Local quiz 2

A once popular local hostelry - but where was it, an way was it called? Picture from 'Memories of Old Walsall Wood' by Bill Mayo & John Sale.

Here’s another local quiz, based mainly on Walsall Wood, set by reader David Evans. Many of the answers can be found in previous posts here on the Brownhills Blog, and please comment any answers below. I’ve added this as a page so it’s always easy to find. Let’s see what you know…

Who, what, where… one names, places and features:

Where was Craddocks Corner?

When was Streets Corner school enlarged?

Where was the Rookery?

Where was the Nursing Home?

Where was the House of Prayer?

Where were the firelighters made, and by whom?

Where could you see pre-fabs? (two places)

Where was the Beehive?

Where was the Winding House

Where was the Monkey in a Cage?

What was the Ebenezer?

Where were there two cycle shops?

Where was the Windpump?

What colour were Collins Parcels Vans?

A source of which major river is up the Common?

Which building stood at the corner of Brookland Road and Brook Lane?

Which event in the 1700’s is remembered in a street name?

Where was the Giant’s Stride?

Where were the barrows made? Who made them?

Where and what is The Rabbit?

Where was the Reservoir?

What was the Saddletank?

Which road is named after an event in 1937?

Where was Bullens Heath?

When did the Pit open? And close?

How many bridges were over the Brook?

What is the Wheel?

“Built by the sweat of a miner’s brow”. Where can you see this?

Where was the cricket field?

Why is Streets Corner so called?

Where are the King, Queen and Prince?

Where did the Shire Oak Tree stand originally?

Where was the Tram Terminus?

Where and what was Meadow Market?

Where is the Fire Station?

Name the farm in Hall Lane

Where is the old library building?

Where is the Fort?

What is The Cut?

Which school is in Brook Lane?

Where do Druids Walk?

Which roads are named after kinds of trees?

Where is the Brickies?

The opening of the self-service Co-op was quite an event. But where was it located? Picture from 'Memories of Old Walsall Wood' by Bill Mayo & John Sale.

97 Responses to Local quiz 2

  1. David Oakley says:

    Hi Bob,
    Well into second part of quiz and finding it most enjoyable. Every question sets off a train of memories which one imagined were long forgotten. One example is Coronation Road. I watched that road being constructed. The land on which it stands, together with Stewart Avenue was rather low-lying common land which was used as the Council refuse tip for some years. As most of domestic refuse at the time was ash with everone burning coal it gave the planned roads a good hardcore base. Coronation Road was constructed of concrete, a departure from the traditional tarmacadam roads of the time and although us kids missed seeing the Council stramroller in action, watching the different procedures was quite fascinating. All concrete was mixed on site, no bulk delivery then and the concrete was levelled off with a heavy wooden tamping board, stretching across the finished width of the road operated by two men. A nightwatchman was always used on Council sites, he was provided with a box for shelter, enclosed on three sides but open at the front with a coke brazier provided for warmth. Many people would stop for a chat after dark and to warm themselves by the fire.
    Harpers Buses – green in later years, but Harper Bros very first bus was a maroon single-decker which ran from Heath Hayes to Aldridge and back, providing a two-hourly service. Known as the “Gloria” from “Gloria de luxe” which was on the back of the bus. On its journey to Aldridge it would pick up on Vigo corner, outside Basford’s grocers at 25 minutes past the odd hour and on its return would pick up on the opposite corner at 20 to the even hour. During the war one or two buses from elsewhere were brought in to expand the service as workers buses were laid on to Streetly Works, Kynochs and G.E.C. One bus from the London area had open stairs at the rear, very popular with us youngsters while another purply coloured bus trailed evil-smelling smoke in its wake and was nicknamed by us -“poisonous fumes”.
    Bridges over the brook ? Well four or five to my knowledge. The brook was quite wide with steep banks in the ’30’s and the several houses on the far side of the brook needed access – hence the bridges. There was generally a fair flow of water and we would each drop a short piece of stick in at the Collins’s Lane end where the brook emerged from a culvert and watch it bobble its way down to the Brookland Road end, peering anxiously under each “bridge” if it failed to emerge. The brook disappeared again there. I think it went under the railway.
    Oh, well, back to the quiz,
    Cheers and thanks again to David Evens and your goodself,
    David Oakley.

  2. David Evans says:

    Hi David
    delighted that you are enjoying the quiz. There is another one still to come!
    Some good street cricket played in Coronation Road long time ago, I bet!

