Many of you will have a lot on coping with Covid19, but if you find you’ve got some time on your hands at home why not see if you can help Robert Smith in his research into Ladywell history.
Robert is a local historian, film maker and founder of the Ladywell Society. Having written the “The Well of Our Lady” publication (about the well that gave its name to our village and ward) in 1986, he is now revisiting his research to take in the Ladywell Spa, the ford and other significant sites in the area.
Robert says “after researching the publicly available archives, new information is now more likely to come from papers, photographs or folk memories not catalogued in established collections.”
So why not rummage in your attic, browse family papers and talk to relatives and see if you can unearth lost information.
Robert is looking for photographs of Ladywell in times gone by that may be in private albums but show parts of Ladywell as they once were.
These can give a unique insight into the past and jog memories of something long forgotten.
How many people living in Ladywell Road knew that it was once named Brockley Lane? Letters, diary entries or house deeds could shed more light on the decision to commemorate the Well in that way.
There are mentions in historical records of the coping stones of the Lady Well being used as a flower bed on the platform of Ladywell Station towards the end of the 19th century, put there by a signal man named Moore.
Does anyone have an image or, indeed, know of the signal man?
There is no known image of the Ladywell Mineral Spring (or Spa). It is shown on maps, mentioned in local guide books but can anyone unearth a visual depiction of the spring?
Often wells and springs have associated legends or tales of strange happenings. So, whether this be memories handed down through families, or even ghost stories, Robert wants to know!
Whilst the focus is on wells and springs other local records and events in the surrounding area are of interest too. What of the rumoured tunnel between the church and the original vicarage?
The Congregational Church in Courthill Road had a mission hall adjacent to the Lady Well for many years. Does anybody have any information from this connection?
These are only suggestions of what you could uncover. However small or insignificant the items or information, Robert would love to hear from you.
He can be reached on WellofOurLady@gmail.com.
So, get in that loft or cellar and check out those long-forgotten boxes of photographs, letters, papers etc. and talk to friends and relatives. You may find something of real interest to our shared history!