Mary Bodfish is a founder member of Smethwick Local History Society, and is currently the chairman. She has taught local history research and palaeography for the University of Birmingham.
The talk is entitled
We will be taken through the history of Christmas in England, a story that stretches back through the Victorians, the Tudors, and the Romans and in fact all the way to our most remote pagan ancestors.
There was a good attendance for the first meeting in our Autumn Talks series on Tuesday 9 October 2018 in Powick Parish Hall. Tom Coombe, a professional Conservation Officer with the National Trust in Devon, talked us through the problems of damage that affect all properties, and the steps undertaken by the National Trust to conserve our heritage buildings from the ravages of nature. The five main agents of destruction are Wear and Tear, Dust and Dirt, Humidity, Insects, and, perhaps surprisingly, Light. It's difficult to get the right balance with light – enough to see properly without speeding up the deterioration of valuable paintings and delicate textiles. UV filters are installed on most window panes but the most innovative measure is the setting of a “light budget” to reduce the amount of hours in a year when natural light is let into the building.
A reminder that our next meeting will be on FRIDAY 9th November, 10.00 for 10.30 in Hanley Swan Memorial Hall.
John Mason will be talking on ‘The Last Voyage of U-boat 234’.
Who would think that on the final Thursday of September we should have such excellent weather for our three hour cruise on the River Severn? Our chairman, David Ebsworth, made an inspired choice of dates as the previous Thursday had been much duller.
Our afternoon cruise on the Conway Castle started at Upton on Severn and headed north towards Worcester before returning to Upton.
More than 60 members and friends enjoyed a smooth journey on a spacious boat with good facilities. Speeding is not part of river cruising and there was ample time to enjoy the view. There was clear evidence of higher river levels and local people know that the River Severn regularly spills over on to surrounding land. Not on this occasion though as the river was benign.
It is hard to realise how important this river was historically. It would have been really busy with goods being brought down from Ironbridge and other manufacturing bases. Not much evidence of this today as just a few private vessels and boats were taking gravel downstream.
There was chance to catch up with old and new friends and enjoy the cream tea that was included with the ticket.
A message from our Chairman - David Ebsworth
You will all be deeply shocked and saddened to learn that Peter died suddenly at home late on Thursday evening
I have spoken at length with Marina who told me that Peter was fully alert and his normal bright self all day. He did not suffer in any way.
Peter will be greatly missed by very, very many people, not least those of you who knew him so well in the WMNT Centre. He was a friend to many, example to all, giving of his time and skills so generously.
It is too early to furnish further details, but for now I am sure that we would all wish to hold Marina and family in our thoughts and prayers.
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