On Friday March 3rd The Peel Society officially opened their display in Tamworth Library. This is a joint venture between The Peel Society, Drayton Manor Park and The Staffordshire Library Service.
The display comprises of a number of information panels, which have been produces by Drayton Manor Park Marketing Department. They tell the story of Drayton Manor, Middleton Hall, the foundation of modern policing, the Death of Sir Robert Peel (1788 – 1850)and the auction of Drayton Manor Park in 1919. There is also a display of artefacts from The Tamworth Library collection of Peel documents and The Peel Society.
Of particular interest to local people are the two panels about the Death of Sir Robert and the auction of 1919.The death of Peel panel has a list of Tamworth people who contributed to the erection of the statue in Market Street. The smallest donation is 6d (2.5p) and the largest £50.00 by Sir Francis Lawley of Middleton Hall. There are names on the list, who may be ancestors of families still living in Tamworth. Are you amongst them?
The panel with illustrations from the 1919 catalogue shows the extent of the Peel estates in the Tamworth area. Is your home on former Peel parkland? The map on the panel will show you.
The opening ceremony was enlivened by member Mike Castree dressed up as an 19th century ‘Peeler or ‘Bobby’. With his top hat and truncheon, he looked a formidable opponent.
The official opening was carried out by Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens from the Metropolitan Police. Ch. Super. Ovens is the commander in charge of the Harrow area. He emphasised that the Metropolitan Police Act promoted by Robert Peel in 1829 is still the basis of modern policing. The police are citizens and the citizens are the police. Also attending the ceremony was the chair of Staffordshire County Council, Councillor Mrs. Janet Eagland and Colin Bryan O.B.E D.L. Mrs Eagland emphasised the importance of having the library as place of education and she was delighted that The Peel Society had produced this display. It is planned that it will move around the county. Colin Bryan expressed his interest as the Chairman of Drayton Manor Park Ltd. In the connection between the legacy of the Peels and the Peel Society efforts to promote the achievements of Sir Robert Peel.
The Peel Society urges Tamworth residents to look at the display and particularly take their children there. We are sure that it will interest them and encourage them to enjoy their local history.
Left to right. Councillor Janet Eagland, Chair of Staffordshire County Council; Nigel Morris, Chairman of The Peel Society; Mike Castree, Peeler; Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens, Metropolitan Police; Colin Bryan O.B.E, D.L., Chairman of Drayton manor Park Ltd, sponsors of the display.