Still looking for Andrew Cooper: a former Walsall man missing form Stourport

I make no apologies for running this again – please keep an eye out for the above chap, Andrew Cooper who’s still missing from his home in Stourport as he has been since Wednesday 4th January 2017 – Andrew is a gentleman from Walsall originally and his  family, friends and people who used to work with him are desperately concerned for his welfare.

West Mercia Police wrote:

Appeal to find missing Stourport man

West Mercia Police is appealing to the public to help locate a missing Stourport man.

Andrew Cooper, aged 44, was last seen at his home in Stourport on Wednesday morning (4 January) but did not show up for work on that day and he has not returned home since.

Andrew is described as approximately 5’9″ and of a slim build. He has short grey spiked hair and a beard, with brown eyes. He normally wears glasses and a silver wedding ring, a black leather plaited bracelet and a silver ring on his right hand. He speaks with a Walsall accent.

Andrew was last seen wearing blue jeans, an orange t-shirt with stripes, a medium blue padded puffa jacket with a white sheepskin lining and tan Caterpillar work boots. He has tattoos on his chest and shoulders.

Police and Andrew’s family are growing concerned for his welfare. If you have seen Andrew or a man matching his description, please call West Mercia Police on 101.

Issued: 9.10am, Friday 6 January, Holly Claydon-Bevan, Corporate Communications.

It’s very possible Andrew could have returned to Walsall, so please do keep an eye out – there clearly a lot of love and respect for him here, and his family and freiends are very concerned.

Anyone with information should call West Mercia Police on 101 or the Missing People charity on 116 000.

Posted in Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Class photos

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I love this photo. I know it’s disrespectful, but the inner miscreant in me so wants the lady to be working on an illicit still. Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

This is a taster of a truly remarkable piece of local history that David Evans has been granted access to by it’s owner, Tony Portman – we have a collection of photos of life at Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s.

What’s remarkable about the photos – over 30 in number – is that Tony has painstakingly documented them. But just as a taster for now, I’m going to share some raw images. I will then post a selection with the full notes every weekend. That way full discussions can ensue and no gems get overlooked.

If you want to go location spotting, see this post here where David returns to the school (now the Walsall Wood Youth Club) a couple of years ago.

Intersting comparisons too to the school photos from Shire Oak Grammar in 1964 here and 1962 here.

My thanks to David for great scans and hard work, as usual, but also to Tony for a wonderful act of felicity and generosity.

Just feast your eyes on these. Bring back memories? Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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Lunchtime in a school dining hall familiar to many locals, I feel. Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

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A proud team from 1954 – anyone you know? Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

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Apiary as a school topic. Wonderful. And just look at Walsall Wood Colliery in the background. Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

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Dressmaking – back then, a topic strictly for the girls. Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

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Must say, the staff here look a tad more comfortable than up at Shire Oak on the 1962 and 64 photos. Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

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I would imagine that while the ladies were sewing, the chaps were doing woodwork. Interesting place to hang a selection of saws… Image very kindly supplied by David Evans, generously donated by Tony Portman. Click for a larger version.

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Subaru car stolen from Aldridge – keep an eye out folks

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Have you seen this distinctive motor? It was stolen in Aldridge last night. Image from Diane Mansell and Aldridge Village Partnership.

Diane Mansell, of Aldridge Village Partnership has asked that readers could please be on the lookout for this somewhat distinctive Subaru car (registration K23DHN) which was stolen from Aldridge last night (21st January 2017).

Diane wrote:

Hi guys can you please keep a look out for this Suberu K23DHN Stolen last night (Saturday 21st January 2017) from Aldridge area between 11pm and 12.30am if you have any information  contact the local police on 101 thank you for your support

Anyone with information is urged to contact Walsall Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please, lets see if we can nail these thieving buggers.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arrests made following Brownhills burglary

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Good to hear the local Police have been active of late. Let’s hope it continues.

Interesting news just released from West Midlands Police via WMNow:

Debbie (Police,Sgt,Walsall Brownhills)

Yesterday, your Neighbourhood Policing Team, identified and arrested 2 males believed to be responsible for the Burglary of a business premises which occurred during the early hours of 21st January 2017 on the High St in Brownhills. Some of the property believed stolen during the offence was recovered. The two arrested have been charged with the offence and will appear in court shortly.

