The November meeting of the History Group was devoted to Members’ Research Projects, which had been undertaken throughout the year. As usual, the standard of research was very high and there was a variety of topics and styles of presentation which engaged the interest of the Group.
Ken Adderley gave a very interesting talk on the history of the Rotary Clubs International, from its inception in North America to its establishment in the UK and then Venita Crutch read us an evocative poem penned by herself.
This was followed by Diana Foster giving us an account of the ATA and its crucial role during the Second World War and next, Janet regaled us with the history of the Christmas staple, Mincemeat, from its humble beginnings as a savoury dish to the rich sweet food that it is today.
Janice Evans continued by giving a humorous and thorough explanation of pub names (see below), with a particular emphasis on the names of local pubs and Elaine Yates changed the tone of the meeting by talking about the Irish Potato Famine, a poignant description, which was enhanced by a group of singers from the History Group singing a couple of songs relating to that tragic time.
Carole Clements continued by relating an account of a ‘Childhood in the 1940's’, which was amusing, detailed and at times quite racy and to finish Audrey recalled the Germanic origins of the Christmas Tree.
All the contributors were warmly received and thanked for all their hard work.
Kidderminster Pubs Past and Present.
Royal George was standing at the Railway Station with the Bottle in Hand and the Compass in the other, waiting for the Weary Traveller; while the Bishop Blaize was ringing in the Railway Bell with the Bricklayers Arms.
When the West Midland Railway Train appeared out of the Lionfield Tavern, the Duke of Edinburgh was surprised to see the Grand Turk in Unity with the King of Prussia. They all then proceeded over the Bridge to Broadwaters, Inn the Coach and Horses.
On the way back, they ran over the Woolpack lying in the middle of the road between the Land Oak and the Olive Tree and Dove. When they arrived at the Chester Tavern, Shakespeare told the Green Man to hold the Nag’s Head while Lyttelton Arms had a Royal Exchange with the Plough and Harrow. They found the Angel on the Barley Mow playing Blue Bell on the Harp with the Lamb by her side; while the Tumbling Sailors were chasing the Black Boy round Uncle Tom’s Cabin, upsetting the Boar’s Head and the Three Crowns and Sugarloaf, and frightening the Hen and Chickens out of the Wrens Nest.
The Fox came out of the Royal Oak and killed the Bird in Hand. The Red Man got so angry that he picked up the Malt Shovel and threw it at the Green Dragon, hitting the King’s Head and knocking the Unicorn right into the Freemason’s Arms, causing the Old Bear to climb up the Hop Pole after the Leopard.
Robin Hood then took up the Horn and Trumpet in the Foley Arms and went to the Castle on the Albion Hill, where he met the Sportsman on the Bay Horse, in Union with the Duke of York on the Black Horse and the Grey Hound. King William was at the Travellers Rest watching the Rampart Lion chasing the Reindeer and the Roebuck round the Woodfield Rock Vaults. The Pied Bull jumped over the Severn Stars and Half Moon and dropped into the Corn Exchange for a drink from Ye Olde Fountain which disturbed the Fish. Prince Albert felt as proud as a Peacock and as strong as a Lion so he went to the Vine for some Grapes but the Rising Sun rose from the Viaduct and so, George got Cross Keys.
There was a terrible duel between George and the Dragon but Britannia knighted him with the order of the Star and Garter. The Cock and Turk’s Head assembled at the Park Gate to watch the Sailors return to the Boat on their Navigation to the Cape of Good Hope, where they dropped the Anchor on the Dolphin.
Everyone was delighted to see the King’s Arms put the Crown on the Queen’s Head at Belle View.
The Raven, the Swan and the Pheasant were sitting on the Three Tuns at Worcester Cross watching the Black Bull jumping over the Wheatsheaf into the Cricketers Arms. The Rifleman from Waterloo shot the Red Lion , the White Hart and the Golden Lion at the Horsefair; then he took up the Square and Compass and followed the Black Star to the Clarendon; where he rang the Bell and ordered a drink of the best in Kidderminster.