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 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 am involved in the one day art work and workshop at Forge
Mill on the 25th May 2019 where we explore the local landscape with
a gentle 2 hour walk with myself and artist Andrew Howe followed by a workshop.
Details can be found on the poster and from the Scour website (above)