NEWS (March 2005): Himley Hall & Spring Round Up

March Meeting: Himley Hall - Past, Present &   Future

The Society’s next meeting takes place on Thursday 10th March 2005 at 7:30pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley.

The speaker is Alan Peace, the senior warden at Himley Hall. His entertaining illustrated presentation is full of aristocratic anecdotes and little known facts about the Hall and the attractive grounds. The talk covers ownership by the Earls of Dudley, the National Coal Board and currently Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

This is a chance to hear about the early history of the C18th Hall as well as how it has changed from a honeymoon setting for the Duke and Duchess of Kent in 1934 to a civil wedding and reception venue seventy years later.

As usual visitors are invited to come along. Individual talks cost £1.

A Vision of Britain

Tracking down statistics on population, employment, housing and so on sounds pretty dull and unrewarding. Not so - the Vision of Britain website launched in October 2004 is rapidly expanding into a major data base drawing on Census returns from 1801 to 2001.

The number crunching pops up in easy to understand displays, with explanations of terms and background notes. There are also maps and travellers tales.

It is important to check the terminology used on the site. Each location is categorised in terms of an administrative unit e.g. parish, urban district. In this way a number of lines of research can be followed.

Location searches using ‘sedgley’, ‘coseley’, ‘dudley’ or your post code open up a wealth of information under headings such as work, social class and housing. Trace Sedgley’s changing fortunes over the last two centuries – a housing boom in the 1840s, the infant mortality peak of 1891, ages at leaving full time education in 1951 – the list is endless.

Thorough navigation of the site will take some time. Try following a theme, or return time and time again, to collect snippets to build up a picture of life in the Black Country.

A quick starting point for Sedgley can be found here.

Sedgley’s Top Victorian Photo?

The street scene was snapped around 1900. The exact date is not known. The Victorian claim places the photograph before January 22nd 1901.

It is a remarkable record of an event that would have today’s animal lovers gasping in horror (although we hasten to add the photograph is not itself shocking).

Click here to view.

Winter Teaser and Autumn Answer

A superb winter scene captured in the late 1990s, by a local resident, provides our Winter photo competition.

If you think you know the area where the photo was taken drop us an e-mail.

Thumbs up to society member Paul Wakelam for spotting the location of the Autumn teaser. The answer can be found here.