Cheslyn Hay & DLHS Weekly Newsletter – 17th December 2017

EVENTS  Unfortunately Roger’s ‘Christmas Chat n Char’ had to be cancelled last Thursday because of unavoidable circumstances.  A short but heavy snowburst, that had not been forecasted, on the Wednesday night prevented Roger and the committee setting up the stalls.  Roger now intends to hold his ‘Come and Spend a Penny’ event in January and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday.  Everyone welcome.

REQUESTS  From Les Scriven who emails ‘In April 2015 your society published an article regarding the death of a local miner named Charles Leach.  Charles died in a colliery accident on the 9th June 1912.  Would it be possible for me to obtain a copy of this item. I am also interested in Charles family tragic circumstances.’

And an enquiry from Marlene Marshall who is tracing her Griffin family from Wedges Mills.  She emails ‘My g-g-g-g-uncle Richard Griffin in the 1841 census is living at Wedges Mills and  anything you may find would be of great interest to me.  Richard married Ann Long on 31st January 1803 in Cowley and they had three children – David (b1820), Matthew (b1823) and Enoch or Amos (b1827).  Richard Griffin died in 1862 with his records showing Penkridge.  Any photos of the Griffin grave stones would be amazing if that is at all possible.’

A photograph on our Facebook page from Trevor Edwards of the 1965 David Blount’s class prompted Peter Stallard to enquire about a few of his old classmates from fifty years ago.  They are Clive Mason, Michael Matthews, Peter Illidge, Alan Roden, John West, Linda Heminsley, Linda Biggs, Susan Saunders, Valerie Fordham, Stephanie Green, Diane Edwards, Veronica Hall, Helen Ridgway, Jimmy Burke, Nigel Pritchard, Brian Howarth, Hilary Craddock Margaret Westwood.  Please let me know via the email address below if you have any information on these people and perhaps, if there is enough interest, to arrange a general get-together at the Salem on a Tuesday in a couple of months time.

RESPONSES  Further to Paul’s request on John Haycox who was killed in the First World War we have been able to find details of his Anglo Boer War records (1899-1902) as well as two reports of his death from Walsall Observer and South Staffs Chronicle plus his background in Cheslyn Hay.  We also have a photograph of him and Vi has provided full details of his parents, siblings and children.

Unfortunately we have not been able to help Derek Bullock very much with his quest on finding any living relatives of Reginald Cecil Smart.  He was born in Dudley in 1892 and he died in a Sandwell nursing home on 31 July 1982.  He married Dorothy M Morris at St Martins in London in 1918 and they had one child Margaret R Smart born 1921.  The family were living at 14 Croftdown Road in Birmingham in 1939 with Reginald as a Mining Engineer and surveyor.  The daughter, however, is listed as ‘incapacitated’ and we have no further trace of her.

We’ve had no response for Bill Thomason’s enquiry after Arthur Bradley but our Military Historian, Bob, explains what ‘MIZPAH’ is associated with.

ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS  Details of the inquest following the mining fatality of Charles Leach/Leech, as mentioned above, in June 1912 at Harrison’s New Sinkings Colliery from the Lichfield Mercury.


15th December 1917   A special meeting of the Local Relief Committee and Red Cross Society and the raising of funds.  A further meeting when it was reported that out of Cheslyn Hay alone 341 men had enlisted and 37 had made the supreme sacrifice for King, Country and freedom.

15th December 1917  The members of the local Working Men’s Club still contributing to the Wolverhampton Hospitals.

15th December 1917  The Institute connected with the Salem Schools have formed a football and are playing on the Barn Flat Grounds, which are kindly lent by Mr George H Seedhouse. On Saturday afternoon details of a match between the Institute and Great Wyrley Institute.


Timely excerpts this week on the winter of 1965 from ‘Auntie Kath’s Diary’ as related by Diana.  Kath Wootton was married to headmaster Isaac (Jim) Stokes.

Wonderful stories, memories and nostalgia involving  Rev Jenkins, Geoff Parkes‘ shop in Station Street, Tom Smith, Marion DevereuxBill Leach,Dr MaloneFrank Hackett as well as a winter blizzard and the usual Christmas festivities.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our members and particularly to all the contributors throughout the year.

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