October 9th 2018
The History of Worcestershire Archaeological Society with a Pershore Twist by Robin Whittaker
Drawing on his years of being the archivist to the Worcestershire Records Office, now held in The Hive, Robin gave an insight into the founding of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society. This Society, the main historical society for the county, was founded by Sir Edmund Lechmere and friends in 1854, part of a nationwide resurgence of interest in history. Initially the Society had a marked ecclesiastical bias, with the then vicar of Pershore being a founding Committee member, and the mid-century renovations at the Abbey being favourably reported on in the Society’s publications. Later the Society extended its fields of interest to cover the wider history, archaeology and architecture of the county and Diocese of Worcester. Key early members included J. Willis Bund and John Noake, who both published and lectured widely. In the twentieth century members included Sir Edward Elgar and Stanley Baldwin. The Society has not been afraid to speak out on major heritage issues such as the demolition of the Guesten Hall at Worcester Cathedral, the Lich Gate development in Worcester in the 1960s and the Crowngate development of the 1890s. It publishes a biennial Transactions volume which has included significant article on Pershore. The Society continues to offer a series of winter lectures and summer excursions for its members.