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.
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
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.
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.
has been active for many years and we have had a linked event for more than 5
year, due to the current Covid19 situation, it is not possible to have a live
Heritage Open Days decided that this year’s festival should still go ahead, as
virtual on-line open days.
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
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.
link can be found on the Heritage Open Days site at
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
I have continued to work on the document supplied to me by Jean
Asher, the daughter of W.S. Thomson who worked at ‘The Batteries’ at Hunt End
and Union Street from 1938 to 1972. He produced a manuscript ‘Nickel-Cadmium
vented pocket plate storage batteries.’ for the publisher McGraw Hill which was
never published. Jane supplied me with a photocopy of the manuscript which I
have scanned and using OCR (Optical character recognition) converted to a Word
file and then to a PDF.
I have now gone a step further and converted the PDF into an
on-line ‘flip book’ which gives the look and feel of a ‘real’ book.
You can view this from a link on the ‘extras’ page on the