The 21st AGM of The Badsey Society was held on Friday 10th February 2022 as a “hybrid” meeting; 45 members were in attendance in person and 11 via Zoom. Maureen Spinks was re-elected as Chairman and Shirley Tutton as Secretary. The vacancy for Treasurer was filled by Will Dallimore. The following Committee members were re-elected: Ian Gibson, Tom Locke, Jane Neill, Alan Tutton, Gill Woods. In addition, Helen Green and Andy Higgitt were elected as new members of the Committee. At the end of the business section, the winner of the Tony Jerram Award was announced as Clive Richards.
After the business section of the meeting, Dr Mike Jenkins gave a talk entitled “Worcestershire Place Names – The Voices of the Past”, based on his recently-published book.
Thanks to Alan & Shirley Tutton for co-ordinating the Zoom arrangements.
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Chairman’s Report 2023 – Review of 2022
Last year’s AGM marked a milestone for The Badsey Society. It was 20 years since the Society was formed. As a token of thanks for those who had had continuous membership since 2002, we presented each person with a certificate and pen. In addition, these lovely trays, designed by Ian Gibson, were available to buy.
At the conclusion of the business section, the Tony Jerram Award was given to Anne McCombie. A record number of eight nominations had been received. Anne was instrumental in bringing the Knitted Bible exhibition to Badsey in August 2021 and also, together with her husband, Graham, was closely involved with the Freedom Club. After a short break, Ian Gibson gave a talk about The Big Badsey Dig. He also
brought along displays of pottery found at a dig in Beoley.
Back in January 2022, I had been to the National Archives at Kew to take images of all the census returns for Badsey, Aldington and Wickhamford in the 1921 census. A team of 16 volunteers was on hand back in Badsey to start transcribing the census. Just two months after the 1921 census became available for viewing, thanks to the dedicated team, the census was uploaded to the website – we must surely have been one of the first places in the country to have undertaken some a comprehensive transcription.
Thanks to the endeavours of Alan and Shirley Tutton, ably assisted by Alex Christison, we have been able to continue with hybrid meetings, if the meeting was held here in the Recreation Club. The sixth Richard Phillips Memorial Lecture was presented by Alan Eames in March. I was present at the lecture via Zoom as I was visiting my son who lives overseas, so was personally able to view the presentation remotely. I made my introductory speech from over 2,000 miles away from the volcanic island of Lanzarote whose geology is in stark contrast to that of Badsey.
In April, Wayne Perkins, an archaeologist and former pupil of Evesham High School, came to give a talk in St James’ Church about the historic graffiti that may be found there. At the end of the talk, a few members of the Society accompanied Wayne into the bell-tower to take a look at more graffiti. As a result of the talk, three members – Shirley Tutton, Helen Green and Kerry Moreton – began undertaking a comprehensive survey of the graffiti in the church and other old buildings in the village.
In May, Alan Tutton introduced us to the concept of the Badsey and Aldington QR trail. By holding a smart phone up to the code, information about a place in the village will be revealed. It is hoped that this will be an innovative way of getting the younger generation interested in village history. We would like to thank Badsey and Aldington Parish Council for the grant which has enabled us to go ahead with this project.
There was a lot of interest in the Big Badsey Dig which took place over the weekend of 21st-22nd May. 19 test pits were dug in the village. Ian Gibson was the Project Co-ordinator for Badsey, liaising with Nina O’Hare of Worcestershire Archaeological Service. Ian and Lyn were down at Pit 19, right in the south of the village. Up in the north of the village, Alan Stewart’s team made an exciting discovery at the 11th hour. Come to our meeting in March when all will be revealed about what was discovered here and elsewhere in the village.
Meanwhile, in the next field, the Dallimore/Brotherton/Owens quartet found a less back-breaking way of excavating. They knew how to look after themselves – note the teapot and milk . I was just waiting for the scones and jam to appear.
On a glorious Friday evening, a large number of people met at The Wheatsheaf to take a stroll round the centre of Badsey looking at houses which appeared in the 1921 census. Sadly the weather was not so good for the Saturday and Sunday walks but, for those brave souls that did turn out, informative talks were given by Maureen Spinks, Tom Locke and Val Harman about houses in Badsey North, Aldington and Wickhamford which were in the 1921 census.
Badsey Flower Show – Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. After a gap of two years due to the pandemic, it was good that Badsey Flower Show was once again taking place at the Recreation Ground. In the words of one our helpers: “The whole show was brilliant, lots of stalls and people. Lovely to see everyone and catch up with friends. Just what everyone needed after an awful two years.”
Roy Page, 91 years young, had his own stall next to The Badsey Society one, showing some of the amazing models he has made in the last few years from recycled goods – including lorries which belonged to well-known Badsey names: Brazier, Jones, Marshall, Sears, Wheatley.
September, October, November 2022
Our lecture series commenced again in September with Gerry Harte talking to us about Frederick Preedy, a stained glass artist who was born in Offenham. The Queen had sadly died a day before the talk. We debated whether we should postpone but, in line with guidance on national mourning, we went ahead, beginning with a minute’s silence at the beginning of the meeting.
Following on from their successful workshop held via Zoom in 2020, Alan & Shirley Tutton repeated this workshop, this time held at Badsey Community Sports & Social Club. In November, I spoke about what we can learn from the 1921 census, painting a picture of what Badsey, Aldington & Wickhamford were like a hundred years ago.
December 2022, January 2023
Our December talk about Worcestershire Church Bells took place appropriately in St James’ Church. The speaker, Chris Pickford, joined the Badsey bell-ringers at 7.30 to welcome people into the church. Meanwhile, attendees at the talk were able to warm themselves with tea/coffee and mince pies, having earlier listened to the annual Christmas carols outside The Wheatsheaf.
Liz Pearson Mann, an archaeologist, came to talk to us in January about the archaeology of food and the farmed landscape and the future of food.
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. The latest item to be added is the recording of a 1957 interview between John Bird and Charles Binyon about Littleton & Badsey Growers.
During the course of the year, several of our members have sadly died.
- Helen McCarthy (1938-2022) and husband, Bill, became members of the Society when they moved to Badsey in 2013. They lived in a bungalow on Brewers Lane until moving into Greenhill Park Care Home, Evesham, a couple of years ago. Helen died on 12th March 2022 after a short illness.
- Jennifer Mary Jones, née Marchant (1942-2022), together with husband, Ron, first joined the Society in 2006. Jen had met Ron at the Fair some 63 years ago and they married at the Methodist Church, Evesham. Jen worked for many years at Evesham Foods. She was active in retirement, going to Keep Fit, Floral Art and was Chair of the Evesham & District Pensioners’ Association. Jen died suddenly on 30th June 2022. She was buried at Westall Park Natural Burial Ground.
- Elizabeth Anne Martin, née Cleaver (1954-2022), known as either Betty in her younger days or Liz in later life, grew up in Badsey. She became a member of the Society in its foundation year, joining the Committee for a year in 2005. Liz died in a Nursing Home in Tenbury Wells in August. Her ashes will be interred with her parents, Fred and Margaret Cleaver, in Badsey churchyard.
- Dennis Barry Knight (1934-2022) was a proud native of Badsey, the Knight family having an association with the village since the 17th century. Dennis’ birth took place at 11 Cotswold View (present-day 54 Willersey Road); he died at 32 Willersey Road, just 100 yards from where he was born. On leaving school, Dennis worked with his father on the land before being called up for National Service. He went back to market gardening but then went to work at Unipart. Marriage to Mary took place in 1957 and two sons were born. Dennis was a keen supporter of West Bromwich Albion; a West Bromwich shirt was placed on his coffin.
- Michael Draper (1932-2022), who died on 26th September at a Care Home in Bromsgrove, joined the Society in 2003. Michael moved to Badsey in 1997 and took an active part in village life. He was on the Flower Show Committee and was Chairman of the Sundowners’ Club for many years. His interests were trains and planes, politics and world affairs. He moved to Evesham in 2007 but still collected his paper from The Spar in Badsey every day.
- Elizabeth Jane Noyes (1943-2022) died on 30th September at Wood Norton Home. Lizzie had been suffering from cancer for some time, but her indomitable spirit meant that she was determined to carry on as best she could and remain in control. A Londoner by birth, Lizzie always felt that she was more of a city person but, on moving to Badsey with her partner, Richard Phillips, in 2000, she threw herself into village life. She was a Governor at Badsey First School, she served as Secretary of the Flower Show Committee for several years and was one of the founder members of The Badsey Society. Whilst never on the Committee herself, she gave much support to Richard who was actively involved. Lizzie and Richard took great delight in living at the Manor House and held many social events there over the years.
- Rosemary Hartwell (1948-2022), together with husband, Tony, was a member of the Society since its foundation year, 2002. She was born in Evesham, the daughter of Reg & Iris Kyte, and lived in Lichfield Avenue. Reg Kyte will be well known to the Badsey Church congregation as he played the organ. In 1968 she married Badsey man Tony Hartwell and they made their home in Oak Close, Badsey. Rosemary died in Redditch hospital on 1st December 2022.
- John Sharp (1952-2022) was our Treasurer until just a few months ago when ill-health forced him to resign. After a short illness, he died at his home, Honeysuckle Cottage, on 25th December. John and wife, Lyn, moved to Badsey in 2004 which was the year in which they joined the Society. John quickly became involved in village life, becoming firstly a Committee member of The Badsey Society, then Treasurer. He was the author of “100 Years of Badsey Recreation Ground, 1920-2020” and played a major role in transcribing the Sladden letters. Amongst other things, he also volunteered at the Flower Show, the Soap Box Derby and was in the local Quiz Team.
John will be greatly missed. It is our normal practice to give life membership of the Society to retiring officers. Sadly, we did not have a chance to do this for John, but Lyn is here tonight. We would like you to accept this certificate of life membership for yourself and in memory of John.
As we emerge from the after-effects of the pandemic, it has been another good year for The Badsey Society. We have a large membership and a 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 – “a ministry of all the talents”, you might say. It’s a real team effort, which is why it seems to work so well.
Maureen Spinks, February 2023
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Here is a Powerpoint presentation of the Report: