Christmas Market at the Horse and Jockey Walsall Wood all weekend!

Also, a late one I just remembered – there’s a Christmas Fair running at the Horse and Jockey, Walsall Wood tonight (Saturday) until 6pm and Sunday (8th December 2019) 10-4pm.

All the usual stuff and of course, a bar! What’s not to love?

We are holding a xmas market for local crafters to sell their goods along with Santa in his grotto…
Drinks and food
raffles
sale stalls
music
bar
all under cover…

 

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Walsall Wood FC away at Gresley this afternoon!

Gresley’s Moat Ground is a nice club. Why not pop up? Plenty of time.

Saturday 7th December 2019

Walsall Wood travel to Derbyshire

Walsall Wood FC v Gresley FC

The Moat Ground, Moat Street, Church Gresley,
Swadlincote DE11 9RE

 Don’t break your Wood vows, be there, be faithful to your local heroes

3:00pm kickoff

Please get behind your local club

For The Good Of The Wood!

Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here

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Fancy a Parkrun at Chasewater this Saturday morning?

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here or the event Facebook page here

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (7th December 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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2019 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 Christmas Market will taking place around the town centre this Saturday 7th December 2019 from 10am to 4pm with stalls, entertainment and loads of fun for all the family.

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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A festive evening of music with the legendary Deryck Langford’s Wednesday Singers and Cadenza Brass – this Saturday!

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The Silver Street Methodist Church in Brownhills is a remarkable building – pictured here by Facade66 and posted on Panoramio.

Here’s a rather nice Christmassy concert that’s due to take place this Saturday eveningat the Silver Street Methodist Church in Brownhills, featuring the wonderful Deryck Langford and the Wednesday singers.

It’s happening this Saturday, 7th December at 7:00pm and features Cadenza Brass Band and the Wednesday Singers. It looks set to be a great evening of festive musical entertainment and fun.

It’s a retiring collection – so donations welcomed at the event with free entry. Which is very reasonable for such great entertainment.

Deryck Langford said:

The fantastic CADENZA BRASS are travelling down from STOKE ON TRENT, to support my effort for Brownhills Methodist Church who urgently need funds if they are to still maintain many building repairs needed to keep the Church open for worship.

To my many friends please come along and say hallo, as this could be my last concert due to age.

The programme is a Festive one with plenty of audience participation so let’s make this a Winter Wonderland to remember.

Deryck

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Buses and Brass – a great Christmas event this Sunday afternoon!

I notice that this coming Sunday afternoon (8th 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 2pm until 3:30pm and features carols, vintage vehicles, Great Barr 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.

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Oh Christmas tree…

I grabbed a quick picture on Friday, but hope to get a better one soon. Sorry.

If you’re local to Brownhills I’ve no doubt you’ve noticed, but if not, you’ll see that this Christmas, right by Morris Miner on the Tin Man Island in Brownhills, we have what must be our first town Christmas tree for a decade.

This is thanks to the tireless hard work of the Brownhills Christmas Tree Committee – marshalled expertly by Susan Forster and Dawn Hayton, old friends of the blog who have tin rattled, approached businesses, manned stalls at fetes and festivals, counted coppers and dealt with the council.

Thanks are also due to all of you who put money in tins or dug deep to donate in other ways. Way back in spring I posted details of the appeal and so many folk came forward.

This is a really fine example of community power in action and you’re all stars – thank you so much.

The most expensive part was getting the socket and lights connection sorted: In following years less money will need to be raised, but fundraising must continue and the appeal still runs – donations are welcome.

Every time I’ve passed the tree since Friday when the lights went on, I’ve reflected on the hard work and sheer dedication that got it here. I’m immensely grateful to all who made it happen – we’ve come a long way from the horrific fiasco of a few years ago, and that’s just fine.

Once again, thank you all – and merry Christmas!

This shot posted on Facebook by Tom Cavanagh really deserves some kind of award.

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Alcoholics Anonymous group meeting in Brownhills this evening

Here’s an important one – Brownhills has started its own Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings at Silver Street Methodist Church in Silver Street, Brownhills that take place this and every Tuesday (3rd December 2019) from 7:30pm until 9pm.

I’m told the previous meetings were very well attended.

All are welcome. Parking is free, the venue is wheelchair friendly and can be found at Silver Street, Brownhills, Walsall WS8 6ER.

This is a welcome move as Brownhills has been lacking in this area for many years.

My best wishes to all attendees, and all are welcome.

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Brownhills very own autism support group meets this lunchtime in a new home

Just a heads up to let folk know that the popular local autism support group ‘Supporting the Rainbow’ is meeting today (Tuesday 3rd December 2019) – and there have been some changes as now the group is inaugurated as a charity in its own right.

Today they will be meeting at lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm in the Community Centre (The old Annex, or Central Boys School), Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

The group is open to parents and carers for those with autism, and aims to offer a welcoming, helpful and supportive network to those coping with the condition.

Supporting the Rainbow 🌈 is now an official charity affiliated with Rethink Mental Health!

After some discussions we have made some changes to our group meetings and venue: from October 8th 2019 we will be having our group meetings at Brownhills Community Centre

We have checked the venue  and we have a beautiful room on the ground floor, so it makes it easier for people with pushchairs and people with disabilities to manage.

Our times will still be 1:30-2:30pm but instead of meeting every week,  we will be fortnightly.

We are really looking forward to this new change and our lovely group can progress and move onward: we can look to having workshops and so much more.

The fortnightly meetings make it easier for some people who can’t come every week, and we will be having a raffle and tea and biscuits so please do come along to a warm friendly atmosphere!

From the Supporting the Rainbow 🌈 team

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

 

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How did they get there? And what of the beach?

One of those images you wish panned a little further to the left: The edge of the pump house (long gone) is clearly visible. Is that a bike leaning up against the sign on the dam? Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece via David Evans.

Since it’s a slow Sunday, some unusual images of Chasewater, and a bit of a mystery.

As I’m sure you’ll recognise the images immediately above and below this text are of the south shore of Chasewater, over the road from the Nine Foot Pool, where the steps, boat ramp and wakeboard lines are today. The bridge is the earlier incarnation, before the days of the concrete one with the corrugated steel pipes that was demolished and replaced ten years ago.

So these images, which have turned up as part of the Gerald Reece collection, are of that spot on Chasewater at very low water level. We can’t say when they were taken, but in all probability, postwar. But they were certainly before the amusement park era of this part of the lake being prettified, in the late 50s.

So what’s bugging us is this: There appear to be two coal butties rotting away in the shallows. Butties are unpowered narrowboat ‘trailers’ into which loose goods or other material were loaded, and pulled by a tug, or powered narrowboat.

Since Chasewater isn’t actually on the same level as the canal it feeds, how did these boats get here, what were they doing in the reservoir and how long were they there?

I’ve never seen these images before, has anyone any clue to their origin or date?

The water level is very low here, but that’s clearly the thruppeny bit valve house in the distance. Looks like it was taken the same day. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece via David Evans.

One last image: Found on a Tumblr site a while back, this postcard, I’d say turn of the last century from the dress. Children and adults – I think on what we would now call ‘the beach’ at the north end of the dam, looking very un-beachlike to me.

Am I correct? Is this the north end?

If so, where did the beach originate, and where are is the ballast shown here now?

Any ideas, comment here, hunt me down on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

A turn of the century (I think) postcard image I’ve not seen before – is that the sandy beach we know today? Click for a larger version.

Thanks to Gerald and David Evans for the above two images: I’m genuinely baffled by them.

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A bumper Walsall Wood football update – Match and club news, reports, pictures and video!

And now, Time for a long overdue football update from Walsall Wood FC.

It’s been a bit difficult of late, as with so many postponements due to the remarkably wet weather, and disparate reports, I’ve been waiting for enough material to put together into one post – the last match report was astonishingly on the 20th October. It’s been a funny old month or so.

Well, followers of the Woodmen – it’s your lucky day. Sort of. I’ve a whole bunch of different stuff to wrap up here in an article which will be a bit all over the place – but should, hopefully, have something for everyone.

First up there’s an unusual Monday evening match this week (tomorrow) kicking off  at Boldmere St. Micheal’s Church Road ground at 7:30pm – it’s rather important.

Walsall Wood FC, having beaten Chasetown on Tuesday 24th November now progress to the quarter finals of the Walsall Senior Cup on Monday 2nd December 2019 – kick off at 7.30pm – as they play Boldmere St Michaels at the Mike’s Church Road home ground.

That’s Church Rd, Sutton Coldfield B73 5RY – just a short run down the Chester Road

This will surely be a match to savour and enjoy, as was their last encounter: It’s on an all weather pitch, too.

That’s a cup worth playing for! Vintage image from David Evans.

Next up, there’s much to be positive about from Walsall Wood at the moment. They are currently top of the Midland Football League, leading arch rivals Romulus and Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa by 33 to 31 points:

Only 5 points separate the top 7 teams right now.

See the full league table here.

However, as can be seen the table is very tight right now so just about anything could happen!

Walsall Wood FC are also happy that they’re finally easier to find. I’ll let this press release from the club explain:

For the first time, in the lifetime of Walsall Wood FC, we have recognition at last in the community having received directional road signage to our ground.

The Wood currently play in the Midland Football League Premier and have circa 30 teams under the clubs community banner.

Walsall Wood FC has been established at Oak Park since 1912 and maybe before this date as local historians suggest.

We had requested a sign on several occasions for many years but the cost has always been out of our reach and or funding just not available.

This signage has now come to fruition through support and advice from Walsall Council Officers John Morris and Simon Hinton, whose input we are extremely grateful for.

The monies raised to cover the cost of the sign has come through a donation of tracksuit tops from a local and successful fashion brand, Luke1977.

These quality tops were issued by the Luke Team Free of charge to the club’s hard-working volunteers, who have, in turn, made a monetary contribution towards covering the cost of the signage.

The football clubs Directors and members are delighted with this outcome to finally recognise our existence after all these years and thank all who have contributed, especially the ongoing support from Luke Roper, a native to the Wood and the Creative Director of the Luke1977 Team.

We have been understandably frustrated in the past when emergency services have faced extreme difficulty trying to locate the ground, many times over the years when a player or visitor requires emergency medical treatment from the Ambulance service

At long last, this welcomed signage will really help to signpost the emergency services, local community and our visitors to our ground, all For The Good Of The Wood!

Andy Roper
Honorary President
Walsall Wood FC

Meanwhile there follows a mixture of footage and reports from matches in the last month or so:

Russell Smith for TheWood.TV posted footage of the 29th October 2019 Wood home tie to Tividale, which the Woodmen dominated the visitors 5-1 Check to Thewood.tv on Facebook here.

Walsall Wood FC 0 v 2 Boldmere St, Micheal’s FC
Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Tuesday 22nd October 2019, Walsall Wood hosted local team Boldmere St Michael’s in the Midland Premier League. Wood were riding high after beating Coventry Sphinx 0-8 away on the Saturday.
From the off Boldmere attacked, a cross evading everyone in the box. The next attack saw the Wood defender slip, which allowed the Boldmere striker in, but the Wood defender recovered well to avert the danger.
The first goal soon came, Boldmere’s May scoring with a volley.Woods best chance came when Jack Till’s header was straight at the keeper from a freekick. The next attack saw Chad Degville-Cross’s effort was saved by the Boldmere keeper.
The second half was only 5 minutes old when Boldmere scored again, Stepehn Palmer with the goal. Wood kept trying but the Boldmere defence held firm. To makes matters worse, Garfield Robinson was sent off for the Wood near the end.
Saturday the Wood were due to play Stourport away but the match was called off due to the weather
Simon Evans

Images and captions by the young David Evans

Walsall Wood FC 3 v 1 Uttoxeter Town
Tuesday 5th November 2019

On a cold Bonfire Night , and after a morning’s steady rain to lubricate and refresh the finely manicured grass, the scene was set for an eagerly anticipated game of football. The bright lights in the turnstyle beckoned sensibly-dressed spectators to the delights and magic of a FA Vase contest.

With beefburgers sizzling away in the welcoming refreshment van, and the mouth – watering smell of onions , good folk with sport in their heart ventured through, eagerly clutching their Matchday programmes.

A goodly number of the welcome visitors of various ages – and volume – made their way to the bar, doubtless thirsting for a glass of famous local Viking Ale, to share opinions and experience with friends and others steadying themselves by the bar as they expertly swallowed the golden ambrosia.

The match got under way to a raucous cry from the numerous visiting youngsters, known for their vocality and readiness to assist the three match officials.

Uttoxeter Town made a fresh, eager start to the game and used their youthful fleet-of-foot wing forwards to good effect, bringing a startled response by the surprised Wood’s defence. The productive move was repeated again and again and Uttoxeter scored a well-deserved and crafted first goal, to the delight of their supporters.

Russell Smith for TheWood.TV posted footage of the 5th October 2019 Wood home tie to Tividale, which the Woodmen aced 2-1 Check to Thewood.tv on Facebook here.

Walsall Wood now had the task of performing and working as we know they do, and the contrast between the two teams became more apparent. The dash and rush of the visitors; the calm, measured footwork of the home side. A modern version of an Aesop fable, in a way.

There was good accurate passing mostly, but some wayward passes, too. The cacophony of the fireworks in the sky from nearby houses and the Active Living Centre, too, did distract players, both by the sudden loud noises, and the bright lights.

The home teams scored the equalising goal shortly before half time and then both teams retreated to the privacy of their dressing rooms shortly after one of the visitors had been expelled from the field of play by the hard-pressed referee, and excluded from any further participation in the game.

The second half was a display of end to end football and increasing frustration by the visiting side. Yet, despite the frequent open dissent, which brought a Sin Bin imposition on one of the ten Uttoxeter players, the visitors played some fine football. Spectators saw and appreciated clever manoeuvres, turning with the ball, leaping high to claim a ball, and challenging shots at the Wood goal.

But, as in past encounters, it was to be Walsall Wood’s night. The fireworks, rockets, bangers, shrill noises from outside the ground was echoed by those inside the ground. Four yellow cards, one red card, one ten-minutes Sin Bin spell.

Spectators from near and afar saw all the emotions and passion of a hard FA Vase match in action. There was this and far more this evening.

Walsall Wood left the ground the winners by three goals to Uttoxeter’s one goal. Final score.

David Evans

Thanks to David and Simon Evans, Russell Smith of TheWood.TV and to Andy Roper. Hopefully the weather will settle now and we can get back to a more regular schedule – all For The Good Of The Wood!

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Oiling Palmers… More info on where it all began

From time to time here I have material to publish that’s of a more – shall we say – technical nature and I always struggle with exactly how to present it. Such is the case today with this important article compiled by David Evans from notes by Gerald Reece of the land transactions surrounding Palmers Hay and environs, which are thought to have been where the Coppice Side Industrial Estate is today.

Gerald has stated in a previous article published here (repeated at the foot of this post) that he believes that’s where the mining history of Brownhills began, and I agree with him.

David, going through Gerald’s notes, has summarised the documents the great historian worked from, and I post that summary here as I know the land and history anoraks amongst us will have a ball with them, and I invite their contributions – after all, the nights are now dark and the weather is awful so what better than a little … Technical local history to burrow through?

So have a read, spot some familiar names, and why not kick of the debate? Please do comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my coat on social media.

My thanks to David and of course Gerald, without who our local history record would be very much the poorer.
4

This is Gerald’s hand-drawn copy of the 1840 Tithe Map as featured in his work on Plamers Hay below; note in the area highlighted, there are areas labelled ‘Old Coal Pit Land’. Old. In 1840. Note also the wonderfully named ‘Handkerchief Piece’. Click for a larger version.

David wrote:

A bountiful bundle

Among the plethora of photographs, maps, document wallets and their contents, newspaper cuttings, charts, magazines, brochures et al that comprised the many years’ local history research that Mr Gerald Reece has graciously allowed me to review and peruse is a copy of a seemingly anonymous bundle of legal papers. This  ‘Abstract’- ten sheets, measuring  15 inches by 9 inches, of beautifully handwriting –  is dated August 1753, but  it is a review of the  previous transactions up to the date of the document.

(note, the spellings reproduced here are those used in the document)

The ‘cover’ fold has these words ‘Abstract of the Title to Palmers Hays Estate in Little Wyrley’.

So, what – and where- was ‘Palmers Hays Estate’?  The abstract gives hitherto unpublished details in its review of the  previous transactions for this/these land(s).

The first sheet is headed ‘An Abstract of the late Phineas Hussey Esq Title to an Estate situate in Little Wirley in the County of Stafford called Palmers Hayes’

‘No 1’ 

2nd Sept 1569, 12th Elizth… (twelfth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st – David)

Whereas Thos. Smith of Homerwich in the Cy of Stafford, Yeom for divers good causes and consons him moving did grant and confirm unto Fabrianus Orme Gent ,Thos Royle and Wm Webbe of Homerwich af (aforementioned; David) One pasture with appurts in Little Wirley in the C. af ( County aforementioned; David) called Palmers Heyes in the holding or Occupation of thesd.(the said) Thos and all other his lands and Tenemts. in Little Wirley afs(aforesaid) To hold thesd. ( the said) pasture and promes (premises?) with the appurts to  the (said) Fabrianus Orme, Thos Royle and Wm Webbe their Heirs andAps for ever to the use of the( said) Thos Smith for Life

‘No 2’             

6th March 1637, 13th Car ( thirteenth year of the reign of King Charles)

In part – ‘ All that Close or pasture in two parts divided called or known by the name of Palmers Hays with the Appurts lying and being within the Lordship of Little Wyrley in the Cy of Stafford And all that Cottage or

( continues on sheet two )

Tenemt. thereupon erected and being with all Woods Ways  and all the Deeds

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

‘No 3’             

6th March 13th Car

Bond from the aforesaid Erasmus Smith to the said Ralph Smith in the penal sum of 200£ to perform covenant in the last moth of Deed

‘No 4’             

Hil Term 14th Car 1st  1630

In part

a Tine between Ralph Smith, Erasmus Smith and Mary his wife. John Underhill and Isabella his wife..one cottage and 24 acres of pasture with the appurts in Little Wirley

‘No 5 ‘            

4th January 1654

Indre of the agreement made bet(ween) John Smith of the Close of Lichfield in the C(oun)ty of Stafford Gent and Joyce Smith of the Close  aforesaid widow mother of the aforesaid John Smith on one part and John Speed of Brownhills in the County of aforesaid Yeom (an) and Milborow his wife on the other part…all the premes( premises?) described to hold thes. premes with the appurts to them the aforesaid John Speed and Milborow his wife their heirs and Aps for ever.

Sheet three

‘No 6’             

20th June 1659 Car 2nd

 Testment (Testament) made between John Speed and Milborow his wife of the one part and Michael Turton of Wolverhampton in the County of Stafford Gent and Jos Bright of the same Town and County on the other part.

It is witnessed that John Speed his wife Milborow in consideration of 40 £ of lawful money to them paid by Arthur Milward of Burton in the parish of Much Wenlock in the c(oun)ty of Salop Yeom(an) grandchild of the aforesaid John Speed and for divers other good causes and consons did give grant and confirm unto Thos Turton, Jos Bright their Heirs and offspring(?) for ever

all the premises with the apperts before abstracted

‘No 7’            

12th June 1659…12th Car 2d

fine sur connuzance above covenanted to be levyed… between Thos Mich. Turton, Jos bright and John Speed and Milborow his wife

continues on sheet four

of one cottage and 24 acres of pasture with the Appurts in Little Wirley

The Birch Coppice/Coppice Side Area was in all probability, the origin of what we now consider to be Brownhills. Wonderful drone image kindly shared by Steve Martin.

‘No 8’           

22 Dec 1677

Copy of the Will of Arthur Milwart of Harley in the county of Salop the original proved at Ludlow the 22 May 1690

‘Whereby he gives and bequeathes his real Estate at Brownhills in Staffordshire being a dwellinghouse and the Mesue therto belonging or in any way appertaining with all the profits and benefits to his sister Joan Wilkes Widow for life – Rem(ainder) to Margt Wilkes youngest daughter of Joan Wilkes for life’     ..continues

‘No 9 ‘            

23rd Nov 1736

Inre of the testmt of that date made between Francis Wilkes of Broseley in the County of Salop  collier and Ann his wife of the one part and Ralph Smith of Broseley aforesdaid Backsmith of the other part. It is witnessed that the said Francis Wilkes in concson ( recognition, payment; David) of 141£ s1 of lawful Money to him paid  Did grant  sel..unto Raplh Smith  all that foresaid Close( enclosure?enclosed land?David )  divided into five pieces called Palmers Hays situate at a place called Brownhills in the Township of Little Wirley aforesaid toger ( together) with their aforesaid Mefsue (measure?) or Cottage thereupon erected.

‘No 10’           

3rd Dec 1737

Indre (reminder) between the said Ralph Smith of the one part part and Thos Haslewood of Bridgnorth in the county of Salop Ironomonger of the other part

Sheet 5

It is witnessed that Ralph Smith in conson of 120£ of lawful money of Gr(eat) Br(itain) to him paid by Thos Haslewood  did sell demise lease Sett and to Farm Lett unto the said Thomas Haslewood..all the Close into 5 parts divided and Mesure or Cottage thereupon erected…unto the ful term of 1000 years from henceforth..under the yearly Rent of a pepper corn payable as therein mentioned.

‘No 11’          

10 Augt. 1753

Quadripartite of this date made between Hannah Haslewood of Bridgnorth in the County of Salop Widow and Administratrix of the Goods and Chattels rights and credits of Thos Haslewood late of the same place Ironmonger.. of the first part Thomas Ralph Smith of Brownhills in the parish of Norton Canes in Norton under Cannock in the Cty of Stafford Coal Master of the 2nd part Phineas Hussey of Little Wirley in the Parish of Norton aforesaid Esq of the 3rd part Thos Cobb of the..

Sheet 6

City and County of Stafford Gent of the 4th part……..long document where Phin Hussey buys part mortgage from widow of deceased Thos Haslewood.

Sheet 7            

‘No 12 ‘                      

2 January 1744

Indre of this date made bet Thos Ralph Smith of the 1st part Richard Ford of Colebrooke Dale in the parish of Madley and Cty of Salop Ironmaster of the 2nd part and Wm Perryday of Buildwas in the same Cy Master Collier of the 3rd part

Reciting that the said Ralph Smith had purchased of Wm Smith of Middlestools in the parish of Norton Canes oth Norton under Cannock and Ruth his wife and niece several Closes or pieces of Land therefor called the Great Brownhlls but then called by the several names of the patch Croft, the Wett Piece, the Barrotts Bank, the new Leasow, the Bigg Brown hills close, the Birch Tree piece, the poole piece, the upper Leasow and the meadow cont(aining?) tog(ether) ab(ou)t 55 Acres

And reciting that Thos Ralph Smith had purchased a piece of land of Francis Wilkes lying near these other closes cont abt 17 Acres, under wich premises there was a Mine of Coal or Ironstone

And also reciting that the said Ralph Smith for the better advantage of getting the said Mines of Coal or Ironstone had paid to Chris Wood of Norton under Cannocka sum of 70£ in conson that Phin Hussey of Little Wirley nor any other person should not within the space of 6 (?) years after the 25th March 1743 get raise of dispose of any Mines of Coal or Ironstone from or out of any of the Lands of the said Phin Hussey lying within the Liberty of Little Wirley . And also reciting the said

Sheet 8

Ralph Smith had expended the sum of 1551 5 6 in getting Coal and setting the same work on foot And also reciting that these Coal Works were intended to be carried on in Copartnership bet all those parties And in pursuance thereof Thomas Clifford and Wm Ferryday had paid 1034£ 10s Carrying on their work

It is witnessed that Thos Ralph Smith is conson of the sum of 1034£ 3s being 2 third parts   continues

did Grant Bargain Sell and Assign unto Thos Rd Ford and Wm Ferryday..all the Mines and berns(?) oof Coal and ironstone under thes. premes. And also 2 third parts of the Engines Gins and other Implements and Utensils used in and about these works… unto the full term of 99 years from hence..at the rent of 10£ for every Acre of Land under which they should get the Mines of Coal

And also that it should be lawful for the said Ralph Smith, Rd Ford and Wm Ferryday to Work thes. Mines and berns ( seams?)of Coal

Sheet 9     

Note 13  

20 Aug 1753

A lengthy document where Messrs Ford and Ferryday sold their share and shares in the mining venture to  Phineus Hussey… Mines of Coal or other Minerals… And also for those Gins and Implements used for Carrying on these Coal Works

Sheet  10

concludes the sale..

‘All the Fire Engine Gins and Implements used in getting the said Mines of Coal and ironstone or any other Mines under these Lands…And all their share of and in the same and every part thereof. To hold the said Fire Engine and Implements for carrying on these works unto the said Phin Hussey his Executors or Administrators  from henceforth to his and their own use for ever.’

Executed by Rd Ford Wm Ferryday and Ralph Smith and two sevl rects for 500£ Indorsed

And here is the article from Gerald from 2014 to which the above pertains, if you see what I mean:

I am very pleased and honoured to present today this lengthy but detailed work by eminent local historian Gerald Reece, author of what has to be the greatest work on Brownhills, ‘A walk in Walk Into History’.

Gerald no longer lives in the area, having long ago decamped to Devon, but following his interest in this blog, and the staging of the hugely successful talk he gave in 2012, Gerald has been good to his word and written the ‘missing chapter’ of his 1996 book, detailing how coalming began in Brownhills, giving rise to the settlement we see today.

This is an extraordinarily detailed piece of work, and Gerald welcomes any comment, and regards it as a sound foundation for further research by others. That he maintains such a fascination with Brownhills after years away is remarkable – and very, very welcome.

It will help if you read the previous work Gerald wrote on coal mining in the area.

The work was sent to me as a scanned PDF, which you can download yourselves here; the text itself is presented below.

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Gerald Reece is a remarkable man, who worked hard to explore our history in a time when it was neither fashionable, nor easy.

When I started this blog five and a half years ago, I had no idea where it would lead, and expected it to die a painless, unnoticed death within weeks if not days. That it has survived so far, and led to the writing of work such as this, is a matter of great surprise, joy and pride to me.

I thank Gerald for his devotion to Brownhills and the history thereof; for his years of patient and costly research in days before the internet, and for the warmth, generosity and humility he exudes.

Thank you Gerald. I’m sure that even now, the Brownhills debating society have the kettle on and are warming up. It foes look like rain, after all. I do hope there’s Battenburg.

4

The clues were out there. This is Gerald’s hand-drawn copy of the 1840 Tithe Map; note in the area highlighted, there are areas labelled ‘Old Coal Pit Land’. Old. In 1840. Note also the wonderfully named ‘Handkerchief Piece’. Click for a larger version.

Gerald wrote:

In my account of the early history of Brownhills entitled ‘Brownhills, a walk into history’, first published in 1996.1 mention on page 99, first paragraph,

When coal was first mined in Brownhills is unknown. No documented evidence exists giving the place and date of the initial operation.

Since making that statement I have located evidence that shows when and where coal mining, on a commercial scale, first took place in Brownhills. The following account is taken from the notes of a talk I gave on the subject in November 2012.

It concerns the history of two ancient plots of land. They were known as Palmers Hay and Great Brownhills and they formed the area that is known today as Coppice Side Industrial Estate.

