Broseley Local History Society  
Incorporating the Wilkinson Society

Newsletter January 1999

Chairman: Tony Mugridge
Secretary: Frank Selkirk
Treasurer: Steve Dewhirst
Curator: David Lake

Membership Sec.: Diane Shinton, ‘Gestiana’, Woodlands Road,
Broseley, Shropshire, TF12 5PU.   01952 882765

Journal Editor Neil Clarke

Newsletter Editor: Nick Coppin, 01952 884398

Meetings usually take place each month on the first Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm (unless announced otherwise). Indoor meetings will be held at the Broseley Social Club in the High Street unless announced otherwise. Car parking at the back.

Web Site:

Programme for first half of 1999:

Wednesday 3rd February: More Shops and Trades of Broseley (This is a change.)

Wednesday 3rd March: Alan Robinson ‘Geology and Mines of the Ironbridge

Gorge and surrounding area.’ (This is a change.)

Wednesday 7th April: Annual Wilkinson Lecture. Ron Davies ‘John Wilkinson and Bradley.’

Wednesday 5th May: Mrs Harvey ‘Broseley Working Women’.

Wednesday 2nd June: Rex Key ‘Stepping back at Legges Hill’

Wednesday 7th July: Steve Dewhirst will lead a gentle evening stroll from the Social Club; c.3 to 4 miles.

No August meeting.

Note: There are two changes to the Programme outlined in the last Newsletter; the Geology talk is now in March and a follow-on evening from the January meeting on Shops and Trades will take place in February. Apologies for any confusion.


Broseley Local History Society incorporating the Wilkinson Society Journal will be enclosed with this Newsletter for all members who have paid their subscription. For those who have not paid, a slip is enclosed!

Do you like what we do?

We would be interested to hear members’ views on what we do as a Society. If you have any observations and suggestions, please contact one of the Committee as listed at the top of this page.

New Members.

These are always welcome and if you know of anyone interested in joining, a membership leaflet is enclosed.

Design Competition for a new Pritchard Memorial.

This is well underway now with positive responses from schools and other interested bodies. Anyone wanting to find out more information, please contact David Lake.

World Heritage Site.

As members may know, Broseley was not recommended for inclusion in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. This seemed to be due to the paucity of surviving field evidence in Broseley . While this may be considered a disappointing decision, a buffer zone is being considered to give Broseley some additional protection in recognition of its historical importance as a site of industrial activity.

Society Annual Dinner

Members and friends enjoyed each other’s company at our Annual Dinner in December. The Cumberland provided as always, an ideal atmosphere and we provided a capacity crowd. After dinner, Ivor Southorn gave a vivid account of old times in Broseley, while asking us not to rest on our laurels and to work for Broseley’s future.

David Lake.

Shops and Trades of Broseley.

This proved to be an interesting and lively evening at the darkest time of the year. Jack Owen had brought along a 1922 copy of Kelly’s Directory and as the list of names were read out, reminiscences poured forth in a seemingly unstoppable flow! In one and a half hours we had only got as far as the D’s when a beer stop was called. Some of the names are included below with some notes I made; any inaccuracies are probably mine!

Elizabeth Bowen kept a general shop in King Street which is now used as a dog grooming salon.

The Broseley Gas and Coke Company had offices opposite the iron topped house in Church Street.

Arthur Garbett looked after the Social Club; he lived in Fox Lane and his brother Billy worked with Jack Owen at Maw’s.

‘Monkey’ Garbett lived in Legge’s Alley which is opposite Norman Jones’s bicycle shop in Duke Street.

‘Ducky’ Evans kept the Town Hall where there were dances, a Court, whist drives, Girl Guides, wrestling, soirees, Mothers Union, concerts and during the War it was used as a church. During the War there was a cardboard ‘thermometer’ showing the level of National Savings collected.

Walter Davis caused much interest. He seemed variously to have been called ‘Tippin’ or ‘Split Raisin’ due to his habit of cutting individual raisins to ensure accuracy when weighing groceries in his shop! His father was Edwin Davis. I think he also had the Post Office where the second-hand shop is now next to the guest house by the Pritchard Memorial.

There was much, much more and I would encourage all members to come to the February meeting to hear more. Bring along an old Broseley person to help recall more about Broseley in the early part of this century.

Nick Coppin