Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering is this weekend!


A wonderful day out in store for all! Image from Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is running on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (23-24th September 2017), and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.

There will be boats, vintage and classic vehicles, stalls, food, displays and all the usual fun and games. This is a great show and previous years have been excellent, and well worth the visit.

I had a great time at the last of these previous events in 2015, and I’m looking forward to this one immensely. You can see a gallery of images from 2015s event at the foot of this post.

All funds raised will help support the canal restoration project, whose volunteers are currently beavering away on the route of the lost line between Barracks Lane, Ogley Hay and The Boat restaurant, on the Lichfield Road at Summerhill, opening the route for walkers, as well as the more general restoration work to restore the old canal, particularly at Borrowcop on the A51 at Lichfield.

If you’re into history, canals and craft, keep that weekend free!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust originally wrote on the excellent Lichfield Live!:

Heritage Gathering Highlights Vintage Boats And Classic Cars

Lichfield canal enthusiasts are hoping to emulate the success of 2015’s Huddlesford Heritage Gathering when this year’s event is held in September.

The gathering, held biennially and organised jointly by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club, brings together historic boats, floating traders, private boats and classic vehicles, with exhibitors and displays on the field, near Huddlesford Junction on the Coventry Canal.

Fun for all the family includes Emma’s Crafty Kids, funded through the Staffordshire Community Foundation, boat trips and rides on a steam train and a traction engine, face-painting, and the chance to operate one of the Trust’s diggers.

A host of entertainers will be providing music on stage throughout the weekend, with tickets sold separately for an evening event featuring Wildfire Folk and Chase Mist and including a pig roast.

Budding musicians can book themselves in for one or two 15-minute sessions at Busker’s Corner on either or both the days.

Floating traders will be offering everything from home brew to cheese and antiques to sweets, while exhibitors on the field and in the marquee will be showing off jewellery, leather goods, farm and garden produce and a variety of arts and craft.

There will also be a chance to see a display of birds of prey and to meet some weird and wonderful wildlife.

Music, entertainment, food and a bar will be available all day, and a Sunday service will be held at 9.30am by the Boaters Christian Fellowship led by David Litchfield.

Huddlesford Heritage Gathering will be open to the public on September 23 and 24,  from 10am. Admission is £4 with children under 12 free if accompanied by an adult. Tickets for the evening entertainment will be sold separately for £15. Car parking is free.

For more information visit

For more information visit the Trust website at

You can keep in touch with the Trust on Twitter as @LHCRT1, on Facebook or on their website.


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Meet your local coppers this Friday in Brownhills

Just walking’ the dog.Yes, it’s a library image, so what? Image from Walsall Police.

I received notice of this great event from Walsall Police via the excellent WMNow service today, advertising a pop-up meet the police event this Friday, 22nd September 2017 at Tesco, Brownhills where you can meet your local policing team and get help, crime prevention and public safety advice.

Your local rozzers will be at Tesco in Brownhills from 9:30am until 11:30m and everyone is welcome. I must say, it’s good to see the local police making efforts again to reach out to the public. Long overdue.

Your neighbourhood policing team will be holding a ‘Pop Up’ stall in Tesco, Brownhills tomorrow (Friday 22 September) between 9.30 and 11.30 am.  Anyone who wishes to speak to a local officer will be most welcome to ‘pop along’.

If you are unable to attend but have an issue or concern that you would like to raise with your local team, then you are welcome to contact them by email at:

Or by telephone on 101, extension 881 6000.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for WMNow, please do – it’s free and you can select to receive alerts on all kinds of local issues. It’s a fine thing.

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Walsall Wood Reserves bested by Browmsgrove

Another fine game at Oak Park in the shadow of the pit-head. Image Kindly supplied;lied by David Evans.

While I’m clearing the football backlog, there’s a great review here from Simon Evans of the Reserve Team match that took place at Oak Park last Saturday, 17th September 2017 which saw the visitors beat the home side two-one.

Simon watched the match and enjoyed what he saw:

I’ve managed to do a quick report from Woods reserve match from Saturday. Unfortunately I don’t know any of the players names / scorers .

Reserves Challenge Trophy
Wood 1 v 2 Bromsgrove

From the kick off both teams went on the attack.  From the off both teams were determined to play football. The first real chance came on 13 minutes, Bromsgrove forcing the Wood keeper to make a great save. The resulting corner came to nothing. Woods first chance came soon after but some great defending and the chance went away. Bromsgrove threatened again some resolute Wood defending and the chance went.

Halftime: nil-nil

The second half started as the first half ended, both teams going for it. The deadlock was very nearly broken, but Bromsgrove shot was cleared off the line. Wood went straight up the other end and a deft header hit the Bromsgrove post, the ball was then cleared. After 67 mins a Wood attack was ended by  clumsy challenge in the box. The resulting penalty was despatched. One-nil to the WoodBromsgrove were soon on level terms, a smart finish from inside the box. One-one.

Both teams went for it, but some resolute defending from both teams kept the score at one-one. Bromsgrove then scored the all important winner, a through ball and the Bromsgrove striker beat the offside trap, his shot was going in but unfortunately the Wood defender got the last touch one-two.

Wood rallied and piled on the pressure for an equalising goal which didn’t materialise.

A great game with both teams playing the right way

There’s always good footy at Walsall Wood, and it’s great to see the Reserves getting some attention. Thanks to Simon for the report!

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Walsall Wood Under 18s: Another great win, and an apology

I hear the team have a new sponsor – looking good, lads! Image supplied by Dylan Somel.

My apologies to the Walsall Wood Under 18s team and their manager Dylan Somel, who this week asked me to advertise their away match on Tuesday 19th September 2017 against Romulus Youth, and I misread the email as Thursday, not Tuesday – bad Bob, s sorry for that one.

The good news is that the Wood under 18s beat Romulus convincingly with a four-one victory taking them through to the next round of the FA Youth Cup. Well done lads.

Once again my apologies for being useless there.

If you want to know more about the Under 18s team and are interested in joining (or know a lad who might be) team manager, Dylan Somel had this to say:

This year Walsall Wood Football Club are implementing youth side, who will play in the Midland Floodlit League. This has been made possible with the support from the youth section at the club and also George and Justin, who have made a great platform for the lads to succeed under the Wood banner.

Walsall Wood Under 18s Football Team need you!

We train Thursdays 6:30-8pm at Oak Park Active Living Centre 

Our league games coming up are 

Wrens Nest: Home 7:45pm Kick-off on the 15th August
Dudley Town: Home 7:45pm  Kick-off  on the 28th August

Please could you include special thanks to our Home Kit Sponsor Guy’s Dental based in Lichfield and our trainingwear sponsor Stonnall Fish Bar.. Thanks so much.

Manager is myself Dylan Somel and 07446348126 is my number for any players interested. 

The team have some great sponsorship. Can particularly vouch for the chip shop at Stonnal, which does great chips and most excellent kebabage! Image supplied by Dylan Somel.

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Wood crushes Chelmsley

Images Kindly supplied by the young David Evans – sadly the light was too poor for decent action shots.

A stonking home  win for Walsall Wood again last Tuesday evening (19th September 2017) as the Wood lads consolidated their domination of Chelmsley Town, this time on the real turf of Walsall Wood.

Bill Shaw was there, and enjoyed a great match.

Hiya Bob,

This really was a stroll in the park for Wood, Saturday’s game will be a different kettle of fish as they look to put their season back on track.  Suffice to say you can only beat what’s in front of you, but Town really aren’t very good.

PP League Cup
Walsall Wood 3 v 0 Chelmsley Town

Wood got back to winning ways progressing comfortably through to the next round. It took just eight minutes for Tony Clarke to open the scoring. Joey Butlin doubled the lead on 24 with Paul Sullivan wrapping up this stroll in the park on 87 minutes.

With just one minute gone Tony Clarke raced clear wide left, his low cross hit first time by Joey Butlin, keeper James Kelly at full stretch pushing the ball away. five minutes later Wood debutant Keenan Meakin-Richards played a through ball to find Clarke left of the box, he faded right, across the face of the box, Kelly blocking his low drive. The keeper was powerless two minutes later however as Lewis Taylor Boyce won the ball on halfway and fed Harry Harris who released Clarke into the box just right of centre, to run on and chip the ball over the stranded Kelly to put Wood ahead. three minutes later Craig Deakin wide right played the ball inside to Harris, his defence splitting ball was collected at pace by Clarke, his first time effort saved at the second attempt by Kelly.

On 18 minutes a long ball out of defence by Town saw Wood keeper Lloyd Ransome race from his area to kick clear from Jamie Barrett.

Three minutes later Callum McFarlane’s ball out of defence found Butlin, who seeing Deakin fly past him played the ball into his path, his low drive blocked by Harry Sweeney. Wood doubled their lead when on 24 minutes Harris delivered a left wing corner to the near post, Butlin skilfully touching the ball home from a very tight angle.

Town won a left wing corner on 31 minutes, Barrett saw his shot charged down, a bit of a scramble developed but the ball was eventually cleared.

Wood almost made it three when six minutes later a right wing run and cross by Deakin was headed goalwards by Clarke, Kelly at full stretch pushed the ball away, Butlin was first to react but his low drive was charged down by a posse of defenders.

A quiet start to the second half until on 56 minutes McFarlane won the ball in the centre and hit a lovely diagonal ball to find Deakin on the right edge of the box, his cracking volley flying just wide. five minutes later Darren Campion delivered a left wing free kick into the box, Butlin planting a header narrowly wide. 70 minutes gone, Butlin raced onto a right wing throw in powered into the box, his low near post drive superbly held by Kelly. It was Butlin again two minutes later, collecting a ball into the right of the box, only to fire wide of the near post.

On 77 minutes a superb five man one touch move through the centre carved open the visitors defence before the ball was played to Taylor Boyce on the right of the box to fire a first time effort inches over, a real pity as this would have been a contender for goal of the season. Wood kept up the pressure and on 85 minutes a McFarlane rising drive from the left edge of the box cannoned to safety off the bar with Kelly soundly beaten. two minutes later Taylor Boyce held the ball up cleverly in the centre of the box before feeding substitute Paul Sullivan who sidestepped two desperate challenges before passing the ball into the net.

After Saturday’s result Wood bounced back with a very comfortable win without having to get out of second gear. The FA Vase game at Cradley Town will be a harder task on Saturday as Wood look to put another unbeaten run together.

Bill Shaw

The Teams: 

Walsall Wood – Ransome, Deakin, Okojie, Meakin-Richards, McFarlane, Tolley (captain), Hayden, Harris, Clarke, Butlin, Taylor Boyce, Campion, Slater, Sullivan, Westwood, Faultless.

Chelmsley Town – Kelly, Keeley, Sweeney, Sadler, Kent, Lernihan, Knight, Ellis (captain), Barrett, Sinclair, Taylor, Ward, Parke, Egege, Casey, Inverary.

Professional video footage of the match by Russell Smith from TheWoodTV – check our the website for more professional match media here!

Thanks for the report and wonderful media are due to Bill, David and Russell – thanks lads for great coverage as ever. For the good of tThe Wood!

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Seek and you shall find something familiar at The Lamp Arts this Friday!

Personally, I’ve always loved Georgie Girl the best!

There’s a splendid concert being staged this Friday, 22nd September 2017 at the Lamp Arts Theatre in Brownhills Activity Centre, just on the Miner Island in the centre of Brownhills – Sounds Familiar will be playing all the familiar Seekers hits you know and love all in aid of the Brownhills Remembrance Day Parade Fund.

Tickets are just a fiver a head and all proceeds go to fund the Brownhills Remembrance event we all value so highly

Nigel Anderson, events manager at the Community Association said:

I would particularly like to highlight a very important event that is raising funds for the Brownhills Remembrance Day Parade.

On Friday 22nd September 2017 we are pleased to be presenting ‘Sounds Familiar’, a tribute act singing all the hits of  sixties group, ‘The Seekers’.

Tickets are priced at just £5 and all proceeds are going towards Brownhills very own Remembrance Day Parade. I have attached a publicity poster and any help you can give in spreading the word is, as always, greatly appreciated.

If you haven’t yet visited The Lamp for a show, you really are missing out; it’s a wonderfully modern and intimate community theatre with a wonderful atmosphere operated by a lovely community of dedicated folk, located in the old Annex or Brownhills Central Boys School right there on the Miner Island in Brownhills. You can find out more here.

There are several ways that you can purchase tickets for The Lamp Arts events. For all events, tickets can be ordered by Post. Telephone or Email. For some events, tickets can be ordered and paid for online.

All details can be found at this link here.

Please ring the crew on 01543 452 119 if you have any queries or need any help or email:

There’s loads going on at the Activity Centre on the Miner Island in Brownhills!

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Traffic incident causing holdups in Brownhills this morning

Thanks to readers Mandy, Stephen and Philip I can share the information that there has been a road traffic accident in Brownhills this morning (Tuesday 19th September 2017) involving a car and a bus.

The collision between a Travel West Midlands double decker bus running the 10 service and an Audi took place near the junction of Ogley Road and High Street at about 8:20am and delays and traffic congestion have been ongoing since.

Thankfully, nobody appears to have been hurt. My sympathies to all involved.

Cheers to all the readers who helped with this post.

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