    How much frogspawn did you collect from the brook?

    best wishes

    David Evans

  3. David Oakley says:

    Hi David,
    Was hoping to see a little more response to the quiz from my own age group – Walsall Woodians born in the 1930’s. WHERE ARE YOU ??
    To the younger element who read this I say, “Wake your grandad up and put the quiz in front of him, the years will fall away !!
    Every question evokes a forgotten memory. Take “The Brickies” for example, the Brickmakers Arms in Salters Road. I remember the pub being built to cater for all the new housing in Stewart’s Avenue and Coronation Road. The first licencee was Tom Capel who kept the pub for a number of years. During the war, a large fair visited the field adjacent to the pub quite
    regularly, no problem with blackout regulations. With Double Summer Time
    in operation it was light until midnight in the summer months. The proprietor
    of the fair, a Mr Francis donated the whole of the takings one night in each
    week to the Express & Star Comforts Fund which sent parcels to the fighting
    forces. To show how genuine this donation was, ladies from the W.V.S.took
    over the stalls for the evening and sat in the cash desks of the larger
    amusements, taking the money from patrons. It was quite a culture shock to
    “roll a penny” see it touch a line and a sedate lady villager rake it in, albeit
    a little awkwardly, but no less enthusiastically than the regular stallholder.
    The following evening, a large board in a prominent position proclaimed the
    amount raised for the Fund, always a substantial amount.

    As I say, every question brings back its own memory and if nothing else,
    provides abundant material for those “quiet times” when we “old uns” just like
    to sit back and remember what it was like to be young.

    Best wishes,

    David Oakley.

  4. D.Evans says:

    Hi David
    The Salters fairs were good fun. I loved the boats best! In Dudley there is a Living Museum, a recreation of a typical Black Country village from former times. This has a fairground, boats, slides, coconut, hook a goldfish etc.and a coal mine! I hope that the young’uns get to visit this, and that their old’uns tell them some good tales. Or failing that, as you rightly say, use the quiz!
    best wishes
    David Evans

  5. Frank says:

    Great Quiz. I spent many a hard earned £ in the Brickies A hard Pub but a good pint i can remember the prefabs in brooklands road and the blue Collins trucks as i went for a job as a driver but ended at Taylors Sunnyside instead. My main watering hole after work was the Black Cock and many a happy year i enjoyed there and i met a few good few long life friends there to and the the hold on to you hat tales lol . Walsall Wood has Changed a lot to met mostly the shops I think only Trevor’s is the only long timer left its all gone to the large enterprises. Mrs Williams, Connies in Copice road, the co’op No buchers no greengrocers left . we only got booze, food and head stones. great site glad i found here . Do you remember Bresingtons transport

  6. John Beresford says:

    The barrows or wheelbarrows we’re made in Wilkin road Brownhills West by my grandfather John Beresford I still have some of the old tools used to make them stamped with his (and my) name. His father made carriages on the same site. I have an old map with an advert for the business which was also a blacksmiths. They used to heat the metal wheel rims on an open fire to expand them then shrink them on to the barrow or cart wheels by cooling them by throwing on buckets of water, this shrinkage tightened the spokes in to the wheel and hub. My dad was also a local carpenter so that’s 3 generations of local woodworkers before me.

  7. John Beresford says:

    I think the giants stride was a piece of play equipment on Walsall
    Wood park.

  8. John Beresford says:

    The monkey in a cage was at the top of some steps outside a pet shop on the slope of Walsall Wood canal bridge, I remember it but it is certainly going back a bit to the early 1950s.

  9. John Beresford says:

    The barrows were made by my grandfather John Beresford in Wilkin Road
    Brownhills. It was also a blacksmiths.

  10. David Evans says:

    HI John
    many thanks for your note and the reference to your grandfather. Do you know where he lived in Wilkin Road..is there anything still to be seen there? Do you have any photos of the smithy and your grandfather?
    I wonder how many more local blacksmiths there were…can anyone help?
    Wheel barrows in big quantities were made in Walsall Wood some time ago….all gone now, but there is a modern reference to the place.
    kind regards
    David

  11. brian stringer says:

    Hi David, I feel I might be trespassing on your WW quiz being a Clangerite but you may be lenient with me as my wife was a WOOD wench. One quizzer earlier mentioned the Gospel Hall in Clayhanger Rd. A few years ago I had reason to write an article on it. It is now owned by Cllr Anthony Harris who owns the adjacent fairground equipment. He uses the old chapel to refurbish and paint the signs etc. Its like an Alladins cave in there with every coloured pot of paint you can imagine along with hundreds of coloured light bulbs. Some of the art work done by his sons with a spray gun is amazing. He is quite welcoming and it is well worth a peep.

