This page contains information from the past, about things that have happened in Great Wyrley & the surrounding areas. If you think there is an important piece of history that deserved to be added to this page, please email it to us. PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
2023 – What’s happening with the History Society Today
Like all Societies we were hit during the pandemic, members & loved ones lost, shutdown, then the LOCKDOWN’s were our biggest enemy, but we kept up with with producing our quarterly magazines. It took sometime to get back to normal, our first meeting we had 19 people attend and seven of those were committee!
We are still building our membership numbers back up and have around 80 members. On a Coffee Morning with a speaker we have 40 plus people attending. We have now had our first Evening Meeting with guess speaker, which was a great success & we will be holding a regular Evening Meeting every three months. We have day trips out, to places like the Black Country Museum, as well as other venues. We are a small Society and welcome all from the village and outside areas that want to come in and visit us.
We have produced three A4 books and one American A5 book, the three A4 are of general scenes of the village and the other is a book we had printed with lottery money called Reflections Over the Years.
2020-2022 – Covid-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 18 April 2023, the pandemic had caused 762,790,388 cases and 6,897,012 confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history. Read More…
2009 – The Start of Great Wyrley History Society
This all started in 2009 between Trevor Pearce, Terry Challenger and myself (Gary Smith). I had always been interested in history of all sorts and reading Homeshaw’s book on Great Wyrley. I thought why not have a local history movement for Wyrley as well as Cheslyn Hay. This is where Trevor and Terry came into the picture. We were fortunate to have the help of Trevor McFarlane – Previous Chairman for Cheslyn Hay District & Local History Society, and Sue Challenger (Terry’s Wife), that was the photo archivist for CHDLHS. So with their help we were able to create an archive of photos for Great Wyrley History Society, this would have been in the spring of 2009 and then decided to create another local history group in the area.
We held a meeting at the Snooker Club in Holly Lane where we formed a committee, after that we held an exhibition at the club and had our first speaker, Paul Ford. We then decided to print a quarterly magazine, which we produce to this day, the first one was in the autumn of that year and up to the present have had 55 magazines printed. In the early days we had our Open Days at Great Wyrley Club on the Walsall Road but then moved to Harrison’s and finally we are at our headquarters, the Senior Citizens Centre in Broadmeadow Lane.
1939-1945 The Second World War
Whilst the men were sent off to fight in the War, the women were left at home to work in the factories, making guns, machinery & ammunition.
1914-1918 The First World War
1903 – Great Wyrley Outrages
In 1903, the place was the scene of the Great Wyrley Outrages, a series of slashings of horses, cows and sheep. In October, a local solicitor and son of the parson, George Edalji, was tried and convicted for the eighth attack, on a pit pony, and sentenced to seven years with hard labour. Edalji’s family had been the victims of a long-running campaign of untraceable abusive letters and anonymous harassment in 1888 and 1892–5. Further letters, in 1903, alleged he was partially responsible for the outrages and caused the police suspicion to focus on him. Read more…
1845 – St. Mark’s Church
St. Mark’s Church, a highly finished structure in the early English style, built 1845, at a cost of £2,430, of which sum £1,200 was given by the Rev. William Gresley, prebendary of Lichfield; the remainder was raised by subscription, aided by £333 from the Diocesan, and £250 from the Incorporated Society;
A perpetual curacy; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield;
A school, purchased from the Independents, was opened in 1843 which cross-references the gazetteer entry Cannock.
1876 – Shapurji Edalji
In 1876 Shapurji Edalji was appointed Vicar of Great Wyrley; he served until his death forty-two years later. A Parsi convert to Christianity from Bombay, he may well have been the first South Asian to become the incumbent of an English parish.
1086 – Early History
Great Wyrley is mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name of Wereleia, and as early as 1086 is said to have been indirectly owned by the Bishop of Chester St John’s as part of the “somewhat scattered holdings” of the Church of Saint Chad in Lichfield. Some 480 acres of farming land were, assumingly, evenly distributed between Wyrley and nearby Norton Canes. However, all six dependencies of Saint Chad had been labelled as “wasta”, which meant they had been abandoned by the time the Domesday Book was made. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia