The 20th AGM of The Badsey Society was held on Friday 25th February 2022 as a “hybrid” meeting; 32 members were in attendance in person and 11 via Zoom. The same officers were re-elected: Maureen Spinks as Chairman, Shirley Tutton as Secretary and John Sharp as Treasurer. The same Committee was re-elected: Will Dallimore, Ian Gibson, Tom Locke, Jane Neill, Alan Tutton, Gill Woods. At the end of the business section, the winner of the Tony Jerram Award was announced as Anne McCombie.
After the business section of the meeting, Ian Gibson gave a talk about The Big Badsey Dig which will take place over the weekend of 21st-22nd May. He also brought along displays of pottery found at a dig in Beoley.
Many thanks to Alex Christison and Alex Tutton for co-ordinating the Zoom arrangements.
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Chairman’s Report 2022 – Review of 2021
A year ago we were back in full lockdown so our AGM had, by necessity, to be held via Zoom. 59 members were in attendance, representing over a quarter of the membership. The same officers and committee were re-elected. Will Dallimore provided film footage of Badsey which was shown before and after the AGM. At the end of the business section, the winner of the Tony Jerram Award was announced as Mary Dore. Normally the award would be presented in person by Barbara Jerram but this was not possible. So instead, Mary's son, Martin, surprised her on her doorstep with the trophy and Alan Tutton was there to record the event. Mary was given the award for her lifetime achievement in raising money for many organisations in the village, most notably the church tower appeal in the 1980s and the charity bingos that she ran at the village hall.
The fifth Richard Phillips Memorial lecture should have taken place in April 2021 but, due to the pandemic, had to be postponed. Amelia (known as Mia) Bennett gave a talk on DNA and Family History. This was a subject of great interest to Richard. He was an early adopter of the use of DNA in family history and 11½ years ago gave a talk to the Society. In her talk, Mia explained, in simple language, how DNA testing works and how it can be used to answer all sorts of questions about family history. She also gave advice on how to select which commercial DNA company to use, detailing the factors to consider and the pros and cons of each.
April/May 2021 – Photo Survey
In April and May, a comprehensive photographic survey of Badsey and Aldington was undertaken by 16 volunteers who tramped the streets taking photos of houses both old and new. The results of this survey will be placed on the website within the next month.
April, May and June 2021
Our Zoom lecture series continued in April, May and June – all were well attended. Rob Hedge of Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service explored the history of allotments and household gardens, and gave an introduction to types of archaeological artefacts that are commonly found while tending the land.
Nina O’Hare, also of Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service, gave a talk on the recent excavation at Offenham. She explained what the archaeology revealed about who lived there and how this site fits into the wider landscape.
Dr Simon Draper, Assistant Editor of the Victoria County History for Oxfordshire, gave a fascinating talk about how boundaries tell us about the history of our landscape.
On 1st July, for the first time since March 2020, the Committee was able to meet in person in a lovely outdoor setting at Ian Gibson’s house. For the previous 16 months, all Committee meetings had been via Zoom.
It was not quite the Flower Show we all know and love but, when it was announced that the 118th Flower Show would go ahead, albeit in a cut-down way and not at the Recreation Ground, we decided to erect our gazebo in the front garden of The Willows, High Street, Badsey. Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. Ian Gibson erected some signs at the entrance and the Dallimores came to erect the gazebo. A Hurricane flew overhead. There was a host of new displays, including a first look at some of the photos taken in the recent photo survey of the village. A steady flow of visitors came to see us on both afternoons.
September, October, November and December 2021
In September, we were able to return to the Rec Club for meetings, so this was the first of our “hybrid” meetings, with some members attending in person and others attending via Zoom. Joanna Pine, Director of the excavation at Laurels Road, Offenham, spoke about the archaeological excavation undertaken by Thames Valley Archaeological Services at the site of Valefresco.
In October, Parish Councillor Mike Tennant spoke about the history of the plot of land at Pear Tree Corner where the new Parish Council Burial Ground and allotments was to be located.
Our November lecture on the subject of inn signs and pub names of Worcestershire was given by Anthony Collis of Stourbridge. What was impressive was not only the huge number of unusual inn signs Anthony showed us throughout the county, but the amazing amount of knowledge displayed by the audience. I never knew our members were such a boozy lot!
In December, I spoke about the village photographic survey which took place in the Spring and showed how the village has changed over the past 50 years. There was an exhibition of photos and the chance to chat to other members whilst partaking of mince pies to get in the festive spirit. As this was held in the church, we were unable to offer this via Zoom.
On a cold, grey November morning, Robert Paterson, the former Bishop of Sodor and Man and now an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Worcester, consecrated the new Parish Burial Ground at Pear Tree Fields. Around 40 people were there to witness this historic event, including several members of The Badsey Society.
The 1921 census was released on 6th January 2022 on the Findmypast subscription website. As each schedule image had to be paid for, at a cost of £3.15 per image, it was decided it would be cheaper to send someone to London where the census could be viewed for free at The National Archives. So here’s me on the early morning train from Honeybourne. I had a most enjoyable day at Kew and came back with over 400 downloaded images. This is an example of one of the schedules. It shows Richard and Ida Hartwell and their nine-month-old son, Donald. Many of you will remember Don who died just a couple of years ago at the age of 99. Don’s younger brother, Les, who died last year, missed out on the census by a year.
Back in Badsey, our team of transcribers leapt into action. Thanks are due to the 16 volunteers who helped to transcribe the 1921 census in record time. The census records, with links to previous census returns and the photo survey, should appear on our website some time next month.
In mid January, Shirley Tutton and I gave a talk about what you can expect to find in the census and how it will help you understand more about your family history.
The Badsey website continues to go from strength to strength with many new articles added over the last year. The scope of the articles is wide-ranging, so just go to the Home page and dip into some of the pages. During the course of the next month, you will also be able to view the 1921 census.
During the course of the year, several of our members have sadly died.
- Leslie Richard Hartwell (1922-2021) was, at age 98, our most “senior member”. He was the sixth generation of Hartwells to live in the village, his 3xgreat-grandfather having moved to Badsey in the late 18th century. Born in Badsey, Les spent almost the whole of his working life with the Evesham agricultural merchants, H Burlingham & Co, at first in the workshop servicing tractors and machinery, before moving into the sales department. Les was a keen follower of local football and until about three years ago could be seen at matches on the Recreation Ground. This photo was taken in 2004 when Les attended the 150th anniversary of Badsey School.
- Robert Charles Hall (1938-2021) was another Badsey-born member and was the fourth generation of the Hall family to live in Badsey. He left the local area in his younger days to pursue a career in the Metropolitan Police. Following retirement he returned to the Vale, continuing his hobby as a bell-ringer, assisting at several local churches, including Badsey, where he began ringing as a teenager. This is an old photo of Robert taken in 1956 with the bell-ringing team.
- Anthony Stephen Bucknall (1944-2021), known as Steve, was born in Walsall. His family subsequently moved to Broadway, and Steve, who had an interest in motorbikes and trains from an early age, spent the majority of his working life as a mechanic at Station Garage, Broadway. He subsequently worked with classic motorcycles in Blockley. In retirement, Steve led a very active life, and could be seen most days walking or cycling around Badsey with his wife Lin. He also volunteered with the GWR at Broadway and was an avid stamp and coin collector.
- Patrick Sparrow (1936-2021) – this photo of Patrick was taken in September 2021; he is pictured with the dessert plate which had been awarded to his grandfather as a prize at Badsey Flower Show. Sadly, Pat lost his battle with cancer two months later and died on 8th November. Badsey born and bred, Patrick spent the early part of his career working as an engineer on projects such as the Severn Bridge and the M5 motorway, then became consultant engineer with Worcestershire County Council. In 1972, Patrick settled in Aldington with Judy and his three sons. He became very involved in the life of the village and for 40 years was Treasurer of Badsey Flower Show. His contribution to village life was recognised in 2018 when he won the Tony Jerram Award. In the last two years of his life, he lived at 38 Brewers Lane, Badsey, in a house built in the garden of his childhood home.
- Margaret Tyszkow (1953-2021), who went missing from her home in Badsey on 24th November 2021, was sadly found dead on 27th January 2022 when her body was recovered from the River Avon. Margaret, who was of Russian and German heritage, spent most of her life in Badsey, living in the house in St James’ Close which her family had moved to when the estate was first built in 1964. She was often to be seen in the front garden chatting to neighbours. Margaret was Head Girl of Badsey County Primary School, then went on to Prince Henry’s Grammar School. The majority of her working life was spent working for the tax office. She was a member of Badsey Parish Council for many years, resigning just a short time before her death. This was a photo of Margaret taken in 2014 when she accompanied me and Terry Sparrow to an awards presentation at Wychavon.
- John David Hall (1951-2021), who died on 21st December 2021, just a short while after his 70th birthday, was the postman in Wickhamford for many years; many local residents know his son, Mark, who delivers the post in Badsey. John grew up at Green Leys and attended Badsey and Blackminster Schools. As well as being the village postie, he was also an accomplished photographer; he was the official photographer at the book launch of “Heads and Tales” and at Terry & Sandra Sparrow’s wedding. On the day of his funeral, the cortège went Evesham Post Office where staff stood by to pay their last respects.
- John Newbury (1945-2022), who had been suffering from cancer for some time, died at home in Wickhamford on 13th January 2022, the village of his birth. He was a former pupil of Badsey County Primary School, where he was Head Boy, and Prince Henry’s Grammar School. On leaving school, John began working for the Daffurns at Elm Farm. The rest of his working career was spent in agriculture. He was Chairman of Wickhamford Parish Council for many years.
- June Bird (1935-2022) died in January 2022, aged 86. She, together with her late husband, John, was a member of the Badsey Society from 2003-2014. Her membership lapsed in 2015 following John’s death.
Despite the continuing pandemic, it has been another good year for The Badsey Society. We have a large membership and an extremely healthy bank balance, so we look forward to more successes in the year ahead. I would like to end by thanking the Committee for all their hard work and contributions – it’s a real team effort, which is why it seems to work so well.
Maureen Spinks, February 2022
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Here is a Powerpoint presentation of the Report: