More fun and music at The Chase Inn this weekend!


The Chase Inn – a great Brownhills pub. Image from the pub’s Facebook page.

There’s a change from the usual weekend schedule at the Chase Inn at Newtown, Brownhills this week, with no live bands scheduled but rock discos happening both tonight (Friday 2nd October 2015) and tomorrow (Saturday 3rd October), with an added karaoke.

It’s free entry and there’s great ale, cider and a banging atmosphere.

The pub was in the doldrums for years, but now under new management, the buzz around the Chase Inn has been building. The recent real ale and cider festival was a real hit – it’s so good to see a local pub revived.

Why not get down there? You’re guaranteed an excellent time…

For the satnav folk, the address is: 6 Watling Street, Newtown, Brownhills WS8 6JS

You can contact the pub on: 01543 899568 or visit their Facebook page.

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A true friend of Walsall


A true gentleman and wise owl. Roger will be sadly missed and fondly remembered. Image from his Facebook page.

It is with great sadness that I share with readers the passing of a true friend, not just of the blog, but of our borough – that of Roger ‘Ziksby’ Jones, who passed away as Aldridge Court Nursing Home on Friday 25th September 2015, after suffering Motor Neurones Disease for some time.

Roger often contributed knowledgable commentary to articles on the blog, and indeed inspired or donated material for several posts. Roger was a keen photographer, wildlife enthusiast, founder member of the Friends of Park Lime Pits and campaigned long and hard for better stewardship of Walsall’s parks and greenspaces.

I often used to chat with Roger on social media – either Twitter or Facebook. His first love was Malvern, where I believe he came from, but his fascination with the Lime Pits and birds in his garden will always stay with me, as will his tales of mulberry pie made with fruit from his own tree.

Roger’s son Simon posted the following on Facebook today (1st October 2015):

Roger’s wife Sally and son Simon, are sorry to announce to his facebook friends, that Roger sadly passed away at Aldridge Court Nursing Home in the early hours of Friday 25th September.

My condolences to Sally, Simon and all of Roger’s friends and family. Motor Neurones is a cruel illness and to see such an active, thoughtful and likeable man taken by it is tragic and fills me with sadness.

Rest in peace, Roger. You will always be missed by myself, blog readers and the local online community.

You can donate to the Motor Neurone Disease Association here, if you choose.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


Untitled 9

I know there was a a scrapyard here for a while, but was there a tyre storage facility too? Imagery from Bing! Maps.

I’ve had this enquiry in for a few days now, and I’m curious – please, if anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them. I don’t recall any such facility in Chasetown (one assumes at the LCP), but it was never my territory in those days.

Jenny France wrote:

Hello Bob

I was wondering if you have any recollection of a large fire at a tyre storage facility at Smithy’s, the dump Chasetown/Chase Terrace in the early 70s.

I belive the facility was operated by goodyear but im not certain I recall it being quite an event at the time but I can find no reference to it anywhere now.

Jenny France

Thanks to Jenny for a really great question. Can you help please folks? Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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Walsall Wood sadly no match for Hereford

Photos generously supplied by the young David Evans

A resounding six – nil win for Hereford against Walsall Wood on Tuesday evening (29th September 2015), that shocked seasoned Wood fans – but it was a great game played on home turf, in which Walsall Wood were sadly outclassed.

Bill Shaw  submitted the following match report:

Hiya Bob,

Where do I start? In all the time I have been involved down the Wood this was the best performance I have had the privilege to watch at Oak Park. It was just a pity it had to come from the opposition, but in John Mills (reputedly on £500 per week plus goal bonuses) Hereford have a real hot property, whether they can hold on to him is another matter entirely, as there is no doubt in my mind that with his amazing balance and close control he wouldn’t be out of place in the football league. The crowd of nearly 400 certainly got value for money, unlike the previous Tuesday, but for Wood it doesn’t get any easier with them visiting another of the early pace setters Heanor Town next, I could think of easier places to go to after last night.

You have to take the lows with the highs in football however and last night has now gone, so it Semper Sursum, onwards and upwards, because whatever happens, the next game is the most important, no matter what has gone before.

Keep taking the tablets says the quack, let’s hope things improve, sooner rather than later. Are we downhearted, you bet your life we are, but the fightback starts now, so keep the faith, we are still a good footballing side, regardless of the last 2 home results.

Don’t despair, ‘cos Swanny’s there, it ain’t gone dark we’ve still got Mark. For The Good Of The Wood.

Walsall Wood 0 v 6 Hereford

I have been involved at the Wood for 12 of the last 16 seasons and in that time have seen some poor performances from them, but this wasn’t one of them. They were comprehensively beaten by a team who turned in the best display I’ve ever seen at this level, superb, scintillating, brilliant, I could just keep coming out with the superlatives, after last Tuesday it was an exhilarating breath of fresh air.

The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges but it took them until the eighth minute to have a shot on target, a flowing left to right move across the face of the Wood box ending with Pablo Haysham sidestepping a defender and hitting a rising drive that was well saved by keeper Lee Evans. On 16 minutes a long ball forward flew over the top of the Wood defence, Evans racing from his area to head clear, the ball only found Aaron Birch 35 yards out who hit a first time lob high and wide.

Wood were working hard to get a foothold in the game but it was the visitors exerting most of the pressure. A stunning one touch move down the centre from halfway gave them the 35th minute breakthrough. Wood were left chasing shadows as the ball found its way to Adam Page in the centre of the D, his ball into the box collected at pace by hot shot John Mills who calmly slotted the ball past the advancing Evans.

On 42 minutes Wood cleverly worked an opening, Drew Aiton on the end of a left wing move, his first time rising drive into the top corner clawed away at full stretch by Harvey Rivers to keep the leaders ahead.

Right on the break Joel Edwards charged down the left, crossed to the far post, the fast back pedalling Evans couldn’t hold the high ball, Page volleying home to make it 2-0.

On 51 minutes Mills was released into the left of the box, his close control was mesmerising as he waltzed through three challenges only to fire wide. A minute later he beat Evans and Luke Wright to a high bouncing ball but screwed his snap shot narrowly wide. The game was over as a contest when on 58 minutes substitute Maximillian Kontic-Coveney won the ball on halfway, raced clear wide right before going on a diagonal run, his crossfield ball picked out Haysham on the left of the box, he calmly rode a desperate challenge before playing the ball back inside to buddy Mills who twisted and turned in the centre of the box before firing a low drive into the bottom left hand corner. It got worse four minutes later, another incisive one touch move on the edge of the box ending with Birch laying the ball back to Dylan Bonella to hit a first time effort just inside the left hand post. Five minutes later the Wood defenders managed to get in a challenge on Mills on the left edge of the D, but a foul was given. Ryan Greens low drive going through the Wood wall but Evans saved comfortably. The mercurial Mills almost completed his hat-trick and took his seasons tally to 19 in 12 games when on 75 minutes he raced onto a ball into the right of the box, again he twisted and turned, cleverly played the ball left to partner in crime Haysham, took the quick-fire return but his goalbound effort was deflected wide by a lunging Josh O’Garro. He was only denied until the 81st minutes however as Birch powered through the centre, laid the ball off right to Mills who from 20 yards buried the ball in the net. Evans really knew it wasn’t his night when on 87 minutes from a left wing corner the ball was played back to the hard working Birch 20 yards out, Evans got finger tips to his thunderous low drive, the ball bouncing off the post, hitting the keeper on the back before rolling serenely over the line for goal number six.

Hereford haven’t fielded a settled side this season, but looked to have found a perfect balance. The question is however, how long can they hold on to hotshot John Mills who at the moment is attracting the attention of Level One Forest Green who currently sit top of the Conference Premier. Wood certainly would have no regrets if he went, as last night he was one of the major differences between the sides.

Bill Shaw

Bad luck lads – keep pushing. My commiserations, and I hope this tough streak ends soon.

Thanks to Bill for the report, as ever.It’s a joy and an honour to publish them here.

For The Good of the Wood!

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Reading the paper on the train…


There must be loads of material relating to the Chasewater Railway around. Image from John Daft.

I note that Chasewater Railway volunteer, local blogger and top chap John Daft has issued an appeal on the railway museum blog to call for donations or copies of any press cuttings or pictures relating to the project that the public may have in their possession.

John wrote:

Hi Bob

Joan Lent has been beavering away in the Museum recently getting our collection of Chasewater Railway related newspaper cuttings in some sort of order.

Should anyone have any pieces relevant to Chasewater or its environs please bring them along to the Museum – they may fill a gap in our collection.

Thank you.

I’m sure if you don’t want to hand over your originals, the folk there would be happy to be able to take copies or photos for museum records.

If you can help, please do; call in to the museum at Chasewater Railway (open most weekends) or contact them here.

If you prefer, mail me and I’ll pass any messages on: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


Teddy – Ivor the engine, anyone? From Chasewater Railway website

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Walsall Wood versus Hereford at Oak Park tonight: match of the season!


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.

Tuesday evening 29th September 2015 at Oak Park, Walsall Wood

Walsall Wood FC entertain Hereford in what will be the match of the season!

Walsall Wood FC said:

A great night in prospect at The Wood tonight 7:45pm KO with £6 and £4 entrance fees kids are free with accompanied adult.

We entertain the might of Hereford in our first ever league match in the MFL.

We need the support of the local community and surrounding areas if we are to compete with their fans vocally.  The Wood lads will do it on the pitch but we have to get behind them and spur them on against the current league leaders.

7:45pm 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…


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Withdrawal of 56 bus service: Latest news, and please sign the petition!


This common sight looks set to disappear totally soon. Image from Wanderer 30 and posted on Flickr.

The controversy over the withdrawal of the Diamond Buses 56 service from Brownhills to Walsall refuses to die down, and there’s now an online petition you can sign in support of the service and Councillor Steve Wade’s efforts to save it.

You can sign the petition online by clicking on this link.

There is also a paper petition in several High Street businesses in Brownhills, and I believe Steve and the team will be out this weekend talking to the public and collecting signatures – more details on that when I have them.

I think it’s fair to say that so far Diamond Buses have been fairly intractable on the matter, despite being implored to reconsider in numerous emails and a face to face meeting.

There is some hope however, as the councillor has a meeting this week with Travel West Midlands to discuss their possible moves to ameliorate the loss of service.

One of the best ways of getting to speed with this is to follow Steve on Facebook, where he posts regular updates – not just on this issue, but on all his ongoing work.

Steve posted the following on Sunday, 27th September 2015:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Re 56 Cancellation. I have received an e-mail from National Express regarding a replacement service for the 56 (enclosed). I have asked for a meeting on Thursday afternoon. If this is agreed, I will ask their representative if a number of Brownhills’ residents can attend as on the last one with Diamond. It sounds very promising and we just need to ensure that we put forward our case as to how important this route is for our school children, our workers/commuters and our elderly. Come on!!!

Dear Stephen,

I’m writing with regard to the registered withdrawal of the Diamond 56 between Brownhills and Birmingham and wondered if you’d be free for a short time this week coming for us to discuss the options that we (National Express) are considering to provide a replacement. We’re aware of the significance and importance of the links that the 56 provides to so many people: I’ve read your comments and those of others made in the last week or so and completely agree with the sentiments expressed. I regularly use buses on this corridor and have done for many years, and so am completely au fait with the extent of demand and the need for specific links provided by the 56 to be replaced. I’m pleased to be able to advise that we’re working on replacement service proposals at the moment – and although the detail still needs to be finalised I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to reach an acceptable outcome that meets the needs of those currently using the 56. Time is obviously short given the imminent pending withdrawal and I’m hoping to be able to draw conclusions by the end of this week. If you’d be able and willing to meet, I’d be very pleased to do so at your convenience: please just let me know your availability.

He followed this yesterday (29th September 2015) with the following:

Just to confirm that we have talks arranged with National Express on Thursday regarding their company taking over the 56 route from Diamond. Once again, we will put our case for our Brownhills school children, our workers and our elderly. Let’s hope we can get National Express to commit to a full service for all our residents. I will keep everyone posted on the outcome of the talks. Cheers.

Thanks to Steve for once again being responsive, on the ball and quick to stick up for Brownhills.

If you’re affected and unhappy that the service is being withdrawn, you can email Steve at the following address: Cllr dot Stephen dot Wade at walsall dot gov dot uk, or via his Facebook page here. You can contact Diamond Busses to complain directly using this web form, or call them on 0121 322 2222.

Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments