The Worcestershire Industrial Archaeology & Local History Society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. The society was founded in 1971 by renowned local historian Bill Gwilliam MBE with several pupils of his Industrial Archaeology extramural evening class that he ran on behalf of the University of Birmingham.
Bill’s relentless enthusiasm was a primary driving force behind the painstaking effort to study the industrial history of Worcestershire. The spirit of Bill’s passion is carried on by the society who, to this day, continue to stimulate interest in, record, and study the industrial and local history of Worcestershire.
During the last 50 years, the society has delivered countless evening talks plus heritage site visits across the county and beyond. securing privileged access not usually granted to the public. This gives members a unique opportunity to learn about local history whilst engaging with a friendly social environment.
The society is regularly consulted on issues concerning the risk to and preservation of local industrial heritage sites and makes valued contributions to planning processes and the recording of local sites. They are also proud to have Henry Sandon OBE and Baron Faulkner of Worcester as sponsors, both of whom are dedicated champions of industrial history. The society also meets its aims by publishing works that might not otherwise gain a wider audience
Society president Christine Silvester said “The society is a place for all people to come and discover the fascinating history of their local county. We have uncovered a treasure trove of stories that have sparked interest in unravelling family histories, old places of work, and how our predecessors lived and celebrated life. We are proud to continue this tradition and help new generations explore their origins and why Worcestershire became the county that it is today.”