It must be election time

A news story drifted into my feed in the last couple of days, which was also flagged up to me by top local history bloke Clive Roberts and the young David Evans: it seems that Brownhills High Street may well be in receipt of £125,000 of safety improvements, including hump crossings and high-grip surfaces.

This good news was reported in the Wednesday 15th April 2015 edition of the Express & Star, and whilst I’m totally supportive of anything that improves local road safety – particularly in light of recent events – I can’t help but question the timing of this announcement. It’s somewhat opaque as to where the original PR came from, and what status this proposal actually has. It’s clearly unfunded, this seems like a wish-list to me.

Buried near the foot of the piece are proposed safety upgrades to the New Ring Road at Littleton Street – surely that can’t be an acknowledgement that the design of our ’21st Century Road’ is flawed and utterly piss-poor, can it?

The local and national elections take place on May 7th, 2015.

Anyway, hark yonder. Hear that? That’s the deafening, overbearing silence over Ravens Court, the Tory/UKIP great success… remember, Tick tock, people. Tick tock.

Untitled 9

From the Express & Star, Wednesday 15th April 2015.Please click image to visit the story on the paper’s website.

£125k of road safety improvements under consideration for Brownhills High Street

PUBLISHED: April 15, 2015 2:59 pm

£125k of road safety improvements under consideration for Brownhills High Street
More than £125,000 of safety improvements could be carried out along Brownhills High Street, under new plans.

A 20mph zone, table top junctions, new markings and high friction surfacing are being considered by Walsall Council.

An 84-year-old died after being hit by a lorry while buying Christmas and birthday cards on the High Street last December and in the three years from October 2011-14, there were seven accidents on the road.

Brownhills councillor Barbara Cassidy said she would welcome action to improve safety.

She said: “I have been concerned about safety in the High Street for as long as I can remember. It is quite a narrow road and is main route. Anything to improve safety I would welcome.”

Grandfather Peter Pelari suffered serious injuries when he was hit by the lorry in Brownhills High Street, near the junction with Church Road, on December 19 last year, an inquest heard.

The 84-year-old, who lived in Barncroft, Chasetown, was airlifted to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after the accident at around 11.30am.

The former mobile crane driver suffered multiple fractures and died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The majority of witnesses also said the driver was not at fault and the inquest was told a police investigation found there was no evidence to bring the driver to court.

Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique concluded that Mr Pelari died as a result of a road traffic accident.

Proposals for the new road improvements – which the council is still needs to secure funding for – come as some other main routes in Walsall are being lined up for more than £800,000 of improvements following a series of accidents.

The main ring road, Broadway, Sutton Road and the town centre are among those being looked at for safety measures.

Junction improvements, better crossings and road markings are being considered by council highways chiefs subject to securing funding and firm designs being drawn up.

Pedestrian facilities and junction improvements are being looked at on the ring road along the Littleton Street stretch as part of a £270,000 scheme. Highways chiefs are also putting together proposals for 20mph zones in the town centre and upgrading pedestrian links under a £396,000 scheme.

The council is also considering warning signs and new pedestrian refuge at Broadway West, near West Bromwich Street and crossing build outs on Sutton Road under designs worth more than £150,000.

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January 1994 – Are we being pushed out again?

Brownhills Gazette January 1994 issue 52_000001

Brownhills Gazette January 1994 issue 52 – More concern over the Police Station closure, a farmer takes action in Clayhanger, problems with illegal traders at Brownhills Market, which was threatened with closure even then, a Brownhills Youth Club archive picture, frustration over the discontinuation of a mining memorial church service and the opening shots over a planned business park at Sandhills plus lots more. Click for a larger version.


Continuing the scans of the Brownhills Gazette – I present issue 52 of the long lost freesheet, from January 1994 for you to peruse and download. I’ve had an incredible response to featuring these long, lost publications here on the blog.

David Evans, very kindly granted access to the archive held by former editor and contributor Brian Stringer, has been assiduously and conscientiously scanning them all. Every single issue. Every few days, I’m going to feature the next in the series.

This is a 20 issue, with some very strong content. More concern over the Police Station closure, a farmer takes action in Clayhanger, problems with illegal traders at Brownhills Market, which was threatened with closure even then, a Brownhills Youth Club archive picture, frustration over the discontinuation of a mining memorial church service and the opening shots over a planned business park at Sandhills plus lots more.

The history of how the Brownhills Gazette came to exist has been detailed in this post thanks to the wonderful John Sylvester.

If other bloggers want to use this material, can you please drop me a line first? I don’t mind, there’s just sone stuff I’d like to clear about the usage, thanks.

Cheers to Brian and David for sharing a wonderful thing, that’s part of our community history.

If you have any memories, questions or observations please do comment or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Brownhills Gazette issue 52 January 1994 – PDF format

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A child of merit


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

A bit of a tease: the young David Evans has been ferreting out the local history again, and has found a pretty remarkable, self contained history to share with readers of the blog.

I’m not going to say anything more at this stage, but there’s some good stuff to come – please stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy these stunning Certificates of Merit, and marvel at the fact they’re around 120 years old.

A real piece of local history.

David wrote:

Isaiah Callier, a child of merit.

I have recently been shown these wonderfully illuminated certificates of merit. They give us a brief, but precious glimpse back to school life in Brownhills pre-1900, and in their way they reveal so much. The quality of printing in these card-mounted certificates and the number of school sessions per year (one day is two sessions), The Headmaster who was, I believe, a well-known and important man in Brownhills in those days, the name and status of the village school, and lastly, Isaiah Collier, the pupil.

He was born in Brownhills in 1887 and when he left school he became a coal miner. I believe in later life he was also the parish church sextant.

Isiah’s pocket diary for 1917 reveals an amazing year’s military service for Isaiah. But that’s another story.


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

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The Wood face Dunkirk defeat

Images and captions kindly supplied by the young David Evans

Last Tuesday evening (14th April 2015) Walsall Wood entertained Dunkirk at home, and despite playing well, lost to the the visitors.

Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:

Hiya Bob,

Public enemy No. 1 Nick Hawkins came back to haunt us and once again he went home with all three points, courtesy of a 1-0 victory. The visitors worked hard for the win, to be brutally honest, they wanted it more than we did and they got what they deserved.

The much maligned Mr. Hawkins played in the heart of the defence and played well, but let’s face it, he didn’t have that
much to do. 

It’s difficult not to become complacent when you look at the table and you are 5th, your opponents are 3rd bottom, but it’s something Wood will have to eradicate if they are going to mount a serious title challenge next season. Mario Kisiel again saved a penalty, but was finally beaten after a shut out of nearly 9 hours, oh well, with 4 games to go let’s start another run
going that will take us into next season.

Wood can still catch Long Eaton United in 3rd place but they must beat them on Saturday at their place, no easy task, but with 4 games to go we are still in contention for the minor places, a marked improvement on last season – that’s progress and a springboard for the future. 

No home game until the visit of Heath Hayes on the final day of the season, Saturday 25th April.

Walsall Wood 0 v 1 Dunkirk

Wood struggled to break down a hard working Dunkirk defence, well marshalled by player manager Nick Hawkins who for the second time this season left Oak Park with all three points courtesy of a 1-0 win.

Wood weathered the early pressure then on six minutes Jamie Hawkins won the ball in the centre, swept the ball out wide left to Craig Deakin to hit a far post cross Daniel Holgate powering in a header that brought a good save from keeper Jake Want. The visitors were closing Wood down and trying to break out of defence and it nearly paid off when on 16 minutes Brendan Gwinnett hit a long diagonal ball to find Scott James on the right of the box, his low drive well held by Mario Kisiel.

A minute later a flowing left to right crossfield move by Wood ended with Ben Evans setting up Hawkins, his first time shot was half blocked by Courtney Pitt and Want had an easy pick up. Next it was Evans getting clear wide right, cutting into the box, his low drive blocked by Matt Ellis. Then on 20 minutes an incisive ball from Corey Currithers dissected the defence to put Max Black in on goal but he didn’t get enough height on his lob and Want saved at full stretch.

Back came the visitors, Kevin Hemagou coming in from wide right along the byeline, his low near post drive well held by Kisiel.

After 31 minutes a superb first time ball from Anthony Juxon on halfway picked out Deakin’s run into the left of the box, his cross cum shot bouncing off the top of the bar.

Two minutes later it was Hemagou coming in from wide right, playing the ball square to Pitt, who hesitated and was then shepherded away from goal before being dispossessed.

On 38 minutes Black right of Centre went through two tackles, played the ball right to Currithers whose first time low drive was well held by Want.

Three minutes later Pitt won the ball in right midfield and fed Hemagou on the right of the box to run on and fire into the side netting.

Next it was Holgate powering in along the byeline from the right, his far post cross headed onto the roof of the net by Steven Hayles.

Right on half time an untidy scramble developed in the Wood box, Hemagou went down under an innocuous challenge from Kisiel and was given a dubious penalty, justice was done when Kisiel saved Hemagou’s spot kick.

Two minutes into the second half Luke Adams went charging down the Wood right, his low cross hit first time low by Holgate, Gwinnett throwing himself in front to block the ball which was stabbed wide by an off balance Holgate as he collected the rebound.

The breakthrough came on 57 minutes, Gwinnett hit a hopeful long ball into the right of the box, Hemagou read the bounce better than the defender, who ended up the wrong side of him with the young striker racing clear to calmly slot the ball past the advancing Kisiel.

On 67 minutes Leon Taylor ran onto a ball right of the box, he was forced wide and then his shot was blocked as Wood went looking for the equaliser.

Eight minutes later Jarrod Westcarr raced for goal from left of centre, he made the box but was then stopped by a superb tackle from Adams.

Wood’s reply was immediate, Currithers racing between two defenders into the right of the box, his cross fired across the face of the six yard box without anyone able to apply the finishing touch.

Dunkirk easily saw out the last 15 minutes to record a well deserved victory.

Once again league positions counted for nothing as the strugglers battled for every ball and in the process kept alive their hopes of avoiding the dreaded drop. For Wood they can still finish third, but you know what? Complacency never helped anybody, but don’t tell Dunkirk that, they wanted this more than Wood and deserved to go home with the three points.

Bill Shaw.

Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited institution. They need our support.

As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

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Fashion Event in Brownhills Saturday!


Image from Charity Fashion Shows.

Friend of the blog Deryck Langford writes to inform me that there’s a fashion show and clothing event happening this Saturday evening (that’s 18th April 2015) at the Silver Street Methodist Church in Silver Street, Brownhills at 7:30pm.

Brownhills Rotary Club are supporting the show, which is being staged to aid local charities. Deryck, you’ll remember, has an illustrious history as a local Choirmaster and currently sings with the highly praised Wednesday Singers.

I must confess I had no idea we still had a Rotary Club in Brownhills: if anyone would like to drop me a line please, with a few  word explaining what you’re up to I’ll happily give you a plug here on the blog.

I like to see community stuff like this going on.

Deryck wrote:

Brownhills Rotary Club are sponsoring a Fashion Show on Saturday 18th April 2015 in order to raise funds for local Charities, as well as giving ladies the chance to purshase clothes at giveaway prices.

The shows are arranged and presented Suzanne Silveston trading as

The venue is Silver Street Methodist Church schoolroom, and the show commences at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £5 with light refreshments included, and can be obtained from

D.Langford 01543 821999
Jim Lee 01543 503445
Roger Marklew 01543450233
Betty Ashburner 01543376795

All the clothes are from Major High Street Stores,and will be modelled by local ladies chosen by the Rotary Club.

Video from the Charity Fashion Shows website.

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Five treated after three vehicle collision in Brownhills High Street


Turns out the black vehicle was apparently a C3. Image kindly supplied by Marie Morris.

[Update 9:10pm]

There’s a brief report from the Express & Star here. It says nobody was seriously injured.

[Update 7:40pm] From Travel Tom on twitter:

At 7:30pm, Julie Le Moine pointed out the road was now clear. My best wishes to all involved – a horrid thing to happen.


Image kindly supplied by Marie Morris.

News is just coming in of a three-vehicle crash in Brownhills High Street this evening, just near Silver Court/Farmfoods aren, near the junction of Silver Street. West Midlands Police say three cars have been involved, and five people treated for injures. Marie Morris came through shortly after the accident, and said:

Hey Bob

Three car collision in silver court not 100 percent certain on cars only got a very quick glance at them on way home – one looks to be a Corsa front ripped off the other is the one I’m not sure on because of so much damage to the back, but it looks like it may be a new type Punto and a white car with no visible damage sonot sure how it was involved.


Thanks to Marie. Obviously there’s congestion in the area and the road has been closed. More news as I have it – thanks very much to Marie for the message and photo.

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The Friends of Brownhills Common – meeting next Monday


We all love the common, but its management has proven controversial. Why not pop along to the meeting and discuss the issues with the experts and other users?

Here’s one for people interested in the issues surrounding Brownhills Common – theres a meeting at 7:00pm next Monday 20th April 2015 of the Freinds of Brownhills Common group at the Environmental Depot, 200 Pelsall Road, Brownhills – WS8 7EN – please meet in the reception by 7:00pm.

The meeting is open to the general public who are encouraged to attend.

If you can make time, do pop along. Brownhills Common will benefit hugely from an active friends group, and considering the manufactured outrage in recent years, I’d have thought plenty would be ready to join and add their voice. It’s important that we recognise what a valuable, fragile and important habitat Brownhills Common is, and why it requires careful and measured stewardship.

If you’ve only heard the alarmists, it’s a good opportunity to go out and meet, talk and listen to people who understand the issues and want to preserve the wildlife, and to help shape the future of something we all love.

The proceedings of the last meeting which took place on the 9th February 2015 (they actually make pretty extraordinary reading),  are available by clicking this link. It’s rare I’m rendered speechless, but that has me pretty astounded, if I’m honest.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment