Walsall Wood versus The ‘Pics on soon – bring a brolly!

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

Saturday 19th July  2014

Walsall Wood FC at home to Rushall Olympic

Despite the weather, it seems to be a goer!

Can The Wood finally beat the mighty ‘Pics after their defeat last season in the Senior Cup?

Entry fee today is only three quid for all – and kids go free with an adult.

3:00pm kick off

Please come and get behind your local club in this hotly-anticipated match

For The Good Of The Wood!

Hopefully, match report to follow…

 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brownhills Town Festival – On today!

Brownhills_Town_Festival_Poster

Feel free to download, print or share. Click for a larger version.

Today (Saturday 19th July 2014), it’s the second Brownhills Town Summer Festival, staged by Brownhills Town Centre Partnership and Walsall Council - following the success of the Christmas event last year and the excellent Canalside Festival, this one looks set to be a belter.

The Town Festival has lots of stuff for adults and kids alike, including live music, donkeys, activities for kids, stalls and all manner of good stuff.

Brownhills Town Centre Partnership had this to say about the event:

Brownhills Town Festival

Brownhills second town festival featuring a variety of fun for all the family takes place this Saturday (19th July 2014).

Organised by Walsall Council’s district centre management team and Brownhills Town Centre Partnership it is intended to showcase the town and provide a great day out for people of all ages. It runs from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Based around the town centre activities include live music performances, summer stalls, childrens rides, inflatables, face painting, stilt walker, balloon modelling, donkeys, summer festival trail and a barbecue.

For more information about what’s happening in Brownhills follow @BrownhillsTown on twitter or like Brownhills Town Centre Partnership on Facebook.

It looks like a great event to me – catch you there?

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A clean sweep at Chasewater – at last

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There, that’s better – Chasewater on Thursday afternoon.

I’m pleased to see that, in all probability, people power has worked over the issue of the filthy state of the walkways around the boating lake at Chasewater, which this week have been cleaned to a decent standard – you’ll remember that last week, I posted about the disgraceful mess there.

After passing through yesterday afternoon (Thursday 17th July 2014) I’d like to thank the rangers for washing down the area and my gratitude is also extended to whoever initiated this long overdue action.

I’m sure if the issue is now kept in check with regular attention it shouldn’t be a problem.

It just goes to show that if we complain, and highlight an issue, despite the naysayers, we can get action. One very illuminating response to my initial post was made this week which I think we can all empathise with.

Things like this matter; they give an impression of places that stays with visitors.

Finally, we can all do our bit by bagging and disposing of dog poo properly and responsibly, not overfeeding the birds, and generally just by being reasonable and not littering.

Thanks to all – and by the way Edwina, I reported two off-road bikers on the canal yesterday afternoon too. More to come on that later.

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How it looked before claning…

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Pitmen best The Woodmen

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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 Tuesday’s home match against Hednesford Town.

Sorry for the delay.

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,

The unbeaten friendly run came to an end last night, with a goal thirty seconds from the end giving the Pitmen a very hard earned 2 – 1 victory.

Wood had taken the lead within a minute of the start, Harry Harris swung in a right wing corner to the far post, the ball deflected off a defender and into the net. Wood debutant keeper Mario Kisiel made a string of fine saves, and coupled with some resolute defending Wood held out until the 37th minute, when a first time effort from Kris Taylor was deflected by a Wood defender into his own net, completely wrongfooting the keeper in the process for a very fortuitous equaliser.

The Pitmen stepped up the pressure in the second half with Wood occasionally threatening Ryan Price’s goal.

They looked to have held out for a very creditable draw, until with just thirty seconds remaining Jamey Osborne was released into the right of the box, courtesy of a lovely flowing move, he calmly slotted the ball past the advancing Kisiel, the ball rolling into the net off the foot of the left hand post to make it Wood 1 Hednesford 2.

It’s Rushall Olympic visiting on Saturday kick off 3.00 pm, see you all there.

Bill Shaw

Cheers old chap. For the good of The Wood!

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Bandy Walsall legs, Sedgley trulls and the thieves of Brum…

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This place, the Black Country, is where my heart lies.

Still juggling work, home and the blog, this week has been as mad as ever, but in light of the recent Black Country Day success, I feel I must share this wonderful piece found by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, even if it does risk raising the maelstrom of a Black Country internecine bloodbath…

I was sad I didn’t get chance to mark Black Country Day, but I am a wholehearted supporter, and it’s nice to see the Black Country diaspora finally pretty much united over more than Bonkses and KVE scratchings; we pretty much all recognised how great this place and it’s culture is, and also united in telling Greater Birmingham and it’s deluded, idiotic proponents to sling their duplicitous hooks.

It also seems to have rattled the cage of Walsall Mayor and fence sitter ‘Councillor’ Pete Smith, who seems to still be testing positive for quantities of moron. Read his latest Fatwa at the Express & Star, and marvel in open-mouthed wonder.

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Where urbanisation, heavy engineering and the wilding meet.

Any road up, rapscallion Peter Cutler sent me this delightful piece, and he wrote:

Hi Bob,

On reading the article on the Blog ‘Hare and Gone’ from the book kindly scanned by Staffordshirebred, it reminded me of something I had noticed previously.

In the Lichfield Mercury in 1906 there was published a series of articles by the prolific and knowledgable author Frederick William Hackwood, under the title Staffordshire Stories. They were later printed as one of his many books.

Here below is one abridged chapter…

 Peter

I’m sure a few locals, including Distinctly Black Country, Dave MooreBrumpic, Lichfield Lore, Wyrleyblog, Staffordshirebred will have something to say.

Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers – and do watch out for the Bilston Bulls.

XXIII.—TRADITIONS BY WHICH TOWNS HAVE BEEN TRADUCED OR TRUMPETED

The traducing of towns by tradition and proverb is as old as the epithet ‘Nazarene’ which was contemptuously applied to Our Lord; Nazareth being commonly accounted a town of no repute. Similarly Londoners have been styled in no complimentary sense the ‘Cockneys’ of Cockaigne, that imaginary land of luxury and indolence. 

In somewhat the same sense have been used such depreciatory terms as Brummagem Button, Walsall Armchair, Dudley Devil, Wedgbury Cockin, Darlaston goose, Gornal Cuckoo, Bromwich Throstle, Tipton Sharpshins, and Bilston Balloon.

In these nicknames may be discovered much covert satire. There is, for instance, to be discerned  and contempt for the insignificance of Birmingham’s one-time leading industry, the manufacture of the small but necessary button. 

As against this contempt, this reference may be quoted the commendatory couplet which has long trumpeted forth the productions of one old Staffordshire town— 

‘For silken threads both rich and rare,
What city can with Leek compare?’ 

There is a sneer in the nick-name Armchair, as applied to a native of Walsall; it is said to have been given in allusion to the bowed-legs and crooked elbows which were once supposed to be the distinguishing features of the true-born Walsall man. This comes down from the old days ere any attempt had been made by protective legislation for factory and workshop, to safeguard the physique of the labouring classes; and when bodily development was often distorted through the immature youth being regularly set to perform tasks which were quite beyond his bodily strength.

Allusion to this same physical deformity is included in the old ‘place rhyme’—

‘Walsall town for bandy legs,
Bilston town for bulls;
Hampton town for fancy girls,
And Sedgley town for trulls.’

Then there is the satiric reference to the Dudley man’s superstitious belief not merely in a personal, but a local devil; for a scoffing rhyme tells that it was,

‘At Dudley Wood side
The Devil laid him down and died,

—while another old folk rhyme dealing with the same neighbourhood says,

 ‘The Devil ran through Sedgley,
All booted and spurred,
With a scythe o’er his hack
As long as a sword.’

‘Wedgbury Cockin’ is the title of a famous but somewhat lewd old ballad of the depraved times when Wednesbury was a great centre for the cock-fighting fraternity; but why the participle ‘Cocking’ and not the substantive ‘Cocker,’ should have been employed in this sense it is difficult for the grammarian to see. 

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A place of people, density, and unexpected views.

The by name applied to the Darlastonian is supposed to reflect upon him the reputed stupidity of that succulent bird of proverbial giddiness, of which he is understood to be so fond, and with which he is usually credited as being in constant association as breeder and feeder. The Cuckoo of Gornal and the throstle of West Bromwich are but two euphemistic appellations for the tame or common Jackass which was want in bygone times to browse upon the extensive wastes of these two parishes.

The exact meaning of the epithet Sharpshins is not quite clear; but when anyone in the Black Country displays unexpected powers of repartee, he is dubbed a ‘Tipton Sharpshins’; or possibly an attempt is made to stamp out such a budding brilliancy by the crushing rejoinder ‘Oh, you’ve bin to Tipton to be sharpened up a bit!’

To dub as Bilston Balloons the present-day representatives of the local Fire worshippers of old is but to perpetrate the ridicule which, a century ago, was heaped upon the childish wonderment of those townspeople when they first beheld so simple an invention as a aerostat [Bob - that's an airship].

Alluding to the ancient practice of Fire Worship in the Midland region, Mr George T Lawley claims that the strange jingle of the Wyrley villagers is a vestige of that practice- 

As I wor a’goin up Wyrley Bonk,
Up Wyrley Bonk, up Wyrley Bonk,
Cooming down
The cart stood still and the wheel went round
Coomin down
A’goin up Wyrley Bonk

This doggerel used to be sung at the celebrations of a local sport, consisting of conveying a wheel (removed from a cart, which therefore perforce ‘stood still’) to the top of the bank, and then letting it run down by itself at full speed, while the people shouted the foregoing ditty with all their might, laying particular stress on the line ‘coming down’.

… As in ancient Biblical times there were places like the doomed ‘cities of the plain’, which enjoyed unenviable notoriety for the wickedness of their inhabitants, so to this day we have in Staffordshire a Nineveh and a Sodom. The former is in the parish of Handsworth, and the latter is near Coseley; both so dubbed for the utter abandonment of moral depravity of their inhabitants in the old cock-fighting and bull-baiting days, synchronous with the rise of Methodism.

… Some places just escaped calumnation by the bare mention of their characteristic productions; as such, Sutton and Tamworth seem but damned by faint praise- 

‘Sutton for mutton,
Tamworth for beef;
Walsall for bandy-legs,
And Brum for a thief.’

Happier, without doubt, are  those places whose productions inspire the rhymesters with naught but commendation, as do

Barton-under-Needwood,
Dunstall in the Dale;
Tattlenhill for a pretty girl,
And Burton for Ale.

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Both myself and Peter love Dunstall, too, one of the gems of Staffordshire.

With regard to the last named it may be pointed out that its world-wide fame is no new thing, nor is it of mushroom growth at all. Burton ale has been a staple steady growth from far away centuries of the middle-ages when..

‘The Abbot of Burton brewed good ale
On Fridays when they tasted’

And being an artful Abbot who preferred that his ale should have time to mellow, the legend continues..

 ‘But the Abbot of Burton never tasted his own,
As long as his neighbours lasted.’

The fame of the conventual beer is clearly shown by the historic allusions to it, Scott mentions it in ‘Ivanhnoe’; and Mary Queen of Scots, while in captivity at Tutbury, was supplied with ale from Burton, not ‘three miles off’. It has even been claimed that appreciation of this commodity was in Shakesphere’s mind when he wrote the passage in Henry IV.,  when Hotspur wants to turn the course of the ‘Silver Trent,’  … 

But if this is a far-fetched idea, which undoubtedly it is, there is surely some point in the quip that the name Burton ought to be pronounced ‘Beer-town.’

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Bowled over

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A remarkable image I overlooked from Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington's book 'Memories of Old Brownhills'.

Here's a quick one I've been meaning to post for a while, and it seems like a bit of a glaring omission in our local history knowledge.

In terms of local sports and activities, we've covered football, cricket, pigeon racing and dancing – but I don't think we've every really touched much on bowls.

At one time bowling greens were a common feature of local pubs and parks, and bowls matches were seriously competitive affairs, with leagues being hotly contested and the quality of greens being a major source of debate.

So, I'm asking here can anyone help, not just with the great 1920s Shoulder of Mutton image above, but with memories, pictures or other ephemera of the sport locally.

Please comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at googlemail dot com. Cheers.

 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | 3 Comments

It’s festival weekend in Brownhills!

Brownhills_Town_Festival_Poster

Feel free to download, print or share. Click for a larger version.

This Saturday (19th July 2014), there will be the second Brownhills Town Summer Festival, staged by Brownhills Town Centre Partnership and Walsall Council - following the success of the Christmas event last year and the excellent Canalside Festival, this one looks set to be a belter.

The Town Festival has lots of stuff for adults and kids alike, including live music, donkeys, activities for kids, stalls and all manner of good stuff.

Brownhills Town Centre Partnership had this to say about the event:

Brownhills Town Festival

Brownhills second town festival featuring a variety of fun for all the family takes place this Saturday (19th July 2014).

Organised by Walsall Council’s district centre management team and Brownhills Town Centre Partnership it is intended to showcase the town and provide a great day out for people of all ages. It runs from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Based around the town centre activities include live music performances, summer stalls, childrens rides, inflatables, face painting, stilt walker, balloon modelling, donkeys, summer festival trail and a barbecue.

For more information about what’s happening in Brownhills follow @BrownhillsTown on twitter or like Brownhills Town Centre Partnership on Facebook.

It looks like a great event to me – catch you there?

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment