Exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum Gallery – ‘The River Arrow flowing through Redditch History’

The last exhibition for 2018 at Forge Mill Needle Museum Gallery is entitled ‘History that flows through the River Arrow’ and runs from Wednesday 24th October until Sunday 25th November.
This Redditch Local History Society exhibition is based on the talk I gave at the RLHS meeting in August this year concerning the history of this little river and its importance to the history of the town.
Using photographs, maps, drawings and other artefacts it describes the history of the River Arrow since it came into existence at the time of the last ice age nearly 12,000 years ago.
Over the following millennia, it has seen early man, the Roman invasion, the great Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Norman Conquest, the expansion of monasteries, the Industrial Revolution, the urbanisation of the population and the development of the modern ‘New Towns’.
The exhibition includes an original tapestry produced by Redditch Recorded in Art Group (RRTAG) and is entitled ‘’Remembered in Thread’.
I have also taken the opportunity to update my three Arrow Valley walks to a new format which you can find at http://www.redditchwalks.org.uk/
Details of opening times and entry costs can be found at the Forge Mill Needle Museum web site. http://www.forgemill.org.uk/

Forge Mill Needle Museum Heritage Open Day on Sunday 9th September

Forge Mill Needle Museum have their annual free entry Heritage Open Day on Sunday 9th September from 11am to 4pm.

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers and is entirely Free. https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/forge-mill-museum
The event includes free entry to the whole site, tours of the Forge Mill Needle Museum and the Bordesley Abbey site by the Forge Mill volunteers, songs and music by Indigo Arts (ther Violettes), the ever-popular display of motor cycles by the regional Royal Enfield Owners Club, a display of working model boats by the Little Radford Model Boat Club, free entry to the current exhibition, ’The Language of Flowers’ by well-known textile artists, Hilary Beattie and Jenny Rolf, Redditch Local History Society will have a display based on their 2017 Archive exhibition and here will be children’s activities linked to the history of the area.
Refreshments are available at the Forge Mill volunteer run tea bar.

‘Deeds not Words’ – Forgotten Birmingham Suffragettes and Suffragists

‘Deeds not Words’ – Forgotten Birmingham Suffragettes and Suffragists

The importance of Birmingham and the West Midlands in the story of women’s struggle for the vote has long been forgotten.

Now West Midlands History have turned a spotlight on the stories of the women who as suffragists devoted their lives to the cause and the suffragettes whose militant acts resulted in imprisonment and, often, force-feeding.

Dr Nicola Gauld highlights the importance of their struggle and discusses more in her important new book ‘Words and Deeds: Birmingham Suffragists and Suffragettes 1832-1918’


Fulke Greville Festival 2018

The Fulke Greville Festival 2018 is a celebration of the history, poetry, music, life and legacy of Sir Fulke Greville (1554-1628), Alcester’s most famous Elizabethan figure.

As 2018 marks the 400th anniversary of his funding of Alcester Town Hall and the 390th anniversary of his death, a calendar of special events will bring to life the many cultural interests and achievements of this intriguing figure from Warwickshire’s past.

It is proposed that a series of organised events, lectures, talks and guided walks will run from Friday 28 – Sunday 30 September 2018, and be based in and around Alcester and Warwickshire, the town and county of his birth.

River Tame: Hidden history of Birmingham’s industrial river

Hidden away below Spaghetti Junction is the River Tame – the major river of the West Midlands conurbation.

Flowing from Oldbury through the Black Country and into Birmingham, some of the greatest industrial names of the region flourished along its banks. It was here that the blue bricks that typify much of the Black Country were made and munitions’ workers made bombs in the First World War; while today Jaguar, the car manufacurer, is found on a site where Spitfires were built in the Second World War.

Join historian Jenni Dixon as she guides Mike Gibbs of History West Midlands along the mysterious course of the River Tame as it crosses the region.


Update of Redditch Walks website

I have completely redesigned the Redditch Walks website, as part of my www.exploreredditch.org.uk websites, to give an improved usability and make it more suitable for small screen applications such as smart phones.
To simplify the site, I have decided to concentrate on the five walks starting at the town centre and the three walks covering the Arrow Valley park area.
For the moment the relevant walks have not been updated and some are seriously out of date since they were produced in 2010. However, I am currently working on these in a new format and design and they will be available soon and, at least, during 2018.
Walks other than the town and Arrow Valley walks which I have produced will not be updated but will still be available for download in the ‘Resources’ section. These may be out of date and are provided on an ‘as-is’ basis
I have also included the four walks produced by the Redditch Development Corporation in the 1970s in their original format and four walks around the Arrow Valley Park produced by the RDC. These are available in the ‘Resources’ section and, again, provided on an ‘as-is’ basis.
The updates to my Town (5 walks) and Arrow Valley (3 walks) will be announced in my Explore Redditch ‘blog’ when I have made significant revisions.
This is the last of my four ‘Explore Redditch’ (www.exploreredditch.org.uk) websites to be updated.
The other websites are www.redditchhistory.org.uk, www.visitredditch.org.uk, and www.alcadhistory.org.uk.
The updated Redditch Walks website can be found at www.redditchwalks.org.uk.

James Keir (1735-1820)

James Keir (1735-1820) Industrial Pioneer and Lunar Man
Among the ‘Forgotten’ players of the Industrial Revolution in the West Midlands stands James Keir. Keir was a fascinating figure – A true Renaissance man – much of whose life remains undiscovered. Today he is primarily remembered as a chemist and industrialist, but Keir was also a pioneering author, translator, geologist, metallurgist and army captain.
Researcher Kristen Schranz describes how after working at Soho Manufactory with Boulton and Watt, Keir developed the Tipton Chemical Works and the Tividale Colliery.
Read more about this industrial pioneer and innovative thinker at https://www.historywm.com/articles/james-keir-1735-1820-a-renaissance-man-of-the-industrial-revolution

Alcad History Website

I have now added my www.alcadhistory.org.uk to the group of websites which I have updated with the new software which I am now using.

This is a complete rebuild. I have simplified the site and I have added some additional information.

This is the third of my Explore Redditch www.exploreredditch.org.uk websites which I have updated and follows on from www.redditchhistory.org.uk and www.visitredditch.org.uk. There only remains my Redditch Walks site www.redditchwalks.org.uk site which needs updating.

I have already made some modifications with the previous sites I have updated due to some odd behaviour I have found, so, as always, please let me know if you experience any difficulties so that I can make any modifications which are required.

Transport Exhibition at St Philip’s Church in Webheath

Local Historian Philip Jarvis invites you to take a step back in time, at St Philip’s Church in Webheath where an exhibition will show how transport in Redditch looked in the 1950s and 1960s.
The exhibition will be open as follows:
Saturday 12th May 10.30 to 5pm
Sunday 13th May 2pm to 5pm
Monday 14th May 10.30 to 8pm.
Tuesday 15th May 10.30 to 5pm.
The exhibition will include displays and photographs of the Railways, Royal Enfield Cycles and Motorcycles, Midland Red Buses, Coaches, Garages and Emergency Vehicles. These will be shown in model form and photographs.
On Saturday 12th May at 3pm There will be a presentation of the Changing Face of the Redditch Railway showing how the railway line from Barnt Green has changed since the edition of a loop line at Alvechurch station. This will include movie clips of the steam era in Redditch.
Admission £2.00 children £1.00.
(Image: A north bound freight train going through Redditch Station in 1962 – Source: Phil Jarvis)