Tag Archives: Brownhills local history

A late one just in – Aldridge Transport Museum Open Day today!

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I’m very, very late with this but today (17th August 2014) Aston Manor Road Transport Museum just off Northgate, Aldridge will be a hive of activity again as they hold a running day celebrating 100 years of Guy busses. Continue reading

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Chasewater Railway Annual Charities Day this Sunday

I noticed Chasewater Steam Railway have their Annual Charities Day this Sunday (10th August 2014), with stalls and entertainment for all, and also pet microchipping for a token donation to the RSPCA.
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Seam stress

Now, since it’s been a few days of catching up with little bits and pieces, here’s something massive for readers to get their teeth into – this is a historical artefact which I’ve been lucky enough to find, and I’m very excited about it.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Brownhills British Legion First World War commemorative event this morning

Friend of the blog and top bloke Martin Littler pointed out on Facebook yesterday, that this morning (Monday, 4th August 2014) there will be a First World War commemorative event in Brownhills.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World War One Centenary events in Walsall this Monday

As you will no doubt be aware, it’s the centenary of our entry into World War One on Monday, 4th August 2014, and Walsall Council and other organisations in the borough have arranged some interesting, respectful and well considered events to mark the 100 years.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A temperamental old lady

When I playfully prodded Tony Winn earlier in the week to see if as one of the most knowledgable contributors on the subject of Ralph Ferrie, he might have information on one of the entrepreneur’s old trucks, I never expected to strike gold.

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You can’t bank on it

There has been a fair amount of dismay and disbelief locally in response to the decision of Barclays Bank to close their branch in Brownhills, which will apparently cease trading on Friday, 24th October 2014.

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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Start me up!

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.
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Down the drive at the side…

The young David Evans has been at it again, and been has chatting to former teacher,Mrs. Eleanor Holland, who’s supplied this wonderful image of the St. John’s School Infants Class of 1960.
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Truncated

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.
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Brownhills Central Boy’s School: Can you help?

A very interesting request for help came in last week from Bonita Clayton of Brownhills Community Association, who as you’ll know, are based at the former Brownhills Central Boy’s School, or as my generation knew it, the Annexe, which is just by the Miner Island in Brownhills.
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Streets ahead

Things have been a bit lax this week, due to my atrocious working schedule which has meant that so far, I have been unable to share a remarkable bit of video from reader Charles Street, who’s a big fan of the blog.
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A late one just in – Aldridge Transport Museum Open Day today!

I’m very, very late with this but today Aston Manor Road Transport Museum just off Northgate, Aldridge will be a hive of activity again when they hold their Annual July Open Day today (6th July 2014)  in Shenstone Drive.

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Safe as houses?

I’m pleased to say that, somewhat like rust, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler never sleeps, and his tireless and somewhat relentless pursuit of the evidential history behind some of the commonly accepted ‘authoritative sources’ of local mining history continues unabated.

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Wanted: A spiritual guide

I’ve been contacted by Sandfields Pumping Station champion and local historian Dave Moore, who’s looking for some help with his next project – readers will remember that Dave worked hard with Brownhills activist Brian Stringer to create an audiobook of Brian’s ‘Clayhanger Kid’ books, and has also made some remarkable video, too.
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Down with the kids

Yet again, the young David Evans has played a blinder and come up with some fantastic images of the classes and staff at Walsall Wood County Primary, which was the school that formerly existed in the youth club building at Streets Corner.
[caption id="attachment_19576" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Image courtesy Eleanor Holland & David Evans. Image courtesy Eleanor Holland & David Evans.[/caption] Continue reading

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A different class

A quick one here from the young David Evans, who’s found a couple of gems from the postwar years of the Walsall Wood County Primary School at Streets Corner – this is the building that David returned to recently and documented so beautifully.
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Anyone fancy some detective work?

South Staffordshire Water historian Chris Pattison continues to send me fascinating bits and bobs of local water-related history he finds in the company archives, and every one of them has been an absolute gem.1865 Application for Water Supply1 Continue reading

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Fixed in time

I’ve had in a great contribution from a chap who’s been a friend of the blog for as long as I’ve been writing it – Roger ‘Ziksby’ Jones – on the subject of early bicycles, which arose from the image of F. Bradbury recently supplied by John and Paul Anslow.
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Cherished Reg

I’m surprised and delighted to note there’s a rather excellent new blog on the scene, and it features the work of a rather wonderful chap who has previously contributed a huge amount to the Brownhills Blog – Reg Fullelove.

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Certified child labour

John and Paul Anslow have been great contributors to the Brownhills Blog over the last year or so – only recently, we had the great debate spurred by his wonderful images of the brass band and that monstink, Mr Bradbury.

St John's School Walsall Wood 1900 Continue reading

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An electoral deformity

It’s interesting to note that Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler is coming over all iconoclastic again – and I, for one, welcome it, as Peter has a fine record of kicking over the statues of the local mining history – particularly in regard the the Harrison colliery dynasty.
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Urgent – looking for the Yeomans family or other Brownhills Market traders

Here’s one I’m hoping I can reach out to the local community and reunite lost friends – Conner Nelson writes to me from Ibstock in Leicestershire to tell me that sadly, his grandmother is very ill, but he and his dad would like to contact friends and family from the days when they had a market stall in Brownhills.

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A bit of a monstink…

I present today a series of three photos, and a wonderful article with some remarkable detail – I’d like readers – not just the Walsall Wood Massive – to help here, please with names and recollections if you have any.
Mr Bradbury Continue reading

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I am a Fireman to my trade

Some weeks ago, I posted a great video made by Public Historian Dave Moore with local author and activist Brian Stringer, about Brian’s experiences as The Clayhanger Kid, as part of the social historian’s ‘Postcards from the Past’ series.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Walsall’s world of work – a chance to share your memories

Again, sorry for the short notice (But I am catching up – I can actually see my keyboard now, which is progress) but this is a very, very important event happening tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, 13th May 2014) for anyone interested in the working and social industrial history of our area.

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At silly mid on

A few weeks ago, the young David Evans started exploring the history of Walsall Wood Cricket Club here on the Brownhills Blog, following some great contributions by Julie Le-Moine – steadily, we’re building up a good record of the lost cricket club, which stood where Boundary Close is now, behind St John’s Church and the Library.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Cattle class

There’s still a very large degree of interest in the history of Walsall Wood’s Dairy Farm and particularly it’s barn – the strength of curiosity in this well built, intriguing structure has quite baffled me to be honest; when writing about it originally I assumed not many folk had noticed the existence of it, yet many folk seem to be fascinated by the history.

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Getting the Bird

Two Brownhills community activists lock horns in the Walsall Advertiser letters page over the subject of Ravens Court – the exchange is interesting, and deserves to be read widely.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Express & Star, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio photo discussions, planning, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Vapour trials

The really fascinating thing about curating this blog is the way it inspires people to look into not just history, but the retelling of it; I have been banging on for years that we need to be careful not just of our own accounts and beliefs, but also of those accounts we hold as truths from authoritative sources.

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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What was lost, now restored

I am indebted to a Burnell yet again, as top chap and fellow cyclist Richard contacts me and points out something he noticed that I didn’t – Bullings Heath Grove is now a real place, with street signs and everything.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Don’t disrupt the bingo!

Today, reader and longstanding friend of the Brownhills Blog Stuart Cowley mailed me the above wonderful image of Chasetown Working Men’s Club Committee from years past, when Stuart’s Dad was involved.

chasetown working mens club committee Continue reading

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If the cap fits…

On Sunday I rode up Coppice Lane in Brownhills for the first time in a few weeks, and noticed that contractors for The Coal Authority – the body charged with monitoring and remediating historic mineworkings – had been hard at work capping the two shafts left over from the West Coppice Colliery, near the old level Crossing. 

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Park up, take a pew…

Over the last few weeks, a newspaper clipping found in the Walsall Observer archive by [Howmuch?] has caused a whole heap of interest, reporting the laying of a foundation stone for the ‘new schools at Watling Street’, readers have debated where it might actually relate to.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Pity the poor landlord

Five years ago, when I started this blog, one of the largest looming topics was that of the then proposed new Tesco Store in Brownhills – we’d been through a consultation, and the proposal was to build a large hypermarket fronting the High Street.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Express & Star, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio photo discussions, planning, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Get them before they’re gone!

Here’s a message from Walsall Local History Centre, specifically for readers of the Brownhills Blog – I’m always banging on about getting copies of local history books while they’re still around, and now’s your chance to bag copies of three of Stuart Williams works about Walsall.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A treat for the choir and an ignominious extraction

Continuing with the surprisingly rich seam that is the thread originating from the 1931 Watling Street School Walsall Observer article, I’ve had a couple of excellent reader contributions which I just have to share.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cheques and balances

It’s often the case that when discussing one topic here on the Brownhills Blog, it leads to an interesting discussion going off at a tangent, and so it has with the subject of the Watling Street School Walsall Observer article from 1931.

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Tell me on a Sunday

Last Saturday, I featured the above newspaper clipping, taken from the Walsall Observer reporting the laying of a foundation stone for the ‘new schools at Watling Street’ – the image, which was found by local history wonk [Howmuch?], had scant accompanying information, but since posted, he has told me that he’s fairly sure the clip dates from 1931.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

It’s a naked place without cricket

It’s always nice to kick off a new historical thread here on the blog, and this one will be particularly wonderful to curate, as I know there’s a lot of local interest in the old cricketing history of Walsall Wood.

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Middle Oak up for sale

I wouldn’t normally bother too much with this, but there’s been a fair bit of rumour locally and it’s worth pointing out that the current landlords of the Royal Oak in Shire Oak, Brownhills (known as ‘The Middle’) will apparently be taking over a refurbished Royal Exchange in Walsall Wood, and the Royal Oak has been placed on the market by it’s current owners.
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Set in stone… but by who, and when?

Here’s a quick puzzle for the researchers out there, and think it’ll also be interesting to Mike Stackhouse, who I know has a particular interest in Watling Street School – a fumble in the newspaper archive has left me coming up empty – so I’m wondering if anyone knows anything about the clipping below?
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Swept everything before it

Last weekend, I revisited for the first time in ages the subject that was once so prominent here – Chasewater dam – but not in reference to the recent renovations, but to the creation of the reservoir and the failure of the earthwork dam in 1799.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio updates, Shared media, Shared memories, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Classical Gas

I noted the other day that the National Library of Scotland mapping archive was growing, as is the National Newspaper archive – another service that’s quietly gaining content is the Aerofilms archive of aerial photography of Britain from 1919-1953.
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When the dam burst

Chasewater has been, as any long-term reader here knows, a continual and recurring obsession of mine – I love the place; I grew up with it, visiting regularly I came to love its air of faded, end-of-the-pier decay and beautiful, often unexpected wildlife.

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Going Back

I’ve noticed over the five years that this blog has been running that it brings out often hidden sides to readers, and uncovers talents folk didn’t know they had – the young David Evans of late has been discovering a new talent for a genteel, polite form of Urban Exploration.
The former school stands at the foot of the playground of the current one. Image courtesy David Evans. Continue reading

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Dead ground?

I’ve had an interesting enquiry from Laura Watkins, about the cemetery in Barnetts Lane, Brownhills, and it’s a little unusual in nature.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Barnstorming

David Evans has been busy – not content with turning up the astounding swimming pool photo, he also found time yesterday to nip back to the remarkable barn at Dairy Farm, in Bullings Heath, Walsall Wood, to take some more photographs following the remarkable comment received from Joe Headley in response to the original article.

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In the swim

Here’s one I suspect may trigger a few memories – unearthed by the young David Evans, it’s an image of Walsall Wood Primary School’s swimming pool, which I think is long demolished – I’m not familiar with it myself, but it seems a lot like one Millfield had – and may still do.

Walsall Wood Primary School swimming pool opening 1968 Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Lose yourself in the mapping

If you’re engaged in the local online community, you’ll have no doubt caught up with this already, but for those who haven’t, there’s a new historical mapping resource available online right now, free of charge, and it’s really rather special.Untitled 7 Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments