Appeal made for household items in aid of couple affected by Wyre Close fire


Wyre Close is just off Coppice Lane, Walsall Wood. imagery from Apple Maps.

Following the unfortunate house fire in Wyre Close, Walsall Wood on Saturday evening (3rd December 2016) friend of the couple affected, Abigail Claire has been appealing for anyone that may be discarding useful household items to donate them if they can.

Abigail said:

If anyone has any spare household items can you please get in touch. I spent some time with the family last night and as you can imagine they were heartbroken.

I have:

Pull out bed
1 quilt set
Small TV
Few clothes

They have nothing the whole house gone. They have my number so will call I presume when they get over the initial shock and find somewhere to stay.

I’m just asking people to hold on to things or be mindful when doing their “Christmas clearout” and hold on to some stuff incase it’s needed.

If you have anything you think might be useful, please contact Abigail by Facebook here – she’s checking for messages regularly, so even if you’re not friends she should pick up your response.

Thanks to Abigail for a true act of community spirit and warm-heartedness. This is true humanity.

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Ice cream, miners, silent cinema and the Jones Boys. What do you know?


This should jog a memory or two for Sue. A wafer master, from Bradford on Avon Museum.

An absolutely fantastic enquiry came in a couple of weeks ago (see how far I am behind? Sorry) from Sue Clarke in Hilton, Cambridgeshire which blends a number of disparate topics covered here including ice cream, old cycle shops, local music and cinema.

I feel certain here readers like David Oakley and Reg Fullelove may be able to help, and all contributions very welcome.

For reference; we’re interested in all Brownhills history on the blog – at over 4,000 articles there’s almost everything covered! We remembered Ice Cream here, the High Street recalled by Reg Fuyllelove here, and lots of stuff on the musical history of Brownhills here with a lovely homage to Brownhills cinema here by Mick Stackhouse.

I’ll let Sue explain:

Hallo Brownhills Bob,

I’m contacting you as a starting point as I begin to research my family history. Having read about you on your Homepage I think I’m probably older than you.

My own memory of Brownhills ice cream was walking across a stretch of grass, maybe a common, to buy Selwyn’s Ice Cream… made in a metal oblong ‘scoop’ and then placed between wafers.

The Burton Boys in Stonnall enjoy a Selwyn Smith ice cream. Lovely 1958 film from Desmond Burton

My memories date back to the early 1950s when I visited my Granny Jones on Lichfield Road. I know that my grandfather and uncles were miners but on searching out more about my father’s family I find that they were miners over several generations and they all lived around Brownhills, Pelsall and Walsall. My uncles made a quartet and were called the Jones Boys/Jones Brothers and were popular playing for local gigs. My aunt played the piano for the silent films in the local cinema. On my mother’s side I believe that her father, my grandad Elford, had a bike/bike repair shop probably in the early 1930’s on, I think, the High Street.

I understand that I can go to the Walsall Council Archives and plan to do that in the New Year, in the meantime I wonder if you are able to put me in touch with any relevant Local History groups… I see there’s a Burntwood group… do you think that would be relevant to my geographical area?

Princeps was, I think, before my time. This shot I'm guessing must be about mid-sixties, but I'm hoping someone can date it better. From the excellent work 'Memories of Brownhills Past' by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

I think this was probably 1960s rather than 50s, but Brownhills High Street clearly pre Ravens Court, as the roof of Mount Zion can be seen on the left. I think Sue might recognise this. From the excellent work ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

I think you comment on the present times in Brownhills, I don’t Tweet on Twitter and am not very computer savvy so I’m not sure if your interest in Brownhills goes back to the early part of the last century but any thing you can tell me about the cinema and possibly my uncles’ music would be very welcome, as would anything else you think relevant.

Many thanks, I hope to hear from you
Sue Clark
Hilton Cambridgeshire.

I’m currently unaware of any Brownhills local history groups that are active – but I can heartily recommend Burntwood Family History Group and also the Aldridge Local History Society whose territories clearly overlap in Brownhills, and I’m sure readers here will be happy to help with memories and contributions.

Thanks to Sue for a lovely question – if you can help, please do: Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


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Woodmen enter new era with draw at Loughborough

 Pictures and captions kindly supplied by David Evans.

Saturday afternoon (3rd December 2016), Walsall Wood F.C. faced Loughborough University away, and they came home with a respectable draw after some  entertaining football.

Bill Shaw was there to witnesss the action, after Mark Swann’s shock resignation last week:

Hiya Bob,

Some superb approach play by both teams on the Wembley of non-league football. Both keepers played well, but confidence in front of goal was missing from both teams.

With reserve team manager David Carns following Swanny out of the club, popular veteran Grant Beckett has taken over the reins to move the ‘Stiffs’ forward.

Still difficult times ahead at the Wood with the Board’s first job to appoint a successor to the popular Mark Swann, whose near five year reign came to an end last Saturday. Thanks for the ride boss, I wouldn’t have missed it for the World. Good Luck mate, take care.

Loughborough University 1 v 1 Walsall Wood

Just like the earlier fixture at the Wood the home side went behind but found an equaliser.  Both sides played some neat approach play but keepers James Stallan and Sam Arnold both almost kept clean sheets, with Arnold very unlucky not to succeed.

The Scholars started the better with Alex Read prominent, after only two minutes he collected a ball wide right, fired in a low cross that Shawn Boothe put behind for a corner.  He made the byeline from wide right, another cross put behind by Boothe five minutes later.

On 13 minutes a misplaced Scholars clearance went straight to Ashley Jackson left of centre to run on and fire just over the right angle.

Four minutes later a long ball forward found Alex Johnson whose clever ball inside set up Jason Davis to fire a first time drive wide for the Scholars.

A neat right wing move on 19 minutes saw Karl Edwards lay the ball back to Desean Martin, his first time rising drive superbly pushed over by keeper James Stallan. A minute later Nick Wright released Ashley Jackson into the left of the box, Stallan saving bravely at his feet. Two minutes later Craig Deakin powered down the left, crossed into the box to find Edwards who rode a clumsy challenge, loud penalty shouts ignored, and his low drive was charged down.  Then on 28 minutes Wright went on a right to left crossfield run across the face of the box only to be stopped on the left edge before he could get a shot away.

Having weathered the storm on 30 minutes Johnson’s ball across the face of the box was hit first time low by Read to bring a full length save from Arnold.  Five minutes later a long ball wide right saw Arnold race from his area to kick clear from Luke Trotman.

Two minutes later Josh Mansell went on a powerful right wing run, cut inside and his near post low drive was well taken by Stallan at the foot of the post.

Back came Read, cutting in from wide right, his vicious low drive pushed away by Arnold.

Wood finished the half on top, Jackson’s rising drive pushed wide by Stallan and then from the second of two corners Martin fired a first time effort just wide from 40 yards.

The second half followed the pattern of the first with both keepers equal to anything that was thrown at them on the rare occasion when defences where breached.  Wood were put under pressure for 20 minutes from the 65th and then Deakin broke up an attack and played a ball wide left that was collected at pace by Wright, he held off his marker, raced into the box and beat Stallan with a low drive to put Wood ahead.

On 89 minutes substitute Joe Boachie raced onto a ball into the right of the box, his low drive beat Arnold but came back off the near post flying into the net off the so unlucky keeper, whose pull back was adjudged to have crossed the line.

So the League’s under achievers shared the points which was probably a fair reflection of the 90 minutes, but interim manager Harry Harris came so close to recording his first win.

It’s Wolves Sporting at the Wood on Tuesday night before they visit Coventry United next Saturday.

Bill Shaw.

The Teams:

Loughborough University – Stallan, Trotman, Rankin, Jackson, Cullum, Midveld, Johnson, Legg (captain), Davis, Ward-Cochrane, Read, Hill, Welch, Bridge, Boachie, O’Keefe.

Walsall Wood – Arnold, Mansell, Deakin, L. Harris, Ricketts, Boothe (captain), Wright, Martin, Edwards, Jackson, Steane, H. Harris, Manase, Taylor, Juxon, Aiton.

Thanks to Bill for the report and David for the photos – always appreciated.

For The Good of the Wood!

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House fire in Walsall Wood yesterday evening


Wyre Close is just off Coppice Lane, Walsall Wood. imagery from Apple Maps.

Sad to report a house fire occurred yesterday evening (Saturday, 3rd December 2016) – apparently in Wyre Close, Walsall Wood.

West Midlands Fire Service at Aldridge tweeted:

West Midlands Fire Service and local police were on the scene of the fire within minutes, and crews from Aldridge Red Watch attended. The house was empty at the time, with the occupants out, so thankfully nobody was hurt.

An eyewitness praised the actions of both police and fire service for their levels of professionalism and care.

My sympathies to all concerned, and thanks to West Midlands Fire Service for keeping us safe.

If you have any more information, I’d welcome it please: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or comment here. Please be sensitive in any comments. Cheers.

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Suspicious activity in Brownhills: Be on your guard

Untitled 9

A very peculiar trio have been operating in Brownhills…. Imagery from Bing! maps.

A strange one reaches me via a reader on Facebook – it seems there’s been an odd trio of people operating in Lichfield Road, Brownhills this afternoon (Saturday, 3rd December 2016), and in the current climate it seems best to be safe and warn readers to be aware.

The reader sent me the following message:

Hi Bob

I know this isn’t past related but there has been two women and a man in their 20s going in people’s gardens/side of houses peering through windows along the Lichfield road (by Smithy Forge pub) this afternoon.

The one women had a push chair without a baby in it. When confronted the lady she had a list with address on it. Some where highlighted and some with crosses on it.

She said she was Delivering Christmas cards, but had none with her and I didn’t know the woman.

Could you please alert your followers on here that live in the local area.

I have alerted the police about this.

This may indeed be innocent, but I genuinely can’t see how, really. Be on your guard folks, and do call the police is you see anything suspicious. At the very least, these people should be able to give a valid reason for their odd behaviour.

You can contact Walsall Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111


Tell your elderly relatives and friends to be careful; local police can advise on door chains and other security measures. Most of all, don’t buy at the door! Image from Cambridge Police.

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Aldridge Christmas Tree Festival – on all weekend!


A superb charity event to get you in the Christmas spirit!

Continuing the burst of Christmas events (Where the devil did Christmas come from all of a sudden?) there’s a wonderful Christmas Tree Festival at Aldridge Methodist Church running today (Saturday 3rd December 2016) right up until 6pm tonight, and from 12-4pm tomorrow.

Bet Boden had this to say about it:

Come and see 51 trees beautifully decorated by local businesses, organisations, community groups and schools @ the Aldridge Village Christmas Tree Festival this weekend at Aldridge Methodist Church, Anchor Road, WS9 8PT.

Friday & Saturday 11-6, Sunday 12-4

Entrance is free but you can buy tokens for a £1 to vote for your favourite tree. Refreshments on sale. All proceeds to Rosie’s Helping Hands and St Giles Walsall Hospice.

Also, great friend of the blog Linda Mason said:

The Aldridge Christmas Tree Festival opened this morning. It runs until 4pm on Sunday and is raising funds for Rosie’s Helping Hands and St Giles Hospice Walsall.

You don’t have to take a child though! You can vote for your favourite tree for a small donation and also take part in a raffle for some gorgeous handmade quilted Christmas products. I hope I managed to get them all, apologies if I missed any.

It really is a lovely event and does put you in a Christmassy mood.

Thanks to Linda for the tipoff – she’s supplied a lovely gallery of images from the event below, too.

Don’t forget, if you have any Christmas events you want plugging, you can mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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Enjoy live music at The Chase Inn this weekend!


Enjoy great pub rock with a fine bunch of local lads!

The Chase Inn at Newtown, Brownhills goes from strength to strength – there’s not only great ale and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, but great live music most weekends, too – and tonight (Saturday 3rd December 2016) there’s top local pub rock band The Guvnors.

After years of giging with many successful bands The Guvnors got together at the start of 2015 to play and entertain on the Pub Rock and Blues circuit in and around the Midlands.

Response has been amazing from friends and venues wanting to book The Guvnors…

Trevor Ridney – Guitar / Vocals
Pete Vickers – Bass / Vocals
Pete Rogers – Drums

Check out the band’s Facebook page here.

The fun runs from 8pm – so don’t be late!

It’s free entry and there’s great ale, cider and a banging atmosphere.

Why not get down there? You’re guaranteed an excellent time…

For the satnav folk, the address is: 6 Watling Street, Newtown, Brownhills WS8 6JS

You can contact the pub on: 01543 899568 or visit their Facebook page.

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