memorial clock

Willenhall History Society



Meetings take place at Willenhall Chart Centre, Gomer Street at 7.15pm on the second Tuesday each month unless otherwise notified.


MEETINGS ARE RESTARTING FROM 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021 - Come back to this page for details of further meetings and speakers as the programme is arranged.



14th September

First meeting this year! Open evening with archives available for viewing
12th October    
Penny Wheat  - The  Perils of Public  Speaking.
9th November  Not another 'Night at the Pictures'  Yes, so don't moan as its better than tele' with no repeats and a free ice cream.
14th December   Society member's Xmas meal at Toll House with any luck. Watch this space.
11th January Dave Butler-Hollington - The History of Glass Bottles.
8th February Keith Robinson - A Victorian History of Darlaston told through the people of one street.
8th March A. G. M.
4th Jan.
Nigel Wiggins  -  The story of 'Old Hall' stainless steel tableware.
11th Feb.
Trevor Johnson  -  Bilston's own Harry Harrison  - A walk down Memory Lane with a few laughs along the way.
10th March
A.G.M.  Plus a look at our archives afterwards.
postponed Keith Robinson  -  A Victorian history of Darlaston told through the people of one street. - postponed
12th.May. postponed Peter Butler-Hollington  -  The History of Glass Bottles. postponed
13th.June. postponed Society Day Trip  - Venue to be decided. postponed
14th July
Penny Wheat  -  The Perils of Public Speaking.  postponed
11th August
August 11th, (Re-scheduled from February)  Trevor Johnson, Bilston's own Harry Harrison. 'A walk down 
Memory Lane with a few laughs along the way.' postponed
8th.September.  Short trip to the Avoncroft  Museum, Bromsgrove. Price to be determined. postponed
26th September Local History Fair postponed
Society open night with our archives on display. Come and join us. postponed
10th.November.  Not another 'Night at the Pictures' Yes. So don't moan - its a lot better than the 'tele'  with interesting old film and includes a free ice - cream.  postponed                                
8th.December. Society Xmas dinner at the Toll House Restaurant. postponed
8th January David Cox - The Wolves let loose at Wolverhampton - The election riots of 1835.
12th February Michael Sampson - Marilyn Monroe.
12th March A G M followed by a short talk on body armour by Gail Finch
9th April Paula Lockley - Transported - A Willenhall man tried for murder in 1864
14th May Margaret Smallman - Tales of a trolley bus clippie
11th June No Meeting
15th June Society day trip - venue to be decided
9th July John Mobberley - Do you remember when - life in postwar Britain
13th August Society open night with archives on display
10th September Mary Bodfish - The baby in the locket
8th October Alan Thornton - Make do and mend
12th November Another night at the pictures - old film and free ices
10th December No meeting Society members' Xmas party at Ye Olde Toll House Restaurant
9th January  Kate Hartland-Westwood.- Wolverhampton Coffee Mill Makers - A Forgotten History.  
13th February John Mabberley.- Do you remember when - The Home Front 1939-45.  
13th March A.G.M. followed by open evening with archive material available for viewing.
10th April Adrian Barrett. - Dudley Limestone Caverns - Life and Death.   
8th May John Pittwood. - The real 'Allo, Allo' - the Sequel.   
16th June Annual Trip - A coach journey down the route of the River Thames
10th July Saddique Hussain - A history of Ealing Films.
14th August Open evening with our archive material available for viewing
11th September No evening meeting but a short local trip to be substituted. Details later.
9th October Another night at the pictures - Old film or a documentary (ice cream included)
13th November Charles Brecknell - War service of S.N. Menzies, dispatch rider and pilot 1914 - 19.
11th December Christmas Meal at the Olde Toll House restaurant
10th Jan. John Pittwood - The real "Allo Allo". A real wartime escape story.
14th Feb. Stan's Cut - Another Night at the Pictures. Some old documentary film to include local lock making.
14th March A.G.M. followed by access to some archives.
11th April Saddig Hussain - The History of British Film Movie Studios.
9th May Society Open Evening with archive material for viewing.
13th June Michael Sampson - The Life of Norman Wisdom.
8th July (Saturday) Society trip to Chatsworth House (leaving CHART Centre at 9.30am)
11th July No meeting due to close proximity of trip
8th August John Evans - Diamonds are a Queen's best friend
12th September Mary Bodfish - You can't abdicate and eat it
10th October Rev Garry Ward - Frank Foley, 'The Black Country Schindler'
14th November Christine Gregory - Remembrance Day in other countries.
12th December Society Christmas meal - venue to be decided
12 January Dr David Cox - A Short History of Bigamy
9 February Carol Wollaston - Donovan Family
8 March A.G.M.
12 April Philip Clayton - Joeys, Joshers and James and the Birmingham Canal Navigation
10 May Bob Rushton - Nostalgia Quiz - Music, pictures and trivia from the 1950s to the 70s
14 June Denzil Smith - Experiences of a prison visitor
12 July A walk around Willenhall
30 July Albert Dock Liverpool
9 August Society Open Evening
13 September Jim Wall - The Past Beneath Your Feet - Bloxwich Research and Metal Detecting Club
11 October Carol Wollaston - The Donovans. The story of an Irish family settling in Willenhall
8 November Trevor Bevan. A Dickens of a tale. Charles Dickens and the Pickwick Cycling Club.
13 December Society Members Christmas Meal - Ye Old Toll House Restaurant
13 January Trevor Lowbridge, Retired C.I.D. Officer. - Serious Crime Cases.
10 February Patricia Boyd. ---  What the Butler Saw.
10 March A.G.M.
14 April A Night at the Pictures.  -  The Chairman's cut.
9 June cancelled
4 July Society Trip to Southport, stopping at Port Sunlight
14 July
Open evening - archive material for viewing. Those feeling energetic are free to form a small sub-group to have a walk around the Heritage Trail.
11 August
Penny Smith - A Missionary Family
8 September Barry Thorndyke - Willenhall Police in the 60's.
13 October Paul Hanford - The Life and Execution of Nurse Edith Cavell.
10 November Open Evening - Archive material on display. Members are invited to bring along their own Willenhall related items to share with us.
8 December
Christmas and Society Silver Jubilee Celebrations. All suggestions welcome.
14th Jan   Roy Stallard - WWI Return of the wounded
11th Feb   Chris Upton - The work house
11th March   AGM
8th April   Mary Bodfish - Easy as abc
13th May   Paul Handford - WWI A group of medals and a rather surprising connection to an infamous incident in 1916
10th June   Dr David J Cox - A history of the Bow Street Runners
8th July    A Walk with John
19th July   Trip - Ludlow
12th Aug   John Holt - A historic photographic perspective over the decade
9th Sept   Paul Ford - WWI Zeppelins
14th Oct   Open night - archives on display - visitors welcome
11th Nov Chris Twiggs - Sydney John Sankey, killed 1915 on the Western Front
9th Dec   Christmas Party
January 8th Paul Handford– Egbert Cadbury and his remarkable achievement during World War I
February 12th Chris Upton – New Lamps for old - the creation of Birmingham Police Force
March 12th Annual General Meeting
April 9th John Lethbridge - Crime and punishment in Warwickshire in the early Nineteenth century
May 14th Mary Bodfish - Merry Monarchs Part II
June 11th Jane Smith - Willenhall Man Tyldesley
July 9th A Walk around Willenhall
August 13th Bob Rushton (Society member) – Nostalgia Quiz – Pictures, Music, Films etc. You know the answers but can you remember them!
September 10th Stuart Williams – Willenhall in old maps

October 8th

Cliff Kirby Tibbits – The ghosts of Jabez Cliff
November 12th To be arranged
December 10th Christmas Party

January 10th Malcom Astley – History of the calendar
February 14th Chris Upton – The Staffordshire Hoard
March 13th Annual General Meeting
April 10th Ian Bott - Black Country Burials – Funny and Macabre
May 8th Paul Handford – TLC at the front World War 1
June 12th Mike Glasson - Walsall Leather Industry
July 10th A Walk around Willenhall
August 14th Mac Joseph - Birmingham then and now
September 11th Roy Stallard - The other Wolverhampton Hospitals
October 9th Chris Pitt – History of horse racing in Birmingham and the West Midlands
November 13th Annette and John Christophers – History of potting
December 11th Christmas Party
January 11th Pat Boyd - Mind your language
February 8th Stuart Williams - Captain Clarke, the Leamore Lion Tamer
March 8th Annual General Meeting
April 12th Chris Upton – Dining out in the Victorian West Midlands
May 10th Paul Handford – Part 2 – Civilian Ambulance Drivers in World War 1 1916 - 1918
June 14th Roy Stallard – War wounded in Wolverhampton Hospitals
July 12th A Walk around Willenhall
July 23rd Trip to National Brewery Centre, Burton on Trent
August 9th Laurence Ince - Engine building at Boulton and Watt's Soho factory
September 13th Mike Miles - The working lives of Midland canal boat women 1800 - 1960
October 11th Ian Payne - The actor Richard Wattis
November 8th Ian Bott - A gallery of pub signs
December 13th Christmas Party
January 12th Ian Bott - Black Country Murders
February 9th Paul Handford MBE – Civilian volunteer Ambulance Units in the First World War.
March 9th Annual General Meeting
April 13th Chris Upton – ‘Spring Heel Jack’ The rise and fall of a Victorian bogey man.
May 11th Trish Dawson – Devices and Desires
June 8 th Alan Lewis – The origin and legacy of ‘The Royal Oak’
July 13th Walk around Willenhall
August 10th

Roy Stallard – Extension of the Wolverhampton Hospitals story

September 14th John Agar - Fire Service in Birmingham
October 12th Mary Bodfish - 'Cavalier Dogs and Roundhead Rogues' Civil War in the Wolverhampton and Birmingham area.
November 9th John Shercliff - Working in Willenhall - remembering our days at work.
December 14th Christmas party
January 13th Alan Gilbert - Canal Tunnels
February 10th Chris Upton - 'A most peculiar type' The life and death of Printer John Baskerville
March 10th Annual General Meeting
April 14th Mike Miles - The life of Baron Ash and Packwood House
May 12th Freddy Gick - History of Birmingham Civic Society
June 9th Eric Collett - George Cadbury, his influence on chocolate and Bournville
July 14th Adrian Durkin - Dudley Castle
August 11th Walk around Willenhall
September 8th David Pullar - William Pullar, Chelsea Pensioner
October 13th Stuart Williams and his photographs
November 10th Carol Gosling - Is there a doctor in the house?
December 8th Christmas Party
January 8th meeting abandoned due to power cuts - Carol Gosling's talk now in September
February 12th John Boynton – Tramways old and new
March 11th Annual General Meeting
April 8th John Hughes – Trolleybuses
May 13th David Pullar - John Kilvert, survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade
June 10th Chris Upton – Tudor Wolverhampton
July 8th Len Crane – Steam engines
August 12th Walk around Willenhall
September 9th Carol Gosling – A Journey through Moseley Old Hall
October 14th Dianne Mannering – John Dudley and the nine days Queen
November 11th Maureen Hunt - Thomas Bratt, the "Portobello Poet"
December 9th Christmas Party
January 9th Clive Smith - Bellringing and Restoration
February 13th Stuart Williams - On the Trail of Tolkien
March 13th Annual General Meeting
April 17th Memories of Willenhall. Bring your photos and memories
May 8th Mary Bodfish - Beer, Bets and Bull Baiting
June 12th Ernest Howells - History of the Brass Band
July 10th Willenhall Walk
Saturday August 4th Trip to Castle Howard - more details later
August 14th Alan R. Peace - Himley Hall, Past, Present and Future
September 11th All our Yesterdays - bring your photos and memories of Willenhall
October 9th Chris Upton - Workhouses
November 13th Roy Stallard - Royal Hospital and Eye Infirmary
December 11th Christmas party
January 10th Trevor Antill - Charles II route - The Monarch's Way Part 3
February 14th James Roberts - The Brand Builders - the story or Selacough sweets
March 14th Annual General Meeting
April 11th Ruth Vyse - Sister Dora
May 9th Heather Lomax - Jane Lane in context
June 13th Chris Upton - Living Back to Back
July 11th Willenhall Walk - Railways of Willenhall. Meet at 7 pm.
Saturday August 5th Visit to Blenheim
August 8th Paul Ford - Queens - a coin talk.
September 12th Mike Glasson - Made in Walsall
October 10th All our Yesterdays - bring your photos and memories of Willenhall
November 14th Ned Williams - Banners
MONDAY December 11th Christmas Party
January 11th Trevor Antill - Charles II route through the Cotswolds - The Monarch's Way Part 2
February 8th Patricia Boyd - Upstairs, Downstairs
March 8th Annual General Meeting
April 12th Alan L. Rogers - The History of South Staffs Water
May 10th Tim Corbett - Now for Something Completely Different
June 14th Ned Williams - Black Country Chapels
July 12th Willenhall Walk
August 9th Our Town Willenhall
August Visit - to be arranged
September 13th Richard Rhodes - Auctioneering
October 11th Mary Bodfish - The Singularities of Bodfish
November 8th Mark Dabbs - Cholera Epidemic of Willenhall
December 13th Christmas +
January 13th Trevor Antill - Charles II route through the Midlands in the 1650s - The Monarch's Way
February 10th Graham Tarbuck - The Cinema Entertains
March 9th Annual General Meeting
April 6th Peter Manners - Local and Family History and Salt Lake City
May 11th Lesley Vasey - Family History Talk
June 8th Alan Rose - Midland pub signs
July 13th Willenhall Walk
August 10th Visit - to be arranged
September 14th Peter Knowles - Willenhall Maps
October 12th Arthur Aston - The First Flyers - The Wright Brothers at Kittyhawk
November 9th Michael Taylor - Research Gems of a Black Country Novelist
December 14th Christmas +
January 14th Roger Knowles - Original Documents for Research
February 11th The Black Country Museum History - How it all Began
March 11th Annual General Meeting
April 8th Lesley Vasey - Willenhall Locks and Lassies
May 13th Arthur Aston - James Watt and the Steam Engine
June 10th Dr. Pamela Sambrook - Children and Childhood in 19th Century Staffordshire
July 8th Willenhall Walk
August 12th Visit to Whittington Barracks
September 9th Meeting cancelled due to temporary closure of meeting hall. The talk by Ken Kempson - Kempsons in Willenhall 1800 to 1939 will be rescheduled
October 14th Philip Solomon - Black Country Ways
November 11th H. Richard Rhodes - Memories
December 9th Christmas Party with Harry Harrison - Black Country Comedy
January 8th Inspector Barry Thorndyke - Willenhall Police
February 12th Stuart Williams - Local History and the Internet
March 12th Annual General Meeting
April 9th Andy Lound - Astronomy
May 14th Arthur Aston - Some Iniquities of the Butty System
June 11th Visit to Bantock House, Wolverhampton
July 9th A walk around the Willenhall Town Trail
August 13th Geoff Sorrell - Surnames and their origins
September 10th  
October 8th Ned Williams - Theatres in the Black Country
November 12th Peter Owen - History of the Midland Bank, Willenhall
December 10th Christmas Party
January 9th David Bathurst - Walsall Markets
February 13th Geoff Marsh - Cathedral Construction
March 13th Annual General Meeting
April 10th Cath Yates - Tithe Maps
May 8th Andy Lound - Titanic, return of a dream
Wednesday June 13th Carl Chinn - Admission by ticket only. Tickets 3.00 available from April 10th. At Park Community Centre (Portobello School)
July 10th A Walk in the park - meet at the Bandstand, Willenhall Memorial Park 7.00pm
August 14th Steve Powell - Caves and subterranea
September 11th Richard H Tildesley - Tildesley's and the town of Willenhall
October 9th Brian Rollins - Coalmining in Brownhills, Walsall Wood and Aldridge
November 13th John Boynton - Railways past and present
December 11th Christmas Party
January 11th Pat Boyd - Upstairs, Downstairs
February 8th Derek Benbow - Heraldry
March 14th Annual General Meeting
April 11th Margaret Hyman - Greetings from the past
May 9th Dan Roberts - Chief Conservation Officer
June 13th Trip to Highgate Brewery
July 11th A walk around Willenhall - Go west young man.
August 8th David Nicholls (Millers of Wolverhampton) - All that Glitters
September 12th Peter Robinson - Born in Song (John Wesley)
October 10 th Ruth Vyse – Walsall Local History Centre – An Introduction
November 14 th James Bradbury – History of the Royal National Liferboat Institution
December Christmas Party