Much-loved founding member of Feckenham Forest History Society has died - The Redditch Standard

Much-loved founding member of Feckenham Forest History Society has died

Redditch Editorial 2nd Jul, 2020 Updated: 2nd Jul, 2020   0

A FOUNDING member of Feckenham Forest History Society has sadly passed away.

For more than 30 years historian Elizabeth Atkins, aged 86, was the driving force behind the society’s talks, meetings and activities.

Elizabeth spent much of her life researching the history of Feckenham and has left behind a huge amount of her work.

Brewin Books recently published a reprint of Elizabeth’s book ‘A History of Webheath’.

Some of her published items are also now on sale at local outlets including ASAP Printing in Headless Cross and Feckenham Village Shop.

Both are selling her book ‘From Slate to State’ which details the history of the village’s schools.

And decorative maps of Old Feckenham, researched by Elizabeth and drawn by a local artist, are on sale for £1.

Profits from sales will go to the Primrose Hospice.

Society member Richard Churchley said: “Last year Elizabeth became the president of our society which I know was a real honour for her.

“I’m glad that happened in her lifetime because she was truly thrilled and it showed how much effort she had put in over the years.

“We will all miss her tremendously.”


Elizabeth Atkins passed away on 27th April 2020. She was a proud and loving mother to her children Julie, Jo and Chris. She and her late husband Bernard arrived in Redditch back in 1978 and fell in love with what became their home of 40 years – a half-timbered 15th century farmhouse in the middle of Redditch Golf Club.


After qualifying as a mature student with a BA in history at Birmingham University, she started by researching the house and then spread that enthusiasm into a broader study of her local areas; Webheath, Callow Hill and Feckenham. She wrote a number of books and pamphlets about her favourite subjects – local history and education.


Her house is treasure trove of historical maps, history books, archive records, wills and deeds. She loved to spread her knowledge; hence the books and pamphlets, the talks she gave and the displays she created for Feckenham Forest History Society (FFHS), detailing the involvement of the local community during the first world war on the anniversary of the armistice and also creating a record of the Feckenham’s history, including a pamphlet on the Knights Templars in Feckenham. She worked with Norman Neasom, a local artist ( to produce an artistic record of the historic buildings in the locality which became a series of limited prints, some of which are available through the FFHS.


As well as the FFHS she was a dedicated patron of the arts – we found theatre programmes in the attic dating back 50 years – and a founding member of the Feckenham Wine Society. A truly remarkable lady. Local poet, Kathy Gee, attended her funeral in Feckenham – a socially distanced affair and the village lined the streets clapping the cortege into the church, whilst her friends scattered in the churchyard during the graveside service all dressed in bright colours. Kathy wrote the attached poem about the event, which featured on Swansbrook Radio.


Proceeds from the book and print sale will be donated to The Primrose Hospice, for which her husband Bernard was a trustee for many years.

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