Wem Civic Society
Wem: Historical Notes menu


Events - subject to change.
Tuesday January 18th 2022
42nd AGM, Members Forum: Listed Buildings in Wem.
Wem Town Hall, High St., Wem
Tuesday February 15th
Wem Agricultural Shows: Talks by Roger Ashton, Oliver Richardson and Display by Tom Edwards
Tuesday March 15th
My part in the One Hundred Years of RAPRA Techology - (Rubber and Plastics Research Association) is a Not-for-Profit Membership Association for companies in Polymer manufacturing, processing or end use. A talk by Ivan James FInstP FRMS.
Display on a local history topic by Tom Edwards.
Tuesday April 19th
Heritage Project:Within the Town Gates Talks by George Nash and Malcolm Adkins - Photography Competition - the winning and short listed entries.
Saturday April 23rd
St George’s Market - Wem Spring Market Town Hall, Jubilee Square and Youth Club<
Tuesday May 17th
A history of Shropshire Porcelain. A talk by Tim Dawes
Wednesday May 18th
Nuts in May Social, Wem Town Hall, 7.30pm.
Tuesday June 21st
Trip - tba
Tuesday July 19th
Craft of the Silversmith. A talk by Penny Wheat - A lively and amusing talk based on 36 years as a lecturer at Stafford College. Lavishly illustrated with many items of silverware and jewellery etc. Penny worked as a college lecturer, teaching silversmithing and jewellery for 36 years, until her retirement seven years ago.
The talk will be transmitted to the cinema screen in Wen Town Hall. There will be the opportunity to question Penny Wheat at the end of the talk.
Tuesday September 20th
Food, Glorious Food A talk by Kath Reynolds.Our changing eating habits and convenience foods in our diet. From fish fingers to angel delight, Camp coffee to Chianti in a basket, spam to salmon paste - all the things we have loved... and some of those we have hated!
Saturday September 24th
Harvest Market Town Hall, Jubilee Square and Youth Club
Tuesday October 18th
Arrows Away! Archery – ancient and modern. A talk by Penny Turner
Tuesday November 15th
Wem’s War Memorial: the stories of the men - at home and at war. A talk by Shelagh Richardson. The stories of some of the men listed on the memorial, both in Shropshire and at war, set against the wider background of the two world wars.
Tuesday December 20th
Xmas Social
Tuesday January 17th 2023
43rd AGM; Members' Forum

Meetings are held at the Wem Town Hall, High St., Wem, unless otherwise indicated.
Meetings are normally open to the public upon payment of a £2.50 admission charge. Tea & coffee are available at talks.

The society can be contacted via wemcivsoc@yahoo.co.uk

Previous Meetings & Events:
What makes a Book Valuable. Antiquarian and Secondhand books Neil Robinson Harris Barges, the Chester and Liverpool Lighterage and Warehousing Company and Whitchurch Warehousing
- the story of a failed enterprise on the Ellesmere Canal John Pinfold.
1. Shrewsbury and Crewe Junction Signal Boxes,
2. Lunch at Sparrow’s Café; followed by Battlefield Church tour led by Canon the Revd William Price
Shropshire Postal History with reference to Wem, by Brian Atkins Home Front Heroines - women of Oswestry from 1914 to 1922, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It is a year long project ending end of April 2019, fully illustrated and all the time we are finding new stories of remarkable women.
The first female postwomen began in WWI, Oswestry had several! A talk by Sarah Gathercole
1. Shrewsbury and Crewe Junction Signal Boxes,
2. Lunch at Sparrow’s Café; followed by Battlefield Church tour led by Canon the Revd William Price
Local History Evening
Flotsam and Jetsam: Horse Racing around Wem and Beyond- John Pinfold;
The story of the Horse and Jockey, originally the Pack Horse - a pub from the 1780s - Oliver Richardson;
Inside the old pubs of Wem - Roger Dakin;
Introduced by David Smith.
Shrewsbury & Newport Canals, a talk by Alan Reade. The talk will be on the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals, which are being restored by the S&NC Trust as a long-term project.
Although work is going on continuously at various points along the line of the canals from Norbury Junction through Newport to Shrewsbury,
a particular project of current interest is the restoration of old warehouses at Wappenshall junction, just north of Telford.
The aim here is to create a museum of Thomas Telford (the first museum dedicated to the great man) with a permanent exhibition,
conference facilities, a café and gift shop which are hoped to open to the general public in the next few months.
Wappenshall Junction

Severn Valley Railway – Alan Reade

My career at Shelton Hospital, a talk by Ann Johnson.

The Complete Owl, a talk by Michael Leach.

Roman Wroxeter, a talk by Dr Roger White

Harvest Images:
Photographic Competition.

HERITAGE Wem Weekend - Events

The Mosses, Ice Age to Modern Day.
A journey of 10,000 years showing the Mosses’ importance
in everyday life leading almost to the destruction
of Great Britain’s 3rd largest lowland bog,
its role as a habitat for rare animals; and its future.
A new talk by Barry Probin.
800 years of history through timber:
The Tilley Timber Project.

Between 2014 and 2017, residents of the small hamlet of Tilley were awarded a HLF grant
in order to undertake a dendrochronology project on thirty timber-framed buildings.
In this lecture George Nash explained the success and results of the project

The background to the building of the Ironbridge.
Who built it and why.

A talk by Phil Revell, writer and journalist.

Local History Evening:
Wem Churches by Tom Edwards;
Wem Cinema by Sue Robinson & Shelagh Richardson;
The Story of a Brewer by Roger Dakin;
Introduced by David Smith

1940s and 1950s in Wem & Surrounds

Stained Glass – Coffee followed by a tutored visit to two churches (Shrewsbury) with Afternoon Tea.
David Smith
My Life in Oil: Working and Living on Rigs. Martin Carruthers
Brewery History– with the Brewery History Society.
Shropshire Turnpike Roads & Milestones. Alan Readey
Photographic Competition: Stained Glass.n
Bells & Bell Ringing: an art and a science, an illustrated talk by David Smith
Llangollen Canal by Chris Platon
An Antiques Evening with Jeremy Lamond; talk followed by a valuation of Pottery & Porcelain
The Story of Brickmaking by Tony Mugridge (Master Brick Maker)
Looking at the fragile historic landscapes of North Shropshire:
by Dr George Nash
Local Clocks & Clockmakers [Ellesmere area] - Christopher Jobson plus
an update on the archæological work being carried out at Shrewsbury Orthodox Church.
The 1960s in Wem & Surrounds.
Visit to Welshampton Church, tour led by Christopher Jobson
Shropshire’s Country Churches by Dorothy Nicolle
Wem History Day (Victoria County History)
Wem Town Hall
The view from above: recent archaeological aerial survey work in Shropshire,
an illustrated talk by Andy Wigley: a talk by
Visit to Shrewsbury Orthodox Church, Church of the Holy Fathers of Nicea, off Oteley Road, Sutton, Shrewsbury following lunch at Sparrow's Café, Battlefield 1403

Some Shropshire Saints by Christopher Jobson
Maps: Power & Perception
an account of how maps and mapping inform, direct, order and influence us all through time by Martin Carruthers
The Crewe to Shrewsbury Railway by Bob Yate
The Story of Pub Signs
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403.
Francis Frith, Victorian Photographer: a talk by Dorothy Nicolle
Memories of a Bygone Era: a talk by Idris Evans
A Brick Walk in Wem with Tony Mugridge followed by a Meal at The Castle, Wem.
Antarctic Antics – A Halley Base Doctor, 1987 – 1989 by Dr. Jeremy Owen
Visit to The National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire
Amazing Trees of Shropshire & Beyond by Rob McBride
The Story of the Silhouette factory - A talk by Nigel Hinton.
WWI – France & Flanders; a Wem & Surrounds perspective.
The talk concentrated on the West European Theatre.
Alex Williamson who has toured the battlefields of this area led this event.
Industries of Old Wem & Surrounds
An illustrated talk by John Ruscoe
Ellesmere, the Dowry of Wales: The story of some of the Welsh Princes
ranging from Cynddylan in the Dark Ages to Owain Glyndwr in the C15th.
An illustrated talk by Christopher Jobson.
How far is an inch?
An illustrated talk on maps by Roger Michell
Famous People of Wem & Surrounds:
Frederick Alexander Barnett – The Brewer,
Joel Stinchcombe - The Postmaster,
Harry Strong– The War Hero, and not forgetting
The Loppington Bear
Shropshire's Almshouses - A talk by Sylvia Watts.
Brick Works
An illustrated talk on bricks, their use and manufacture by Oliver Richardson
The Story of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.
A day in the Life of a Signalman
Paul Johnson
The Story of the Pubs and Brewing in Wem & Surrounds with Richard Earl and John Ruscoe.
Airfields of northern Shropshire – Toby Neal
The Story of Hawkstone: A talk by John Ruscoe.
Birds of Wem & Surrounds: An illustrated talk by Dr Derek Sparkes
English & Welsh Wine Tasting. The Glass Gallery, Wem Town Hall
Local Geology: An illustrated talk by Martin Carruthers
Town Walk: Notable Buildings in Wem
led by local historian Tom Edwards
Wildlife & Art in Shropshire: An illustrated talk by Ben Waddams
Life & History of the Drovers of North Wales: A talk by Idris Evans
Old farmyards of Shropshire
Dr Nigel Baker
Loppington Church & Village, a guided tour by David Smith.
Meal at the Dickin Arms
Visit to the Shropshire Regimental Museum, Shrewsbury
Talk: 'Tracing your relatives in WWI'
Battlefield1403: Exhibition, Sparrow Café and Farm Shop
The Home Front in WWI & WWII:
Looked at the impact of the wars on the area - agriculture and food,
and the role of women and children. A tasting menu of WWII food was available.
Remember Them: A WWI Exhibition
The Royal British Legion, the Baptist Church and Wem Civic Society staged the Town Hall Exhibition.