Newsletter – May 2010

May 22nd, 2010 by JCope

The speaker at the Society’s May meeting had set himself an interesting task: the subjects of his talk had all disappeared!  Ian Bott thrilled his audience with an absorbing presentation on ‘Lost Mansions of the Black Country’.  Illustrated by a fascinating series of images, our speaker provided a little history on nearly twenty departed houses.

Ian’s talk started with Sandwell Hall, built on the site of Sandwell Priory, next was Bescot Manor and this was followed by Bradley Hall in Kingswinford, which was dismantled and taken to Stratford as Bradley Lodge.  We covered Wollaston Hall, Willenhall Hall and Perry Hall, before seeing Highfields in Halesowen.  The saga continued as we saw images through time of long-vanished houses in Wednesbury, Smethwick, Oldbury, Sedgley and Wolverhampton.

Unfortunately owners fell on hard times, mine-workings caused subsidence, buildings were gutted by fire and eventually ‘civic vandalism’ ensured that future generations were denied visiting these splendid structures.

At a second May event, David Skitt presented an illustrated talk on the Severn Valley Railway as a prelude to lunch on the train on 1st August.  After a little history and a trip along the line, we all enjoyed an excellent cheese and wine supper.

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