While sorting through old family stuff I’ve come across several bright and colourful examination certificates for the Birmingham & Midland Band of Hope Union.
They were awarded to my grandmother when she was a teenager and attended BATES HILL Wesleyan Chapel. The contents are briefly:-
Presented to Miss Clara Blake [born 21 Jan 1888 – died 23 May 1970] – who later married [ 5 Apr 1915] and was my grandmother: Mrs Clara Lavinia Bladon.
Competitive Examinations Redditch Wesleyan
Fri 9 Dec. 1904 First Class and Prize
Dec. 1905 First Class with Prize & Honours
Dec. 1906 First Class with Prize & Honours
Dec. 1910 First Class with Prize
Dec. 1911 Cert of Merit.
No date – Cert of Merit First Class & Prize Bates Hill Wesleyan (Redditch)
One of the Certificates donated by Philip.
We know The Band of Hope Union was founded in 1855, during an era when excessive drinking amongst adults was common, adding to the problems of poor living conditions and health, and maltreatment of children and child mortality. Alcohol was freely available to youngsters.
It was an organisation for children under 16, with the aim of preventing them from starting to drink alcohol, but it also functioned as a children’s club, embracing all sorts of activities.
But do you know anything of its works in Redditch? If you can help at all, please contact the RLHS archivist.