The 2020 Bromsgrove Lecture

UPDATE: Due to the current health emergency, the Bromsgrove Society has decided to postpone the Bromsgrove Lecture due to take place on 7th April. This will now be held on Tuesday, 3rd November at Bromsgrove School.

Existing tickets will be honoured for the new date. Tickets purchased from FotoFactory, in Bromsgrove High Street, can be returned there for a refund.

The 34th Bromsgrove Lecture hosted by The Bromsgrove Society

Tuesday 7th April 2020 at 7.30pm
‘The Charles Archive: The Lives, Work and Legacy of Freddie and Mary Charles’
Presented by Emily Hathaway and Tegan Cornah


F.W.B Charles (1912-2002), better known as Freddie, was an architect and nationally recognised expert on the conservation and repair of timber-framed buildings.  He and his wife, architect Mary Charles (née Logan, 1924-2005), set up a private practice, initially in Bromsgrove and then in Worcester, that eventually specialised in the conservation and restoration of historic timber-framed buildings. Freddie and Mary were involved in the restoration of many important buildings across Worcestershire, including in Bromsgrove. Thanks to grant funding from Historic England and the Vernacular Architecture Group, the Charles Archive has now been fully catalogued and partially digitised.

Emily Hathaway is the Historic Landscape Officer and Tegan Cornah is a Historic Environment Record Assistant, both at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service.

Routh Concert Hall, Bromsgrove School, B61 7HP
Tickets cost £6 and include a complimentary drink afterwards.
Buy online from Bromsgrove School
or in person from FotoFactory, 123 High Street, Bromsgrove

Post War investment had stimulated development across Britain and Bromsgrove, like many other towns and cities across England, was experiencing immense change, much of it to facilitate the car. Dismayed by some aspects of its re-development, which included considerable demolition and re-building of the town centre, Freddie and Mary Charles became involved in attempts to 'save' some of the towns historic buildings threatened with demolition - ‘our viewpoint on old towns such as Bromsgrove is very definitely that they are far too valuable socially, architecturally and historically to be sacrificed to the needs of modern traffic' (F.W.B Charles) - this re-development also inspired Freddie, and his supporters, to establish Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, the first of its kind in England.

Emily Hathaway is the Historic Landscape Officer at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service. As well as managing the Charles Archive Project, Emily has also delivered a number of other strategic projects in Worcestershire including the Worcestershire Farmsteads and Landscapes Project, Your Place Matters: Community Planning for the Future of Rural Buildings in their Setting Project and the 20th century heritage in Worcestershire Project. Emily’s particular interests include 19th and 20th century rural heritage, parks and gardens and Green Infrastructure.

Tegan Cornah is a Historic Environment Record Assistant at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service and was responsible for integrating the Charles Archive data into the County HER. Tegan is responsible for the day to day running and updating of the Worcestershire Historic Environment Record database and providing archaeological data for heritage professionals, members of the public and commercial clients.