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Readers' help requested for details on puzzling pictures

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 14, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Can you tell us anything about this group at the Chase Inn, Bishops Frome, c.1910?

  • An unknown group of children from the early 20th century

  • 1953 coronation medal

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THESE items have been brought to us by Mr Vowles of Halesowen in the hope that readers may be able to provide some information on them.

The first item takes us a little beyond the Black Country's borders, into Small Heath in Birmingham. It is a 1953 coronation medal that he found many years ago when he worked for GUS Transport. The medal bears the legend "Arthur Street Small Heath" and on the reverse is inscribed the name Anthea.

Mr Vowles wonders if it would be possible to return the medal to Anthea or her family.

Do readers know anything about this medal? Most coronation souvenirs of this type were presented by some body – the local authority, a school or a church – but this medal only has a street name on it. Did the residents of Arthur Street come together and arrange for this medal to be made?

The other two items are photographs that were found among Mr Vowles' late wife's effects. Unfortunately, Mr Vowles knows nothing about them.

The first is a large picture that appears to date from the early 20th century, before the First World War. It was taken by the Worcester photographer Wilfred Thomas Clutterbuck and its shows a large group of men gathered outside a pub.

We have done a little detective work and have identified the building as the Chase Inn in Bishop Frome, Herefordshire. Under a magnifying glass the licensee's name can be made out – Gertrude M. Pudge.

The men appear to be mix of social classes, judging by the suits and headgear, but they are all wearing ceremonial sashes, except for those who are dressed as bandsmen and stand clutching their brass instruments. Were these men in some kind of friendly society or fraternal lodge? Do they come from the Black Country and were they on a day trip to the Herefordshire countryside?

The second picture shows a group of girls and boys, some of whom are in costume but there does not seem to be a theme to the way they are dressed. A large house is in the background and the picture seems to date from the first quarter of the 20th century. Again we know nothing about the photograph and appeal to readers in the hope that they may recognise a parent or grandparent among the children.

Can you tell us anything about these items? Contact editor@blackcountrybugle.co.uk

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