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Meeting Report - June 2017

At the meeting of the Romsley and Hunnington History Society on 27th June, Tim Bridges, the Conservation Advisor to the Victorian Society, gave a talk on Victorian and Edwardian Buildings in Birmingham and the Black Country. He illustrated his talk with a beautiful collection of slides, which I’m sure reminded many people of Birmingham after the war, with its wealth of impressive old buildings.

The city began as a small market town, but after the canals were introduced in the 18th century, and the railways in the 19th century, it became an industrial centre, with raw materials coming into the area and manufactured goods being distributed all over the country. Birmingham began to grow, and with new materials becoming available, architects were inspired to build grand buildings, in many different styles, which showed the skill and craftsmanship of the builders of that era. The Civic Buildings were built with pride and meant to be admired. However, after the war, much rebuilding took place, and it was felt that Birmingham should have modern shops and offices. Many of the old buildings, which were built to last and still in use, were demolished. It was only afterwards that people realised that they were part of our heritage and should have been preserved.

The old Central Library, where you studied in splendour, has been replaced twice in recent years, amid much controversy over the latest building. On the other hand, the Grand Hotel has been restored and refurbished in keeping with the period, as these old buildings were built solidly and the workmanship was second to none. Tim Bridges gave a very enlightening talk, stressing that the emphasis should be on preservation and not demolition.

Wednesday 13th September will be a very important day for the Society. Julian Hunt’s book on the Court Rolls is due to be released and to celebrate everyone is invited to the Church Hall, between 2-5pm, for tea and cakes.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 26th September at 7.30pm, in the Church Hall, when Paul Harding and Helen Lee will give a talk on, “Medieval Medicine and Surgery.” Paul’s talks are usually vividly dramatised and are always fascinating. Why not come along and see for yourself?

Pat Evans.

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Some contents of this website are taken from the book Romsley and Hunnington, a Millennium History,
written by Joe Hunt and Julian Hunt and published by the Parish Councils of Romsley and Hunnington, in association with the RHHS.

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