THE BLACK COUNTRY MEMORIES CLUB
BILSTON - A TOWN OF ITS OWN
4th to 11th November 2006
||We start with the arrival of Lord Turner of Bilston
- not simply as a matter of precedence (after all, the
Mayor was on the way) but because it
was good to see him walking in, looking fit and well
(and in a new suit, needed because he lost so much
weight!). His political acumen has not deserted
him either - he signed the Distinguished Visitors Book
as "Lord Turner" and the ordinary Visitors Book as Dennis Turner
||Then the Mayor and Mayoress arrived and signed the
Distinguished Visitors Book, with his Lordship and other
distinguished persons in the background. Kath Kiely had
presented a basket of flowers to the Mayoress on behalf
of the Club.
|Our Treasurer, Barbara Presland, and Committee
Member Bill Pope, supervised the signing in.
||Then into the front meeting room, where (left to right) our President,
Trevor Genge; the Mayoress, Noreen Davies; the Mayor,
John Davies; our Chairman, Alan Bickley; and our
Secretary, Alma Darby; all faced the assembled throng.
||And quite an assembled throng it was too - it was
standing room only.
||The Mayor gave a most amusing and apposite speech,
even including reference to Bilston's own poet,
Sir Henry Newbolt. Note that he is occupying the Bilston
mayoral chair, which we had got out for the purpose.
But he had to apologise for not wearing the Bilston
mayoral chain - he could not get past the security
system. So at least Wolverhampton is guarding one
|After the Chairman had thanked the Mayor, the
assembly thronged out into the exhibition gallery ...
||... and still they came. That's George Philpot
to the front and Joan Oram behind him.
||Now not only were there pictures all over the walls
but Reg had made albums and display portfolios of yet
||These, like all the exhibits, continued to cause
great interest and appreciation throughout the day.
|Ron Davies, our local historian, author of many
books about the area as well as others on John Wilkinson
and Kenneth Hutchinson Smith, makes an expansive point
to Pat McFadden, our local M.P..
||Many people connected with the councils, old a new,
were there, or their relatives were. Here, our founding
father, Tom Larkin, erstwhile Bilston and Wolverhampton
councillor, puzzles out the video with the daughter of
an ex-Mayor of Bilston.
Our videos were an old film of Bilston council on its
annual parade through town; and a splendid video,
specially made for the occasion by John Mellor, about
the Bilston police force of the old days and its demise
||It was a great occasion to renew old acquaintances,
to chat about the old days and to put the modern world