Broseley Local History Society  
Incorporating the Wilkinson Society

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'Broseley and Its Surroundings by John Randall. reviewed by Nick Coppin

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This classic Broseley history has been out of print for some time and is now available in CD ROM format. it is the original 1879 edition with additional notes. The work has been painstakingly carried out by Steve Dewhirst and copies are available from him.

I have used the CD ROM and it is a very handy way of looking for items of interest. It is in a .pdf format and if your computer does not have Adobe Reader, a copy is included on the disc. It is then a simple matter to 1ook through page by page or search for that particular reference of personal interest - railways in my case!

For non-computer people, it should be a simple job to get a firm or a friend to print out a paper copy of the book.

Steve should be complimented for his valuable contribution to Broseleys local history in the publication of this book.

Copies are available from:

Steve Dewhirst, 9 Maypole Road, Broseley    TF12 5QH.
Price:    6.00 plus 2.00 post and packing.
  Cheques should be made payable to the Broseley Local History Society.

John Wilkinson, Ironmaster Extraordinary, by Ron Davies, reviewed by Rex Key

 Mad - or a genius? Whichever way you look at it, John Wilkinson was certainly a colossus among men of iron and it is difficult to ascribe his inventions and achievements to being the work of only one man. Certainly he suffered setbacks and failures, but these were dwarfed by his monumental successes, often in the face of almost universal scepticism.

 John Wilkinson had an innate ability to make things - things which had not yet been invented, things which people said could not be made. In his book, John Wilkinson, Ironmaster Extraordinary, Ron Davies has chronicled some of the factors and influences which drove him on, building bigger, more elaborate foundries and ironworks to the pinnacle of his endeavours, the Bradley works near Wolverhampton. This earned the sobriquet the second wonder of the age, Coalbrookdale being the first.

 The book, which runs to 27 pages, with an additional 24 pages of line-drawing illustrations by the author, places Wilkinsons epoch-making achievements in an industrial context and details his links with such other pioneers as Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Abraham Darby II and James Brindley. Ron has dug out what appears to be his earliest link with Broseley when in 1752 he was buying coal from the Weld Estate, following through as one of the protagonists of the Iron Bridge.

 An 18th century adventurer and pioneer worthy of international acclaim, most schoolchildren have hardly heard of John Wilkinson. This book should be compulsory reading for every youngster who, while he may have full finger-

mouse-cursor co-ordination, is in danger of leaving school with no idea what happens to a lump of iron if you heat it and hammer it.

This is a compact, but authoritative, work on Wilkinson and, additionally, is an enlightening snapshot on the social, domestic and commercial world of the late 18th and 19th centuries. It is invaluable for serious scholars and local historians - and for computer-infected youngsters as well.

 Copies are available from: David Lake, Stocking Lane, Nordley WV16 4SY.
 Price:   6.95 P&p:    1.50 (free within a 10 km radius of Broseley).

Cheques should be made payable to the Broseley Local History Society

  Journal/Randall. PDF