Smethwick Local History Society

January 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 January 2020 - 2 for 2.30pm
“Cavalier Dogs and Roundhead Rogues” –
The opposing forces in the English Civil War engaged each other repeatedly in the area between Wolverhampton and Birmingham. Eye-witness accounts will tell us how local people re-acted in this pivotal period, with Smethwick people being among those caught up in the upheaval and damage of the conflict. Civil War skirmishes came as far as Waterloo Road and we may even have evidence recovered from a garden in Gilbert Road!

12 February - 2 for 2.30 pm
King Charles, Most Faithful Servant or The hero of the Oak Tree
Following on from the previous talk, Elaine Joyce tells us how, desperate and exhausted after the Battle of Worcester and hunted by Cromwell's troops, King Charles II was helped by the courageous and resourceful Colonel Careless, who in one of history's most enthralling incidents, hid with him in an oak tree. Who was this brave officer risking his life for his Monarch? It also gives an insight into the lives and hardships of some of Staffordshire's ordinary people in the seventeenth century, who were so convinced of their beliefs and loyalties they were prepared to face the dangers of imprisonment or even death.

11 March - 2 for 2.30 pm
"Before Beorma: Prehistoric and Roman Birmingham”
Archaeological remains and evidence of the past environment provide a vivid picture of people’s life and work, from hunters and gatherers hundreds of thousands of years ago to Roman soldiers, farmers and potters, long before Beorma, the Anglo-Saxon leader who gave Birmingham its name. Dr Mike Hodder, who was Birmingham City Council’s Planning Archaeologist, tells us of his involvement in many excavations into prehistoric and Roman sites along the M6 Toll motorway construction, a Roman fort at the QE Hospital, and medieval Birmingham in the Bullring.

8 April - 7 for 7.30 pm
Ruskin – Presentation with a Difference!
Local lady Ruth Durrant will tell us about the lives of ordinary women who helped produce the world-famous Ruskin pottery. Dressed in work clothes of 1924, she speaks as one of the workers in her lunchbreak. Ruskin’s glazes were famously destroyed but we may even get a chance to try our hand with glazes which Ruth brings along.

13 May - 7 for 7.30 pm
"The Peaky Blinders - Gypsies, Girls and Gangs"
Lynda Sharpe will attempt to tell the truth behind the television superstars who were, in fact, rather unpleasant hoodlums. Dressed in costume of the time, she will also cover the background of gypsy life, crime and punishment which contributed to the origins of such gangs.

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 demonstration of the art of stained glass by a craftsman who worked for Hardmans, 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 studios. 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.

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