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The Bromsgrove Society exists to preserve the history and promote the sustainable development of the town of Bromsgrove in north Worcestershire.

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Next Meeting: Oliver Cromwell


19 September 2017: Oliver Cromwell: Royal Executioner or Our Chief of Men? 
Speaker:  Max Keen  (in full period costume).

Max opens our new season of talks with a rigorous and very entertaining examination of this major figure in English history.

Doors open 7:15 for 7:45 p.m. at The Methodist Centre, Stratford Road. Click for further details of the 2017-18 programme.

The Bromsgrove Summer School 2017

Denmark House 13July2017

The Bromsgrove Summer School was held at Bromsgrove School 11-13 July. Over 100 students took part, several attending for all three days. All courses were held in Bromsgrove School’s Learning Resources Centre, those with the most students being accommodated in the Lecture Theatre, whilst those with fewer students used one of the newly-refurbished teaching rooms in the same building. In the foyer, John Weston laid out five tables of books on Bromsgrove and district and did a brisk trade.

On Tuesday 11 July, Tim Bridges gave a masterly survey of the churches of Bromsgrove and district, and in the afternoon took the students to Chaddesley Corbett and Dodford. Also on the Tuesday, Julian Hunt provided a new slant on the life of A.E. Housman by using the poet’s published letters as his prime source. He was able to use Housman’s letters to his godson Gerald Jackson, which were recently acquired by Trinity College, Cambridge. The letters were read by Gregory Leadbetter, of Birmingham City University, who in the afternoon led readings of Housman’s poetry at Housman Hall.

On Wednesday 12 July, Julian gave a virtual tour of the mills on the Belne Brook, including corn mills, gun-barrel mills and scythe forges. Julian was joined by Sarah Bradley of Belbroughton History Society who outlined the processes of scythe manufacture and explained the impact of the scythe trade on Belbroughton. Sarah showed a 1955 film of scythe manufacture at Nash’s Works which showed how vital was the experience and skill of Nash’s workmen. In the afternoon Sarah led a walk along the Belne Brook and students enjoyed a cup of tea at Belbroughton Village Hall. Also on Wednesday, our Chairman, Pat Tansell, showed how Bromsgrove featured in early maps of Worcestershire. Many of these maps featured in an excellent display of maps of the county loaned by Worcester Cathedral Library. Pat was joined by Richard Oliver of the University of Exeter, who explained how the Ordnance Survey transformed map-making in England. In the afternoon they visited Bromsgrove Library to examine the newly-deposited collection of Ordnance Survey maps.

On Thursday, 13 July Jenny Townsend and Julian Hunt took us on a whistle-stop tour of the great houses of Bromsgrove and district, explaining when they were built and who lived in them. In the afternoon students visited Denmark House, (pictured above) the former home of button manufacturer Benjamin Sanders, and looked at other imposing houses on the Kidderminster Road. Also on Thursday, Pat Tansell gave a much appreciated review of ‘Bromsgrove on the Eve of War: Our Town and District in 1939’. Pat presented newspaper accounts of evacuees arriving at Bromsgrove and rarely seen archive material showing how Bromsgrove and district prepared for war in 1939. In the afternoon, Pat’s group joined the walk along Kidderminster Road, where she was able to read out the names of residents given in the 1939 Register, an emergency census carried out by the government in September 1939.

Plans are already under way for next year’s Summer School. Courses are planned on Catshill: an industrial village, Bromsgrove in the 20th century, Lord Austin and Lord Nuffield (giants of the British motor industry), Bromsgrove and Stourbridge (contrasting North Worcestershire towns), and the local needle industry.

The Bromsgrove Lecture 2017

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The 2017 Bromsgrove Lecture was given by Rob Hedge, Community Project Officer at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, on Tuesday, 11th April at The Memorial Chapel, Bromsgrove School. The title was Beneath Your Feet, Behind the Façade: Bromsgrove's Archaeological Heritage.

A full report of the Lecture will be posted here shortly.

Rob is pictured opposite at the Annual Lecture with (from left to right): Bromsgrove Society Vice-Chairs Jo Slade and Chris Nesbitt, President John Weston, and Chair Pat Tansell.

Rob has a blog: https://incurablearchaeologist.wordpress.com/ and is on Twitter @robhedge.

Latest Newsletter


The Bromsgrove Society Newsletter

In the June 2017 issue:

  • The Bromsgrove Lecture
  • Preview of the Bromsgrove Summer School
  • AGM and events news

Plaques unveiled at Bromsgrove Station

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The Bromsgrove Society, together with the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, has sponsored plaques to commemorate the lives and achievements of the renowned engineers James Edward McConnell and William Scarth Moorsom. The plaques were unveiled at a ceremony at Bromsgrove Railway Station on Friday 11th November 2016.

Click below to see more pictures from the event.


Bromsgrove Rousler 2016

rousler 2016

The 2016 edition of The Bromsgrove Rousler is now available. Topics in this year’s Rousler include:

  • Bromsgrove's Napoleonic warrior;
  • The Droitwich Transmitting Station;
  • The Hillmans of Stockwood Stud;
  • The Clock House, Dodford;
  • William Hawkes Lakin-Smith and Alfred Leslie Foster - Bromsgrove Court Leet Bailiffs;

As well as being sold through local outlets, the Rousler is again available as a paid download through this website. Back issues are also available to download.


AGM 2016


The Bromsgrove Society held its Annual General Meeting on 6th July 2016 at Avoncroft Museum when the retiring officers presented their reports for the year.

John Rowlands, the retiring Treasurer, was thanked by the President John Weston and presented with a gift to mark his exemplary work for the Society over a period of 17 years (shown left), which made John the longest serving officer in the Society’s history.

The meeting then looked to the future and elected a new group of officers to serve for the coming year. Pat Tansell, the Vice Chairman, was elected as Chairman; both Chris Nesbit, the current Secretary and Jo Slade are to be Vice Chairmen. Also a new Treasurer, Richard Aust, was placed in office. The Executive Committee was re-elected.


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