First Place - Group Category - Anthony Green - Redditch Local History Society

2017 WLHF Photographic Competition Winners

Tony’s entry reads……..

This photograph was taken from a window of the Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre in Redditch. The middle part of the Visitor Centre, and from where this picture was taken, is a 16th Century Barn, known as Marlfield barn, which was originally located in the area which is now known as Church Hill. It was one of two barns at Marlfield Farm, the greater and the lesser, this being the lesser. This ‘lesser barn’ was originally moved to Matchborough where it fell into decline. It was then decided to again rescue the barn and make it part of the Heritage Centre.

This style of barn was typical of the time of Bordesley Abbey and is part of the complex which includes the unique 18th Century Forge Mill Needle Scouring Mill which forms part of the National Needle Museum.

The view from the barn window is directly across the area of the church of the Bordesley Abbey Cistercian Monastery. The abbey is remarkable for the complete survival of its precinct as a complex set of earthworks which extend over 35ha and has been extensively excavated.

This photograph is from the window of a 16th Century barn which was moved as part of the 20th Century ‘New Town’, it is part of the complex which celebrates the 18th Century creation of the domination of Redditch in the international manufacture of needles and fish hooks, and overlooks the site of the 12th Century Bordesley Abbey Monastery.

An amazing historical heritage!

Anthony Green

First Place - Individual Category - Richard Daw - Redditch Local History Society

This is Richard’s entry that won first prize in the individual category.  His entry includes the following:

All Saints Church is located in Wilden, near Stourport-on-Severn. Consecrated in 1880 the church, together with the village hall, school & playing fields were all founded by Alfred Baldwin for the spiritual and educational needs of his workers. Alfred was the local Iron Master and all-round local big-wig with famous familial connections, his only son was Stanley Baldwin, later 3 times Prime Minister.

All the windows in the church are made to designs by the eminent pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones and installed by William Morris and Co, replacing the original plain windows from 1902-1914 (some years after Burne-Jones death in 1898). 1880-1910 encompasses the and the Arts & Crafts periods and the window installation also covers the Edwardian period to the start of WWI.

I chose this window panel because:

 1) Examples of Burne-Jones windows exist in the county, but having all of the windows designed by him makes the church unique in the county and extremely rare in the whole country.

 2) In this age of ‘alternative facts’ the local legend about this window panel is of interest (it is even repeated in Wikipedia and on a BBC Hereford & Worcester web page).

The panel shows Saint Raphael leading a child. The legend goes that the child shown is PM-to-be Sir Stanley Baldwin, guided by a guardian angel on his path through a distinguished life. However, this Burne-Jones design was installed in 1902 after his death, and 6 years before Stanley entered parliament.

Burne-Jones lived in Rottingdean, Sussex, and the same design was installed in 1893 at St Margaret’s Church Rottingdean. This was given to commemorate the marriage of his daughter Margaret (if anyone was the likely subject then Margaret is favourite).

Richard Daw

Runner Up - Group Category- Derek Coombes - Redditch Local History Society

Derek’d entry in the A Window On Worcestershire Group gategory

The subject chosen for this entry to the 2017 WLHF Photographic competition could also have been submitted to a previous years competition whose theme was “Hidden Heritage”

Bates Hill Methodist Church in Redditch was opened in 1843 having replaced an older chapel which had become to small for its congregation.  At a cost of £2,351-4s-2 d it held 654 worshippers. In the 1880s it was extended to hold a capacity of 905.  The church served the community well for many years until the early 1970s when the congregation was falling and the building becoming unfit for its purpose.

The designation of Redditch as a new town in 1964 also led to the demolition of the Evesham Street Congregational Church to make way for the proposed Kingfisher shopping centre. A union of the Bates Hill Methodists and the Evesham Street United Reformed Church was forged and within the Kingfisher complex the new Ecumenical Centre was built and became their new home.

Bates Hill church was demolished in the 1970s but two artefacts were saved.  The World War 1 Memorial board and a small stained glass window measuring approximately 100cm by 60cm.  

Both the memorial board and the window are mounted on an internal wall within the Ecumenical centre and I am sure all but a few regular visitors to the centre even know they are there, let along appreciate their significance.

So this small Window on Worcestershire, a piece of hidden heritage, is a symbol which links together the old Redditch with the new Redditch, helping us to remember one of the most imposing buildings in the old town in a new building which has over the last 40 years served the community in a variety of way.

Derek Coombes