL BENCH
MEMORIAL BENCH

The memorial bench was commissioned and installed by the Bridgtown Parish Council, a memorial to those in village who fought and died for their country and commemorating the ending of the Great War  100 years ago.

“SPIRIT OF SOLDIERS” STANDING GUARD OVER THE MEMORIAL IN PERPETUITY.

THE SOLDIER "GHOSTS" STANDING GUARD OVER THE MEMORIAL IN PERPETUITY.
THE SOLDIER “GHOSTS” STANDING GUARD OVER THE MEMORIAL IN PERPETUITY.

AGAIN THESE WERE COMMISSIONED BY THE PARISH COUNCIL AND STAND AS A REMINDER THAT THE MEMORIAL IS A SACRED PLACE AND THAT THE WAR BROUGHT TOGETHER PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT NORMALLY INTEGRATE. THESE OUTLINES DEPICTING THE SPIRIT  OF THE SOLDIERS ARE WATCHING OUT FOR THEIR COLLEAGUES AS THEY WOULD HAVE DONE IN LIFE. A POIGNANT AND APT  COMMEMORATIVE .

SOLDIER FIGURES STANDING GUARD AT MEMORIAL 1

4th JULY 2018

4th JULY 2018

There will be an informal coffee morning Wednesday 4th July at the Bethel. Please come and have a coffee a chat with friends, Old & New, or if you have any stories or questions about Bridgtown and its surrounding area there will be members of the society on hand to help. There is no agenda here, just a meeting of like minded folk who like a chat.  Refreshments will be provided.

24th JUNE 2018

There was a dedication at Leighton Memorial Garden of the latest Heritage Board and a new Memorial bench. More later.

20th JUNE 2018

The visit of the relatives of Ma Pardoe, a legend in the brewing business in the Black Country, made for a fantastic talk on the history of Ma Pardoe AKA Doris Clare Jones from her roots in Bridgtown to her “Old Swan” Pub & Brewery in Netherton, Dudley. After the talk we went to the house on the corner of North Street and Church Street where Ma Pardoe was born and it was noted how it has not changed much since their day.

5th JUNE 2018

“THE BRIDGTONIAN” PAGES HAVE NOW BEEN BROUGHT UP TO DATE . WE NOW HAVE A FULL SET OF ALL THOSE PRODUCED BETWEEN SUMMER 2012 & WINTER 2017 .   YOU CAN READ THEM BY CLICKING ON THE COLOURED BRIDGTONIANS.

“THE HERITAGE TRAIL” IS ALSO CURRENT AND GIVES PICTURES , LOCATION AND SOME OF ITS CONTENTS.

27th MAY 2018

Before you start shouting at the screen (or me), we have included in our pages a statement about the new data protection rules that came into use on May 25th 2018(just like every other website you’ve been on). If you would like to read our policy for data protection just follow instructions on the policy page. Any queries should be forwarded to myself at : bobbrevitt@aol.com

We have had a quiet month with the books selling slowly and membership rising to 56. We could still do with more members Old & New to sign up. We are in the process of collating articles for the next Volume of the Definitive History and looking for interesting speakers to fill the monthly talk slot which is nearly filled for the next year. Next speaker is our own Derrick Middleton continuing his“Streets of Bridgtown” Talks. This talk, however, will include the story of a “Black Country” legend –“Ma Pardoe” who was born on the village and went on to run pubs and brewery in the Black Country.(see events page)

NEW ZEALAND EARTHQUAKES

The May talk by Graham Bowman about the New Zealand Earthquakes went down well and was well attended. Even though the talk wasn’t local or strictly history it gave a view of New Zealand after the quakes that few of us realised. Graham was there 2 years after the destructive quakes and rather than talking about the materialistic demolition it was more the effect on local life. His film show was well constructed and he gave a clear talk with it. Thank you Graham, your talk gave us food for thought.

26th APRIL 2018

In the last week or so I have received letters from our outlying members updating their memberships and supplying more information.
Mrs Rosemary Smart from Devon has spotted an error by myself where I incorrectly gave her maiden name as “Cleeton” when it should be “Winfer”. Apologies , Rosemary, it has now been corrected.
Mr Geoffrey Morris wrote from Jersey, where he mourned the loss of David Battersby and mentioned that the article of David’s in the Bridgtonian highlighted the  two Whitehouse Headmistresses at Bridgtown School who were Great Aunts of Geoffrey’s with Mabel being the first and Millicent next. He also sent a photocopy of a photo of St. Peters Church Choir  taken for the Harvest Festival in 1957 or 1958. He has also provided names where he remembers them. It’s great to have pictures – but to have written information to go with them brings them to life along with the people on them. These are the items we can archive and preserve for later generations.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND BOOK SALES

Our Annual General Meeting takes place on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 at 10.00am at the Bethel as shown below and we hope you can come and show your support for us in the coming year. The family of David Battersby have kindly given us a lot of David’s research notes and articles he collected over the years appertaining to the history of the local area and this year will see us archiving that material. It does include a lot of Cannock history and we would like any of you with Cannock roots  to help with that archiving.
After the AGM there will be a talk by John Devey who wrote the first of the Bridgtown Definitive history volumes about the First World  War and its effects .
The books will go on sale at 12.00pm until 2.00pm and a buffet lunch will be available.

IT IS RENEWAL TIME FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS. THE PRICE IS REMAINING AT £7.00 PER HOUSEHOLD.

PAYMENTS CAN BE MADE BY CASH OR CHEQUE (to BRIDGTOWN & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY) or by POST(CHEQUE ONLY PLEASE) TO BOB BREVITT, 4 WINDSOR RD, CHESLYN HAY, WALSALL, WEST MIDS, WS6 7EN

19th APRIL 2018

WEDNESDAY MAY 2nd AT BETHEL CHURCH
COMMENCING at 10.00am :

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

APPROX. 10:30am JOHN DEVEY will give a presentation on the 1st book of the Definitive History Series ” World War 1″.

After the presentation the books will go on sale 12.00pm until 2.00pm when a buffet lunch will be available.

ALL ARE VERY WELCOME

28th MARCH 2018

As you see from the “Events” page, the itinerary for the next month or so has been settled.

A COFFEE MORNING:  will be held on Wednesday 4th April at the Bethel Church from 10.00am til noon. It will be an informal affair and we hope you will try to attend and meet and chat to old friends, work colleagues and fellow Bridgtonians. Light refreshments will be available as will members of the “Team” to assist in any queries you may have. These mornings will be an ongoing thing if they attract enough people. (We hope to have them every month replacing our more formal Team meetings 2 months every quarter). Please let us know if you want a more structured event.

WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL 2018 : UNVEILING OF 4th HERITAGE TRAIL BOARD at LONGFORD HOUSE at 11.00am.
ALL THOSE WISHING TO ATTEND PLEASE BE AT THE SITE (CORNER OF WATLING STREET & WOLVERHAMPTON ROAD) BEFORE 11.00am.
REFRESHMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE AFTERWARDS AT THE LONGFORD HOUSE FACILITY.

16th MARCH 2018

After a busy meeting it was decided to reduce the Team Meetings to 1 every 3 months and use the interim times as more informal coffee mornings at which everyone could be involved and we believe more could be achieved.
An interim programme for the next month has been tentatively made and could  change as we firm up the dates.

21st March – Normal “speaker day”at Bethel, 10.00 to noon –  Derrick Middleton with his completion of the Street history of Bridgtown.

4th April – Coffee morning at the Bethel 10.00 to noon and any final arrangements for the forthcoming events.

18th April – Unveiling  of the Longford Board. Start at 11.00 am. at Longford. Marion and Barbara Battersby will be asked to officiate . After we hope to have refreshments available at Longford House.

2nd May – Bethel, AGM and book launch. 10.00 am AGM. 10.15-10.30 am. presentation on new book and its ideals about the full story of Bridgtown. Sale of books follows. 12.30 – 2.00 pm. Buffet lunch

After the upheaval of the last month the Society Team has been discussing the future of the Society and where we go after the loss  of David Battersby. Various roles covered by David have to be taken up by the team, not least the management of the Talks and Events. His contacts were wide reaching and  we have to re-establish those contacts.  The other roles David carried out will be worked out at the AGM in May.

THURSDAY 1st MARCH 2018

A service of remembrance and celebration of the life of Mr. David Battersby was held at St. Lukes Church, Cannock. The weather was atrocious with storm Emma blowing the snow and us around. This did not put off the friends and family of David from celebrating his full and devoted life. There were over 250 in the church( a very quick headcount) as well as close family. The service was taken by David Gethin who was a great friend of David.

Tributes were given by Mr. Michael Miller  of the Rotary Club, Mr. John Devey of the Bridgtown History Society and Mrs Chris Shaw of the Stafford Bee Keepers association. All showed how Davids dedication to his various interests was total.

The Family Tributes  were both emotional and poignant and gave an insight into Davids family life to which he was also dedicated and his sense of fun and humour.

David was unique. He was a gentleman who stood by his principles and put 100% into all he did. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Bob Brevitt ( admin)  

SUNDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2018

2017

Posted by on 31 Dec 2017 | Tagged as: Home

24th SEPTEMBER 2017

It is with great regret that we report the passing of Mr Willi Schaefer, a long standing member of the Society, on September 8th 2017. He worked at Elliot & Lucas for many years  including as a Director.
His funeral will be at Bushbury Crematorium, West Chapel  at 3,00pm on 27th September 2017.

11th AUGUST 2017

I MUST APOLOGISE FOR THE UPHEAVAL, BUT THE NEXT TALK ON 16th AUGUST 2017 WILL NOW BE HELD AT THE BETHEL CHURCH STARTING AT 10.00am. THE TALK WILL BE GIVEN BY BERYL HOLT AND IS ALL ABOUT THE GERMAN PRISON OF WAR CAMP CALLED “BROCTONLAGER”! NOT A PLACE MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT AND SHOULD BE AA EYE OPENER FOR US.

A little more information about the late Reverend Smart. His wife Rosemary was a Bridgtown girl and her maiden name was Winfer. We hope to get in touch with the family for more information.

1st AUGUST 2017

It is with great sorrow that we have to announce the passing of 2 of our members during July.

Mrs Iris Lomas – One of Bethel’s stalwarts passed away at the Stafford County Hospital on the 16th July. The Funeral will be held at the Bethel on Thursday August 4th 2017 at 12.30pm followed by Committal at Bushbury Crematorium at 13.45pm.

Rev. John Smart

The reverend John Smart, a former local vicar, has passed away at his home in Okehampton aged 80 years. He has been a staunch member of the Society since its inception. He was, for 15 years, vicar of St. Michaels Church at Brereton between 1970 and 1985. Rev. John Smart

He leaves behind wife Rosemary, two sons and two daughters.

30th May 2017
AMENDED TALK VENUE (during June & July)

Updating the events as below the talk on WEDNESDAY 21st JUNE 2017 – PASSCHENDAELE- THE LOCAL ANGLE  by BOB BREVITT  will commence at 10.00am at BRIDGTOWN SOCIAL CLUB, WALSALL ROAD (which is where we hold the Annual Exhibition).
We have also booked the Social Club for the talk on Wednesday 19th JULY 2017 – THE CANALS UP TO CHURCHBRIDGE by DEREK DAVIES O.B.E.

The  HERITAGE SUNDAY SERVICE ON SUNDAY 11th JUNE WILL NOW BE HELD AT BRIDGTOWN PRIMARY SCHOOL from 6.00pm

26th May 2017

Please be aware that the Bethel Church will be undergoing structural repairs and will be closed from Monday 5th June 2017 for up to 8 weeks. This will disrupt our monthly talks. We are currently negotiating to move the talk and will inform everyone ASAP of the new venue for the Passchendaele Talk. The talks  in August and September could also be disrupted and the team is aware and making plans. For those who see this, could you please inform those who do not have computer access, we are contacting people by phone and email.

24th May 2107

17th May saw an interesting talk given by our own Kath Page and took the story of Bridgtown back to it roots in the bronze age to its modern layout in the 1860’s. Its interesting to note that although the Romans were walking about on the Watling Street in the 40’s a.d. It is believed that the ancient briton tribe known as the Cornovii had built trackways previous to the Romans.

1 - Roman Legionary
groma
4 - Toll House & Gate Painting

Kath scratch built a Roman surveying Tool called a Groma(above) to illustrate how the Romans built their roads so straight and indicated its use.
The toll gate system was explained and where they were in and around Bridgtown during the 17th to 19th centuries.
All in all , a very enjoyable talk.

The HERITAGE TRAIL Page is now up and our first two boards are highlighted.

011 at Walsall Rd
015 at Walsall Rd
031 Back at Bethel

April saw  the unveiling of our second Heritage Trail Board to go with the Churchbridge one. The board gives a history of the Cornelius Whitehouse “Hedgehog” works. and is situated on Walsall Road on the corner of the new housing estate built by Galliford Try Ltd.

We met up at the Bethel Church along with dignitaries from Cannock Council and Bridgtown Parish Council along with invited guests and Society members. It was standing room only in the Church as Chairman, John Devey, gave a talk on the accomplishments of the Society and thanks for help from the Councils, Galliford Try.

The gathering then went to the site where the unveiling took place.
For those who couldn’t go to the unveiling Kath Page gave a short talk on the Post Offices in Bridgtown down the years and a slide show of the Edge Tool Industry was shown and repeated on the return of the Unveilers.
Speeches by Derrick Middleton on the future installations and from the Chairwoman of Cannock Council were given and the important part started – the Buffet.

It was a well attended event and did a lot to advertise the Societies many projects and community worth.

Photographs were provided by Mr. Tony Bullock of the BDLHS

4th MAY 2017

The Annual General Meeting on 3rd May attendance from members was poor with only 1 member apart from the team in attendance. I reiterate :  ALL WERE WELCOME. IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS AS TO THE FUTURE PROJECTS OF THE SOCIETY OR HOW IT IS RUN PLEASE COME AND LET US KNOW !
We on the team are getting older and staler and new blood and ideas is urgently needed. Although these last few years have been very productive as far as projects go – The Heritage Trail, Books and Annual Events along with various money raising raffles and sales, it is getting ever more difficult to stage these events. We therefore need an injection of younger blood, especially those with  IT and computing skills to bring our projects up to date.
So if you or someone you know has time to spare and likes to delve into Social & Local History then please get in touch with one of our team or come to our Meetings, held on the first wednesday of the month, at the Bethel Church in Union Street, Bridgtown starting at 10.00am. All will be welcome.

I am launching a new page to our web site : The Heritage Trail  which will give progress reports of the Heritage Boards we are erecting around the village to let people know of Bridgtown’s Industrial and commercial past.

22nd APRIL 2017

Please be aware that our A.G.M. is on WEDNESDAY 3rd MAY 2017 at BETHEL CHURH, UNION STREET at 10.00am AND ALL ARE WELCOME. IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS AS TO THE FUTURE PROJECTS OF THE SOCIETY OR HOW IT IS RUN PLEASE COME AND LET US KNOW !

AS OF NOW OUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL BE : bridgtownhistory@hotmail.com. . IF YOU WISH TO CONTACT US PLEASE USE THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IMMEDIATELY AND DISCARD THE OLD ADDRESS. THANK YOU.

The new edition of the Bridgtonian has now been published and we are in the process of distributing it to our members. Due to some computing glitches we were unable to produce the winter 2017 version.

We are now renewing memberships. Still at £7.00 per household – it is great value for money. Please contact the membership secretary, Bob Brevitt or pay through one of the committee members or at a talk and we will get your membership up to date.

Our  March Talk was by Derrick Middleton, who gave us his usual informative history of the streets of Bridgtown. Another locally based talk to go down well with a sizeable audience.

21st FEBRUARY 2017

Once again, I must apologise for not updating the website. Since the last Update Christmas has come and gone winter has changed to spring, back to winter and now its spring again (I think).The Society has carried on and nothing momentous has occurred, but there will be an upsurge of news as the new year progresses.

Talks, photos & more 2016

Posted by on 31 Dec 2016 | Tagged as: Home

PUBLICATIONS :  BRIDGTOWN RECOLLECTIONS.

Since the last upgrade the latest book has been published. David Williams & John Devey have worked hard to produce a different type book. It still contains a good number of photographs but it focuses on the recollections of a number of former residents to illustrate how the village has changed over the years. I believe it is a good read and well worth its £6.00 price tag.

We are planning to produce a definitive history of Bridgtown and all of the team are involved in various aspects of the history.
A plan of action has been formulated and funding is being sourced. Hopefully, it will be ready for publishing around 2019.

HERITAGE WALK:

Many of you will already have seen the first of the Heritage boards outside Costa Coffee House on the ringroad. (if not! Why not?) and the second is about to be unveiled at the new housing development on Walsall Road where the Cornelius Whitehouse “Hedghog Works” was situated. Funding was kindly supplied by the site developers. Another 3 should be erected  and news about those will be forthcoming.

PHOTO ARCHIVE:

This will be a huge undertaking and we are preparing the Albums so that a comprehensive and searchable database can be developed to make research much easier. More to come with this.

TALKS :

March’s talk will be “More streets of Bridgtown” with our own Derrick Middleton. Due to problems with illness etc. further talks will be added as they become confirmed.

3rd MAY 2016

Posted by on 31 Dec 2016 | Tagged as: Home

STAFFORDSHIRE MAY DAY DISPLAY AT CANNOCK CHASE MUSEUM

On Sunday 1st May 2016 the Society, along with other Local History Groups was invited to the Staffordshire Day Exhibition at The Museum of Cannock Chase. David Battersby, Catherine Page & John Devey prepared a series of photographs and Tools from our archive denoting the Edge Tool works in Bridgtown and Bob Brevitt added an Around & About Bridgtown display. The display was completed by a selection of our Books and computer access to the Bridgtown Website. The Museum opened to the public noon til 4pm and there was a steady trickle of interest in our display. Also with us were groups from Norton Canes, Hazel Slade  and Chadsmoor and we were entertained by two medieval songsters.

BDLHS DISPLAY
BDLHS DISPLAY
BDLHS EDGE TOOL DISPLAY
BDLHS EDGE TOOL DISPLAY

BDLHS EDGE TOOL DISPLAY

WP_000187

Cath & David discuss the event with attendees from Hazel Slade and Great Wyrley
The weather played its part as the “Cloggers” and the Brass Band had to curtail their outdoor displays and go indoors. Even so there was a steady flow of people even though the event was not well advertised.

April 2016

Posted by on 14 Apr 2016 | Tagged as: Home

24th APRIL 2016

Dedication of Leighton & B.R.A.G.  Garden in North Street
Despite the inclement weather many people turned up to witness the Dedication of the garden now known as the Leighton Garden – commemorating Dora & Jim Leighton who both did much for the village and also remembering the Bridgtown Residents Action Group who helped stop the village being demolished and turned into a massive Industrial Park.

The Vicar of Bethel Church, the reverend Edwin Myers, led the dedication and there was a speech by Parish Council Chairman, Mr Eddie Smith.
Among those present was County Councillor for Bridgtown, Alison Spicer, Parish Councillors Eddie Smith & wife Sue, Maureen Freeman and John Kraujolis,  Mr Bob Leighton his wife Becky and Jim Leighton’s son representing the Leighton family and Mrs Jeanette Cartwright, representing the BRAG contingent. There was a welcome visit from  former Society Chairman and now life member Mr Tony Pearson and wife Anne. There was also a good turnout from the Society, many of whom were also present as members of the Church, former BRAG members and other groups.

Jeanette & Barry Cartwright

Members of the Parish & County Council and Mr Bob Leighton on right
Members of the Parish & County Council and Mr Bob Leighton on right
The Plaque
The Plaque

The unveiling took place and then all went to the Bethel Church where there were short speeches by Mr. Eddie Smith who read out a prepared speech from Mr. Barry Cartwright ( first Council Chairman of the Parish), Mr. John Devey for the Society and a poigniant  speech from  Mrs Peggy Greenway. There was a grand buffet laid on and the vicar gave Grace.

23rd April 2016

As some of you may know 1st July 1916 was the start of one of the hardest fought and bloodiest battles of World War 1 – “The Battle of the Somme”. In conjunction with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, there will be events and projects undertaken throughout the 141 days (the length of the battle) remembering those dark days. Here is a video by the actor, Hugh Dennis, outlining the CWGC’s propositions:

CWGC Hugh Dennis

We will keep updating this worthwhile project as things progress

April 2016

The talk at the Bethel this morning was an enlightning and amusing one given by member Mr Peter Bates who was aided and abetted by some of other well known Longfordites and a few memory jogging photographs.

A change of Telephone numbers for the Member Secretary (Bob Brevitt) has caused a few problems with the team as Bob (Me) didn’t give any notice so all thought I’d gone into the spy business. My new number for those predisposed to calling me is 01922 411942. The Contacts list has been updated.

The Bridgtonian for Spring 2016 is now out and being distributed. As membership lapsed at the end of March, we will be ceasing to send to those not renewing after this issue. So get your membership renewed ASAP as the Bridgtonian for non-members costs £1.75 .

Military History

Posted by on 14 Apr 2016 | Tagged as: Home

The War Memorial page on this site has now been updated and only a few names have no history. Anyone who could help us update those and indeed, if somebody spots any mistakes in those already updated please get in touch with  Bob Brevitt – Contact details on the Contacts page. I feel all those on the Memorial should not remain unrecognised.
Anyone with family members who were involved in Military operations – we are trying to get enough material to provide a display in the future and are in need of more photographs.

12 April 2016

Posted by on 12 Apr 2016 | Tagged as: Home

Not a great deal to note this month. Mr David Battersby has been in the wars after a fall but has bounced back and now is as good as ever – ish. The Diary for this coming year is filling up and the next 2 events are close by.
The Heritage Service at the Bethel is on sunday 17th April 2016 led by our own Sheila Jackson & John Devey and that is followed on Wednesday 20th April 2016 – 10.00am til noon at the Bethel by another local speaker, Mr Peter Bates, who will talk about his childhood stomping ground of Longford Road.

As you know we now have a base office, kindly provided by Mr Fred Pritchard, in Virage Tower and most of our photographs now have a home there where we can continue to database them. Anyone with computer skills who would like top help out with that job, we would like to hear from you. Please call one of the team (please see the contact us page ) and they will take your details and we can arrange a plan of action.

The Bridgtown Showband have once again agreed to help us out with our fundraising and a Concert billed as a “Tribute to Dora” will be held in June at the Bridgtown Sports & Social Club, Walsall Rd and we hope that many of you will support us and have a great nights entertainment to boot. The date and time will be advertised when fixed but may be Monday 13th or 20th of June 2016.

MARCH 2016

Posted by on 14 Mar 2016 | Tagged as: Home

12TH MARCH 2016

DUE TO ILLNESS, OUR SPEAKER, PETER CADMAN WILL NOT BE ABLE GIVE HIS TALK. HOWEVER, Mr BOB MEEK HAS GRACIOUSLY AGREED TO COMPLETE HIS RAMBLES DOWN NEW STREET. SO GET YOUR QUESTIONS READY FOR BOB!.
PETER WILL GIVE HIS TALK LATER IN THE YEAR.

8th March 2016

WE ARE AGAIN AT THAT TIME OF THE YEAR ….. SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL. STILL GOOD VALUE AT £7.00 PER HOUSEHOLD PER ANNUM. WE WILL START COLLECTING AT THE TALK ON THE 16th MARCH.

Last months talk by Bob Meek about New Street was well attended and appreciated . Bob gave a great account of life in New Street but by the end of the talk he had only got down one side of the road so we are bringing him back later in the year……………. To finish what he started !

The BRIDGTOWN SHOW BAND have accepted an invite as last year to play a concert at the Bridgtown Social Club. It will be on Monday 13th June and the theme for part of the night will be “A tribute to Dora Richards Leighton” who sadly passed away just before her 100th year and will be missed by all who knew her from her Dance School Days. Further information to come when finalised.

CHESLYN HAY & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society are going to ” Blenheim Palace” on Thursday 14th July 2016. Tickets are £23.00 to include Travel and All Entrance fees including the Sir Winston  Churchill Exhibition. The Coaches leave from the Salem Church, High Street, Cheslyn Hay at 08.30 am prompt and will return to the Salem about 6.00pm. If you wish to book please ring Roger Moore on 01543 372856.

24th January 2016

Posted by on 24 Jan 2016 | Tagged as: Home

Wednesday 20th January – Talk by Peter Hart : There was a full house for the talk by the Reverend Peter Hart, Vicar of Cannock about his two lives as professional footballer and Vicar. It was well received by all and the Rev. Hart enjoyed our company. We also were able to distribute our latest “winter” edition of the Bridgtonian. Although late due to unforeseen circumstances the next “Spring edition will appear as normal in March.

20th January 2016

Apologies for the lack of update information over the past 6 months. We are now about to start a new weekly update so watch this space!January’s talk is a rearranged event  with Peter Hart. The Winter Bridgtonian will be available at this event at the Bethel Chapel from 10.00am til Noon.

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