The Thomas Parker day took place on the 10th October 2015 at the Best Western Valley Hotel in Ironbridge – formerly know as Severn House and the former home of the Parker family. The open day commemorated the 100th anniversary of Parker’s death and celebrated the life and achievements of this Shropshire born inventor and engineer.
The open day at the Valley Hotel featured talks from four speakers about various aspects of his life. We were especially pleased to welcome Patrick Koch from the USA who gave a fascinating insight into the history of the Elwell Parker Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Copies of the presentations can be viewed below.
There were also excellent displays by the Britannia Aqueduct Historical Society on the former Court Ironworks site and artwork produced by children from the John Fletcher School. The Hotel also arranged a tour of the Hotel to look at some of the rooms that were occupied by the Parker family in the early 1900’s.
Gail Tudor and Peter Parker who are descendants of Thomas Parker also attended the event and unveiled a cast iron plaque prepared by Blists Hill foundry. This has been kindly donated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.
If you would like further information about Thomas Parker you can get a Thomas Parker booklet from Jubilee House reception or there are two websites that contain a wealth of information. Bev Parker from Wolverhampton maintains the excellent website http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/genealogy/Parker/ThomasParker.htm and you can also view the Engineering Timelines website at http://www.engineering-timelines.com/who/Parker_T/parkerThomas.asp
“Engineering & Transport – The Technical Achievements & Legacy of Thomas Parker” – by Roy Bowdler
“Elwell Parker – The Thomas Parker’s American Legacy” – by Patrick Koch
“Thomas Parker – Early Years, Family & Community” – by Janet Doody
“Awake my Muse! The world of the early electrical engineering contractor” – by Dr Ian West, University of Leicester