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After the Birmingham New Road was opened in 1927, Coseley UDC arranged for trees to be planted on both sides of the road. The trees were dedicated to those from the area who had lost their lives in the First World War. Each tree had a plaque attached with the name of the victims remembered in this way.
The Reverend Charles Girdlestone—Vicar of Sedgley until 1826—was related to Admiral Lord Nelson and could allegedly trace his ancestry back to Charlemagne.
In 1928 a novel entitled ‘The Village’ written by a former curate at St James’s, Lower Gornal scandalised the local population. The clergyman—Winser Garnett—lampooned many individuals in the village (including the vicar, Rev Job) using thinly disguised fictitious names for his characters.
In White’s Directory of 1873 Thomas Underhill of Gornal was described as “tailor, baker, grocer, earthenware dealer and tripe dresser”.
In 1920 Alfred Hickman Ltd., iron and steel manufacturers and at one time one of the largest employers in Coseley, was acquired by Stewart & Lloyd—who in turn became part of British Steel in 1967.
After the end of the Second World War a ‘Blind School’ was established in a large house in Lodge Lane, Kingswinford. The children, all of whom had some form of sight impairment were the offspring of ex-
At one time in the 19th century several local pubs had rat pits in their backyards. Traditionally 100 starving rats would be put into the pit and then a dog would be thrown into it. Bets would be taken as to the length of time that the dog took to kill all the rats.
Back in 1970s Kingswinford had a record breaking football team -
One of the country’s leading golfer’s in the 1920s and 30s was Archibald Compston, a Sedgley lad who was a member of the first three British Ryder Cup teams. Archie’s father, John, was a lime-
In the 1901 census the eldest son—also called John—was described as being a “golf green keeper” and it would seem that it was through him that Archie, the youngest member of the family, was introduced to the sport.
Certainly Archie became a regular at Penn Golf Club before finding employment at Kidderminster Golf Club (where he was sacked for “idleness” in 1909). Despite this setback he went on to become a leading professional and was chosen to represent his country in the first three Ryder Cup challenges against the United States. He later became the resident professional at Coombe Hill Golf Club in Kingston Upon Thames where it is said that he taught King Edward VIII to play the game.
Archie was best known in golfing circles for his amazing 18 and 17 victory over the great Walter Hagan in a 72 hole challenge match in 1928. The stakes were £500, a very significant amount in those days, and it was said that there were a number of side-
Amongst his other little quirks Archie Compston also had the unusual habit of employing three caddies when he played. One caddy would carry his clubs, another would take charge of his jacket and jumper and the third would hold his cigarettes and pipe!
He also was not adverse to taking on some strange challenges including playing a round of golf left handed or playing a round using only a putter.