Christmas Fete at Walsall Wood School – this Friday!


It’s that time of year again!

Friend of the blog Ray Johnson has been in touch to let me know that there’s great Christmas Fete tomorrow afternoon (Friday, 9th December 2016) at Walsall Wood School – that’s the one just on Brownhills Road at Streets Corner.

The fun starts at 3:15pm and runs until 5:30pm and admission is free-so what’s not to love?

Walsall Wood School PTA had this to say about the fair:

Join us for our Christmas Fete after school on Friday 9th December for fun and prizes! The school choir and our musicians will be performing during the event and we will have lots of fabulous stalls and tombolas including: a Christmas stall for all your festive treats; a chocolate and a bottle tombola; craft activities; the secret room and many more.

Come and meet Santa and enjoy a treat such as a mince pie or cupcake.

We have some wonderful raffle prizes this year such as a hamper full of goodies!

We look forward to seeing you there!

This looks like a great event – don’t forget if you have a Christmas event going on, I’ll be old too happy to advertise it here: feel free to mail BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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Brownhills Brownies need your help!


Brownhills Brownies recently at a Christmas fayre. That’s an excellent Christmas jumper! Image supplied by Jenny from Brownhills Brownies.

I’ve been contacted by Jenny at the St James Brownies up at St James in Ogley Hay to ask if you could help by voting in a competition they’re entering for community group funding, from galaxy hot Chocolate.

The 2nd Brownies in Brownhills are a popular and active group who can often be seen out and about on activities, and a little community funding could help them do more with improved sports equipment and trips out.

If you have a wee lass that might be interested, you can go find out why the group are all about – it’s for girls aged 7-10 years old, and takes place at St James Church Hall on Tuesday evenings at 6.45pm.

If your little one isn’t so little, there’s also Girl Guides from ages 10-14 on Mondays at 6:30pm. See this section of the St. James website here.

Anyway, on with the appeal. Jenny wrote:

2nd Brownhills (St James) Brownies, Brownhills, Walsall

We are a Brownie group from Brownhills in the West Midlands.

We are a great bunch and enjoy many different activities such as crafts, cooking, games, badges, sports and lots more! We like having fun and learning new skills. Brownies is great for girls to get to know each other and mix with girls from different schools.

We provide a safe and relaxed environment where girls can have fun and make new friends.


We would use the money to buy new resources for our programme. We are in need of some new sports equipment and a new lockable storage cupboard to keep it in. We would also like to buy some new craft items and put some money towards a trip for the girls.

Galaxy Chocolate is looking to help small, local community projects and groups through the GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund.

From 7 November 2016 until 26 February 2017, they will be awarding seventy £300 donations to help community groups and people across UK and Ireland. Five donations will be awarded each week, four by our panel of judges and one through the People’s Choice award to the organisation with the most weekly votes.

They are also offering the opportunity to nominate an ‘Outstanding Volunteer Award’, giving you the chance of nominating a volunteer who has shown commitment and gone the extra mile. Each week a volunteer winner will be chosen and will receive a ‘GALAXY Hot Chocolate Hamper’.

Please vote for us to win £300 for 2nd Brownhills (St.James) Brownies! Go to the following website to vote!


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Brownhills Christmas Market Magic 2016 – coming this Saturday!


Always a good event!

Diane Mansell at the Walsall District Management Team has written to let me know that there will be a Christmas market event in Brownhills this year, planned for this coming Saturday 10th December 2016.

The same day there will be Santa Claus, a Christmas Fayre at Silver Street Methodist Church, a festival of music and light at the Canoe and Outdoor Centre in the evening, a Christmas trail, entertainment for kids, offers, competitions faceprinting and all the usual festive fun stuff.

Please folks – it’s easy to run down our town and say nothing ever happens, but this is a real chance to come together and stage something we can all enjoy. Over recent years these events have got better and better, so why not give it a go?

Meanwhile, if you’re organising anything for Christmas at all, please do drop me a line. I do like to promote local stuff wherever possible. It’s an easy way for you to reach thousands of readers a week, absolutely free of charge.

Please mail your details to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Just a normal day in Brownhills....

Just a normal day in Brownhills….

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Help the Glebe Centre support the homeless – Donations needed this Saturday please!

Old friend of the blog and top Aldridge correspondent Linda ‘Mad old baggage’ Mason has been in touch to ask readers if they could possibly help Walsall’s Glebe Centre continue to support the homeless by making donations of clothes, toiletries and even food this weekend?

Linda and her good friend Martin Bateman will be at Asda in central Walsall this Saturday  (10th December 2016) from 10am until 2pm ready to take your donations, however large or small.

The items you so generously give will be used to support those most in need in Walsall this Christmas – those living on the street – and donations don’t have to be new, just clean, and in decent condition.

With homelessness increasing and welfare and care services becoming harder to access, services like that at the Glebe Centre are an essential lifeline to many who otherwise fall through the net.

Linda Mason wrote this about the appeal:


Image from the Glebe Centre website.

I am pleased to announce a Christmas Appeal on behalf of The Glebe Centre in Walsall.

On Saturday 10 December 2016 myself Linda Mason and the wonderful Martin Bateman will be at Asda St Matthews in Walsall, ready to take your donations between 10am and 2pm. All you have to do is get together some things, some of which you may have lying unwanted in your home and pop them down to us.

This is what The Glebe Centre needs: Hats, Scarves, Gloves, Coats, Boots Trainers, Shoes, Socks, Small/Medium sized underwear for men and women.


Sleeping bags and blankets would also be useful.

In addition: mens’ and womens’ toiletries, women’s sanitary products, toothbrushes (new!), toothpaste, combs, brushes etc

In addition The Glebe feeds people and so tins and packets would be useful for either the centre or for the food packages they prepare for people.

It would also be lovely for give people some Christmas goodies and yummies BUT please check the use by date so that it isn’t gone by the time Christmas comes along.

I really hope that many of our members can make a small donation to help those people in Walsall who for whatever reason find themselves in a position of needing these services.

For more information see the Glebe Centre website here, and you can check out their Facebook page here.

Thank you

I wholly support both the Glebe Centre and Linda and Martin’s endeavour to support it – it’s a sad indictment upon society that such a service is needed at all, but without the volunteers and generous folk who support the project, life on the street in Walsall would be far more unpleasant.

If you need any more details, or would like to ask questions, please don’t hesitate to comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Cheers to everyone involved.

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Our Village – a great new local history book for Aldridge – out now and selling fast!


The gold postbox is a lovely touch, I think!

There are a handful of great local history books out at the moment, just in time for Christmas, that would makes great gifts for those with a local interest – last week I noted the new book on Brownhills pubs by Clive Roberts, and I’m posting today to point up the new book by Sue Satterthwaite and Len Boulton covering Aldridge.

Sue and Len you’ll recall are at the heart of the Aldridge Great War project, and both historians really lit up the hidden history of the Aldridge Manor House as a military hospital during World War One; not only that, but they’ve taken their work into the community to commemorate and tell the story of those local lads who gave their all.

The duo’s latest work is entitled ‘Our Village’ and is a charming, entertaining and quirky book of stories, photos and maps bringing Aldridge’s history to life, and is a delight and a joy to read.

The authors had this to say about the book and where it can be purchased:

Light hearted stories from Aldridge folk about life growing up in the village. Photographs, maps and much more. Price £5.99 on 2sale in Aldridge Library, Aldridge town centre shops Croft News, Simply Delicious, Covent Garden. Walsall Waterstones Book store and Walsall Garden centre. Lazy Hill shops; Lynda’s and the Thomas Project. This is a non-profit book.

Like all local history books, the print run is limited and you need to act fast to bag yourself a copy. And when you do, why not send me a note as to what you made of the book?

Feel free to comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

My compliments to Sue and Len on yet more wonderful work.

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


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

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

Abigail said:

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

I have:

Pull out bed
1 quilt set
Small TV
Few clothes

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

I’ll let Sue explain:

Hallo Brownhills Bob,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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