Tag Archives: Local History

For the love of the printed word

As an avid reader, I’m glad to see that the only independent bookshop for miles around – Southcart Books in Walsall – has got off to a flying start, and is proving very popular with local bookworms and authors.

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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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Philip Larkin’s Lichfield – talk tonight!

I see that there Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is going from strength to strength with her informal and fun Lichfield local history group, Lichfield Discovered. This evening, (Monday, 14th July 2014) the group will be staging a talk about … Continue reading

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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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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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.
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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

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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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Saving Sandfields – monthly public meeting tonight

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues to garner support – local historian and activist Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for some months now, and he’d like as many people as possible to get involved.

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I walk the line

This Sunday morning (15th June 2014 at 11:00am), there’s going to be a rather excellent event put on by Lichfield Discovered, a side project of Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore – a walk along the line of the great, legendary and hotly debated Hanch Tunnel.

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Posted in Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Local history for a distant son

I thought today I’d just do a small post highlighting a couple of sites that will be of interest to many readers, but mainly to blog stalwart David Oakley, who I sadly gather hasn’t been in the best of health lately.

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Posted in Bad Science, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A fresh supply

Things are a bit all over the place this weekend, so I thought it might be a great time to highlight the latest post on Susan Marie Ward’s fantastic local and family history blog, Staffordshirebred.
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Posted in Churches, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flight paths

This Thursday evening (12th June 2014 at 7:30pm), there’s going to be another great event staged by Lichfield Discovered, a side project of Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore – this time, it’s a walk around the site and remains of the old RAF Lichfield base near Fradley.
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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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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Military speaker to tell story of the South Staffords in the Great War

This is just a quick note to flag up what looks to be an interesting, engaging and relevant talk by an excellent speaker coming up at Walsall Local History Centre next Monday evening, when Major Ted Green (Retired) will present an illustrated talk entitled ‘The South Staffords in World War 1’.

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Friends of Sandfields – can you help?

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues apace – local historian and activist Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for ages now, and he’d like as many people as possible to get involved.
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Posted in Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Our hidden heritage – and how to save it

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch with a last minute tipoff of a free talk tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, 21st May 2014) at The Museum of Cannock Chase at 3:00pm.
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Posted in Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t forget – Brownhills Common Bioblitz this Friday and Saturday

Are you interested in wildlife, or maybe have a budding David Attenborough or Chris Packham in the family – wnt to bring out your inner Bill Oddie or Simon King – If so, Brownhills Common is the place to be this Friday and Saturday.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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Closer

Kate Cardigan Gomez, irrepressible wonder behind Lichfield Lore has organised a walk and tour around Cathedral Close in Lichfield tonight (Monday, 12th May 2014) with her other project, Lichfield Discovered – it starts at 7:00pm outside Lichfield Heritage Centre.555423_10151544401766622_1645456257_n Continue reading

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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

Calling all bookworms… new independent bookshop in Walsall

There’s something wonderful happening in Walsall at the moment – we’re a long way from a retail revival, but we definitely seem to be seeing an increase in independent shops opening up in town at the moment.
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Posted in Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blitz the common!

Are you interested in wildlife, or maybe have a budding David Attenborough or Chris Packham in the family – wnt to bring out your inner Bill Oddie or Simon King – If so, Brownhills Common is the place to be on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th May 2014.

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The Tat Man cometh

I know it’s short notice, but there’s a great show going on this afternoon at 2pm in the museum at Lichfield Street in Walsall – ‘The Life and Times of the Tat Man’ is a continuation of the great shows created by Dave Calcutt, Glen Buglass and the team working on the history around the Bayards Colts.
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Posted in Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

West of here – welcome to WyrleyBlog

Local historian, researcher and author Clive Roberts has been in touch to alert me of a new blog on the scene – I’d spotted it a few times in my site stats, but not had chance to check it out. It’s actually rather wonderful.
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Posted in Cannock Chase, Churches, Environment, 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 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.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local music, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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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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

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 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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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local music, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Models at the museum – a great event happening today

I see from the events list that Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge have a ‘Models at the Museum’ event on today.

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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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The rise and fall – a walk into history tomorrow!

Kate Cardigan Gomex, irrepressible wonder behind Lichfield Lore has organised a walk and tour around the remains of the incredible Fisherwick Park estate with her other project, Lichfield Discovered – it takes place tomorrow, Saturday 5th April 2014.
Orangery Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment