Commemorative Bench

Autumn 2017 Mr. Rob Caddick was tending the garden at the home of Mr. Eric Prichard on the Walsall Road when he discovered an eight foot bench, on closer inspection he realised the bench had an inscription on it.

In memory of Thomas Garratt first chairman of this Fellowship and of Nellie his wife 1959″.

Apparently this bench had been removed from the Senior Citizens Centre many years before as it was being vandalised.

Rob reported his find to his mother, Cath, who mentioned it to the Local History Society. They took it upon themselves to get the bench restored. Two members of the District Council , (Cath Williams and Janet Johnson) donated towards the renovation and the Parish Council gave permission to situate the bench in the Memorial Garden, this will be done in the spring.

Mr. Owen Ingles offered to restore the bench, and a wonderful job he made of it.


Jenni Bond (nee Homeshaw), who now lives in Tasmania, and her cousin Geoff Hackett contacted the society and reported that Thomas Garratt was their Grandfather.

We would like to know what “the Fellowship” was. We assume it was held  at the Co-operative Hall on the Walsall Road as the Senior Citizens centre did not open until February 1959, and Thomas died in 1951 and Nellie 1957.

January 2017 Newsletter

Sue Bray, from the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, made a welcome return, to  talk about Francis Barber. Francis was a young black slave, who was brought to England by Colonel Richard Bathhurst, whose son was a close friend of Johnson. The Bathhursts sent Francis to Johnson as a valet, just after the death of Johnson’s wife.

When Colonel Bathhurst died he left Francis £12 and his freedom. After serving some time as an apothecary in London, he ran away to sea.

Dr. Johnson arranged for his discharge, and paid for his education. Johnson came to rely on him as a secretary as well as a valet. When Johnson died he left Francis Barber an annuity of £70 and a gold watch.

On  March 30th at the Senior Citizens Centre Broadmeadow Lane, 3.00 pm until 8.00pm we are opening our archives for  public viewing, everyone welcome.

We hope to arrange a coach trip to the National Arboretum, at Alrewas in June or July.

Coffee mornings are at the Senior Citizens centre at 10.00 am

Coffee morning speakers:-

February 16th Women in Focus Derek Tamea

March 16th Local Murders  Anthony Hunt

March 30th Archive Viewing

April 20th Hanging Ladies Alan Rose

April 22nd St. Georges Day at Harrisons.

May 18th National Memorial  Roger Halewood

The AGM will be in June NOT July as previously advertised