Noake's Worcestershire Page 78


July, 1840.- Great dinner to the operatives on the bowling-green of the Bell Inn - church rates being the theme of denunciation - a subject much agitated then.


IN a charming situation on the west side of the Clent Hills is a little parish of such miniature proportions, and so devoid of notable features, that were it not for the sake of regularity and completeness our overlooking it would be no more noticed than the loss from Great Britain of any individual of the name of Smith. That parish is Broome, which formerly belonged to Staffordshire, but running, as it did, into Worcestershire, and not being big enough to protect itself so far from home, was seized by and absorbed into the latter county by virtue of the Act 7 and 8 Vic. The population is little above 100, and I believe there is just room for every man, woman, and child, to sit in the parish church - a plain brick building, erected in 1780, with a vestry added five years ago. The acreage is but 716A. SR. 6P., and the principal crops are wheat, barley, and roots. No manufactures or public works, no local squire, no mansion (saving the presence of the rectory house), no Dissenters' chapel, no church-rate disturbances, no Fenianism or agitation of any sort, distinguishes this little slice of "happy land." There is only a village school for twenty-five children, which remains to be named. In so delightful a semi-sinecure is the Rev. J. G. Bourne fixed, with a living worth 320, and a most enviable habitat both as regards health and beauty of scenery. The Earl of Dudley is the principal landowner, and J. G. Bourne, Esq., is the patron. If ever we take to the clerical profession commend us to Broome.