Because you’re free to read this blog
- April 23rd - First time my deer magnet has been switched on for... April 23, 2014
- April 23rd - Spinning home from work, I noticed fresh flytipping... April 23, 2014
- April 22nd - I rode Telford’s cycleways on my way to work.... April 22, 2014
- April 22nd - Using a bike rack, you’re doing it wrong (and... April 22, 2014
- April 21st - Not a bad bank holiday, all-in-all. It started... April 21, 2014
- April 20th - For an evening spin, it was pleasant enough; the... April 21, 2014
- April 20th - An odd day, really. I had a family thing to do most... April 20, 2014
- madoldbaggage: What a stunning day for a ride. Set off this... April 20, 2014
- April 19th - The footpaths around Chasewater’s south shore... April 20, 2014
- April 19th - I was fiddling with a mechanical fault all day. I... April 20, 2014
- April 18th - Between Harlaston and Clifton Campville,... April 18, 2014
- April 18th - A great long ride today, on a warm, wonderful... April 18, 2014
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- Walsall Wood take shine off Continental's Star
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- Child dies in Brownhills Road accident - police statement
- The mystery of The Lost Stonnall Hoard
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- Good news on the Cornish thing. I take it it's now legal to marry your pasty now? 1 hour ago
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Blogs I Follow
- Stickymackhouse my life and other things
- Life At 50mm
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- Diary of a Four Wheeled Wonder Woman
- The Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station
- Chasewaterstuff's Railway & Canal Blog
- Chasewater Railway Museum
- Diary of a Gimpy Kid
- Handed on
- All the Days and Nights
- Stuff Jimm Rennie Does
- 150 great things about the Underground
- Getting There
- Atomic Spin
- Jonathan Jeremiah – Heart of Stone
- Jonathan Jeremiah – All The Man I’ll Ever Be
- Jonathan Jeremiah – Justified
- Jonathan Jeremiah – Never Gonna
- Jonathan Jeremiah – A Solitary Man
- Jonathan Jeremiah – See (It Doesn't Bother Me)
- Jonathan Jeremiah – How Half-Heartedly We Behave
- Jonathan Jeremiah – That Same Old Line
- Jonathan Jeremiah – Lost
- Jonathan Jeremiah – Happiness
Category Archives: Features
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[/caption] Continue reading
As is usual, today I visited Erdington Bike Jumble, the yearly tat-bazaar for cyclists that always takes place the first Saturday in March.
First weekend in march is always Erdington Bike Jumble. I usually go if the weather’s OK, and potter round, enjoying the company and chatter of other cyclists. Normally a pretty isolated activity, it’s nice to meet other riders socially for a change. A chance to meet old mates, compare machines and have a natter.
Top rail historian Ian Pell, late of this parish, dropped me a line today to point out the origins of the photos that I borrowed from the South Staffordshire Railway Site to illustrate yesterday’s article about Charringtons Oil Terminal and Anglesey Sidings.
This morning, on Twatter, good friend @ChisDavies1 from darkest Pelsall posted a picture of an unusual ice formation on bushes at Stubbers Green. It was so remarkable, that it piqued my interest; this afternoon, in a low, late winter sun, I went to check it out.
I’ve got some great stuff coming up. But here’s a taste of something really exciting from reader and New Year competition winner Fred Butler. I give you… the start of Crabtree, Brownhills, in 1954.
Today, we went up on Cannock Chase again, and I make no apologies for another feature on the deer. These lovely ladies were a smaller subset of the herd from last week, but on this occasion, they were a little more tolerant. They may well have been hungry. This is the closest I’ve ever managed to get to them.
A sunny, winter’s Saturday afternoon on Cannock Chase. The wild fallow deer in their usual spot, always happy to come for a bag of carrots. Skittish and nervous, they stay long enough to take our orange performance fee, then wander … Continue reading
I’ve been given a rather excellent book this week, which, if there’s interest, I’ll share more of. It’s the ‘Visitations of the Archdeaconry of Stafford 1829-1841′ published by the Historical Manuscripts Commission and Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (HMSO). This copy was published in 1980, and bears the ISBN of 0 11 440066 0. The work is edited by David Robinson MA, Ph D.
Following the fascinating, tangential debate about the Freemasons Arms in Walsall, sparked by reader Ann Cross and her wonderful articles about the Royal Exchange, in Walsall Wood, Ann has scanned the following photo from a book, which can hopefully help the debate along a little.
Students of Brownhills Local History will be aware of an elusive, long lost site by local chap Robert Webster. This great resource ceased to exist a few years ago, when Freeserve, the service provider in whose hosting space the website was based, shut down and merged with Orange.
I had the above clip in from reader Greame Clarke this morning, and seeing as there’s such debate around the Freemasons Arms, I thought I’d post it up. The English seems a bit odd, and I can’t vouch for the accuracy, but it’s something to add to the melee.
Here’s another gem from contributor and top Lichfield District Council officer Gareth Thomas. It’s an undated property map of Chasetown, Burntwood and the surrounding area – including the tip of Chasewater, here named Norton Reservoir – in what I think … Continue reading
Gareth Thomas was good to his word, and rescanned last week’s 1971 images of Clayhanger at a much higher resolution. The fragment below, showing Clayhanger Refuse Tip, or ‘The Spot’ as it was known, can be seen below.
Some weeks ago now, I featured a British Railways Board plan I’d purchased from a map dealer, which showed the coal workings in the Yard Seam below Brownhills Common. At the same time, I bought the one featured here, too. … Continue reading
Friend of the blog and top local government operative Gareth Thomas has been at it again. Not only has he started his own, rather wonderful looking blog, but he’s sent me a whole tranche of new aerial images. Quickly flicking through some from 1971, I spotted something really interesting.
Here’s an interesting bit of postwar ephemera, lent to top reader and contributor David Evans for use here on the blog by local lady Marjorie Hadley.
I know nothing about this unusual document, who issued it or any details. I’ve certainly never seen one before. Did every war-child receive them? What effort of campaign were they linked with? Was it a local or national thing? Church or school?
This is a post about being lucky. About being in the right place and the right time. About being fortunate to witness nature at it’s best. About loving where you live. About loving being outdoors.
Autumn is now in it’s beautiful phase. Colours are bright and golden, frost has begun to dust the lanes, gardens and hedges in the morning. A low sun paints foliage orange and bronze. Continue reading
Following the vexed debate here in recent weeks about appropriate parking for bicycles, I had this comment in from reader R. Nuttall that may have dipped under the radar of a few readers, and I think it bears repeating. R. … Continue reading
Local history wonk [Howmuch?] has found this rather intriguing plan of land plots being auctioned along the Pelsall Road, Brownhills, hiding in the archives. The only snag is, we don’t know who was selling, when, or why. My guess would … Continue reading
Readers anticipating the next instalment of the Royal Oak story – the lost pub in Bullings Heath – could be forgiven for thinking I’d forgotten the subject, but nothing could be further from the truth. At the moment, I’m just … Continue reading
What I love about curating this shambling, rambling pile of words is the serendipity of some of the subjects that come out as a consequence of unrelated ones, merely due to a tenuous link. Here, I’ll throw this post over … Continue reading
Lovely email from ex-pat Canada resident Michael Edwards, late of this parish. Spotting the news of the dreadful fire that destroyed the beautiful old BOAK Ravenscraig works in Station Street earlier in the week, he found the above image on … Continue reading
I had a very interesting email in the week from Ian Pell, who’s clearly something of a railway buff. Here’s what he had to say about my post from last week, featuring the fantastic research of local historian Gerald Reece. … Continue reading
A couple for the armchair cyclists… filmed yesterday. I had to go to the bike shop, Swinnertons, on Cannock Chase at Birches Valley. They close at 5pm. I left at 4pm. The journey is a little over 11 miles, and involves … Continue reading
Hi folks. Have lots of stuff to go up – contributions from Ian Pell, Peter Cutler, David Evans, [Howmuch?] and others – but gimme a break. The sun’s shining and I’m a cyclist. This weekend, The Brownhills Blog will operate … Continue reading
Reader Glenys Brookes has been back in touch recently. You’ll remember that Glenys was interested in researching the history of the Lloyd family of Walsall Wood, and blog readers really excelled themselves with good, solid research. It seems that the … Continue reading