General History 2019

NEW MEMBERS ALWAYS WELCOME -  please contact Caroline or Alison via the group email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are a group of enthusiastic WF&D U3A members aiming to do something a bit different from the one off talk on a subject to us all researching and sharing what we have found out and discussing it possibly over a series of meetings. The emphasis is on interesting and varied but all enjoying sharing what we know or have found out to make a bigger picture. Sometimes we may car share, use public transport or existing coach days out to access some of the places we are interested in as part of our history quest.

We are not trying to be experts but to learn together!

We meet at the Wribbenhall Community Centre, Shaw Hedge Road, Bewdley, DY12 1EU and there is parking

We have 9 proposed subject areas and group members have just started to vote on their choices for 2020

The Four front runners with the highest votes from the list of 9 so far at 14 July 2019 are: 



FRANCE TO VISIT THE HISTORIC CHATEAUX OF THE LOIRE (4 nights 5 days or 3 nights 4 days)  



Saturday 3 August 2019 - Battle of Evesham part 5 A field trip to Evesham for the annual commemoration of the Battle of Evesham  - shared cars watch this space – Immediately after the memorial wreath laying after which Clive Bostle from the Simon de Montfort Society has arranged a talk at St Lawrence’s church in Evesham to see the window to Simon de Montfort and then a tour of the battlefield with a speaker from the Battlefields Trust. The talk is free but donations to the Simon de Montfort Society would be welcome. Members can join him to go up by public bus from the church to the battlefield.  Those who do not wish to do this can remain at the Medieval Fayre in the riverside park or return there afterwards -   No meeting at Wribbenhall Community Centre on Monday 12 August 2019

Tuesday 3 September 2019 - The American Museum Day Trip with the Travel Group more details contact Caroline O'Callaghan No meeting at Wribbenhall Community Centre on Monday 9 September 2019


Monday 11 November 2019 - Anglo Saxons - Part 1
Alison Barsby is investigating a trip or speaker relating to the reconstructed Saxon Hall at Bishops Wood Centre near Stourport on Seven. It’s based on the floor plan of one excavated at West Stow in Suffolk – more information to come watch this space! We also have the Time Team Special Programme on the Staffordshire Hoard.
Monday 9 December 2019 - Anglo Saxons - Part 2 A field visit to the Staffordshire Hoard by train to Birmingham to see the exhibition of the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. Names of those interested and for more details contact Caroline O'Callaghan.

Monday 13 January 2020 - Anglo Saxons - Part 3 A talk from the ever popular Paul Harding presenting Anglo Saxon Everyday Life and Living  from 2pm to 4pm at Wribbenhall Community Centre, Shaw Hedge Road, Bewdley DY12 1EU - Entry £3 including refreshments - for more details contact Caroline O'Callaghan.


Monday 8 July 2019 -  Battle of Evesham part 4  a big thank you to  Alison Barsby for arranging a fascinating field trip to Kenilworth Castle seat of Simon de Montfort 6th Earl of Leicester. We learnt a lot achieved all but one of our study goals and had an enjoyable day!

Monday 17 June 2019 - Battle of Evesham part 3 - Alison Barsby arranged a fascinating field trip to The Almonry Museum and Heritage Centre in Evesham. The14th Century building was once home to the Almoner of the Benedictine Abbey that was founded in the 8th Century. Entrance is £3 for 65’s and £4.50 up to 64 years old. It houses an eclectic collection that spans the prehistoric to the 20th Century. Displayed over 12 rooms and a garden, the emphasis is on how Evesham has developed and grown during this time. There are exhibitions about the Abbey, the battle of Evesham in 1265, horticulture in the area, Anglo-Saxon burial treasure, 18th Century clothing and the impact of war upon this little market town.

Monday 13 May 2019THE BATTLE OF EVESHAM 1265 - PART 2 - WITH PAUL HARDING  from 2pm to 4pm at Wribbenhall Community Centre, Shaw Hedge Road, Bewdley DY12 1EU - 39 members enjoyed Paul Harding's fascinating talk about the Battle of Evesham and seeing and handling the weapons, mail, helmets and experiencing part of the battle. A lovely sunny afternoon and an interesting talk - Thank you. 

Monday 8 April 2019 - EDWARD 1 of ENGLAND & SIMON de MONTFORT 6th Earl of  Leicester & 'THE BATTLE OF EVESHAM 1265' - PART 1

2pm to 4pm at Wribbenhall Community Centre, Shaw Hedge Road, Bewdley DY12 1EU

Members research sharing Maximum 5 to 10 minutes each to allow time for questions & discussion

INTRODUCTION to our topic - Caroline O'Callaghan

Introducing KING HENRY III of ENGLAND   - Kay Pagett

An introduction to HOW THE KINGS COUNCIL FUNCTIONE  D   before Simon de Montfort’s proposals making the foundations of the modern Parliament - Lyn Grogan

Introducing ELEANOR OF ENGLAND daughter of King John and Isabella of Angouleme, and sister of King Henry III & wife of Simon de Montfort - Ann Murrell

Introducing SIMON DE MONTFORT 6th Earl of Leicester - Vincent O'Callaghan

Introducing PRINCE EDWARD then EDWARD 1 - Alison Barsby

Refreshments, discussion on our presentations followed by thoughts on our plans for the next few months meetings & speaker.

Monday 11 March 2019 - THE WORCESTER SUFFRAGETTES an illustrated talk from author LUCIENNE BOYCE

Our speaker Lucienne Boyce originates from Wolverhampton. In 2007 she gained an M.A. in English Literature with distinction from the Open University. Since then she has been writing & publishing historical fiction including her Dan Foster mysteries where Dan, a Bow Street Runner, is determined to get his man or woman! In 2016 she was joint winner of the prestigious historical novel society indie award for new historical fiction an award judged by authors & historians. Lucienne Boyce has also written a number of factual books on the Bristol suffragettes and given talks and walks on Weston-Super-Mare and the Suffragettes, the Cheltenham Suffragettes, Swindon, Wiltshire and the Suffragettes and our topic the Worcester Suffragettes. Lucienne Boyce is also a campaigner & is currently writing the biography of Millicent Price the suffrage campaign for a forthcoming book. She also keeps up a fascinating website and online blog. We had an interesting & knowledgeable talk and a lively discussion.

We would especially like to thank the Civic Societies, W.I.’s, WFHRG and Soroptimist’s for joining us as well as members of other WFD U3A groups. 69 places / tickets sold thank you.

Monday 11 February 2019 - SUFFRAGE, SUFFRAGETTES & ANTI SUFFRAGE - part 3

2pm to 4pm at Wribbenhall Community Centre, Shaw Hedge Road, Bewdley DY12 1EU   

Thank you to Ann Murrell and the Bewdley W.I. we will also had their recent exhibition information on show as well at this meeting.

Lyn Grogan shared the "BBC Radio 4 episode 2 '1913: The Year Before" a 14 minute programme on Michael Portillo and others take on  The Women’s Rebellion and her thoughts on this fascinating account.

Group members study information shared maximum 10 minutes each, questions and discussion: Thank you to all the members for sharing their work and thoughts. It was really interesting.

Millicent Garrett Fawcett - Kay Padgett 

Womens Vote in USA & other countries - Alison Barsby 

Men against Women having the vote - Dennis James 

Monday 14 January 2019 - SUFFRAGE, SUFFRAGETTES & ANTI SUFFRAGE - part 2

2pm to 4pm at Wribbenhall Community Centre, Shaw Hedge Road, Bewdley DY12 1EU - A relaxing start to the New Year watching the 2015 film Suffragette with a discussion over refreshments about the film and areas of study for the February meeting.

Suffragette (2015) The film tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality, their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart breaking and inspirational.

‘Suffragette’ was funded by the British Film Institute. The Historical drama, set in London follows the early members of the Women's Social and Political Union and the story of their radicalisation from peaceful protesters to law breakers. The film documents WSPU's secret meetings to discuss tactics when protests and parliamentary evidence fail to win women the vote. After further mistreatment by employers, police and political lies the suffragettes decide to increase their activism with civil disobedience causing damage to Oxford Street windows, post boxes, churches and politicians homes. Police surveillance and arrests lead to the suffragette's imprisonment and hunger strikes.