Smethwick Local History Society

April to July 2020

PLEASE REFER TO THE PROGRAMME FOR TIMES OF MEETINGS AS THESE MAY VARY.
WINTER: DOORS OPEN 2.00PM, SOCIETY BUSINESS 2.30 FOLLOWED BY OUR MAIN SPEAKER AT AROUND 2.50PM
SUMMER EVENINGS: DOORS OPEN 7.00PM, SOCIETY BUSINESS 7.30, GUEST SPEAKER 7.50PM.

8 April - 7 for 7.30 pm SORRY, MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS DIRECTIVE

13 May - 7 for 7.30 pm SORRY, MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS DIRECTIVE

10 June 7.15 for 7.30 pm in front of Thimblemill Library
A Stroll Round Smethwick - The Great Boundary Dispute!
Our walk this year will take us along Thimblemill Road, for centuries the boundary between Smethwick in Staffordshire and the strange mix of Worcestershire and Shropshire for Oldbury, as they met at the Three Shires Oak. Horses, pigs and goats will remind us of the not-so-distant rural past on our way. Meet outside Thimblemill Library. A short, and not-too-strenuous stroll along mainly flat roads.

15 July - 2.00 for 2.30 p.m.
Lightwoods House
Organised by the Supporters Group of Lightwoods House, this is an opportunity to enjoy tea, lovely home-made cakes and a presentation by Lightwoods House Volunteers about Hardmans Studios, the company who occupied the upper storeys of the house before the restoration project. There will also be an exhibition on the history of Hardman, a very old local company. The cost for the afternoon will be £5 per head. You can, of course, also take a stroll round the Shakespeare Garden and view the Society’s roses which should be in bloom then. Meet outside Lightwoods House at 2pm.

19 August - 2.00 p.m.
Visit to the Walled Garden, Leasowes Park, Quinton, B63 3TR
We have a privileged visit to this little-known Grade I Listed garden near Mucklow Hill, Halesowen. The Leasowes was the home of 18th century poet William Shenstone and his house, which was rebuilt in 1776, is now the home of Halesowen Golf Club. The walled garden was essentially a kitchen garden but flowers and plants were also cultivated to beautify the grounds and house. Carol Freer will tell us about the restoration project and then we will have an opportunity to look round the garden, followed by tea or coffee. You can access it from Leasowes Lane, off Spies Lane and there is parking. If you travel by bus, catch the No.9, get off at the Royal Oak pub, continue down Spies Lane, turn right into Leasowes Lane and go straight on (about ½ mile in all). Cost: £3 per head. Meet at the Walled Garden at 1.45 for 2.00 p.m. If you can't find it, please ring 079448 57882 for directions.

9 September - 2.00 for 2.30 p.m.
"Belbroughton: Scythe and Gun-making on the Belne Brook
In the 17th and 18th centuries many Midlands manufacturers, lacking access to fast-flowing watercourses, leased water mills in Belbroughton to provide the power they needed. Many sites where water mills had once been used to grind scythe blades now became furnaces and forges for the manufacture of high quality steel. Romsley born local historian Julian Hunt explains how the Belne Brook contributed to gun-making in Birmingham.

14 October - 2.00 for 2.30 p.m.
From Folk Remedies to Pharmacy
Marie Fogg takes us through the history of pharmaceuticals such as how aspirin was obtained from willow bark or heart treatment from Deadly Nightshade.

11 November - 2.00 for 2.30 p.m.
AGM followed by “Haunted Black Country” : From roadside to graveside, from council house to castles
In keeping with the Halloween season, this being the time of year for ghostly goings-on, Ian Bott will attempt to allay our fears - or perhaps exacerbate them - by taking a light-hearted look at our dark region’s spookiest places and legends.

9 December - 2.00 for 2.30 p.m.
"Christmas Songs through the Ages"
Richard will present Christmas songs through the ages from the medieval “Boar’s Head Carol” to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” setting each song in its historical context. The audience will be encouraged to join in choruses and also play percussion instruments if they wish. The emphasis is on seasonal fun accompanied by a little education! Afterwards we hope that Richard will join us for our traditional mulled wine and mince pie.

SOME IMAGES FROM RECENT EVENTS

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