Alveley Mining Heritage Launch Event

Our inaugural launch event was held on 27th July 2017 by invitation of Severn Valley Country Park (SVCP), Alveley.

Chairman Andrea Edwards welcomed everyone and gave the background of our group and ambitions for the future. Our generous supporters were acknowledged and thanked.

The Whittall Meadows Trust have awarded a generous grant towards our exhibition boards and the Clerk, Jan Higgins gave a short presentation on behalf of the Trustees of the work of the Trust.

We also received support from the Howard Thompson Bequest for the publication of our first book and Trustee James Thompson gave a presentation about the legacy of his grandfather and the work of the Trustees. He presented our grant cheque to Tim White who has compiled “Memories of Alveley Colliery”.

This event gave an opportunity to launch our website which was available to view. Our designer Ian Edwards (volunteer) and Website Manager, Chris Noble were thanked for all their work to inform and encourage involvement and interest in our project. Chris also launched our membership and gave a comprehensive account of our mission statement and aims.

Steve Tull, our acquisitions adviser on the management committee, set out the group's ambitions to display industrial artefacts which have been donated or offered. We have already restored and improved the display of the mine car, setting it on authentic Alveley rails and are looking at improving the the hydraulic lift exhibit. We would like to take charge of the Colliery safe door and pay windows which have been offered to us along with one of the workshop doors. We are also accepting other items as people are becoming aware of our project aims. We are currently in negotiation to relocate the colliery weighbridge at the Severn Valley Country Park along with a new build weigh house as a heritage building to house artefacts and interpretation boards which can be open to the public on occasional heritage days.

Former miner Gerry Scriven displayed his round nosed shovel, his uncle's check and pieces of ironstone and has generously donated them to the group so that they can be part of our exhibits for future generations to enjoy and learn about the mining heritage. Paul Edge brought along his collection of Miners Lamps and was able to pass on his enthusiasm and knowledge to our visitors.

Management Committee member Tim White talked about his interest in local history and the work he has carried out over three decades. He explained that much of his mining research is in various collections and publications and for this first book “Memories of Alveley Colliery” he wanted to bring them all together along with other articles. Research for the next publication is in progress and we hope to publish it next year.

Unfortunately committee member Bill Picton was unable to join us today to talk about our plans for a Miner's Trail but our good wishes were extended for a speedy recovery. Neither could our volunteer carpenter Mike Whitbread make the event but we were able to thank him for the beautiful noticeboard he made which is situated on the SVCP site to inform visitors of our project plans and events.

Andrea welcomed Ron Whittle OBE, who left behind his Bridgnorth Mayoral robes to help us as unfortunately neither the Chairman nor Vice Chairman of Alveley & Romsley Parish Council were able to take up our invitation to officiate at our event. Ron was pleased to be asked as both of his grandfathers, his father and at least five and possibly more uncles all worked down
“the pit” as it was called.

Our grant towards the publication enabled Ron to present copies on our behalf to: James Thompson representing Howard Thompson Bequest trustees.

With the schools having broken up for the summer we requested volunteers and we are grateful to Helen Watkins (Chair of Friends of Alveley Community Primary School) who helped us recruit pupil Harry Smith and his mother Joanna Barnes to represent Alveley Community Primary School. Kerri Powell volunteered to represent Highley Community Primary School.

Volunteer Pat Janes, representing Highley Library at The Severn Centre and Emma Spenser, Bridgnorth Library and Visitor Centre Manager unfortunately were unable to make the event so Dave Tremellen and Sally Bunn collected reference copies in their absence.

A representative was not available so we will be sending a copy to
Kidderminster Reference Library and one has been requested by the National Coal Mining Museum for England at Caphouse Colliery in Wakefield.

Our guest speaker, Ron Whittle OBE was then invited to the floor and he recalled some of the amusing stories when he used to taxi miners to and from work from as far afield as the Clee Hill. He wished our project well and we retired for a social gathering, book sales and signing by Tim and membership enrolment was ably carried out by Mary Tull and Chris Noble, There were plenty of photograph opportunities and refreshments.


Andrea Edwards

Chair & Secretary