WELCOME TO THE GENERAL HISTORY GROUP
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 sadly currently have group members recovering from
Covid and medically vulnerable members.
All meetings will only be for members who are at least triple
inoculated, have not been indirect contact with anyone who
has Covid and that you do not have Covid yourself and they
will be socially distanced.
We would very much hope that members will wear masks.
We provide antibacterial hand gel.
General History 2022 Programme
Thursday 14th July 2022 No meeting due to French History Trip
Thursday 8th September 2022 No meeting due to Powis Castle and Clive of India day visit.
OUR NEXT MEETING IS: Thursday 13th October 2022
Our Group Guided trip to Monet's Garden, The Loire Valley and Fontainebleau departing on 14 July 2022 for 7 days / 6 nights in 3 and 4 accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, plus breakfast and two dinners, including one at a traditional, local restaurant. We are travelling by Eurostar so no flights
Riviera Travel Offer Experience with so much more included: Covid Cancellation protection included as standard. Visit the most beautiful valley in France. Visit impressionist artist Claude Monet’s home and garden – see the ‘Water Lily’ pond and ‘Japanese Bridge’. Explore the finest of France’s stunning châteaux; Chinon, Chenonceau, Villandry and Fontainebleau. Visit Chartres and its stunning gothic cathedral displaying Europe’s finest stained glass.
Visiting medieval Tours, Royal Amboise and Leonardo da Vinci’s house. Visit to Saumur and the Ackerman wine cellars. Guided tour of Fontevraud Abbey, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
Separately to Riviera Travel we have booked a Whittle's a coach at extra shared cost to take us to and from Eurostar and members travelling have booked this at our own risk as we cannot take out insurance for missing the Eurostar so have arranged to go down early….
Classical Spain 16th to 22 September 2022 Flying from Birmingham - all singles gone. Shared twins and shared double rooms may still be available at £1,049 each including flights - Seville – Córdoba and Granada - deposit now and balance payable July 2022 - see Ralph Bramley's Summer Newsletter for more details.
Thursday 9th June 2022 at 2pm - Episode 3 The Story of India based on the BBC series with Michael Wood the Silk Road followed by a discussion.
Thursday 12th May 2022 at 2pm - Alison Barsby did a presentation on the caste system and Vincent O’Callaghan on Hinduism followed by a discussion and then Angela Curtis did an introduction to The Silk Road - The Story of India based on the BBC series with Michael Wood.
The last half an hour was for those members going to France in July 2022
Thursday 10th March 2022 at 2pm - our second meeting back at Shaw Hedge Road Community Hall at Wribbenhall
We saw the first 35 minutes of the second episode of The Story of India based on the BBC series with Michael Wood.
From 3pm Mike Loftus gave us a very interesting talk on Henry Chellingworth a Public Life. Mike told us that “the decade of the 1850s was an extraordinary period for Kidderminster. The introduction of steam power to the town’s principal of trade carpet weaving was, through those ten years, to have a quite devastating effect. Handloom weavers lost employment in huge numbers and the companies that employed them, or used their product, shrank. Alongside this high unemployment there were protracted bad industrial relations and in the face of the associated economic distress many individuals and families saw emigration from the town – and even the country – as their only solution. The atmosphere of bitter discontent that pervaded the town contributed to a shameful breakdown in public order on the occasion of the 1857 parliamentary election and a sense of something close to despair descended when the town’s major carpet manufacturer fell into bankruptcy in 1858.Yet through this period – which saw the population fall by some 5000 people or 25% - there were glimmers of hope and positive development. The railway arrived in 1852; a new meeting place / concert venue and Corn Exchange was constructed in 1855; a free library was created, and in recognition of the importance of public health, a municipal public baths and wash house were built and opened in 1855, having been first mooted in 1851 and making the town one of the first in England to create such a facility. This last innovation was the initiative of Henry Chellingworth a significant figure in the town who was participated in many of the other changes in the town in this period. He was also being implicated in some of the most notorious – in particular the election riots. This essay is a brief public life of Chellingworth and a review of the events he was involved in within that challenging decade.”
Monday 14 February 2022 at 2.15pm Paul Harding’s long awaited presentation on Anglo Saxon Life unfortunately Paul cannot change his day to a Thursday so we are meeting at St Ambrose RC Church Parish Hall for a one off additional meeting on £3 per person.
Thursday 10 February 2022 at 2pm we had a catch up and started our new topic our studies The Story of India based on the BBC series with Michael Wood with an introduction read by Angela Curtis.
General History 2021
Monday 10 May 2021 Outstanding Women - we celebrated two of the six outstanding women that in 2021 English Heritage will be raising plaques to and one outstanding Irish woman with group members doing a short presentation on them followed by discussion.
Ann Murrells talked on Ellen Craft (1826-1891): Ellen and her husband William escaped slavery in the southern US state of Georgia and was a fervent campaigner for its abolition.
Angela Curtis talked on Caroline Norton (1808-1877): Caroline’s abusive marriage and separation was one of the most highly publicised cases in 19th century Britain. Her determination to fight for custody of her children and the rights to her own property had far-reaching ramifications.
Linda Robertstold us about her aunt Mary Dorothea Heron (1896-1960):Marywas born in Dublin, grew up in County Down, worked in Belfast, but was one of the few who was eligible to practice in both the new states. She was the first woman solicitor in Ireland, after passing her final law examinations in 1923. She has recently been recognised by the Irish Law Society in their celebration of the first 100 women solicitors in Ireland. Linda Roberts our group member is her niece and as Mary was the first, they published her article.
This finishes our 13 months on Zoom where to now? Discussion
On 12 April 2021 we had a revisit from our own Mike Loftus lead the Kidderminster Civic Society successful bid to get National recognition for ‘Great Wall of Kidderminster’ Historic England announced on in December that the structure, more formally the ‘Retaining Wall with Sculptural Relief by William Mitchell’, is to be placed on the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest as a grade 2 structure.
On 8 February and 8 March 2021 Tim Carter joined us from Malvern U3A giving a fascinating two-part talk on "Sea Diseases, Sailor Towns and the State”