Brierley Hill Civic Society publishes its November minutes

Graham Fisher MBE in full flow demonstrating can artefacts at the Civic Society
Graham Fisher MBE in full flow demonstrating can artefacts at the Civic Society

Minutes of the meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society held on Monday 18th November 2013 at St Michael’s Church, Brierley Hill commencing at 5.30pm. 


Geoff Attwood, Janet Attwood, Beryl Biggs, Carol Burns, Reg Burns, Joy Cooper, Stephen Dunn, Graham Fisher, Kathy Garton, Peter George, Rachel Harris, Jayne Heathcock, John Heathcock, Zafar Islam, John James, Betsy Lafferty, Tim Lee, Stephen Masters, Lorne Morrison, Maggie Norton, Ray Norton, Beryl Pritchett, Jenny Sunter, Tim Sunter, Rosemary Tomkinson, Dennis Whittaker


Apologies were received from Chris Kelly MP and Cllr Margaret Wilson

Speaker – Graham Fisher MBE

Graham Fisher addressed the meeting on the topic of “More Canals Than Venice”.

Starting by displaying canal artifacts Graham’s talk covered the early development of the canal system and narrow boats and the impact that this had on the economy at the time – the price of coal dropped by 50% one the new transport system came into play.

Driven by Telford and Brindley and supported by entrepreneurs such as Matthew Boulton the Birmingham canal was cut out to the Delph locks where, in 1769 it joined with the Stourbridge canal at the famous nine locks (now actually eight locks).

Technology which was developed for the canals, including generating electricity, addressed many of modern environmental issues.

Today the canals are serving a new purpose, serving leisure needs and providing a green environment.

Graham ended his talk by showing the society the apps he has helped to develop for the iphone and ipad.

The Society gave Graham a warm round of applause in appreciation at the end of his talk .

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record.

 Matters Arising

It was noted that our previous speaker, Miranda Dickinson, had reached the Sunday Times Best Seller list for two weeks with her novel Take A Look At Me Now

Treasurer’s Report

DW reported that the Society had £786 in the bank and £35 cash in hand comprising a £15 “float” plus £20 collection unbanked from the last meeting.

Brierley Hill in Bloom

TS updated the meeting on Brierley Hill in Bloom.  The local authority had now come back with the type of containers it would approve for use on railings in the town.  It had been decided to order 26 of these with four liners for each (two for use at any one time, two for growing the next lot of plants).  The Traders Association had agreed to meet any costs in purchasing these in addition to the budget already agreed (£5,000 – £2,500 from Community First matched by the traders).

ASDA, Birmingham Metropolitan College, the CCG and the market had all expressed their interest in taking part in the scheme.  This was being followed up.

It had been agreed to start small and then build up in successive years.  The initial project would most likely focus on the area around Five Ways radiating out.

Brierley Hill Christmas Festival

JS spoke about the final run in to the festival.  Already events were taking place such as the Christmas Fair, a Santa Run (The Santa Joggle), a Panto Trail, musical activities, a festival feast, a tea dance amongst others.

9,000 leaflets had been produced and these were being distributed at the present moment of time.  Any help with these would be much appreciated.

BP updated the meeting on the Brierley Hill Festival of Christmas Trees and asked that members spread the word.

Brierley Hill Community Forum – possible merger

TS reported that at the last meeting of the Community Forum it had been suggested that as the Society and the Forum had similar objectives it might be mutually beneficial to merge.  The Society had discussed this earlier in the year and had responded warmly.  It was agreed that the officers of the Civic Society should attend the next Forum directors meeting to talk through what issues there would be.

Information Exchange

RH updated the meeting on progress with the Church Street wall.  TS spoke about research he had been undertaking on the War Memorial.

Any Other Urgent Business

There was no other urgent business


The meeting closed at 7.30pm

One comment on “Brierley Hill Civic Society publishes its November minutes

  1. What a great idea to post the minutes of the Civic Society online as a blog post. It gives quite a different feel to records which are often only circulated and available to a few, and created for purposes of accountability. The way these minutes have been noted provide a little storytelling for a wider audience and some useful updates for those with an interest in the locality and issues. I’d love to see more practice like this, I remember a few of us encouraging it through the Dudley Community Partnership a number of years ago. We didn’t get very far in relation to minute sharing online, but we did shape some useful habits to make minutes more readable and friendly. This included using people’s names instead of their initials, and adding in links or signposts to background information or related information – which felt important when complex or specialist areas were being discussed.

    I’d love to hear more about Graham’s apps, if they are available yet. And I’m really looking forward to seeing Brierley Hill High Street full of colour when all the planting has been done in the spring/summer.

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