Explore The History of The Gornals With Sedgley Local History Society

ned williams the gornals sedgley

Ned Williams and photographer Graham Beckley celebrate the publication of The Gornals.

The inaugural Andrew Barnett & Trevor Genge Memorial Lecture takes place on Thursday 8th October at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley.

The speaker is Ned Williams the well-respected Black Country historian and author.

Ned explores the Gornals (the subject of his fiftieth book) and shares his warm affection for the villagers and their traditions. This illustrated presentation reflects a flavour of Black Country life still around, but fast disappearing.

For past and present Gornal folk, it is an evening not to be missed.

As usual, visitors are invited to come along – admission £1. Annual membership of the Society costs £5 and gives free access to the programme of talks.

Schoolteachers, Andrew Barnett and Trevor Genge, were co-founders of the Society in 1984. Andrew launched the Sedgley Local History Museum (closed 2004) and Trevor published five books on the Sedgley Manor villages. Both were avid researchers and staunch supporters of conservation projects.

Visit Sedgley Local History Society for more information.


Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine – a Tasty History of Dining Out in Wolverhampton

Tandoori chicken is now an essential dish of the menus of many local restaurants

Sedgley residents can get their teeth into a fascinating talk on how eating out locally has changed over the years at the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society.

The talk, Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine, will take place on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley after a brief Annual General Meeting.

Samantha Badger, winner of the 2012 Wolverhampton Local History Symposium, aims to tickle the tastebuds with her presentation tracing the history of eating out and takeaways in Wolverhampton. Her diligent research has unearthed great stories from 1800 to 1970, so on the way, expect to hear about Black Country favourites such as pies, fish and chips and the advent of more exotic foods.

During the talk, Sam will be serving up a feast of historical titbits (sorry no food!) in what promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

As usual visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1.

St John’s Church, Kates Hill, Dudley

Sedgley Local History Society June Visit

Thursday, June 13 will see Sedgley Local History Society embark on an  evening visit to St. John’s Church in Kates Hill, guided by this historic landmark’s  preservation group.

As previously mentioned on this site, St John’s is a building of huge historical significance which dates back to 1840. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, is patron of the preservation group, which works hard to raise awareness and generate support for this worthy local campaign.

This event will be starting at 7pm from the adjacent car park in St. John’s Road, access from Waddam’s Pool.  Coffee/tea and biscuits will be provided.

Anyone wishing to visit St. John’s should contact Sedgley Local History Society’s George Blackham via email as this will help them organise the evening.

Sedgley Local History Society pays tribute to community figures

Sedgley Local History announced sad news this week when it revealed the recent deaths of two stalwarts of the local community.
George Cox, who was a keen member of 1st Sedgley Scouts

George Cox died on Friday, 15th February, aged 89. He was a trustee of the now closed Sedgley Local History Museum and a past president of Sedgley Local History Society with a membership dating back to the 1980s.

Having worked for renowned Wolverhampton-based paint and printing ink company, Mander Brothers Limited, for 41 years, George regularly gave entertaining and fascinating talks on this prosperous period in local history. He was also a popular member of the local community, being active with 1st Sedgley Scouts from around 1960, before writing a book on their history in 1994. A devoted Wolverhampton Wanderers fan,  he amassed  an impressive collection of football-related memorabilia and was also a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for more than 20 years.
George had a strong interest in local heritage, providing the late chairman of Sedgley Local History Society, Trevor Genge, with photos and information for countless books. From 2001, he was involved in the Imperial War Museum project to record all war memorials, where he collected details and visited more than 60 sites.

At Dudley’s first annual civic awards in 2004, he was awarded the Frank Foley award for community service for his work in scouting, and in June 2009 the MBE for services to the community.

A tribute from 1st Sedgley Scouts can be viewed here – http://1stsedgleyscouts.org.uk/george2.html

The funeral service for George Cox will take place at All Saints Church, Sedgley, on Friday, 1st March 2013 at 3 pm.

Remembering local pioneer, Jack Wilson

Another sad loss announced by Sedgley Local History is that of Jack Wilson, who died on Saturday, 16th February, aged 94.

Jack was a Labour councillor with unbroken service from 1949 until retirement in 2002. He represented his home town of Coseley on Coseley UDC (1949 to 1966, Chairman in 1959), Staffordshire CC and Dudley MBC (1966 to 2002, Mayor 1975/76).
Jack masterminded the Coseley Baths project and led pioneering changes to the Staffordshire fire service and was involved in opening 14 new stations.

In Dudley, as Chairman of Education, he oversaw the introduction of comprehensive education.

He became a Freeman of the Borough in 1989 and was awarded an MBE in 1989.

The funeral service for Jack Wilson will take place at Providence Baptist Chapel, Coseley , on Wednesday, 6th March 2013, at 2 pm.

Swap Cupid for historic crime this Valentine’s Day

Sedgley residents fed up with Valentine’s Day can follow their passion for historic crimes instead next week, when well-known Wednesbury historian, Ian Bott, presents an illustrated talk on Black Country murders.

The event, on Thursday, 14th February, forms the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society and promises to take visitors back to the early 20th century with a rich catalogue of gruesome crimes – some of which still remain unsolved.

Ian, an accomplished author who has complied his ghoulish findings into a book, Dark Secrets From Murder Casebook, says:  “From bustling high streets to quiet, leafy parks – it is never easy to know where some of the Black Country’s most gruesome murders have taken place.”

