Because you’re free to read this blog
- April 17th - Cowslips everywhere this year. From a rarity 15... April 17, 2014
- April 17th - The minutiae of drainage engineering are wonderful.... April 17, 2014
- April 16th - Of course, the real star of this year’s... April 16, 2014
- April 16th - It’s all about flowers at the moment. I was... April 16, 2014
- 15th April - I noted when passing this evening that the field of... April 15, 2014
- April 15th - I seem to be going through a mechanical rough... April 15, 2014
- April 14th - Clayhanger Common is wonderful. On this sunny,... April 14, 2014
- April 13th - Back up on the Chase for the first decent, dry ride... April 14, 2014
- April 13th - Up on Cannock Chase. The ears. That’s... April 14, 2014
- April 13th - Up on the Chase properly for the first time in... April 13, 2014
- April 13th - Hmm. Something is happening. Put on to this by... April 13, 2014
- April 12th - I got a long ride in today, but the afternoon was... April 12, 2014
Top Posts & Pages
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- Urban Exploration at Linley Caverns, in 1957
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Blogs I Follow
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Tag Archives: Staffordshire
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve had an interesting enquiry from Laura Watkins, about the cemetery in Barnetts Lane, Brownhills, and it’s a little unusual in nature.
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.
From time to time, I like to feature articles out of old gazetteers here on the blog – they are a great love of mine, and they help shine a new light on old, familiar places, as well as giving a neat insight into the times they were written in.
We’re a third of the way through March, and daffodils are out, the sun is high in the sky and spring is in full effect – I left in the afternoon for a quiet, fast spin – I ended up on a 45-miler around Lichfield, Croxall, Edingale, Harlaston, Whittington, Weeford and Shenstone.
[caption id="attachment_17934" align="alignleft" width="300"] How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette[/caption] Continue reading
I’ve had a request from the young David Evans to re-run some photos from a post I created in 2011 – David has requested this as new reader and commenter Roger Mosedale has joined us in the last few days, and David feels that he may be able to help with the school photos here.
Here’s a thing I’ve been trying to get round to for a while now, but scanning booklets is a time consuming and laborious job – but in this case, very much a worthwhile one.
I have been sent this remarkable and incredibly thorough piece of research into the historical and mapping record for Pepper Alley by Hilary Little, who you’ll remember as the driving force behind the project to record the history and fabric of the lost beer house, the Royal Oak, in Bullings Heath, Waslall Wood.
As is usual, today I visited Erdington Bike Jumble, the yearly tat-bazaar for cyclists that always takes place the first Saturday in March.
This is an article that’s taken an awful lot of work to prepare – the young David Evans has been toiling on it for some time now, as well as other related matters, and it ties up a number of disparate threads relating to Streets Corner in Walsall Wood, and the families who lived in the thatched cottage that famously stood there for years.
Here’s another great instalment from the series I started a couple of months ago, chronicling the memories of Walsall Wood lady Audrey Proffitt, carefully and faithfully transcribed by reader and Walsall Wood correspondent David Evans.
That there young David Evans has been very busy – not content to loaf around convalescing like any normal person after his recent operation, he’s been preparing some new local history projects, and updating others.
[caption id="attachment_17624" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image generously supplied by David Evans.[/caption] Continue reading
Here’s a quick one – a lovely photo sent in by Marion Jones from her father’s collection – a photo of a grassfire on the land that would become Clayhanger Common, but it’s not the grassfire itself (and this is a fine picture of that), it’s what’s going on in the background.
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.
Last week, I posted the first part of a remarkable article by Susan M Luzy about the history of the families connected with the Royal Echange pub in Walsall Wood – this unassuming, but well-loved pub has been the subject of much local historical study, and since the first part of this article was posted, local historians have turned up some remarkable material which Andy Dennis, David Evans and a whole host others are working on in the background.
It seems that reader Tony Winn opened an interesting can of worms when he set this fine question for the New Year Quiz.
Here’s one spotted by top local history ferret [Howmuch?] in the archives of the Walsall Observer – he doesn’t give an exact date, but says this is from 1926, and I’m wondering what readers know or can find out about our equine history?
The subject of the Royal Echange pub in Walsall Wood, and the families who were connected with it, continues to be the subject of much local historical study – in fact, I don’t think any other pub or building, apart from perhaps The Shire Oak Pub that has generated so much local historical interest.
It’s always good to hear from Richard Starbuck, who’s an old friend of the Brownhills Blog – Richard, you may recall if you’ve been here since the beginning, reminded me of Starbucks Butchers with an excellent picture of the family shop, that stood roundabout where The Coffee House is today.