With restrictions on holidays and travel abroad, has lockdown made us more interested in our local area, its history and its stories? So it would seem, based on evidence from FOLIO Sutton Coldfield’s move to provide online talks about a variety of aspects of life, past and present, in the Royal Town, and thanks to a recent donation from the Rotary Club of Wylde Green, facilitated by generous, private benefactors, FOLIO will now be able to ensure even more people can enjoy these talks and learn about fascinating local stories, curious characters and beautiful buildings and spaces across our town.

Earlier this month FOLIO hosted an online talk by Dr Mike Hodder on the archaeology of Sutton Park. When Wylde Green Rotary Club heard that it all 100 places were fully booked within just a few days, the decision was taken to support future talks facilitated by FOLIO through funding an upgraded Zoom (online meeting) account.

Zoe Toft, Chair of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield said: “FOLIO has a history of hosting talks on different aspects of life in Sutton and although we currently are unable to meet in Sutton Coldfield Library, we wanted to still bring people together to learn about our town and highlight the local history and other resources held by our wonderful libraries. We decided to give Zoom talks a go, and much to our delight our first one was a success, and hugely oversubscribed. We were really sorry to have to be turning people away (though equally delighted to have people joining us from as far away as Tennessee!), and so this much appreciated grant from the Rotary Club of Wylde Green is wonderful news, not only for us, but also for the wider community. Now many more people will be able to join our planned series of talks for next year.

Speaking on behalf of the Rotary Club of Wylde Green, their President, John Baden commented: “The pandemic and lockdown have encouraged more people to go online to stay in touch. We are pleased to be able to help this very worthwhile cause reach out into the community much more easily.

Topics already confirmed for FOLIO’s monthly series of talks enabled by Wylde Green Rotary Club include the archaeology of the urban area of Sutton Coldfield, aspects of the history of Holy Trinity Church, the flora of Sutton Park, and a rather curious incident in Sutton’s history related to the question of whether it is possible “to create the perfect wife”! Full details of the online talks will be published in the New Year. If you would like to suggest topics or speakers for the series of talks, please contact FOLIO on info@foliosuttoncoldfield.org.uk; FOLIO is very keen to reflect local interest and requests in its programming.

A huge thank you to the Rotary Club of Wylde Green
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