Stourport Civic Society

The date of the  Civic Society 2016 AGM has changed.

Please note that our AGM will now be held on Thursday 9th June 2016. It will include the presentation of the 2016 Stourport Local History award. Our meeting on Thursday 12 May will now be Max Keen, speaking on Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt.


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

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 members £1.50, non-members is £3.00.






10th September 2015

Jo Roche Stourport Methodist Church A window into the historical story of how the local Methodist church came about.
8th October 2015 Bernice Thompson The Lacemaker in My Family A look at lacemaking – past and present.
12th November 2015 Ellie Target In Another Man’s Shoes Ellie tells the true story of how her Norwegian father was in the resistance during second world war, was captured by the Germans, escaped and eventually married a WREN.
10th December 2015 David Clark Sentenced- To Beyond the Seas The story of eight women who were deported to Australia, together, and what became of them.
14th January 2016 Festive Event Light Entertainment is on the Programme!
11th February 2016 Ray Sturdy Vesta Tilley From a hard early life to a huge success as a talented music hall and theatre entertainer.
10th March 2016 David Symons The Staffordshire Hoard A specialist from Birmingham Museum tells the interesting story regarding the hundreds of Anglo Saxon artefacts found in a Staffordshire field.
14th April 2016 Geoff King Woodbine Willie The story of the Worcester vicar who gave both cigarettes and spiritual aid to World War I troops.
12th May 2016   Max Keen Henry V and Battle of Agincourt  This turning point in the 100 years War created our national hero Henry V.
9th June 2016 AGM and Local History Award
14th July 2016 Jacqueline Passey Libraries of The Future An opportunity to find out about the changing roles of libraries and their place in our community..




The Civic Award assessment panel, consisting of Pauline Annis, David More, Chris Hunt and Will Scott met on Friday 27th March 2015.

Copies of the seven submitted schemes were available for inspection before each one was visited  by the panel. The following is a description of each project with the Assessors’ decision.

PROJECT 1  Wyre Forest Crematorium

Owner/Client: Dignity

Architect/Designer/Consultant:  Howl Associates

Crem4This project was the creation of a new facility on a rather unpromising site next to an industrial site. The architects have succeeded in designing a building which is both functional and beautiful. This new crematorium is highly technical building with all sorts of circulation and sensitive aspects to get right, is uplifting  and comforting. The extensive landscape works are impressive with dramatic views of the Abberley Hills.   As the landscape matures it can only get better. The public circulation areas were well considered with a delightful water pool.

The assessors considered this to be a great example of how an inspirational new building can transform an area and provide a level of comfort to its users.

The panel were unanimous that this excellent project should be given an AWARD

PROJECT 2  Bramble

Owner:   Stourport Forward

BrambleThe restoration of the working narrow boat, Bramble, is so important to the industrial history of Stourport. The acquisition and restoration of this boat gives residents, visitors and school children a glimpse of what life on the canal must have been like.

The cargo area is understandably large with an engine compartment separating it from the very small living quarters. The interior has been lovingly restored with all the necessary folding and pull-out features to make the most of the space. The sign-writing and painting were beautifully carried out. This three year project by the volunteers is impressive. The assessors considered that this restoration was of a very high standard and so important to the history of Stourport. We wish the volunteers well for the rest of their excellent work and hope they get a suitable mooring worthy of this educational project.

The panel were unanimous that this restoration project was worthy of an AWARD.

PROJECT 3  The Black Star Public House.

Owner:  Andy & Maria Gooding

Black StarThis project was the refurbishment of the Black Star Public House, which is situated next to the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal in the middle of Stourport. The enthusiasm of the new owners and their obvious skill in transforming this establishment is very impressive. The interior is light and airy and the accommodation is comfortable. Their reuse of old floor tiles and attention to detail has made this a pleasant place to enjoy refreshments in a canal side location in the middle of  town. The garden area was transformed and attractive, making this a very pleasant place to enjoy refreshments in a canal side location in the middle of  town.

The Assessors considered this project to be a worthwhile refurbishment of an important facility in the centre of Stourport

The Panel unanimously gave this project a COMMENDATION.

PROJECT 4  The Clock Gallery and Coffee House

Owner: Suzanne Whinder-Cartwright 

Contractor:   Michael Turner

Clock galleryThis rescue and reuse of the ground floor of this prominent  historic building is welcomed and impressive. The use as a coffee house and art gallery suits the location. The emphasis on local artists and producers is good and we hope that will continue. The owner has plans for the garden area at the rear of the property and hopefully the upper floors.

The Assessors considered this was an excellent use for a property which had been derelict for so long, and hoped it could continue to develop.

The panel unanimously considered that this project was worthy of a COMMENDATION.

PROJECT 5  Mitton Lodge

mitton2Owner/Client: Churchill Retirement Living

This retirement complex created a popular residential facility in the middle of the town which was well organised and comfortable. The two garden areas were delightful and the situation next to the canal was attractive. Considering the former use of this site as a filling station this project was a benefit to Stourport. The residents also benefit from being close to the town centre and within easy reach of public transport.

While not giving this project an award, the panel considered this was a worthy addition to the streetscape of Stourport and congratulated the developers and the managers.

PROJECT 6   The Burlish Camp

Owner/Client: Wyre Forest District Council

Burlish 5Contact: Geoff Shaw WFDC

The use and interpretation of this open space as a recreation area was both surprising and interesting. The area was well used by all ages and provided a glimpse into a part of  Stourport’s military past. There is a similarity with the National Trust’s  interpretation of the war history at Croome Court. The site was a haven for wild life and nature conservation.

The use of the concrete plinths and helmets were very evocative and the General George Patton display effective. Also it was interesting to hear about the input of information from locals, the US and the local Polish communities for the extensive website:

The panel was pleased to discover this hidden piece of Stourports’ past and although they did not give this project an award they wished the supporters well with their future plans.

PROJECT 7  Mart Lane and Severnside Cottages

Owner/Client: Gemini Properties UK Ltd

Contact: Nick Jethwa

Martlane3The further restoration and improvements to this prominent and important group of residential properties was welcomed by all. The enthusiasm and care which the developer had shown was exceptional. Working with sitting tenants and caring for their individual needs is a slow process. The attention to detail was good and the whole terrace looked much improved. The developer’s idea, made in passing, that the solid concrete balustrades of the canal road bridges should be replaced with open metal railings is worthy of consideration.

The panel, while not making an award, appreciated the efforts of the developer in making this a very desirable living area in the heart of Stourport.


It is always difficult to make decisions about projects which are so different and the Assessors reminded themselves of the criteria for the Civic Awards, namely that they should recognise  those projects, and the people who have achieved them, which have improved the quality of the townscape of Stourport and its’ Parish.

This year’s submissions were a very strong short list of projects which all have achieved the objectives of the Award scheme.

We wish to thank everyone who has submitted a project for the 2015 Civic Awards. The owners, the contractors and the designers have gone to great lengths to do a good job and have created something of which they can be proud  to the benefit of Stourport. The Civic Society recognises this effort and thanks everyone involved.

Our thanks and congratulations go to the two Award winners and the two Commendations of the 2015 Civic Award scheme.

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.

2012 –  Anglo House & Stourport Primary School, joint winners

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 further information about the Society, please write or email Sue Bridgewater, 9 New Street, Stourport on Severn, Worcs, DY13 8UL.

For a membership form, please click on the link below

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