The village of Chaddesley Corbett is an ancient settlement with a prehistoric buriel mound and traces of a Roman road. Originally known as Chaddesley the name is thought to mean "Ceadda's clearing in the wood" and is first mentioned in a Saxon Charter of 816 when the land was given to the Bishop of Worcester in return for hospitality to the King of Mercia and his men. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to a Saxon Noblewoman - and had two priests, several corn mills, a population as large as Kidderminster and two saltpans in Droitwich for it's own use. After the Norman Conquest the Manor of Chaddesley was owned by the Corbett family who added their name to it’s title. Later, church lands passed to the Earldom of Warwick and, eventually, to the Throckmortons of Coughton Court.
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Chaddesley - One Hundred Years Ago - January
Jan 4th The Committee that has charge of the deliberations respecting a Parochial Memorial to those fallen in the war, is not to be envied. There appears to be two chief schools of thought in the Parish: the first favours endowing the Institute, the second favours something of the monumental type. The trouble is a great number of the Parish favour neither idea and content themselves by waiting to knock down both the Aunt Sallies of the Committee without constructing one of their own. It is a thousand pities, because in a matter of this kind, unity of thought and action is a greater tribute to the honoured memory of our heroes than we may erect in their honour.The midnight service was very well attended by ladies- but the representatives of the other sex were more select than numerous. It was a pitchy night but calm. Somebody left the garden gate open: and in the wee small hours one might have espied a well-known resident in his pyjamas prowling about the garden with a candle. A belated worshiper queried: “Are you letting the New Year in?” and the exasperated reply was yelled out “Pygmalion-come and help get these------ hosses out of my cabbage”. I am afraid my recent note about these wandering marauders has had but little effect.Jan 11th- The whist drive last Friday evening was well attended. The tickets had been limited to the capacity of the room, so there was no uncomfortable crowding. The prize winners were (Ladies) Mrs John Cutler and Mr Cartwright (Gentleman). Trooper J Dickinson (Worcester Yeomanry) and Mr J T Williamson. Mrs Fitch won the prize for being top when the list was inverted!!I saw Captain Acton Pratt in the village one day last week. He looks fine and well, in spite of his sojourn with the brutal Hun.My letter bag this week contains more than the usual number, from soldiers, and the contents make one think furiously. Several offer up thanksgivings for Christmas presents received through Dennis Fitch and ask me to tell him what a god-send the bit of money was. They are stoney broke because it takes all their spare cash to buy food from the canteen as the Army ration is insufficient to appease their appetites. From another I get this grouse: - “Back here from leave three weeks and I can’t get a drink - worse than the trenches, did get a tot o’ rum there occasionally”. I suppose this is the same genius training the Tommies in the way he should go, that has trained us into beer greed, and our wives into compulsory law dodgers. All this reminds me: - Someone in the hours of am was heard to enquire of a fellow soldier. “Had any breakfast yet Bill?” and the heart-rending reply was “Not a spot!”Jan 18th- Demobilisation is proceeding exceedingly slowly as far as Chaddesley is concerned. At present have only met two discharged men: that is discharged under demobilisation arrangements. Considering how much the farmers have been put to inconvenience during recent years, one would expect more consideration to be given to them now in securing the release of their best men.It is now more than two months since the Armistice was signed, and wives and sweethearts whose loved ones are out in the East are beginning to ask anxiously where their boys expect a leave home. Many Chaddesley lads have been out there three or four years without once seeing dear old England.“Hope deferred maketh the heart grow sick.” Why not give a sea trip to some of those who have never left these shores and let the long-absent ones have a view of home once more.The meet of the hounds at Bluntington last Saturday morning proved a popular gathering and the youngsters free from school made the most of their opportunities. The meet at Woodcote on Monday was held under the most depressing weather conditions, and I saw more than one usual enthusiast making rapidly for home quite early in the day.Jan 25th- Albert Grove, son of Mr Arthur Grove, of Harvington, has returned safely from his captivity in Germany. He appears to have been unfortunate in his experiences, as he suffered much from the lack of food and also from the ill-treatment and brutality of his guards. We may soon hope to hear of the day of reckoning being fixed for these black-listed Huns. Unless they are brought to book Britain will look ludicrous in the eyes of the civilised world. There is no news yet of Eric Hemming - I hope he may be found in the general search which is now reported to be taking place throughout Germany.Back from France (and civilians once more) I have noticed two about this week, viz: - Frank Hemming and Charlie Pain. Frank still finds some difficulty with his injured arm but he has resumed his old employment regardless of that.Some of our people are already rehearsing for the Peace rejoicings. Dances and rumours of dances fill the air: music and whist drives are increasing in daily popularity; but who can guess when the date will be that such rejoicings will be appropriate? The only likely prophets, I know, suggest some date in June or July. Imagine a concert and whist drive in The Dog. A jollification in the open air would be far more popular. The village world days have changed remarkably in the last half century. In my childhood had we dared to suggest a concert or dance on the threshold of Lent the earth would have opened her mouth and swallowed us up. Ah! Those good old days!(A selection copied from Kidderminster Shuttle by CC Local History Society)
Chaddesley Woods in Chaddesley Corbett became a Nature Reserve in 1973 through the generosity of Mr. John Cadbury. The reserve consists of 53 hectares of native oak woodland and 47 hectares of recent plantations of young hardwoods and softwoods - which were added to show how wild life conservation can be intergrated with modern commercial management.A "Jubilee Walk" was introduced in 1977 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. The walk is marked by yellow arrows - which indicate public rights of way - and by white arrows which indicate courtesy paths. There are Voluntary Wardens for the woods and the area is managed by the Nature Conservancy Council. The Woods are a special feature of the area and attract many visitors all through the year.•Car parking by the roadside.•Guard against thefts.