  12. David Evans says:

    HI Brian

    Many thanks for your comments..its everybody’s quiz..and I hope it is prompting good discussion and active interest in our common history, too
    The thrill of Pat Collins fairground is one of our local treasures, the artwork on the rides especially. The only working CakeWalk with its mechanical fairground organ, completely renovated. ( Lichfield..Whitsun fair.).is a credit to the fairground owner, Mr Harris. and to the skill of the artists.
    Kind regards, Kid!
    David

  13. D.Evans says:

    HI Bob
    here’s a place from the past…”Bulls Yed Yard”. I wonder if readers can say what it was and where it was? The name Herrington might help.
    cheers
    David

  14. david oakley says:

    Hi David,
    Never heard of the “Bulls Yed Yard” !!!! But strangely enough the name “Herrington” has been foremost in my mind since seeing the wonderful video of Trolley Buses 1950/60. on the blog. This was my era of trolley bus driving for Walsall Corporation, and my first conductor was a Mr. David Herrington, born “along the canal houses” in Walsall Wood.about 1902. We became firm friends, perhaps because we both had a common bond in Walsall Wood. but canal houses were quite common at the time and bargees still worked their ways along the towpaths in the village when I was a boy, so his statement had nothing -out-of-the ordinary, about it so I forbore to question him.
    shot in the dark, perhaps ?? When I knew him sixty years ago. he was living in Poet’s Corner.Blakenall.
    Cheers
    David..

  15. David Evans says:

    HI David
    I think he grew up in Bulls Yed Yard.. ( two canal cottages )in Hall Lane!
    cheers
    David

  16. David Evans says:

    HI David
    another one for everybody.
    Walsall Wood had a landing strip at one time in the past.. Where was it?
    cheers
    David

    • david oakley says:

      Hi David,
      I think this was the time that the Oak Park football ground was used as an emergency landing strip on October 16th 2010 by an helicopter, to offer aid to a seriously injured player, by name Torgut Bilgiher.while playing against Heather St. John’s. Match abandoned.

      The more you browse, the wiser you become. !!!

      Cheers.
      David..

  17. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob and David
    the aeroplane was a high wing, single-engine, possibly three or four-seater ,tail-dragger..perhaps a Cessna 170 or some such.., which used to land in a field by the owner’s big house, in the 1980s or so.. A clue, the very old house “had come from somewhere else”.
    All the best!
    David

  18. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Salters Road. Interesting name. I wonder where it got its name from. ( One listing in a census shows an apostrophe..Salter’s Road ) . I wonder where the name comes from? Can your readers help to solve this little mystery, please?
    David

  19. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    I wonder if your readers can help, please?
    Jockey Row….from years ago, of course. Where was it..? Anything to do with horse-racing?
    cheers
    David

  20. Pedro says:

    Hi David,

    Determined to get my money’s worth form my subscription to the National Archives I tried for Jockey Row, but to no avail. However I noticed that there were “Brownhills Autumn Races around 1905, I presume at the Brownhills Race Track.

    These included the Lodge Farm Plate, and the Anglesey Stakes over 1.5 mile. There was also the Watling Street Pony Race for ponies.

    Maybe Jockey Row was close to the racetrack?

    Best wishes Pedro

  21. D.Evans says:

    HI Pedro
    Brownhills Race Track! Would love to know more about this venue and the, people and the events…please, anything you can find..
    This Row was in Walsall Wood, but . given its odd name, you never know !
    Many thanks
    David

  22. Pedro says:

    The heading from the small article in the Lichfield Mercury of Nov 1905 is “Brownhills Autumn Races”, with splendid weather and a large attendance. It seems an annual event since at least 1899 as there is the same title for a piece from 18 Nov 1899. The results, owners of the horses, and the Clerks and Judges are named.

    Both are specific to Brownhills, I wonder if anyone can say where it was located.

    There also appears to be “Dog Racing at Brownhills” (hare coursing) at the Brownhills Racecourse. There was a competition between a dog from Bedworth and another from Nuneaton, and therefore must have been popular to surrounding owners. Also 1910…1913…

    14 June 1907 there is an article about Athletic Sports on the Course. A 120 yard foot race handicap, and a one mile bicycle handicap (no mention of Brownhills Bob!).

    24 Jan 1908 Pigeon shooting…

    1st May 1908….Large attendance at the Course for the football match between Brownhills Town and Shropshire LI…Dorsett is mentioned!!

    The annual Wakes took place there.

    No more mention after a dog event in 1913, but must have been quite a popular place. There are many personal names mentioned, just let me know if you are interested in them.

