PRESIDENT Moyra Withington welcomed members to St Andrew’s Town Hotel for the first meeting of 2014 and lit the candle of friendship.
After a delicious lunch Moyra introduced our speaker, Doug Moseley, husband of Inner Wheel member Wendy. Doug had everyone enthralled with his anecdotal memories of growing up in Droitwich from when he was a boy living on Yew Tree Hill. Those members who had moved to Droitwich over the last 20 years were especially fascinated to learn how Droitwich had changed.
There were brickworks where the tip is now situated and there were more shops than at present; the railway station was a prestigious venue which saw many visitors to the town from Birmingham arriving to take advantage of the brine baths and the Lido. We had a cinema, which is now the town library, and a Winter Gardens where the Droitwich Hospital now stands and a Garage for the Raven Hotel where Andrew Grant’s office is situated. There was a Territorial Army drill hall in Ricketts Lane for dances. Droitwich was like a big village attracting over 4000 people at carnival time. A hospital was planned for the medals factory site but the war intervened and it was never built and the A.T.S. took over the Norbury Hotel in wartime.
The town has grown enormously. 3,600 houses were built over 10 years to accommodate the Birmingham overspill.
Salt has always played an important part in the history of Droitwich and even today we can observe the special design of St Peter’s School built to overcome the problems the salt can cause. The High Street is a splendid example of how salt has affected the architecture.
Old shops which have now disappeared were remembered by members, especially Machins.
President Moyra thanked Doug for evoking such memories for those members who had also lived in Droitwich for a long time and presented him with a cheque for Leukaemia Care.
Before closing the meeting Moyra reminded members of her Coffee Morning on Friday, February 21 when all were welcome. She would have on show past photograph albums of the Club’s history. Several members would attend the Redditch Fellowship on Tuesday, March 4 and visit the National Arboretum on Thursday, March13. The February meeting would involve elections for a committee for the year 2013/14.