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.
CIVIC SOCIETY PROGRAMME 2017 – 18
Thursday 14th September 2017 – History of the Commandery Paul Harding
Discover more about the history of this timber framed building and its many and varied uses over the last 1000 years.
Thursday 12th October 2017 – Worcester’s Myths and Legends Paul Harding
Cromwell’s head, skinned Vikings and other local tales. Fact or fiction?
Thursday 9th November 2017 – Almshouses Ned Williams
Ned shares his enthusiasm for discovering and appreciating these often overlooked buildings.
Thursday 14th December 2017 – A Travelling Life for Me Rob Gardener
The adventures of a Planning Inspector. A bit of a pantomime featuring lost files, freezing village halls, reluctant witnesses and pompous barristers!
Thursday 11th January 2018 – Festive Event
A social evening at a local restaurant
Thursday 8th February 2018 – Richard III Max Keen
Hero? Murderer? Loyal brother? Rightful King? Shakespeare’s monster? In his usual entertaining style style with costume and weapons Max presents the case.
Thursday 8th March 2018 – The National Telephone Box Collection Roger Tapping
Roger explains how this unique collection of Public, Police and Motoring Association boxes came to Avoncroft Museum.
Thursday 12th April 2018 – Our Stour from Clent to Stourport John Billingham
Find out how our local river in times gone by supported the variety of specialist industries in the Stour Valley.
Thursday 10th May 2018 – AGM
Thursday 14th June 2018 – A Brief History of Sugar in Kidderminster Robert Barber
How this local factory came to be located in Kidderminster and its importance to the town.
Thursday 12th July 2018 – My Time Inside Margaret Green
Margaret, a prison nurse for 12 years gives us an insight into her time working with the police force and the Prison Service.
The Stourport Civic Society produces an informative Newsletter once a year. To download the latest newsletters simply click on the links below.
If you do not have Adobe Reader you can download it for free by visiting their website
STOURPORT CIVIC AWARD 2017 – Supported by
The Civic Award assessment panel, consisting of Pauline Annis, David More, Chris Hunt, Alex Matthews and Will Scott met on Monday 3rd April 2017.
Copies of the four 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.
BURLISH PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL
The assessors considered this to be an outstanding building of great quality which was built to the very exacting Passivhaus standards.
The brief had been developed in conjunction with the pupils from the start and as time has gone by, it was very good to see how many of their requests have now been fulfilled.
The internal spaces were a delight, with library, chill out spaces, assembly/sports room and classrooms. The whole interior was full of natural light, fresh air and colour. The use of coloured glass and external blinds all help to make this a very bright and pleasant building, both inside and out. All of the spaces were well equipped to a very high specification and all appeared to function well.
Extra work, for example to landscape the internal courtyard by the pupils, staff and parents was possible, with grant assistance from Aviva, turning wasted space into a lovely extra external teaching room.
The outside areas were inspirational, especially the Forest School where the pupils are encouraged to grow, cook and eat the produce, in a well thought out area surrounded by mature trees and new planting.
The panel were unanimous that this excellent project should be given an AWARD
WORLEYS AT THE SWAN
The Swan Hotel is a very prominent and historic building in the heart of Stourport which had been vacant for many years. As a result it was in very poor condition and at risk of demolition to create a valuable town centre development site. The panel were met by the owners and shown round this restoration project.
This is an impressive project carried out by an existing Stourport businessman and his family and consists of a guitar shop, bistro, recording studio, and bar, with live music. Offices to let and bed and breakfast accommodation are proposed. The creation of a number of compatible going concerns mostly based on music, gave us the firm impression that this ambitious project would succeed.
The care which had been taken in the repairs and restoration work has helped to secure this prominent and popular historic landmark in Stourport for the future. The enthusiasm and enterprise of the Worley’s to save this important building, leaves us in no doubt that The Swan is now in safe hands and once again will contribute to the quality and appearance of Stourport.
The panel considered that this ambitious restoration and reuse was worthy of an AWARD.
The assessors were met by the owners, Spencer and Nanette who showed us around the whole of the interior. 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. This project was a well thought out scheme to bring all parts of this listed building into productive and beneficial use. A bar/restaurant with 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 venue is already proving popular and is well booked up for the summer.
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.
While the work done to date by this enthusiastic family was extensive and of good quality, there is still much to do to ensure that this project will be a success. One has to admire the determination of the owners who have put everything into getting this business off the ground.
Perhaps when fully completed, with the new professional kitchen, and restaurant, it will be re-entered for consideration for an award at a future date.
The Panel considered this sympathetic conversion and reuse to be worthy of a COMMENDATION.
This former library and office building was converted to three, two-bedroomed units of living accommodation complete with a small courtyard area and ample parking area. Located next to the war memorial and right in the middle of the town, this conversion will provide useful homes to a variety of owners.
While the building had new windows, underfloor heating and well fitted kitchens and bathrooms, without furniture it was difficult to imagine how it might look when furnished.
It was a pity that the existing artificial roof slates had been left but not replaced with something more sympathetic and with a longer life expectancy.
The appearance of the prominent exterior, while much improved with off-white render and dark grey windows, was not helped by the prominent meter boxes, especially on the gable end. Also the retention of large amounts of parking area was to the detriment of individual garden or patio areas.
While this was a competent conversion project, it was considered that it had not gone far enough to justify a Civic Award.
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.
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 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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@example.com
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.
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).
OTHER STOURPORT DVD’s BY Albert Mogg
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 firstname.lastname@example.org