PRESS REPORT JUNE/JULY 2012
In June members had a walk around Eccleshall led by David Wilkinson. This commenced with a visit to the Church of St Peters and then on to Eccleshall Castle followed by a stroll around the town looking at some of the historical buildings.
The July outing on the 18th was to Bantock House Museum and Park, Wolverhampton. Sue was the guide who told members that the
house had been built in the 1730s as New Merridale Farm. It was extended and improved about the beginning of the 19th century and after having several tenants was bought in about 1864 by Thomas Bantock, a canal and railway agent. His son Albert Baldwin Bantock, twice Mayor of Wolverhampton and also High Sherriff of Staffordshire in 1920, further improved the property following his father’s death in 1896. On his own death, without children, in 1938 he bequeathed the house and park to Wolverhampton Corporation. The house was renamed in his honour.
On the ground floor there are displays about the Bantock family and the way they lived, whilst upstairs the focus shifts to the men and women who shaped Wolverhampton and the industries they created. Displays featuring locally made enamels, steel jewellery and japanned ware are on show. The museum presents a more informal and imaginative setting where visitors are encouraged to sit on any furniture they can find.
∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞
PRESS REPORT FEBRUARY 2013
The subject of the talk given by David Robbie at the February meeting was “J.R.R. Tolkein in Staffordshire”,
In 1915 Tolkein was commissioned in Lancashire Fusilier as Signals Officer and transferred to Brocton Camp.
In 1916 he married Edith Mary Bratt and for a while they lived at the old Clifford Arms in Great Haywood and later St. John’s Presbytery. Tolkein travelled to France and took part in the battle of the Somme. He contracted Trench Fever and was invalided out of the army returning to Great Haywood to convalesce. It is thought that he gained many of his ideas for his mythical tales from living in the area.
In “The Tales of the Sun and the Moon there is reference to the village of Tavrobel which has a bridge where two rivers meet, this being Essex Bridge. In the same tale there is a gnome, Gilfanan, “whose ancient house – 'The House of a Hundred Chimneys' – stands
nigh the bridge of Tavrobel” - thought to refer to Shugborough.
Members were enthralled by David’s spellbinding talk.
∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