Winston Churchill at Baldwin memorial

On May 20th 1950, Winston Churchill became a Freeman of the City of Worcester; it was also on this day that he unveiled the sandstone memorial dedicated to Stanley Baldwin in a roadside garden, just outside of Stourport at Astley. Churchill once described Baldwin as being ‘self-centred and idle’, but he also labelled him as being the most formidable politician he’d ever known in public life … Perhaps the ‘formidable’ tag gave Churchill the incentive to send a ‘generous’ donation to a local appeal to celebrate Stanley Baldwin near to his home at Astley, and close to two towns he really loved ~ Bewdley and Stourport.

Without Churchill’s generosity, it’s doubtful that any commemoration would have ever been achieved locally. On that roadside at Astley, 70 years ago today, Churchill said ……..

“Of all parts of England, Worcestershire stood in his mind honoured and pre-eminent, and, all parts of Worcestershire, the soil in which he lies and the ground we now stand was his most sacred spot … As the years roll by and the perspective of history lengthens and reduces so many of our disputes to their due proportion, there will be few who will pass this place without giving their ‘respectful’ salute”