Over the course of his life Ron Moss has created a significant photographic archive that captures many of his life’s passions. Ron has very kindly shared some of his personal collection with us to use as part of the project, and we are delighted to showcase a small selection of his archive here.
Ron’s daughter Cheryl writes:
Ron has always been both a keen photographer and interested in local history both of which led onto his hobby of recording the fascinating history of his area – Old Hill and Cradley Heath.
In the 1970’s he attended Black Country Society meetings and began recording Black Country history realising that his main interest was in the ancient trade of making chain by hand. This led onto the restoration of Mushroom Green chainshop which opened on 1st Feb 1977 and Ron was appointed the supervisor of the Chainshop. For 29 years Ron organised monthly demonstrations of hand made chain by local chainmakers Mick Bradney and Clarrie Johnson with Ron providing a fascinating commentary of the chainmaking process and other interesting facts about chain. As part of this Ron worked with Chainmakers from across the area. The chainshop – an outpost of the Black Country Museum – attracted visitors from all over the world as well as providing school children with “real life” history lessons when school parties visited the site.
In February 1978 Ron became the Chairman of the Black Country Society Industrial Archaeology Group retiring in 2006 and was appointed President of the Black Country Society for 1996-7.
Ron quotes “photos are a marvellous way of recording both family and local history and have been very important for me to refer to when carrying out research”.
Ron’s daughter Cheryl and maternal nephew Stephen Griffiths both aged 4 taken at Holt Fleet sitting on Ron’s Austin with Ron and Sylvia’s caravan in the background – 1959.
Ron’s son Gary aged 2 and daughter Cheryl aged 5 taken in 1960 from Ron’s “family portrait gallery!”
Ron’s parents Sarah and Benjamin Moss in1960 taken at their Dudley Wood Residence Dalvine Road, Cradley Heath.
Ron’s 2 year old son Gary being held by his babysitter – Valerie back garden Dudley Street , Old Hill.
Taken in 1960 in the back garden of Ron’s home in Dudley Street, Old Hill (the street no longer exists demolished to make room for new road system and housing) a. Left Ron’s maternal niece Gillian Derrick (nee Peniket) aged 8 b. Centre Ron’s son Gary – aged 2 c. Right Ron’s daughter Cheryl – aged 5.
Ron’s wife Sylvia Moss taken at Dalvine Road Dudley Wood in 1954
Ron’s wife Sylvia (nee Griffiths) and her work colleague Lily Cox in their work overalls taken in 1952. They worked at the Valeting Service in Cradley Road, Cradley Heath (along with most of the women of Cradley Heath around that time).
Taken in the toolroom of Birmid based in Smethwick, West Midlands around 1958, the gentleman in the picture was the works general handyman
Cycle group taken in 1950 – Ron’s Brother Ken Moss on the right and 2 of their friends
Jubilee colliery crossing the main Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway line 1959.
Diesel Multiple Unit DMU approaching Old Hill tunnel which runs from Old Hill to Rowley Regis 1959.
3rd October 1953 Ron and Sylvia wedding day at St Luke’s Church, “Four Ways”, Cradley Heath.
Ron with his Cradley Heath Book taken in Lawrence Lane on the day of the Book launch in 2004.
Ron and Sylvia Moss and friends at a works function taken in the early 1950.
Ron cleaning up an iron window frame for installing at the Black Country museum during the museum’s early days (apologies no exact date available but at a guess early 1970’s)
4 generations of the Moss family, taken in1955 a. right Ron’s wife Sylvia Moss b. left Ron’s mother Sarah Moss c. Eliza “Granny” Parkes – Ron’s maternal grandmother – seated d. holding Ron’s daughter Cheryl Aston (nee moss)
Taken in 1948 during the first few days of Ron Moss army days. Ron was in the Royal Army Medical Corps Crookham, Aldershot, then posted to Egypt.
Ron and Sylvia Moss sitting on the arm of the lock gate at Holt Fleet, showing the bridge over the River Severn in the background – early 1950’s.