STOURPORT CIVIC SOCIETY: Ned Williams shared with us his childhood interest in Alms Houses. The earliest alms houses were built for aged miners, perhaps to ease the mine owners conscience for the health problems mining inflicted on his workers. Many were built for retired clergymen or service men. Some of the old Trade Guilds also built dwellings for their members who had fallen on hard times. Most were built to a standard design, a row of houses built around a central courtyard. The key to recognising an almshouse is to look for a plaque. These are often found over the main entrance and will give vital information on when to building was erected, who provided the money, who was entitled to live there. Most were built for the poor of the parish, but not any poor, only the deserving poor. Sadly while many still provide shelter for the deserving poor, others have been turned into private residences. Thankfully they still retain there ancient features including that give away plaque.

Next year will feature the second running of the Written History Award. A new award,"The Young Peoples Award" aimed at the younger generation is to be launch at the Three Kings Parade to run alongside the main award.

At the next meeting on December 14 Rob Gardener will give a talk about his adventures as a planning inspector. A bit of a pantomime featuring lost files, freezing village halls, reluctant witnesses and pompous barristers.

Meetings are held at the Elizabeth Mills Centre, New Street, Stourport, starting at 7.30pm, admission £1.50 members £3 non members.