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Founder of Walter Somers and Co
1867 Partnership dissolved between George Glaze and Walter Somers, iron masters, Heywood Ironworks, Halesowen
MR. WALTER SOMERS. The death occurred yesterday at Hales Owen of Mr. Walter Somers, who, for nearly half century, was prominently identified with the industrial life of the Black Country.
Mr. Somers, who was seventy-five years of age, was born at Belper, but when a young man came to reside at Hales Owen, where he started in business as an iron and steel manufacturer at Haywood Forge. The business was quite a small one, but under the guiding hand of the deceased gentleman it grew to big dimensions, and to-day it ranks one the largest iron and steel works in the Midlands. Mr. Somers was a prominent member of the Staffordshire Iron and Steel Institute, and held the presidency of that organisation.
The deceased gentleman was also actively associated with the public, social, and religious life of the district. He represented the district upon the Worcestershire County Council for over a quarter century, until a few years ago, when he gave up much of his public work owing to failing health. Mr. Somers was a member of the Standing Joint Committee, and served on many other committees connected with the county authority. He was for a lengthy period a representative on the local Rural Council, being one of its first chairmen. He was a member of the Stourbridge Board of Guardians for a number of years, and also a member of the local education authority, governor of Hales Owen Grammar School, manager of both the local Church and Council schools, chairman of Hales Owen Technical Board and the Pensions Committee, whilst he was connected with many other public organisations in the town.
The deceased gentleman was a staunch Churchman, holding the position of warden at the Parish Church, and was also a delegate to the Diocesan Conference. A strong Conservative, he was a lifelong member of the local Conservative Club, and held its presidency for several years. He was a prominent Freemason in Worcestershire. The deceased gentleman never recovered from the shock which sustained the occasion of his wife’s death last year, the pair having previously celebrated their golden wedding, when they were the recipients of some handsome gifts from their fellow towns-people. He had been in failing health for some time, and had taken little interest in the huge business, which had devolved upon his sons, Mr. S. S. Somers and Captain F. Somers.'