The heading, to this page is a salutary reminder to all those who value the history of their area and the documents which point to it.
Some months ago, an elderly gentleman in Birch Abbey, Alcester, died. Mr. F. T. Woodfield had always lived in Alcester, as had his family before him. His importance to the towns local history rests in his having been involved with many; aspects of local life. All this would probably have meant nothing to us but for the vigilance of one of our Society members, Mr. John Bunting. Invited to examine the contents of a shed in the garden, Mr. Bunting found hundreds of deeds, papers and books, which have, in turn, have Placed in the County Record Office.
The papers fill in many gaps in our understanding of our town's history. The most important in the collection are:
1. .The minute books from its foundation in 1922 of the Alcester Old Boys' Football Club, a continuation of Grammar School O.B. Club (The 'football' is soccer)
2. Papers of the Church Lads Brigade (CLB) from its reforming in 1937
3.A notebook of a reserve war constable 1940 - 43
4. Private accounts of F. T. Woodfield and his cabinet business
5. Deeds dating from 1780 of houses in Bleechfield Street and Evesham Street, Alcester, which came into the possession of the Woodfield family.
A Notable Piece of Information
People have always said that Lloyd's Bank took the place of an earlier building called the Crown Inn. Local hearsay is often wrong -- but not in this case. The Woodfield deeds provide documentary evidence - primary evidence from the period itself. They-reveal that in 1780 the building there was a house which had once been known by the name of the 'Crown Inn'. In 1799 the house was 'a newly-erected' one, in place of the building once known as the 'Crown'. Here is proof that sometime between 1780 and 1799 the present building (Lloyd's Bank) was built and that the 'Crown' actually did stand there. If we say that the present building was erected circa 1790 we shall not be far wrong. What the deeds do not say is when the original building ceased as a hostelry; before l780 - but when?
Mr.Woodfield once worked at the Cycle Works in Bleachfield Street. One thing they made there were motor cycle side cars. We had never seen one of these; now, however, we have, for Mr. Bunting found one in the shed. A local collector of old bikes, Mr. Barrett , has taken this into his collection and it could not be in safer hands.
There is a moral in all this: not to reticent about keeping open one's eyes for things 'which turn up,. In Mr. Woodfield's case, these papers are all that are left of a chunk of his life; - his interest in the C.L.B., the police reserve, the football club and his own carpentry work. We are thankful to him for keeping these reminders and are very happy to be able to preserve them for future centuries.
Summer 1991 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1991