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Forum Home > Can you Help ? > A Golden Key.

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Posts: 1413

A short time ago, I read an article about the old Cradley Heath Miners Welfare Club, but I can't recollect where. This week, by why of a strange co-incidence, I have been contacted by a group in North Devon, concerning an object in the possesion of one of their members; A Gold Key.  The group have been working away for many years, preserving what remains of the Combe Martin Silvermine, and have managed to clear out an old shaft down to 28 fathoms. ( aprox 170ft, see their Website online.) 

( Copyright  Max Boyce. 2015 )

Back to the main subject, and that old key. It was presented to one George H Timmis, in 1925, on the opening of the aforementioned Miners Welfare Club, in Cradley Heath. Timmis Brothers owned and worked many mines in the surrounding area from the 1830s, although they are mainly known for their refractory products and fire bricks. I have mentioned them a few times in several topics, including the  Stourbridge Fireclay Mines.  George Timmis must have made a very generous contribution to the Welfare Club, who marked the occassion with one of their own, that Gold Key, two pictures of which I have included in this post.

( Copyright  Max Boyce. 2015 )

I have no idea at the moment of the identity of the man who owns the key, but his wish is that it should be returned to the area and put on display. Given that the Company operated mines mainly around Brierley Hill and Kingswinford,  I have suggested that a suitable place to donate the key would be Dudley Museum and Art Gallery. It will fit in nicely with the other industrial collections, which chart the area's history. I am extremely grateful to Max Boyce, the underground manager of the Silvermine volunteers for contacting me about the matter, which I hope will eventually end up on local display in Dudley. Now hands up all those who didn't know that Silver was mined in Devonshire, and the other hand up for not knowing that Silver was also mined in the Derbyshire Peak District, close to the borders of Staffordshire. I do hope I don't start off a Silver rush, for the work is hard and, it takes a long time to extract a bit  of silver from Lead Ore. Combe Martin Silvermine began sometime in the 13th century, and has a very long and chequered history. The site is open to visitors, so if you find yourself on holiday in IIfracombe or North Devon, you can get a look at what mining was like at a real Silvermine.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

March 4, 2015 at 3:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1

We would love to get it back where it belongs but the Dudley museam turned it down before I even had a chance to tell them what it was and the Black Country museam have not even bothered to get back to me so any other suggestions would be much appreciated.( I did omit to tell them that it is gold lol)

March 4, 2015 at 4:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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