~ Gallery - Events ~
In this section is still under construction, it hopefully will include any past events of a local nature; Carnivals, Fetes, Garden Parties, Shows, etc. as and when this content becomes available.
Any appropriate content is very welcome.
1875: County Express, Saturday 4 September.
Pic Nic. -The above pic-nic was held on Monday last, by the kind permission of John Newey, Esq., in the beautiful grounds adjoining the Straits House, Lower Gornal. The proceedings of the day commenced by a procession through Lower Gornal and district, by the South Staffordshire Victoria Brass Band, and through Sedgley and district by the South Staffordshire Victoria Flute and Drum Band, of Ruiton. Fortunately the weather was all that could be desired. The programme of the day consisted of selections popular music by the Sedgley Hand Bell Ringers, The Gornal Wood Glee Union enlivened the proceedings of the day. The great sensationalists, the Bros. Vollino and Felix, performed their wondrous athletic and gymnastic novelties during the day. There were balloon ascents at intervals, and there was grand illumination and display of fireworks, under the superintendence of J. Wilder, of Birmingham. Great credit is due to the above gentleman for such a display on this occasion. The music performed by the bands reflected great credit upon them. The refreshments were provided Mr Hickman, of the Straits. The committee beg to thank the friends who so generously supported them on the above occasion, the object of which is to raise funds for the purpose of giving the children of the Methodist New Connexion School an excursion early next Spring. Notwithstanding a great deal of opposition, it was a grand success.
Carnivals and Processions.
"Gornal - where they put the pig on the wall to watch the band go by" is an established part of local folklore.
See about this here
The Lower Gornal annual carnival procession was a very popular event during the 20th Century, as it was with all other local areas, unfortunately, these petered out during the late 1970s, undoubtedly due to safety concerns.
The carnival processions were often grouped with those of Upper Gornal and Sedgley.
A route for the Sedgley and district carnival proposed in July 1930, was as follows, Brook Street; Abbey Street, New Street; Summit Place; Himley Road; Bull Street; Bus Terminus; [Gornal Wood], Five ways; Lake Street; Humphrey Street; Church Street; [Lower Gornal], Hill Street; Hermit Street; Rock Street; Pale Street; Upper Gornal housing scheme; Quadrant; Greenway; [Upper Gornal], Cross Lane; Castle Street; Bilston Street; School Street and Kings Road [Sedgley].
The streets would be lined with local folk, and the route would be adorned with flags and bunting. The procession would comprise of many tablaux, marching brass and jazz bands, fancy dress and boy scout troupes.
Church parades, often accompanied with marching bands, were also another popular enjoyment and which still carry on today.
See also Brass Bands
The Church Anniversary parades were a major part of the local calendar, and in earlier times often involved a parade around the immediate area.
The Anniversaries, as the name suggests, usually were set near the time when the first church or chapel was opened or renewed. Children from the Sunday Schools of local chapels were involved and the events energized great rivalry amongst local congregations.
The Remembrance Sunday Parade is still enthusiastically supported for those that served and for the many who have lost their lives in wartime, many of the local uniformed organizations are represented and take part in the procession through the streets of Lower Gornal.
See also War Time Memorials
Many of these street events are now under threat from the ever engulfing 'health and safelty' issues.
1884: Dudley and District News, August.
Annual Shows, Fetes and Garden Parties
These events were originally introduced by the Church as fund raising events, such gatherings took place at St. James' during the 19th Century.
Large events were also held at Himley Hall by the Earl of Dudley, other local benevolent dignitaries would hold such events, albeit on a smaller scale, such as those by the owners of Ellowes Hall and Straits House
Annual Shows of flowers, fruit and vegetables were held at Lower Gornal in the Vicarage grounds, in 1876 the show included fireworks and the church tower of St. James was illuminated.
Children from the Burton Road workhouse were treated with an invitation to attend, these shows were hugely attended.
The Upper Gornal annual 'Fun Day' still takes place on the recreational ground off Vale Street
Other Events
At one time, small fun fairs were held in Gornal Wood 'Duckle' where the Bus Station is now..