Foxlydiate Hotel holds happy memories for resident Barbara Bankwell - The Redditch Standard
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17th Aug, 2022

Foxlydiate Hotel holds happy memories for resident Barbara Bankwell

Ross Crawford 14th Jan, 2019 Updated: 15th Jan, 2019

THE Foxlydiate Hotel holds so many happy memories for Redditch resident Barbara Bankwell.

It’s been her ‘local’ for 67 years; her daughter’s wedding reception was held there and she celebrated her 70th birthday in the familiar surroundings of the Birchfield Road watering hole.

Born in 1922 in Weights Lane, Barbara, who gives talks to clubs, societies and schools on the times she’s lived through, can scarely believe the pub with its classic 1930s facade is to be bulldozed to make way for houses for Bromsgrove District Council.

“It’s always been a pub the family visited and I was devastated to hear it is to be demolished,” said the Webheath resident.

We were there just a few weeks ago for a meal and it was doing so well and it’s such a lovely building.

“Bromsgrove seems to be so dominating these days and it seems to have got worse since the council services amalgamated.”

Among the precious memorabilia collected by Barbara is the bill for her daughter Wendy’s wedding reception at the Foxlydiate.

Held in 1964, it cost what was then the princely sum of £82.15s.0d.

It includes 65 lunches at 13s.6d each plus drinks to toast the bride and groom at 3s each while the hire of the cake stand cost 10s.6d.

A five-piece band, called the ‘orchestra’ on the bill, provided the music for £9.

The Foxlydiate opened in 1939 just before the start of the Second World War, a time Barbara, who has one granddaughter, two great-granddaughters, and two great-great-granddaughters, remembers well.

“Before the war I worked for a firm called Clarkes packing bicycle clips.

Everyone went to work on a bike back then, there were hardly any cars,” she said.

“Then during the war we worked on assembling aircraft parts.

“I was always volunteering, I’d volunteer for anything – I wanted to get at the Germans so badly.

“We worked 8am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm on Friday and 8am to 1pm on a Saturday and we took it in turns to do a fire watch on Sundays.

“Back then you had your dinner at dinnertime and your tea at teatime.

People today can’t believe how we survived on wartime rations, or that I was born in a house without electricity.

“It’s a different world today.”

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