The story of a dusty old chimney sweep who swept a fair neighbour off her feet caused much hilarity in a Shropshire village in 1883. But who was the “gay Lothario”? The story appeared in March in both the Wellington Journal and Eddowe’s Journal and reads as follows. A Shropshire Elopement in Humble… Read More 1883: Cheating Chimney Sweep of Sytch Lane
Sitting in the graveyard of St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury is a curious headstone. It belongs to a man called Benjamin Beach. But it doesn’t contain just the usual religious platitudes you’d expect to find – it tells the story of the poor man’s sad and painful demise at one of the town’s most popular inns.… Read More 1801: Brain Fever Kills Travelling Businessman.
In July 1893 Prince George, Duke of York, and future King George V, married Princess Mary of Teck. The good people of Shrewsbury marked the occasion in spectacular fashion! Here’s how it happened according the the Wellington Journal. The event which had awakened interest among the greatest nations of the world, and which Thursday… Read More 1893: Royal Wedding Celebrations
It’s a Sunday morning in April and Sarah Jenks pops next door to see her elderly neighbour Mary Watkins. Sarah opens the door, walks in, and she can smell the faint whiff of stale smoke in the air. She catches sight of Mary, who’s covered in soot and whimpering in pain. Sarah gently peelsthe clothes… Read More 1869: Infamous Prostitute’s Painful Demise.
In May 1866 – A gypsy fortune teller appears in court charged with having extorted money from a farm labourer – but any sympathy you might have for her victim will soon vanish when your hear the about the “wicked” thing that he did. Mr Jones first went to see Ellen Roberts to help him… Read More 1866: Fortune teller tricks ‘wicked man’
Saturday 13th June 1908: Nine year old John Alfred Williams appears at the police court in Shrewsbury charged with shop breaking and theft. A well known young miscreant in Shrewsbury, he had been in constant trouble with the law, but this time – inspired by a famous burglar – his hilarious attempt to throw the… Read More 1908: Boy Desperado – Imitating a Notorious “Bergler”
Most of the stories I cover date back more than a hundred years – but here’s one well within living memory. In July 1977 Terry Rushworth was walking by Sundorne Pool in Shrewsbury. He looked over and saw what he thought was a “blackened tree stump sticking out” about 20 feet from the bank. He… Read More 1977: Miracle Saves Man In Mud Trap