On Tuesday October 8th the Group joined Kidderminster Civic Society who were marking the 175th anniversary of the opening of Kidderminster Union Workhouse. Dr Paul Carter from the National Archives (Director of Pauper Prisons Pauper Palaces Project) gave an illustrated talk on the founding of the Poor Law Unions & gave some details of the setting up of the Kidderminster Workhouse. Several members, under the guidance of Gay Hill, organised a display featuring work/research from the Living the Poor Life & Pauper Prisons Pauper Palaces projects.
Topics for local research
We have drawn up a list of local People, Places, Pubs & Buildings which could be suitable for individual or group research. It is by no means definitive. The list is now in the Members’ Area of the website which is accessible by password only. Some have already been researched & appeared in Forest Clearing but there are plenty to chose from.
This is the Group’s Newsletter published 3 times a year. We are gradually inserting older editions.
Our Own Polo Shirts
We now have available a limited edition polo shirt embroidered with the Group’s name & logo at a cost of £11.98. Anyone interested in these excellent quality shirts should contact the Chairman Norman Broadfield on 01562 60818
Kidderminster Workhouse Records- project underway.
A very small band of members, under the guidance of Jo Roche, are currently transcribing the Admission and Discharge books of Kidderminster Workhouse from 1904 onwards. These reveal a fascinating insight into the flow of people through the institution, not only from the immediate area.
We are afraid that since the changes at Kidderminster Library, this work has come to an unscheduled halt.
First Victorian Workhouse Project – Living The Poor Life
This was undertaken by a number of our members. The documentation for that is now online & can be accessed through the National Archives website by putting in the code MH12 and the area you want to look at (if you don’t want to look at all areas). It is fully searchable by person or place name. Guidance on how to search the archives is given on the web site.
The other Poor Law Unions catalogued along with Kidderminster were – Axminster – Basford – Berwick upon Tweed – Bishops Stortford – Blything – Bromsgrove – Cardiff – Clutton – Keighley – Liverpool Select Vestry – Llanfyllin – Mansfield – Mitford & Launditch – Newcastle under Lyme – Newport Pagnell – Reeth – Rye – Southampton Incorporation – Truro – Tynemouth – Wolston & Burslem.
Second Victorian Workhouse Project – Pauper Prisons Pauper Palaces
In April last year we heard that the British Association for Local History (BALH) had been granted over £35,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund for stage two of the Workhouse Project. A further eight volumes, up to the early 1870s, will be the subject of stage two. Our publicity Officer, Gay Hill, was shortlisted for the post of Records & Research Officer. About twenty volunteers signed up & some are now on their 2nd or 3rd allocations. Most are members of the Group. These documents relate to the Kidderminster Workhouse up to 1874, The project which started in June 2012 is due to finish in 2014.