MENU
A Tribute to Bill Gwilliam MBE

A Tribute to Bill Gwilliam, MBE

Bridges and Ferries Articles

Arley Ferry Boat

Arley Ferry Boat

Arley Ferry was the most northerly of the Worcestershire ferries, and the last to operate. The earliest reference to it is in the Close Rolls of 1323 when it was referred to as 'the Ferry'. In 1602...


Pershore New Bridge

Pershore New Bridge

When highway bridges became the repsonsibility of the County Council in 1920, it was decided that a new bridge had to be built at Pershore. Unlike as at Bransford, the old bridge was left standing,...


Worcestershire's Historic Bridges

Worcestershire's Historic Bridges

Introduction The destruction of many of Worcestershire's ancient bridges in the first half of the 19th century on the grounds that they were not suited to the modern day traffic at that time,...


Hawford Ferry

Hawford Ferry

Thomas Dix's map of 1830 shows an old road crossing the Severn just north of the junction of the River Salwarpe and the Severn.

Kepax Ferry, Barbourne, Worcester

Kepax Ferry, Barbourne, Worcester

Kepax Ferry was about a hundred yards north of the old tower of the Worcester Waterworks. Edward Corbett, in his article on Claines, says that this ferry dates from times immemorial,

Withybed Ford, Diglis, Worcester

Withybed Ford, Diglis, Worcester

The improvements in the Severn above Worcester had given a constant navigation to Stourport of 10 feet, but for some time after the building of the locks and weirs at Diglis and beyond to Lincomb, the stream below Diglis was affected by the tide.

Remains of an old Severn Ford below the Cathedral Ferry

Remains of an old Severn Ford below the Cathedral Ferry

At a meeting of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society in 1945, Mr.Alec MacDonald mentioned a discovery in part of the Severn bank,

The Grandstand Ferry

The Grandstand Ferry

Not much is known about this ferry, which was in use until the 1939-45 War. There was probably a ferry here when a wooden stand was built on the racecourse in the 18th century; perhaps even earlier, for racing has been enjoyed on Pitchcroft since the days

Dog & Duck Ferry

Dog & Duck Ferry

This is a very pretty spot opposite Pitchcroft, and a very ancient crossing of the Severn. The ferry takes its name from the old waterman's inn of that name, which in its turn, got it from a sport practiced by watermen on Sunday mornings. It was a sport which

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