I’m not really sure where to start with all this stuff that’s coming up, but this seems as good a point as any. The fact is two great threads on the blog of late – that of Brownhills Memorial Hall and the history of the Fullelove family have intersected.
The Young David Evans has recently been in communication with Mr. Reg Fullelove, with whom he’s worked very closely indeed to explore and preserve the immense historical treasure trove that is the Fullelove family archive. This material includes George Fullelove’s diaries, cinefilm, photos and even music.
Reg has been immensely patient and generous in sharing this material, and it’s taking a huge amount of work from David, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler and myself to get together into usable, coherent chunks. This work is ongoing.
Together with all the other projects we’ve been sweating over, this is a massive amount of work in the background. Please be patient if the normal pace of things stumbles a little while we all work stuff through.
In all of this, David found the following image, from 1966, and a news report related to the event. This is useful as it not only documents the refurbishment of the Hall, but helps us to put faces to some notable locals, including Norman Waine, who’s been mentioned here a lot lately.
My thanks to all, but particularly David Evans and the Fullelove family, who really have come together to make something special.
My sincere thanks are extended to Mr Reg Fullelove, son of Mr D Fullelove, pictured above, for so kindly offering these photos and information and thus making another part of our local history available and accessible.
P.S. Help identifying the gentlemen in the back row would be most appreciated.
From the Lichfield Mercury, Friday 1st June 1966:
Presentations to four men last night heralded the ‘new look’ Brownhills Memorial Hall. The occasion was ‘a £100 advertisement for the hall’ said the publicity officer, Mr D Smith. The four men, with 136 years continuous service to the hall, are Mr George Bradbury, chairman of the hall’s trustees ( 40 years ), Mr Edgar Pritchard, trustee ( 38 years ), Mr David Fullelove, secretary ( 30 years ) and Mr Herbert Lord, treasurer, ( 28 years).
The trustees and the management committee have been increased, and improvements to the hall costing £20,000 are planned.
‘Tonight is an attempt to show people that these things can be held here, with a little forethought and planning’, said Mr Smith.
The planning for last night’s presentations included three uniformed commissionaires, tape-recorded music, spotlights, cocktails and a buttonhole flower and gold-plated pin for each lady.
The guests were introduced to Councillor T.A.Ash, chairman of the Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District Council, and Mrs Ash, Mr and Mrs F Poxon, and Mr N Waine, former clerk to Brownhills council, and Mrs Waine.
This week, orders were placed for a new central heating system and a new floor at the memorial Hall. Said Mr Smith ‘ We are trying to make it applicable to anyone who wants to use it. We are hoping to keep it up-to-date’ The presentations were made to the men by Mr Waine.
Came across this poem, written by Mr Reg Fullelove BEM
AN OLD MINER’S PRAYER
Ar’v come today to say thank you Lord, for all you’ve done for me
From me early morning rising, to me evening cup of tea
Yer care for me when ar’m down that hole, in a world so black
And when I count me blessings, there aint so much ar lack
Ar knows ar cuss un swear a bit, and call out your name in vain
But ar know sometimes yer shut yer ears, an accept ar’m very plain
Yer gave us trees that made the coal, that with pick and swet we cut
Gave us strength to toil each day, move black diamonds foot by foot
We see the wonder of yer hands, an tunnels black and deep
The rain don’t fall, no sunrays shine, but a harvest we still reap
We seek your comfort in sorry times, when the roof begins to fall
We call on yer in terror, to watch over us one un all
And when we see the light of day, as up the shaft we come
We say thank God we’er up again, another shift is done
Mr. Reg Fullelove BEM
During a break in one of my conversations with him, Reg recited this poem to me….literally “over a cup of tea”…it was an extraordinary moment….and an excellent cuppa!
Big thank you to Reg, Dave and Bob, and anyone else involved in the project. Looking forward to seeing more on Mr Fullelove.
Continuing thanks to David, and Bob.
All the best Pedro
My Nan and Grandad are Mr and Mrs Poxon (bottom row – 1st and 2nd from the right). My Nan Iris has recently passed away, my Grandad passed in 1983. My Mom Julia Willett and Sister Laura are still involved in the Memo. My Nan would have loved to have seen this, and probably also pops up in the carnival film as a 12 year old girl. Thank you for sharing.