Mill Road violent assault: two men appear in court

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Mill Road is a generally quiet part of Brownhills and this incident is wholly exceptional. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Readers may well be aware from social media and local gossip that a man was seriously attacked in a house in Mill Road, Brownhills in the early hours of last Saturday morning (26th July 2014).

I asked West Midlands Police over the weekend if they could clarify the situation for the benefit of readers, and to help quell some of the more extreme rumours circulating. Joanne Hunt in the press unit was good to her word and today provided the following statement, for which I thank her:

Two men were due to appear before Walsall Magistrates Court today (Mon 28 July) charged with grievous bodily harm with intent.

The men, a 28-year-old man from Brownhills and a 30-year-old man from Cannock, were arrested in the early hours of Saturday 26th July after a 33-year-old man was attacked at a house in Mill Road, Brownhills at around 04:45hrs.

The injured man suffered facial and body fractures after being hit with an implement and was taken to hospital for treatment.

This is a despicable attack. Please, if you know anything about the people who did this please call the police on 101, or Contact them online. If you prefer, you can also call Crimestoppers in confidence.

Commets are disabled on this post and I would ask that readers think carefully before commenting on social media, as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Start me up!

Brownhills motor sales2

An interesting photo found by [Howmuch?] – but who’s the lad, where is it and what happened to the truck?

I’m hoping some of the transport buffs or maybe even Ralph Ferrie expert Tony Winn might be able to help with this one that partner-in-crime [Howmuch?] found this week in a junkshop – what appears to be a press photo of one of Ralph’s vintage trucks, with a young lad pulling on the starting handle.

Of course, the question is, who’s the lad, and what’s the reason for the picture?

Brownhills Motor Sales was Ralph’s company (which was started by his father Charles), and for a while existed where the Co-op stands now on Streets Corner in Walsall Wood. There were also workshops variously behind the Station Hotel and alongside the old railway line up on the A5 at Watling Street, Brownhills.

It’s known that the entrepreneur and local character tried unsuccessfully to open a motor museum, and was very fond of old vehicles.

This truck has appeared before on the blog, and I’d be really interested to see if it still exists, or if it’s history can be discovered.

Godfrey's photo of one of Ferrie's classic trucks. Note Severn House in the background - I guess the houses in the background (the terraces to the left) would be where Philip Cheetham lived, by the SNC spiritualist church.

Godfrey Hucker’s photo of one of Ferrie’s classic truck – here being paraded in Brownhills Carnival, I believe.

Anything to add? Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Down the drive at the side…


St. John’s Infants School class of 1960. Image kindly donated by Eleanor Holland and David Evans.

David has been sharing material kindly donated by Eleanor for some weeks. The gallery of Walsall Wood School images was particularly popular, and a wonderful treasury.

I thank Eleanor and David for their kind generosity.

David wrote:

Hi Bob

This wonderful photo dates from 1960 and shows Mrs. Holland’s ‘sweet little cherubs’ at St. John’s School, Walsall Wood.

The photo was taken by the infants classrooms, which Mrs Holland describes as being, ‘down the drive by the side of the main school.’

‘British History online’ mentions this building:

The old school and teacher’s house were sold and the money applied to the new buildings. An infants’ school was added in 1882. In 1885 men from the village who attended Sunday morning classes in reading and writing at the schools built a new classroom for the 1859 schoolhouse and altered and added to the infants’ school. The mixed school was again enlarged in 1898. The schools were reorganized into junior and infants’ schools in 1932 and were merged into a single school in 1974.

Interestingly, though the main building has recently been demolished, and a development of new houses is taking shape there, the old infants building remains ‘down the drive’.

I would like to thank Mrs Eleanor Holland for donating this photo and perhaps readers can help to identify and name her ‘cherubs’.

She has very happy memories of the group.

Kind regards


If you have anything to add, please do. Comment here, or write to me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

My thanks to David and Eleanor for their time and generosity. Always appreciated.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, 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 Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


I’m going to share here an absolutely astounding image donated by Brownhills Local History researcher in exile Gerald Reece, which is sure to create some debate. I’m going to be brief, as I feel it’s best.

Remember the surge stack, subject of intense debate, and rediscovered thanks to David Moore and Chris Pattison?

Brownhills Surge Stack

This 100ft stack was a pressure relief ventilator for the South Staffordshire Water main between Lichfield and the Black Country, and sat at the highest point of the pipe. When it was demolished is hotly disputed. Image posted by Dave Moore on Flickr.

When it was demolished has been the subject of much debate. Yesterday, Gerald Reece sent me the following image he found in his collection, which he thinks (and I’m inclined to agree) is from the mid-1960s.


A truncated surge stack, viewed possibly from the Pelsall Road or embankment nearby. Note the pipe linking it to the main. Image very kindly supplied by Gerald Reece.

The key to the age of the photo is the fence panels, right, and the date of the housing next to the canal here – I’d say those panels are fairly modern. I have only gone as far as the 1951 1:25,000 map so far, but no houses marked there then.

If you look carefully, you can just see scaffold around the top of the tower.

I’ll just leave this here, for y’all to chew over…

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Have you lost some keys?


9, or is it 6? Do you recognise these lost keys found by reader Caz in Green Lane, Walsall Wood? If so, you’re in luck…

It seems that reader and long time friend of the blog Caz has a somewhat unique talent for finding and reuniting lost property with it’s owners – not content with finding, catching and reuniting last month’s lost canary with it’s keeper, Caz has found a bunch of keys in Green Lane, Walsall Wood.

Caz wrote:

Hello Bob

I’ve found these lost car keys  in Green Lane, Walsall Wood.
Does anyone recognise them ?


We think they must be local: Feedback from Facebook suggests the key fob is a type often made in school as a project – so possibly the owner lives at number 9 (or possibly 6), somewhere. That also looks like a Ford key to me.

Please spread the word, and get in touch if you recognise them – comment here, please or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

Thanks, as always to Caz for being so public spirited.

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Support Walsall Wood FC away against Sporting Khalsa this afternoon!

Willenhall 005

The Aspray Area – home to Sporting Khalsal, Willenhall Town and a very busy ground indeed! Image from Andrew’s Football Travels.

Saturday 26th July 2014

The Wood are  away for a friendly!

Walsall Wood FC versus Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa FC.

Kick off is 3:00pm

Come see the Woodmen at the Aspray Arena, Noose Lane, Willenhall

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!


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Brownhills canal indecent exposure incident


The stretch of canal in Brownhills where the incident happened is generally quite busy.

Worrying news reaches me of an indecent exposure incident on the canal in Brownhills last Wednesday night (23rd July 2014), when a lady cycling on the towpath between the Pier Street pedestrian Bridge (near Tesco) and Catshill Junction witnessed a naked man on the far side of the canal near the Silver Court Gardens site.

The man is described as about 5 feet 11 inches tall, white, with brown, shoulder-length scruffy hair. He looked to be in his late fourties or early fifties, and possibly had facial hair.

The lady reports that the man was walking naked and when he saw her, began performing a lewd act.

The area was not quiet at the time, and there were anglers and a bunch of kids around.

Please be careful if you’re out and about in the area alone; even in the middle of the day parts of Brownhills can be very isolated, so take care where you go alone, particularly in light of the incident up on the canal near Chase Road a few weeks ago.

If you, or your children are subject to anything like this, please do contact the police. These types of offences can escalate, and the man needs to be caught before he does more serious harm.

West Midlands Police issued the following statement:

Police urge vigilance following Brownhills indecent exposure

A member of the public reported seeing a naked man on the canal towpath off Silver Street just before 10pm last night (Wednesday 23rd July 2014).

Officers attended the location but no-one was found.

Deb Edmonds.

They are urging anyone who falls victim to an indecent exposure to call 999 immediately.


It’s a lovely spot, but take care if you’re on your own. Tell your kids to be wary, too.

It’s worth repeating the advice about flashing incidents and suchlike issued by West Midlands Police last year:

Police Constable Richard Jackson, from Walsall Police, said: ‘Although this type of offence is rare, there are many parks and open spaces on the east side of Walsall that have historically attracted offenders.

‘They usually target women, often when they are alone in parks, canals or country tracks.

‘We take any such offences very seriously and saw five people arrested in 2012 when we set up an operation to reduce this kind of offending.’

Walsall Police have issued the following guidelines for the public if an offence occurs.

  • Please phone 999 immediately! The Walsall Police plan involves an immediate response for officers to attend and try to capture the offender. Please do not wait until you get home.
  • Try and get a good description of the offender, including detail of clothing. This is very valuable to police, and if the offender is in a vehicle, the registration number is also extremely important to help identify them. The make and model is also very useful.
  • Details of where the offender was last seen, or last seen heading to is very valuable in assisting police to locate them quickly.
  • Never put yourself at further risk to obtain these details, but if have seen them please commit them to memory, or write them down if you can. This information can then be passed straight out to officers via police radio to ensure that a meaningful search can take place straight away.

For advice on staying safe when out, visit:

Any information? lease call Walsall Police on 101 or 0345 113 5000. You can also speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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