A History of Hednesford and Surrounding Villages by Anthony Hunt
Born in Hednesford in 1943, Anthony went to St. Joseph’s Primary School and then to St. Chad’s College, Wolverhampton. On leaving he spent three years at Dudley Teachers’ Training College studying English and History. Having taught at Cardinal Griffin, Cannock for thirty years he retired early and then began writing. His first three books concerned Victorian murder cases – “Accident, Manslaughter or Murder” and “Murder in Mind” involves Shropshire. All are published by Walkways/Quercus and available on the internet, or from certain Hednesford shops.
Anthony’s book on Hednesford examines the town from its earliest times, the twelfth century, up to the 1930’s. Very much a small agricultural village whose only fame was the training of racehorses, it suddenly mushroomed with the opening of coal mines. From a population of 500 in 1861 it had increased to 3,000 in 1871 and over 6,000 by 1881 – rather like California gold rush.
A village with few tradesmen became a flourishing town selling everything the householder needed – from clothes and furniture to fineries like picture frames. Life must have been both exciting and yet frightening for the folks of ‘Old Hednesford’ whilst a new adventure for the recent arrivals.
Examining everything from church to sport, crime to education the book endeavours to give a flavour of those times. Together with a history of those features which survived the upheaval and a unique register of the inhabitants of the eighteenth century the hope is that the book will encourage people to trace their family history and kindle a fondness for their heritage.
For up to date information on what is happening, to discover and preserve the heritage of Hednesford please contact us about becoming involved in the work of the Town Council’s Heritage Panel.