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History of Shropshire village brought to life in new book

By Charlotte Bentley | Telford | Albrighton & Cosford | Published:

The history of a Shropshire village has been brought to life in a new book released by a historian who compiled tales of village life from locals.

Ernie Howells with his book

A new book by Albrighton-born and bred historian, Ernie Howells, details the changes that have happened in the village over the past twenty years, called 120 Years in Albrighton – A ‘Chat’ History.

It follows on from his first book which looked at 100 years of history in the village on the Shropshire and Staffordshire border, when his mother was the postmistress and had a fund of stories about the village across the last century.

Ernie said he thought the first book would be it, but people kept encouraging him to do another, and he was surprised by how much had changed in the village in just 20 years.

"When I produced the first book, I thought that was the end but people started saying why don't you extend it because quite a lot has happened," Ernie said.

"For example, there was a project to alleviate flooding and the Methodist Church and the hall were both refurbished to a very high standard.

"Mr Bromley took over the Shrewsbury Arms and he made a lovely job of that. Then there were changes at the railway station, where they took the footbridge away and renovated it, put it back and then lifted the bridge to put in more ballast under the railway line.

Word of mouth

"At the same time, The Ale House was created at the old station waiting area, and that was successful. I also recently found out more information about the war memorial and that is is not owned by the parish council, although they have been looking after it all these years.

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"I also wanted to include the Moat Project which is a place where disabled children can go to do activities. There is also a lot of housing changes, especially with the new builds up by the old blacksmiths. Housing is an ongoing thing and it is hard not to comment on it."

Ernie, 88, has been secretary of the Albrighton and District Historical Society for many years, and has had the society's support in launching the book as they hosted a launch night at the Red House in Albrighton on December 2.

He said: "I printed the last book at Cosford but they don't do the printing anymore so John Stretton, from the Albrighton and District Historical Society, helped me with that. I've called it a 'chat history' which allows for mistakes because it is all word of mouth when people have told me things."

Copies of the book will be available from Moghul Books in the High St, Albrighton or from John by contacting strettonjohn@hotmail.com or call 01902 820674.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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