The earliest reference I have found concerns the fields known as Palmers Hay and date from the 16th Century. The name Palmer is said to be a reference to Pilgrims, sited where it is this is a probable assumption.

Dated 2nd. September 1569, the twelth year in the reign of Elizabeth 1, an indenture stated that a pasture with appurtenances being situate at the boundary between Little Wyrley and Pelsall adjoining the lane leading from Wolverhampton to Lichfield (an important pilgrimage route) was offered for sale by Thomas Smith of Hammerwich.

It was offered to Fabrianus Orme, Thomas Royle and William Webbe all of Hammerwich. The sale did not go through but it does establish the ownership of Palmers Hay at that time.

Cross referencing these details in other documents of the period I noted that Fabrianus Orme was part of a consortium who in 1567 purchased the Manor of Ogley Hay from Lord Stafford and his brothers Walter and Rupert. (S.R.O. D546/3/5/1).

Fabrianus Orme is mentioned as living at Overton Grange in Hammerwich. Page 264 of the Victoria County History of Hammerwich. (S.R.O. D(W)1734/2/l).

In 1573, 16 Elizabeth 1, the Rent Roll for the Manor of Little Wyrley makes mention of Palmers Hay.

In March 1637, in a document of indenture of feoffment, Erasmus Smith of Hammerwich, son of Thomas Smith, did for £100 of lawful money of England, grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoffe deliver and confirm to Ralph Smith, Gentleman of Cathedral Close, Lichfield, his heirs and assigns:

All that close or pasture in two parts divided called or known by the name of Palmers Hay with appurtenances lying and being within the Lordship of Little Wyrley in the County of Stafford.

Together with all that cottage or tenement thereupon erected. An area of 24 acres, more or less.

In 1651, Shortly after the English Civil Wars had ended, the Little Wyrley Rent Roll contained the following entries of ownership of land.

The Queen  Henrietta Maria of France, the widow of Charles 1) holds land also holds the Hilkin Wilkin and the Manche.

  • The Cathedral Church of Lichfield hold land.
  • The Vicars Chorall of Lichfield hold land.
  • The Wardens of the Conduit Trust of Lichfield hold land.
  • The Wardens of the Schoole of Walsall hold land.
  • Sir Richard Leveson holds the Crossacks.
  • Sir Edward Leigh of Rushall Hall holds Brownhills.
  • John Smith holds Palmers Hay.

Only land owners were mentioned in the Rent Roll. Tenents and Sub Tenents were not mentioned.

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A fantastic, wonderful and rare book; do get a copy if you can. Mine has been so well read now it’s falling to pieces.

In January 1654 the son of Ralphe Smith, John and his widowed mother Joyce decide to sell Palmers Hay. It was bought for £100 by John and Milbrow Speed of Brownhills. they included in the transaction a proviso for their grandson Arthur Milward to have one third share. After the death of John Speed the full title was granted to Arthur Milward by Milbrow Speed.

Arthur Milward of Burton in the Parish of Much Winlock in the County of Salop died in 1677.

In his Will he bequeathed his estate in Brownhills, being a dwelling house and messuage with all profits, to his sister Joan Wilkes, widow.

Around this time the Manor of Little Wyrley changed ownership. It was purchased by Roger Fowke of Brewood. He was succeeded by his son Walter whose daughter and heir Sybil married Joseph Hussey of London. This was the beginning of the Fowke/Hussey Dynasty.

Palmers Hay was inherited by Roger Wilkes and then passed on to his son Frances.

In November of 1736 Frances Wilkes of Broseley, Salop, Collier and Ann his wife sold to Ralph Smith also of Broseley, Blacksmith, for the sum of £141/1/0d, the area Palmers Hay then in five separate fields divided.

On 3rd December 1737 Ralph Smith of Broseley used Palmers Hay as collateral when he borrowed £120 from Thomas Haslewood, Ironmonger, of Bridgenorth, Salop. The monies to be paid back within one year with interest.

Ralph Smith used the money as part payment when he purchased from William and Ruth Smith of Middlestools in the Parish of Norton Canes, ‘All those closes of land called or known as Great Brownhills’. Also called by several names, Patch Croft, The Well Place, The Barretts Bank, The New Leasow, The Bigg Brownhills Close, The Birch Tree Piece, The Poole Piece, The Upper Leasow and The Meadow. An area of 55 Acres, more or less, lying next to Palmers Hay.

65411329

Beneath this busy, but unassuming warehouse on the Pelsall Road, the history of Brownhills really began.

The change of ownership of the fields of Great Brownhills was entered onto the returns of the Court Baron of the Manor of Little Wyrley for the year 1743. ( S.R.O.)

This document also mentioned that the Lordship of the Manor of Little Wyrley had changed. Phineas Hussey had sold off ⅔rd’s of the manor, retaining only ⅓rd.

The ⅔rd holder and new Lord of the Manor was Christopher Wood. He was the son of Henry Wood, Rector of Aldridge. Christopher Wood also held part ownership of the Manors of Norton Canes and of Ogley Hay.

The rights of the Lord of the Manor included control of all mineral rights through-out the Manor. Which up until that time had never been exercised. That was to change.

In March 1743 Ralph Smith, owner of Palmers Hay and Great Brownhills, was for the sum of £70 paid to Christopher Wood, granted the sole concession to excavate coal and ironstone within the bounds of the Manor of Little Wyrley for a period of six years.

In December 1743 Ralph Smith stated that he had

…Expended the sum of £1551/5/6d in getting coal and setting the same.

Included in this amount was

…An Engine, Gins and other implements used in or about the coal field.

The size and type of the engine is not mentioned, nor is the location and depth of any shaft.

In 1990 an article in the Express & Star covering the opening of the new T&S Office Block in Apex Road stated:

That construction was complicated by the discovery of three separate seams of coal and a disused mine shaft.

[Bob’s note: That’s now the One Stop warehouse.]

On 2nd. January 1744 Ralph Smith signed an agreement of partnership with Richard Ford and William Ferriday. They each purchased a ⅓rd share in the business. They paid £1034/3/8d which included a share of the engine and gin. Ralph Smith kept control of Palmers Hay and Great Brownhills for which he charged the partnership rental.

The two new partners in the business were very important figures of that time. Richard Ford was the grandson of Abraham Darby the Ironmaster of Coalbrookdale. Richard’s father also called Richard had married Mary Darby, Abraham Darby’s daughter. After Abraham’s death in 1717 Richard senior took control of the Ironworks at Coalbrookdale. In 1742 he had installed at Coalbrookdale a Fire Engine of the Newcomen design to recycle water back up hill. When Richard Ford the elder died in 1745 Richard the younger and his two brothers inherited interest in the iron works. They were bought out by Abraham Darby 11 in 1756.

(Article Shropshire News Sept. 1924).

The other partner in the consortium was William Ferriday of Buildwas, Wyer Hill. He too had a distinguished career being a Coalmaster and owner of several coal and ironstone mines in Shropshire, in 1740 he purchased from Coalbrookdale the engine and pumps he installed at his Lightmoor Colliery.

This must have been a frustrating time for the Hussey family. After controlling Little Wyrley for decades they could only watch as outsiders reaped the reward.

Ralph Smith built himself a sizable estate. He had purchased several collieries in Pelsail and he had set himself up as Master of Pelsail Hall.

Events took a turn in 1751 when Christopher Wood, the ⅔rd Lord of the Manor of Little Wyrley had financial difficulties. He could have quickly solved his financial problems by selling his share in Little Wyrley which included the important mineral rights. He had several potential buyers waiting, including Ralph Smith.

The Hussey Family protested and stated that Little Wyrley was their ancestral holding by right and that they and only they should be allowed to purchase it.

It took an Act of Parliament to settle Christopher Wood’s financial affairs.

The Hussey Family regained control of the Manor in full.

The partnership of the Brownhills Coalfield realised that their sole concession of the mineral rights over Little Wyrley had expired and was unlikely to be renewed. Phineas Hussey offered to buy them out, they accepted.

£500 each was paid to Richard Ford and William Ferriday for their share. Ralph Smith was paid £1,300 but he had £122/16/0d deducted. This was paid to Hannah Haslewood of Bridgenorth who had loaned Smith £120 in 1737 to buy Great Brownhills, but had not been reinbursed.

Ralph Smith also agreed to sell all of his other property in the area to Phineas Hussey. On 17th August 1753 an indenture recorded the transaction. This included lands in Pelsatl.Wolverhampton, Little Wyriey, Essington,Bloxwich, Rushall, Walsall, Goscott.etc. It included Pelsail Hall. It also included Palmers Hay and Great Brownhills, together with all messuages, dwelling houses, tenements, edifices and buildings there upon.

The Hussey Family kept control of the mineral rights over Little Wyrley until 1st January 1947 when the Coal Industry was nationalised.

But the story does not end there.

Back to 1759 when the most unlikely person came onto the scene. Canal Builder and Engineer, James Brindley. The fame of his genius is universal but his connection with Brownhills has virtually gone unrecorded. I came across his involvement by chance when reading the history of the Brindley Water Mill in Leek. An entry in their records, written by the late Dr. Cyril Boucher, directed me to the archives of the Institute of Civil Engineers in London. There James Brindley’s diary notebooks are preserved. In one of them he mentioned being invited by Phineas Hussey to erect a steam pumping engine at Little Wyrley in 1759.

Although originally a Millwright, James Brindley was also a pioneering Engineer and he had successfully built several steam pumping engines in the North Staffordshire Coalfields. Very little is recorded in his notebooks regarding the Brownhills Engine. On a visit to the site he did mention ‘the plate boiler is short of steam’. He ordered ‘a little boiler for assistance’, from Coalbrookdale. In a letter dated September 1759 a mention of a brick boiler is made. (Northumberland Record Office 2/DE/7.)

From early Estate and Tithe Maps of Brownhills we now have a rough idea where the Brindley Steam Pumping Engine was situated, adjacent to the perpetuated Engine Lane.

The mining of coal on Palmers Hay and Great Brownhilis became unproductive mainly because the deposits there were shallow and of a poor quality. The site was gradually phased out. Meantimes test workings had located better deeper coal deposits north of Coppice Side under Brownhilis Common.

img001

The plan of test pits, as featured in Brownhills, A Walk Into History’ on page 98. Click for a larger version.

I now believe that the map shown on page 98 of ‘Brownhills, a walk into history’, (The original map is in Walsall, Essex Street, archives. Ref. 35/11/14), is from the 1760s and shows test pits across The Common from the area of Engine Lane leading in a north easterly direction up to the Watling Street where the School is now at the top of The Parade.

This was to lead to the opening of the New Brownhilis Colliery on The Common just south of The Rising Sun.

John Hanbury, Farmer of Norton Canes, secured the first lease from Phineas Hussey, Lord of the Manor of Little Wyrley.

The rest is history.

Some of the documents studied for this analysis were deposited in The Staffordshire County Record Office, Stafford. This should be the starting point for any further research.

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Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, this afternoon!

If you, the kids are grandkids are at a loose end today, since the weather has improved a little it would be an excellent chance to nip up to Stubbers Green and chat to the Swan Patrol.

The Patrol are there this afternoon – and every Sunday from 1-3pm and have bird books, binoculars and a wealth of knowledge to share – so why not join them? There’s so much more local wildlife than people think!

The reserve is by the pools on Stubbers Green Road, between Aldridge and Shelfield.

Ann Lawrence of the Swan Patrol said:

Do you want to know more about nature and wildlife?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.

Donations welcome

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Walsall Wood away to Lye this afternoon

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Can Walsall Wood beat the lads from Lye? Image from The Mowdog.

Saturday, 30th November 2019

The Wood are away to Lye town

But you’d not know it from Walsall Wood FCs website or social media…

Noon pitch inspection cleared for game and looking good – this from Lye Town FC

Keep an eye on their twitter for more info.

Come watch the lads at the Stourbridge Road ground
Sports Ground, Stourbridge Road, Lye, DY9 7DH

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.

Thanks to David Evans for help this morning.

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

If you’ve a child or children under four years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 30th November 2019 from 10-12pm – note the newly expanded times!

It costs just three 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 creative fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

 

Come along to this weeks Stay & Play 🌈

We will be investigating all about snow in our messy tray ⛄️

Will will be decorating our very own snowflakes on the creative table

…Making Christmas dinners in our role-play kitchen 🥕🥔

Also we have the cozy book area the small world area and the construction 🔨 🚧 … lets 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)

10.00am-12.00 ⏰
£3 per child 💷
Snack included 🍎

Feel free to invite your friends with children aged 0-4 years and share our events

See you all Saturday…

This group is held at Little Green Dragons Day Nursery every Saturday morning …

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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No Chasewater Parkrun this week – but you could join the Chasewater 5K & 10K Christmas Pudding Dash!

Just a quick note to say there’s no Chasewater Parkrun this week due to a commercial run taking place in the park – the Nice Work Chasewater Christmas Pudding Dash 5K and 10K runs – but the good news is due to a number of cancellations, you can still enter this event.

There’s even a kids run too for the weans.

To enter, click this link and book – but get in quick as spaces are limited.Entry prices range from £16-£20 for the 10K, £12-£15 for the 5K and £5 for the children’s race.

The organisers said:

Due to a large number of deferrals and cancellations this week, we are delighted to announce that we are reopening entries with a further 70 places available for Saturday’s race.

Get in quick 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

To book – https://www.nice-work.org.uk/ra…/the-chasewater-pudding-dash

 

The Chasewater Pudding Dash

Chasewater Country Park, Pool Lane, Burntwood, Staffordshire, WS8 7NL
Date: Saturday 30th November 2019
Time: 10:30am

Why not get the festive season off to flying start and join us for the Chasewater Christmas Pudding Dash 10k & 5k?

This festive race uses the undulating paths and trails around Chasewater Reservoir and looks set to be a Christmas Cracker of an event once again. Dress up as your favourite festive character and join us in celebrating the festive season and take part in the either 10k or 5k. 

There are festive goodies and mince pies on offer plus a special festive medal and Christmas pudding available to all finishers. There will also be prizes on offer for leading runners and age category winners.

The Children’s Santa Dash is available to all youngsters and all finishers receive a festive medal and goodies.

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We’re All In This Together tonight and tomorrow at The Lamp!

There’s a splendid concert by Brownhills Musical Theatre Company being staged today and tomorrow (Friday 29th Saturday 30th November 2019) at the Lamp Arts Theatre in Brownhills Activity Centre, just on the Miner Island in the centre of Brownhills – the younger members of the Company will be performing favourites from the musicals you know and love with a free drink and raffle included!

Tickets are just a £10 a head.

Brownhills Musical Theatre Company said:

Our talented younger members of Brownhills Musical Theatre Company are excited to bring you entertainment from a number of well known musicals including Matilda and School of Rock.

A show that is sure to entertain you as they take to the stage to bring you a show-stopping collection of music and dance to leave you clapping along.

Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November 2019

BMTC Youtrh present their debut concert, ‘All In This Together’.

Friday 29th November at 7:30pm

Saturday 30th November at 1:00pm

Saturday 30th November at 7:30pm

Tickets £10 (Includes a free drink and raffle ticket)

Call the Box Office on 01785 715 368 to order your tickets

Find out more at the Brownhills Community Centre website here.

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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Beware – spate of drain cover thefts across our area

Drain covers have been stolen in Brickiln Street and New Road, Brownhills. Image posted on Facebook by Lynda Hutchings.

Just a warning that across the area of North Walsall last night (Wednesday 27th-Thursday 28th November 2019) scumbags have been out stealing roadside drain (‘gully’) covers, presumably for scrap.

Areas affected I’ve heard about include Clayhanger, Shire Oak, Brownhills and Aldridge. Thieves take the covers leaving a dangerous, open drain in the gutter. It’s an evil, dangerous thing to do.

There are reports that a red people-carrier style car is involved, but be on the lookout for anyone acting suspiciously. These people need catching or someone is going to get hurt.

I was under the impression scrap yards were not allowed to accept these grids.

A spate of this kind of theft seems to recur every couple of years and costs councils big money. Beware particularly if crossing the road, riding a bike or motorbike, for obvious reasons.

If you spot a cover missing, please call Clean and Green at Walsall Council on 01922 653344 – that number is active 24 hours. This is essential to get the resultant danger covered up.

If you have any info on the absolute tools doing this, please do contact police via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.pnn.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime.

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

 

 

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Meet your local police team in Brownhills this evening!

There’s a local police ‘World Cafe’ event coming at Brownhills Community Centre, just off the Miner Island in Brownhills this evening (Wednesday, 27th November 2019) where you can meet the local policing team and discuss issues that are important to you.

The bizzies will be at the former Annexe from 5:30pm until 8pm and there will even be a chance tohave a brew with the boys and girls in blue. See what I did there?

The local coppers said:

West Midlands Police would like to invite you to a World Cafe Event! Discuss what matters in your community; meet your local Prevent officers and local policing team.

On Wednesday 27th November 2019 from 17.30 to 20.00 at Brownhills Community Centre, Chester Road North, Brownhills, WS8 7JW.

Refreshments provided.

Please contact Dave Bryan or Sunny Lal for more details: telephone 101 extension 871 3020 or e-mail d.r.bryan@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk or m.lal@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.

You can follow the policing team on Twitter: @BrownhillsWMP

At these informal events, you can chat to the local policing team about stuff that concerns you, get crime prevention tips, WMNow signups and public safety advice.

I must say, it’s good to see the local police making such concerted efforts to reach out to the public.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for WMNow, please do – it’s free and you can select to receive alerts on all kinds of local issues. It’s a fine thing.

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Winter Wonderland Christmas Fayre at Hammerwich this Sunday!

There’s a further chance to get into the Christmas spirit this Sunday afternoon (Sunday 1st December 2019) –  there’s the Hammerwich Hall Winter Wonderland Christmas Fayre from 2:30pm.

The organisers said:

Hammerwich Hall Care Home invite you to our Winter Wonderland Christmas Fayre. We have a variety of stalls, a tombola, a raffle and we also have Santa visiting.
Come and enjoy the afternoon, we will also have refreshments available, including Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.

Las year’s event was brilliant and I enjoyed it very much indeed.

It promises to be a truly magical way to begin your Christmas preparations, regardless of your age!

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There’s a great Christmas Fair in Brownhills this Friday 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 on Friday Evening.

Next Friday, 29th November 2019 from 3:15pm to 6:30pm you can come sing around the Christmas bonfire, and enjoy all the fun stuff you expect at a Christmas do – stalls, mince pies, Santa, food, cakes – it’s free to enter and seeing Santa is just £3 including a pressie!

Millfield School posted:

Millfield Christmas Fair

It’s that time of year again! Friday 29th November 2019 will be Millfield’s third Christmas Fair. Please save the date and invite as many friends as you can to join us. The fair starts at 3.15pm and will finish at 6.30pm.

Once again, it’s going to be busy. We are expecting lots of stallholders selling Christmas produce and gifts so bring along your pocket money to buy those early Christmas pressies.

There will also be lots of games, delicious Christmas food and a raffle with amazing prizes. Football teams from schools around Walsall will also be competing in a football tournament as Santa gives out presents in his grotto.

See you there!

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.

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Alcoholics Anonymos group meeting in Brownhills this evening

Here’s an important one – Brownhills has started its own Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings at Silver Street Methodist Church in Silver Street, Brownhills that take place this and every Tuesday (26th November 2019) from 7:30pm until 9pm.

I’m told the previous meetings were very well attended.

All are welcome. Parking is free, the venue is wheelchair friendly and can be found at Silver Street, Brownhills, Walsall WS8 6ER.

This is a welcome move as Brownhills has been lacking in this area for many years.

My best wishes to all attendees, and all are welcome.

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A Very Victorian Christmas Craft Fair at Chasewater Railway today!

I notice that today, Sunday 24th November 2019, there’s a rather fun looking Christmas Craft Fair being staged at Chasewater Railway, as part of the celebrations for the start of this year’s Santa Special trains.

A Very Victorian Christmas with Chase Handmade runs from 11am until 7pm at Brownhills West Station (Use the Chasewater main entrance from the A5 and Pool Road) and there will be loads of stalls selling quality hand-made items, the noted tea rooms and of course the wonderful atmosphere provided by a working preserved steam railway.

You can find out more at the event Facebook page here, including a full list of stalls.

It’s sure to be a festive treat!

The organisers said:

A very special event to herald in the start of the Christmas season and the Chasewater Railway Santa Specials!

A Chase Handmade handmade only craft fair featuring the finest local artisan makers perfect for those special gifts, festive food and drinks by the Sidings Tea Room and a heavenly host of other Yuletime entertainments!

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
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Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, this afternoon!

If you, the kids are grandkids are at a loose end today, since the weather has improved a little it would be an excellent chance to nip up to Stubbers Green and chat to the Swan Patrol.

The Patrol are there this afternoon – and every Sunday from 1-3pm and have bird books, binoculars and a wealth of knowledge to share – so why not join them? There’s so much more local wildlife than people think!

The reserve is by the pools on Stubbers Green Road, between Aldridge and Shelfield.

Ann Lawrence of the Swan Patrol said:

Do you want to know more about nature and wildlife?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.

Donations welcome

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Christmas Fayre in Walsall Wood this afternoon!

Thanks to the Rev David Babbington, I’d just like to let you know that there’s a Christmas Fayre at St Johns Church, Walsall Wood, this afternoon (Saturday 23rd November 2019) from 2pm until 5pm.

The Rev said:

Christmas is only a few weeks away so come and get all your bargains in time to wrap them up and put them under the tree.

Come and see Father Christmas in his grotto and join Walsall Signs for Worship as they perform Christmas Carols for us.

Cakes, Raffle, Toys and many many stalls.
Fun for all the family.

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Walsall Wood away against The Mikes this afternoon!

2758355_9234a623

The Curch Road ground is only a short trip down the Chester Road – go call on The Wood! Image by Geoff Pick and posted on Geograph under a Creative Commons licence.

Today, Saturday November 23rd 2019

The Wood are away at Boldmere St. Michaels…

Walsall Wood FC versus The Mikes

An interesting encounter on an all weather pitch!

Church Rd, Sutton Coldfield B73 5RY – just a short run down the chester road

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out the Walsall Wood FC Website here

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Why not Stay and Play for longer since it’s Stacey’s birthday – 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 23rd November 2019 from 10-12pm – note the newly expanded times!

It costs just three 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.

 

ITS MY BIRTHDAY!🎂(I will be bringing real cake for adults & children!)😍

Happy Birthday Cloud Dough! It’s my birthday 🎂… What more could the children wish to do than create a wonderful birthday cake for me? 😂

Using cloud dough…. which I will share the recipe for you too make at home whenever you wish 😊

Our sandtray will be refilled and ready to explore!👌🏻

…Along with all our other areas of play within the nursery setting:

• home corner
• construction
• small world
• maths area
• cosy book/music area
• baby sensory area

OUTDOOR WATER PLAY OF COURSE 😍 maybe added rain ☔️

This is our Fourth week with our new times and prices for our longer sessions running every Saturday 😊

10.00am-12.00 ⏰
£3 per child 💷
Snack included 🍎

Feel free to invite your friends with children aged 0-4 years and share our events

See you all Saturday…

Fingers crossed the rain doesn’t stay too long ☔️

This group is held at Little Green Dragons Day Nursery every Saturday morning …

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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Fancy a Parkrun at Chasewater this Saturday morning?

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here or the event Facebook page here

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (23rd November 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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Fancy some Northern Soul and Motown tonight? Aldridge is the place to be!

DJ Leekie has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing with his superb Northern Soul and Motown set tonight at Aldridge Social Club from 8pm until late.

 

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 just £4 a head (payable on the door) and takes place at Aldridge Social Club, High Street, Aldridge WS9 8LZ. See you there?

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There’s a great Christmas Fair in Brownhills next Friday 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 next Friday Evening.

Next Friday, 29th November 2019 from 3:15pm to 6:30pm you can come sing around the Christmas bonfire, and enjoy all the fun stuff you expect at a Christmas do – stalls, mince pies, Santa, food, cakes – it’s free to enter and seeing Santa is just £3 including a pressie!

Millfield School posted:

Millfield Christmas Fair

It’s that time of year again! Friday 29th November 2019 will be Millfield’s third Christmas Fair. Please save the date and invite as many friends as you can to join us. The fair starts at 3.15pm and will finish at 6.30pm.

Once again, it’s going to be busy. We are expecting lots of stallholders selling Christmas produce and gifts so bring along your pocket money to buy those early Christmas pressies.

There will also be lots of games, delicious Christmas food and a raffle with amazing prizes. Football teams from schools around Walsall will also be competing in a football tournament as Santa gives out presents in his grotto.

See you there!

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.

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Annual collectors fair at Aldridge Transport Museum this Sunday

I see from the events list that Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge have a collectors fair taking place this Sunday (24th November 2019) 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, pictures, 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,

More details of the traders at the Transport Collectors’ Fair next Sunday: Some of the well known names that will be attending include Bus & Coach Preservation, Ian Johnson, with his farewell event, DAVideo, Geoff Price, Graham Lunn and Julian Bowden.

If you’re interested in buses and coaches, and other transport, you’re sure to find something to interest you. And, of course, we’ll be selling all sorts of bits and pieces too, from a stall and in our shop.

Feeder buses from Walsall from 10.20, then half hourly until 16.20. If you’re coming by car, car parking will be very limited near the Museum, but a dedicated Park and Ride service from the Community Centre cap park is planned.

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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Brownhills very own autism support group meets this lunchtime in a new home

Just a heads up to let folk know that the popular local autism support group ‘Supporting the Rainbow’ is meeting today (Tuesday 19th November 2019) – and there have been some changes as now the group is inaugurated as a charity in its own right.

Today they will be meeting at lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm in the Community Centre (The old Annex, or Central Boys School), Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

The group is open to parents and carers for those with autism, and aims to offer a welcoming, helpful and supportive network to those coping with the condition.

Supporting the Rainbow 🌈 is now an official charity affiliated with Rethink Mental Health!

After some discussions we have made some changes to our group meetings and venue: from October 8th 2019 we will be having our group meetings at Brownhills Community Centre

We have checked the venue  and we have a beautiful room on the ground floor, so it makes it easier for people with pushchairs and people with disabilities to manage.

Our times will still be 1:30-2:30pm but instead of meeting every week,  we will be fortnightly.

We are really looking forward to this new change and our lovely group can progress and move onward: we can look to having workshops and so much more.

The fortnightly meetings make it easier for some people who can’t come every week, and we will be having a raffle and tea and biscuits so please do come along to a warm friendly atmosphere!

From the Supporting the Rainbow 🌈 team

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

 

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More on Ogley Hay 4A!

Ogley Hay Class 4A Prefects. But who, and when? Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a larger version.

Here’;s a great donation I had in in the last week from long time reader and contributor Robert Sault – a couple more photos of Ogley Hay Class 4A from some point in the mid to late 1960s.

Rob said:

Hi, hope you’re well.

Found another couple of class photo’s from Ogley in what I’d guess would be mid/late sixties.

The larger group is marked Class 4A and the smaller one is 4A Prefects.

May be of interest to some if you want to share.

Best to you and yours
Rob.

Recognise anyone?

Ogley Hay Class 4A, I’d say on the same day. Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a larger version.

I thank Robert yet another great couple of photos from this period with other great submissions previously from Malcolmm Kelly and co. – you are most generous and the scans are beautifully executed too, thanks so much.

What do you recall from this pair of images? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

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Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, this afternoon!

If you, the kids are grandkids are at a loose end today would be an excellent chance to nip up to Stubbers Green and chat to the Swan Patrol.

The Patrol are there this afternoon – and every Sunday from 1-3pm and have bird books, binoculars and a wealth of knowledge to share – so why not join them? There’s so much more local wildlife than people think!

The reserve is by the pools on Stubbers Green Road, between Aldridge and Shelfield.

Ann Lawrence of the Swan Patrol said:

Do you want to know more about nature and wildlife?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.

Donations welcome

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Lichfield repair cafe November meet up – get together and get things fixed this afternoon!

Never one to sit back and let life pass her by, that there Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is involved with the excellent Lichfield Repair Cafe project – which continues it’s regular residency this Saturday afternoon (Saturday 16th November 2019) at Curborough Community Centre, Lichfield from 2pm until 5pm.

Kate, who’s more usually known for her excellent work with local history group, Lichfield Discovered and other projects, started a community initiative to help people repair, recycle and put back to good use things that my be broken or need some love.

This month there’s also an important request from Kate:

In addition to the Lichfield Pathway collection, you can also bring donations to the Lichfield Foodbank along to this Saturday’s repair cafe – here’s a list of things they need urgently:

The repair cafe looks like a great way to have fun, meet up with other like minded folk and also learn some new skills.

If you’re unsure where to find  Curborough Community Centere, check out their contact page here, and the address for twatnav wranglers is 37, Reynolds Close, Lichfield Ws13 7NY.

I’ll let Kate explain:

Hello! 

The Lichfield Repair & Share cafe meets again at Curborough Community Centre on Saturday 16th November 2019 between 2pm and 5pm. As a way of reducing waste whilst learning new skills, we have a team of volunteer repairers on hand to show people how to try and mend their broken or damaged items, rather than throw them away. 

Bring your broken household items along to see if our team of volunteer repairs can help you fix them – or just pop in for a chat & a brew! All welcome, no charge but voluntary donations welcome 🙂

There will, as usual be a cafe with hot and cold drinks and cakes. Whilst there is no charge, voluntary donations are appreciated!

The cafe will be taking place at Curborough on the 3rd Saturday of every month and we are always looking for more people to get involved whether they want to offer their skills as a repairer or run a workshop. To find our more information, or to volunteer, please email lichfieldshare@gmail.com, join the group’s Facebook page Lichfield Repair Café or follow us on Twitter @lichfieldshare.

For more information, contact Kate Gomez at lichfieldshare@gmail.com or joing the Lichfield Repair & Share group on Facebook here.

Many thanks as ever!
Kate

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Why not Stay and Play for longer – 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 16th November 2019 from 10-12pm – note the newly expanded times!

It costs just three 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.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

At stay and play this Saturday we will be exploring the sensory shaving foam and incorporating number language 1-10 helping our little ones to develop their knowledge of numbers… Our singing will be number songs such as ‘12345 Once I Caught A Fish Alive 🎣’, ‘5 Cheeky Monkeys’🐒 ‘3 Blind Mice ‘🐁

Along with all our other areas of play within the nursery setting:

• home corner
• construction
• small world
• maths area
• cosy book/music area
• baby sensory area

OUTDOOR WATER PLAY OF COURSE 😍 maybe added rain ☔️

See you all Saturday ….

Fingers crossed the rain doesn’t stay too long ☔️☔️☔️

This is our Third week with our new times and prices for our longer sessions running every Saturday 😊

10.00am-12.00 ⏰
£3 per child 💷
Snack included 🍎

Feel free to invite your friends with children aged 0-4 years and share our events

This group is held at Little Green Dragons Day Nursery every Saturday morning.

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 pop in to Brownhills Christmas Market this evening?

Kicking off the Brownhills Christmas celebrations, this evening (15th November 2019) there’s a Christmas Market at Brownhills Silver Street Methodist Church from 4pm-8pm.

There will be all the usual stuff in a friendly and welcoming venue – so why not pop in this evening? Father Christmas will be popping in, and you could get some presents sorted…

The organisers said:

Christmas mini market with various stalls selling unique handmade gifts and local businesses.

Father Christmas
Avon
All Wrapped Up gift cards
Nail & Beauty therapist
Richard’s Arts
Maxine’s memory boxes
Body shop
Wax melts
Bath bombs
Christmas decorations
Hand made Jewellery
Personalised stationery

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

This Friday evening (15th November 2019) at Walsall Wood FC and Oak Park’s 3G pitch there’s a fun football match being staged in memorial to sadly lost local lass Janey Hatfield for the Jane Hatfield Memorial Trophy.

There will be fun, football, memories and all the things Janey loved about football – including probably Papa Smurf Evans. 

This is a great event to remember Janey with her friends.

Her son Sam Perry said:

Due to the awful weather we’ve had over the past week Walsall Wood FC’s pitch will be waterlogged and unable to hold the fixture.

THE GAME WILL STILL GO AHEAD

We will be kicking off now at 8 o’clock on the 3G all weather pitch at Oak Park Leisure Centre.

Players will still use the football stadium’s facilities too get ready in the changing rooms etc so feel free to come down from 5 o’clock onwards to have a drink in the bar and a laugh.

Then it’s just a short walk down for the match!

I know this may put a few people off and we’re all absolutely gutted we’ve had to do this but it’s all for a good cause and we will all still appreciate your support

Feel free to go and get yourselves a drink from the club house if you feel you’ve seen enough 🤣 or at half time/full time!

There will be a donations inside the football club.

For anybody still wishing to contribute but would still like to donate please message me directly and that can be arranged!

Everything raised will cover the cost of the pitch the officials and whatever’s left directly towards my mums memorial garden with Walsall Wood getting a memorial brick at West Bromwich Albion football club!

If you are coming but won’t be joining us in the club house for a pre match bev then the address to go straight there is as follows

Coppice Road
Walsall
WS8 9BH
England

Many thanks
Sam! 💙

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Fancy a Parkrun at Chasewater this Saturday morning?

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here or the event Facebook page here

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (16th November 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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Soultime November – Northern Soul and Motown Disco with DJ Leekie and pals tonight!

The inimitable soul DJ Leekie has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing his regular Soultime event at Pelsall Community Centre this Friday evening, 15th November 2019 at Pelsall Community Centre, where he and a number of great soul pals 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. A two-room event, it also features Alan Wiley, Jon Harfield, Vernon Smith and of course, Leekie!

It’s just £5 a head (payable on the door) and kicks off at 8pm and runs until Midnight. What’s not to love?

That’s Pelsall Community Centre, Station Rd, Pelsall, Walsall WS3 4BQ. See you there?

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Community litter pick in Walsall Wood this Sunday morning!

I know folk always complain they never caught notice of these, so this is just a note to say there’s a community litter pick this Sunday morning in Walsall Wood, organised by the fab Walsall Wood Wombles group.

Sunday 17th November 2019 there will be a litter pick in Walsall Wood which will be meeting on the corner of Brookland Road and Brook Lane opposite the car park at 10am. All who wish to join in are most welcome!

They said:

Walsall Wood Wombles are doing their monthly litter pick this Sunday 17th November 2019 from 10am meeting at corner of Brook lane and Brookland road opposite the old lorry park.

It will run from 10am till 12 noon, or as long as you can do would be great.

A nice bunch of people helping to keep our area tidy!

Walsall Wood Wombles group is a great initiative by top community person Alison Deeley.

Wombles groups are gaining in popularity – you can check out The Brownhills Community Wombles Facebook page here, and there’s a Facebook page for Walsall Wood Wombles here. They’re bot great community spirited collectives and you really are welcome to pop along.

Thanks to all who participate: Real community in action.

Previous local litter pick events have been a huge success, so let’s see if we can make these even better!

Recent litter picks have been a huge success and very popular.
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Don’t miss this luxury Winter Craft, Gift and Food Festival this coming Sunday in Brownhills!

Old pal of the blog Laura Tarburton has been in touch to let me know that she’s organised a lovely Luxury Winter Craft, Gift and Food Festival, which will take place this Sunday 17th November 2019 at Brownhills Community Centre from 11-3pm.

This looks to be a very classy event with some really great stalls – and they’re also being catered for by Bean and Baked, my favourite local tea and cake emporium!

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

Laura said:

Back this year by popular demand! Last year saw an extremely popular and successful event with over 500 people through the door!

Join us this year to shop our beautiful range of personalised gifts, handmade bags, scarves and ponchos, Christmas decorations and gifts, handmade cards, handmade wooden gifts and of course, lots of locally produced food!

Seasonal catering will be available on the day, provided by Bean and Baked – Microbakery and Coffee Shop – the brand new coffee shop and bakery based in Brownhills Community Centre.

The event takes place at Brownhills Community Centre on Sunday 17th November from 11am – 3pm. Free parking on site and easy disabled access.

We still have a limited number of stalls available, please call Laura on 07713 634811 for more info or email hello@the-reading-rooms.co.uk

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-youth-centre-670

It’s all going on at Brownhills Activity Centre. Image from Walsall Council.

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AA group meeting in Brownhills this evening

Here’s an important one – Brownhills has started its own Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings at Silver Street Methodist Church in Silver Street, Brownhills that take place this and every Tuesday (12th November 2019) from 7:30pm until 9pm.

I’m told the previous meetings were very well attended.

All are welcome. Parking is free, the venue is wheelchair friendly and can be found at Silver Street, Brownhills, Walsall WS8 6ER.

This is a welcome move as Brownhills has been lacking in this area for many years.

My best wishes to all attendees, and all are welcome.

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November 2019 Toy and Train Collectors Fair at Oak Park this Sunday

 

Here’s one I’ve been meaning to catch for a while, but always seem to miss somehow – the periodic Toy and Train Collectors Fair at Oak Park Leisure Centre, Walsall Wood.

This one runs this Sunday, 17th November 2019 from 10:30am until 3pm, and is just £1:80 entry for adults, £1:50 for OAPs and just a quid for the kids.

There will be over 80 stalls, with all manner of models, toy trains, toy cars and other collectibles, and there’s also a cafe on site.

The organisers said:

WALSALL WOOD TOY AND TRAIN COLLECTORS FAIR RETURNS TO WALSALL WOOD

Oak Park Active Living Centre, Walsall Wood – Sunday 17th November 2019

Toy cars, trains, buses, commercials plus all other kinds of collectable toys including Lego, Sci- fiction, Figures, Buses, Jigsaws, old and new will be on sale at the next Toy and Train Collectors Fair taking place at the Oak Park Active Living Centre, Coppice Road, Walsall Wood (WS9 9BH) On Sunday 17th November.

The pre-Christmas event is an ideal time to obtain collectable toys with prices ranging from a couple of pounds upwards with over 80 tables offering a wide range of items.

If you have any unwanted toys bring them along – traders are always looking to purchase.

Organisers Geoff and Linda Price from Walsall have been organising the fair for over 28 years and are pleased that the new extra car parking is now open at the centre with an extra 200 spaces.

Doors open 10.30am – 3.00pm – Admission: Adults £1.80 – Children £1.00

Further details – 01922 643385  – 2020 dates will be available at the event.

Geoff and Linda

Transtar Promotions

You can find out more at the website of the organisers, Transtar Promotions here or by calling them on 01922 643385.

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Pictures and video from Brownhills 2019 Remembrance Sunday

Yesterday, Sunday 10th November 2019 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.

Thank you for all who organised, took part of went and paid their respects: Brownhills did the fallen proud as it does every year – and thanks too to the people who posted all these lovely photos.

Particular thanks are due too local man Ian Neville who worked hard this year to raise the money to get instruments, enabling the cadets from TS Vigo to form a band for the parade. Top work, thank you.

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.

We shall remember them.

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Walsall Wood Remembrance Sunday 2019 pictures

The young David Evans yesterday (Sunday, 10th November 2019) went to his local Remembrance event in Walsall Wood and sent in a wonderful gallery of images to mark this most sombre of  days.

Thankfully, a decent afternoon following the awful weather of late… image supplied by David Evans.

And as always Lee Bragginton of Walsall Wood Scouts, Molly Lloyd of Walsall Wood Girls Brigade and other community folk who worked so hard to stage this event did their community proud.

Walsall Wood came out in force for the traditional Sunday Afternoon parade, a timing which I believe to be unique within the local area.

Stuart Lilley posted the following video of the event on Facebook:

Thanks to all in the parade, and all those who attended, too.

Also doing sterling service was David, whose photo gallery I include below.

Thanks to David and all those who took part in, or went to observe Remembrance. This is what community is about.

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust November 2019 public meeting takes place this evening

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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 evening, Monday 11th November 2019 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 October Newsletter

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:  Monday 11 November 2019 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the
 
The Bowling Green
Friary Road
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6QJ
 
Tel: 01543 257344
 
The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.

October meeting notes are available here
 

Latest News

Building Lease Update:

Two trustees met with Persimmon on Tuesday 5 November to discuss the lease. There are still a few iisses to iron out, but we feel we made some steady progress. To be discussed at the next public meeting on 11 November.

Important Note: 

After the visit by Historic England on 16 Jan, the site has unfortunately been placed on the Heritage At Risk Register.

This is indeed sad news to see that this magnificent piece of industrial heritage is now officially at risk of permanent loss.
 
The trust is committed to continue working with the owner, Persimmon Homes Ltd to find a sustainable solution that will bring this building and its historic contents aback into a community use.

Tonight’s Talk

Following on from last months talk from  David Moore who presented a talk about Digital Photography including video filming, producing time lapse sequences and drone photography. Our very own David Cross will be talking about the history of tidal power in the UK

David has had a very interesting and fascinating careerer in the power industry and so is well placed to deliver an extremely engaging talk, not to be missed

Site Report

Persimmon have now completed their repairs, and the team was back on site by 14 October.

Please feel free to pop in or lend a hand or just come a take a look around. We are open every Friday between 10:00am and 12:30 pm. Free tea and coffee.

3D Walkthrough

Dudley Technical College has been extremely kind in producing a 3D Walkthrough for the trust. This is an amazing piece of work that not only showcases the site, it also provides an opportunity to those who are unable to visit the site or climb the stairs

Please click on the image below

History West Midlands – Podcast

History West Midlands have produced a stunning podcast titled – Making Cholera History in the Black Country.
 
Presented by writer and broadcaster Graham Fisher and Directed by Andy Partington, featuring David Moore, the podcast gives a detailed history of both Sandfields pumping Station and the story of clean water.

Please click on the image below



Donations

With over 2,500 volunteer working hours, (equates to more than two full time equivalents) and over £14,000 spent in cleaning equipment, materials and scaffold over the last two years. 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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A military parade – but what, where and when?

Also apposite for the day, this single image from the immense pile of material donated to the blog by Sir Gerald of Reece – and I must say, it has the better of us.

A military parade featuring what appear to be cadets and veterans, carrying British Legion standards. A soldier who seems like a veteran stands to attention in uniform looking on, saluting I think, son or grandson by his side.

This looks like it might be a Remembrance Day parade. It looks like a High Street, but I don’t think it’s Brownhills. The shop in the background is, I think B Hardwick butchers, and the bunting in the window has made me wonder if this is perhaps not Remembrance, but maybe VE Day or a coronation. It’s clearly WW2 or subsequent era from the general appearance of the buildings and people.

Go on, where do you think this is, when was it and more importantly what’s the event?

I’m itching to hear what you think: Comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or yank my sleeve on social media.

Thanks to David and Gerald for a fascinating mystery I’ve been sitting on for ages….

That man in uniform, to attention – is haunting. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece. Click for a larger version.

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What was (nearly) lost…

Here’s a little local Remembrance history, appropriate for the day I think. David Evans sent this article to me a week or so ago regarding two rolls of honour he’d been very kindly donated by local lady Gladys Preece.

The rolls once hung in a lost Working Mens Club I’d forgotten all about – Walsall Wood WMC, that stood where the private gym does today, opposite Oak Park. It’s important that these were saved and I’m so very glad that Gladys’s son Grahame was able to – I fear many such rolls from chapels, factories and social clubs may have been lost over recent years in the great social change that has seen so many of these gathering places carried to dust.

I’d like to thank David for his efforts in documenting these vital pieces of local history, and of course, Walsall Wood Football Club for proudly putting them on public display.

Huge gratitude of course to Gladys and family, too – a true act of felicity and generosity.

If you have anything to add, please do: Comment here, find me on social media or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

David wrote:

These two rolls of honour were recently passed to me. They originally hung in the Working Men’s Club, which stood in Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood, near the Streets Corner junction.


The Working Men’s Club has played an important part in the local football club’s history. It was here that Walsall Wood Football Club held their annual dinner. The teams used a room there to change for the matches. This was before the club obtained a wooden hut – their first pavilion – and built their brick stand, in the 1930s.

The 1945 image shows the Working Men’s Club, and the football ground nearby, with the tennis courts, bowling greens, playing field of Oak Park. The present brick clubhouse was built in 1948.

I am not sure when the Working Men’s Club was demolished – perhaps the 1970s- but I am delighted that these two Rolls of Honour were preserved and are now been presented to the football club to be displayed in the new club room there.

[Bob’s note – I can recall the club, just about although I never went in. I think it was demolished in the mid 80s, specifically for the development of the night club that is now the gym.]

I would like to thank Mrs Gladys Preece, for offering these Rolls of Honour, and so fulfil the wish of her late son Grahame, that they be displayed to remember and honour those named.

David, October 2019

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Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, this afternoon!

I note that since we’ve finally got a decent day it would be an excellent chance to nip up to Stubbers Green with the kids, grandkids of even just by yourself and chat to the Swan Patrol.

The Patrol are there this afternoon – and every Sunday from 1-3pm and have bird books, binoculars and a wealth of knowledge to share – so why not join them? There’s so much more local wildlife than people think!

The reserve is by the pools on Stubbers Green Road, between Aldridge and Shelfield.

Ann Lawrence of the Swan Patrol said:

Do you want to know more about nature and wildlife?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.

Donations welcome

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