Stonnall History Group
In front of London's Euston Station, on a wall near the statue of Robert Stephenson, there is a small plaque commemorating the opening of the Bloomsbury Section of the Silver Jubilee Walkway in October 1979. Below the map at the bottom left of the plaque is written, with the names of other VIPs present: Sally Peltier, Mayor, London Borough of Camden.
Sally Peltier (b.1935) is the daughter of Eric and Hannah Anson. Her father was the younger brother of Edna Anson, Garnet Burton's first wife.
Eric and Hannah, with their two young daughters, lived at Wordsley House, Stonnall, for several years in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Eric being employed on the farm by Garnet Burton.
Sally can clearly remember looking out of the attic windows at Wordsley House (this would have been at the end of 1940 when she was 5) and seeing the flames rising from Birmingham after the German bombing raids of the Blitz.
Soon after that the family moved to the south of England; and later Sally went to live and work in London, where her interest in local politics eventually led to her becoming Mayor of Camden Town in 1979.
Photo and story by Desmond Burton (Sally's first cousin once removed).
Inset: a photo of Stonnall Carnival that is displayed in the Old Swan. There is no date and there are no names associated with it. It presented a substantial mystery until, that is, we received this main photo from Isobel Dams on behalf of her mother, Jean Bower. The two photos quite obviously depict the same occasion and it just so happens that Jean was the Stonnall Carnival Queen in 1936. At the time, Jean was a 10-year-old living at New Barns, Footherley and a pupil at St Peter's School. She is shown in the main photo in the white dress between the two union flags. She thinks that the other girls were Flo Glover, Joan Ramsell and Grace Spendlove.
Another matter that we seem to have resolved relates to the ID of the man holding the horse's bridle in the inset photo. We believe that he is Dick Southall of Walsall Wood, a former cavalryman in WW1, who was born at the Shire Oak public house. After service, he worked at a Walsall Wood colliery, taking care of the various horses that were employed there. Every year, with his daughter Audrey, he would prepare the horses for the carnival in Stonnall. Thanks to Audrey's friend, Val Barratt, for this information.
A talk was given by Pauline Langley (Blakemore) at St Peter's Church, Stonnall, on 28/06/2014, aided by a slide show prepared by Stonnall History Group. The event went very well with about 50 people attending. Pauline's talk brought back many memories and lots of Old Stonnall folk came along to share them. Alan Ramsell was presented with a framed 1818 map of the village to mark his help with the clearance of hedge cuttings during the winter.
The unveiling of the Jubilee Walk Monument by Cllr David Smith (Stonnall Ward), Chairman of Lichfield District Council, 21/06/2014.
Here's a visual comparison of a view, looking in the direction of the Old Swan from upper Main Street, as it was in the 1950s and as it is today. No prizes for guessing which is which. (1950s photo by John Webb.)
Our best-ever group meeting took place at the Old Swan, Stonnall, on May 31, with 20 members attending to swap anecdotes and to review our historic photo and document collection.
This fairly well-known photo of a group of people outside the Royal Oak, Stonnall, was thought originally to have been taken in November 1918 to mark the end of the Great War. However, some recent work on this image has revealed that it has nothing to do with the end of that war and that it could not have been taken in the month of November. All will be revealed in a forthcoming article The Royal Oak Photograph.
The next group meeting has been put back again from May 24 by one week to May 31, 2014. The time and place remain the same at 12 noon at the Old Swan, Stonnall. Come and join us for a chat and a discussion of some forthcoming activities. There will also be an exhibition of our historic photo collection and some framed prints will be on display.