All Saints & Christ Church / The Killer Disease

It seems that no sooner had the new Parish Church opened, at Sedgley, than the Reverend Charles Girdlestone, was celebrating the opening of a further Chapel of Ease, this one at Coseley. Thus the vicar and the Earl set about meeting the spiritual needs of the fast growing population of our parish. For in the summer of 1830 the Bishop of Lichfield preached at the consecration service at Christ Church. Christ Church and All Saints were both designed by Thomas Lee, architect. One wonders if a discount was obtained from him as it was two and not one? The cost of Christ Church was met, in part, from the fund already in hand for All Saints, which was released following the Earl's determination to pay for All Saints himself. Amongst other gifts All Saints provided the coins to lay underneath the Foundation stone. One pound eleven shillings and six pence was the sum taken from the Sedgley Churchwarden's account for this purpose.

Returning to All Saints news: The church made further headlines when on the 19th of September Change Ringing of the bells was provided. The Newspaper reported: "A true peal of Kent Treble Bob Major, consisting of 5,280 changes, was rung in 3hrs 24minutes. The peal was conducted and called by Mr. William Pugh of Stourbridge." Our next article will also provide further details of what a Kent Treble Bob Major consists of!

In the summer of 1831, less than twelve months later, an event was to make headlines of a very different character. It is thought to have begun in Sunderland, carried by returning sailors and then, reaching southwards it came to the Midlands. Locally it was in Warwick Street, near to Bilston's already polluted brook, that the first case of Asiatic Cholera was recorded, and it was to spread throughout the town and into Sedgley as far as Princes End, particularly affecting Bradley and Coseley, of the lower parish, but worst felt in the whole country it seems by Bilston itself.

The most enthusiastically reported news that Edward Naylor reports of the year 1831 was of a baptism of a Susan Anne to the Culwick family, a prominent local business family, on November 16th.

Further information relating to the sad effects of Cholera in our locality will be reported in our next issue.

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