Cheslyn Hay & DLHS Weekly Newsletter – 13th May 2018

EVENTS  No events organised for this week but we have almost sold out of places for the appearance of actress and performing historian, Lesley Smith, on Thursday 31 May starting at 7.30pm at the Salem Schoolroom.  It is strictly a ticket only occasion and we have only 19 tickets left priced at £5 and we will not be advertising the event after today.  Our apologies but no-one will be able to pay for entry on the night.  So first come, first served by phoning Malcolm on 01922 410021 or 07794418295 and thank you for your cooperation.

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

REQUESTS  Continuing the interest in our local accent and after Derek’s clarification (see below), Judy mentions ‘uwp th’a bonk’ in relation to up the top end of Station Street which brought memories ‘flooding back of conversations and the wonderful accent in your area’ and Judy asks ‘Are there any recordings of this wonderful way of speaking?’  It’s interesting to observe that all the awareness of the changing language and accents from the Bonk are all from members who have left our area whilst we are quite content to let the years roll by without making any effort to record our own distinctive input into the English language!  And as Judy, in Australia, is researching her own family history starting from Cheslyn Hay says such a recall ‘would be great for the grandkids (and Grandma!)’.  So has anyone any old tape recordings etc of any old ‘bonker’ with a local accent so that more of our past can be preserved for the future?

RESPONSES  And here is the response referred to from Derek Bullock who emigrated to Canada 55 years ago.  ‘Firstly the word ‘duck’ as a term of greeting has nothing at all to do with the winged bird as its origin is from the Saxon word ‘ducas’ which was meant as a term of respect; similar to the Middle English ‘duc’, ‘duk’ which denotes a leader, commander; from which comes the title ‘Duke’ and the Old French word ‘ducheé’ – the territory ruled by a Duke.’  Derek expands on how this endearment is used in other parts of the country and even quoting Shakespeare to support his theory.

ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS   A thought provoking two page report by Dr Alan Jones on his research on ‘Shapurji Edalji’s Religious Road to St Mark’s Church’ covering all his early life in Bombay right through to his ordination followed by all the curacies that he held before his appointment to St Mark’s. (Edalji Collection)

A cavalry sword, donated by Rob Perks three months ago for our School Displays, has created further interest.  We originally thought that it was from the First World War but we now believe it is a sabre and and could have belonged to any 19th century cavalry regiment even going back to the 1860s.


Cannock Advertiser – 9th May 1968   Cheslyn Hay group of entertaining troupes opened their 1968 season with the Gingham Girls, Annettes, Honeytots and Katrinas with information on Ann Parsons, Karen Thomas, Marilyn Jackson, Carol Stevens, Karen Harvey, Susan Farr, Linda SheltonOlwyn Haynes and Julie Westwood.

9th May 1968   News of the Salem Women’s Guild.

Cannock Chase Courier – 11th May 1918   Story of Company Sergeant Major T Lockett his bravery and the recognition he has received.

11th May 1918   The will of Captain Clarence Victor Thomas Hawkins, of Cheslyn Hay, of the South Staffordshire Regiment, whose death occurred on active service in France on September 26th.

11th May 1918   On Saturday afternoon the bowling season commenced at the Talbot Club with details of a winning start against the Vine.

11th May 1918   The Victoria Brass Band Committee held their Annual Hospital Parade on Sunday with details of the collections by Mr A Illidge, £2 17s 6d, Mr J Middleton £2 10s, Mr J Hood £2 2s, Mr Geo Ridgway £1 13s 9d, Mr J Bailey £1 10s 9d, Mr W Hall £1 1s 0d and Mr A Emery 17s 0½. making a grand total of £12 12s 1d.

APPEAL  We are currently building up a ‘Cliff Hooper Collection’ with photographs, programmes and newspaper cuttings of the Gingham Girls and Roger will be making the Cheslyn Hay Carnivals one of the main features in our Annual Exhibtion on October 6th.  In our research we have already listed many of the Carnival Queens and Princesses, namely Judith Dace, Linda Precious, Pat Moreton, Angela Dace, Shelagh Smith, Hilary Simms, Wendy Bates, Carol Horton, Carol Hood, Norma Pope and Letitia Bowater, but we wish to have a complete list of all the queens and princesses, together with any newspaper cuttings, photographs and programmes to borrow for copying to complete the display and for this to remain in our archives for future references.  Anyone with any information or have items of interest please contact me via the email address below or call into the Base any Tuesday.

WHAT’S IN OUR ARCHIVES  The mention of the sad passing of Carrie Summers last week reminded me of the time when I interviewed her and she told me of a story concerning Arnold Hawkins.  She was his personal secretary for many years and it was at the time when he was inviting some quite impressive artists to sing at the Salem.  Carrie recalls that ‘he once invited two truly renowned tenors Heddle Nash and Robert Easton and on the afternoon of the concert Mr Arnold took them on the Gailey Pool in a rowing boat.  It capsized and if it hadn’t been for the presence of Charlie Paradine, who rescued them, these two great tenors could well have had their careers dramatically cut short!’

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