Stourport Civic Society

Stourport Civic SocietyThe Society works to protect and improve Stourport and to promote interest in its history as a Georgian New Town and Canal Port, industrial centre and inland resort.The society is concerned to safeguard the greenbelt and landscape of the Severn Valley. The Society is a non political organisation, registered with the Civic Society Initiative and is a member of the West Midlands Amenity Societies Association.

Enquiries: Pauline Annis 01299 826383 or e-mail

At its Annual General Meeting held on May 13th at the Social Day Centre Stourport, Stourport Civic Society made its biennial Civic Awards. The Civic Award, sponsored by Thomas Vale Construction plc is designed to “encourage and recognise projects which contribute to the quality of the environment of Stourport”.

As usual entries were of a high standard and the judging panel found it very difficult to make its decision. After much debate it was decided to make two Awards: to Stourport Forward for the Windlass Café and Heritage Rooms in the Tontine Stable and Ticket Office (York Street) and to Stourport-on-Severn Town Council for the creation of Moor Hall Marsh nature reserve. Speaking about the two winners, Will Scott, Chair of the Judging Panel, commented: “The Stourport Forward project has done much to make Stourport a destination for tourists and visitors as well as creating a pleasant facility for residents” and of the nature reserve he said: “The creation of this nature reserve and amenity was a bold and adventurous effort to make something of value out of what might be considered waste land.”

Two Commendations were made: to Anglo House- “The quality of the design and workmanship was impressive and sets a high standard for other conspicuous town corners” and to Baldwin House: “A demonstration that, even in a recession, there are opportunities to convert and restore empty properties.” Two further projects were short-listed but did not receive an award: the riverside improvement at Lickhill Manor Caravan Park: “What was an abandoned edge of the river is now well used and attractive for walkers and visitors.” and Parkes Quay Crane: “Without the dedicated work of the local residents this important piece of history would just be some meaningless bits of scrap metal.”

Unlocking Stourport’s Past

This was a two and a half year project managed by Stourport Civic Society and funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, Nationwide, The Countryside Agency and the Local Heritage Initiative. The Civic Society were acting in partnership with Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service.

“Forgotten Stourport” was made the theme of our Project which sought to help update the historic record of the town by documenting and recording non-listed buildings and structures in the hope that this would give them some form of protection.

You can download the leaflets produced by the project by clicking on them below, or you can visit the Unlocking Stourport’s Past website created by the Civic Society for a fascinating insight in to Stourport-on-Severn’s history.

Unlocking Stourport's Pubs Unlocking Stourport's Past - High Street Unlocking York Street's Past
Unlocking Stourport's Walls Unlocking Stourport Canal Basins

Unlocking Stourport’s Walls

If you do not have Adobe Reader you can download it for free by visiting their website

All leaflets designed and printed by Rotary Printers (Stourport-on-Severn) Ltd.

All events start at 7-30pm at the Elizabeth Mills Centre (formerly the Social Day Centre) in New Street, Stourport. Everybody is welcome – Charge for non-members is £2.00.







11th September 2014

Jim Parker The Tangyes and Parkers of Tickenhill Jim relates his childhood memories of these two Bewdley families, from whom he is descended.  His talk often ends with a song.
9th October 2014 Geoff King Stick Making Geoff talks through, and demonstrates, the art of stick making.  His talk is interactive with audience involvement. Sticks will be available  to buy or order.
13th November 2014 Derek Clarke Birmingham’s Back to Backs Derek’s fully  illustrated talk will take us through the restoration of Birmingham’s Back to Back houses.
11th December 2014 Alan Green The inside story of Pantomime Alan is a member of the local Monday Night Group, and wanted to call his talk “It’s behind you!”   Lots of anecdotes for Christmas story telling.
8th January 2015 Mike Wall Festive Event “Churches and Chips” Mike will give us an insight into new uses for redundant churches.  Followed by a Fish and Chip supper.
12th February 2015 Graham Hill Worcestershire’s Ancient Trees Graham talks about the ancient trees to be found around Worcestershire, encouraging you to go and find and enjoy them for yourself.
12th March 2015 “The Copper Pot Man” Bewdley Museum Georgian Food Our Georgian costumed speaker demonstrates the foods eaten, and how they were prepared and cooked in Georgian Times. Samples will be available to taste.
9th April 2015 Brian Draper A visit  to Ironbridge A popular speaker presenting his personal view of this World Heritage Site.
14th May 2015   AGM  
11th June 2015 Jo Roche Pioneers in Petticoats Jo tells the story of how Kidderminster High School came about, and how two women  in particular worked hard to develop this girls’ school.
9th July 2015 Gay Hill Ten things you never knew about Rowland Hill Rowland Hill was involved in much more than the post.  Gay has some interesting stories about him to share with us.



At their Annual General Meeting on May 10th Stourport Civic Society made their biennial Civic Awards. The Civic Award, sponsored by Thomas Vale Construction, was first introduced in 1995 and is offered to encourage and recognise projects which contribute to the quality of the environment of Stourport. Both private and public buildings are eligible as are landscaping projects.

This year two Awards were made. The Awards were presented by Bill Munn on behalf of Thomas Vale plc, who talked about Thomas Vale’s strong roots in the local community.

The first Award went to the new Stourport Primary School and Mrs Jacqui Elwis, head teacher, accepted the Award on behalf of Worcestershire County Council. Award certificates were given to the architects, Quattro, and the builder, Thomas Vale. Will Scott, representing the judging panel described the school as a “confident new building with effective use of natural light and adhering to high standards of “green” technology”. Mrs Elwis emphasised how the children themselves had been involved in planning the building.

The second Award was made to Anglo House, represented by owner Julian Tanser. Will Scott remarked on the landmark feature of this building standing at one of the “gateways” to the town. It had been restored to a very high standard and was performing a useful function in providing office space for a wide variety of small businesses. Award certificates were given to the architects, Godwin Austin-Johnson and the builder, Mike Crane.

A Commendation was awarded to Mark Tranter the owner of Severn House, New Street for what the judging panel described as “a labour of love” in restoring one of the older residential properties of Stourport to its original condition.


Stourport Civic Society – Awards – Previous Winners

Every 2 years Stourport Civic Society gives an award to the building / project / restoration that has most enhanced the historical fabric of Stourport-on-Severn. The awards started in 1995, follow the links below to find out about the winners of this award.

2010 – Joint winners Moorhall Nature Reserve and The Windlass Café and Heritage Rooms

2008 – Winner – British Waterways – Stourport Canal Basins Restoration

2006 – Joint Winners – Church House and the Stourport Wesley Methodist Church

2004 – Winner – Areley Mews, Stourport-on-Severn

2002 – Winner – The Black Star Public House.

2000 – Winner – 1 Mill Road, Stourport-on-Severn.

1997 – No Winner – The award was not presented in 1997 as none of the entries were felt to have reached a suitable standard. A Commendation was presented to Nestle Ltd for the extension to the Vinegar works in Cheapside.

1995 – Winner – British Waterways for Engine Bridge.

The Society works to protect and improve Stourport and to promote interest in its history as a Georgian New Town and Canal Port, industrial centre and inland resort.The society is concerned to safeguard the greenbelt and landscape of the Severn Valley.

The Society is a non political organisation, registered with the Civic Trust and is a member of the West Midlands Amenity Societies Association .

If you would like to join Stourport-on-Severn Civic Society, please complete a membership form and forward with the appropriate subscription to: Mary Johnson, Membership Secretary, Stourport-on-Severn Civic Society, c/o 62 Langdale Road, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcs, DY13 0BJ.

Membership subscription Rates:(UK only, enquire for overseas rates).

Full Membership £8.50

Junior Membership (aged 18 or under or in full time education) £1.00

Corporate membership £15.00

Click here to download the membership application form for Stourport Civic Society.

There are a number of  fascinating publications about the unique history of Stourport-on-Severn.

Stourport’s Pubs – A search for their history by John C Cook, Stourport Civic Society.

Stourport grew from the small hamlet of Lower Mitton. The catalyst for this growth was the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Completed in 1771, this canal, with its basins and wharves provided many job opportunities. Those who filled these jobs were well catered for as regards drinking establishments. Some of these places are still in business today. Many more have vanished, but not necessarily without trace. This book sets out to discover where and when these “Pubs” existed, and who was responsible for their being.  This is an attempt at naming every Pub, Tavern, Inn, Ale House, and Beer House, that ever served a pint within the boundaries of the town. During that period of more than two and a half centuries, over nine hundred men and women have held licences for those places.

£7.50 per copy available from Stourport Civic Society -


Monica Baldwin

Searching for Monica Baldwin by Pauline Annis

Born in Stourport, debutante, nun for 28 years, best-selling author, died in obscurity in 1975.

£5 per copy, available from:

Bentley’s, High Street, Stourport and



Images of England - Stourport-on-Severn

Images of England… STOURPORT-ON-SEVERN

This local history book contains a hitherto unpublished collection of old photographs of the town and was published in Summer 2001. Collection of the photos and all the detailed research was done by our late President, Anna Carter.

It contains a fascinating collection of over 200 old photographs (many not published before) portraying Stourport-on-Severn, ‘the canal town par excellence.’ The collection records the basins and river and includes scenes dating well back into the nineteenth century, illustrating Stourport’s maritime history as an inland port.

The important role that the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal and the river have played in the development of Stourport is shown, in terms of both employment and leisure. Various aspects of everyday life are illustrated together with the town’s lively social and cultural life and a variety of organisations and festivities. Important industries of the town are shown, such as the two hundred year old vinegar brewery now sadly closed.


Following on the success of our book Images of England, Stourport-on-Severn. this is the first in a series of planned booklets on Stourports famous people, buildings and landscape. Audrey Cooper, a Society member, tells the story of George Nicholson, printer at Stourport from her meticulously researched material.

The booklet pays homage to Nicholson one of Stourports famous sons, a prolific printer who had decided views on Important issues of the time. He was a committed vegetarian, formidable opponent of cruelty to animals and related sports, supporter of the movement to abolish slavery and believer in free day schools, all of which found expression in his works.

George Nicholson, nationally known printer, settled in Stourport in 1808. Until his death in 1825 he produced a prolific number of works, including The Cambrian Traveller’s Guide, probably the best known and most popular work of his own time.Other notable titles from the Stourport years were ’The Conduct of Man to Inferior Animals’, ‘Advantages of a Vegetable Diet’ fourth edition 1819 and ‘The British Orpheus (an anthology of songs and ballads with music) c.1816.
Throughout Nicholson’s career, the quality of his printing skills and book production in whatever format was of a very high standard. An innovative tiny pocket sized series was well praised. He commissioned designs for wood and copper engraving from some of the best artists and craftsmen of the day for frontispiece, title page and vignette illustrations, and was one of the earliest printers to use the new techniques of lithography, and to experiment with title pages in colour.

He commissioned famous artists and engravers, including Thomas Bewick, to produce designs for his books.

A small collection of Nicholsonts rare books may be shown later in the year in Stourport Library. The Society plans to contribute to the restoration of Nicholson’s Tombstone in St. Michael’s Church, Stourport. Photographs and information about Nicholson, his books and also about his premises in 15 Bridge Street are sought.

Modestly priced at £2.00 the booklet is available from Stourport Library, Oxfam, High Street, the Lock Shop and other outlets and by post in the UK price £2 37, includes P & P. Enquiries outside the UK will be dealt with on an individual basis. Orders can also be taken via Email.

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Stourport DVD

DVD – Stourport on Severn – A GEORGIAN CANAL TOWN
A look at the town’s past and present.

Produced by Albert Mogg for Stourport Civic Society.

Introduced by Dr. Richard Taylor, M.P., this DVD makes use of both archive photographs and modern filmed footage to give an overview of Stourport’s past and present. President of the Civic Society, Geoff Neal, gives a guided walk around the town.

As well as looking at the origins of Stourport’s existence and James Brindley’s unique canal and lock systems, the DVD traces the development of the main streets in the town with its shops, pubs and caravan sites looking at the present and potential future. Local people share some of their memories of the canal town. Residents and visitors will find much of interest and perhaps find out something they did not know about the town and its development.

It can be ordered from Albert Mogg on 01299 879591, or Pauline Annis, at 8 The Ridgeway, Stourport on Severn, Worcs, DY13 8XT. (postage extra). It is also available from the “Discover Stourport” shop in Bridge Street (tel 01299 879591 & 01299 826383), which is close to Ye Olde Crown pub. The DVD is available at £7.99 (UK P&P £1.50).


3 Kings Parade 2006 – 2007 10 mins and 24 mins Lovely film of various local groups taking part a parade that culminates in the switching on of the Town’s Xmas lights after a carol service. Also features the good work by the Stourport Rotary club.  £4.99

Church House – 9 mins  – A look at St. Bartholomew’s Church, the Outstoat, and the award winning newly renovated Church House. It was officially opened in Sept. 2006 by Dr. Richard Taylor MP. Bill Wood commentates. £4.99

The Flow Festival - 10 mins – was a celebration of the completion of the Basin Restoration project. It was attended by lots of locals from 11th to 13th July 2008 and featured a professional group called ’Spiral’

Stourport Bandstand -  10 mins – The official opening of the 6 th. Bandstand on 31/8/03 by Chief Constable Paul West. Featuring West Mercia police band ,local people and dignitaries. Funded by local businesses.  £4.99

Stourport Clock   15 Mins – A look inside and outside of one of the towns most important landmarks. How old is it? Who looks after it? Features Cllr. David Little. £4.99

Stourport on Cine  in the 60’s - 27 mins – Is a wonderful selection of 8mm. Cine film. Includes Street and river carnivals with the old gas works etc. in the background. Noel Gordon’s visit to Stourport with her programme ‘Lunch Box’ on the side of the river. Old shops and buildings. Floods, Ice and snow. Original material by Tom Head, Bob Hughes and Joe Barnes. £4.99

Stourport Drill Hall - 9 mins – A last look inside the Drill Hall in Lion Hill before it was partly demolished to build new flats. Apart from the headquarters of the TA. It was the local venue for a good dance evening.  £4.99

Stourport at Work Rest and Play  48 mins This is exact copy of an 8mm. Cine film made by ‘Rick’ Tariq in 1974. It has English and French dialogue because it was made so that the people in Villeneuve, Who we are twinned with, could have an idea what Stourport looked like. A wonderful archive record for the Town. The sound, which was dubbed after filming, has deteriated slightly over time.  £4.99

The Way we were in Stourport 1977  – 51 mins. Another wonderful film in 8mm made by Ahmad and Megan Tariq and Brenda and David Guyatt. It features the Silver Jubilee, local people , shops, visitors, street parties and the carnival.  £4.99

Tontine 2 - 11 mins  – In November 2001 I was allowed inside for a last look before it was boarded up. This is a record of that day.  And in November 2005, an archaeological dig was commissioned on the front gardens and adjacent area.  See these unique events.  £4.99

A Compilation of 6 Stourport Films  – 63 mins.  6 of some of the previous DVD’s. Includes.   The Town Clock – Wesley Church Gardens – The Church House, Areley Kings. – The Tontine – The Drill Hall and The 3 Kings Parade.   £7.99

Walsall And Leather – 42 mins – Another major ’ special interest’ DVD was made for the Leather Museum in Walsall.  It proved to be very popular because no one had recorded the town’s major industry like this before. It shows apprentices being taught how to make saddles and other leather goods, at college and at Cliff Barnsby, the Queens Saddle makers. A look around the Leather Museum, Walsall Football Club and culminates with the famous horse parade around the Town. £7.99.

All these DVD’s are also available from Stourport Forward, simply e-mail Tim on