A GROUP founded by industrialists to further the study and discussion of scientific subjects is about to celebrate its 70th anniversary.
The Redditch Society was founded in November 1945 as The Redditch Literary and Scientifc Society during a meeting in the Kingfisher Restaurant on Worcester Road, now Worcester Square in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
Its first official meeting took place the following month and in 1950 it was decided to drop the literary and scientific reference from the group’s name.
The organisation had high intentions including to organise exhibitions of local industry, visit places of historic and scientific interest every summer and show technical films as well as hold talks on science, literature and art.
Members have met in a variety of places from the Congregational Church in Evesham Street (now near the middle of Evesham Walk in the shopping centre) to their present home at Trinity High School where the group meets on alternate Fridays at 7.30pm between September and March or April.
Notable speakers in the past have included Royal Worcester porcelain expert Henry Sandon, journalist and television broadcaster Wynford Vaughan Thomas and British radio and 1950s and ‘60s television personality Lady Isobel Barnett.
At the time the society was established membership cost 10s 6d – or 55 pence in today’s money. Although the price has increased over the years, 70 years on membership is still only £20 for the year with talks on topics ranging from Aircraft Crash Investigation to Genealogy.
A spokesman for the society said if the group was to survive another 70 years then it needed more members, particularly those aged between 25 and 45.
“Surely, in a town with a population of 90,000, there are at least 300 people who are free on a Friday evening to listen to an interesting and entertaining talk on some fascinating subject. The future of the Redditch Society is in your hands and all for less than £1 an hour.”
The society begins its 70th season tonight (Friday) with an illustrated talk entitled Searching for Richard III by Richard Buckley from the University of Leicester.
For more information on The Redditch Society contact Rhonda Strong on 01527 893560.