Rubicon Leisure Reopening

Rubicon Leisure has produced a road map to re-opening its nine facilities in the town based on the Government guidelines.

There is an article in the Redditch Standard which can be found at https://redditchstandard.co.uk/news/rubicon-leisure-putting-its-road-map-out-there-to-reopen-facilities/

Further details should be available soon at https://rubiconleisure.co.uk/

Details for Forge Mill Needle Museum can be found at https://www.forgemill.org.uk/web/hours/

Redditch History Walks

I was pleased to see that the Redditch Standard had an article with a link to the Redditch Council walks page https://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/walks which has a link to my Explore Redditch http://www.redditchwalks.org.uk/ walks site.

I have checked with ‘Site Analytics’ and in the last 30 days the site has had over 1,000 visitors, which makes the effort worthwhile and I hope that the site has proved useful in encouraging people to explore their local area.

Christmas 2020

Christmas 2020

Goodbye, and good riddance, to 2020!

I sure that everyone is looking forward to coming to the end of this extraordinary year,

Let us hope that 2021 will prove to be an improvement, after all it cannot be worse. Can it?

Meanwhile, in these difficult times, have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tony Green

Festival of Archaeology 2020

The 29th year of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology in 2020 had to take a totally new approach – but still offered hundreds more opportunities to get involved in archaeology across the UK. https://festival.archaeologyuk.org/

Part I took place in July as a digital festival, packed with online events and activities

Part II ran from 24 October – 1 November with a tagline of ‘Online and Active’.

There were some organised ‘on the ground’ events where restrictions allowed, as well as digital events and activities designed to get you away from the screen and active with archaeology.

The Festival may be over, but there is still plenty to catch up on!

Search for activities and events at. https://festival.archaeologyuk.org/find

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is the independent champion for archaeology in the UK. They speak up on behalf of their members to safeguard the future of archaeology and the historic environment and provide opportunities for everyone to participate through their partnership projects, annual Festival of Archaeology and Young Archaeologists’ Club.

https://shop.britarch.ac.uk/product-category/jointhecba

Heritage Open Days 2020

Amongst my many involvements in Redditch history, I am a volunteer at Forge Mill Needle Museum, and I organise, on behalf of the museum volunteers, our Heritage Open Day in September as part of the National ‘Heritage Open Days’ events calendar.

This has been active for many years and we have had a linked event for more than 5 years.

Heritage Open Days 2020 can be found at https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

This year, due to the current Covid19 situation, it is not possible to have a live event.

However, Heritage Open Days decided that this year’s festival should still go ahead, as virtual on-line open days.

We have followed this route and we have a ‘virtual’ Heritage Open Day at Forge Mill Museum with virtual tours of the Abbey Site and the Needle Museum, we have showcased our regular community group supporters and there are also other activities.

Unlike the live event, the Open Day will be more than one day and will run over the full Heritage Open Day period from 11th -20th September 2020.

The link can be found on the Heritage Open Days site at

https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/forge-mill-museum

Topics include:

  • Virtual guided walk around the Bordesley Abbey site
  • Virtual tour of Forge Mill Needle Museum with its working waterwheel and scouring beds
  • Online songs and music by Indigo Arts ‘lock down choir’
  • Slideshow of previous displays of motorcycles by the regional Royal Enfield Owners Club
  • Slideshow of working model boats by the Little Radford Model Boat Club
  • Slideshow of an exhibition of local art by members of the Redditch Art Circle
  • Plus ‘make your own needle maker worker’s hat’ from a newspaper, and other activities

There is a direct link to the site at http://www.hod2020.redditchmuseum.org.uk/

Anthony Green,

Redditch in the Snow – Winter 1962/63 – new book

When the snow hit Redditch, I was 19, and at the Dunlop Research Centre, near Fort Dunlop, Birmingham. Getting there was impossible, so I set out with my brother Vince to record the effect on Redditch at this time.

The winter of 1962–63, known as the Big Freeze of 1963, was one of the coldest winters on record in the United Kingdom.

Vince, at that time had a Land Rover, not a yuppie one but a real one, and we drove around the town and took photographs.

This modest book records a selection of the photographs I took with my first 35mm camera and I have added some descriptive text to give a view of the town where I grew up.

Although it is nice to wallow in nostalgia, and, despite the obvious advantages which were created by the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, a road system which was ‘fit for purpose’ and the introduction of many new businesses, it is difficult not to look back at a simpler time.

The book can be viewed at http://www.exploreredditch.org.uk/publications.htm and is the third of the, currently, five books, which I am working on.

New Publications

I am currently working on several books related to Redditch History. I am making these available as a free ‘flipbook’ or pdf download or as a printed wire loop bound book for those who want a physical copy. The prices quoted do not include p&p as I expect these to be purchased (or not) when I do a talk.

I have now published the first two of these books which are:

Redditch History Walks which is eight circular walks around Redditch ranging in length from 1 mile to 3.5 miles. There are five circular walks starting from Redditch Town Centre and three for the Arrow Valley Park. This is produced in A5 Landscape – 210mm (wide) * 148mm (high) has 38 pages with colour illustrations, the printed book (loop wire bound) is £5.00.

Essays on Redditch History which has a range of essays covering different aspects of the history of Redditch. It includes a timeline of the history of the town and one relating specifically to WW2. This is in A5 Portrait – 148mm (wide) * 210mm (high) with 110 pages with b/w illustrations the printed Book (loop wire bound) £7.00.

The books can be viewed at http://www.exploreredditch.org.uk/publications.htm

WW2 Redditch Manufacturers

I managed to complete the third of the documents produced by Redditch manufacturers showing their work during WW2 for today, VE Day.

This concerns the new factory built by BSA on the Studley Road to manufacture the BESA machine gun for the British military. They had the contract in early 1938 and began building the same year. By July 1939 they had produced the first working machine gun off the production line.

This document was produced by the BSA to mark that event and I scanned it to images about 10 years ago for a WW2 event.  I do not have an original version and so I am not sure if I have the correct page order.nevertheless, from the images I produced a PDF and, converted that to a ‘flip book’.

You can find and read these documents from Britannia Batteries, the Royal Enfield and the BSA at:

http://redditchhistory.com/publications.htm

Royal Enfield WW2 Document

I have created a new ‘flip book’ from a document produced by the Royal Enfield during WW2.

Royal Enfield had an important role to play during WW2 in producing, as well as bicycles and motorcycles, much specialised equipment . To meet the demand they established satellite factories both within and outside the local area.

I have scanned this 44 page document to produce a PDF and, finally to a ‘flip book’ which gives the appearance of a book.

I have now placed both this and the Britannia Batteries document on my Redditch History site at http://redditchhistory.com/publications.htm

WW2 Document ‘Front Line Current’ Britannia Batteries.

We are approaching 75 years since we celebrated the end of war in Europe and plans were in place to have a celebration this year. Before coronavirus, these were in place to mark the event, both in the UK and our European colleagues, and the government changed the Early May Bank Holiday to the VE weekend of the 8 May.

However, now we have other, more pressing problems to consider, and the preferred method of contact is via the internet.

I have therefore been looking at my personal archives to see what I have which may be relevant to this situation and I have some documents produced by our local manufacturers which may be of some interest.

The first of these, and the smallest file size, is a document entitled ‘Front Line Current’ from Britannia Batteries which describes the activities in WW2. I have produced this as a ‘flip-book’ which you can download at http://www.alcadhistory.org.uk/extras.htm

If you have problems with this not working as a link, and I have found a problem with the link from the smartphone version then you can view directly at http://alcadhistory.org.uk/flipbook_front_line_current/mobile.html

I have more downloads which I plan, always subject to ‘problems’, before VE Day.