“We are often blissfully unaware of the darker secrets that are hidden in the past of housing estates, town centres and parks.”

Historic Crimes in Sedgley

The historic village of  Sedgley has been home to many curious incidents, including the suicide of a bankrupt steelmaster in Turl’s Hill House before the 1930s.

During World War II, the allegedly haunted building was used to house Belgian refugees, earning it the nicknames of ‘The Belgian Yard’ or ‘The Belgians’ before being demolished in the late 1960s.

The next meeting of the Society takes place on Thursday 14th February at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley.

As usual visitors are invited to come along – cost £1.

Discover The History and Future of St John’s Church

Sedgley Local History Society will be hosting a talk dedicated to the preservation of St John’s Church, Kates Hill, Dudley

Sedgley residents can learn about the fascinating history of St John’s Church,Kates Hill, Dudley, as the new season of talks from Sedgley Local History Society gets underway.

During the event, held on Thursday, September 13 at 7.30pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley, guests will be treated to an illustrated talk from group chair, Deb Brownlee and Chris Smith, editor of community magazine, Village Voice. The speakers will be highlighting the efforts of the St

John’s Church Preservation Group and how their project to restore this 1840s building to its former glory depends on community support in order to succeed.

The Significance of St John’s Church

St John’s Church is a hugely significant building in local history. Not only is it the burial place of William Perry, the famous Tipton Slasher, it’s also the last resting place of Julia Hanson, who is synonymous with Hanson’s beer and brewery. Marion Richardson, the famous art and handwriting teacher, is also buried there, and Reverend Edward Noot, who served at St John’s for 63 years until his death in 1905, was related to Edward Jenner, the famous physician who discovered vaccination and thereby helped eradicate smallpox in the UK.

This Grade II listed building was closed in 2002 due to health and safety concerns but, since forming in 2007, the St John’s Preservation Group has worked hard to demonstrate how it can be fully restored and take its rightful place in the community once more.

Numerous local celebrities have lent their support to the campaign, including former cycling champion Geoff Hill and Professor Carl Chinn – himself a descendent of the famous Tipton Slasher, William Perry.

Sedgley residents are warmly invited to the talk, which costs £1 to attend. Annual membership of the Society costs £5 and gives free access to the programme of talks.

Visit the St John’s Preservation Group’s website for more details on this important local landmark.

Lighting up the Past with Sedgley Local History Society

Sedgley residents can shine a light into an age before low-energy lightbulbs and fused plugs when they attend another fascinating talk from Sedley Local History Society.

The next meeting of the Society takes place on Thursday, May 10 at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley

After a short Annual General Meeting, there will be a talk, called Lighting up the Past, where John Hughes, a retired installation inspector with the Midland Electricity Board and stalwart of the Black Country Memories Club, will be reminiscing about the days when valves and fuse wire were an essential part of the electricity supply in many homes.

Illuminating History

John is an avid collector of old electrical equipment and period photographs and will be displaying some illuminating relics of electrical technology from years gone by.

As usual, visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1. Visit the society’s website for more information.

Full Steam Ahead to Discover the Region’s Railway History

Take a trip back through time to the golden age of railways with Sedgley Local History Society

Sedgley residents can take a fascinating trip back in time to the golden age of the region’s railway network at the next meeting held by Sedgley Local History Society.

The meeting, which takes place on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley, will feature a talk by Keith Hodgkins, vice chairman of Tipton Civic Society and passionate Black Country heritage campaigner.

Keith’s PowerPoint presentation traces the evolution of the main lines and branches with vintage and more recent images recalling the days when the region’s industries were well served by a network bringing in raw materials and leaving with products as diverse as steel bars and sausages.

The evening is sure to delight all train users and everyone interested in the scenery of the highways and byways of track travel.

As usual, visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1.

This talk is sponsored by Sedgley Estate Agents, Roden Boydell

Kick off a year of sporting memories with Sedgley Local History Society

Dudley-born football legend Duncan Edwards

Local residents will get the opportunity to share their sporting memories this Thursday, January 12, when Sedgley Local History Society kicks off this Olympic year with a series of informative meetings.

Members and visitors are invited to come along to the event at St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley and share their memories of sporting events and personalities connected with the Black Country and further afield. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and everyone is invited to bring along artefacts, photographs, posters and memorabilia or just tell stories about the world of sport.


George Blackham, PR officer for the society, says: “These open evenings usually turn up rarely seen items from family collections as well as providing a chance to hear colourful tales with a Black Country flavour. Start the New Year by sharing your memories and ‘treasures’ at this friendly gathering. Take the chance to relive local rivalries and recall names and venues – the field is wide open.”

The Dudley borough has produced many sporting heroes, including Dudley’s football legend Duncan Edwards, Netherton’s champion jumper Joe Darby and Kidderminster-born tennis star Dorothy Round. There are also many other sporting legends associated with the rest of the Black Country.

In addition to tales of sporting prowess on the night, there will be notes on London’s three Olympic Games and an opportunity to test your knowledge of obscure local sporting links.

Visitors are invited to come along – the cost of admission is just £1.

George adds: “On behalf of Sedgley Local History Society, we’d live to extend our best wishes to everyone in the borough for 2012 – an exceptional year for sport.

“Pop along to the meeting on Thursday. You can be a ‘spectator’ and watch or take part as a ‘player’.”

Visit the society’s website for more information.