What an Interesting Year This One Has Been. 2014 in Particular Has Been Full of Activity

What an Interesting Year This One Has Been. 2014 in Particular Has Been Full of Activity


What an interesting year this one has been. 2014 in particular has been full of activity with the 50thAnniversary of the Village Hall providing a fitting focus.

The Celebrations began in February, soon to be followed by another success – the Arts Festival which took us to the end of March. In June came the Scouts Carnival and recently our own Archive Road Show with many events in between.

Once again our forthcoming Programme will cover a variety of subjects as detailed on your membership card. The attention is drawn to the December event when we shall be presenting an evening of slides of old Codsall and the surrounding area. Because we expect this to be a very popular event we will be offering a free ticket to members who request one on a first come / first served basis. This could be a good reason to renew your subscription early. Please complete the accompanying form.

Our own talks began in September with a look into the rise to power of the Leweson- Gowers, Dukes of Sutherland and how they came to hold so much land in Staffordshire. In his talk in October James Bond explored the question of mediaeval villages which had disappeared. As always, he explained, there is never only one reason. He showed that for instance, plagues and epidemics were only a contributory factor to the demise of many villages.

In November Dr Simon Davies gave an excellent introduction to the magnificent Tudor building of Aston Hall, Birmingham and the part it played in the Civil War. The pre Christmas evening this Programme had the spooky theme of Ghosts and Haunted Houses. Ian Bott, who looked more like a bouncer than an historian, probably because he had been one, had some interesting tales to relate. Whether we are believers or non-believers he left in our hands.

As we all know 2014 celebrated the centenary of the Great War 1914-18. We invited Dr Andrew Lound to start the year by giving us another of his superb talks. This one was based on the role played by the firm of W & T Avery and the effect the war had on both the firm and the people who worked there. The firm went from strength to strength as the demand for weighing machines grew rapidly with demand from places like army recruitment centres to transport depots, to bombs being weighed to go on planes to name but a few.

In February Dianne Mannering skilfully took us through the intricate details of how leading families battled to gain power as the death of Edward VI approached, and the sad fate of the central figure of Lady Jane Grey.

The Nailmaker's Cottage was not an evening which sounded the most interesting. However, Mark Clifford from the Avoncroft Museum who had been a part of the project from the very beginning by the very nature of his enthusiasm made this a very enjoyable event.

The last talk was on the rise of the car industry. As an expert on this subject, and possibly the only person who has recorded where all the early cars were made, Dr Paul Collins was well informed to tell us where it had all taken place.

The Summer trip with Brian Draper was, as always, a real pleasure. We went via Worcester to Tewkesbury where many of us visited the beautiful Abbey. Then to Gloucester for a lunch stop and a chance to visit the Cathedral. From there Paul, our intrepid driver, continued to leave the main roads to visit lovely little villages on the way to Chepstow where we had our last stop before joining main roads for the journey home.

2014 was the year when our display boards were well used. The first occasion was in February for the Anniversary of the opening of the Village Hall fifty years ago. This created a lot of interest. At the invitation of the Co-Op another small display went into the Co-Op store for a few hours in May and then into the Library for a couple of weeks in July to help to publicise the coming of the ArchiveRoad Show in July. This took place on the 12th and was very successful. Joanne Terry, the Archivist, sent us the following comments from the team

We all agreed it was the best venue, best turn out, best refreshments and cakes, and nicest group of people to work with.

We made a profit of over £80 on the refreshments and this has been split between Compton Hospice and the Midland Air Ambulance.

Beating the Bounds. 2013 saw the revival of an old Codsall tradition that of Beating the Bounds last carried out in 1935. Stephen Skinner was delighted when about 30 people turned out again in 2014. About half the group completed the whole 12.3 miles of the boundary, starting from St Nicholas Church to Gunstone, Bilbrook, Wrottesley, Kingswood and back to Codsall. Most people managed a section of the walk, but a good time was had by all.

Website – Codsall & Bilbrook History Society will soon be updated with our new Programme and Newsletter

Requests for information

With the anniversary of the First World War still with us we would love to hear stories of the involvement of family members in this conflict or that of the Second World War, particularly if anyone has any details of local men and of those whose names are on our War Memorial in Codsall and Bilbrook.

Parish Registers

Newly printed this year:

Quarnford, St Paul. Baptisms 1744 -1899 Marriages 1744 – 1754 Burials 1744 1902

Stone, St Michael Part 1 1568 - 1672

If you are interested in borrowing any of these please contact Judy.


Please make your cheque for £8 per person payable to Codsall & Bilbrook History Society and return it to the Membership Secretary Mrs Margaret Dean, 162 Wood Road, Codsall, WV8 1DW.

Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope for return of your receipt.

I/we enclose a subscription of ......

Name /s……………………………………………………………………

Address ……………………………………………………………………


Postcode ……………………………..Telephone number ………………

email: ......

'OLD CODSALL ' an evening of slides of Codsall and the surrounding area.

Codsall Village Hall – Tuesday December 16th 7.45pm preceded by a short AGM.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the Interval


I /we would like to order a ticket for this event. One ticket per member on a first come basis as we cannot accommodate all our members.


Tickets will be returned in your stamped addressed envelope with your receipt

Registered Charity 503843