Chairman: Tony Mugridge.
Membership Sec.: David Lake, Avebury, Stocking Lane, Nordley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire,
WV16 4SY. 01746 762813.
Newsletter Editor: Nick Coppin, 01952 884398
Meetings 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 around the back.
We would like to apologise to the membership for any misunderstanding regarding
meetings. At times, both the parish magazine and the Bridgnorth Journal have carried
incorrect details of our meetings. The Newsletter sent out to members contains the accurate,
definitive programme. If in doubt, check with the Newsletter!
Programme for the remainder of 1998:
Wednesday 7th October:
residents remembering Old Broseley. Bring along your memories for an informal chat;
followed by the AGM. See Agenda below.
Wednesday 4th November:
Collins, The Maw Company in 1904
Wednesday 2nd December:
the Cumberland Hotel with after dinner talk by Ivor Southorn. See Menu and details below.
Broseley Local History Society incorporating the Wilkinson Society Annual
General Meeting. Held on Wednesday 7th October at the Broseley Social Club.
2. Officers Reports
3. Election of Officers:
4. Provisional programme for 1999.
5. Any other business by permission of the Chairman.
Broseley Local History Society incorporating the Wilkinson Society Christmas
This will take place at the Cumberland Hotel, Broseley at 7.30 on Wednesday 2nd
Soup of the Day
Melon and mandarin
Beef Italian Style
Mushroom and walnut stroganoff
(NB please order your choice of main course with David Lake by 20th
Choice of sweet or Cheese and biscuits
Numbers will be limited so please confirm if you wish to attend by telephoning
David Lake on 01746 762813.
Thanks to Steve Dewhirst we now have a Society web site. This will contain the latest
Newsletter, a membership application form, information about Broseley and the Society.
The Web Site address is: www.dewhirst.ndirect.co.uk
Email address is:
Legges Hill Pipeworks Site.
You dont always have to dig deep to unearth important
archaeological remains, and so it proved when excavations took place at the former William
Southorn tobacco pipeworks site at Legges Hill.
The base of one of three kilns known to have existed on the site was
unearthed just three inches below the surface. It is almost certainly one of two kilns
shown on a panoramic photograph of Broseley Wood taken about the turn of the century.
Items unearthed in the kiln foundations can be dated to pre 1850 so the construction
obviously dates from the first half of the 19th Century, possibly back to 1823, when
Southorns were established.
The three-metre diameter base was found by a group of pipeworks museum
volunteers working under the on-site guidance of Dr David Higgins of Liverpool, the
countrys leading clay pipe expert, and Dr Allan Peacey, of Gloucester, an
acknowledged authority on kilns.
The base is a substantial construction with a central bowl-shaped area
a metre wide and half a metre deep. It is formed by a series of concentric brick circles
which show evidence of heat damage. Only half the base has so far been excavated and
detailed measurements were taken and samples of fire ash, clinker, construction and fire
bricks, fragments of kiln furniture as well as pipe shards were collected and documented.
Drawings were made to record the various levels and changes of strata which were
visible. A photographic record was made of the remains before the kiln was carefully
reburied, protected by a polythene membrane.
A planning officer from Bridgnorth District Council agreed to inspect
the remains as the excavations took place, as did the head of the Shropshire
Various interested parties acknowledge that the site is of national, if
not international significance, bein probably the site of the first, purpose-built,
industrial sized pipe kiln in the world. The opportunity to uncover much more of the
evidence of this early industrial site will be lost once the proposed ten homes are built
detailed planning permission having already been granted, and a JCB digger is on
site. The planning permit stipulates that an archaeological evaluation must take place
(although possibly only a table-top exercise) before the heavy machinery moves
Perhaps some one knows of a source of funds which we might be able to tap into in order
to buy the site as a heritage area and carry out excavations long term we only need
Recent additions to Broseley Local History Society artefact
On a recent evening, Steve Dewhirst and I went to a house in Monewood, Broseley and
collected a 21" gauge railway wagon frame, complete with wheels, a winding drum of
some kind and a length of Shropshire rattle chain. These have been donated to
the Society for which we are very grateful.
had been used to grow bulbs and flowers in but thanks to some hefty timbers and a sheet of
polythene, the wooden frame was well preserved. There is a scrap of sheet steel floor but
little else left of the superstructure. The wheels are curly spoked in loose, half
bearings. It is reputedly from the nearby Rock Fireclay Mine and bear a resemblance to
wagons used in the East Shropshire coalfield and to wagons at Blists Hill and Jackfield
The winding drum is more a puzzle but again is similar to a picture of a winding drum
at Harriss Old Park Pits until 1950. A similar drum (but larger diameter) was used
on an incline on the Caldon Railway (Staffordshire).
It has cast iron ends and wooden staves bolted between the ends. There is obvious wear
on one end of the wooden part.
Any members wishing to see these acquisitions should contact me.