A visit to the Bull and Bladder in Brierley Hill for a pint of Bathams triggered a line of enquiry which revealed some fantastic Brierley Hill artwork and the story of the remarkable Gibbons family and their contribution to the town.
High summer temperatures; a feeling of injustice; heavy handed policing; insensitive politicians. Classic ingredients for public unrest. In August 1914, in Quarry Bank, hard pressed workers were outraged when shopkeepers increased food prices upon the outbreak of war. Even more so when two of the shop-keepers were local councillors. Cue the Quarry Bank Riots!
On the day war broke out the men of the Brierley Hill Territorial force were summoned by bugle to the Drill Hall in Pearson Street. Now ASDA car park. Crowds gathered at Five Ways and at the corner of Pearson Street and High Street – singing patriotic songs. This blog posting describes the events and contains the Country Express article from 1914. I found the section headed “The Departure” incredibly moving.
The second of the historic Great War documents discovered during renovation work at St Michael’s last week was the Delph Roll of Honour.
During the Great War the Delph was a very strong community in its own right. It had its own brickworks, mines, scouts, pubs (of course) and, importantly, church.
It was at the Mission Church that, on Sunday 15th June 1919, the congregation stayed behind after the evening service to consider how to commemorate Delph men who had served in the war.
An email from Rev David Hoskin last Friday asked if it would be possible to pop up to St Michael’s. The church is undergoing some restoration work thanks to local benefactor Tony Whittaker. During the work Tony’s son had come across some old documents – relating to the Great War – lying under a pile of ‘junk’ on the church balcony. The press had been called and could I go up in case my recent research on the war memorial was helpful.
It was enormously exciting to see this terrific find.
Minutes of the meeting of Community First Brierley Hill held on Tuesday 15th July 2014 at St Michael’s Church commencing at 7pm. Present David Hoskin, Peter Plant, Tim Sunter As there were only three members of the panel present the meeting was not quorate. However, in view of the fact that there were five applications […]
In and around Brierley Hill we have 3 conservation areas, 2 scheduled ancient monuments, 10 grade II listed buildings and 25 locally listed buildings. It is important that we protect and preserve these. I wonder can you name them?
Brierley Hill’s Great War was the theme for July’s Civic Society meeting. Progress on Brierley Hill in Bloom and opposition to the Clean Power application were on the agenda. There was good news on The Plough and Royal Brierley Crystal listed buildings.
I will be unlocking the secrets of Brierley Hill’s war memorial, telling the stories of some of the soldiers who never came home, and looking at the home front including recruitment, rationing, women’s employment, aliens and spies, the Quarry Bank riot and how to protect against Zeppelin attacks.
Plans are being drawn up to extend Brierley Hill in Bloom this autumn, building on the success of this summer’s project. An informal steering group – consisting of traders representatives, the market, the Civic Society, Stoubridge College and Dudley Council met yesterday lunchtime to plan a way forward. These are the things we’ve learnt so […]