May Newsletter

At the Annual Assembly of the Great Wyrley Parish Council, a brief presentation was given by Daz Buttler from Cheslyn Hay Society on the project he is undertaking re:- Cheslyn Hay burial records. Our Society members were in attendance. It is possible that a similar project might be undertaken for Great Wyrley burial records and the Society could be asked to partner the project in some way, if possible. We await the Parish Council re: – their preferred next steps.

Members of the Society attended the annual thanksgiving service and celebration for voluntary and community groups arranged and hosted by the Chairman of Great Wyrley Parish Council, Kath Perry, at the Community Centre. Gary Smith gratefully accepted a donation on behalf of the Society from the Chairman’s 2012 / 2013 fund-raising initiative at the celebration.

The monthly coffee morning address was given by Paul Ford on Zeppelin raids in Walsall and surrounding areas. The hugely entertaining talk included many unknown facts providing numerous contrasts between the defences at the time of the possible raids and nowadays. Arrangements have been finalised for our participation in the Great Wyrley Carnival being held on June 29th. Members have been asked to support the activities during the day and, in particular, visit the Society stand on the ‘Star’ field.

Efforts are being made to arrange a visit to the Mother of Pearl factory run by Geoff Hook, as requested by Society members. The likely timeframe is October. Places will be offered on a ’first come first served’ basis and details will be confirmed to members as soon as possible.

Enquiries asking for family information have been received from Australia and Thailand. They are being checked out in order to provide further details, if and where possible. Gavin Williamson, our M.P. has provisionally confirmed he will join us at our ‘Open Day’ being held at Harrisons club on 16th November. An extensive program for the day has started to be arranged and will be further developed in the upcoming weeks.

A group licence has been discussed for the Ancestry software. This would provide further support for the ‘Genealogy for beginners’ sessions that are being held on the 4th Thursday of each month and a final decision will be made in the next few weeks. Background data to commemorate the Great War (World War 1) continues to be sought (and provided at times) and is further sought by numerous local Societies. As part of the efforts, a number of documents are forwarded electronically. For example, a Radio 4 program about German soldiers on Cannock Chase. Members expressed interest in being kept informed of on-going progress. Should any member wish to receive a copy of electronic information that is received, could they please send an e-mail to and efforts would be made to share the information as much as possible.

A quick straw-poll with members at the coffee morning indicated a strong preference for these monthly web-site newsletters to be copied and left on tables for attendees to view at the monthly coffee mornings. This will be arranged, whenever possible.

The project to re-index our archives and artefacts continues to move forward. It is enabling us to receive further contents and efforts are being made to achieve this objective. Church, voluntary and community groups are being contacted in the near future and members are to be asked if they could look further into their personal, and near family, collections to see if they have other contents. It has resulted in 4 personal pictures being forwarded that did not seem to have a more general interest. A daughter in ‘special’ gear for a carnival in 1980 and a bell-ringing class at school in 1981 did not seem History Society material to me, for instance. Our Society Photo Archivist, Sue Challenger, quickly explained why I was wrong. Every member is being asked to re-look so we can further build up our archives for us, and future generations. Many thanks.

Ron Myatt