The Friends enjoyed a fascinating journey from Germany via Scotland to Broadfield and Patricia Nieman's latest collection of work. We have one regret, that we did not video the talk and slide presentation so that other visitors would have a valuable insight in to the inspiration Patricia finds in her natural surroundings. The exhibition contains many forms of art from glass in the form of 'bones' and a red glass chandelier inspired by the blood dripping from a dagger, to soft fine sheep wool - black and blowing in the wind and cream, shaped like a cocoon and sofly scented by the soap it was washed in to detailed drawings of skeletons and pieces of hand made gold jewellery. A thought provoking exhibition that will stay until August.

A super presentation by Nick Baker and very hard to put into a few words without the slides or to do justice to the extensive content.

The 3 Unions were the Flint Glassmakers Friendly Society; The American Trade Unions and The Union of the USA. The time was before The Great War, The Russian Revolution - it was the summer of the Empire - The Edwardian Era

The problems could have been at any time - undercutting; innovation; restrictions on apprenticeships; people living in fear of the workhouse; no pensions; skills leaving the country; double-crossing diplomats; intrigue; intellectual property theft and murder!

However, this was the tale of the upskilling of the American Glass Industry and how it came about. It included the circuitous entry into America via Canada and a swift journey to Ellis Island only to be sent packing whilst unskilled workers were being welcomed.

We heard about the war of attrition between Manufacturers and Unions. - On March 24th 1902 Thomas Webb sacked everyone and put an advertisement out for new staff.

On this evening we had two family members  present. John Sanders - Grandson of John Henry Husselbee (1849 - 1931) General Secretary of National Flintmakers Union

and David Williams-Thomas, Grandson of the famous Stevens & Williams/ Royal Brierley Crystal company who visited, when he was 18, the 'poached' employee Frederick Carder. Their recall and discussion of events certainly added to our Facets presentation.

Finally, there were maritime references to the family Crippen - I think this calls for another presentation. 

A warmly clad group of Friends set off on the coach for the first stop of Aynsley China.  We split into two groups and had superb guided tours around the now much smaller site than in the heyday of china unlimited.  50 people are employed creating beautiful china for Korea, Japan, Italy other export markets and ourselves.  Several people tried their hand at making china roses but did not achieve NVQ level 2! Next time.

From Aynsley and a spending spree to the Gladstone Pottery Museum for lunch (carvery ?3.75 and open to non museum visitors) followed by guided tours. It was 4.00p.m. before we knew it and so on to make more purchases at the Portmerion factory shop; home for 6.15.  The weather was lovely with bright blue skies.

Date : Thursday November 25th 2010

Time : 7.00p.m.

Cost : ? 7.50 per percon

Contact : Numbers have to be confirmed by October 25th

Mrs Y. Wilkes, Summerhill Cottage, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JF

email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This is a different opportunity - a guided tour of the state of the art studios situated in The Mailbox.  We will look behind the scenes of programmes such as BBC Midlands today and others.  The tour takes approximately one and a half hours.  There is a lift we can use rather than the long flight of stairs from the Public Space.

Parking :  There is an underground carpark - pay for time spent there

Train :  The nearest railway station is New Street. Exit from The Victoria Square Entrance/exit.  Turn left at the exit and walk down Navigation Street following the painted lines on the pavement.  (approx 5 mins walk)

We are on the 7th floor of the Mailbox and there are lifts - wheelchairs are also available.



1.  Apologies

2.  To confirm the Minutes of the 16th AGM 19/09/2009

3.  To consider matters arising

4.  To receive and approve accounts year ending 31/03/2010

5.  Chairman's Report

6.  Hon. Membership Secretary Report

7.  Hon Secretary Report

8.  To elect Officers and Council for the ensuing year

9.  To accord a vote of thanks

10. To appoint an Independent Examiner

11. Any Other Business - To vote on proposal to accept the Draft Amendment to the Constitution.

End of AGM

Timetable for the day.

10.00 a.m. AGM

10.25 a.m. Discussion

10.40ish Coffee and biscuits

11.00 a.m. Lecture by Dr David Watts

12.15 p.m. Lecture by Vic Bamforth

1.15 p.m. Buffet lunch for everyone attending

Afternoon free to look at the new exhibits.

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