Car stolen from Shire Ridge – keep an eye out folks


Please look out for this distinctive white car. Image from James Forsyth.

Please be on the lookout for this somewhat distinctive Ford Focus RS car which was stolen from Shire Ridge in Walsall Wood in the early hours of this morning – believed to be around 3am.

James ‘Foz’ Forsyth posted these images and this message in the Shire Oak group on Facebook  this morning (Monday, 25th August 2013):


My friends Focus RS was stolen in the early hours of this morning from Shire Ridge, Walsall wood. Please like and share and get the word out in case anybody saw anything!


Anyone with information is urged to contact Walsall Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please, lets see if we can nail these thieving buggers.


If it’s still got those plates (unlikely) it would be easy to spot. Image from James Forsyth.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A welcome win for The Woodmen


Oak Park – hoe of Walsall Wood FC and stage for some great football.

Walsall Wood FC continued their fightback on Saturday afternoon (23rd August 2014), beating Causeway United 2-1 with some entertaining, competent football that really does mark a return to form.

Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:

Hiya Bob,

Walsall Wood made it 3 wins in 10 days – courtesy of a goal apiece from Max Black and debut boy Daniel Holgate.

Walsall Wood 2 v 1 Causeway United

The Wood probably had the better of the first 35 minutes, then on 37 a long ball forward found new signing Daniel Holgate, who held the ball up cleverly before playing it inside for Max Black to collect at pace, before going through one tackle and drilling the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

Six minutes into the second half, a ball from Tom Evans wide left was flicked into the right of the box by Joey Butlin for Holgate to sweep the ball home. This signalled a fight back by the visiitors, but the defence held firm.

When Causeway did manage to break through they found Wood keeper Mario Kisiel in good form… Then on 73 minutes a left wing corner dropped perfectly for substitute Jack Pearlman to score from close range to cut the deficit.

Butlin nearly wrapped things up on 81 minutes racing onto a ball through the centre, outpacing his marker only for his lob over the advancing keeper to bounce the wrong side of the post.

Wood held out to record the win that moves them up to 13th place in the table after their indifferent start to the season.

It’s Stourport Swifts away today (Monday 25th August 2014) before the magic of the FA Cup on Saturday when Stafford Rangers are the visiitors to Oak Park in a Prelimary round clash.

Bill Shaw

Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support.

With the new season well underway, do get out and support the Woodmen – with footy this great on your doorstep for such a small ticket price, you’d be mad not to go see them and experience the fantastic atmosphere at this historic club.

As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

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Now the water has drained away

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Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 scale map of the path of the Cannock Extension canal. Image from National Library of Scotland Archive. Click for a larger version.

Following my post recently concerning some great maps sent to me by Bruce Littley, reader, friend of the blog and top local allotment whiz Steve Hames has been in touch with some great images of the path of the former Cannock Extension Canal which was pictured in the Aerofilms image in the post.

Some years ago, Steve explored the path of this lost waterway. He had this to say:

Hi Bob,

Just seen your What’s the plan? post and you mentioned the lost canal. Well a couple of years ago, I took some pictures of the remains of the canal that ran through Norton Canes. Thought you might be interested in them.

Pic1 is on the A5. You used to be able to walk up the steps and follow the old canal all the way to Betty’s Lane/Conduit Road.

Pic2 is where the M6 Toll cuts through the remains.

Pic3 is from Conduit Road. If you walk through the trees, you can walk all the way up to the M6 Toll following the same route as the canal. You can even see some of the brick work as shown in Pic5.

Pic6 is just off Chapel Street, next to the park. If you look carefully, you can see where the canal was filled in and the land has settled. The houses in the background were built on top of the old canal.

The canal then runs along side the Castlecroft estate but the way through was blocked off when I took the photos. When I was a kid, you can go through a gap in the trees and see the brick work of the canal.

Pic6-9 is down Washbrook Lane. I believe the canal was the other side of the wall, although I have no idea why.

Excuse any spelling mistakes, I’ve just got back from the allotment and I’m knackered.


My thanks to Steve for such an interesting contribution.

This long-gone canal does seem to capture the imagination of folk, there’s a great writeup too on the Captain Ahab’s Watery Tales blog, which this sits well beside. I’m interested in any memories anyone has of this canal as a working waterway, and also, of it’s decline.

What do you know, folks? Comment here, or BronhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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1940s 1:50,000 mapping of Cannock and Great Wyrley showing the full path of the Cannock Extension. If it were still extant today, it would be lovely to cycle. Click for a larger version.

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Looking for D.I. Sims?

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Castings PLC in Brownhills. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

This is a bit of an unusual one, but here goes…

I’m looking to contact a D.I. Sims, who may work, or have worked at Castings PLC in Brownhills. I have been contacted by a reader who has found a ‘keepsake’ belonging to this person, and would like to return it to them.

Please, if you know the person in question, can you please tip me the nod and get them to contact me? I’d like to discuss the matter with them first before hooking them up, as is generally wise in such circumstances.

Please mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers, folks.

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Lorry accident in Brownhills in the 1970s – can anyone help?


Traffic accidents are a sad fact of life – like this 1936 one in which the driver had a ucky escape. Image from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Thankfully, serous accidents in Brownhills have been relatively infrequent, and so much so as to make them notable when they occur – which is why reader Brian Holmes has piqued my interest with this enquiry which reached me via Facebook this week.

Brian Holmes asks:

Hi Bob

My pal in Liverpool assures me that he was in a breakdown truck that came to recover a lorry that was imbedded in the side of a pub in Brownhills in either late 60s early 70s.

If he’s correct then it must have been reported in the local press, could someone tell me which local paper,  apart from the Express and Star, covered Brownhills?

Many thanks

First up, in answer to Brian, the papers that covered the area at the time were the Express & Star, Walsall Observer and Lichfield Mercury, although the last one is very patchy. The archives of the Walsall Observer are available for that period for free inspection on microfiche at Walsall Local History Centre in Essex Street.

Secondly, I can’t recall this incident, but one would imagine it to have occurred at a pub either close to the road or at a junction. Suggestions so far have been The Crown on the A5, Station Hotel (which was in the High Street where Aldi is now) or The Sportsman. I’m having a job visualising it being the latter, but anything is possible I guess.

Does anyone have any recollection of this event?If so, please comment here or drop me a line to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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An old cricketer left the crease – come remember Tim Oliver tomorrow


Tim Oliver debates a point in his inimitable fashion. Image from Walsall Health Cricket Club blog.

Here’s a great thing for bank holiday weekend – Walsall folk and those with an interest in local politics will recall the tragic loss of Walsall Labour Group Leader Councillor Tim Oliver, who sadly passed away in May following a protracted illness.

Tim was a noted cricketer and cricket fan, who will be fondly remembered for his sportsmanship, skill and gentlemanly nature by all at his club, Walsall Health Cricket Club, better known as The Elf.

In his memory, the will be a Memorial Cricket Match and fun day in Tim’s honour at 2:00pm this Sunday, 24th August 2014, at Rushall Cricket Club just off Pelsall Lane in Rushall.

It will be an excellent, very British afternoon in memory of a good, kind and very well respected man. Please do attend if you can.

The club posted the following information on their blog:

WHCC2A memorial cricket match and family fun-day for former Walsall Health skipper Tim Oliver will be taking place this Sunday at Rushall Cricket Club.

Two clubs which Tim held close to his heart – Walsall Health and Rushall – will be taking part in the game which will include many of his former team mates from down the years, as well as current players.

Tim – who was leader of the Labour group on Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council – died in May after a long battle with illness.

The game at Rushall’s Carter Park home in Pelsall Lane will start at 2pm with a BBQ and a disco and karaoke afterwards. A raffle – with prizes including a pair of tickets to any Midlands football match, a Harvey Nicholl’s hamper and a whole host of is currently underway and charities which will benefit from the event include Pancreatic Cancer UK, Macmillan Nurses and Amnesty International.

The match ball is being sponsored by Firesec Electrical Limited and local business Katie’s Castles has helped us out with a bouncy castle to keep the kids entertained.

A multiple record holder for The Elf, Tim started playing for the club in the late 80s and soon took over as skipper, continuing to play right up until 2012.

Need directions to Rushall Cricket Club? Have a gander here

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Walsall Wood entertain Causeway United at home this afternoon


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 23rd August 2014

Walsall Wood FC at home to Causeway United

Can the Woodmen continue to regain their mojo?

Don’t break your Wood vows, be there, be faithful to your local heroes

3:00pm kickoff

Please come and get behind your local club

For The Good Of The Wood!

Oak Park, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood. WS9 9NP.


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