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A Tribute to Bill Gwilliam MBE

A Tribute to Bill Gwilliam, MBE

High St Articles

An Old Style Barber

An Old Style Barber

Between the pubs, at No. 103 High Street, was R.C.Cole, an old style hairdresser. Until the acceptance of the safety razor, it was the custom of the better classes to go to the barber to be shaved, and at Cole's each customer had his own brush and mug kept

Early Fashion Prints

Early Fashion Prints

The early 19th century was the period of beautiful coloured prints of mens and women's fashions. Before 1830, full size paper patterns could be brought at milliners and dressmakers for £1 a set. Foreign fashions were the vogue and flooded in to such an extent

Butchers Shops in the City

Butchers Shops in the City

In the 1908 Worcester Directory there are recorded 70 butchers, plus 7 pork butchers, making a total of 77; but not recorded are the butcher's stall in the Meat Market. In 1930, 85 butcher's shops, plus 4 pork butchers are listed.

100 Years of Shopping in Foregate Street

100 Years of Shopping in Foregate Street

A schedule of shops 1896-1993

The Shambles

The Shambles

In the old days each trade had its own street or district in which to sell its goods. In the centre of the Shambles was the Meat Market and an amazing number of butchers shops were concentrated in the street and the market.

Foregate Street

Foregate Street

From the Town Gate in the Foregate to the Liberty Post at the top of Salt Lane (now Castle Street), was the northern Liberties of the City. The land was outside the walls, but under the control of the City Corporation. Before the Battle of 1651

The Cross

The Cross

In medival times here the life of the City concentrated. An ancient cross with heraldry stood opposite the Trinity Passage. Here war and peace was declared, and royal proclamations made. St. Nicholas Church had a grave yard in front.

Shops and Shopping in the Worcester in the 19th Century

Shops and Shopping in the Worcester in the 19th Century

Worcester was the hub of the county, containing banks, attorneys, solicitors, physicians, apothecaries, dealers in corn, seeds, hops and other agricultural needs. There were inns with Commercial Rooms, a theatre, assembly rooms (for the Hunt Balls),

Early fashion prints

Early fashion prints

The early 19th century was the period of beautiful coloured prints of mens and women's fashions. Before 1830, full size paper patterns could be brought at milliners and dressmakers for £1 a set. Foreign fashions were the vogue and flooded in to such an extent

An old style barber

An old style barber

Between the pubs, at No. 103 High Street, was R.C.Cole, an old style hairdresser. Until the acceptance of the safety razor, it was the custom of the better classes to go to the barber to be shaved, and at Cole's each customer had his own brush and mug kept

Michael Grundy writes:

No-one has done more in a lifetime than H.W ("Bill") Gwilliam to chronicle the history of the City of Worcester and County of Worcestershire. Importantly too, his prolific writings on the Faithful City's past have always been in a most readable, fascinating and absorbing form, full of colour and with a liberal sprinkling of humour.

After retiring from a distinguished career in teaching, Bill researched and compiled volume after typewritten volume on the history of the city and county of Worcester, covering a myriad of subjects such as folklore, pubs, crimes, newspapers, transport. rivers and, above all, "People and Places."

Eighteen years ago, when I began producing weekly features on local history for the Worcester Evening News, I received invaluable help from Bill, and I am sure many other local history researchers down the decades will have had cause to be equally grateful for his ready assistance.

Bill has always shown abounding enthusiasm for the extremely eventful and chequered past of Worcester and the county and has been a veritable font of knowledge on his painstakingly researched subject.

Little wonder that the Queen bestowed the MBE on him for services to the public. I know that the Buckingham Palace Investiture where he received the medal from Her Majesty was probably the most memorable day of his life.

Happily, Bill's vast writings are not being allowed to languish in numerous file folders on shelves around a bedroom at his Worcester home.

Two books of his work have already been published - "Old Worcester: People and Places" and "Worcestershire's Hidden Past" and are available in bookshops, having been produced by Halfshire Books.

I understand too that the Worcestershire Record Office has copied several of his volumes for the county archives, and I heartily applaud Pam Hinks for now so patiently making Bill's researches available to an even wider audience via the Internet.

Mike Grundy, Worcestershire Evening News