Chasewater Railway Late Summer Gala this weekend


Another great heritage railway event!

I note Chasewater Railway have a Late Summer Gala this weekend (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2016), with special guest engine Andrew Barclay and a much busier running timetable than normal.

This event will be well worth a look – the Railway is one of our hidden gems, situated at Chasewater Country Park, and is well worth a visit. There will be stuff there for all the family, so please do wander down if you can.

Chasewater Railway had this to say about the event:

We are please to announce the following additional attraction, Chase Falconry who will be putting on a display.

A great day out, more than just a train ride!

The time table for the event will be available on Friday 2nd, check back here or our facebook page.

Ticket prices (day rover) £7.95 Adult £3.95 Child (Under 3 free) Family of 4 £19.95. Non working members £3. No passes/vouchers valid for gala.

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.

Please do pop down if you haven’t already – Chasewater Railway really isn’t pushed enough; it’s wonderful.

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

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

Dropping a Cla’nger

bridge st club

Clayhanger Working Men’s Club, 1953. Can you help Brian Stringer name the people featured? Click for a larger version – Image kindly supplied by Brian Stringer.

Friend of the blog, community activist and Clayhanger Kid himself, Brian Stringer has sent the above image of the members of Clayhanger Working Men’s Club around 1953, and is  trying to identify as many people in the picture as he can.

Brian wrote:

HI Bob,

I’ve used this photo in one of my books and know quite a few of the people on it. I wonder if any of your bloggers can come up with some missing names. It’s a picture of members of Clayhanger Working Mens Club circa 1953.

I think most of the ones on the left used to live on the Pelsall Rd opposite the old Jolly Collier.

The ones I recognise are. Walter Birch,Jack Poxon, Mr Talbot, Bert Platt, Ronnie Willetts, Peter Richards, Peggy and Tom Platt, Mr Clews, Liz Wright, ‘Lofty’ Day, Pat, Connie, and Sid Meacham, (Seated), May Lewis? Mrs Jeffries, Mrs Howes?, Edie Talbot, and Billie Jeffries.

I’d love to know the rest.


There are many, many brownie points on offer if you can solve this one! Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks!

It’s always a pleasure to help Brian if we can, so please do get your thinking caps on.

Cheers to Brian for a great enquiry,

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urgent – wallet/cardholder lost in Brownhills


Keep an eye out in Brownhills please – Susan Matthews has lost her wallet. Let’s see if we can find it.

Just a quick enquiry from reader Susan Matthews, who has lost a card holder/wallet, possibly in Brownhills towards the end of last week (Friday 26th August 2016).

Susan said:

Hello Bob

Lost plain black card holder, containing driving licence and other cards.

I’m thinking maybe dropped in Tesco (but I’ve checked and it’s not been handed in) or by the A5 shops near Whitehorse Road/Howdles Lane.

Susan Matthews

Could anyone finding the wallet contact Susan via Facebook here,  by commenting here or by email on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Cheers all, it’s a bugger losing your wallet. Please keep an eye out.

Best of luck to Susan with the search.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Support Walsall Wood FC away against 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.

Bank holiday Monday 29th August 2016

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

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out the team website here


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A pictorial record

October 3 1944

Colonel Killian at the Freedom of the City award event (see text) – image posted and shared from the Lichfield City Council Flickr stream.

Readers may well recall the awful and largely forgotten story surrounding Colenal James Kilian, and his cruelty and subsequent disgrace following the mistreatment of soldiers at the U.S. Army base stationed at Whittington, near Lichfield, duringWorld War Two – it’s a subject we’ve touched on occasionally and is little known about here in the UK, but somewhat notorious in the USA.

Tony Briggs, St. Matthews Hospital researcher and Lichfield City Council Deputy Town Clerk has written to me with some interesting hostorical finds relating to Colonel Killian and alerting us to a large gallery of Lichfeldian material curated by the Council on Flickr.

Tony Briggs wrote:

Hi Bob,

I have written to you before about a couple of family history pictures and also St Matthews Hospital.

In my professional capacity I came across some historic photographs in Lichfield’s Guildhall, all neatly stacked in a box. I have no idea how long they had been there, but I have scanned them and added them to a Flickr account. I have contacted Kate at Lichfield Lore about the photos but thought one or two in particular may be of interest to you.

Some time ago there was discussion on your blog about Colonel Killian of the 10th Replacement USA Forces based at Whittington during WW2 and the article featured a cutting from the Tamworth Herald of the Freedom of the City of Lichfield being awarded to the 10th Replacement USA forces in 1944. Along with the other historic photos were a few from that event, plus another event dated a couple of months earlier when there was a presentation to Colonel Killian (unfortunately I can find no further detail on this event).

Click here to see all the photos (mostly historic but with some more recent events also added):

The Freedom album in particular can be viewed here.

Col. Killian can also be seen in other photographs from the time, including the unveiling of the City of Lichfield train at Trent Valley Station in 1944:

City of Lichfield  LMS Engine unveiling 20 June 1944

More generally, help with or corrections to any of the City Council’s photographs would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes


Tony Briggs
Deputy Town Clerk
Lichfield City Council
Donegal House, Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6LU
Tel: 01543 309852
Fax 01543 258441
email: tony.briggs at
The City Council website is at

Thanks to Tony for a very thought-provoking find, and for all he and the Council are doing to preserve the city’s pictorial history – were that other authorities were so adaptive to new media.

Comments, clarifications? Please feel free, either here, or mail me. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Posted in Bad Science, Events, Followups, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Temperance, even!

Sometimes, enquiries on the blog take a while to resolve – and this one is just such an example, and a good reason why one should never give up hope with finding answers, as you never know who’s passing.

Some time ago, reader Maria Fitzgerald sent in the image below as part of a larger set. She thought it might be behind the Memorial Hall in Brownhills, but we discounted this as the buildings didn’t macth. Some suggestions were made, but nothing conclusive.

Then reader, freind of the blog and Canadian correspondent Brian Edwards wrote to me last week. I include his message below Maria’s initial submission.


This is fascinating, and doesn’t look that old. Can anyone name the event or the old folks pictured? A wonderful image from Maria Fitzgerald.

Maria said:

This is the odd one – a posh day out at the Memo back in ?

All I know is that my nan is in the front row at the end on the left looking at the photo.

I have no info on it at all.

Brian Edwards wrote:

I am offering information on a photograph that was posted on your blog, of which I have attached.

I believe this to be The Women’s Temperance Union knowing that my Grandmother was a member.

The Lady seated in the middle fifth from the right is my Grandmother Annie Edwards, nee, Cooke. Annie is also the Grandmother of Roger Mosedale, his mother Ada being Annie’s daughter. This is the lady who Roger talks about as the player of the Piano at The Freizland Lane Club and it was Annie’s sister Betsy’s husband Mr Kingston also from Freizland Lane that would accompany Annie by singing.

Annie and Betsy Cooke are the daughters of William Cooke who was the Landlord of the Middle Oak public house of which you have a photograph.

A remarkable and very skilful restoration by reader and contributor Lias Downes. I’m speechless!

A remarkable and very skilful restoration by reader and contributor Lias Ashby, of an image of the staff and regulars of the Royal, or Middle Oak, to which I believe Brian refers. Image originally donated by Daryl Preston.

I do not have a photograph of Annie’s husband George Edwards, this being my father’s Mother and Father for whom my father was named after but if possible it would be good for one of the Mosedales to post one so as to complete the story.

Now back to the photograph. The shorter lady standing second from left is my Aunt Edie Jones from Brownhills whose daughter Edna was the registrar for marriages and worked alongside Mr. Bert Radford. Numerous people would have known Edna who wore irons on her one leg; she was a most glorious lady and was also a member of The Salvation Army.

Moving on, the little girl seated fourth from left is Joy Gibbs, with her Mother and father standing at back left. The Gibbs family lived on Grange Crescent in Shelfield.

I will finish with a little more on Burt Radford. Burt was also the registrar for marriages and anyone who got married in the sixty’s or seventies at the registry office in Aldridge were possibly married by Burt and Edna Jones. I know Burt as being one of my Volunteer youth leaders along with his wife Dorothy at Shelfield Youth Club and what wonderful people they were In the second world war Burt was a pilot on Lancaster Bombers.

I hope this finds you well Bob.


Thank you Brian for shedding light on this – and given the extra information, is it possible we can now identify the location and complete the circle?

You find me in fighting form Brian, and it’s always great to hear from you – that your contributions come all the way from Vancouver always pleases and amazes me.

If you can add to or help with Brian’s request for a further image, please feel free. Either comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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Woodmen lose their mojo to Coleshill

Images and captions by the young David Evans, still clearly bearing a grudge over astroturf.

Walsall Wood FC disappointed the fans yesterday (Saturday 27th August 2016) when they lost to Coleshill Town at Oak Park.

Just a quick note to say that I support Bill’s right to be as frank as he pleases here – think on, people. Your appreciation of that is expected.

Bill Shaw was there, and isn’t mincing his words…

Hiya Bob,

Well Bob, it wasn’t exactly a Saturday horror show like last week’s game but we did transpire to shoot ourselves in the foot – again.

The defeat drops us down to fifth with four away games now on the bounce, booze ups and breweries spring to mind – but heyho, what the hell it’s Khalsa Monday, AFC Wulfs on Saturday before we travel to Long Eaton in midweek and then Oswestry Town on Saturday week in the FA Vase.

Our next scheduled home game is a little easy one against current leaders Westfields, four wins out of four so far, so should be a walk in the park.

It would appear I’ve managed to upset someone with a comment on the blog after the Brocton game. You know what, for God’s sake get a life. No names no pack drill, you know who you are.

Let’s hope the game at Khalsa is sporting.

Walsall Wood 1 v 2 Coleshill Town

A strange game inasmuch as Wood probably shaded the first half but went in two goals down at half time, they then lost Louis Harris in the 50th minute to a second yellow card. Coleshill dominated the rest of the half but it was Wood who pulled a goal back from the penalty spot from Drew Aiton on 90 minutes.

Wood put the visitors under pressure from the start, on five minutes Nick Wright wide left played the ball inside to drew Aiton, his rising drive to the far post bringing a full stretch save from keeper Paul Hathaway. From the right wing corner the ball was only half cleared to Wright on the edge of the box to hit a first time effort just over. On 14 minutes Harry Harris played a right wing free kick down the line to Lewis Taylor Boyce, his ball into the centre of the box found Joey Butlin who was quickly crowded out by a posse of defenders.

After weathering the initial 15 minute storm the visitors ventured forward but against the run of play they went ahead on 20 minutes, Josh Quaynor raced clear wide left, went through 2 tackles before hitting a low cross to find Luke Barlone just outside the centre of the box, his low drive just inside the left hand post giving keeper Curtis Pond no chance,. Wood were instantly put back under pressure failing to clear the ball on the left of the box, Quaynor sending a low cross shot whistling wide through a packed box.

On 23 minutes Harry Harris was strong on halfway, found Wright in the right of the box who turned inside and fired over the near angle. Wood should have equalised a minute later, Aiton came in from the left and crossed beyond the far post for Luke Adams to head back across goal to find Taylor Boyce in the centre who somehow contrived to hit a shot off the top of the bar from 6 yards out.

With 31 minutes gone and Reece Leek powered inside from wide right, his vicious cross shot blocked at full stretch by Richard Huckfield. 10 minutes later a defensive mistake in midfield presented Leek with the ball 40 yards out, he raced past a flat footed defence, calmly rounded the advancing Pond and rolled the ball into the net.

Karl Edwards replaced the injured Butlin at halftime as Wood attempted to get back into the game.   After two minutes from a left wing corner the ball was played out to Aiton whose first time piledriver was bravely blocked.

Back came Leek, racing clear wide right firing a ball across the face of the six yard box, that was missed by everyone, but was collected by Barlone on the left edge of the box, he returned the ball into the centre to find Shane Benjamin whose first time low drive was pushed around the left hand post by Pond at full stretch. Six minutes later Tom Wheale went on a 50 yard right to left crossfield run, he played a neat one-two with Benjamin then laid the ball back into the path of Gavin Hurren to fire over the left angle. Wood now down to 10 after Louis Harris picked up a second yellow were struggling to contain the pacey Leek, he raced clear again wide right on 60 minutes, made the byeline and cut the ball back to substitute Dean Rathbone, his first time rising drive well held by Pond. Three minutes later a neat one touch move across the face of the Wood box from right to left ended with Leek’s first time effort comfortably saved.

On 69 minutes Wood still in the game attacked down the left, Craig Deakin’s ball inside was collected at pace by Aiton, Hathaway at full stretch saving his low drive.

Two minutes later Town sub Simeon Cobourne got clear wide right, crossed in low to find Benjamin whose first time effort was blocked by Huckfield. 75 minutes gone and Wheale’s superb 60 yard crossfield ball picked out Cobourne wide left, he cut inside and fired just over. On 77 minutes a long ball forward by Pond was half cleared to Harris who instantly found Taylor Boyce in the centre of the box, he evaded three tackles but saw his goalbound effort deflected the wrong side of the post. With the final whistle imminent, Shawn Boothe powered his way into the left of the box and was brought down – penalty – Aiton making no mistake from the spot.

There wasn’t time for Wood to mount a grandstand finish as the final whistle went shortly afterwards.

Once again against Coleshill it was a case of what might have been it was certainly a flattering halftime score line. Wood did well to keep the score at two after the early second half dismissal of Louis Harris but struggled to make inroads into a well organised defence.

The penalty was too late to affect the outcome leaving Wood to rue those first half chances but that’s football, you don’t always get what you deserve.

Bill Shaw

The Teams:

Walsall Wood – Pond, Adams, Deakin, Boothe, Huckfield, L Harris, Aiton, H. Harris (captain), Butlin, Wright, Taylor Boyce, Hayles, Edwards, Currithers, Griffiths, Taylor.

Coleshill Town – Hathaway, Gonzales, Quaynor, Wheale, Hurren, Brooks, Leek, Garvey, Benjamin (captain), Barlone, Dainty, Cobourne, Rathbone, Evans, Jarra, Bickley.

As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment