Walsall Wood battle AFC Wulfrunians to decisive victory


Castlecroft Stadium, home of AFC Wulfrunians, from their website.

The Woodmen last Tuesday (31st March 2015) faced AFC Wulfrunians at Castlecroft, and took yet another decisive win.

Bill Shaw was at Wolverhampton to witness the mach, and submitted the following report:

Hiya Bob,

Wood warmed up to Saturday’s challenge at Coleshill Town with a superlative footballing performance. Harry Harris and Joey Butlin signed off for their respective three match bans with a five star master class – Harris’s volleyed effort on 37 minutes worth the entrance fee alone.

It’s three wins on the bounce without conceding a goal from Wood, but high scoring Coleshill with 94 goals so far this term will be a real test as the league’s meanest two defences cross swords again. With Town previously winning 2-1 in controversial fashion at Oak Park, there will be even more added interest.

Well worth a trip to the other side of the Belfry on Saturday!

AFC Wulfrunians 0 v 3 Walsall Wood

Both sides mastered the conditions but it was Wood who went home with the points, courtesy of two goals from Joey Butlin and another goal of the season contender from Harry Harris as they played arguably their best football of this term.

Wood dominated the early proceedings until on seven minutes a lovely one touch move right of centre involving Harry Harris, Craig Deakin and Max Black released Joey Butlin into the box, Ryan Talbot saving Wulfs with a superb last ditch tackle.

After withstanding almost constant pressure Michael Robertson got clear on the Wulfs right, he played the ball inside to find Liam Bood, his low drive pushed away at full stretch by keeper Mario Kisiel, Demitri Brown first to the loose ball to fire wildly across the face of goal. Wulfs then won a free kick on the right edge of the box, Jake Sedgemore’s low drive through the wall somehow smuggled over his bar by the diving Kisiel. It was Sedgemore who crossed from wide left on 17 minutes, Brown yards offside nonchalantly heading home only for it to be ruled out. A minute later Jamie King cut inside from wide left, his low drive bringing a full length save from Kisiel.

Then on 20 minutes Wulfs easily dealt with a Wood attack but the ever dangerous Butlin robbed a defender on the left of the box, his rising drive spilt by keeper Daniel Tipton, Talbot first to the loose ball to clear the danger. On 33 minutes Harris collected a ball right of centre, Deakin raced past him wide right and was found by a lovely weighted through ball, Deakin’s low cross volleyed home from 15 yards by Butlin. Four minutes later it was 2-0 and what an absolute cracker, Corey Currithers wide left came inside through two tackles, looked up and picked out Harris on the right apex of the box, his spectacular volley flying past the helpless Tipton.

Wulfs started the second half trying to put the Wood defence under pressure but all they had to show for it was a 50th minute effort when Richard Palmer’s ball inside from wide right found Bood to fire in a low drive that brought another full length save from Kisiel.

Wood from that point took almost total control. Two minutes later Ben Evans won the ball in centre midfield and found Butlin, his first time low drive saved at full stretch by Tipton. The keeper was a spectator a minute later when Butlin capitalised on a misplaced pass, his rising drive from 35 yards coming back off the right hand post, Evans first to the loose ball his shot deflected for a corner that was easily cleared. 60 minutes gone and Deakin ran at the right of the defence, played the ball inside to Butlin, his low drive blocked.

A rare Wulfs attack three minutes later saw Brown run at the Wood defence and set up Bood on the right of the six yard box, Kisiel with a superb point blank save.

Four minutes after Wood wrapped up the three points when Butlin powered a header home from a right wing corner.

To their credit the home side kept trying to take the game to Wood and on 70 minutes Jordan Perks released Brown into the right of the box to fire a cross shot wide.

Three minutes later Currithers won a left wing corner, Tipton punched the ball away from Shawn Boothe but only out to Anthony Juxon on 25 yards, the keeper flying to his left to keep out the rising drive.

On 85 minutes Perks raced onto a ball into the left of the box, cut inside his marker and his low drive was deflected wide. Then three minutes later the hardworking Brown won a ball over the top and his slide rule ball opened up the Wood defence to allow Perks to race onto a ball through the centre only to hit a first time effort well wide.

A superb all round team performance by Wood, who played some of their best football of the season to record another away victory. It really was a case of the sorcerer and his apprentice with Harris pulling the strings and Butlin again turning in a five star striking performance that must have impressed the watching Stourbridge scout. Wood have caught Long Eaton United on 66 points, but stay fifth on goal difference.

Bill Shaw.

Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend the coming games if you can. The lads are doing us all proud and deserve as much support as we can give them.

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

Posted in Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

June 1993 – Support for quarry scheme

Brownhills Gazette May 1993 issue 44_000001

Brownhills Gazette June 1993 issue 44 – a 20 page issue, with Shire Oak Quarry declared a nature reserve, a family of Karate black-belts, preparations for Brownhills Carnival, an Ogley School photo from the archives, Councillor Eardley displays his famous charm, concerns on local vandalism, a call for the pedestrianisation of Brownhills High Street, and loads more.Click for a larger version.

Continuing the scans of the Brownhills Gazette – I present issue 44 of the long lost freesheet, from May 1993 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 the lost issue 44 – May 1993 which has been generously loaned to David Evans to scan by local historian and top chap Bill Mayo, for which many thanks! (Stay tuned for some great news from Bill coming soon….)

This is a 20 page issue, with Shire Oak Quarry declared a nature reserve, a family of Karate black-belts, preparations for Brownhills Carnival, an Ogley School photo from the archives, Councillor Eardley displays his famous charm, concerns on local vandalism, a call for the pedestrianisation of Brownhills High Street, and loads 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 44 May 1993 – PDF format

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New road safety initiative for Brownhills


Road accidents involving our majestic deer have been sadly increasing.

You all know that I love local wildlife – and that I’m particularly fond of the local deer population, who have sadly been involved in many accidents with vehicles in recent years on roads around our commons, countryside and open spaces.

In order to try and prevent further accidents, Walsall and Staffordshire Councils have teamed up with experts in behavioural analysis from the University of Wolverhampton to form the Deer Safety Partnership, a new road safety initiative.

The Partnership yesterday issued the following press release, which I feel is well worth drawing to the attention of readers.

The Deer Safety Partership said:

The Deer Safety Partnership is a working group tasked with reducing the large number of road accidents involving the local deer population, who in recent years have been increasing in number within the green spaces of South Staffordshire and North Walsall Borough.

For some time now, efforts have been undertaken to educate local road users on the hazard presented by deer and other animals who wander freely in search of fresh grazing and shelter. Sadly, all efforts have come to little, and the partnership feels this is now the time to take an alternative approach.

After years of working with both motorists and deer, road safety and wildlife experts now realise that the problem that has to be addressed is better approached from the point of view of the herds, and to that end, experimental trials have been conducted with tightly controlled groups of deer.

It has been found that training the adult animals in safe road crossing procedures has reduced incidents in the target area by a startling 68%, a figure it is agreed can be further improved by fitting animals with high-visibility coats, similar to those used on police horses.


It is hoped high-visibly coats like these will be permanently fitted to local deer.

Dr. Mervyn Smith of the University of Wolverhampton, who has been working on this innovative project, explained ‘For years we tried increased and better signage, speed reduction measures and driver education techniques, to little or no effect.

‘It was while tracking some deer on Chasewater North Heath a few months ago that I realised our approach was totally wrong – we were trying to educate the less intelligent half of the road using community. No wonder we were failing.’

Dr. Smith continued ‘Our team has established that by working  intensively with small groups of deer that they can be trained to cross roads in appropriate places, look both ways and be very wary of any driver apparently on a mobile phone. By combining this approach with permanent fitting of high-visibility coats, we should see a permanent reduction in cervine fatality.


Red deer – hard to spot for distracted drivers and amateur photographers alike.

Brian Stringer, of the Brownhills Local Committee, welcomesd this pro-active action, ‘The high-visibility aspect of the project will be quite a boon for local amateur photographers, as it will make the roving animals easier to locate on dull days – but some of the Committee members are concerned that it may make gangs of Council lumberjacks harder to spot.’

It is hoped that in  the longer term, deer-operated crossings can be installed at critical points on The Parade, Chester Road and Watling Street, and the larger males could have speed warnings stencilled onto their rumps.

The pilot project commences with immediate effect, and if successful, will be expanded to include foxes, badgers and local children.

I for one, welcome this brilliant initiative. Anything that saves the lives of these majestic beasts has to be a move in the right direction.

Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers, deers.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Plea for family of deceased Caldmore man

Untitled 9

It seems strange than in such a busy place, one can pass away almost unknown. Imagery from Google Streetview.

We seem to have had a lot of appeals in the last few months to trace the family of local deceased people – but I make no apology for running another one; these appeals are essential, and I really feel for anyone who passes away alone.

If you’re wondering why we suddenly see a lot of these, Environmental Health at Walsall (as with any authority) have always had a legal duty to trace relatives in such cases, but formerly used classified adverts in local papers. In recent months, they’ve wisely  started using social media, too.

Although such appeals are a legal requirement, I’ll always support them and run them; this blog has a large readership now, and someone out there may just unlock a mystery. It must be horrible to lose a parent, sibling or child and not know, whatever the relationship between you. Nobody should ever pass unmourned.

With that in mind, Walsall Environmental Heath Department have issued an appeal to trace the family of Caldmore resident David Lockley, who passed away on the 17th February 2015.

The Department issued the following request:

Help needed to find family of Caldmore man

Walsall residents are being asked to help find the family of a man who recently passed away.

Mr David Lockley was born on 8 March 1946 and lived at Flat 10, 92 Caldmore Road, Walsall.

He passed away at home on 17 February 2015.

Neil Harris, principal environmental health officer, said: ‘Unfortunately we have very little additional information about Mr Lockley.

‘His landlord thinks he may have relatives in America so we are hoping that social media may help us to make contact with them.

‘Our sympathies are with Mr Lockley’s family at this sad time.

‘We would be grateful to hear from anyone who may be able to help.’

Please contact Julie Faulkner on 01922 653018 with any information.

Thanks in advance. If anyone would prefer no to contact the council directly for whatever reason, email me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot come and I’ll pass any messages on. 


Posted in Environment, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you give a monkeys?


The Wheatsheaf shortly before it was demolished, in a cracking photo supplied by Mike Leonard. It stood on the corner of Ogley Road and Mill Road.

Every so often, I get an intriguing question from a reader right out of the blue – and I had just such an enquiry in today which really has me puzzling from reader Margaret King – this concerns a subject we’ve covered a little before, that of wartime evacuees – and one of the favourite historical concerns of readers: local pubs.

Margaret writes:

Hello there,

Apologies for mailing you out of the blue but I Came across your website Brownhills Bob and wondered if you might be able to help me.

My dad during the war evacuated from London to Brownhills and has been thinking of trying to trace where it was he stayed. Unfortunately my grandparents have now both passed away and my dad was only young so memories are not so good.

What he recalls very strongly is a pub on the corner of the road he stayed on and he is convinced it was called the Monkey Puzzle. I’ve had a quick google for this and if this is the correct name then it doesn’t appear to still exist. Would you happen to have heard of a pub named this or similar in Brownhills during the 1940s? Or, if you don’t know or have researched back that far, would you know of any local historians for the area that you could give us the contact details for?

Many thanks for any help you may be able to give.

Kind regards
Margaret King

I have no idea. Several pubs locally were/are on street corners; off the top of my head, The Shire Oak, The Boot, The Wheatsheaf, The Warreners Arms, The Prince of Wales, The Pear Tree, The Jolly Collier and the Railway Tavern were all more or less fitting that description.

The Monkey Puzzle has me totally baffled. I know The Avenues were alleged to have been called Packman’s Puzzle, but I think that’s a more recent affectation, and there was no pub on any nearby corner, unless we count the old Middleton House club.

I welcome views on this – please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thank you.


The Railway Tavern – another lost pub pictured here in 1993 by Mike Leonard – stood on the corner of Lichfield Road and Narrow Lane.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Mining the information

Reg Fullelove mining history booklet

Just one of 32 pages, all handwritten, all packed with information. Click the image to download a copy in PDF format. Thanks to Reg Fullelove for a remarkable donation.

People who follow the blog close will be aware of one particular contributor who’s well-loved by all, has his own distinct style, and never fails to cheer anyone reading his fascinating comments – and today, I can share with readers something remarkable donated by Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove for us to all to read and digest.

In response to my inquiry for information relating to an mining accident that befell Solomon Fox, Reg commented that he had a list of local mining accidents he’d be willing to share. Top local history ferret David Evans loaded up on cake and headed to see Reg immediately. Reg has actually donated so much more than that to which he alluded.

In fact, it’s astonishing.

I’m not sure how to describe this, but it’s a handwritten document, 32 pages long, and clearly the product of an awful lot of research. We know little about the origins, but the diversity of the information contained is remarkable.

  • There is a map of coalfield locations in the Cannock Chase Coalfied
  • A timeline of Cannock Chase history from 1141-1994
  • Lists of schools, shops, pubs and amenities through the years
  • A poem about the Hednesford Pit Disaster 14th December 1911
  • A full list of local coal mines
  • A list of local pit closure dates
  • A list of churches and chapels
  • Noted local pit ponies
  • List of construction dates of local pithead baths (a political hot topic in the day)
  • A list of fatal accidents at local collieries

It’s a wonderful thing – it was obviously completed in pre-internet days (very probably the mid-1990s) by someone who did a hell of a lot of legwork. If anyone recognises any of it, or has any further information, please do comment or mail me: Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com.

It would also be nice if someone fancied transcribing it – obviously in a handwritten state it’s not indexable by google. It would be nice to fix that…

I’d like to thank Reg from the bottom of my heart – Reg is such a well loved and well respected member of the community – poet, raconteur, historian – and a very kind man. Cheers old chap – you’re always welcome here.

Thanks too, to David for putting all the legwork in!

You can download the whole thing as a PDF file here (13.6 megabytes)

Amongst the material is this poem about the December 14th 1911 Hednesford Colliery Disaster in which 5 men perished in an underground fire. David Evans has kindly transcribed it and the note accompanying:

The Old Hednesford Pit Disaster. December 14th, 1911

To all who read these few lines
I’ve a sorrowful tale to unfold
Of the Hednesford Pit disaster
Which brought grief to young and old

 On that fateful Thursday morning
They entered the cage for the mine,
Not shirking from doing their duty,
Leaving their families behind.

They were toiling and working as usual
When a cry of “Fire” was heard.
It was a sign of very great danger
And all on duty were stirred.

 To rescue the miners in safety,
Was the leading thought that inspired
The bravest and truest of workmen
To use the courage we all have admired.

 Through smoke and fire they travelled
Risking all to them so dear
To try and save their comrades
Whilst knowing death was near.

 We’ve read of deeds of bravery
Of heroes of former time,
Among them should be mentioned
The heroes of the Hednesford mine.

 But who were the greatest heroes
I’m sure its hard to tell,
For all did their honest duty
And did it faithfully and well.

 With all their bravery and courage
And schemes they could devise
It has to be recorded
Death claimed its victims – five.

 Stokes, Ward, Reeves, Baugh and Bradbury
Are the name we have to relate
Who lost their lives at duty
Not knowing that death was their fate. 

Of Stokes let it be recorded
That others he went to tell
Of the danger that threatened their lives
When he was overcome and fell.


This poem was written by a lady who lived in a house at the rear of Littleworth Post Office ( Wassel’s shop ). I believe her name was either Baggott or Bagley.

W D Nicholls

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Sunday puzzle: Who’s in this lineup?


Walsall Wood FC 1967 team, can you put names to any of these faces? So far we have back row, from the left – Cyril Hart, Stuart Allman, George Martin, Bob Jones and ? Humphries; Front second left John Hyde and centre front, Stan Fellows. Image kindly supplied by John Hyde via David Evans. Please click for a larger version.

Here’s a great Walsall Wood photo supplied to the blog by David Evans, which was supplied by former Walsall Wood FC player John Hyde, who’s trying to put names to some of the faces.

I’ll let David explain:

Hi Bob

This very rare photo shows the Walsall Wood FC team in 1967, and has kindly been offered by former player John Hyde.

John remembers some of his team mates – he is seated in the front row, second from the left and by the captain Stan Fellows.

The back row, from the left – Cyril Hart, Stuart Allman, George Martin, Bob Jones and ? Humphries.

Sadly John is unable to remember all the names, and asks blog readers if they can help here, and, if possible, do any have in their private collections team photos from the years 1966 and 1968 to help John make a complete photo record of his playing years at Walsall Wood F.C.

Time is of the essence here, and all help gratefully received.

Of course, as is often the case the background of a photo has a historical importance and here we see the old Brocton Army Camp WW1 wooden hut… then the players’ changing rooms?

I would like to thank John for offering this photo and hope that a full team list will be possible in due course

Kind regards

Can anyone help here, please? It’s a great photo and I’m sure some readers out there will be able to offer names, and maybe help with the images requested.

Thanks to David for a great enquiry: please, comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments