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The Commandery in Worcester
The Commandery - your memories wanted
by Julia Letts - Oral History Project Officer
It's been a monastic hospital, a merchant’s house, a blind college and a print works. Now The Commandery in Worcester is a museum. We want your memories of this remarkable building.
The search is on for Worcestershire residents who can shed light on a century of change at the Worcester Commandery.
Did you live or work in or near the buildings at any point in the last 100 years?
In 1905, the famous medieval buildings, which had already served as a monastic hospital, merchant’s house and blind college, were bought by the printing firm Littlebury’s.
The company flourished for the next 70 years and had a workforce of around 50 by the middle of the century.
Worcester City Council is trying to piece together the Commandery’s chequered past as part of a major refurbishment supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In particular, the project team want to track down anyone with memories or photographs of the Commandery last century.
“We have a very hazy picture of what was going on at the Commandery from 1905 onwards, and are desperate to track down people who remember what it was like and how the rooms were used” said Commandery Manager Amanda Lunt.
“There must be people around who worked at Littlebury’s Printworks and who remember the Littlebury family.
"We also want to hear from anyone involved in the restoration of the buildings and the sale of the Commandery to the City Council in the 1970s.
"Personal memories are a key part of this project, so we hope to get a good response from the public”.
If you can help, please contact Julia Letts on the Oral History Project at the Commandery. Telephone 07789 914772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coralie is also known as Mabel and was 102 on 24th Jan 2005.
She worked at Littlebury’s between 1919 and 1922, where her main job was to make the large printed sheets of paper in book-size pages.
She sat in a room with about 12 other girls. She occasionally took messages to the offices.
Her boss was Mr Petherick, who she describes as gentle.
She is not so complimentary about ‘old Mr Littlebury’ who had a fierce reputation and announced that no one should look at him when he entered the room.
Once a month Mabel worked overtime to produce and deliver railway timetables.
She remembers cycling around Worcester taking them to businesses in the area.