Worcestershire is a rich, fertile, wooded
county in the west Midlands of England. It is bordered by hills; the south
west border is the Malvern Hills and to the south are the Bredon hills,
which extend from the Cotswolds. The River Severn runs through the county,
joined by the Stour at Stourport and the Teme near Worcester.
Records state that the Severn, which is navigable for 180 miles, was capable
of navigation by 80 ton ships to Worcester and 60 ton ships to Bewdley.
There is also an extensive canal network, communicating with the Grand Trunk
canal and linking with adjoining counties to connect the Severn with other
main rivers. At the time of the Great War, the rail network was excellent,
belonging to the Great Western and Midlands systems, linking Birmingham
to Bristol and via a branch line through Stratford to London.
In 1910, Worcestershire was rich in minerals and mineral-based industries.
Coal was worked in the north west. There were brine springs in Droitwich.
Iron works and blast furnaces were located in the north, including Oldbury
and Halesowen. The Stourbridge area was known for its fire clay and bricks.
The deep, rich soil and mild climate is ideal for cultivation. Cereal crops,
hops and fruit were extensively grown and the area around Evesham was renowned
for its market gardens, orchards and cider production.
At the turn of the century, Worcestershire's manufacturing industries included
carpets at Kidderminster and Stourport, china and ceramics (Worcester),
bricks, baths, clay products and glass (Stourbridge), needles, fish-hooks
and fishing rods (Redditch), iron bridges and general engineering (Dudley),
nails, rivets, horse shoes, chains and screws (Netherton), kitchen ranges,
brushes, brooms, carriages, harness and gloves (Worcester) and extensive
nurseries producing shrubs, ornamental trees, flowers and fruit trees.
Malvern was famous as an 'improving watering place' with a healthy climate.
The county town of Worcestershire is Worcester.
Stourport Drill Hall
the first attempt at content
The Drill Hall Project - Charting a neglected legacy