For the love of the printed word

As an avid reader, I’m glad to see that the only independent bookshop for miles around – Southcart Books in Walsall – has got off to a flying start, and is proving very popular with local bookworms and authors.

In order to take the business forward, Scott and Amy, the proprietors of Southcart, have launched a crowdfunding project to help improve and grow the store to provide even more reasons for us not to go to Watersones, and to help build a creative community of authors and customers around a locally owned and lovingly run shop.

Southcart books is in Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, and is a fine enterprise – I wish Amy and Scott all the best, and I’ll certainly continue to pop in and feed my printed word habit.

I sugest all local bookworms do the same, and also to invest in the crowdfunder if they can.

Amy and Scott wrote:


I’m very excited about this, and there’s a real buzz about it too in the Walsall online community, most of whom are avid readers. I wish Scott and Amy all the best in their new venture.

Hello everybody!


The local authors bookcase. Image from Southcart Books.

We are Scott and Amy who, with the help of a small goverment loan, opened the only independant bookshop in our area. Its been so far so good, and have had such an amazing local response from the public and local authors wishing to hold readings and signings.

The only problem is we started with very limited funds and would love to greatly improve our childrens reading room and add more bookcases and also start to offer light refreshments to the public.

Now a little bit of background about us, we are big big book lovers and always had a dream of opening a community based bookshop but I was long term unemployed and amy was bringing up her disabled son and when my local jobcentre asked me if I would consider going self unemployed, I jumped at the chance. With only a small government loan we have taken this project as far as we can, so would really appreciate any help that you, the wonderful public, can offer us.


The children’s room. Image from Southcart Books.

Only last week we held our first event hosting many local authors where they performed readings and signings – it was such a success we would love to do more, even the local press were interested.

We aspire to be very community based and help local and independant authors and artists at every turn, and as the only outlet for this in our area we are expecting a good response, we have allready created the only independant author bookcase for miles around. We would love to add more, plus we have a dedicated childrens room but would like to improve it for all the local children.

We have set up a page here, where you can donate to help us improve the bookshop.

This is really a great cause and if you pledge you will qualify for the following rewards:

  • Pledge £10 or more and you will get a free book and a drink to enjoy.
  • Pledge £25 or more and you will get a free book and a drink every month for 3 months.
  • Pledge £50 or more and you get all the above plus a drink every month for 6 months.
  • Pledge £100 or more, receive 2 free books and a drink every month for 6 months.
  • Pledge £500 or more, receive weekly books and drinks for life!
  • Whatever you can afford to pledge though would help, even if it is only £1.

What your money will be spent on :

  • Redecoration of some areas
  • Four new childrens bookcases
  • Childrens furniture
  • Coffee machine and small display fridge
  • Four large bookcases
  • Centrepiece table
  • Wheelchair ramp

We really hope you can help us with our dreams and ambitions.

Scott and Amy

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



Tommy Mundon, Dolly Allen and Harry Harrison – the staples of the Black Country Nigh Out show. Image from the Express & Star.

Goodnight, Tommy old lad – I bet you and Dolly am ‘avin a ball right now. You will be greatly missed, as another little bit of our Black Country fades from the present, into the past.

Thanks for the laughter, mate. And as for Dolly? Fancy living out here, and ‘avin no butter…

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Car accident in Brownhills on Saturday afternoon

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It seems that the accident occurred near the junction of High Street and Ogley Road, although detail from social media is a little confused. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

There’s been some interest in a car accident that occurred on Saturday afternoon in Brownhills – official detail is scant and somewhat contradictory, but yesterday evening I spotted this press release from West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).

They posted on their blog:

A man has escaped serious injury following a collision that badly damaged the car he was driving.

It happened in High Street, Brownhills. West Midlands Ambulance Service was called shortly before 3.30pm Saturday (19th July 2014).

An ambulance crew and a paramedic area support officer attended. The crew of the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford also attended by rapid response vehicle – the helicopter was unable to fly during yesterday’s stormy weather.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘There was significant damage to the car. It’s driver, however, just had marks from his seatbelt. One of the crew at the scene remarked at how fortunate he was not to have been more seriously injured.

‘Following assessment at the scene, he was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital.’

If you witnessed the accident, you are requested to contact Walsall Police (just dial 101) who are dealing with this. 

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On the loss of a great, great man

Gareth Perrins-Seedhouse: a remarkable chap.

It is with great sadness and a large degree of personal grief that I must share the tragic news that Brownhills lad, Walsall Council Parks guy and top fundraiser Gareth Perrins-Seedhouse yesterday passed away following a tenacious and long fight with cancer.

I appealed for donations on behalf of Gareth Perrins-Seedhouse back in 2012, when, despite his ongoing and grave illness, he ran Shenstone Fun Run, raising a huge total of £7,355.40 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Gareth’s story and incredible fortitude touched many, many hearts – amongst his friends, workmates and you blog readers who gave so very generously.

Gareth was a great father and top bloke too, and always dealt with my enquiries in a that friendly, open-hearted manner he will always be known and remembered for.

On behalf of myself, and readers of the blog – many who knew Gareth personally – I’d like to offer our sincerest condolences to Gareth’s wife, Nina, and their children, and of course to all his family and friends.

You can donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust directly here.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Brownhills Central Boy’s School: Can you help?

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Event though the area around has changed beyond recognition, the old Central Boy’s School is still a steadfast focus for the community. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

A very interesting request for help came in last week from Bonita Clayton of Brownhills Community Association, who as you’ll know, are based at the former Brownhills Central Boy’s School, or as my generation knew it, the Annexe, which is just by the Miner Island in Brownhills.


These days, the fine old school building is known as Brownhills Activity Centre and hosts a whole range of great local activities and clubs, and is a real hub for all things community in Brownhills.

Bonita has decided she’d like to make a booklet, detailing the history of the school, and is interested in contacting anyone with memories of the place.

She asked:

Hi Bob

I wondered if you could help. I have been thinking about doing a booklet on the history of the Brownhills Activity Centre with information and old pictures for people using the centre to pick up and have a read.

This is a lovely old building at the top of Brownhills and as the years go by its history is lost.

Do you know anyone that might have a story to tell or have any old pictures of children and staff, or would anyone have any information about dates and events covering the past years?


Bonita R Clayton
Brownhills Community Association
Activity Centre
Chester Road North
Telephone 01543 452119

Well, we’ve had discussions about the old school previously. There are articles and pictures of the Mr. Massey days here concerning a prize giving, yet another prize giving here and another here about an amateur radio club operating there. There is an extensive comment thread about the school to this article containing a photo of the staff too.

If you can help Bonita assemble a booklet by sharing any memory – no matter how small – please do contact her, or comment here. This is an important bit of local history which I’m keen to preserve and expand upon.

I visited the Activity Centre in 2010, and took some photos of the building which I posted to the blog at the time; I’ve posted them in a gallery at the top of the article in order that they may jog some memories.

I’ve included the latest newsletter from the Community Association below, just so interested folks can see the range and diversity of stuff going on there.

Please, comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walsall Wood show The ‘Pics who’s boss


Footy once again kicks off at Oak Park…

With the commencement of the 2014/14 season, I’m happy to welcome back regular match reports from top Walsall Wood footy correspondent Bill Shaw here on the Brownhills Blog, with this report of yesterday’s storming defeat of Rushall Olympic at Oak Park.

Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side with a big-hearted faithful who know how to have a great time supporting their lads, and welcome all comers to come enjoy great local soccer. The boys from The Wood have been at the heart of the local community for a century or more, so please do go check out a match or two if you’re curious.

Bill wrote:

Hiya Bob,

Walsall Wood 3 V 2 Rushall Olympic

Wood gained revenge for last season’s Walsall Senior Cup defeat, as well as claiming local bragging rights for a while.

Wood twice came from behind against the higher league visitors, but deserved the victory after 90 entertaining minutes. Both sides had gone close before – on 9 minutes a low drive from Craig Marshall was pushed away by Wood keeper Mario Kisiel, Zak Martin first to the loose ball to slot home to open the scoring.

The lead lasted less than a minute, keeper Adam Jenkins handled outside his area, Harry Harris from the D floated the ball into the top left hand corner to equalise.

Both sides had chances with both No. 11′s especially dangerous – Tom Evans for Wood and Stan Mugisha for Rushall, but there were no more goals in the first half.

Parity lasted just 2 minutes of the second half, the impressive Martin ran at the Wood defence just left of centre, his lovely slide-rule ball into the box was collected at pace by Aaron Farrell who calmly slotted the ball across substitute keeper Joe Gilbert and into the far corner of the net. On 63 minutes Gilbert finger-tipped over a thunderbolt from Mitch Tolley and from the resulting corner Craig Deakin cleared off the line.

On 67 minutes substitutes Leon Taylor and (announcers nightmare) Tangini Ngishidimbwa combined neatly right of centre, Tangini’s low drive was deflected up into the air by a desperate defender, Ryan Wood scoring with an acrobatic overhead kick that beat the outstretched hand of keeper Chris Gemmell.

With just 7 minutes to go Luke Adams brought the ball out of defence, before releasing Harris down the left of the box, he cleverly lost his marker as he cut back inside before his low pinpoint cross was gleefully hammered home by Danny McGhee.

Revenge sure is sweet, but joking aside, Wood deserved the victory.

Tividale at Oak Park Tuesday night, another entertaining encounter in prospect – so why not come along? You don’t have to pay £30 plus to see great football. Remember, these lads do it for the love, not like the pampered, overpaid prima donnas of the Premier League, see for yourself how good the team that Swanny built really is, you won’t be disappointed.

Trust me, I am a Clanger lad after all.

Bill Shaw.
Walsall Wood F.C.

Impassioned, there. I like it – and passion is what this is all about. Cheers old chap. For the good of The Wood!

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Have you just lost a pair of dogs in Brownhills?


Who let the dogs out?

 Update 5:00pm: Thanks to all for the shares/retweets: the dogs have now been reunited with their owner. Cheers all. It’s what community is about!

This just in from top Brownhills rozzer PC Simon Bytheway – two dogs have been spotted roaming loose in Lichfield Road, Brownhills up by the Memo – one is a German Shepherd and the other a black Labrador…

If they’re yours, I suggest you get down there sharpish or contact the coppers. I can, of course, pass any message on, but would suggest time is of the essence…

Update 4:10pm: Here are pictures of both dogs supplied by PC Bytheway, currently being held in chokey at Brownhills Police Station, waiting to be transferred to kennels. If these hounds are yours, get up the cop shop quickly.


Mr. Shepherd…


Mr. Labrador…

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment