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A grand day out at Chateau Impney

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: May 04, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Arthur Cooper (front, 5th right) with a group at Chateau Impney, 1950

  • Arthur Cooper, kneeling, with more friends at Chateau Impney

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THESE photographs from the early 1950s belong to Lyn Atkins of Tipton, who inherited them from her late father Arthur Frederick Cooper.

Very little is known about the pictures, other than the location and the date. The picture at the top of this page was taken at Chateau Impney, Droitwich, in 1950, while the other photograph was taken there a year later.

In the top picture Arthur Cooper can be seen standing at the front, fifth from right, wearing a hat. In the second picture he kneels at the front, his habitual pipe clenched in his teeth.

Arthur may have been on a works outing or it may have been some social club trip. He worked as a bookkeeper for a number of local firms, including the Wolverhampton boot-makers James Baker and Sons in the 1930s, as featured in our April 17 edition.

Do you recognise any of the men enjoying they day out at Chateau Impney with Arthur?

Chateau Impney was built between 1869 and 1875 by John Corbett, the Brierley Hill-born industrialist who made a fortune from his salt works at Droitwich.

Corbett built the grand mansion in the style of Louis XIII to impress his French-born wife, reputedly lavishing around £250,000, roughly equivalent to £16 million today, on the project. He filled the chateau with the finest furniture, china, books and paintings, landscaped the grounds and planting 3,000 trees. Unfortunately, he and his wife separated soon after the house was complete.

John Corbett died in 1901 and the chateau passed through several hands before becoming a hotel in the 1920s.

Can you name any of the men in these pictures? Contact editor@blackcountry bugle.co.uk

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