I post this for information only and for legal reasons, comment is not invited. Cheers.

Posted in News

Oak Park misery continues as Mikes master Wood

Heavy grey sky to herald todays match at the Theatre of Dreams, Oak Park

Dark times at the Wood, but here’s to the recovery. Image supplied by David Evans.

The faith of the faithful at Oak Park is being severely tested at the moment as the Woodmen seem to be enduring a losing streak, this time to long-term combatants The Mikes yesterday afternoon (Saturday 21st January 2017).

No pictures today as David Evans has got ill with a nasty cold – I join with all the readership in wishing him a swift recovery.

Bill Shaw was there, and as usual, didn’t mince his words:

Hiya Bob,

No excuses I’m afraid, when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it just did. Losing to two very poor sides in the space of four days is hard to take, but at least Wood are in transition after the managerial change, the visitors have no such excuse.

Ten points is the difference between Wood in 10th and Stourport Swifts in 20th, so we aren’t in danger – yet.

League Cup quarter final action on Tuesday night at the Wood as we look for a change of fortune in 2017.

Walsall Wood 0 v 2 Boldmere St. Michaels

This victory together with Stourport only drawing at Rocester saw Boldmere climb out of the bottom three on goal difference.  With Wood struggling for goals it was ironic that the two scorers Joe Lyng and Max Black had both left for Boldmere this season.

Wood’s new signing Dominic Dell nearly made the perfect start, first he won a left wing free kick on two minutes, the ball flew around the box, eventually dropping for Dell in the D, his low drive through a packed area saved at full stretch by keeper Stuart Parsons.

On nine minutes Max Black wide left played the ball inside to find Alex Forde to fire a first time effort well over.

With 22 minutes gone and Josh Mansell intercepted a ball on halfway and hit a peach of a long ball to pick out Dell wide left, he cut inside to bring another good save from Parsons. Six minutes later Mansell ran on from halfway, played a clever one-two with Joey Butlin, his low drive deflecting off a defender to give Parsons an easy save four minutes later Wood keeper Lewis Gwilliams and two of his defenders made a mess of a clearance, the ball going to Forde who from 35 yards out fired wide of an empty net.  Well into first half injury time a right wing corner to the near post saw a scramble develop, the visitors taking the lead with their only shot of the half on target when Joe Lyng fired home from close range.

Within five minutes of the restart Ben Usher-Shipway released Forde into the left of the box, but he rolled his cross shot wide.  On 55 minutes a lovely, intricate one touch move wide right saw the ball played into the centre of the box to find Black who swept the ball home to double the visitors lead. Nine minutes later Remi Bell crossed from wide left to find Alister Brauns in the D, his first time through ball kicked clear by Gwilliams to deny Black.

On 70 minutes a right wing counter attack down the Wood right ended with Butlin holding the ball up before turning and firing in a low drive that was well held by Parsons. After 90 minutes Mansell released Liam Molesworth into the right of the box only for him to fire a cross shot wide.

It’s no secret after this game why both teams are struggling, Boldmere only had two shots on target, both went home.  Wood’s frailty in front of goal was obvious again, but keeper Stuart Parsons was equal to everything they threw at him. So it’s still pointless in 2017 for Wood as they regroup for the league cup quarter final against Highgate United on Tuesday 24th.

The Black month ends with a visit to St. Andrews of Leicester on Saturday.

Bill Shaw

The Teams:

Walsall Wood – Gwilliams, Deakin, Hayles, Juxon, Bains, Wood, Mansell, L. Harris, Butlin (captain), H. Harris, Dell, Molesworth, Jackson, Shaw, Wright, Taylor.

Boldmere St. Michaels – Parsons, Rosser, Bell, Smith (captain), Craven, Lyng, Skinner, Forde, Usher-Shipway, Brauns, Black, Male, Fitzmaurice, Leek, Wellington, Moreton.

Let’s hope things improve soon – for the good of the wood!

Thanks to Bill for another great review.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, 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

A mystery for the narrowboat folk

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A notable narrowboat photographed in a well-known spot from an unusual angle. What do you know? Image kindly supplied by Andy Dennis.

Here’s one I’ve been sitting on for a couple of weeks now, but it’s about time I shared this wonderful enquiry from the startlingly prolific Andy Dennis, who’s running a great local/genealogy/history blog that’s quite frankly, showing me a clean pair of heels at the moment.

Andy’s writing some great stuff – nip over and check it out here.

Anyway, on with the issue at hand: an interesting canal photo taken by Andy’s father, which I think we could do with knowing more about – and I’m sure there are folk amongst the readers who can help with it.

Andy wrote:

Hello Bob

I was looking for something in my ‘treasure box’, in which the treasures are memories rather than anything of pecuniary value, and I found this small photographic print (3 x 2.5 inches or 78 x 57 mm).

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Andy’s treasure box. Love the clock! Image supplied by Andy Dennis.

On the reverse, in my father’s hand, is written:
‘THE NORMAN CHAMBERLAIN’
AUDREY RUSSELL
&
WINFORD VAUGHAN THOMAS
OF THE BBC
BRIDGE BY B’HILLS SMELTERS

The original print is none too sharp – safe to say Dad was no Lichfield or Liebowitz!

I recall vaguely seeing a TV documentary about the campaign to rescue the canal network which, in the 1950s, was disintegrating rapidly and I think Wynford-Vaughan Thomas and fellow commentator Audrey Russell took to the canals to play their part. That is all I have been able to find out.

Hopefully, someone out there will know more.

Norman ‘Wilt’ Chamberlain was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and one of the greatest of all time.

Best wishes
Andy

This is a very interesting image. I’m fairly sure that ‘Brownhills Smelters’ was Superalloys, the war scrap specialist beloved of local kinds for their remarkable collection of junk, and the bridge looks like Middleton Bridge under the Lichfield Road as viewed from the northern side. Here it is on Bing! Maps.

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Fairly certain this is the same bridge. Opinions? Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Note the stepped parapet wall and white staining. It’s a very interesting angle as there’s no footpath that side and it would have been a hard spot to get to. I feel there’s a story there in itself.

Thanks to Andy for a wonderful enquiry – so what do you know? Any contributions welcome. Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

And don’t forget to check out Andy’s work here.

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Remember the man with the clipboard?

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Some odd stuff going down in The Wood at the moment… Imagery from Apple Maps.

Interested to note that yesterday, local police finally issued an alert about the man with the clipboard panhandling for money in the Brownhills and Walsall Wood area, claiming his vehicle has been towed and he needs to get somewhere else – usually Willenhall.

We discussed this man here on January 7th 2017 after a number of concerned people contacted me, and whilst I realise the issue isn’t huge, it was causing significant concern; sadly, I have been informed that when people tried contacting police initially, their concerns were dismissed, names not taken and suggestions made that mountains were being made out of molehills.

Another PR win there for local police.

Thankful, yesterday (20th January 2017), the police finally issued an alert via WMNow, the local alert system I encourage you all to sign up for – it’s easy and free – go here to do so.

Walsall Police wrote:

Tracy Ash (Police,PCSO,Walsall Aldridge NPT)

We have been made aware of a supicious Male in the Brownhills and Walsall Wood area. There have been several reports of a white male in his fifties with ginger/blonde hair, of average build and height. He was wearing a black bomber jacket, possibly has a northern accent and carrying a clip board.

He is stopping members of the public and saying his lorry has broken down and needs money to get to Willenhall.

Do not give this male any money and if he is seen or you have any information as to the identity of this man, please call the non emergency number 101.

Whilst I appreciate there may be more pressing matters, I feel it’s important for police to listen to their communities and this is clearly worrying a fair number of people. Dismissing their concerns out of hand doesn’t help anyone.

Please, if you have any information, do speak to the cops, and do report every incident – the more people report incidents, the more likely they are to be tackled.

If you know who the culprits might be, or if you saw anything at all, please do contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, It makes me mad!, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment