After the dreadful Cholera epidemic life eventually got back to normal, and Edward Nayler's choice of local newspaper cuttings reflect this.
It is well known that Ruiton once had two windmills both using
the elevation that the ridgeway provided. After the building of the
last one (still standing) they became the Old and the New Mills.
"Trouble at mill" was certainly a description of the state of the
Sedgley windmills of the 18th & early 19th Century. Records suggest
that Ruiton millers, through the centuries, seemed to have been very
liable to bankruptcy as corn mills frequently changed hands. The mill
that stood at the junction of Mill Bank and the field path in Sedgley
is less well documented. On March 30th 1833 an owner of one of these
mills seems to have been seeking a tenant for one of our local mills.
The following advert appeared in the newspapers.
"To be let - A
substantial, well built windmill, with two pairs of French stoves and
full-sized cylinder; together with house, stable, garden and piggeries;
also a field of turf land adjoining. The above premises are situate at
Sedgley, three miles from the market towns of Wolverhampton, Dudley and
Bilston. Apply Mr. Samuel Perry on the premises."
Conjecture of which
mill is being referred to, based on the advert, is difficult as both
sites would appear to posses the surrounding space required to
accommodate the facilities. The description Sedgley does not
necessarily exclude Ruiton New mill at this stage of our history.
However, if the distances from the towns are accurate then Mill Bank
becomes the strongest contender. Interestingly the mill on Mill Bank
would itself have soon been threatened by Abel Fletcher's Steam Mill on
the east side of the High Street, (stone walls and bricked-in features
are still visible from Bilston Street) and most likely to have been
built before1850. (French Stoves were decorated room heaters, usually
with ornate legs, and possibly less popular following the defeat of the
Illustrating well the mixture of industry and agriculture of
our fascinating area is another advertisement, of July 24th 1833.
"Dibdale Iron Furnace, in the
parish of Sedgley - To be sold by auction
by Mr. Jesse Wright, on Thursday and Friday, August 1st and 2nd the
above valuable property, with large stocks of iron, tools and other
effects belonging to Edward Crockitt a bankrupt. Catalogues will be
ready for delivery on Thursday.”
Iron works too went in and out of "blast" as the trade was noted for
its fluctuations, particularly in times of peace. Wellington having
beaten Napoleon at Waterloo in June 1815, bringing the Napoleonic Wars
to an end, would in itself have hit the iron trade!
Not that the
newspapers were full of sale items. The sad and glad passages of
everyday life were faithfully recorded too.
In 1834 we learn that
"after an illness of six months Jane
Turton, daughter of Mr. T. Fereday
(Turton-Fereday) of The Quarries, Gornal had died, aged 18."
members will recall "The Quarries" as the home of the Howl family who
featured in my last book, ‘Sedgley, Coseley & The Gornals’ - pages
51 & 56, as providers of their gardens for the Kent Street
Methodist Sunday School treat. TG)
On May 7th of the same year we learn of a local marriage in London, of "Thomas Shaw Hellier, Esq. of Woodhouse, Staffordshire to Alice only child of W. Bradney Pursehouse Esq., of Penn Hall, Wolverhampton." (Woodhouse is not an error, but the correct way to say the name and what better way to describe the house in the wood? Although just a little of the ‘Wodehouse’ land is in Sedgley, the Shaw Hellier's became custodians of many of Sedgley's archives. TG)