Welcome to the Agutter's Quick website.
Hello! Iím Doreen Agutter, a qualified historian, archaeologistand teacher. My website is dedicated broadly speaking to the social, agrarian and religious history of North and East Warwickshire and more particularly to the village of Meriden, the historical ĎCentre of Englandí where I grew up.
From an early age local history fascinated me and by 10 years old I had collected several ghost stories from Meriden, Berkswell and Keresley as well as some details about Meridenís more recent past from older residents. One story discovered in a book captured my imagination. I knew few people escaped from the Tower of London yet in August 1323 with the aid of two Meriden men Roger Mortimer had done just that. At home I announced I planned to write a village history. I was 14.
Meriden Parish Council has long supported my work, starting in 1962 with my exhibition to celebrate the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, financially with my publications in 1990, 92 and 94 and my current activities.
I have given talks and lectures since the late 1960s. These have included many aspects of Meriden history and about the Collection of 1830s paintings by Dr James Kittermaster of Meriden; my ancestry especially in C15and C16th Coventry; Droving and local droves; economic and social history of local villages from the late medieval to English Civil War period and of individual families like the Fishers of Gt Packington; the Greys of Astley, the Marvins of Church Lawford, or the Matthews of Berkswell. Additionally I have collections of material researched and written for my own pleasure, enjoy Botany and gardening as well as reading Latin, German and French and philology.
I belong to several societies and am a committee member on three of them. In particular I am on the committee of the Eastern Green History Society, a keen group whose research methods might well be emulated by others. Details of its meetings and activities can be found in St Andrew's Parish Magazine, Eastern Green. Visitors and new members are very welcome to attend the talks and outings. I am also a member of the special committee linked to the Parish Council's work on behalf of the ABF the Soldiers Charity and promoting the its commemoration of the Great War. The village is proud to have a National War Memorial on the Green dedicated to cyclists who died in the conflicts of the Twentieth Century and beyond.
This photograph used as the banner on this website of the Cross on Meriden Green is one of the earliest in my possession, taken from an unusual angle and position. There are clues to establish its approximate date, as there are in many photographs if enough additional information is to hand. The elm tree in front of the blacksmithís is intact so it is before 1923. The Cyclists' Memorial is not built so it is prior to 1921. There are no sets on the edge to the Green and the road appears to be unmetalled indicating an Edwardian ( 1901-10) or earlier date. In the far distance the butcher's shop has a blind like an 1891 photograph in the Library of Birmingham collection and on a post card date stamped 1910. Lastly the village store bears the name Ward over the door. Joseph Ward was the grocer from his brotherís death in 1882 until he was replaced by Alfred Bolus by early 1901. This photograph must therefore be late Victorian, that is before 1901.