Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wolverhampton – don’t go there if you can avoid it

Well, I thought since we had a couple of days to kill, that some family research in the Wolverhampton area might be an option. The hotel I found was in the same area as where my forebears had lived so seemed like a good option.

On arriving there though, it was actually AT the racecourse and there was a twilight meeting scheduled for Friday with an after race concert by UB40. Yes they are still alive and well. We thought we could cope with that, but as Holiday Inns go (and we’ve stayed in a few) this one was definitely not one of their best. Our room was changed twice before we even got any luggage out of the car, and then the wifi was pitiful. So pitiful that only one laptop would work and the other couldn’t even connect to their network. Don’t even ask about the 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back, which I spent  “talking” to their helpdesk guy…who was looking up his answers and the process from a cue sheet or google while he “helped”.

We had a drive into the town centre, which was short-lived and very depressing. Didn’t even find the information centre or the archives. Never mind. The next day we went to Dudley. I promised to spend only 1 hour max at their archive centre, which is brand new and right next door to the Black Country Living Museum. Perfect.

I found the burial record for my 4xgreat grandfather – to confirm our hypothesis that he was buried at St John’s Church, Kate’s Hill in Dudley. Yay. So we walked around the 26 acres of museum looking at life how it used to be and chatting with some of the “residents”. It’s well worth a look if you are able to get there. Then before heading back to the hotel (hopefully ahead of the race crowd) we went to find St John’s and have a wander around the church yard. It doesn’t appear that there is a headstone for great-great-great-greatgranddad, so no luck confirming the death date for his wife with whom he was apparently buried. I might have to go back and read more burial records sometime I think.

Back at the hotel we had a great view of the parade circle from our room to check out the horses, and also the big screen to watch the races if we wanted. Bonus was – we got to see the UB40 concert as well. (was that really a bonus ?)

Up and away early the next morning, to take some photos of the streets our folk had lived in, and then off to the seaside we went – for our next journey of exploration.

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