5 July 2016
Heather Hidden gave us an excellent and informative guided tour of Old Oswestry Hill Fort, one of Britain’s most impressive hill forts. She highlighted some of its 3,000 years of history, from bronze age beginnings to World War 1 practice trenches as well as pointing out local landmarks. The weather was kind and we enjoyed wonderful panoramic views across the North Midlands and Welsh Border.
We then visited Oswestry Guildhall, built in November 1893 to replace the old Guildhall which was declared unsound. Mark Hignett introduced us to the delightful features of the Town Museum on the top floor housed partly in the old court rooms, and provided us with very welcome mugs of tea. Down in the basement Sara Downs showed us the impressive Town Archives which hold many deeds, charters and Town Council records.
It was an energetic, exhilarating and very enjoyable afternoon.
26 June 2016
Some of the FSA Committee
This study day to celebrate the history of Wem was held in association with the Victoria County History began with the Friends’ AGM.
The day included three talks:
The Victoria County History in Shropshire – Why Wem? by Professor Richard Hoyle, Director and General Editor of the VCH,
The landscape and town of Wem in 1631 and the 18-19th centuries by Dr James Bowen, University of Liverpool
The Women of Wem and a few Mustketeers: The Civil War battle for Wem of October 1643 by Dr Jonathan Worton
Three town walks were arranged and led by members of the Wem Civic Society who also had a display of their research activities.
Our first summer visit of 2016 was to Acton Round Hall near Bridgnorth on 25 May hosted by the owners Tom and Louisa Kennedy. Built in 1714 by Smith of Warwick for the Actons of nearby Morville, Acton Round Hall is listed Grade I, as a fine example of architecture from the Queen Anne period. Tom is the third generation of his family to live at Acton Round Hall and his tales of the house and its amazing collections of artefacts was interesting, illuminating and entertaining. We also enjoyed strolling round the beautiful gardens, admiring the stunning views, and visiting the delightful church.
Military Conflicts through Artefacts, Letters, Postcards & Family History
Monday 5 October 2015
An insight into the Napoleonic, Crimean, South African, North West Frontier conflicts and the Great War by Graham Bradbury
A fascinating glimpse into the lives of servicemen through medals, letters, photographs and other artefacts collected by Graham. As well as curating an interesting collection of military memorabilia, Graham has researched the history of the people behind these objects and in some cases been able to contact their descendants. His work demonstrates how a great deal of information can be gleaned from a single object, as well as some unusual stories. As well as enjoying Graham’s engaging talk, it was a privilege to be able to examine some of his artefacts at first hand.
Shrewsbury Railway Viaduct, from Castlefields
We enjoyed a delightful walking tour with Blue Badge guide Dorothy Nicholle on 8 July exploring the role of the River Severn in the history of Shrewsbury, its bridges, quays and some of the buildings and features on its banks. We began at St Mary’s Water Lane and walked downstream to the Welsh Bridge and Quantum Leap, with plenty of stops to listen to Dorothy’s stories. We finished our outing in our usual style with scrumptious scones and tea at Lily’s Garden Tea Rooms.
Our second summer visit of 2015 on 23 June was to Hatton Grange near Shifnal, a Georgian house built in 1764 by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard. Rupert Kenyon-Slaney, the owner of Hatton Grange, welcomed us with elderflower cordial in a former cricket pavilion in the grounds and gave an overview of the family and the origins of the house. This was followed by a tour of the house and gardens where magnificent roses were in full bloom.
Mr Kenyon-Slaney’s tour was most interesting and entertaining, and the afternoon concluded with tea and cakes in the cricket pavilion. A delightful – and sunny – afternoon.
Corbett’s Perserverance Ironworks, Shrewsbury, after the fire, 20 November 1905.
The Friends of Shropshire Archives 2015 Annual General Meeting was held on 9 June in the conference facilities at the former Perseverance Ironworks, courtesy of Morris Lubricants who also kindly provided refreshments.
Following the AGM, Dr Tamsin Bapty presented her research into the Corbett family of Wellington and Shrewsbury and their contribution to the development of agricultural machinery, some of which was manufactured at the Perseverance Ironworks. The Friends were delighted that some members of the Corbett family were able to attend.
FoSA AGM & Corbett Talk
Stanley Leighton sketch, Brynkinalt, 8th September 1896
The Friends visited Brynkinalt Hall on 1 June as the first of our 2015 summer visits. The house is a grade II* listed building, constructed in 1612 and remodelled in 1808 when two wings were added.
Brynkinalt Hall is the home of the ancestral Trevor family, and we had a delightful tour from Kate Hill-Trevor who made us feel very welcome.
Saturday 18 April 2015, 10am-4pm
This was a day to celebrate our greatly missed friend, Sylvia Watts, past Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Friends, course and project leader. It was held at Shifnal Village Hall in conjunction with Shifnal History Group.
Download the Sylvia Watts day programme
A volunteer at work in conservation
The end of the three year Vital Volunteering project was celebrated on Saturday, 28 February 2015 at The Walker Theatre, Shrewsbury. Michael Turner introduced the project, and there were talks by speakers from The National Archives, the Victoria County History, and The Place-Names of Shropshire project. Those directly involved with the Shropshire volunteering project gave their insights into the project’s funding and management, and four of the volunteers talked about their experiences and achievements.
The event demonstrated some of the fantastic work done by volunteers in conserving, identifying, cataloguing and transcribing records and artifacts so that they can be more widely enjoyed by visitors to Shropshire Archives and the county’s museums as well as online through digitisation.
Download the Vital Volunteering leaflet here