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Shropshire church built with Black Country bricks

By rob taylor  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

The chapel at Alveley.

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THIS interesting snippet comes to us from Tim White, of 12 Honeybourne Road, Alveley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15 6PP, who tells us about a local link with our Dark Region, as follows...

“Please find enclosed a photograph of Alveley (Primitive) Methodist Chapel that may be of interest to your readers.

“Alveley, situated some ten miles from the Black Country, has, over the years, many connections with the Black Country and its people, how many people from the Black Country have driven here to have a drink at the Cider House, the Mill or in the 50's and 60's the Nautical William? People from Birmingham and the Black Country would take their holidays here in Alveley, camping next to the Nautical William or holidaying in the wooden chalets down by the river Severn. Campers would take advantage of the open air Lido between the Nautical William and the Round House in those long hot summer days of the 1950's and 60's.

“In 2011 our Methodist Chapel closed down owing to a dwindling congregation, but fortunately our local church, St Mary's put an offer in for the property and were successful.The former chapel is now being refurbished with the intention that it will be used as a community centre.

“During the course of this ongoing refurbishment, i.e. installation of central heating, insulation, new windows etc., a number of bricks from the lower part of the building were removed. The bricks are dark blue in colour and similar to engineering bricks, on the reverse side of the bricks the name "Swindell & Collis, Old Hill, Staffs" is shown.

After doing a little research on this company and with reference to "Jones's Mercantile Directory of The Iron District of South Staffordshire and East Worcestershire (1865)" it would appear that Swindell & Collis were coal masters and brick and tile manufacturers, Granville and Gorsty Hill Collieries, Old Hill.

“Our chapel was built in 1861 and opened in 1862, these dates tie in with the trade directory entry.

Thankfully, this little bit of Black Country history will continue to be preserved in our village.

“On a different note I am currently compiling a book of memories of our village, especially from people from the Black Country who took holidays here, or visited the Lido, I would be most grateful to hear from anyone who has any memories of our village, I can be contacted at the address given”.

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