Sunday, April 16, 2006

Future American Presidents at Fort Royal

Adams Electronic Archive : John Adams diary 44, 27 March - 21 July 1786 contains references to the travels of this American diplomat, who later became the Third President of the United States. Fort Royal, Worcester, together with Edgehill, Birmingham and Stratford are among the places mentioned.
The Fort Royal Walk, rained off on Tuesday 11th April, has been rescheduled for Wednesday June 14 at 7.00pm. Meet on the canalside next to the Commandery. We'll take a look at the famous hill, then at some of our industrial heritage in the Blockhouse. Back at the Kings Head around 8.30pm

Sunday, April 02, 2006

How the West was won with help from the Three Counties

Information from Arch Turvey. Picture Copyright © John Stafford 2005

During the mid 1800s the western USA was settled by thousands of British emigrants from Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Their story and their journey began here....
Gadfield Elm Chapel
(between Malvern and Gloucester - see directions below)
In 1840, Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes known as 'Mormons') traveled from their headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois, to the 3 Counties and taught the local people. During the next 9 months 1,800 people were 'converted', including the almost entire membership of a local organization known as the United Brethren.
In less than 2 years most of the converts had left their homes and sailed across the Atlantic to gather in Nauvoo. Many made historic treks across the plains of North America later with wagons or handcarts in Groups often suffering severe hardship on the way. It would not be unusual for accents of these Groups in America to be predominantly English - indeed it is recorded that one of the first person to start farming in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah was from Ledbury. These people from the 3 Counties were of good, hardy country stock and ideal to conquer these challenges.
Gadfield Elm Chapel belonged to the United Brethren and when they joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints they passed ownership to the Church - it became therefore the very first and oldest Mormon Chapel in the world. More and much more will be told during the visit of the Local History Group of Worcester U3A - the baptisms in the pond at Hill Farm, Castle Frome, the significance of what was decided at British Camp on the Malvern Hills, the Baptist Chapel in Ledbury where Brigham Young preached and other historical information leading to a massive Chapel building programme throughout the UK over the last 40 years.
Elder and Sister Mitchell from Norwich who are serving a voluntary mission at Gadfield Elm Chapel will be your hosts and they will open up the story in the actual Gadfield Chapel itself which was restored in the last year or so after over a century of neglect following the local members leaving for America.
Take the A449 towards Malvern then at Powick
Turn left along B4424 towards Upton and Three Counties Showground
At sign on right B4211 to Malvern turn right but then immediately turn left to Hanley Swan
At Hanley Swan pond go straight over on B4208 towards Gloucester
Keep on this road with lovely views and after approx 9 miles from Hanley Swan
After going through Pendock you will come to a Hill Sign 14%
Follow this road still around the corner and then down a short hill
At the bottom look for the sign "Gadfield Elm Farm 100m" and follow - narrow road
Park at Chapel - there is a large field also for parking.