Cheslyn Hay and District Local History Society offer ‘History, Mystery and Music’

Villagers will be able to learn about their village’s place in history this weekend during an annual exhibition.

Cheslyn Hay and District Local History Society offer ‘History, Mystery and Music’

Villager Roger Moore with a little reminder about the military-themed exhibition

The Cheslyn Hay and District Local History Society has put together the show titled ‘History, Mystery and Music’ to be held on October 1 at the village hall on Pinfold Lane.

The exhibition will offer people a chance to learn more about the military history of the area, hear live music from local bands and watch a screening of a classic Charlie Chaplin film to honour the memory of the former Palace Cinema, which had pride of place in the village 100 years ago.

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the popular exhibition, which has been called ‘an unbelievable success’ by its organisers.

Trevor McFarlane, chairman of the society, said: “We are delighted to have everything ready for our 22nd annual exhibition.

“The theme this year is history, mystery and music, so people can expect a variety of exhibitions.

“The exhibition over the years has been an unbelievable success and we hope that will continue.” 

Among the historical exhibitions is ‘A Century of Warfare’, which will give members of the public information on the 71 soldiers from the village who lost their lives during the First World War and the Second World War. The ‘mystery’ element of the day comes in the form of random items and photographs found by members of the society, which they will be asking the public to help them identify.

The exhibition is regularly well attended and Mr McFarlane says it offers a chance for people who have left the village to catch up with old friends.

He said: “We spend a lot of time working on our displays and organising the event but really it is the people which make it come to life. 

“We have members all over the world, people who have been brought up in Cheslyn Hay and have moved away, they often come back for a catch up, sometimes with people they haven’t seen for 50 years.”

The exhibition is free for those who want to attend and will be held between 10am and 4pm.

The village’s mining history will also be given a good showing at the event, with numerous photographs on display.

Mr McFarlane said: “Cheslyn Hay is a mining village and we always get a lot of interest from visitors eager to find out more.

“We will have lots of photographs on show from the times when mining was prominent in the village, it is a huge part of our history and we could never ignore it.”

The cost for those interested in joining the Cheslyn Hay and District Historical Society is £5 and includes the chance to attend monthly coffee mornings and hear from guest speakers on the last Thursday of every month, together with organised events such as visits to local places of historical interest and special evenings of nostalgia.

These including a ‘Black Country Night’ with faggots and peas supper, ‘Forties Nights’ and ‘An Old Time Music Hall Show’. 

The group also produces a weekly newsletter sent via E-mail, and has access to local censuses, Electoral Registers, Rates Valuations, as well as baptisms and burial record, to help anyone who is either seriously researching their family trees or curious about finding out more about their Cheslyn Hay Ancestors.

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