April 1992 – Diamonds are Forever for Local Pair

Brownhills Gazette April 1992 issue 31_000001

Brownhills Gazette April 1992 issue 31 – 24 pages covering a diamond wedding anniversary, the commencement of Lorraine Stanistreet’s editorship criticism of the local police, archive pics of local football teams, Chasewater Action Group news, recent school news and much more. Please click for a larger version.

Continuing the scans of the Brownhills Gazette – I present issue 31 of the long lost freesheet, from April 1992 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 first issue with Lorraine Stanistreet as editor, a noted local community activist.

This issue is 24 pages covering a diamond wedding anniversary, local election coverage, criticism of the local police, archive pics of local football teams, Chasewater Action Group, recent school news and much more. Please click for a larger version.

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 31 April 1992 – PDF format

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Wood v Alvechurch game cancelled!

Sorry folks, Wood game cancelled following pitch inspection – waterlogged. Clubhouse still open for those fancying a pint of beer close to water.

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Support The Wood against Alvechurch this afternoon!

Sorry folks, Wood game cancelled following pitch inspection – waterlogged. Clubhouse still open for those fancying a pint of beer close to water.


Walsall Wood FC have a great reputation for entertaining football, and a keen, loyal and friendly bunch of supporters! Come join in the fun this Saturday and see some cracking football.

Saturday 31st January 2015

The Wood are at home!

Walsall Wood FC versus Alvechurch.

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out the club website here


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Snow blind


The snow cleared as quickly as it arrived. I wish it would settle in and give us a good covering for a few days.

Here’s a quick ride cam for the people out there who enjoy them – I know Trevor in Aus will like this one, as where he is, they don’t get much snow.

On my way home last night, as I cycled through Walsall and back to Brownhills, I was caught in a sharp, intense snow shower. It was fun, and made for an interesting, challenging ride. I had lots of layers, snow tyres and good lights.

Join with me as I push homewards through very difficult conditions. Filmed at normal speed, the soundtrack is the utterly sublime ‘Hocussing for Beginners’ by the wonderful Hauntology/electronica project The Advisory Circle.

For the best video quality, click on the little gear symbol in the bottom right of the video box and click the highest number that will play on your computer. Resolutions up to 1080HD high definition are available.

More stuff like this as ever, on my 365daysofbiking journal.

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A message of thanks from Brian Stringer…


The 2014 Canalised festival was a real success, and I’m sure 2015’s will be even better!

Yesterday, I published a post requesting suggestions for bands that might be good to play at the 2015 Brownhills Canalside Festival, which is to take place on Sunday, 28th June 2015 at the waterside in Silver Street.

Brian is organising the event, and was short on musical entertainment, so asked if I could help get the word out.

There have been loads of replies, and Brian has asked me to thank you all, and tell you that the matter is now settled.

He wrote back to me this afternoon:

Hi Bob.

Blimey mate I never realised the blog reached so many people!

I’ve been inundated with suggestions for bands for the 2015 Canalside Festival and on youtube I’ve done more auditions that Simon Cowell. Some very promising, but unfortunately not right for our gathering, others too expensive and others too that would need more space than we have on stage.

However I’m chuffed with the response and will be getting back to some of them after Monday.

I’d appreciated if you could put the word out that we are are now sorted. Thanks again for the power of theBlog.


Thanks to Brian for writing, and for his very, very kind words: an he’s right. The power of this blog is surprising and even shocks me! Thanks to all of you who replied. This is what community is all about.

Cheers to you all. Now, roll on summer…

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Walsall Wood Tesco Express to close


So farewell then, Tesco Express Walsall Wood. Never in a great location, the decision to site it here always seemed odd to me.

Just in case you haven’t seen it (you must have done by now, surely), the Tesco Express at Streets Corner, Walsall Wood is to close for good on March 15th 2015, as part of a closure program that will see 43 stores close across the country.

The decline of Tesco really is a salutary lesson to UK retail giants – from such dominance a few short years ago to the mercy of the markets in 2015. It clearly started to dawn on them a while back that all was not well – abandoning the new store in Brownhills, then the very brief opening and subsequent closure of a store in Burntwood.

The shop at Streets Corner, in the unit formerly occupied by the ill-fated Kwik-Save and Meadow Market before that, has never been a store Ive been fond of, and the Co-op over the road seems to have won out.

For those who fear missing the cashpoint, there is one inside the co-op, just by the bakery section; thank to Walsall Wood adoptee Andy Holyhead for the tipoff.

My sympathies and commiserations to the staff involved. It must be a horrid thing to face.

There’s coverage at the Walsall Advertiser here. Thanks to all the readers who tipped me off.

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Walsall Wood’s FA Vase hopse washed away by Aquaforce


Sandy Lane, where the crucial Walsall Wood – Aquaforce match was played on Tuesday. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Last Tuesday (27th January 2015), Walsall Wood F.C. finally got their replay against Barnsley’s Shaw Lane Aquaforce, which took place at Worksop Town’s Sandy Lane ground. This was a very important match in the FA Vase competition; sadly, Walsall Wood were defeated 4-1, ending their FA Vase hopes for this season.

Bill Shaw was there for every shot and submitted the following match report:

Hiya Bob,

The Saddlers completed their part of the dream Wembley double but Shaw Lane Aquaforce spoilt the party as far as Wood were concerned.

The twice postponed replay finally got under way at Worksop Town and it was Shaw Lane who settled first putting Wood under considerable pressure but not looking like scoring, in fact Wood had the best chance on 22 minutes, only to rue the miss when going behind a minuter later when a controversial decision went against them.

Did the Referee see Dale Faultless flattened in a collision with an attacker, if so he should have blown immediately for a head injury, before the glancing header from Matt Thornhill opened the scoring. It looks a comprehensive defeat but in 60 years of watching football I have never seen a side profit from deflections and loose balls like the Barnsley boys, just before half time Shawn Boothe broke up an attack, powered out of the box and hit a long ball into the right of the box, the ball bounced to the left straight to a defender, if it had gone right the direction it was travelling in, Ben Evans would have had a clear run at goal. That’s only one example but it continued to happen with hurried clearances falling to a team mate whereas with Wood it nearly always found the opposition.

It sounds churlish to moan about bad luck when you’ve been beaten by a better side and 4-1 at that, but people who know me well will know I only tell the truth, (my memory not being good enough to remember two stories) and Shaw Lane deserved the victory, but what a time for Lady Luck to totally desert a great bunch of lads who’ve done the Wood proud – Again.

Weather permitting it’s back to League action on Saturday with Alvechurch at Oak Park, followed on Tuesday by Dunkirk

I’ve re-scheduled all the postponed games but I’ve gone on enough so I’ll leave that for a future date.

If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading the diatribe, but honestly, we had no luck whatsoever until injury time and by then it really was too late.

Don’t despair, Swanny’s there.

F A Vase 4th Round Replay, played at Worksop Town.
Shaw Lane Aquaforce 4 v 1 Walsall Wood.

Wood’s Wembley dream is over for another year as an all round professional performance by Shaw Lane condemned them to their worst defeat of the season.

Wood were put under pressure from the off, the first opening coming on 10 minutes when Lee Morris charged down an attempted clearance, ran on and fired just too high. Four minutes later Joe Thornton’s through ball into the right of the box was collected at pace by Andrew Fox, his rising drive deflected over. Then on 15 minutes indecision in central midfield nearly cost Wood dear, Shane Kelsey hitting a low drive that was beaten away by keeper Dale Faultless. Wood’s first effort on goal came a minute later, a left wing free kick given for a foul on Corey Currithers was flicked on to beyond the far post and Jamie Sauntson’s header down was well held by keeper Ben Gathercole.

On 20 minutes Kelsey raced into the right of the box, cut back inside before Sauntson stopped him with a superbly timed challenge.

The best chance of the game two minutes later saw Andre Gonzales thread a ball through left of centre to find Ben Evans, his first time ball into the left of the box released Currithers in on goal, Gathercole racing from his line to smother the shot.

The turning point came on 23 minutes, Wood gave away a silly free kick wide right, the ball was delivered into the centre of the box, Faultless was quickly off his line but collided with an attacker and went down with blood streaming from a cut over his right eye, play was allowed to continue however and Matt Thornhill glanced a header into the far corner of the net. Faultless after treatment was replaced by Mario Kisiel.

The incident took the heat out of the game, but then on 36 minutes Anton Foster ran at the Wood defence and released Thornton into the box, he took the ball past the advancing Kisiel but was forced wide, scoring from a tight angle to put Shaw Lane firmly in charge.

From the restart Wood put the home defence under intense pressure, winning three corners but from the last a ball out of defence released Luke O’Brien wide left to race 60 yards before being stopped by a superb Craig Deakin challenge.

On 41 minutes Shawn Boothe powered through the middle, he was half stopped but Joey Butlin was first to the loose ball to hit a first time effort just wide. Right on half time from a left wing corner Boothe saw his diving header scrambled off the line with Gathercole beaten.

Wood came out at the start of the second half looking to reduce the deficit, Craig Deakin played an incisive ball to release Leon Taylor into the right of the box on 47 minutes, his low drive was deflected by Gathercole just the wrong side of the post. From the corner the ball was easily cleared and the ball found it’s way to Fox left of the box, he cut back inside and curled an exquisite shot into the far corner to put the game beyond Wood. It got worse on 55 minutes when from a right wing corner Stefan Holt headed home at the near post.

Back came Wood and a minute later Currithers cut in from the left, his vicious low drive pushed away by Gathercole at full stretch. The keeper’s charmed life continued when 4 minutes later Currithers set up Butlin, his first time effort again pushed away but this time straight to Tom Evans, (only on the field for three minutes) to fire over from 10 yards.

Wood had now realised it wasn’t going to be their night against the moneybags from Barnsley, but they kept going until a quick ball out of defence found substitute Danny South who nonchalantly released Thornton into the right of the box, Kisiel quickly off his line to make a superb save.

Wood still looking for at least a consolation put Lewis Taylor Boyce clear on the right of the box, his low drive was charged down by Gathercole, he was first to the rebound but his follow up effort was again deflected the wrong side of the post. In injury time Lady Luck finally changed her allegiance, Taylor Boyce made space for a shot on the right of the box, the ball deflecting off a defender over the stranded Gathercole to nestle in the far corner.

The tie was lost at Oak Park 10 days ago when Shaw Lane survived for 43 minutes with 10 men. Tonight they were really up for it and although Wood battled to the end it’s Shaw Lane who deservedly went through to a Round 5 home tie. Before the game they were an 8-1 shot, don’t bet against them winning it, especially if they continue to have the run of the ball as they did in this game.

For Wood it’s back to the bread and butter of the Midland League until they now play their glamour tie with Stoke City on Tuesday 17th February, weather permitting.

Bill Shaw.
Walsall Wood F.C.

My commiserations to the team and supporters. Bad luck, folks.

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

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