Hello, my name is Ned Williams and I want to welcome you to my website. I have had a website for about four years but made a New Year resolution to update it and make more use of it. It seems a good way to tell you about some of my interests (I would always be interested in hearing from you if you share any of them.) and to tell you about the latest projects.
Who do I think I am?
I was born on the Essex side of London in 1944 on the night of the first V2 raids. One day I may write my autobiography and then I can tell you all about it!
I spent my childhood and my teens on that Essex/London frontier and many of the interests that I have today can be traced back to the first eighteen years of my life, but I suppose I have bolted on a few more in the years since that time. When I was eighteen I moved to Dudley in the heart of the Black Country - an area that I fell in love with at first sight. ~That’s why I am still living in the Black Country today. (Once again, you will have to read the autobiography to find out about that dramatic journey!)
I lived in Dudley for twelve years - from 1962 until 1974. For three of those years I trained as a teacher and as I was rather naïve I didn’t realise that meant one day I would have to become one. I taught at the Tividale Comprehensive School 1965/66 and then resigned to see if I could find something more adventurous to do. You could say I failed in this because I ended up working at Dudley Labour Exchange, but I can assure you that was quite an adventure.
In the summer and autumn of 1967 a strange sequence of events led me to take a temporary post as a tutor at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun College. (That autobiography will reveal all.) The temporary post lasted thirty years so I didn’t leave the job until becoming a victim of a wave of redundancies in 1997. I then began a career with the Workers Educational Association - for whom I still work part-time. Working for over forty years in Further and Adult Education has been quite a whirlwind of varied experience. Things never stood still.
Ten of those years spent in Dudley were spent living in a very strange “flat” in Pensnett Road, Holly Hall. The defining activity of that time was film-making beneath the banner of Uralia Films. It all came to an end in 1974 when I moved to Wolverhampton - partly to live closer to my work. I have lived in Wolverhampton since 1974 - at only two addresses.
I joined the Black Country Society soon after it was formed in 1967 and two years later my interest in the history of
the area, and my life-long interest in railways, came together in the process of investigating the history of a local railway line visible form the windows of the college where I worked. This resulted in the publication of “By Rail to Wombourn” in 1969. I created “Uralia Press” to facilitate this. From then on researching, writing and publishing became important parts of my life. I say “parts of my life” because I have been very fortunate in being able to indulge a number of other interests - many of which overlap. That’s why I would like to devote another section of my website to telling you about these interests. I also want to tell you about books I have written and talks that maybe I could come and give to your organisation.
One of the most important features of this site is the “contact” button. Obviously I would like you to use it if you want to enquire about a book, or arrange a talk. Sometimes you might feel you can contribute to ongoing projects or correct me on where I have gone wrong on previous ones, but I also like to be contacted simply to share an interest, or to have my attention drawn to something you think I shouldn't miss.
Welcome to my website . . . .