The History Group met in their new permanent venue for the January meeting. Holy Innocents’ Community Hall, off the Stourport Road, by Brintons Park, proved to be an excellent new meeting place, with more seating, a better layout for refreshments and very satisfactory parking facilities.
83 Members were present for Mark Rowe’s talk on the Battle of Bewdley. Mark, a journalist and the author of ‘Don’t Panic – Britain prepares for invasion, 1940’ spoke about The Battle of Bewdley, which occurred on Sunday 30 June 1940. This was the biggest ‘battle’ on English soil in the war and it involved hundreds of people both locally and from other areas.
Using archive material and personal reminiscences from people he had interviewed who had been alive at that time, Mark began by giving some background to the situation. He spoke about the roles of the Home Guard and the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) as the safety and security of the local area appeared to be compromised by the perception of an airborne invasion.
With a dry and wry humour Mark painted a vivid picture of the panic, anxiety and general lack of information at that vulnerable time in our history.