Memories of Worcester in the 1880s - What would they think today one must wonder !

  • 24 Oct 2021
  • Worcester People and Places
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John Fletcher, in 1908, recalled the changes at Worcester from when he last visited in the City in the 1880s. Three in particular are mentioned; The ford at Barbourne Brook, the loss of the Inglethorpe Almshouses in Taylors Lane, and the removal of the wide steps that once adorned St. Nicholas Church, on the Cross.

'We were weary of the long journey and long waits at wayside inns, when at last we came to the suburbs of Worcester, and our horses plunged into Barbourne Brook, for half the road ran through the brook, the other half over a little bridge... Close by was a long, quaint row of almshouses, each with a tine garden in front, in a narrow lane leading to Foregate Street, but l sadly missed the old familiar row of houses, where on warm days the old folks sat at the doors enjoying the sunshine in the eventide of life. 

'Gone too are the famous steps which led up to St. Nicholas Church, what a flood of  memories the thought of those steps bring to me. It was there at midnight, to the admiring cheers of the cabbies from the cabstand below, that l heard a once-famous elecutionist, sword in hyand, recite 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. He had just come from the Theatre Royal, where he had recited the piece for the benefit performance for dear old Gomersal. Dear old Gommy, who that ever saw him as Napleon can forget it?.


(Mr. Gomersal was distinguished actor who became lessee of the Theatre Royal previous to Arthur Carlton. He was very fond of playing historical personages. He did in 1902)