    Best wishes Pedro

  23. David Evans says:

    Hi Pedro
    strewth! Yes, please. I understand that pigeon racing ..along the length of Brownhills High Street was a popular ( miners’?) leisure activity at one time.
    I wonder where Lodge farm was. Many thanks
    David

  24. Pingback: A day at the races « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  25. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Salters Road continues to intrigue. Salt sellers bringing their blocks of salt on carts to Walsall Wood as recently as 1920s mentioned to me today..(.but assumed to have come from Walsall.) I hope readers can help to sort out the origins of this road. One for deep research, I think.
    cheers
    David

  26. David Evans says:

    HI Pedro
    many thanks for this link. Most appreciated.
    David

  27. David Oakley says:

    Hi David,
    I remember the salt carts coming to Walsall Wood as late as the 30’s, but if my memory is correct, they came from Gornal, who seemed to have cornered the market for salt in that particular era.
    However, the apellation Salters Road goes back much farther than that being printed on old maps, sometimes as Salters Lane, and sometimes as just a track leading from Vigo northwards. I cannot see any positive evidence of ultimate solution, so I will postulate my own theory to stimulate debate.
    Salters Road, etc., are quite common, but mainly in coastal regions where salt was mainly obtained from the sea, and often tracked the progress of the salt inland. West Midlands is some miles from the sea but is fortunate in having, at the time , a bountiful supply of salt from Droitwich. Bearing in mind the absence of roads at the time, if you draw a straight line northwards within a narrow corridor of say, a mile fron Droitwich, you could well end up via Aldridge in Salters Road. Tracing the areas you would be passing through. Bromsgrove – Salter Row. Redditch – Salters Lane. – Tipton – Salter Road. West Bromwich- Salters Lane.
    Now what link has Salters Road got to Droitwich ? Recent readers of Brownhills Bob will surely know. Had the gentleman in question any relatives in Salters Road that could have influenced the name by which the road was known, for a place can become known by the activity carried on there, and we know that the man in question must of necessity have relatives in the salt trade. After “Street’s Corner” anything’s “up for grabs”
    Cheers,
    David.

  28. pedro says:

    Hi David

    Reading your last comment jogged my memory as to a walk we had done from near No Man’s Heath.

    Below is a link to an old salt route called Salt Street. (click on picture to enlarge). In the comments below the picture there is a link to the old salt routes. (Click on the blue section)

    What is interesting here is that I have just found a connection of the Harrison family to Middlewich. A Salt works and an area rich in brine and rocks salts! I have put the connection under the “Eliza” post.

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/20378197

    All the best Pedro

    • David Oakley says:

      Hi Pedro,
      Great stuff, mate. Very interested in Salt Street. Salters Road could well have been one of the intermediate drops on the old route. Looking at the map, Lichfield and the A38 seems a natural continuation of the route, leading to all those places mentioned by you. Salters Lane in Tamworth could have been the termination of that particular route.
      Cheers,
      David.

  29. David Evans says:

    HI Both
    very many thanks for your notes and thoughts. I wonder what other readers may be able to offer on this topic?
    kind regards
    David

  30. David Evans says:

    HI David
    I wonder why a part of Walsall Wood was known by locals as “The Vigo”…census records show “Vigo” and later “Vigo Road”…. just an Interesting little nuance, perhaps, or something else?
    cheers
    David

  31. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Salters, Salter’s… from a recent conversation and cup of tea…”salt was used in brickmaking, for putting a glaze on bricks”…from a man who worked many years in the Empire brickworks, Aldridge. A possible answer?
    cheers
    David

  32. Graeme Fisher says:

    A bit late in the day, but…. regarding planes landing, there was a grass strip on Castle Hill, to the WW side of the hill fort, and Mr Goodyear flew his own plane from here. I’m thinking this was early 70s.

  33. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    the Rent Collector was someone who featured in most local people’s lives. I wonder how many of these men or women can be named? And how much was the weekly rent?
    cheers
    David

  34. david oakley says:

    Hi David,
    The rent collector for the Council Houses in Salters Road in the 1930’s was a Mr Wilson, the rent being 7/4d or something like that. Being council tenants, the thing was done right, with proper rent books containing
    Terms of Tenancy details on the back. There was little inflation in those days, so when the war started rents were still a little below ten shillings per week.
    A significant change was that Mr Wilson went off to fight the war, or something and Mr Taylor reigned in his stead. Mr Taylor was elderly, well past call-up age,
    wore pince-nez spectacles and lived in Walsall Wood, in the “posh” houses
    between Collins’s garage and Batkin’s shop.
    The grandad of a school friend of mine owned two houses the bottom end of High Street and my friend collected the rent every now and again, The
    rent book used by his grandad and many private landlords was Llewellyn’s Rent Book, although other types were readily available from stationers.
    Cheers,
    David.
    .

  35. David Evans says:

    HI David
    “Pop” Taylor was a grand old chap..and a good violinist and singer, too. In later years a Mr Bill Jones did the rounds, I believe. Who was the rent man in Brownhills?
    cheers
    David

  36. David Evans says:

    HI David
    the blog article;”Walsall Wood;An old pictures special edition”..the choir photo..I believe Pop Taylor is on the far left of the second row.
    cheers
    David

  37. Mick_P says:

    Ah, Meadow Market – The Medda. I remember it well. It was (perhaps) Walsall Wood’s first supermarket, though I’m sure that by today’s standards it would hardly qualify for the ‘super’ tag. It was situated on the left of Salters Road in that small precinct, just as you approach Streets Corner. It must have opened in the early to mid-1970s and my parents would do a weekly shop there on a Thursday or Friday night. If I went with them (I often had to as I would have only been about 10 years old) I’d pop into the newsagent next door and get a copy of Trials & Motocross News or Motor Cycle News.

    I remember the place feeling quite spacious, though it was probably no bigger than a large Spar these days. They did some great tomato sausages, I remember that, and because a shopping night would mean getting home relatively late, we had the treat of a tomato sausage sandwich for tea, probably in front of the telly watching The Good Life or Are You Being Served. For pudding I’d often have a hazelnut yoghurt (forgotten the brand, not Ski). Something else I recall we’d get from there were multi-packs of the all-new corn-based snack, Smith’s ‘Horror Bags’, the differing flavours being assigned to various ghoulish shapes, such as Bones, Fangs, Ribs, Claws and Bats. And I also remember a cheapo-brand cola they sold called ‘Coola’ that my parents would happily buy. All good healthy stuff…

  38. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Marlies,Tipcat and FiveJacks. Who remembers these…and the rules!
    cheers
    David

  39. david oakley says:

    Hi David,
    Marlies came in three classifications:- Clayeys, Glassy’s and Irony’s,
    Baked clay, Glass with an attractive stripe through the middle and Irony’s which were nobbut ball- bearings of manageable size.
    Rules were a tad parochial, but ours were as follows, When playing in the
    gutter the first player rolled his marley (generally a glassy) some distance away,
    the second player then played his own marley from a similar distance, and attempted to hit the first marley, if he suceeded, he had “won” the marley and the first player had to provide another marley in order to continue the game.
    If the marley landed within a handspan of its fellow, the endangered player could claim “chucks on” which enabled him to throw the marley further on.
    A player would make an extreme effort so that his “span” could touch both marlies. This was better played after Mr. Morris the street cleaner had been around with his handcart, brush and shovel. An alternative form was to make a
    circle and “flick” the marbles out of the ring.
    Tipcat was a piece of wood sharpened at both ends which provided a leverage when struck expertly which enabled the tipcat to fly through the air for some distance. Never knew the rules other than they might have been how many eyes were put out or other collateral damage sustained by passers-by.
    Fivejacks were five star-shaped iron pieces. Player one would throw them up and try to catch as many as possible on the back of his hand, if he caught them all, that counted as one game. Any left on the ground had to be scooped up while the remainder were thrown in the air again from the back of the hand and caught. The skilled part was catching five on the back of the hand at the start of the game, and scooping up far-flung jacks while the rest were still in the air.
    Cheers,
    David.

  40. Mick_P says:

    As far as marleys go, let’s not forget the size classifications of littlies (self explanatory), middlies and fobbers. There were also tallys, but I can’t remember what they were exactly.

  41. D.Evans says:

    Hi David
    one of my more unusual “prize possessions” is a vintage Utopia brick. I wonder if readers can name the local brickworks, most of which have been lost in the pages of history. There must have been lots of local brickworks at one time.
    David

  42. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    weaponry! How many readers will remember how you made a real peashooter, and what was used in them; how to make a real catapult; how you made a sling, how you made music with a bullrush, and what is cuckoo spit!
    I bet any modern Boy Scout can tell you!
    cheers
    David

  43. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Kite-flying “up the common” was a popular hobby many years ago. I wonder if readers remember what materials were used to make them, and if any photos exist .
    David

  44. Mick_P says:

    We used to make peashooters from the hollow stalks of cow parsley (keck), especially later in the summer when the stalked were thick and dry. Can’t remember what we used as ammo, other than raiding the larder for dried peas.

  45. David Oakley says:

    Hawthorn berries, up our way! That little stone inside the berry
    weighted them quite nicely for distance shooting, quite a sting for
    the unfortunate recipient.

  46. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Twist, Plug, Shag…but to what do these names refer? ( One for the old coalminers!)
    cheers
    David

    • pedro says:

      Seem to recall they may be roll your own tobacco?

      When I was a lad it never ceased to amaze me how some could roll a near perfect fag. I remember one old chap asking me if I wanted to try while he carefully put his hands underneath in case I dropped any!

      Even more amazing was my uncle who lost an arm during the war, and he could do a fair roll with one hand!

      Regards Peter

    • pedro says:

      Ah! David I see now why it is one for the old coalminers!

      Regards Pedro

    • david oakley says:

      Hi David,
      These were names given to unrubbed tobacco, popular to miners, when working underground where smoking was strictly banned. This tobacco came in thick compressed form, something similar to hard liquorice. A miner would cut a portion off, say half an inch, with his penknife, then chew it to provide his nicotine fix, spitting quite liberally from time to time. Local shops would open very early to benefit from this trade. Two names that spring to mind are Ogden’s and St. Bruno for this brand of tobacco. They could be used as pipe tobacco by old miners when on the surface. but the preparation was quite lengthy when hand rubbed and the smell from thick twist was quite vile.
      Cheers.
      David.

  47. Mick_P says:

    Pipe tobacco types, David?

  48. pedro says:

    I remember having to go to the shop to get snuff for my uncle. Anyone remember the names?

    Regards Pedro

  49. David Evans says:

    Hi David
    Many thanks for your notes!
    I think Shag was more ready -rubbed for the pipe, and kept in a leather pouch to enjoy away from the pit, or in the local..but the smell, from a foul, clinkered bowl, certainly set a man apart…as did the “bullseye”spitting. Christmas meant the “luxury” of a Manikin, or for the very very lucky, a Tom Thumb or Passing Cloud. I wonder what readers will make of this little lot. Not to mention a Churchwarden , Briar or Meerschaum !
    kind regards
    David

    • Hi Lads (and any lasses present)

      Shag was the sweepings off the tobacco warehouse floor. The rough stuff, finely cut, replete with camel excreta and bus tickets. Good for pipes or rollies.

      The art of handrolling one handed was prized amongst rock climbers. A challenge in the normal orientation for sure, a feat of dexterity when dangling from an escarpment in a stiff breeze…

      Passing Cloud? Weren’t they the oval cigarettes popular at one point?

      I miss men smoking pipes. The aroma of a pipe in a pub, bus stop or workshop was one of the nicest things, one of those irrational, happenstance pleasures of life, now sadly dying out with smoking legislation and the last generation of men to whom a pipe was a sensible choice.

      A man with a pipe considered things. Used it as a prop, tapped out the bowl on his boot. Made expansive sweeps of the arm, before disappearing in clouds of sweet cherrywood smoke. The rattle of pipe-stem off clenched teeth is a sound I’ll never forget. The paraphernalia – pipe cleaners, pen knives with little tampers on the end, and long pin implements for unblocking. Lighters more akin to pocket flamethrowers. The tins and little pouches.

      Plug and twist tobaccos – the chewing variety – were tobacco resin. Much as cannabis resin is, when shown in news reports. Thick and concentrated. I bet you needed the constitution of an ox to chew that stuff, especially when it dried out.

      Plug is still about. Hollingsworth’s in Brum were still selling it four or five years ago:

      http://www.smoke.co.uk/acatalog/Plug_Tobaccos.html

      Snuff, too. Still about. Worked with a bloke who took snuff for a few years. I still remember his olympic-class sneezing bouts…

      http://www.snuffsupermarket.co.uk/index.php

      Anyway, cheers for all the contributions, love reading them. Sadly, don’t get time to reply to as many as I’d like, but I read and enjoy every one.

      Thanks

      Bob

  50. pedro says:

    So really the terms Twist, Plug and Shag refer to the cut of the tobacco.

    I think Three Nuns would be an example of “twist” as it came in little circles. I quite liked the smell of the unsmoked tobacco.

    “Spit and Sawdust!” I remember when Mad O’Rourke started his chain of Pubs at the Pie Factory at Tipton. And the “Spitoons”

  51. David Evans says:

    Hi David
    Parson’s Pleasure, Bulwark , Baby’s Bottom. Each had its individual characteristic aroma, and each helped local humour along !
    cheers
    David.

  52. David Evans says:

    HI David
    some other words to try out with readers, shall we?
    ;- Obb, Oss, Clowt, Sprag, Hacking, Ball Pein

    cheers
    David

    • Pedro says:

      Now yow tek care David when yowm in the oss road!

    • david oakley says:

      Hi David,
      “…..so the missus sed, yow gunner sit by that ‘obb all day, warmin’
      yersen, me mother’s bin after yow.
      “Ar”, I sed ” ar know that, so tekin’ up a few tools, I crossed the ‘oss road to ‘er house, found the bost winder, after hacking out the o’d putty, purrin’ the
      glass in, gid the sprigs a clout with the ball pein an’ re-puttied. Job done.
      “Theer”, I sed, Doe bost it agen”

  53. David Evans says:

    HI Pedro
    wore gunner gue theer… cunner see thoss buns 2 gud, kid
    Tar, David

  54. David Evans says:

    Worrow arkid,
    Often to be found in the glory hole were;-
    a spare airden, a new mantle, a best badger, drippin in its bairsun and covered in a cloth,, and a shuckie or two, (What and where? )
    I A Mowginya.

  55. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I wonder what memories readers have of Walsall Wood’s Tennis Club,and where it was…and if the Club and venue still exist…maybe some photos?
    cheers
    David

  56. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Pit ponies spending the fortnight “shut down” out in the “ammunition” field in Brownhills Road were a wonderful sight. I wonder if readers remember these ponies, and perhaps may recall some of the names, how many there were in their heyday, and where they spent their well-earned retirement when the Coppy Pit and other local coalmines closed down.
    cheers
    David

  57. David Evans says:

    Hi Pedro
    perhaps the tennis club was part of the Co-op movement social etc…pre WW2 and immediately postWW2..part of Walsall Tennis League perhaps.
    The Oak Park Pavillion , too, was a feature from long ago, under Brownhills UDC I think..Bowls teams may have been under this umbrella. I would love to be able to chronicle these inter-village social activities more…like the Brownhills West Cycle Club I fear it may be very late in the day and that this piece of local history may be lost. Was there a Brownhills Co-op(?) Tennis Club/ League?
    finger crossed that we may find readers who can help
    regards
    David

    • Pedrp says:

      David,

      In my relentless search for info concerning the Harrison Family, I come across much info that may be of interest to you. It is easy for me to take a screen shot, and sed it to you via email. Perhaps you could get Bob to send me your address.

      I have come across a Norton Cames Tennis Cub!

      Regards Peter

  58. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    PIt ponies..this site gives a good idea of their lives underground;-
    Horseandman.com..Lets celebrate Pit Ponies article
    David

  59. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Snooker was a very popular pastime many years ago. I wonder how many snooker halls etc there were in Walsall Wood and Brownhills? Did Working Men’s Clubs have snooker tables? Which churches or chapels had snooker rooms, I wonder? Was there a snooker league? Are there any photos or surviving records? I remember just one snooker table, in the wooden hut behind one chapel where waistcoated men would lean to play a shot whilst others looked on in a mixture of despair and patience. A strange experience for a young lad!
    David

    • Pedro says:

      Well there is the old saying…

      “Proficiency at snooker shows an ill-spent youth.”

    • Pedro says:

      Billiards Competition Brownhills…at the Commercial Coffee House for a valuable cue and case given by proprietor A Brawn…32 entrants, final between Mr Bradbury and Mr Colley Jnr…Bradbury won 120 to111.

      Lichfield Mercury Fri 18 Jan 1907

  60. David Evans says:

    HI Pedro
    many thanks..Commercial Coffee House. Was this Plumbers Paradise in later years.., corner of High Street and Lichfield Road, side of the railway embankment?..and so close to the Station Hotel !
    I wonder what memories of WMC snooker competitions readers may have?
    cheers
    David ( a mis-spent youth, re-cycled!)

  61. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    HIggs newsagents in Lichfield Road Walsall Wood and their nespaper boys who delivered newspapers every morning come rain or shine. I wonder what memories readers may have these early risers, not only at this newsagents, but from other newsagents locally, of course. Like Davonports beer lorries,and their woodern beer crates, and “outdoors” this part of local everyday life may be fading into history.How much pocket money did the lads earn, what beers were most popular and how much did a bottle cost?
    cheers
    David

  62. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    I wonder if readers can help, please. The St Johns Ambulance brigade first aiders, those good men and women in their black unifroms and white belts, who were present at local football matches and other events were another glorious part of the local scene in times gone by…who were these unsung heroes, where were they based..?
    cheers
    David

    • Caz says:

      Hi David, my late Aunty, Maudie Hollender [nee Edwards] was a member of the St Johns Ambulance Brigade.She lived in Pauls Coppice [or it could have still been New Sreet back then] I remember, as a child, being rushed to her house when my sister dropped me on my head [ no jokes please] and a massive lump appeared. I was taken for a second opinion to a lady in Lindon Road, and the name Mrs Seedhouse?? rings a bell. This was in the 1960’s……best wishes Caz

  63. David Evans says:

    Hi Caz
    yes..and a Percy Forster was a brigader, too, I think. May have lived in Beech Tree Road..thanks for rattling my few remaining brain cells for me! Where was the St John’s base or office or training centre, I wonder? In Brownhills HIgh Street Civil Defence centre( where Aldi store is )?
    regards
    David

  64. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    in one word……………conkers !……………..
    Please can readers explain how this game/sport/dual/ competition is played, if it still played nowadays, that is. I wonder where and when it originated?
    regards
    David

  65. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    the age of the scooters ….Vespas, Lambrettas.,and Bubble cars. Messerschmitts, Goggomobiles, Isettas, Bonds..etc ..Do readers have memories of owning one of these ..or have photos .. from those times?
    cheers
    David

  66. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Trev Brown mentioned “playing tuds” ( article;Match of the day, Auguset 26, 2011)….., What is/are “tuds”?. Can anyone help , please?
    cheers
    David

  67. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    I wonder what readers remember of the people who lived at the Cape..and the name of the beekeeper whose house had a unique and appropriate name!
    cheers
    David

  68. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Another brain-teaser;-Who was Walsall Wood’s first resident doctor, and where was his first home here?
    cheers
    David

    • david oakley says:

      Hi David,
      Shot in the dark ! My own earliest memory is Dr, Stewart who was a village doctor in the thirties and is forever commemorated in “Stewart Avenue”, but he was not the first. You say in one of your articles that there is no resident doctor in 1891, my mother was born shortly after that date and I am sure sure mentioned a Dr Wolverson to me, as a child, I may be wrong, but that name sticks in my mind. Not living in the Wood nowadays, I looked it up in an old A-Z dated 1976 and sure enough, there is a Wolverson Road, going across Mr. Frewtrell’s field (as was) He used to run us if he saw us trespassing there ! I notice it is close to Sally Ward Drive, or Sarah Adelaide Ward, the local M.P. of the mid-thirties and Stackhouse Close. John Stackhouse was Vicar of St. John’s at about the same time, so there you are !
      Quite exalted company for the local G.P. That’s were my tanner goes, any road up ! Where did he live? were I cynical I could say that way back then,
      probably a tent on the common, surrounded by spells and grinning skulls, but i ‘m not about to say that, so I’ll pass on that one.
      Cheers

  69. David Evans says:

    HI David
    Dr Frederick Wolverson, the village’s first resident doctor,, aged 27 and the son of a Willenhall butcher, (!!).is shown in 1901 census living in Occupation Road( now Beech Tree Road) in the third listing for that road. Mr Cresswell, master builder, was living in Beech Tree House at that time, the 17th listing in the road. The Police House was the 12th dwelling listed.
    In 1911 census the good doctor is shown living in Beech Tree House, Beech Tree Road
    cheers
    David.

  70. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    One Walsall Wood mining family is remembered in the name of one of the more modern small “roads” in the village. The family originated from Badger , Shropshire, I believe..
    who were they?
    cheers
    David

  71. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I wonder what readers remember about Collins Express Parcels. What make of car did the manager drive? How many lorries were there in the fleet?
    cheers
    David

  72. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    what entertainment could be enjoyed at the Watersplash?
    David

  73. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    I wonder if readers remember Mr Millard and his Rolls Royce. Pehraps there are some photos. Quite a splendid sight in the village!

  74. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    I wonder what readers remember of the original Oak Park..what was there..when it was opened..the layout and facilities etc…
    regards
    David

  75. Vicky says:

    On the subject of Oak Park I wonder if anyone has any photographs of the houses that stood here before Oak Park was built, my Dad and his sister lived on Lichfield Road (the yard) and their house was demolished to make way for the new recreation centre, I would really love to see a photo of their house, can anyone help?
    Thanks

  76. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I wonder if readers recognise the building just past the Co-op in the photo..just in Coppice Road..where the local library now stands.
    David

  77. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I wonder if readers remember the Famous Cossacks of Walsall Wood; who they were and where they were to be seen in action?
    David

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