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Stained Glass Picture Memories of our meeting

Annual General Meeting 2005 
and Tom Larkin's Newtown

St. Mary's Church, 23rd February 2005
Stained Glass Picture
St. Mary's Church It was a pretty horrible day - snow and a biting wind.  The church was under scaffolding as the roof was being repaired.  But inside all was warm and cosy and there was a splendid atmosphere.  A wonderfully large number of members and visitors came along during the day, helped along, no doubt, by the publicity arranged by Jim Speakman, David and Megan Fitzgerald Plummer and others.  Reg Aston In the church foyer Reg Aston had set up yet another new display of photos and maps, on boards and in books.
And on the altar steps - a most appropriate place - Sandra Aston had a delightful display of wedding memorabilia.  St. Mary's will be having a festival of weddings on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th September 2005, at which Sandra will put on a display all about weddings, especially those held at St. Mary's and other Bilston churches.  If anyone has photos or other material about such weddings, please get in touch with us. Sandra Aston had a delightful display of wedding memorabilia Frank Sharman put on a display of Bilston Knights, which the Club has been investigating.  He also brought along a cast iron and enamel plaque, depicting the Last Supper.  a display of Bilston Knight

During the course of the day Mike Shelley-Smith arrived.  He had worked at Cannon for many years and not only confirmed that the caped knights were made at Cannon but also that they were cast by Jimmy Southall.  Jimmy had also cast the model cannons and may well have cast the Last Supper, which was certainly a Cannon product and was a very tricky bit of casting.  He also told us that Cannon closed its foundry about 1976-8; so that gives us a latest possible date for these knights and other pieces of hearth furniture.  Earlier in the day Dick Rhodes, who had been, for many years, an estate agent and surveyor in Wolverhampton, not only confirmed that the original Bilston Knight was an all night fire but also said that a friend of his had had the Last Supper built into the fireplace in the hall-lounge of his house.  And then George Philpot told us that his church, the Bentley Methodist Church, had one on one of its walls. 

Trevor Genge Our President, Trevor Genge, brought along a most interesting display board on which he had told the story of the descendants of Samuel Edge, who now live in Canada.  The display included two photos of members of the family which they had kindly sent him. 

Later in the day, at the AGM, Trevor referred to this story and commented on how wonderful the Internet had been in bringing him into contact with the family, and them with him, and adding greatly to the history of Edge Shoes. 

Kath Kiely Kath Kiely brought along the 18th century violin which she had played since she was a girl.  She also had with her the two music books she had used when she started to learn to play. 
Alma Darby and Barbara Presland  looked after all the administration and money, helped, as always, by Bill Pope.  And, of course, there was time for tea, sandwiches and cake. The gentleman talking to Barbara is Leslie Forrester, whose family had a furniture shop in Bilston for over a hundred years.  The business was in Church Street, in the former Electric or Grand Cinema. Alma Darby, Barbara Presland Bill Pope and Leslie Forrester People soon started crowding in.  This is a fine rear view of Mr and Mrs Ron Davies.  We were able to display a large copy of one of Ron's drawings of this very area as it would have been in the 1930s.

On the left Sandra Aston is talking to Roy France who, along with his sister Olga, had supplied several photographs of their parents' butcher's shop at 97 Oxford Street.  These photos were on display.

People soon started crowding in. 
members and visitors look round Reg's display More members and visitors look round Reg's display.  You can see what sort of day it was outside by the warm coats that everyone turned up in.  Then the AGM got under way. Then the AGM got under way.  Here (far left) is a our Deputy President, John Elwell, who had again come all the way down from Yorkshire.  We were particularly glad to see him on this occasion as he has not been in the best of health.  The Chairman, Alan Bickley, the Secretary, Alma Darby, and the Treasurer, Barbara Presland, get ready to start.

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