Stourport Civic Society

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 Society Initiative and is a member of the West Midlands Amenity Societies Association.

Enquiries: Pauline Annis 01299 826383 or e-mail


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. Light refreshments included.


12th September 2019      Landscape in Travel Posters & Postcards – Ned Williams – An Illustrated account of how British Transport reflects the British landscape through railway adverts, posters and postcards.

10th October 2019            Worcestershire Inn Signs & Pub Names – Anthony Collis – Besides displaying an excellent variety of inn signs, all located in Worcestershire, Anthony will explain the origin of various local pub names, linking with the heritage of the locality and celebrating local distinctiveness.

14th November 2019         Black Country Murders – Ian Bott – In our post Halloween talk, Ian takes ten little known murders from his bestselling book, to form an interesting talk. These murders occurred from 1900 until 1958.

12th December 2019        Work and WorshipRobert Barber – A seasonal look at churches and shops with reference to our local towns and industriesA seasonal look at churches and shops with reference to our local towns and industries.

9th January 2020             Festive Event – A social evening at a local restaurant

13th February 2020          Amble Around Worcestershire (part 1)  – John Billingham – An illustrated amble around Worcestershire, visit locations while you relax in your chair!

12th March  2020              Sir John Mucknell –The English Pirate KingCarole Clements – Only recently discovered, we hear with this little known and intriguing, story, of how this English pirate helped Charles II restore the royal throne.

9th April  2020                 Stories of the English CoinagePaul Griffiths – The story of coinage from the first coins nearly 3000 years ago, through Roman and medieval times via decimalisation to the present day, and into the future. With images of coins, maps and coining methods. 

14th May 2020                     AGM

11th June 2020                   Amble Around Worcestershire (part 2) – John Billingham – Continue your travels around Worcestershire, with John’s further tour of local areas. Complete the journey.

9th July 2020                    How the Stagecoach Transformed our AreaJohn Butterworth – An interesting, enlightening talk on how the stagecoach changed our economy, its famous drivers and the many people who used this transport.


The Stourport Civic Society produces an informative Newsletter once a year. To download the latest newsletters simply click on the links below.

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Spring 2018

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Summer 2017

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Winter 2016

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Summer 2016

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Summer 2015

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Winter 2014

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Summer 2014

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Winter 2013

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – Summer 2013

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – August 2012 Part One

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – August 2012 Part Two

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – September 2011

Stouport Civic Society Newsletter – April 2011

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – April 2010

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – January 2010

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – September 2009 

Stourport Civic Society Newsletter – January 2009

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


The Stourport Civic Award was set up in 1995 with the aim to identify and recognise those projects which have made a contribution to the environmental quality of Stourport. The first winner was for the rebuilding of Engine Lane bridge by British Waterways. 


It is  run biennially by  Stourport Civic Society. There was a record number of eight entries this year.


The Wharf is a very prominent building in the Basin and of considerable historic interest to Stourport’s commercial past.

It had been empty for 8 years and never fully used. The project, although not completed, was entered for the 2017 Civic Award, and did not receive an award.  This project was a well thought out scheme to bring all parts of this listed building into productive and beneficial use. A balcony bar and the restaurant with a commercial kitchen had now been completed, a live music area, a cafe, bed and breakfast accommodation and the owners’ live-in apartment all ensure that this building is fully used and has a vibrant and successful future.

The uses proposed are very suitable for this location and this historic building. The location is second to none and the interior decoration and fitting out is appropriate to the building’s wharfage past and were carefully executed.

The Panel considered this sympathetic conversion and reuse to be worthy of the 2019 Stourport Civic Award.


Situated on this prominent corner in the centre of town this transformation of a rather rundown, derelict property is impressive. The new owners who have been trading for four years, relocated from an adjacent  shop. They have restored and repaired this unusual curved frontage building with passion and enthusiasm.

The whole three floors are packed with goods for sale for the home. Plans are in place for the basement and the small yard area.

The property is tastefully decorated in quiet greys inside and out and many original features have been saved and repaired.

The panel welcomed this restoration and applauded the determination and foresight of the owners to rescue this important Stourport landmark. They considered it worthy of a Commendation.

PROJECT 3.  2-3 NEW STREET       

The panel were able to see how the accommodation was run and functions as temporary accommodation for residents of the District who have become homeless and in need. It provides a space and place where they can feel safe, comfortable and at home.

This prominent historic property on New Street was empty on the upper floors and in need of major restoration. Originally built as a town house, it is now in full residential use once more. 11 small self-contained flats have been provided including one which is wheelchair accessible. Timber sash windows were replaced on the upper floors. All work was of a high standard.

Importantly it provides much needed accommodation for those most in need right in the centre of town. Since it opened last November some 100 people have been helped. Information and practical assistance is also available to help the residents.

The organisation has carried out an exemplary restoration to full residential use of an important historic building. The assessors considered this worthy of a Commendation.


The panel of judges were given  a passionate and enthusiastic presentation about this remarkable volunteer organisation which picks up litter all over Stourport and the rest of the District. The volunteers are self motivated and have a genuine social awareness of the problems of litter and all kinds of rubbish.

Their determination to solve this problem is impressive. One could say that litter is someone else’s problem, the land owner or the district council or more importantly the people who drop it in the first place! But this is not working and these energetic volunteers are making a real difference.

They talk to schools and have a Junior Pick Up Artists team. This is a commendable effort to educate all of us to be more careful and take our rubbish home. The use of social media and the publicity they have attracted have raised the profile and local awareness of their work. This project has made real improvements to the appearance of Stourport.

Although the Civic Award is primarily about the recognition of buildings which have improved the appearance of Stourport, the panel considered that this initiative was such a force for good that it was worthy of a Special Commendation for Civic Pride. The Civic Society  also made a donation to the Pick Up Artists to support their work.

There were 4 further projects submitted that unfortunately did not receive any special recognition.


On the site of a former public house, this new build of 67 bed care home was a delightful environment, the  accommodation was built to a very high standard. It is near the town centre and is a carefully designed, traditional building which sits well on this corner site.


Squeezed into a tight town centre site, this development in the conservation area, created a variety of accommodation from town houses to flats. The site, a former builders’ yard had been empty for many years. There was innovative and interesting masking of the rear retaining wall and the design of the compliant windows in an imitation traditional sash format was noted.


The impressive aspect of the renovation of the Hope and Anchor is the way this project has turned around a very rundown  town centre Public House to become a family friendly and welcoming place to eat and drink.

It was full of interesting and quirky decorative features, including the retained original “anchor” stained glass. It was noted that  the upstairs was still to be completed.


There was much to be praised in this further redevelopment of the former Fire Station building into a modern printing office and design studio.  The historic features, such as the brick arches which originally housed the fire vehicles, were still evident in the fittings and fabric of the building. Numerous historic photos decorated the walls and capture the atmosphere of the old fire station.  On the walls outside there are the remnants of the old telegraph system, the first in Stourport.  This is a time capsule of the fire service and a family printing business.

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.

2017 – Burlish Park Primary School and Worleys at the Swan

2015 – Working Boat Bramble and the Wyre Forest Crematorium

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.

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’s Canal Basins

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.



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 – [email protected]


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 [email protected]


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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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 [email protected]