Category Archives: Churches

Park up, take a pew…

Over the last few weeks, a newspaper clipping found in the Walsall Observer archive by [Howmuch?] has caused a whole heap of interest, reporting the laying of a foundation stone for the ‘new schools at Watling Street’, readers have debated where it might actually relate to.

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A very Good Friday

Yesterday, Good Friday 18th April 2014, was a good day for a ride – with the day off and the sun shining (although not as warm as one would have thought), I headed out to Staffordshire to cath the sun and beauty of spring.
This yew was still waiting to lamb in Hints. Continue reading

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Get them before they’re gone!

Here’s a message from Walsall Local History Centre, specifically for readers of the Brownhills Blog – I’m always banging on about getting copies of local history books while they’re still around, and now’s your chance to bag copies of three of Stuart Williams works about Walsall.

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

A treat for the choir and an ignominious extraction

Continuing with the surprisingly rich seam that is the thread originating from the 1931 Watling Street School Walsall Observer article, I’ve had a couple of excellent reader contributions which I just have to share.
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Cheques and balances

It’s often the case that when discussing one topic here on the Brownhills Blog, it leads to an interesting discussion going off at a tangent, and so it has with the subject of the Watling Street School Walsall Observer article from 1931.

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It’s a naked place without cricket

It’s always nice to kick off a new historical thread here on the blog, and this one will be particularly wonderful to curate, as I know there’s a lot of local interest in the old cricketing history of Walsall Wood.

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Classical Gas

I noted the other day that the National Library of Scotland mapping archive was growing, as is the National Newspaper archive – another service that’s quietly gaining content is the Aerofilms archive of aerial photography of Britain from 1919-1953.
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Dead ground?

I’ve had an interesting enquiry from Laura Watkins, about the cemetery in Barnetts Lane, Brownhills, and it’s a little unusual in nature.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Thanks for an ingratitude

From time to time, I like to feature articles out of old gazetteers here on the blog – they are a great love of mine, and they help shine a new light on old, familiar places, as well as giving a neat insight into the times they were written in.
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The final lot

The demolition is by now nearly complete – after 155 years extant, and about 40 of those derelict, the former St John’s School in Walsall Wood has now largely reduced to pallets of bricks and oddments of scrap.
Image courtesy of David Evans. Continue reading

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Breaking down the walls…

The tenacity and charm of the young David Evans continues to be rewarded, and he has again created great pictorial documentation of the demolition process being undertaken on the former St. John’s School in Walsall Wood.
Image generously supplied by David Evans. Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio updates, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Demolition, man

Thanks to the keen eye and subsequent alert by reader, fellow local blogger and freind of the blog @thestymaster, plus the outrageous cheek, charm and loquaciousness of the young David Evans, I can present internal and external shots of the former St. John’s School in Walsall Wood, currently undergoing demolition.
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Leaving hibernation

We’re a third of the way through March, and daffodils are out, the sun is high in the sky and spring is in full effect – I left in the afternoon for a quiet, fast spin – I ended up on a 45-miler around Lichfield, Croxall, Edingale, Harlaston, Whittington, Weeford and Shenstone.
[caption id="attachment_17934" align="alignleft" width="300"]How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette[/caption] Continue reading

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Dazed

I’ve had a request from the young David Evans to re-run some photos from a post I created in 2011 – David has requested this as new reader and commenter Roger Mosedale has joined us in the last few days, and David feels that he may be able to help with the school photos here.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Django unchanged

It’s been over a year now since I noted the sad news of the passing of Paul Degville, jazz musician extraordinaire and leading light in the formerly little recorded jazz scene that existed around the Crown Pub in Brownhills in the 1970s.

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Both sides, now

Here’s a thing I’ve been trying to get round to for a while now, but scanning booklets is a time consuming and laborious job – but in this case, very much a worthwhile one.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Events, Followups, Local History, Shared media, Local media, Churches, Reader enquiries, Shared memories, Cannock Chase, Walsall community, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Brick by brick

Today, thanks to the eagle eye of reader, fellow local blogger and freind of the blog @thestymaster, plus the dedication and guile of a couple of regular blog readers and contributors, we have managed to catch the last days of a local, doomed landmark: St. John’s School, in Walsall Wood.

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Urban spring

As is usual, today I visited Erdington Bike Jumble, the yearly tat-bazaar for cyclists that always takes place the first Saturday in March.
The domestic geese at Brookvale Park are every bit as hostile as their brethren at Chasewater Continue reading

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That rings a bell…

That there young David Evans has been very busy – not content to loaf around convalescing like any normal person after his recent operation, he’s been preparing some new local history projects, and updating others.

[caption id="attachment_17624" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Image generously supplied by David Evans. Image generously supplied by David Evans.[/caption] Continue reading

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On to another level

Way back last summer, the young David Evans started a series of articles here on the Brownhills Blog about Brownhills Co-operative Choral Society, a very highly respected musical ensemble indeed, and a remarkable, often overlooked piece of Brownhills history.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Get another glimpse into Brownhills Past

Regular readers will remember that last Autumn, there was an exhibition at Walsall Local History Centre featuring a whole tranche of of historic Brownhills photos and ephemera from the civic collection – this had proven to be so successful, that the top operatives at the town archives have decided to set many of the exhibits up on show in Brownhills Library, at the Parkview Centre, from now until the end of February 2014.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rhyme and reason

While service is operating on reduced power, I thought I’d share this curious mystery – over the new year period, a Brownhills history group was created on Facebook, and it’s proved to be very interesting indeed.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

I think that nails it…

Periodically, I’ve expressed my intrigue at the history of Chesterfield Lodge, at the tiny hamlet between Wall and Shenstone – Chesterfield is a small place, but has some remarkable architecture demonstrated in its houses and farms.
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Posted in Churches, cycling, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Caught on celluloid

I have something remarkable coming up on the blog tomorrow, a film I’ve been tracking down for a while, and thanks to the immense generosity and kindness of local history stalwarts Brian ‘Clayhanger Kid’ Stringer and the Young David Evans, I can present it here on the net for the community to share and debate.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A beautiful game

In recognition of the day, the Young David Evans sent me some rather wonderful photos a couple of days ago – as readers will know, David has a particular interest in the wars in Europe, and has strong connections to Messines and the place where the celebrated First World War Christmas truce and football match is believed to have started.
Image very kindly supplied by Jean Claude Joly

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Sweet little mystery

In light of the time of year and the fact that many contributors and readers of this blog are big fans of Susan Marie Ward and her Staffordshirebred blog, I’d like to draw her latest post into the light.
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Just one day like this…

Today I escaped for a bit – the weather was reasonably good, I had nothing pressing, and rather than fiddle with blog posts and other stuff, I decided to go for a decent ride.

I jut love those little windows, and that gorgeous spire. Continue reading

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Free Christmas Carol Concert at Walsall Arboretum today!

Top Walsall Council bod Kate Goodall contacted me to ask if I could plug the Christmas Carol Concert at Walsall Arboretum -it is to be held in the beautifully refurbished bandstand tomorrow, Saturday 21st December 2013, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm.

A Cold Day For Fishing, The Arboretum, Walsall 06/04/2008 Continue reading

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Silver caught?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the following map here of central Brownhills from the late 1960s, in answer to an enquiry tied up with the thread about the Salvation Army Hall in Brownhills – it’s a great map, and at the time it caused quite a bit of interest.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A very festive festival

David Evans has kindly sent in these wonderful images of Brownhills Methodist Church Christmas Tree Festival, where there’s also a Christmas Market on today (Saturday, 14th December 2013) from 9:00am until 1:30pm.
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Why not pop in to Brownhills Christmas Tree Festival?

As part of the usual Brownhills Christmas celebrations, this fantastic display is open today…

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Christmas magic in Brownhills today!

This is the first Christmas Magic event since 2011, and it looks to be a cracker – there will be loads to do and see, like a free artificial skating rink in Ravens Court, local choir carolling, tons of stuff for kids of all ages, and even donkeys!

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New local history book out soon!

It’s coming up to Christmas, and Stuart Williams and Walsall Local History Centre have a message for readers off the Brownhills Blog…Stuart-Williams-with-a-proof-copy-of-his-new-book-and-a-poster-640-2 Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sweet James

That there Clive Roberts – documenter of the history of the Shire Oak Inn and collector of local postcards – has been at it again He’s picked up another postcard of Brownhills at a fair, and mailed me scans of the front and back to post here on the blog.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Party like its… 1998?

I like this a lot – way back in 1998, an officer for Walsall Council was given the job of taking some pictures of Brownhills town centre, the lady in question was handed a digital camera that took floppy disks, which lay filed away for 15 years until yesterday, when they came to light again.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Christmas magic in Brownhills!

Well, it’s that time of year again – I noticed today that posters were up for this year’s Brownhills Christmas Magic event, and thought I’d better get hold of a copy and run it on the blog.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hey, Sally Anne…

Another research project for those so inclined came in this week, again via Twitter – Rob Kinnon-Brettle contacted me on Wednesday evening looking for information about the Salvation Army in Brownhills.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Details of local Remembrance events

Following the request last Sunday evening by Neil Harris for details of Bloxwich Remembrance Sunday Service, readers rallied round to help with details – for which I thank you all – subsequently I, others on local social media networks and top folks at Walsall Council got our heads together and assembled the following list of events.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Remembrance services – can you help with details please?

This is just a quick request for help – top bloke Neil Harris from Pelsall has asked on Twitter for details of this years Bloxwich Remembrance Parade and associated events, and the net is turning up a blank – it then occurred to me that I couldn’t find details of similar for Brownhills or Walsall Wood.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Build it and they’ll come

David Evans, top blog contributor and local historian extraordinaire, has strong connections with the local Methodist Movement – in this capacity, David has been working very hard indeed on the following article on the construction of the New Chapel for some weeks now, and I’m proud and honoured to present it for readers.
Image generously donated Audrey Proffit Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fair brings history alive at The Crossing today!

A special event bringing local and family history alive across the borough is all set to take place in Walsall town centre this Saturday 2nd November – and admission will be free of charge!

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Posted in Churches, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An afternoon affair?

Friend of the blog and leader of 1st Walsall Wood Scout Group Lee Braggington writes to me with a very interesting enquiry – it had never registered with me before, but Lee is quite right; Walsall Wood’s Remembrance Parade has always seemed to be on a Sunday Afternoon – this year on the 10th November.

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Grist for the mill

This is important, and I’m very excited about it – Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has found the following sale notice in the archives from Aris’s Birmingham Gazette of 26th August 1850.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

A walk in the woods

Just a headsup for folks interested in Lichfield history, geography and miscellany – top local historian, blogger and cardigan enthusiast Kate Gomez from the wonderful Lichfield Lore has organised a walk tomorrow around the woods, lanes and greens of Leomansley.
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Bettered its manners

Last weekend I introduced readers to one of my longstanding passions – the 1930s gazetteer series that is Arther Mee’s ‘Kings England’ – back then, I broached the subject with Arthurs florid, but charming take on Wall, the little local village with the big Roman history.th Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The displaced

The more I look at the question of Second World War evacuees in the area, the more I am astounded and puzzled by the matter – a search of the newspaper archives reveals that we absorbed huge numbers of folk, not just children – this has been a revelation to me.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Cannon made in Walsall Wood

On Sunday last, I ran the last episode of the St John’s School log books, which mentioned Jim Edwards, a local theologian and cleric with a remarkable story – as the comments on the article expanded, it became clear this was no ordinary parish churchman, but a fellow of considerable stature who was well travelled and also experienced in war.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A school united in war and in peace

Earlier in the year, I started a series of posts containing log book entries for St John’s School, Walsall Wood – I now complete the series with the time period from the 1912 merger to 1945, when the records end.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Blooming lovely

I note from the Facebook Page of Brownhills Town Centre Partnership that Brownhills this year won a Silver Award in the Britain in Bloom competition.533325_340031132712723_731383535_n Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local politics, News, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The dirty old town I love

I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I love the Black Country with all my heart – this dirty, post-industrial powerhouse of a place has been prominent throughout my life, although, technically, I live outside it. tumblr_ljie8oCmPj1qib2vgo1_1280 Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments