11th December 2014

A lot has happened over the last 3 months:  The Annual Event has come & gone ( very well received by all ACOUNTS), We have moved from the School evening venue for the monthly talks to the Bethel Church morning talks and we have just had our XMAS celebration which was centred on a concert/SING along with the “Bel Canto” Choir and , of course, the mince pies. A grand time was had by all.

On an upbeat note, courtesy of our Honorary President – Mr Fred Pritchard, we now have a headquarters at the Virage Tower , which we will use as a base and storage facility for our archive. Although not big enough for our talks etc. it will be ideal for research and access.  Definiteley a step in the right direction. A further meeting is in the pipeline with the Parish & District Councils about a Community Centre so watch this space.

Sadly, we have heard of the death of member Mr Alan Green who was a regular at our events  and he will be missed.

August 5th 2014

Apologies for the lateness of the latest “Bridgtonian” but it should be available for the talk on August 20th.
Into August and we are preparing for the Annual Exhibition as we speak. A database of photographs is under upgrade and should be a welcome addition to our research as it will be fully searchable. Our thanks to our own Derek Middleton and Darren Butler from our sister Society at Cheslyn Hay, along with Tony Bibb who mounts the photographs in preparation for display. After a few months away due to illness we welcome Catherine Page back to the Team, much better now.

There is no further news about our “Nomadic” existence at the moment, however, a meeting at the Bethel with County Planning Officer, Angela Grove, who gave us an UPDATE on the progress of various plans for Bridgtown, was completed with a plea from the team to keep us in mind. WATCH THIS SPACE……

July has come and gone and the talk at the school hall by Jan Burns on the 16th, was extremely informative and went down well with the reduced audience.

The “Sound of Bridgtown” concert at Bridgtown Social Club 16 th June was a great success and our thanks go to the Bridgtown Show Band and its Musical |Director, Barry Middleton and also to Elton and the bar staff at the club for their efforts and support.

There is a Coffee Afternoon at the Bethel on Thursday 5th June between 2 – 4pm. All are welcome to meet friends and CHAT about the old times and maybe give us some aid with the naming of people on photographs.
We would like to see you at our “Sound of Bridgtown” Musical Event , in collaboration with the Bridgtown Show Band, on Monday 16th June at Bridgtown Social Club, Walsall Rd. Tickets are £5.00 each (From any team member) and there are not many left. So if you enjoy good music, and maybe a sing song from the 1940’s on then …. “Come On Down “

28th May 2014

The monthly talk was the first from a new venue to us –  Bridgtown Primary School Hall. Our thanks go the School for allowing us to use it and special thanks to the caretaker Brian who provided access.The talk, given by Mr Patrick Corfield, Society member and former Councillor, about his life as a policeman. The talk was very interesting and witty and had the audience rapt.
Then Mr Smallman, another member from South Africa, gave a few anecdotes about his early life in Bridgtown.
Many thanks to both.

The next 3 evening talks are tentatively BOOKED for the School Hall.

7th May 2014

We are still short of people renewing their memberships a month into the new year. You can renew by cheque/post to the membership secretary with cheques made out to Bridgtown & District Local History Society or handed to any of the Team with your details and cash which is now £7.00 per household per annum.
The team will be at the Bethel today to carry on with the task of cataloguing the photographs we have into a database on computer which will be fully searchable and will make research much quicker. Any who wish to help are welcome. 

1st MAY 2014

The AGM, on the 30th April was a mixture of  “Good News – Bad News”. Whilst our Accounts were pretty static over the last year and our Team PERFORMANCE was good, we did suffer from the loss of the Community Centre and ill health among the Team. The Chairman’s Report is laid out below and more will be said when the minutes are available.

A.G.M. 30th APRIL 2014                    CHAIRMAN’S REPORT.

Two distinct aspects highlighted what otherwise proved to be a progressive and successful year. With membership remaining static around 120 we enjoyed well attended events throughout the summer months and the introduction of monthly Coffee Sessions provided a warm and light-hearted opportunity to introduce  outside members to our activities. The Exhibition in October reflected a lower than normal attendance, but the occasion provided the opportunity of joining with long distance members and the resultant nostalgia and good feelings. Within a few weeks however, a body blow was placed upon us. From the inception of our Society in January 2009 we were able to enjoy the excellent facilities within The Ramada Hotel complex. This, through the good offices of the Parish Council and the positive influence of Fred Pritchard.  However, in the weeks just prior to Christmas we were made aware that a FINANCIAL takeover was imminent. The outcome was such that the Parish Council and subsequently our Society were placed in an impossible financial situation, resulting in virtually immediate notice to acquire alternative premises. Such are our associations with Bethel Church and Bridgtown Primary School we were able to adjust arrangements to our programme and commence the quest to ensure more permanent facilities.
In parallel with the inevitable disruption caused, we have experienced significant indisposition of Team Members due to illness. With over 90% of our members in the “retired” capacity we are alert to the need to have adequate cover to ensure smooth administration. However, truth is we have been severely stretched and found it necessary to restructure our Team responsibilities.
So where are we now? I am confident that  with dedication the new Team formation will ensure positive continuity. Nevertheless reality demands improved FINANCES, and to this end you will be made progressively aware of efforts in this direction. Our first venture will be an Arts and Crafts Exhibition at Bethel Church on Saturday 24th May followed by a concert with Bridgtown Concert Band at Bridgtown Social Club on Monday 16th June entitled “The Sound of Bridgtown”. Both of these events will give us an opportunity to join together towards strengthening the Society.

15th APRIL 2014

No news as yet on our new premises but costs will be a major factor.
Our Fund Raising effort with the kind help of the Bridgtown Showband has now been firmed up. June 16th 2014 has been chosen at the Bridgtown Sports & Social Club, Walsall Rd, Bridgtown to begin at 7.30pm. The theme “The Music Of Bridgtown” has yet to be confirmed with the band but should include music from the two Wars and inter war years so we can all enjoy a bit of a “Yawp”. Tickets should be available from the AGM.

 14th MARCH 2014

The biggest news currently is the fact that Bridgtown Community Centre has had to close its doors permanently.  This was a sudden decision that had to be taken by the Centre Trustees.  The new owners required a commercial rent for the use of the property whereas previously it had been subsidised by Fred Pritchard.  This has meant that the society has had to change the venue for all of our monthly meetings.  The next two morning meetings are at Bethel Church and the next two evening meetings are to be held in the School Hall.  (See programme opposite).  Soon we shall be able to announce plans and venues for the rest of 2014.

Negotiations are going on with the Parish Council and a third party about acquiring a different property that would meet all the needs of our Society.  It is necessary to keep the details of this secret at the moment due to confidentiality issues.  Once we have something definite to announce we will inform members accordingly.

At our February meeting our chairman Tony Pearson explained to members why it is so important that the society needs to raise money in order to fulfil its continued development.  This is even more important now that we have lost the use of the Community Centre.

It is necessary to remind members that subscriptions for the forthcoming year become due on 1st April.  The family subscription price for 2014/2015 is £7.00.  Each subscription brings with it the 4 editions of this magazine for free.  Each magazine retails for £1.50 to non-members.

World War 1 memorabilia is needed for a display we are planning to mount at some relevant point in time.  Please search your homes to see if you have anything that you can lend to us commemorate the Great War.

We still have lots of copies of Bygone Bridgtown and Bridgtown Born & Bred and Bridgtown and Beyond for sale.  Every time we sell one of these books it is another £5.00 towards our fund raising.  Do you know somebody who would like copies of any of them?

Plans are well underway for the publication of this year’s new book which will concentrate on the Churchbridge area.  Do you have any relevant photographs that you could lend us to copy?

13th March 2014

Now is the time to collect the Annual Subscription Fees (running 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015). This year, for the first time, due to rising costs, we have had to put up the fees to £7.00 per address. Please forward your cheques ( Bridgtown & District Local History Society) to the membership secretary at the address on the Bridgtonian quarterly or in person at the events or to any of the team members and you new cards will be issued.

12th March 2014 –UPDATE

The reason for the upheaval to our events calender is due to the new owners of the Ramada complex where the Community Centre was, required a commercial rent which the Trustees decided was well beyond their means. Previous to the sale it was subsidised in part by Mr Fred Pritchard.

For that reason we have had to find temporary venues for the foreseeable future. The Community Centre Trustees along with ourselves and the Parish Council are actively seeking a new venue in the shape of  a Heritage Centre where we can all be accommodated but until then we hope you will bear with us in these awkward times.

The next two events will be at the Bethel Church. Parking will be a problem and the room is smaller then the Community Centre. The following two will be at the Bridgtown School Hall where the parking and  hall are much roomier.

Other negotiations are taking place for the future so we will keep you informed as things develop.

27th February 2014 – VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

Due to circumstances beyond our control we have to announce that the next two events (Talks by Kay Mathews on Wednesday March 19th and Patricia Boyd on Wednesday 16th April ) will now be held at the Bethel Church in Union Street and not at the Community Centre. I will post further notices as we go on.

15th February 2014

We are up to date with the “Bridgtonian” page and have the editions of the  magazine on line up to and including the Autumn edition of 2013. The current 2013 Winter edition will be introduced when the Spring 2014 edition is produced. To access the magazines, click on the blue writing as required. They are all PDF files and will open in a new window.

11th February 2014

Another month gone by. Valentines day is coming around again. Our next event at the Community Centre is on the 19thFebruary 2014  We welcome the return of Mr Michael Taylor , and “A Slip of the Pen”, come and share in stories of children’s written errors, collected over many years. Now the bad news! . Due due a rise in printing costs for the Bridgtonian and postage ( and the team’s medications) we are having to put up the membership fee to £7.00. We are also looking for temporary premises where we can hold our Archives as they are spread among the team and difficult to carry out research. I will update you more in the near future.

12th March 2014 –UPDATE

Coach Trip to Bletchley Park
A trip is being made by Cheslyn Hay & District Local History Society to  Historic Bletchley Park on Thursday 10th July 2014, where the German Codes were decrypted in World War 2. A most interesting place. There will be 2 coaches leaving from the Salem Church. High Street, Cheslyn Hay at 7.30am and the cost is £23.00 (includes coach and entrance fees) There will be a 3-4 hr guided tour then lunch (not inclusive) and a stop in Banbury for a couple of hours before returning to the Salem about 7.00pm.  Over half the places are already taken so please let me know (Bob Brevitt on 01922 414863) as soon as possible.

As the centenary of the 1914-18 war nears we are working to find whereabouts of the fallen soldiers on the War Memorial and any history of them. We have no details at all on just 6 now. They are : R.BEADLE, E.HAYNES.H.JONES, J.JONES, T LOCKET, J.MORRIS. If any of recognise or know anything of them or any of our village heroes from the WW1 Memorial  please get in touch.(Bobbrevitt @aol.com).

5th January 2014

Another year gone and another to consign to the archives. This coming year will be as busy for us as 2013. We have the centenary of the start of the Great War when so many of our menfolk went to fight for King & Country. Not a celebration, but  a remembrance of the sacrifices made by all in the face of evil. We are joining with our sister organisations locally to compile as much information about those who appear on our memorials over the next 4 to 5 years and would be glad to hear from any of you who have information or stories/anecdotes from your ancestors who were involved either at the war front or the homefront. There will be more about this through the year.

We are also continuing with our archiving of our photographic collection which is growing week by week. We are going to be concentrating on more recent pictures. A lot of us think that colour fotos are of no use to recording of history, but when you think that the boom in photos started after world war 2 and colour came in the 1960’s , its now “THE PAST” and is definatley important especially to this village where the bulk of its changes have occurred in the last 70 years or so. So if you have any photos you think may be relevant in some way, no matter how insignificant they may seem please get them to us and we will copy and return them as you wish.

The Society are producing 2 books, one for publication this year and another which will be a definitive history of the village which will take a few years to complete. The Bridgtonian and this site will keep you informed on the progress of these.

Last ,but not least, we will be striving to put on our annual exhibition and although the photographs will still be the principal items on display, we are looking to provide more diversity. If anyone has any ideas , please get in touch.

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