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 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 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
I have been working on a document supplied to me by Jean
Asher who is 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 has 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.
With plenty of time to spare as I am self-isolating, I have
now finished this and it is now available as a downloadable pdf.
This is rather a specialist area and there will be only
limited interest, but I think that it is important that technical information
of this type should not be lost and will be available for future historians. I
have added a short history of the ‘batteries’ over this period and Jane has
produced a biography of her father.
It is a pdf file with bookmarks to all the major topics and
is best viewed with a desktop pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader rather
than a browser pdf reader.
You can download the document (pdf size 6.2 MB) from the ‘extras’
page on the website.