Tag Archives: Peter Cutler

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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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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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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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

Light and graceful

From time to time here, we mention the history of Aldershawe, the estate and large house overlooking Lichfield from high on the hill near Wall – this remarkable and secluded property is, of course, closely intertwined with the Harrison family who owned it for a time.
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The darkness of those days

Mindful of the day and occasion, regular contributor and blog stalwart Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler wrote to me with an interesting couple of things to check out relating to the Second World War and Birmingham – I wasn’t aware of either, and they’ve been eye-openers, to be quite honest. Birmingham_Blitz_D_4126 Continue reading

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A fit of Peake?

I had this one in a couple of days ago from Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who continues his dogged research into local mining history, and the relationship between those above ground and those whose labours they depended upon beneath them.
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On the nightwatch

Now here’s a wonderful thing from local history Rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who in his usual inimitable style, has been rootling trough the newspaper archives for references to the air raids alluded to in the St John’s School log book I featured at the weekend.

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From Brownhills to Tottenham

Back in May, 2013, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler turned up the intriguing story of Cecil Poynton, a footballer of some note from Brownhills, and at the time, we could find little about the chap, and it seemed that in the annals of local sporting history, Cecil was somewhat overshadowed by the seemingly more well-know Dickie Dorsett, whose career has been covered here previously.

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Nailed it

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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Puddled

We have talked a lot recently about the Birchills Ironworks, Talbot Stead Tube Works (latterly Sterling Tubes), and have ruminated on the nature of metal bashing and other industry – in his initial perusal of The Graphic, Peter spotted the following article relating to metal production in Cleveland, and I think it’s worth a read.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, 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, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

As far distant as the millennium

Found coincidentally to reader Alan Harvey’s request for more Norton Canes, this article on the village, from the Saturday, 30th January 1886 copy of The Graphic, is a remarkable travelogue written by a visitor to a small, dirt-poor community, just before everything changed.

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Posted in Churches, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

An overwhelming sense of duty

Sister Dora is a beloved, dear heroine of Walsall; remembered long after her passing, she is a local heroine whose memory shines like a light in the grim, darkened industrial past of Walsall – her statue – finally restored to it’s rightful place on The Bridge, in the town centre – still sees regular laying of flowers and visits by those interested in the remarkable history it records.

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I don’t like that beer

The Ogley Square slum was indeed cleared – and as can be seen today – the area of Catshill and Ogley Hay around it became the site of huge social housing development – however, the site of the Square itself became the location of a new pub..

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Space, air and light

This week, we’ve got the follow up article regarding Ogley Square from the Lichfield Mercury of Friday, 8th February 1935 – this is a great summation of what’s happened, and also points out that Brownhills was one of the first towns to act on slum clearance legislation.Untitled 4 Continue reading

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An unearned income

It is with great pleasure that I can now continue the story of the slum clearance of Ogley Square in 1935, thanks to the efforts of an anonymous reader and top friend of the blog Richard Burnell.

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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fit for a queen

Continuing the Carnival theme (can there be a better one for such a summery spell?) Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been weaving his rapscallion magic and dredging the newspaper archive, finding two pieces in the Lichfield Mercury of 12th July 1935 and 25th July of the same year.
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In the soup

Walsall Council, unwanted silver tableware and a disgraced, abusive US Army Colonel – Walsall hasn’t recently become mad, it’s always been a bit bonkers.
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Posted in Bad Science, Events, Followups, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A bride in Jasmine

Here’s an excellent find sent to me this morning by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, in response to my somewhat tenuous enquiry about Jasmine Cottage.

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The far pavilion

I said I’d return to the subject of Walsall Wood F.C. in due course, and today, I have some interesting pieces of the jigsaw to throw in, courtesy of readers. I’ve got other contributions on the subject to come, too, which will be developed in a subsequent post.

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Methods of dance

Here’s a great follow-on post to the Ogley School staff image featured here last weekend. Top reader and local historian Andy Dennis has sent me a couple of lovely school group photos featuring his mother, thought to be from the 1936 sports event at Chase Terrace, which was mentioned by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler in comments to the same post.

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A spectator writes…

What I really enjoy about doing this blog is those times when we get a historical snippet, then explore it through various avenues, take it and run with it. Often, this not only reveals the story to be different to that originally stated, but also a fascinating journey through what would otherwise be lost local history.
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Stand up!

In honour of the great footballing occasion currently bestowed upon Walsall Wood, the inexhaustible Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, assisted by young David Evans has been making busy with the newspaper archives, and unleashed a deluge of historical articles about our favourite local soccer club.

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Diamonds and dust

With local history, it’s all a bit winding and interleaved. Sometimes, you start researching one thing, and follow a straight line; and then, all of a sudden, things you never expected crop up, and you end up researching something utterly different.

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Meanwhile, in court a century ago…

Reader Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has again been ferreting in the newspaper archives, and this time has taken a look at crimes coming before Brownhills Petty Sessions – a magistrates court for the town, that sat regularly and dealt with low-level crime.
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The biggest liar in town

We all know the three-faced liar in Brownhills. The Council House Clock – stopped, restored, restarted, stopped, restored, restarted. I lie in bed on warm summer nights and hear it chime the hour over a sleeping, somnambulant town, usually incorrectly. It’s a thing of pride, embarrassment and hilarity in the community.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Surging forward

I should have known, really. No sooner had I delved into the fascinating world of the Brownhills surge stack, then Ian Pell, railway historian extraordinaire, had written to me with a whole bunch of new information, clarifications and even a few questions.
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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hiding in plain sight?

It seems like we’re in a period for odd historical tangents and discoveries. It all started with Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler’s classic bit of gentrified nimbyism from ‘Captain’ Harrison at Aldershaw(e). From there, we alighted at Sandfields Pumping Station at Lichfield, and found a wonderful, but neglected steam engine. We’ve found since, via Peter’s further diligent research, and that of Dave Moore, a chap clearly expert on the matter, that there was a long forgotten water tower in Brownhills.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Not in MY backyard (1896 style)…

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been in touch with a lovely quick snippet he spotted in the excellent History of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company, which is available online for free. It really is an excellent read and deserves wider exposure.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

An unimaginable hell

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been continuing his diligent work of researching the history of the Harrison Company and Family, looking into the darkest corners of the mining industry in Brownhills and its surrounds over a century ago. Peter is particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The social contract

There has been some discussion here recently between regulars David Evans and Peter Cutler about miners working at Walsall Wood Colliery on day to day contracts. As a consequence, Peter found the following article in the Lichfield Mercury of Friday, … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Up for sale – The Swan Inn, Brownhills, in 1835

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has played another blinder and found this auction advert in the Staffordshire Advertiser of Saturday, 31st October 1835. It advertises the Swan Inn and it’s not inconsiderable estate for sale. This was quite some holding, and would have … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The truth will out

I see that Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler continues his diligent and painstaking examination of the Harrison Company, family and concerns. The Harrisons, readers will recall, were wealthy mine owners hereabouts, and Peter has spent a great deal of time in recent … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local music, Local politics, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Tenths

One of the wonderful things Gerald Reece sent me following our recent email exchange is a scan of  a compilation of tithe maps of western Brownhills. I wasn’t actually aware this existed, and it helps clear up a few things, … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

A day at the races

I note today there’s been growing interest in the question of Brownhills Racecourse, such as it was. For younger readers, this wasn’t the old stadium by Chasewater which an unsuccessful trotting track, or it’s precursor, the trotting track on the … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Union and Chapel

I am fascinated and encouraged by the diligent work being undertaken by top reader, commentor and Panoramian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler into the the mining history of our area. Not just the mines, the engineering and their history, but also the … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

‘Shawe thing

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been little short of prodigious this week, demonstrating just why I love curating this blog. Peter, together with Andy Dennis and others has been gradually untangling the history of the Harrison family and their home at … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, cycling, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments