Historical findings by HS2 archaeologists go on show at Coleshill Town Hall

 

Exhibition panels charting the ancient history of Coleshill from Bronze Age to the medieval period unearthed by HS2 archaeologists have gone on display at Coleshill Town Hall.

The exhibition panels were given to Coleshill Town Hall by Wessex Archaeology and LM JV who are working on behalf of HS2. They offer an overview of archaeological work at Coleshill Park with information dating back to the Bronze Age, and including photographs, artistic reconstructions and 3D models to help people visualise the past.

Coleshill Town Mayor, Councillor Caroline Symonds officially unveiled the archaeology exhibition on Monday 18 October, with representatives of the Town Council, Wessex Archaeology, HS2 Ltd, Coleshill Civic Society Coleshill Library all present.

The area will now be accessible to the public, who are welcome to visit during Coleshill Town Hall opening hours, to see how Coleshill has featured in three key historical periods: Bronze Age to Iron Age; Romano-British; and Medieval.

The team from Wessex Archaeology have been working at Coleshill Park for the last four years on land that is needed for the new HS2 railway. There’s been a huge amount of interest in the work from locals and expert archaeologists, and the team have held talks for community groups, online webinars and school workshops.

The archaeological investigations at Coleshill have provided a remarkable insight into the exploitation and occupation of the local landscape over a period of more than 5,000 years. There has been a breadth of historic activity documented within the site, with the team uncovering Bronze Age burnt mounds which heated water from the River Cole; Iron Age houses and funerary remains; and evidence of Roman salt-production, not to mention Elizabethan gardens of national significance.

The exhibition now provides a permanent place to access information on the local archaeology of Coleshill Park, providing a resource for the people of Coleshill, as well as visitors, for years to come.

Coleshill Town Mayor, Councillor Caroline Symonds said:

“We have been delighted to work alongside Wessex Archaeology and thank them for producing these boards which hirers, members and visitors will enjoy reading as they visit our Town Hall.  We will also be working with our partner organisations in the town, the Coleshill Civic Society and the Library and we will ensure that they have copies of the boards in a form of media that is suitable for their available space and visitors.

“We wanted a launch event to thank all those people who have contributed to not only the successful archaeological digs themselves but to giving the town a marker of its place in history as a longer-term record of it. We have many respected historians in the town, and I am sure that they will enjoy these boards in raising the profile of Coleshill’s heritage.”

Richard O’Neil from Wessex Archaeology said:

“Our work at Coleshill over the past four years on behalf of HS2 has formed part of the largest archaeological investigation in the UK, and the largest infrastructure project in Europe. The investigation, carried out in advance of the main construction programme, has significantly enhanced our understanding of the archaeology and history of Coleshill and wider area. It has been a pleasure to see our community engagement develop through webinars, talks and workshops and I hope that this exhibition provides further access and insight into the fascinating remains uncovered.”

Jon Millward, HS2’s Historical Environment Manager said:

“HS2’s unparalleled archaeological programme is uncovering new and important information about Britain’s history, shining a light on how people used to live, including these exciting findings in Coleshill. HS2’s archaeology programme seeks to engage with all communities both local and national, to share the information and knowledge gained as well as leaving a lasting archive for everyone to enjoy.”

 

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Coleshill WI Meeting October 2019

 

Coleshill WI Scam warning forms

Some of the safety posters and warnings of how to avoid scams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our October meeting, the speakers from the Coventry Building Society, the second-largest in the country, gave us useful advice about widespread scams: online, via telephone or on the doorstep and how to avoid them and protect yourself from fraud. Many scammers are part of organised crime gangs and deliberately target people who are vulnerable, elderly or living alone to carry out criminal activities which cost their many victims billions of pounds a year. We were shocked to hear how widespread and lucrative these frauds are: every 15 seconds someone falls for a scam and most of our members reported plausible approaches and attempts to defraud them, including prize draw letters in which recipients are told they have won a large cash prize but must pay a fee to release it. Other common scams include letters from people claiming to be clairvoyants threatening bad luck if the recipient does not pay up, or phone calls from criminals claiming to be Microsoft employees offering to fix your laptop in order to get hold of your financial details.

We were given leaflets on avoiding fraud and advised never to let unrecognised callers into our homes and to use a chain to keep the door fastened. Any calls purporting to come from banks or building societies are generally fraudulent and to check if they are genuine, we were urged to ring our bank back, preferably on another phone, rather than accepting the initial call at face value. “If something sounds too good to be true,” our speakers emphasised, “it generally is.”

 

Brenda Sheard won the  competition for ‘a Truly Useful Kitchen Gadget’ with her pair of ‘Super Scissors’ which can cut through anything, including chicken legs. Jane Mills was second with her nifty plastic cover which fits by suction over a plate of food so securely, it keeps the food airtight and you can lift the whole dish up. Joy Hancock was third with her set of nutcrackers which are also invaluable for loosening the tight tops of bottles and jars.

Several members have begun visiting our past President Jean Tracey who is 100 and currently in St Joseph’s Care Home in Coleshill, where she welcomes any visitors and is as mentally sharp and lively as ever. One of our longest standing members, she sent her best wishes to all her Coleshill WI friends.

At our next meeting on November 12th, our Annual Meeting, we are hoping for a good turn-out to elect the new committee – and that some of our members will volunteer to take on these committee jobs. We are now holding our meetings in the afternoons rather than the evenings, at 2.00pm to encourage as many members as possible to attend regularly and save them having to come out on cold, dark winter nights. We will be planting bowls of bulbs for spring flowering and members are asked to bring their own bowl. We are already racking their brains for November’s contest for ‘A memory from Coleshill WI.’ Creativity will again be required in December when the competition is for a new verse for a Christmas carol. The winning entry will be sung during the annual Christmas Party with festive food, music and games.

The other regular WI activities will continue at the usual times, including the members’ monthly lunches at different pubs in the area, Scrabble sessions each month at Brenda Sheard’s home and darts and other traditional games every Monday afternoon at Gill Tyers’s house.

Do come along to any of our regular monthly meetings and sample the WI. Visitors are always welcome and there are so many different social events and activities to try, and skills to learn as well as the camaraderie and interest of being part of a vibrant local group.

For more details contact our President Elaine Partridge on 01675-462621 or Secretary Jane Hewitt 01675-430157

Coleshill WI’s September Meeting 2019

Coleshill WI September meeting

Entertainer Dave Moylan with his quick-fire show ‘Comedy, Magic and Me’

Entertainer Dave Moylan with his quick-fire show ‘Comedy, Magic and Me’

At our September open meeting, we welcomed numerous guests and WI members from other local institutes as the multi-talented Dave Moylan, back by popular demand, convulsed everyone with his quick-fire act of conjuring, music and jokes, ‘Comedy, Magic and Me.’ Maureen Lindsay won the competition for a funny holiday photo of a group of her friends resplendent in Dutch costumes, with Jane Mills second. At November’s meeting we will be planting bowls of bulbs for spring flowering and members were asked to bring their own bowls.

From October onwards, Coleshill WI will be holding its meetings in the afternoons rather than the evenings, at 2.00pm on the second Tuesday of each month. This is designed to save members having to come out on cold, dark winter nights. The other regular activities will continue at the usual times, including the members’ monthly lunches at different pubs in the area, Scrabble sessions at each other’s homes and Traditional Games every Monday afternoon.

Members serving refreshments at a recent WI Party

Members serving refreshments at a recent WI Party

The WI’s next meeting on Tuesday October 8th at Coleshill Town Hall at 2pm falls just two days before the Institute’s 97th birthday. The guest speaker will be explaining the dramas of house-buying: tips for getting on the property ladder, making money from your home, the frustrations of being gazumped and canny ways to make your house stand out when potential buyers come round.

Social time will feature a game or a quiz and the regular competition – this month for ‘a Truly Useful Kitchen Gadget’. The member who amasses the most competition points over the year wins a silver cup and some are already racking their brains for November’s contest, ‘A memory from Coleshill WI.’ Creativity will again be required in December when the competition will be for a new verse for a Christmas carol. The winning entry will be sung during the annual Christmas Party with festive food, music and games.

We and Coleshill Country Market are having stalls at the Table Top charity sale at Coleshill Town Hall on Saturday October 12th from 10am. Come and meet some of our members who will be happy to tell you more about the WI and our future plans.

Members enjoying a light-hearted indoor curling session

Members enjoying a light-hearted indoor curling session

Members enjoying a light-hearted indoor curling session

Members enjoying a light-hearted indoor curling session

The Market will also have a stall at the WI Group meeting at the Town Hall on Thursday October 17th  at 7.30pm with the hapless Ski-Jump Olympian Eddie the Eagle as the hilarious guest speaker. Do come along to this or one of our regular monthly meetings and sample the WI. Visitors are always welcome and there are so many different skills to learn and social events and activities to try, from indoor curling, quizzes and ukulele shows to crafts, baking and helping at community events – as well as the camaraderie and interest of being part of a vibrant local group. For more details contact our President Elaine Partridge on 01675- 462621 or Secretary Jane Hewitt 01675-430157