Newsletter – April 2009

April 12th, 2009 by JCope

Another full hall witnessed Ray Porter open the Society’s April meeting with the sombre news of Robert Deeley’s passing.  More cheerfully, he went on to announce the arrangements for the May Social, the trips to the National Memorial Arboretum and the Drakelow Tunnels and for the ramble to Baggeridge Country Park.

The evening’s speaker was the Dudley Borough Archaeologist, John Hemingway, whose presentation was entitled ‘A Story of the Barony and Castle of Dudley’.  John started in 1066 and William’s subsequent problems with the Welsh that caused him to build a ring of castles, including Dudley.

Our speaker continued the saga through to the second siege of 1644 and the castle’s surrender and slighting during the Civil War.  The story was told through the Somerys, the Suttons, the Dudleys and, finally the Wards.  In the time available, John was only able to touch on some of the intrigue among these families but we did note that most were permanently short of money.  As our story concluded, Dudley had become a heavily industrialised region and saw the first Newcomen engine.  The castle continued to be occasionally used until 1750, when a huge fire burnt it to a shell. Thus it became the romantic ruin we know today.

The meeting on Tuesday 2nd June is ‘Canal Art and how it came about’ by Mrs J Tomkins.   All are welcome at our meetings at St. Saviour’s Church Hall at 8pm on the first Tuesday in the month and on trips and rambles.

Comments are closed.