There’s a great new autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few weeks now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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From beat room to ballroom!

An overdue article here from Colin Corbett, whom you’ll no doubt remember a few weeks ago was telling us about an upcoming article in the Black Country Bugle about the Cannock band he was a member of in the early 1960s, the Telstars.

Colin, of course was a great friend of, and did so much to preserve and spread the musical legacy of the late Roger Mosedale of Aldridge, who passed away a couple of years ago and was subject of several articles here on the blog.

Colin Corbett with his treasured red Stratocaster. Image kindly supplied by Colin Corbett.

Since the last article here, Colin has sent me scans of the article in the Bugle so that I could feature it here, plus a bunch of photos and other ephemera of the period. It really is a wonderful tranche of material that will take readers right back to the heady days of local rock and roll.

I’m sure this will be an excellent bit of further reading for those into local music of the period.

Thanks to Colin for getting in touch and if you have anything you’d like to add, or any memories you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me: You can mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, comment on this post or find me on social media. 

Reviews, ads and promo material for the Telstars – click for larger versions. Images kindly supplied by Colin Corbett.

“From ‘Beat Boom’ to ballroom – Colin has always lived for the Rhythm”

By Brian W. Nicholls.

In October 2018 I had the good fortune to meet up with Colin Corbett, former drummer with 1960s Cannock Group The Telstars. Colin, along with his wife Rita, live in a quiet backwater onthe edge of Cannock Chase where he has his own music studio. We discussed his own life in music and, the couple’s eventual business partnership as professional dance teachers.

… ‘I was seven or eight when my parents arranged for my sister and I to attend ballroom dancing lessons on Saturday mornings and music lessons on the afternoon. I studied piano accordion and my sister studied piano right up until I was thirteen. We certainly had a thorough grounding in music theory which has put me in good stead ever since. Our teacher taught only classical music but, one day she asked me to bring along a piece of music of my own choice and I chose The Railroad Runs Through The Middle Of The House – a popular 1957 upbeat country-style chart hit by Alma Cogan but, the teacher was not impressed. In fact, so horrified with my choice she actually said that she was finished with me and that I could probably become a good jazz musician. Actually, it was the height of the skiffle era and at home we did have a tea chest bass, washboard, acoustic guitar and a set of hanging bottles tuned to different notes. I stuck with guitar for a while but, when I was around fourteen there was a knock at the door and two lads said… ‘we hear that you are a brilliant guitarist’ and asked me to join them (well, I could play around a dozen chords!) The three of us became The Sundowners and I decided to switch to drums as I had always admired my uncle Ray Hadley who was a drummer in his own dance band. The bass player’s dad cut a big marching drum down to a bass drum size and I then had a torn torn, snare drum and a set of cymbals. I bought a drum tutor book and taught myself to play by drumming along to skiffle and rock records.”…

Colin’s group soon developed into the currently popular Cliff Richard and The Shadows format of singer, two guitars, drums and bass. Colin kept his extra curricular musical activities very quiet from his classmates so, you can imagine everyone’s surprise when The Sundowners were announced on the day of the school leaving concert and Colin casually saunters up to the drum stool from the audience to join his bandmates on the stage.

Colin Corbett age 9, already showing a musical talent. Image kindly supplied by Colin Corbett.

…”My schoolmates were really pleasantly surprised and the teachers actually said what a wonderful talent I had. We then had a booking at The Top Club – a working men’s club in Brownhills but, without transport we took a chance at the local bus company, Harper’s Bus Service. It went better than we thought as the conductor and two passengers helped us get our gear on to the bus, The driver drew back the trap window at the back of his cab and asked us what time would we finish and would we like a lift home. The driver obviously took pity at our plight and ambition and dropped us at the club carpark and picked us up at 10,30 pm. They even helped load and unload our gear again”…

However, The Sundowners’ actual baptism of fire was when they appeared at The Avion Cinema in Aldridge – a veritable pop music hotspot. They now had Futurama guitars and bass and 10watt Selmer and Elpico amplifiers plus a Watkins Copycat echo unit. From that, they went on to appear at all local pubs, social clubs, galas and a string of wedding receptions around Cannock, Stafford, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.The Sundowners now comprised Roger Mosedale (lead guitar), Terry Lea (rhythm guitar- later replaced by Dave Danks), Barry Peacock (bass) and Colin (drums) but, they had three lead singers come and go namely, Roy Bourne, Derek Murkett and Kenny Williams. At the end of 1962 The Sundowners changed their name to Dante and The Infernos but, eventually parted company a year or so later. In early 1964 yet another customary knock on Colin’s front door and there stood four lads from one of Cannock’s most popular groups, The Telstars.They were seeking to replace their Micky Solom who was vacating the drumstool and Colin’s reputation as a solid drummer led them to his door. Colin jumped at the chance to join The Telstars who now comprised, George Davies (organ), Dave Jones (bass), Terry Heath (lead guitar) Ian ‘Sludge’ Lees (singer) and of course, Colin Corbett.

…”We put it about that we were on the lookout for a decent manager and so Gerry Southgate from Walsall Wood, who was alerted to the job via his secretary, came into our life. Gerry was a local businessman with no experience of music or showbiz but, saw The Telstars as another business challenge. I was now proudly sitting behind a new Premier kit in striking Blue Sparkle (like Brian Bennett’s in The Shadows).”

Gerry briefly picks up the story,

…”The first thing I did was to invest in new group gear (Fender and Vox Amps. Instruments and a Laney PA system etc) and fitted them out with proper stage suits. I also arranged for them to rehearse at The Primrose Club (later The Watersplash) in Walsall Wood and bought them a Commer van. Having smartened them up a bit I then got them to take their music more seriously and also stopped them from drinking beer on the stage”…

Gerry also arranged for The Telstars to visit top celebrity showbiz photographer Dezo Hoffman at his London studio which had seen the likes of The Beatles in front of his lens. The results speak for themselves when looking through the Telstars’ portfolio. Gerry marketed the boys by entering them for a range of talent and popularity contests where they always managed to achieve a space in the top three against typical entries of fifty or so groups. On Saturday7June,1964 they made a four track recording at Hollick and Taylor Studios in Handsworth for the Dial Label. Not least though, the lads appeared on BBC’s One Night Stand Programme on 26 January, 1965 – the same year that Colin and Rita met. They even had a fan club run by a secretary at Gerry’s earth moving business. Managers with the diligence of Gerry are an exception.

Colin,…”we played most nights on the Mary ‘Ma’ Regan ballroom circuit which included The Plaza Ballrooms at Old Hill and Handsworth, The Ritz Ballroom, Kings Heath, and The Brum Kavern Club in Small Heath where inevitably, we played at two venues per night and on one occasion we missed The Beatles literally by ten minutes. One night at The Brum Kavern Club John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) got up and gave my brand new American Cameo kit a really good thrashing. I liked John a lot and we became good friends. I learnt a lot off John. The money at Ma Regan’s was good but, you had to play hit parade (chart) covers and we duly turned out our share of The Kinks, The Searchers, The Beatles, The Hollies and yes, P.J. Proby. As well as Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall, Lafayette Club, Ship and Rainbow and The Woolpack Restaurant, we frequently played such Birmingham venues as, The Locarno, The West End Ballroom, The Pink Elephant Club, Silver Blades Ice Rink, Ringway Club and even the infamous Doll’s Club where strippers performed while we played”…

If you were a reveller in or around The Black Country during the 1960s you will have seen or heard of The Telstars!

Despite all Gerry Southgate’s attempts to hold The Telstars together they finally called it a day in late 1965. They had had a good innings but, singer Ian Lees had left to be replaced by Graham Lounge. Ian joined Finders Keepers and then The Montanas. and finally. Light Fantastic before embarking on a successful career as a comedian. Also, former Sundowners’ Roger Mosedale (lead guitar) and Barry Peacock (bass) replaced Terry Heath and Dave Jones but, in no time Colin, Barry and Roger left to form a vocal harmony trio. Colin and Rita got married in 1967 and the well intended trio folded. Colin continued as a jobbing musician mainly depping for other drummers. He also found lucrative work as a session drummer at a recording studio and also joined Zero 5 – a popular Cannock heavy rock band that did covers of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Uriah Heap. In 1965, they had recorded a pop single ‘Dusty/Just Like A Girl’ in the legendary Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios and released on the Columbia label.

…”/ didn’t really enjoy that type of music and was not one who sought fame in the music business even though, at times it sought me. I just enjoyed playing local and in my time I’ve played pop, country, jazz and dance bands I even played with Maynard Fergusson at Walsall Jazz Club (The Wheatsheaf). When I was just turned twenty I was even headhunted for The Pretty Things who were off on an American tour but, my dad persuaded me to complete my electrician apprenticeship, after which he said I could do whatever I wanted. Even so, my interest in drumming finally faded and I sold my kit. I thought I’d miss it but, I haven’t. However, I switched back to guitar, largely for my own enjoyment”…

In 1973, Colin and Rita decided to study ballroom dancing with a professional dance school. They made it a social occasion by taking ten other family members along with them.

Colin and Rita are still keen ballroom dancers. Image kindly supplied by Colin Corbett.

…”After three years, the teacher took Rita and I aside and suggested we should actually teach ballroom dancing so, we studied, got our ‘letters’ and started teaching. In 1981 was made redundant from my management position at Allied Bakeries (Sunblest) which was a spur to start our own business as professional ballroom dancing teachers. We used available halls, ballrooms and clubs rather than purchase our own studio. We also did twelve enjoyable years on the P&O cruise ships and saw the wide world into the bargain. What a job, eh!”…

Footnote: Colin is desperate to track down a copy of The Telstars’ Hollick and Taylor vinyl EP. If you can oblige, please contact him via the BCB Editor. [Or comment here – Bob]

©Brian W. Nicholls (2018).

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A rocky road…

A lovely one here from 1862, spotted by the wonderful David Evans, who I’m glad to hear is now getting well back into the swing of things.

It seems that in 1862 – over 150 years hence – people were moaning and driven to take legal action over the state of local roads, so it seems little has changed. Interestingly enough this case didn’t succeed, but it does raise some very interesting points about locations and place names.

I believe Walsall Wood Common would be Castlehill and Holly Bank today. 

Note also the familiar names here: Charles Forster Cotteril was the ex-Mayor of Walsall and Victorian wideboy who carved up the manor of Ogley Hay, basically to pay his gambling debts, and is absolutely the man responsible for the modern shape of Brownhills – but I think his father may also have been alive in 1862, so I’m a bit puzzled here. Can anyone shed light on that please?

Was the Charles Forster here a rich man engaging in mischief?

If you have any comment, please feel free, as ever – comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. you can even give me a shout on social media.

The Boot Inn, which I blieve stood on the corner opposite Barons Court on Walsall Wood High Street, taken from ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ by Bill Mayo and John Sale.

David Evans transcribed:

A charge against the surveyors of highways for Walsall Wood

At the Rushall petty sessions on Tuesday last before J E Bealey and Charles Forster Esq, Mr Barnes, of Lichfield appeared on behalf of Joseph Cooper to prefer a charge against the surveyors of highways for Walsall Wood, for having neglected to keep in good repair about 704 yards of the road leading from Walsall to Aldridge and also about 544 yards of the same road at another point. Mr Barnes produced a plan of the road in question, with the portions neglected to be repaired marked off, and called witnesses to prove the case, and the liability of the surveyor to make the repairs.

William Horton, Upper Stonnall, bricklayer, aged about 70, said he had resided at Stonnall all his life. When young he was apprenticed to John Simcox, who kept the Tiger Inn, Stonnall. He knew the Castle-lane and was in the habit of going along the lane till its junction with a road leading down the common across Shorter’s Row, past Holyhead-House, also a house occupied by James Hood, keeping close by the hedge till it reached a point on the turnpike road between the Boot and the Jockey public houses. Sometimes he passed along this road three times in a week and other times not above those times in a month, and never either going or returning was he stopped by any one. He had also seen other parties drive along the road. In those days the road was much better than now, there not being so much traffic along it as now.

Cross-examined by Mr Ebsworth – The road crosses the Walsall Wood common. There is another road, but not quite so near. The time he referred to was about fifty years ago, but had not used it for many years. There was a gate put upon the end of the Castle lane about thirty years ago. There is a cottage beside the gate. The cottage was built about twenty years ago, and a person named Hood, who resided in the cottage, kept the key of it. About fifty years ago the common was not so cut up as it is now, and he drove where he thought proper.

It’s be a perilous ride in a cart down that hill, I think…

By Mr Wilkinson – The gate was put up at the end of Castle lane for the purpose of keeping the cattle grazing upon the common from trespassing upon the land in the occupation of the farmers whose fields adjoined the lane. Samuel Swan, Aldridge, labourer, aged about 68, said he was born in the neighbourhood of Stonnall and with the exception of two years had resided there all his life. He had been in the habit of going and returning from Walsall by that road. The road which was by the side of the common was a bad road, but he had driven  horses, carts and waggons along it, which was the direct road from Stonnall to his uncle’s farm at Pelsall.

Cross-examined – It was a bad road. Had turf all over, and he used to drive where he thought proper. There was no proper road.

 By Mr Bealey – I did not always take the same track. I varied it like others.

By Mr Wilkinson – I never knew the road to be repaired by any one

Re-examined – It was when the track was bad I left it and went with my team upon the common.

By Mr Wilkinson – The road on one side separates the common from private property, and there are several gates from these premises communicating with the road.

At this stage of the proceedings  the Bench suggested that evidence should now be called as to the repairs of the road. Mr Barnes accordingly called Ann Beardmore, aged 67, widow, Norwoods brick-kiln. She said her husband, Henry Cooper,was surveyor of the Walsall Wood district about forty years ago and did some repairs to that portion of the road which passed their farm, which lay between the Aldridge Road and the canal bridge.

Cross-examined – I knew did repair the road, because I saw him do it.He put a cart-load of stones upon it in the ruts caused by the wheels of the carts. The materials were got off his own land.

Re-examined – I cannot say where the stones were got from. I know we collected the stones off our fields and piled them up in a rick upon the common. He may have taken those.

By Mr Wilkinson – about 300 yards were all that was repaired

Frances Hood,wife of James Hood, Holly-bank cottage,aged 73, said she had lived in Holly-bank cottage fifty-one years last Lady Day. The cottage was one the side of the road, but there was no proper road. She remembered Henry Cooper being  surveyor. She refused to pay the highway rate till the road was repaired, and Mr Henry Cooper repaired the road. He did the repair on two different days, and then she paid the rate.

By Mr Wilkinson – she never on any other occasion refused to pay the rates till the road was repaired

Cross-examined – I have paid every one who was surveyor until an arrangement was come to by my landlady, Miss Billston. I am not aware Mr Green is assistant way warden. I know Mr Arblaster. Yes, I have paid him highway rates. Mr Arblaster – you never did. The stones you threw in to the ruts by Mr Cooper may be seen to this day

John Leadbetter, aged 64, now an inmate of the Walsall Union, said for about nine years previous to last Christmas said he had done certain repairs just to the edge of the common, but not a shovelful was put upon the common.

This being the case for the application, the Bench consulted for a short time, and said the case had so signally failed that the Bench did not think it necessary to require the opposition to call witness.”

Walsall Free press and General Advertiser, 06 September, 1862

Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Flying down the line

I note there’s a wonderful video clip been posted by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust who as regular readers will know, are reconstructing the canal between Brownhills and Lichfield.

The video is a great aerial fly-trough and is full annotated, made with the most up to date Google Earth imagery and will be a revelation for anyone interested in, but not quite sure of the route of this lost canal.

You can see the film below – it’s really rather excellent.

At the moment, this entirely volunteer-driven project have teams currently beavering away on the route of the lost line between Barracks Lane, Ogley Hay and The Boat pub, on the Lichfield Road at Summerhill, opening the route for walkers, but also at Gallows Wharf, Fosseway near Wall and at other spots along the route.

Image of the wonderful work done by volunteers – supplied by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

The Trust have already put in years of work restoring the lost line and it’s features like Borrowcop Locks, and it has been no small undertaking. 

If you want to find out how you can help the Trust, check out their website here or their Facebook page here – they are a top bunch of people and really are getting there with this vital and wonderfully historic project.

If you spot anything on the film or have any questions, please do comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or give me a shout on social media.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why not Stay and Christmas Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 15th December 2018 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

Brownhills Stay & Play 

Saturday December 5th 20918
CHRISTMAS PARTY …. 
This week will be our final Stay & Play of 2018…🤯 
We will be throwing a Christmas party … 🎄⛄️
…With lots of planned Christmas activities which include decorating baubles for your trees at home and messy Christmas inspired spaghetti!

Also we have Santa’s restaurant … We will be decorating our very own Christmas tree, 🎄 our construction area where we will be busy building Santa’s sleigh 🛷🎅 for snack we will be trying some mince pies 🥧 alongside our usual fruit &milk 🍇 🍉 🍎 🍊 🥛

£2 per child (4years and under) we can’t have older children in group … 
come along and join in the celebration ..
10.00-11.30am

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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Walsall Wood FC away at Quorn this afternoon!

quorn_clubhouse

Quorn FC have a rather posh clubhouse. Image from their website.

Saturday 15th December 2018

The Wood are away at Quorn!

Farley way, Quorn LE12 8RB

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow!

For the Good of the Wood!

Visit Walsall Wood FC’s website here

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dreaming of a White Christmas? Top up the feel good feelings in Brownhills this Saturday evening!

Fancy getting into the Christmas spirit this Saturday evening in Brownhills?

This Saturday, 15th December 2018 The Lamp Theatre in Brownhills Community Centre on the Miner Island in Brownhills are hosting a singalong showing of the festive classic White Christmas the musical in a relaxed environment which everyone will love.

It kicks off at 6:00pm and you can book tickets online right now, so what’s not to love? Click here to buy yours – just £4 adults, £3 for kids…

Brownhills Community Association wrote:

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Bursting with warmth and nostalgia, ‘White Christmas’ is one of those ‘we’ll have the show right here’ movies that Hollywood don’t make any more.

Showing at the Lamp on 15th December in the singalong version, a great community event and family night out, showing as part of the Black Country Touring movie season.

Get an eyeful of the cinema trailer right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n3-UtakD3I

Tickets available online at the link below (no fees) or from 01453 452119.

https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/the-lamp-arts-centre

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.

Please ring the crew on 01543 452 119 if you have any queries or need any help or email: info@thelamparts.co.uk.

There’s loads going on at the Activity Centre on the Miner Island in Brownhills!
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Christmas market at Chasewater Railway this Saturday!

I notice that this Saturday 15th December 2018, there’s a rather fun looking Christmas Market being staged at Chasewater Railway.

The market runs from 10am until 5pm at Brownhills West Station (Use the Chasewater main entrance from the A5 and Pool Road) and there will be entertainment, loads of stalls, the noted tea rooms and of course the wonderful atmosphere provided by a working preserved steam railway.

It’s sure to be a festive treat!

The organisers said:

Come along and see us for our first annual Christmas Market on Saturday 15th December between 10 and 5.

Free entry.

Festive Entertainments. Kiddies Fair Rides. Lots going on. 

Please note: Santa special train service is fully booked

Chasewater Railway is a wonderful attraction with regular passenger services at weekends and during school holidays, featuring two excellent cafes and a fascinating museum that chronicles not just railway history, but that of our area and industry.

The whole thing is staffed by helpful and friendly volunteers who are always ready to chat and talk about the railway and rolling stock.

At Brownhills west station there are also a lovely model railway, plus a couple of great vintage and collectible stalls. The railway itself has a shop selling books, rail models, toys and other merchandise.

You can check their website here – trains run this and every weekend from 11am to 4pm with the museum, cafes and stations open earlier.

Image from Chasewater Railway
Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join in the conversation this lunchtime in Brownhills!

I haven’t got a handle on what this is about yet but I notice there’s a community meeting event today from 12:45 PM – 2:45 PM at St James Parish Church Hall, Church Road, Brownhills, WS8 6AB.

As far as I can tell it’s a general meeting to find out what folks would like to see in the area and it’s free to attend, so why not pop along? There’s a Facebook event page for it here.

There are other events planned so if you can’t make this one due to work, I know there’s another on a Saturday coming up in January.

If you pop along, please do get in touch and let us know what it’s all about…

The organisers of A Brownhills Conversation said:

“A Brownhills Conversation” is an open informal community discussion group to talk about the issues that are affecting you, your family and friends here in Brownhills.

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A party this Friday for Janey!

There’s a great party event happening this Friday 14th December 2018 at King Street Club in Walsall Wood, in memory of the one and only Janey Hatfield who sadly passed away recently.

There will be a disco and karaoke, singer Tia Rose, tombolas, bingo and loads of other entertainment and fun – all the kind of stuff that Janey loved! It’s just £2.50 for adults, and free entry for kids. Get in quick as numbers are limited!

There will be a raffle with great prizes, too, so why not go along and remember Janey in the style she’d have wanted?

The whole thing is being organised by Julie Woodhouse and you can contact her via Facebook here.

I’m organising a fundraising event in aid of my friend Janey C Hatfield who sadly passed away on 4th November 2018, aged just 47 years old! 

Friday 14th December 2018 at King Street Club, Walsall Wood, starting 7.30pm.

Entry £2.50 for adults, children under 18 are free when accompanied by an adult.

Wristbands will be supplied upon entry, under 18’s will have a different colour wristband. 

I have set up an event on Facebook here.

If anyone is interested in coming, please let me know and I can add you to the event!

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There’s a great new autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few weeks now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Tyred out – huge thanks to a pair of a local heroes!

Here’s a lovely thing Brian Stringer from the Back the Track group has asked me to share with readers, to thank local lad Ian Neville and his daughter Nicola who have performed a remarkable feat this weekend.

 This is a lot of work – the tyres are heavy, filthy and not easy things to handle. Image from Back the Track’s Facebook page.

The Back the Track gang as regular readers will know are working hard on clearing the old railway line through Brownhills and converting it into a cycling and walking trail for all to use.

So far they’ve done a cracking job along the dismantled railway from Pelsall and have got as far as behind the Smithy’s Forge Pub, just by the Miner Island in Brownhills. The route is now walkable and highly acclaimed.

One thing that was presenting an issue, however was the number of discarded car tyres recovered, which the volunteers had stacked as they came across them beside the trail.

Well, this weekend local legend Ian Neville and his daughter Nicola actually moved all the tyres ON THEIR OWN to the ramp by Silver Street for the disposal people to collect. This is a massive amount of work and a huge effort. I have no idea how they did this by themselves. I’m astonished.

Brian Stringer wrote:

Hi Bob 

I don’t know if you’ve seen our latest Facebook posting? A young lady we spoke to on Friday has, with the help of her Dad cleared all the tyres from the top end of track and placed them by B&M entrance ready for collection.

They surely epitomise the Community spirit that is around Brownhills at the moment. Those bloody things are heavy mate, and I’m amazed at them rolling them up the ramp and then stacking them, all in a wet weekend.

I wonder if you could give them a mention in the blog as they really deserve our praise. It’s certainly saved us old gits a lot of graft.

Cheers Bob,
Brian

"If you go down on the track today you're sure of a big surprise" Brian and Barry were on the Brownhills section of the…

Posted by Back The Track on Sunday, December 9, 2018

I’d like to thank Ian and Nicola on behalf of Brian and the gang, and also on behalf of myself and the wider community for such a wonderful community spirited effort – it truly is wonderful. Absolutely marvellous, thank you – I take my hat off to both of you.

That is a lot of work! Image from Back the Track’s Facebook page.

I’ve covered the work of Back the Track before – Brian Stringer and pals started in 2017 to clear out the old railway cutting under the miner island in Brownhills and convert it into a cycling and walking route for all.

Since then, the route has been improved step by step and is now an absolutely beautiful and is a great asset to the community. Even Central News have been down to see what these dedicated volunteers have been up to – you can see the film report of that here.

Back the Track is a wonderful project and Brownhills should be very grateful to the volunteers and all who have worked hard to make this dream a reality.

Again, my thanks to Ian and Nicola, and all the Back the Track folk – making a real difference for Brownhills.

Thank you, Nicola and Ian.  Image from Back the Track’s Facebook page.

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Walsall Wood prove equal to Shepshed – but leave loyal supporter tea’d off!

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday 8th December 2018) Walsall Wood FC faced Shepshed Dynamo at home, and fought an excellent match which ended in a four-all draw.

David Evans was there for the action, and found some changes afoot at the Wood he was uncomfortable with.

He submitted the following match report and gallery of images above:

Hiya Bob,

Walsall Wood 4 v 4 Shepshed Dynamo
 
In this Advent period, where people’s minds are filled with the demands and trials of the imminent festive season, on a dank and bleary Saturday afternoon the scene was set. Shepshed’s famous good-hearted avid supporters arrived and, like me, were somewhat confused by what we met. Chelsea’s famous refreshments caravan that the more seasoned visitors to Oak Park had grown to love was there as usual.

And yet, oddly, I felt somewhat of a stranger to the ground. The clubhouse was devoid of the friendly supporters, home and away. What was going on?  Visitors asked questions, I could not help. There were no signs or directions. The matchday programme highlighted the departures of assistant managers and others. What was going on?

The match itself was best summed up by one of the visiting supporters as we shook hands in the car park after the game. ‘That was the best match I have seen all season’. We exchanged  brief pleasantries and I wished the gentleman a safe journey as he set off to drive back home.

We had experienced the pleasure of spectating a rollocking, barn-storming totally enthralling exhibition of football played by real sportsman. There was nothing untoward, not in this match. The game and the sportsman on the field of honour defied the torrential cloudburst and heavy deluge that could, and perhaps should have halted the match temporarily. But such was the resolve and determination of all the players that this nail-biter of a game was unstoppable. 

The managers and physios stood still like overflowing gargoyles as the rain lashed down , not moving from their stations. We, the spectators sat sitting in the stand, were frankly astonished, and appreciative.

The first half came to a welcome, drenched conclusion and the sodden players and match officials headed for the brief comfort  of the changing rooms while we spectators made our way to Chelsea’s famous refreshment caravan by the entrance gate area. 

But first, I went in to the clubhouse to shake hands with the posse of visitors as they enjoyed the hospitality offered to the visiting committee.
I headed back outside to the refreshment caravan to buy a cup of tea and a hotdog. No tea!  No longer served at the refreshments caravan. What? worse still, the caravan will cease attending from the end of this season.

Confused and irked in equal measure, I returned to the stand late to see the kick off for the second half and watch the thrill of the game. The rain had stopped and I was thirsty.

The final score was four goals to each team. The winners were the squadron of fine visiting Shepshed supporters and their committee who had driven all those miles to find confusing and seemingly unworkable refreshments arrangements and lack of signs for the toilets etc. in the ground at Oak Park.

I think I will take a thermos flask of tea with me to future home games then…

David Evans

My thanks to David for an excellent and frank report as ever.

For the good of the Wood!

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Ramble with a popular local historian in his latest book – just the thing for Christmas!

I had an email from local historian and author Clive Roberts yesterday, pointing out that his latest book ‘Ramblings of a Local Historian’ is now available, but will sell out fast – so be quick if you want a copy for a present or just a Christmas treat for yourself!

Clive has previously written excellent and sought after books on Shire Oak, Walsall Wood and Brownhills. He comments and contributes frequently here on the blog and is a stalwart of the local history community.

I know that in this work, Clive covers a diverse range of subjects – including a lost canal wharf in Brownhills I knew nothing about, some great info on Manchester House in Brownhills High Street and the book will be packed with photos and archive material.

Clive wrote and published parts one and two of the pubs of Brownhills over the last two years, which have proven a great success, and this book continues Clive’s painstaking and fascinating work.

Clive wrote:

Hello Bob and readers of the blog.

It’s that time of year again!

I have now received my new local history work for our area from the printers ‘Rambling of a Local Historian’.

The book will be on sale at Brownhills Library from Wednesday 12th December. The book covers mainly Brownhills; there’s a bit on Clayhanger; Pelsall; and Walsall Wood also.

Price: £8 each and there’s 59 pages.

I will also put it for sale on eBay next week.

When they’re gone they’re gone, so please get in quick!

Best wishes
Clive L. Roberts

I haven’t yet got my copy, but when I do I’ll post a full review here – Clive’s previous works have garnered him a great reputation for well researched, engaging local history writing that uncovers detail that others may well miss. They are written in a friendly, conversational style and are an absolute treat.

If you have any questions or observations for Clive, please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at  Googlemail dot com, and I’ll draw them to his attention.

I wish Clive all the best and look forward to reading his new book!

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A public service announcement…


Right folks quick update for readers.

Stuff’s a bit slow right now.

I have a bit of a problem at the moment in that the weekend I need to do my end of year financial shit for the bean counters at work, Tumblr decides to go loco and I need to move 365days to another service as a backup. (Long story. Basically Tumblr are deleting adult content and so far in my 5000-post journal, their obscenity detection bots have flagged 20 images as being adult: 12 of bits of architecture, 4 mushrooms, 3 of apples 1 of a brake pad) – and due to the way they’re doing this the whole journal could be lost if I’m not quick.

So in short I’m a bit too busy to blog. There will be stuff. just not on any kind of normal schedule.

Sorry.

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Remembering Janey

Janey Hatfield: Rest in peace, spud.

The funeral of Janey Hatfield will take place today, Friday 7th of December 2018 at Streetly Crematorium’s West Chapel with the service starting at 1.45pm.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Janey’s family, friends and all attending today the very best on this tragic and sad day.

Janey was the very soul of Walsall Wood, and whether meeting up with the old folks for their monthly get together at the Brickies, finding old photos to post on Facebook, entertaining us on live Facebook feed with Russell Smith or just winding up the regulars she did so much more to bring local history and community together than I’ve managed in a decade.

Most of all, Janey was the most excellent online pal, co-conspirator, and the only person ever allowed to call me ‘Fluffy’.

I can’t believe she’ll never take the piss out of me again.

Rest in peace, Spud. You will be missed. Bless you for the fun we had and the trolling we pulled.

My condolences to Janey’s family, friends and all those who loved her. She was such an irrepressible, exuberant character. Life hereabouts will never be the same again. Goodnight, Janey.

Love, Fluffy.

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust December 2018 public meeting this Monday

P1120641
Sandfields Pumping Station – a great historic building with immense history and social significance – not just to Lichfield, but to the Black Country. Lichfield Discovered and local historian Dave Moore have saved this valuable asset for the community.

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this coming Monday 10th December 2018) there will be the monthly Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.

The meeting is at the Bowling Green pub, Lichfield from 7:30pm and is of course open to anyone interested.

Dave wrote:

Lichfield Waterworks Trust November News Letter


 The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on Monday 10 December 2018 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of:
 
The Bowling Green
Friary Road
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6QJ
 
Tel: 01543 257344
 
The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.
 
This is an incredibly exciting community heritage project, so do come along and become involved, everyone is welcome.
 
Meeting Notes

Tonights Talk: Victorian Food

This months talk is by our very own Kate Shaw abd will be a look at Victorian wages and what food cost; the typical diet of different classes of people and the influences of industialisation on food.

Rounding off with a look at a Victorian Christmas.

As always, this talk will invite you to think about the past differently.

Health and Safety

We are really pleased to report that Novenber has been working for another month where there have been no incidents relating to health and safety. A very big thank you again to everyone for working safely and looking after your fellow volunteers.

Engineering Team Report

The Engineering Teams work is continuing at an astonishing rate, with he 1874 engine house now taking on a look of originality and careful conservation.
 
The Engineering Teams report can be downloaded here

Building Maintenance Team Report

The Building and Maintenance Team continue with their endeavours to clean and repair the building. Balustrades fitted recently have been painted in a colour that’s more sympathetic to the 1874 building.
 
The land around the Pumping Station is looking clean and tidy, with lawns mowed and litter removed.  
Archive and Document Preservation Team Report

Archive and Document Preservation Team continue with their cataloguing, sorting and filing.
 
The team recently obtained some new (used) shelving from Staffs County Council that was surplus to their requirements.
 
Donations

With over 2,500 volunteer working hours, (equates to more than two full time equivalents) and over £6,000 spent in cleaning equipment, materials and scaffold. This month has seen quite a drain on our bank balance with invoices for the viability study and scaffolding landing on the desk. Looking at the engine now, as opposed to how it looked in 2016, the volunteers have made some remarkable progress.

We will also always invest in our people and we are planning further training days soon. All these costs soon mount up, so if you can donate, then please visit our donation page here.
 
Any amount is helpful, is well appreciated and will be carefully spent preserving our industrial past for our future generations, developing skills for our people and making our community a better place.
 
Please make cheques payable to; Lichfield Waterworks Trust, and send to our address:
 
22 Walsall Road
Lichfield
WS13 8AB
 
Membership

We would like this opportunity to welcome a few new members.
Thank you for joining the Lichfield Waterworks Trust. We hope you will enjoy your membership and become part of a very exciting heritage project that will benefit the people, the place and the community.
It would really help us if we develop and grow our membership. If you are not already a member and would you like to be a part of one of the region’s most exciting heritage projects then please, join us now by filling in Membership Application Form by going to our membership page here. It is free to join and be a part of this incredibly exciting project.

Finally

Thank you everyone for your continued support and helping to make a difference in our community.

Do pop over to Dave Moore’s blog and check out the history of Sandfields Pumping Station, an almost forgotten gem – the group also has a Facebook page.

Dave is, of course, one of the leading lights of Lichfield Discovered, along with Kate ‘Cardigan’ Gomez from Lichfield Lore.

It’s great to see people like Dave encourage a better attitude to our historic buildings -please do attend if you’re able, it’s sure to be enlightening and educational.

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Scouting out the history

Time for a bit of history (makes a change in the run up to Christmas!) and I’ve had this interesting image in from Adam Mayon, who believes it’s of Brownhills Scouts, taken around 1960.

His request is simple:

Brownhills Socuts, believed to be around 1950. Image kindly supplied by Alistair Mayo.

Hi Bob, 
Can any of your readers identify the scouts in this picture?
I think this is about 1950.
Alistair Mayo

I’ve tweaked the image as best I can and feel sure someone will recognise at least a few of these fine lads.

You can comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or buttonhole me on social media.

It’s worth pointing out that Brownhills still has a thriving Scout group.

The Scouts are a fine organisation, giving young folk access to experiences and social events that are unparalleled elsewhere. I know for a fact that John Currie and his group are a credit to our community, and they all work hard to help out at Brownhills events.

If you’ve got a young one you think would enjoy the Beavers or Scouts, why not pop along and find out what they’re about? You can find contact details for your nearest group here.

Untitled 9

Brownhills Scouts, after years in the Scout Hut by the Memo, now have a great place down Barnetts Lane. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Santa comes to a great local miniature railway this weekend!

Hey folks – if you’re quick you can book up for the Christmas children’s event at Balleny Green Miniture Railway, which takes place at this wonderful hidden gem in Little Hay, near Shenstone, this coming weekend (Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2018).

Balleny Green is the remarkable railway I visited back in spring 2017, and it’s well worth a visit in it’s own right, and isn’t open to the public too often: With a Christmas event going on it’s sure to be magical.

The organisers said:

Little Hay Miniature Railway
Little Hay Village
Santa Special Event.
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2018
See Santa. Train Rides. Refreshments. Lots of fun for all the family.

Tickets via website (click here) SCMES.CO.UK 

The final day for purchasing Santa Tickets is Wednesday 5th December 2018 – enquiries after that date to Chris Greene Tel 0121 351 3509 please.

Balleny Green is a narrow gauge, passenger-carrying miniature model railway located at Little Hay, east of Shenstone and north of Sutton Coldfield, just down the lane from the Holly Bush pub.

The railway runs it it’s own grounds which are beautiful, and is skilfully and safely operated by dedicated and clever engineers. It’s genuinely breathtaking, and what’s more, absolutely free (although you’d a total tightarse not to make a donation for such a wonderful thing – collecting box right by the clubhouse!)

Balleny Green is something I heartily recommend – it won’t take all day, but it’ll easily burn a couple of hours and leave you feeling thoroughly charmed. It’s open from 10am until 3pm, and would make a great thing to call into on the way to or from New Hall Mill, which is also open Bank Holiday Monday.

You can find out more at the Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Society’s site here. I posted the following on my 365daysofbiking journal after my last visit. It’s a terrific thing.

May 1st – Today, I did something I’d been meaning to do for years – I paid a visit to Balleny Green, a little-known narrow gauge railway layout run by Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Society at Little Hay, between Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield.

I’ve known this place was here for years, but never caught it open. This time, I made a concerted effort to find out when it was a ‘steam up day’ and popped in.

This was just so English. No entry fee. No charges to ride. Just a bunch of people sharing their love of a fascinating, beautifully engineered hobby in the middle of rolling countryside in gorgeous grounds.

There is a long layout consisting of several tracks – including a miniature one – but on the larger one, which interestingly is dual gauge – passengers sit in or on carriages and are conveyed by small locomotives – today one steam, one electric – through tunnels, over junctions, level crossings, past ponds, signals, signal boxes. It’s gorgeous.

The whole thing is clearly a labour of love.

There were no other attractions, and none were needed: tea and biscuits, and a tin for donations to cover running costs.

All right here on the doorstep, and few know about it. A wonderful thing.

Find out more about Balleny Green at their website here. I’d like to thank the members for a beautiful, life-affirming thing.

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Do you think you could help Knaves Court panto? Oh yes you can!

Knaves Court. Archive picture from my 365days journal.

I know readers here in the past have been very helpful to the community that live in the Knaves Court extra care facility near Anchor Bridge, Brownhills: In the past good people have rallied around to help with the community garden and with other appeals.

Well, Janet Grinnell the Knaves Court Activities Coordinator has been in touch with a rather unusual appeal for help – they need someone who can record their Christmas pantomime!

Janet explained:

Hi Bob

This is Janet from Knaves court – you’ve been amazing with helping us in the past and we wondered if you might be able to help us get a message out again?

Some of the residents and staff here have agreed to try and do a pantomime together at Christmas (I say pantomime in the very loosest sense of the word, but hopefully it’ll be alright on the night)!

We were wondering if there is anyone out there in the photography profession who would help video it for us so that those of our residents who can’t come down to the lounge would still be able to enjoy the fun watching it later on DVD?

It should last no more than half an hour, if that, and  will in no way be a polished performance, just residents and staff having fun together at Christmas and probably fluffing our lines (but Christmas should be full of laughter, that’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it) .  It will take place on the Friday afternoon before Christmas.

If there’s anyone out there willing to help us that would be wonderful.

Thankyou in advance, Bob
Janet X

Please folks, I have been so touched in the past with the way you’ve all rallied round Knaves Court and it’d be fab if someone could help them here – they are a lovely, caring and popular part of our community and it would be just wonderful to help them again.

You can contact Janet directly:

Janet Grinnell
Activities Coordinator
Direct Dial 0370 192 4204
Janet.Grinnell at housingandcare21.co.uk
Knaves Court, High Street, Brownhills, Walsall, WS8 6DJ
www.housingandcare21.co.uk

Or of course, you can also comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Thanks in advance to all who help.

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A gentle reminder that it’s Janey’s funeral this Friday

Janey Hatfield and a wee purple pal. Rest in peace my friend.

Following the sad passing of friend of the blog and local legend Janey Hatfield, her son Sam Perry made the following announcement regarding her funeral arrangements.

Sam said:

I’d like to inform people that my mothers funeral will take place on Friday 7th of December 2018 at Streetly Crematorium’s West Chapel with the service starting at 1.45pm.

A meeting point for people who wish to come along from our home address will be departing the house latest 1.15pm if anybody would like to come from there, please feel free to message you so I can send out the address.

The wake will be taking place at the Brickmakers arms (the Brickies) shortly after the service where everybody along with the funeral will be welcome. 

Only thing I ask for at this time is anybody that does wish to come to the funeral could we please wait passionately outside the chapel until all family are present as obviously we are expecting an awful lot of people.

Any questions people would like to ask regarding the funeral or the wake please feel free to message me 

Regards Sam

Sam has stated that they would prefer family flowers only please, and that the dress code would be whatever you want to wear, as that would be what Janey would want.

For those who would have sent flowers, donations to the fund would be preferred.

You can still donate securely on the Just Giving site here. Please help if you can.

My heart and condolences remain, as ever, with Sam and all of  Janey’s family and friends.

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There’s a great new autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few weeks now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Walsall Wood recent match roundup

As many of you will know, the Evans clan of late have had a lot to sort out and deal with, so the the regular father and son football correspondent duties have had to go on the back burner for a while.

Thankfully, Simon at least is getting back in the game and this weekend send me the following précis of some recent matches.

I thank Simon for these reports and wish him, David and all the family well. The footy will still be here when you get back, lads!

Simon Evans wrote:

It’s not been plain sailing for The Woodmen of late. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

Tuesday 20th November 2018
Walsall Senior Cup
Walsall Wood 1 v 2 RAF

Wood made a number of changes for the match. The early chances fell to the RAF, Wood keeper Reiss Wagstaff the busier of the keepers.

Wood created chances but the RAF defence stood firm. Midway through the first half, Darren Byfield’s shot found the back of the net. 1-0 Wood.

The second half saw the RAF ramp up the pressure, only some last ditch defending from Kyle Rowley prevented an equaliser. Still the RAF piled on the pressure and it was no surprise when they equalised. 1-1. Soon it got worse for Wood – a speculative cross shot found it’s way into the back of the Wood net 1-2. 

Wood replied but couldn’t find the equalising goal. FT 1-2

Saturday 24th November 2018
Sporting Khalsa 1 v 1 Walsall Wood
Midland Premier league

Wood gave a debut to new player Eli Bako.

Khalsa had the better of the opening exchanges, Reiss Wagstaff pulling off some great saves. Wood started to get a foot hold and soon a great through ball found Bako who calmly slotted the ball into the net 0-1.

In the second half  Khalsa came back, but Wood’s defence stood firm. In the 91st minute Khalsa got their equalising goal.  FT 1-1

Tuesday 27th November 2018
Wolves Sporting 4  v 0 Walsall Wood   
Midland Premier league

Wolves sporting started the brighter and after 3 minutes, a defensive mix up saw them go 1-0 up.

Wood responded but the Wolves defence stood strong and solid. Soon it was 2-0 to Wolves. Wood had no response to that.

On the stroke of half time a Wolves freekick was drilled into the Wood wall, the ball fell to the Wolves player who’s long range curling effort found the back of the net 3-0.

The second half Wood played all their strikers, but the Wolves defence was tight.

Midway through the second half Wolves scored their 4th goal. The remaining minutes saw Wolves attack, Woods defence somehow managed to clear the danger. FT 4-0.  

Simon Evans

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Remembering Fred – an early local loss of World War Two

Here’s a sad but fascinating submission from old friend of the blog Greame Clarke who’s asked me to point out that with the greatest respect to David Evans, his list of Walsall Wood Second World War ARP wardens that I featured here last week was not complete – because sadly, one local man died in service before the list was compiled.

This is a heart wrenching and tragic fragment of local history, but one that deserves to be recorded and I’m very happy to do so here. My thanks to Graeme for sharing this story and the image of Fred’s headstone.

Please, if you have anything to add – do so, you’re most welcome: Comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBOb at Googlemail dot com or find me on social media.

Graeme Clarke wrote:

Fred Bockroyd, rest in peace: Image of the family headstone kindly supplied by Graeme Clarke.

Hi Bob,

I was most interested to read David Evans research on the Walsall Wood 
A.R.P.

The register commenced on 10 October 1939 and therefore does not 
include the below named man who died on duty on 1 September 1939 BUT 
who is not officially commemorated as the C.W.G.C. work from 3 
September 1939.

I would be grateful if you would mention him as he gave his life in the 
service of the A.R.P.

I include my research and a picture of his headstone.

Fred BUCKROYD
Air Raid Precaution
Died in England on Friday 1 September 1939

A native of Yorkshire, Fred was the son of Benjamin Smith and 
Emily (née Allen) Buckroyd of Midland Road, Royston, near Barnsley, 
Yorkshire, his father being a colliery deputy–below ground. A coal 
miner, he later boarded with the Basford family at Co-operative 
Terrace, Royston.

Fred married Dorothy Ada Pears in 1915 and had five sons later 
residing in Castle Road, Walsall Wood and being employed as a colliery 
overman at the Walsall Wood Colliery. He collapsed and died near his 
home.

An inquest into his death was held at Brownhills Council Offices 
on Monday 4 September 1939, the Borough Coroner, Mr. James Flockhart 
Addison, presiding.

His widow gave evidence stating that he worked at the colliery on 
Friday 1 September 1939 from 6.30am and returned home at 5pm. After 
eating a meal he went to an A.R.P. meeting at the colliery, called at 
an air raid shelter in Salters Road, Walsall Wood on his way home, 
listened to the radio news at home and, at 9.10pm, went out on his 
duties as an air warden to inspect the obscuring of lights. Later she 
had heard that he had died.

Walter Samuel Pinches, a Special Constable in Rushall, stated that 
on Friday night he was on duty in Castle Road with Special Constable 
Blakemore. They met Frederick, who seemed quite alright, and inquired 
of him the time. He replied that it was half past nine. All three then 
walked towards Holly Road with Frederick slightly behind. The officer 
then heard a slight shuffle and, on turning round, saw Frederick lying 
unconscious in the road. They did all they could for him, sent for a 
doctor and carried him to a nearby house.

Doctor F.R. Roberts gave evidence stating that when he arrived at 
the house, Frederick was dead. A post mortem examination revealed that 
death was due to fatty degeneration of the heart and there was evidence 
of a mild attack a few years ago. The man was liable to collapse at any 
time owing to the weak state of his heart, the doctor explained.

Recording a verdict of ‘death from natural causes’, the Coroner 
stated,

‘Like many thousands of others, this man had been doing A.R.P. 
work on top of his ordinary work, and I cannot help thinking that, 
having regard to the weak state of his heart, he did too much.’

Following a short service at his home conducted by the Vicar of 
Walsall Wood, the Reverend J. Stackhouse, a service was held in the 
Parish Church where Frederick had been a sidesman. A guard of honour 
was made up of Air Raid Wardens together with ambulance and nursing 
staff, all with steel helmets and respirators. 

Fred was buried in Walsall Wood Cemetery. He was 50 years of age. 

By convention the date generally accepted by historians for the 
start of the Second World War is Friday 1 September 1939, when Germany 
invaded Poland – however Britain and France did not declared war on 
Germany until Sunday 3 September 1939.

Regards,
Graeme Clarke

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So Turpin was famous locally…

I’m a bit busy with other stuff this weekend so while I catch up with that, there’s a great story here from spotted by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler in an April 1967 copy of the Lichfield Mercury.

Pit ponies and indeed, most of the local pits themselves were a thing of the past by 1967, but many old miners remembered these noble beasts of burden with great fondness, and the horses and men who grafted alongside them had great trust and pride in each other.

Local gentleman, historian and honorary grandfather of the blog Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove wrote of how miners would save a slice of Sunday’s fruitcake for the pit pony on Monday, and whilst it’s hard to accept the awful conditions they worked in, these animals were a matter of great love and affection.

Do you have any memory of these animals, either at work or retired? Did any of your relatives tell you about their favourite pit pony?

Thanks to Peter for a wonderful little story and if you can add anything, please do: Comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or say hi on social media.

TRIBUTE TO OLD TURPIN...

A PROUD day for Turpin the pit pony who loved his work.

When this picture was taken, Turpin should have been enjoying a well earned rest. Instead 33 years old and still In peak condition, he had Just returned from the Royal Agricultural Show at Derby and was ready to start work again at No. 1 pit at Cannock Chase Colliery.

The pit is closed now, but Mr. A. Richardson, of 27 Union Street, Chasetown, feels there are many local miners who’d like a final glimpse of Turptn, the faithful veteran whose working life spanned 3O years.

After Turpln bad won a first prize at the County Agricultural Show in 1932, the colliery manager decided the time had come for him to be retired, and he was sent to graze on part of an 100-acre field at the colliery farm

But Turpln missed his old life at the pit. He got thinner, and had to spend a short time at the stables in Church Street, Chasetown, before he was fit and well again. After that be returned to the pit – and lived to the grand old age of 35.

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Buses and Brass – a great Christmas event this afternoon!

I notice that this afternoon (2nd December 2018) Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge will be hosting ‘Buses and Brass’ – a great Christmas music and fun event to really get you in the spirit of the season.

It runs from 1pm until 3pm, and features carols, vintage vehicles, Walsall Brass Band, light refreshments and much more!

Images kindly supplied by Aston Manor Transport Museum.

For any last minute updates you can check the Facebook event page here.

For more information, check out the museum website or their Facebook group.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Craft Fair this afternoon in Walsall Wood

Just a heads up that there’s a Christmas Craft Fair this afternoon (Sunday 2nd December 2018) at Walsall Wood Football Club at Oak Park.

It runs from 2pm until 5pm, is free to enter and all the usual stuff will be there including stalls, crafts, refreshments and all manner of great stuff for all the family.

Could be just the thing if you’re looking for a unique Christmas present or two…

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Aldridge Christmas Market on today!

It’s that time of year again, and I welcome news of Christmas Fairs, tree festivals and festive events of all kinds to share with readers – and there’s a great Christmas event in Aldridge today, Saturday 1st December 2018.

The Aldridge Village Partnership Christmas Market will taking place around the town centre from 10am to 4pm with stalls, entertainment and loads of fun for all the family.

Aldridge Village Partnership said:

Aldridge Village Partnership will this year hosting Aldridge Christmas Market Event.

This will be held in Aldridge Shopping Centre, Croft Parade and High Street.

Father Christmas, Children’s Entertainment Shake, Fair Rides and lots of Christmas Food & Craft Stalls.

If you’ve got a Christmas thing you’d like advertising, please do mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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Why not Stay and Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 1st December 2018 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

Brownhills Stay & Play 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈
Saturday 1st December
SNOWPLAY…❄️❄️
This week we will be investigating all about snow in our messy area ⛄️ alongside all our other areas of play including decorating our Christmas tree .. Making Christmas dinners in our role-play restaurant🥕🥔
Also we have the cozy book area the small world area and the construction yard 🔨 🚧 … let your friends know and bring them along .. 
This group is suitable for 0-4years❄️
(I’m afraid we can’t have older children in group) 
£2 per child snack included 🍎

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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Come support Walsall Wood FC away against Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa this afternoon

Willenhall 005

The Aspray Area – home to Sporting Khalsal, Willenhall Town and a very busy ground indeed! Image from Andrew’s Football Travels.

Saturday 1st December 2018

The Wood are away!

Walsall Wood FC versus Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa FC

Kick off is 3:00pm

Come see the Woodmen at the Aspray Arena, Noose Lane, Willenhall WV13 3BB

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out the team website here

 

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There’s a great Christmas Fair in Brownhills this evening…

Here’s a good one for those of you who, like me, enjoy a really good Christmas fair with Santa and all the festive stuff going on – a great event at Millfield School, Catshill, Brownhills this evening.

Today,Friday 30th December December 2018, from 3:15pm to 6:30pm you can visit Santa, warm yourself by the Christmas bonfire, get loads of great food and enjoy all the fun stuff you expect at a Christmas do – stalls, mince pies, Santa, food, cakes – and it’s free to get in!

Thanks to all the people who tipped me off, and if you take some nice photos while down there or bag a good bargain why not let me know? Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aldridge Christmas Market on this Saturday!

It’s that time of year again, and I welcome news of Christmas Fairs, tree festivals and festive events of all kinds to share with readers – and there’s a great Christmas event in Aldridge this weekend.

The Aldridge Village Partnership Christmas Market will taking place around the town centre this Saturday 1st December 2018 from 10am to 4pm with stalls, entertainment and loads of fun for all the family.

Aldridge Village Partnership said:

Aldridge Village Partnership will this year hosting Aldridge Christmas Market Event.

This will be held in Aldridge Shopping Centre, Croft Parade and High Street.

Father Christmas, Children’s Entertainment Shake, Fair Rides and lots of Christmas Food & Craft Stalls.

If you’ve got a Christmas thing you’d like advertising, please do mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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There’s a great new autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few weeks now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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A responsible job for responsible men

Although as the list shows, women were involved too! Image from ithe Imperial War Museum

I am once more indebted to David Evans (who’s not having a great time at the moment, so I’d like to wish him the very best and invite readers to join me in doing so) for finding and compiling this astounding list of Walsall Wood’s Air Raid Wardens.

David was inspired in his research by the recent article about the huge air raid shelter built in Stubbers Green at the outbreak of World War Two, the record of which I think surprised many of us. Since then, he’s been beavering away with Council minutes and other paperwork to bring us this remarkable list.

Are any of your relatives listed? There are also some wonderful occupations listed, including a local farmer’s chauffeur!

For a taste of what life was like in the area at the time, this article from a few years ago gives a taste.

Thanks to David for a remarkable addition to the historical record, and I hope his situation improves soon. Hang in there old chap.

If you have anything to add, please do: Comment here is welcome, as is mail to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com and tapping me on the shoulder on any social media I hang out on.

David Evans Wrote:

Background

Compiled from Brownhills Urban District Council minutes:

On 26 May 1938 Air raids precautions committee held a meeting. It would now be possible to commence the training of Air Raid Wardens. The number of volunteers so far enrolled:

Brownhills central Ward                              57
Walsall Wood Ward       153
Shelfield and High Heath Ward                          41
Norton Canes Ward       62
Total313

This number rose to 446 that summer. Auxiliary fire stations were approved for Norton Canes and Walsall Wood. In January 1939 the number of ARP volunteers had risen to 591 in the borough. In February 1939 a total capacity of shelters for 19,000 persons was recorded. In March 1939 the Air Raid precautions committee recorded that ‘…a further 60,000 sandbags would be received shortly.’

In July 1939 the council approved the ARP committee’s recommendation to build 8 permanent Warden’s Posts, including one ‘Near Conveniences, Walsall Wood’ and another ‘Corner House, Walsall Wood.’

I believe Walsall Wood’s Permanent Post was built near Brookland Road/ High Street junction, now a car park, and that the Auxiliary fire Station was built by this Post. The Corner House Post may have been at Shire Oak Junction, possibly on the covered reservoir  (two sources, oral tradition). [This remains a bone of contention between me and David – Bob, laughing].

On 6th September 1939 the ARP committee held a meeting. ‘Evacuation. A letter dated 25 August 1939 was received from the Ministry of health stating that reasonable expenditure may now be incurred for evacuation purposes and that plans for reception should be pushed forward with all speed.’

 Who were Walsall Wood’s Air Raid Wardens?

Fortunately the 1939 register is now accessible and, despite the corrections and annotations that this hastily complied register contains, we can find most of the Air Raid Wardens in the area.

The register was compiled on 10 October 1939 and has some blacked out entries as these people were still living a few years ago.  We also find reference to First Aid, St Johns Ambulance and Auxiliary Fire Service in this register.

Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood

 15       Charles Burns, engine driver at brickworks, ARP Warden

7          Robert Hayes, school attendance officer, ARP warden

49        Abraham Holyman, sheet metal filer, Auxiliary Fire Service

55        Enoch Painter, concrete maker, air raid shelters, Auxiliary Fire Service

55        Norman Painter, colliery hewer, AFS, Brownhills

Coppice Road

10        George Kemp, colliery fireman, ARP Ambulance, Staffs

30        Joseph Parr, coal miner ARP First Aid reserve

40        George Horobin, railway porter (van man) ARP, LMS Rly

42        James Lydall, bricklayer, ARP demolition (Aldridge)

66        John Parr, edge tool glazer, St Johns Ambulance Brigade

68        William Williams, colliery hewer, AFS BUDC

70        Alfred Clarke, colliery surface worker AR Warden (BUDC)

Lindon Road

129      John Halligan, colliery dispatch clerk and balloon barrage A.A.F

Brownhills Road

54        David Rowley, colliery wharf labourer  AFS (colliery)

26A      James Hollender, foreman (brickworks) First Said Superintendent BUDC

24        Sidney Collins, general labourer, colliery  ARP (ambulance)

18        Arthur Hancox, plasterer, AFS volunteer

14        Samuel Warrington, colliery worker ARP ambulance driver

Occupation Road

21        William Lees(?), butcher and National Pigeon Service

25        Clifford Perrins, mechanic, colliery service, ex RAF Officer (see military records;David)

25        Annie Perrins, First Aid volunteer

25        Bessie Perrins, record clerk , ARP BrownhillsUDC

27        Fred Arnold, ARP Instructor, Aldridge Brickworks,  ARP Instructor BUDC

27        Gladys Arnold tailoring machine button-holer, First Aid Services

31        James Langford, colliery boiler fireman . AFS Walsall Wood colliery

35        Robert Ruddock, colliery wagon repairer, St Johns Brownhills, ARP

Friezland Lane 

80        Frank Walker, Ambulance driver and ARP Service, BUDC

Commonside

48        Thomas Swain, assurance agent, enumerator

46        Francis Broadhurst, plastic moulder, AFS Streetly works

Lindon Road

49        Clifford Perrins, coach painter. Ambulance voluntary, BUD

63        Philip Pope, senior canal toll clerk, Birmingham Canal ARP scheme

65        Alfred Jackson, senior canal clerk , Birmingham canal ARP scheme

50,        Nellie Foster, unpaid domestic duties, ARP First Aid volunteer

56        Harry Heath, colliery hewer, ARP First Aid BUD

Pauls Coppice Post Office

            Arthur Horobin laundry manager , ARP emergency ambulance driver

Silver Street

            George Bywater, colliery shot firer, special constable no 3119

ORIT register:

Salters Road

56        Jabez Shaw, burner in brickworks, ARP warden BUDC

70        Jim Arblaster, coal hewer, AFS Brownhills UD

94        Joseph Harrison, heavy lorry driver, AFS Brownhills UD

100      William Freeman, Co-op milk deliverer, Auxiliary Fire Service Brownhills UDC

102      Sidney Arrowsmith, coal hewer, Auxiliary Fire Service, Brownhills UDC

Brookland Road

100      Thomas Percival, motor haulage contractor, Staffs CC Special Constable no 854

116      Victor Nicholls, builder’s labourer, Auxiliary Fire Service Brownhills UDC

Coronation Road

14        Percy Bickley, navvy on air raid shelters, Air Raid Warden at no x Post Brownhills UDC

23        Randolph Mycock, coal hewer,  ARP Warden

38        William Evans, master window cleaner, ARP whole – BUDC

57        Harold Dunning, plastic moulder at Bakelite factory Brownhills –

61        Leslie Jones, labourer at steel works, ARP First Aid Post, BUDC

Stewart Road

2          Charles Mills, colliery worker ARP voluntary worker BUDC

Oak Road

19        Thomas Danks, labourer at brickworks, Air Raid Warden

20        Clive Lydell brickworks labourer, ARP First Aid, Brownhills UDC

Brook Lane

49        Elizabeth Remblance, chauffeuse, ARP ambulance driver, BUDC

59        Thomas Belton, butcher, constable in Staffs special constabulary

65        Thomas Dixon, motor haulier, ARP, Auxiliary Fire Service

54        Thomas Arnold, gardener, First Aid section ARP, BUDC

Lichfield Road

18        Charles Higgs, newsagent ARP warden, BUDC

32B      Austin Walker, insurance agent. ARP warden, County of Stafford

48        Frank Litherland, engine fitter, ARP Auxiliary Fire Service BUDC

58        Clifford Jones, bricklayer burner ARP Auxiliary Fire Service BUDC

64        John Lewis, bricklayer’s labourer, ARP, BUDC

84        William Yeomans, wireless dealer, ARP warden, BUDC

86        Joseph Blakemore, excavator driver. special constable in Staffs Constabulary no 853

96        James Bayley, electrical engineer, part-time ARP ambulance man and driver BUDC

ORIA register:

Shire Oak

Lichfield Road, Sandhills (from Chester Road down to Barracks lane)

6          Harold Brooks, drapers collector, ARP warden, Brownhills UD

51        Henry Harrison, chauffeur (to Mr Lane) special constable no 1752

Chester Road, Shire Oak 

177      John Bywater, milk roundsman, AFS BUDC

131      Harold Blakemore, Lancashire boiler stoker, ARP decontamination Aldridge UDC

Lindon Road

254      Thomas Glenn, mechanic, full time ARP Warden ( motor mechanic)

Friezland Lane

61        Mary Curley, AFS 40 company roll w/6382

ORIS register:

Salters Road

27        Harry Whitby ARWarden BUDC

67        John Wright, painter, Air Raid warden, Brownhills UDC

153      Elizabeth Jolly, (69 yrs ) Air Raid Precaution decontamination squad, Staffs CC

161      William Oakley, labourer, air raid warden BUDC

165      Thomas Cross, gravel digger, air raid precaution demolition squad, BUDC

169      Arthur Parr, auxiliary fire service, BUDC

Brookland Road

42        Harry Roberts, Stafford County Constabulary

48        Walter Pinches, pork butcher, Police War reserve

76        Bernard Stokes, haulier, special constable

Vigo Road

26        Arthur Doody, labourer, Police War reserve

26        Evelyn Doody, first aid volunteer

Aldridge Road

26        Samuel Hyde, miner, ARP volunteer

28        Harry Reynold, brickworks, Auxiliary Fire service BUDC

Castle Road?

10        – Aspley, colliery, Police War reserve

Castle Road?

11        James Woollaston, miner, ARP volunteer

69        Grace Jillings, ATS 1stSouth –

69        Dorothy Jillings, 21stCompany WAAF

Castle Road

2          Wilfred stokes, ARP volunteer

16        Reginald Cope, labourer, brickyard, Voluntary ambulance driver, ARP, BUDC

44        Annie McDonaugh, St Johns Brigade, Walsall Nursing driver

50        Roland Percival, painter, voluntary AFS BUDC

50        Evelyn Percival voluntary AFS worker

Holly Lane

59        Edward Langford, colliery, voluntary air raid warden BUDC

51        William Bowker, miner, air raid warden, BUDC

7          William Richard, assurance agent, special constable

1          John Clayton, colliery electrician, auxiliary fire service

1          Ronald Clayton, transport driver, ambulance driver ARP, BUDC

Lichfield Road

124      William Bullock, miner, First Aid volunteer, BUDC

ORIR register:

Beech Tree Road

45        Joan Kirk, part-time ambulance driver

47        Norman Cooper, brass founder, voluntary first aid at ARP Post

47        Ethel Cooper, voluntary first aid at ARP Post

51        Henry Wagstaff, planning engineer in plastic works, ARP

21        Jarvis Beswick, Police Constable

21        Peggy Beswick, volunteer first aid, Walsall Wood

28        Reginald Morrey, Police constable no 174

Beech Tree House, Beech Tree Road

            Francis Roberts, medical practitioner, ARP Staffs County Council

56        Charles Cope, coalminer, special constable, Wednesbury

60        William Jones, insurance superintendent, Air Raid Warden, BUDC

79        Albert Maguire, assurance agent, special constable

77        Percy Foster, electrician, ARP first aid volunteer

63        Harry Morgan post office junior clerk , ARP telephonist and messenger

King Street

9          Agnes Davies, nurse ARP first aid post, BUDC

Queen Street

36        Clarence Hollender, works ARP warden Aldridge tool and engineering, Aldridge

26        Bernard Leese, motor driver, auxiliary fire service Brownhills UDC

Boatman’s Lane

21        Alfred Mason, girder plater, ARP, St Johns ambulance brigade

High Street, Walsall Wood

5          William Woollaston, hairdresser, ARP warden

?          Joseph Crutchley, blacksmith, ARP warden part-time

            Jerusha Crutchley, ladies’ hairdresser, first aid voluntary

29        Arthur Whitehouse, outfitter, tailored goods, boots and shoes, First aid Post duties, Stafford County Council

45        Cyril Thacker, air raid shelter constructor, ARP warden

            Hawthorn Tree Inn, Benjamin Bailey, publican

Walsall Road, Walsall Wood

79A      Agnes Jacques, ARP BUDC

83        John Nicholls, labourer, ARP, Stafford CC

109      Hosea Sylvester, Police War reserve

ORIO register:

Walsall Road, Walsall Wood

112      George Wall, colliery hewer, ARP senior warden BUDC

100      George Litherland, AFS no 108600, leading fireman BUDC

Hall Lane

36        John Baker, miner, voluntary ARP warden, Staffs CC

52        John Harper, bricklayer, ARP warden BUDC

151      Arthur Till, bricklayer, Bhills AFS

High Street, Walsall Wood

Red Lion Inn      William Burton publican, ARP warden, Brownhills UDC

30        Frank Harrison, wholesale tobacco traveller, ARP, first aid, Walsall Wood

40        Patricia Barratt, St Johns Ambulance brigade 

58        William Hall, miner, ARP no 6 Post Walsall Wood

Coppice Road

75        Arthur Craddock, wholesale master grocer, AP volunteer, BUDC

81        James Hodgkiss, bricklayer, Brownhills ARP warden

Camden Street

3          Arthur Stanley, brick and tile setter, Brownhills ARP ( P.T.)

7          Fred Weston, wholesale grocery deliveries, part-time ambulance driver, BUDC

41        Samuel Nutting, bricklayer, ARP Brownhills UDC

26        Harry Eardley, miner AFS no 108601 Brownhills

30        Joh Harrison, rail layer in coal mine St Johns Ambulance, no 358411

34A      John Riley, Brownhills UDC plumber and Staffs Police special constable

34A      Winifred Riley, ARP driver BUDC

Black Cock Inn

            William Thorpe, licensee, ARP warden

Green Lane

22        William Merrick, coal hewer, ARP warden BUDC

34        William Rowley, cowman at farm, special constable

Grange Farm, Green Lane

            William Ward farmer, ARP work voluntary

David Evans, November 2018

Posted in News | 14 Comments

Police name victim of Walsall Wood collision and charge Walsall man

Carl Moore. Image from West Midlands Police.

Following the dreadful fatality in Walsall Wood High Street in the early hours of Saturday, 24th November 2018, police have issued a further statement, naming the young man who lost his life.

My condolences to Carl’s family and friends at this awful time. 

Please can people commenting on social media in response to this awful event note that the family have asked that their privacy be respected, and as a community I think that’s the very least we can do.

I would continue to ask that anyone with information – no matter how small or insignificant it may seem – to come forward and talk to police.

West Midlands Police said:

Police appeal following fatal collision in Walsall Wood

UPDATED:
25TH NOVEMBER 2018

A man who died in an alleged hit-and-run in Walsall Wood yesterday (24 November) has been named as Carl Moore.

The 28-year-old was rushed to hospital following the collision on Walsall Wood High Street at around 12.30am.

He was treated in hospital, but sadly died a short time later.

His family have released this photo of him, and ask that their privacy is respected at this time.

33-year-old Stefan Gvozdenovic of Lane Avenue, Walsall will appear at Walsall Magistrates court tomorrow (26 November) charged with causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop.

Enquiries continue and anyone with information is urged to contact West Midlands Police via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk between 8am − midnight, or call 101 anytime.

Crimestoppers UK can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote log number 82 of 24/11/2018. 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Express & Star, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Researching servicemen on the Brownhills War Memorial – can you help please?

Right, now work has slackened off a bit and I’ve got on top of other things that have been burning up my blogging time, it’s long overdue I caught up with some reader requests, and here’s a couple I had over Remembrance time that are indirectly related.

Nic Meadows is looking for information on Joseph Tongue. Image kindly shared by Nic.

Both of these enquiries are for soldiers named on Brownhills St James War Memorial, which is in the churchyard in front of the parish church. 

Ex-Brownhillian now afloat, long time contributor to the blog Andy ‘Cap’n Ahab’ Dennis has been going through the names on the War Memorial one by one and trying to find their history, and is stuck on Private Clegg at the moment, and wonders if anyone can help – but at the same time I have an enquiry in from Nic Meadows for any information on her Great Grandfather Joseph Tongue. 

I’ll let them explain:

Joseph Tongue – images kindly shared by Nic Meadows.

Hi Bob

I took my boys to see the memorial of their great great grandad Joseph Tongue, and have been trying to research his history, any information would be appreciated?

Cheers
Nic Meadows

Andy had this to say:

Hello Bob

Long time!  I am trying to make some progress on the fate of soldiers named on the St James’s memorial 1914-18, but it is not easy finding online records. 

At the moment I am working on Private Fred Cleg who died 20 September 1917, but information is scant.  I wonder are you in contact with any Cleggs in Brownhills who might have some idea? 

From Shire Oak days I recall a lad named Clegg, who lived along Lichfield Road, towards the Avenues.

Also, do you know if any of the local fallen died on the last day or days of the war?  The mathematics are that it is unlikely, but it was unlikely, even at Whittington, where a Pte Pratt met his end on 2 November.

Cheers,
Andy Dennis

If you can help with any of the points raised here I would be most grateful, as would Andy and Nic. It’s so important to put history to these names, as it brings the memorial to life in a way not possible with just a list of names. 

Thanks for any information you have – and thanks to Nic and Andy for great, thought-provoking enquiries I’m sure the blog researchers will love.

If you can help, comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, to tug my sleeve on social media. Thanks.

Posted in News | 11 Comments

Remembering the Telstars: Rock ‘n’ roll in Cannock in the early 60s

It’s always good to hear from old friends of the blog and last week I had an email from Colin Corbett, who you’ll remember did so much to preserve and spread the musical legacy of the late Roger Mosedale of Aldridge, who passed away a couple of years ago and was subject of several articles here on the blog.

Roger Mosedale (right)  with the Sundowners: Colin Corbett is on drums. Image kindly supplied by Colin Corbett.

Colin has pointed out that this week, there’s a feature on another rock and roll group of that era that he was in, Cannock’s Telstars, in which he played drums. The feature is in the centre pages of the current issue of the Black Country Bugle – it’s on sale right now at good local newsagents (Saturday, 24th November 2018).

I’m sure this will be of interest to anyone into local music of the period, and I must say they look like a fun bunch of lads – legendary comic Ian ‘Sludge’ lees was the singer who sadly passed away recently.

Thanks to Colin for getting in touch and if you have anything you’d like to add, or any memories you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me: You can mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, comment on this post or find me on social media. 

Colin Corbett wrote:

Hi Bob

Thought your readers would like to know that a feature about the Telstars – a 1960s group from Cannock will be in the Bugle centre pages this Wednesday’s Edition 21st November 2018.

Brian Nicholls interviewed me some weeks back and is trying to feature all the groups within the Cannock area eventually and has produced a feature on myself and my story about the groups that I played with.

You may recall I emailed you about a close friend Roger Mosedale  – great guitarist with a group The Sundowners who we sadly lost – I was the drummer.

I then became drummer with the Telstars 1964 -1965 – our singer then was Ian ‘Sludge’ Lees who again we recently lost. 

I would Like to thank Brian Nicholls for what he is doing  – keeping History and some  great memories alive as you yourself do – Thank you.

Hope you can put the feature on the Blog. Hope you like the photos of Sludge & I early days & one of the Sundowners 1962.

Best regards
Colin

Images of the Telstars kindly shared by Colin Corbett.

Posted in News | 10 Comments

Police appeal following fatal collision in Walsall Wood

As many of you will know, there has been a fatal road traffic collision in Walsall Wood High Street in the early hours of this morning (Saturday 25th November 2018) as a result of which a 28 year old man died.

Police investigating the incident have posted the statement below, and I would ask anyone with information – no matter how small or insignificant it may seem – to come forward and talk to police.

My condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

I would ask that people commenting on social media in response to this awful event be respectful and thoughtful, and note the Police have not formally identified the deceased as yet.

West Midlands Police said:

Image of the scene shared by Godfrey Hucker.

Police appeal following fatal collision in Walsall Wood

UPDATED:
24TH NOVEMBER 2018

Police are appealing for information following a fatal collision on Walsall Wood High Street this morning (Saturday 24 November).

A 28-year-old pedestrian was struck by a Range Rover at around 12.30am. He was transported to hospital, but died a short time later.

Officers from our dedicated Family Liaison Team are supporting his family at this tragic time.

The driver of the Range Rover sped off, but handed himself in at a police station at around 8am this morning. He is being held on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and is co-operating with the police enquiry.

He informed officers where to find the vehicle; it’s now been seized and sent for forensic analysis.

Detective Sergeant Alan Hands from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said:  “We’re currently in the process of piecing together what happened leading up to the collision; collating and reviewing CCTV footage, speaking to the suspect and taking statements from witnesses.

“It happened near to the Boatmans Rest pub, and I would urge anyone who can help us piece together the moments before this young man lost his life, to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Enquiries continue and anyone with information is urged to contact us via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk between 8am − midnight, or call 101 anytime.

Crimestoppers UK can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote log number 82 of 24/11/2018. 

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Why not Stay and Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 24th November 2018 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

Brownhills Stay&Play 
Saturday 24th November 
This Saturday We will be exploring ..
old McDonald’s messy farm ….
🐄🐖🐑🐓🐐🐎
we will also be creating a variety of drawings and talking about our favourite farm animals 🐷🐣🦆along with all our other areas of play to explore
Hopefully see you Saturday …
Please share with your friends🙂

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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Why not support Walsall Wood FC away against Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa this afternoon?

Willenhall 005

The Aspray Area – home to Sporting Khalsal, Willenhall Town and a very busy ground indeed! Image from Andrew’s Football Travels.

Saturday 24th November 2018

The Wood are away!

Walsall Wood FC versus Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa FC

Kick off is 3:00pm

Come see the Woodmen at the Aspray Arena, Noose Lane, Willenhall WV13 3BB

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out the team website here

 

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Soultime – Northern Soul and Motown Disco with DJ Leekie this evening in Walsall Wood!

Local DJ Peter Leek has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing his  Soultime Disco event at The Drunken Duck, Walsall Wood this evening, Friday 23rd November 2018 where he will be fulfilling all your Northern Soul and Motown requirements.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a bit of classic soul and Leekie is a great DJ for a wonderful night. It’s free admission and kicks off at 8pm and runs until Midnight. What’s not to love?

That’s The Drunken Duck, High Street, Walsall Wood, Walsall WS9 9LR. See you there?

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St. James Church 2018 Christmas Fayre – this Saturday!

 

It’s that time of year again…

Old friend of the blog Susan Forster has asked me to point out that this Saturday, 24th November 2018 there will be a Christmas Fayre at St. James Church Fellowship Room, Ogley Hay, Brownhills, with the fun kicking off at 10am.

All the usual favourites will be there – cake stall, cards, gifts, paper, books, lots of stuff for kids… Including the opportunity to meet Santa!

If you have any local Christmas events planned, please drop me a line and I’ll happily give them a plug – comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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Come and remember Janey – and the game she loved this Friday evening

This Friday evening at Walsall Wood FC there’s a memorial football match being staged in memorial to sadly lost local lass Janey Hatfield featuring Hatfield’s Legends versus Janey’s Wooders.

It’s only £2 to get in and there will be fun, football, memories and all the things Janey loved about football – including probably Papa Smurf. 

This is a great event to remember Janey who was mad on football and also a fun way to help her funeral fund.

Walsall Wood FC said:

Walsall Wood fc are gonna do you proud girl, teams are ready and ex professionals confirmed,.
Friday 23rd November 2018
7:30pm kickoff
£2 entry adults – kids are free

All money raised will go towards Janey C Hatfield send off

Let’s give Janey a day fit for a Walsall Wood queen!
Managers 
Ronald Tranter
Jonathan Clarke
👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 both wood managers at some point thank you both 🍻👍🏻

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Annual collectors fair at Aldridge Transport Museum this Sunday

A great event for all the transport buffs and nostalgics out there!

I see from the events list that Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge have a collectors fair taking place this Sunday (25th November 2018) from 10:00am until 4:00pm, and should be just the thing for auto buffs, transport enthusiasts and petrol heads of all types.

There are stalls booked with books, memorabilia, collectorama and all sorts of transport stuff available, so there will be something for everyone, and takes place at the museum located at Shenstone Drive, Aldridge WS9 8TP- just off Northgate. Calll 01922 454761.

The Museum posted the following on their Facebook page:

This Sunday’s fair is just the thing for transport buffs and modellers of all kinds. Image from the Museum Facebook page.

Our largest Collectors’ Fair of the year – lots of stalls selling transport collectables – models, pictures, memorabilia.

Admission £3 adult, £2 child, £9 family,

There will be a feeder bus service to and from Walsall, but no other free bus rides.

Do take advantage of the free bus service, car parking spots always at a bit of a premium around Shenstone Drive, although we always cater for those who find walking not as easy as it used to be with some spaces available on the museum site.

There’s a free half-hourly bus service to get you there from Hatherton Road in Walsall starting at 10:20am. Check the event Facebook page for timetables of services and the latest news.

While you’re there, you can check out all the great stuff in the collection, and talk to the volunteers, who’re doing a fine job.

This is sure to be a great event – please do pop along. The collection needs the support of the public to survive, and it really is a wonderful thing.

Why not check out the museum website or their Facebook group?

There will be something for everyone. Image from the museum Facebook page.

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Janey Hatfield – funeral details announced

Janey Hatfield and a wee purple pal. Rest in peace my friend.

Following the sad passing of friend of the blog and local legend Janey Hatfield, her son Sam Perry has made the following announcements,ent regarding Janey’s funeral arrangements.

Sam said:

I’d like to inform people that my mothers funeral will take place on Friday 7th of December 2018 at Streetly Crematorium’s West Chapel with the service starting at 1.45pm.

A meeting point for people who wish to come along from our home address will be departing the house latest 1.15pm if anybody would like to come from there, please feel free to message you so I can send out the address.

The wake will be taking place at the Brickmakers arms (the Brickies) shortly after the service where everybody along with the funeral will be welcome. 

Only thing I ask for at this time is anybody that does wish to come to the funeral could we please wait passionately outside the chapel until all family are present as obviously we are expecting an awful lot of people.

Any questions people would like to ask regarding the funeral or the wake please feel free to message me 

Regards Sam

Sam has stated that they would prefer family flowers only please, and that the dress code would be whatever you want to wear, as that would be what Janey would want.

For those who would have sent flowers, donations to the fund would be preferred.

You can still donate securely on the Just Giving site here. Please help if you can.

My heart and condolences remain, as ever, with Sam and all of  Janey’s family and friends.

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Great new autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few weeks now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Don’t miss this Winter Craft, Gift and Food Festival this Sunday at the Lamp, Brownhills!

Old pal of the blog Laura Tucker has been in touch to let me know that she’s organised a lovely Winter Craft, Gift and Food Festival, which will take place this Sunday, 18th November 2018 at the Lamp Arts Space in Brownhills Community Centre from 11-3pm.

This looks to be a very classy event with some really great stalls – including traders like Howcurious? Hoot and Glam and Backyard Brewery.

Laura said:

Following on from the success of last year’s gift fayre, we’re back! This time we’ll have some local food and drink caterers, as well as some amazing brand names!

🎄 Locally roasted coffee, amazing teas and incredible cakes by The Reading Rooms Pelsall Pop Up Coffee Shop. We recommend
you book a table! (Call 07713 634811)

🎄 Unusual and unique gifts and home decor from HowCurious? Ltd

🎄 Visit our Prosecco Piaggio courtesy of Little Fizz Co.

🎄 Sample some local ales supplied by The Backyard Brewery.

🎄 Beautiful jams, chutney’s, chocolates, fudges, sweet and savoury bakes from Tina’s Temptations.

🎄 Luxurious beauty goods from Neal’s Yard Organic and Natural Skincare.

🎄 Beautiful handmade jewellery and accessories from Hoot & Glam.

🎄 Unusual and expertly constructed crafts from Dandelion Day Dreams.

🎄 Stunning woodturning designs from the talented Mark Anslow.

🎄 Handmade gifts from Handmade by Kelly.

🎄 Locally made Indian Snacks from Diamond Deli’s.

🎄 Personalised baby and children’s and baby wear from Kids and Bibs.

🎄 Pressies for pampered poochies from Oscar Pet Foods.

🎄 Specialised photography showcase from Philip’s Photography.

And much more: Many personalised gifts available, unique and perfect for Christmas, handmade bags, scarves and poncho’s, stunning wax warmers and home décor and handmade cards and gifts.
Limited stalls still available. Please call 07713 634811 to enquire or email hello@the-reading-rooms.co.uk.

If you have any questions or enquiries, you can contact Laura on 07713 634811 You can visit the event’s Facebook page here.

Brownhills Community Centre and their new Lamp arts space are the home of Brownhills Community Association, and is situated just by the Miner Island in central Brownhills. They always have lots going on for people from the town – and the wider community – to enjoy.

The Community (or Activity) Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more about the events and activities there, you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

Brownhills Community Centre. Image from Walsall Council.
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Pictures and video from Brownhills 2018 Remembrance Day

Pictures from Brownhills Remembrance 2018 – 
Images Kindly supplied by Alyssa Timbrell

Last Sunday 11th November 2018 saw the annual marking of Remembrance Day in the UK and I’m pleased to say Walsall and South Staffordshire did themselves and the fallen proud and staged a whole range of parades and events that were well supported and attended – and I was especially pleased to see the wonderful turnout and effort made in Brownhills.

Sadly, although the events were busier than ever, not many folk posted images this year. There was a great set from roving Reporter David Evans that I featured last week from Walsall Wood’d Parade, but I had nothing much for Brownhills. 

Wendy Dance generously shared this wonderful photo of her family at the Parade. She said ‘Four generations of the Dance family on parade today. (R-L) My son Sam on his first duty as standard bearer. (Stepping into the very big shoes of Mr Weaver). My Dad the President. My granddaughter on her first duty as wreath bearer and myself the treasurer’
The community is ever grateful for the service and hard work of the Dance family.

I asked for help on Facebook as Walsall Council were also looking for images of borough Remembrance to share, and I am flattered and honoured to have received a wonderful gallery of very professional images taken by Alyssa Timbrell, which I include above. 

The set came via parade stalwarts Wendy and Julie Dance, who with Ron Dance are there driving force behind the annual event in Brownhills. My thanks and best wishes to the Dance family, and of course to Alyssa for sharing her wonderful work.

Old friend of the blog Dave Cresswell posted this interesting and well executed live feed from the event too. Thanks to Dave for sharing that.

Thank you for all who organised, took part of went and paid their respects: Brownhills did the fallen proud as it does every year. 

We shall always remember them.

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Another elderly couple robbed by bogus workmen: Please warn your friends and neighbours

Sorry to note that the bogus Water Board callers are still operating, and have struck again at around 7pm,  Friday 16th November 2018 at Riddings Crescent in Pelsall, when an elderly couple were robbed of their safe..

Riddings Crescent is a quiet, residential area of Pelsall. Imagery from Apple Maps.

One of the couple’s neighbours posted:

Tonight our elderlyneighbours house has been broken into by two people pretending to be from the Water Board.

They have left two elderly people completely shook up and stolen their safe.

These are the nicest people you could meet and we want to do all we can to help! This was in Riddings Crescent, Pelsall.

It has been pointed out to me today that South Staffordshire Water (and many other utility companies) operate a password scheme that if you sign up, can help customers know if their caller is genuine.

Old pal of the blog Christine Howles said:

South Staffs Water have a password scheme which we do promote but people don’t sign up until it’s too late.

Can you promote the link to encourage people to get their relatives and neighbours to sign up, especially the vulnerable ones? (I’m going to do some more promotion about it next week.)

Find out how to sign up and how it works by clicking here

Thanks to Christine for that helpful advice. Anything which helps to keep the elderly and vulnerable safe is a great idea.

Please tell your relatives and neighbours about this scam, and impress upon them how important it is not to be menaced into giving money for services  at the door, no matter how plausible the people demanding cash are.. Genuine companies will always contact you by other means.

Explain that no official body will turn up unannounced demanding money for services like gardening, drain cleaning, fence repairs, tree pruning etc., and that if they are at all unsure of any caller, to close the door and contact the police.

Scumbags preying on the elderly and vulnerable are lower than a snake’s knees.

Please,  if you have any further information relating to this matter, or if you’ve witnessed something suspicious, please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

You can always contact me in total confidence on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com and I’ll pass any info on anonymously.

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Why not Stay and Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 17th November 2018 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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