Broseley Local History Society  
Incorporating the Wilkinson Society

Newsletter May 1998

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.

Wednesday 3rd June: Outdoor visit to Broseley Wood Light Railway.

This will be for a maximum number of 20 members.

For further details, please apply to Nick Coppin, 884398.

Saturday 11th July: Summer Outing to Bersham/Brymbo/Minera to look at Wilkinson sites. (See notice below).

August: No meeting.

Saturday 5th September: Walk in Jackfield with Tony Mugridge; start 1pm at Tile Museum car park wearing stout walking shoes.

Wednesday 7th October: More residents remembering Old Broseley. Bring along your memories for an informal chat; followed by the AGM.

Wednesday 4th November: Janet Collins, ‘The Maw Company in 1904’

December: Dinner with after dinner talk.

Visit to Wilkinson Sites in the Wrexham area - Saturday 11th July.
Following the notice in the last newsletter, there appears to be sufficient interest to go ahead with arrangements for the trip, on the basis of sharing cars.
9.30am Depart Broseley Square
11.00am Visit the Open Furnace at Brymbo (built and operated by John
Wilkinson from the mid-1790’s
12.30pm Arrive at Bersham Heritage Centre (venue for lunch)
1.30 Visit Bersham Ironworks
The furnaces and foundries which produced cannon for the American War of Independence and cylinders for James Watt’s steam engines are alive again in the heart of the Clywedog Valley where the sights and sounds of John Wilkinson’s internationally-renowned late 18th Century ironworks have been re-created. Archaeologists have recently unearthed the remains of the ironworks and using their results, alongside many of the finds, the story of this famous site unfolds.
3.30pm Visit Minera Lead Mines. Lead mining has taken place at Minera since at least Medieval times. Remains of later 18th (the Wilkinson period) and 19th Century lead processing areas, a beam engine house, winding engine and boiler houses have been excavated and restored. Working machinery has been installed and visitors can have hands on experience panning for lead. The Interpretation Centre outlines the history of the site and visitors can climb to the top of the Beam Engine House which has fine views of the site and surrounding countryside.
6.30pm (approx.) Arrive back in Broseley.
Please ring me on 504135 to book your place on the trip. The total cost will be about 5.00 which includes entry to site and travel)

Neil Clarke.

Social History at the Social

A gradual change seems to be taking place following the change of name from "The Wilkinson Society" to "The Broseley Local History Society": and the location of meetings from the Pipe Museum to the Social Club…
Whereas previously, perhaps in the true spirit of John Wilkinson, ladies were seldom to be seen, at the April meeting they outnumbered the men by 3 to one, and there were several mothers and daughters around…
The goal was suggested by Ken Jones’s beautifully illustrated talk in March which stimulated us to hope that memories are so precious and so time important: the Willey Furnace site can be around for centuries to come: Mrs Doris Archer (this is meant to be a sample name) will not…
Jack Owen gave a presidential start to the hoped for series of memories: this was a reading of the first part of his memories from his very early days, from washing arrangements through to his early days at the Maws Tile Works. Several suggestions as to how such events should be run in the future resulted from the helpful discussions following this.
In the future it is planned that the "social" meetings should have an early "key" speaker for 10 minutes or so, just to break the ice, and then members should chat in small, informal groups.
What will be of tremendous help, however, is if those found to be able to produce vivid memories will be willing to put these onto disk (please let me know if I can help). This will usually best be done in your home: the recording made of Jack Owen at the Social Club is almost unusable because of the noisy extractor fan in the room!
We look forward eagerly to future social meetings: of which there will, I’m sure, be many!

Frank Selkirk