Gary Masters

It is with great sadness that we have learnt today (8th February 2013) that Gary Masters, a recent former Chairman of The Knowle Society and before that the long-serving chairman of the Society’s Community Services committee, died in hospital this morning after a period of indifferent health.

Gary was a truly committed and dedicated member of the Society and gave a very great deal of his time and energy to the village of Knowle through his work with the Society.

His funeral will be held on Friday 8th March, 11:00 at Solihull Crematorium (Robin Hood) and 12:00 at Knowle Parish Church. Refreshments will be served afterwards at Knowle Royal British Legion.

Family Flowers only, donations through Braggs (Funeral Directors, Knowle) to Diabetes UK.

Derek Mellor, dies after a short illness

The Knowle Society is very sad to announce that Derek Mellor, has died after a serious stroke followed by a period in hospital. Derek was very active as Membership Secretary, past chairman of the local history committee and a former Trustee Director of the Society.

Derek’s funeral will take place at 10.30am on Monday 18 May at Robin Hood Crematorium. Family flowers only, but donations to ‘The Knowle Society’ via Bragg & Sons, the undertaker.

Note from the Local History Committee chairman:

Derek was past Chairman of the Local History Committee remaining on the committee after he stepped down as Chairman last November. He will be remembered by many for the excellent talks, visits and exhibitions he planned and organised and for his indefatigable work in general for The Knowle Society over the last few years.

Under his chairmanship the local history committee revised and re-published the Guide to Central Knowle, for which Derek personally contributed several stunning photographs. Other initiatives included a DVD of the Ratcliff films of Knowle, afternoon talks on historical subjects, several highly successful historical visits and an enthusiastic and hard-working committee setting up regular exhibitions and completely overhauling the cataloguing and storage of the Society’s historical artifacts and records.

Derek will be missed by many people for many reasons not least by ‘His’ history team who will endeavour to carry on his work to the same high standards that he demanded of himself.

Note from the Chairman of The Knowle Society:

Derek was also the membership secretary of the Society which included co-ordinating distribution of the newsletter. To say that he did the job well is a gross under-statement. His attention to detail in an organisation that grew to over 3000 members during his time in the post was exemplary. He and his team were superb in ensuring the smooth running of the database and of the army of distributors, both of bulk numbers and also street deliverers. He also kept his dry sense of humour in doing so. He will be very much missed.

Civic Trust announces that it is entering administration

The trustees of the Civic Trust announced on 17th April 2009 that the Civic Trust is to be placed into administration. The Knowle Society is registered with the Civic Trust. A new ‘Civic Trust Initiative’ was formed on 2nd June.

It is not clear what effect this will have on the Civic Societies movement generally but the immediate impact on The Knowle Society itself is unlikely to be significant.

An announcement by English Heritage on 18th May states that it will be rescuing the Heritage Open Days programme (of which it was previously a partner) from The Civic Trust, for all future years. The Knowle Society and Knowle Parish Church have combined successfully in recent years to put on HODS events in Knowle. These national events usually take place around the second weekend in September and this year take place over 10-13 September.

As at 2nd June 2009 a new organisation ‘Civic Trust Initiative’ has been launched to keep the movement going. It will not be the same set up as before although some names continue. The Knowle Society will consider its position when more information becomes available and when it hears how WestMASA intends to relate to the new body.