Police helicopter searches for lost children in Clayhanger

Untitled 9

Couple of kids were lost, then found around CLayhanger. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Many people have contacted me about the Police helicopter being up over Brownhills and Clayhanger yesterday night (Wednesday, 31st August 2015) – it seems that local police were conducting a search from a pair of missing children in Clayhanger.

The children were later found safe and well.

The National Police Air Service for Birmingham (@NPASBirmingham) tweeted:

Sorry for the noise over #Clayhanger (Yes that is a place near #Brownhills) as we searched for 2 missing children – found safe & well!

It’s great so see a good result there, and top work to the folk in blue for a bit of good news. I don’t think anyone could object to the noise from such an important search – so glad it ended well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chasewater Railway Late Summer Gala this weekend


Another great heritage railway event!

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

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

Chasewater Railway had this to say about the event:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dropping a Cla’nger

bridge st club

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

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

Brian wrote:

HI Bob,

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

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

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

I’d love to know the rest.


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

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

Cheers to Brian for a great enquiry,

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Urgent – wallet/cardholder lost in Brownhills


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

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

Susan said:

Hello Bob

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

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

Susan Matthews

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

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

Best of luck to Susan with the search.

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

Support Walsall Wood FC away against Sporting Khalsa this afternoon!

Willenhall 005

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

Bank holiday Monday 29th August 2016

The Wood are away!

Walsall Wood FC versus Willenhall’s Sporting Khalsa FC

Kick off is 3:00pm

Come see the Woodmen at the Aspray Arena, Noose Lane, Willenhall

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out the team website here


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

A pictorial record

October 3 1944

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

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

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

Tony Briggs wrote:

Hi Bob,

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

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

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

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

The Freedom album in particular can be viewed here.

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

City of Lichfield  LMS Engine unveiling 20 June 1944

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

Best wishes


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

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

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

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

Temperance, even!

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

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

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


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

Maria said:

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

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

I have no info on it at all.

Brian Edwards wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this finds you well Bob.


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

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

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

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments