Wednesbury History #Sunday #ramble
We have a local history page for Wednesbury on Facebook and yesterday I was made an admin. I have a feeling I might be doing all the work! The other admin hasn’t been able to do anything for a while, but won an award for her efforts and so it will be a hard act to follow. I have already posted on the Facebook Page.
When I first started writing these Sunday rambles, I did them while lunch was cooking, but with experience it got earlier and earlier. I’m back to square one today and have to write and cook at the same time. The clocks went forward, but I woke up with a headache and it was cold because I didn’t set the clock on the heating controller. I stayed in bed! So I’m over an hour late doing everything today.
I’m interested in getting involved in community projects, but here in the Black Country we have congestion on the roads and we’re in the shadow of the Welsh Hills so the weather is changeable. There is a charity event today, which I think is supposed to be outside. I was going to photograph it, but it’s raining again! It always seems to rain on Sundays, when the traffic on the roads is a little bit lighter.
Community projects like the carnival bring people together in a relaxed atmosphere. I will be going to a narrow-boat gathering in Tipton on Easter Sunday and hope to meet and chat to a few people then. Through the summer there will be craft fairs, fun days and the carnival. The horticultural show might be coming back to the park too. I’m not great at gardening, but I’ll have a go at growing some quality runner beans!
Things like the narrow-boat gathering and the drives the horse owners have a typically Black Country. The carnival and the horticultural show are quintessentially English, as is the Victorian park where they’re held. We need to preserve the culture and the events. We don’t really want keep-fit equipment, plastic swans and skate board thingies in our Victorian parks, we want a bowling green, tennis courts, a pavilion that serves tea and ice cream on a summer’s afternoon. We want brass bands playing on the bandstand and people promenading through the park in their Sunday best. This is the image tourists want to see and many local people too.
While I don’t think everything should be driven by the need for money, local charities do make a little money from events in the park and they also encourage community involvement. At a time of fiscal restraint and capitalist greed, we need to encourage benevolence and community spirit. Whether it’s cricket match in the park on a Sunday afternoon or a show in the evening in the town hall, it brings local people together. There are those who want rock concerts for the young rather than brass bands and cream teas. I think as people get older they want a little nostalgia. Our history group doesn’t attract many teenagers, but teenagers are a minority and while we need to cater to their needs, we shouldn’t ignore the majority. Even teenagers want toilet facilities in the park and everyone can use those. I have yet to see retired people skateboarding and the keep fit equipment is rarely used.
I’m remembering my childhood, when we found it hard to afford a Wall’s ice cream in the park on a summer’s day, but on the odd occasion it was a memorable treat. Watching old men play bowls was as exciting as watching paint dry, but it was peaceful and added a serene quality to to a beautiful Victorian park. Even the crazy golf, was fun, but not too exciting and something for all ages.
I saw a people’s orchestra playing in January. How wonderful it would be to hear them play Mozart in the park on a summer’s day? I’d dress up for that; promenade through the park and photograph the event. We could even have a competition for the best dressed promenader. The Black Country museum is a living museum enjoyed by all ages, so why can’t our Victorian parks have similar success?
My lunch is cooked. Can you can imagine yourself walking through the park on a summer’s day dressed in your best finery. Perhaps a silk dress or a striped blazer and boater. Listening to the strains of Mozart or a brass band playing in the bandstand; then please comment and share those thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter.