Soultime – Northern Soul and Motown Disco with DJ Leekie and pals this Friday!

Local DJ Peter Leek has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing his semi-regular Soultime event at Pelsall Community Centre this Friday, 16th November 2018 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. It’s just £5 a head 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?

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bogus callers: Please help keep them out!

With recent incidents in Brownhills and Coalpool in the past few weeks where elderly people have had money stolen by bogus callers, or have been conned out of cash by people posing as workers, this warning from West Midlands Police is timely – please care it with anyone you know who’s vulnerable: The elderly, frail or less able. 

Let’s look out for our neighbours.  West Midlands Police today wrote:

Not all burglars break in. Some will talk their way in.

Commonly known as bogus callers or distraction burglars, these crooks will pose as someone they’re not; perhaps a police officer, council or ‘water board’ worker, or perhaps they’ll pose as a builder or gardener. Whatever their story, they have only one aim: to get into your home so that they or an accomplice can steal money or belongings. Their targets are usually the elderly or the most vulnerable who are more likely to believe their story and let them in. These doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and often very convincing.

So what can you do?

Firstly, stop!
Be on your guard if someone turns up unexpectedly. Genuine callers will make appointments first.

Then, chain!
If you have a door chain, put it on before opening the door, and keep it on while talking to the caller. If you don’t have a door chain, look at getting one fitted.

Next, check!
Ask for ID from anyone who comes to your door, whether you expect them or not. Genuine callers will carry company photo ID and show it when you ask. If the caller is unexpected, ring their office to confirm their identity. Don’t use the number on their ID card, look it up in the telephone directory or a recent bill. Genuine callers won’t mind waiting. Don’t assume someone is genuine just because they are wearing a uniform or high-vis jacket.

If you have any doubts, tell the caller to come back when someone else is home. Genuine callers won’t mind rearranging. You can tell callers to contact you by letter to arrange a more convenient time. Only let callers in if they have an appointment, and you are absolutely sure they are genuine.

If you are suspicious of a caller, or feel threatened, call the police immediately on 999.

Watch out for suspicious characters in your street, especially if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours. Try to take a note of vehicle details and registration numbers, and descriptions of anyone involved. Contact us with your information via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am to midnight, call 101 anytime or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please tell your relatives and neighbours about these scammers, and impress upon them how important it is not to be menaced into giving money for services  at the door, no matter how plausible the people demanding cash are.. Genuine companies will always contact you by other means.

Scumbags preying on the elderly and vulnerable are lower than a snake’s knees.

Please,  if you have any further information relating to any such incident, or if you’ve witnessed something suspicious, please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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

Don’t miss this Winter Craft, Gift and Food Festival this coming Sunday at the Lamp, Brownhills!

Old pal of the blog Laura Tucker has been in touch to let me know that she’s organised a lovely Winter Craft, Gift and Food Festival, which will take place this Sunday, 18th November 2018 at the Lamp Arts Space in Brownhills Community Centre from 11-3pm.

This looks to be a very classy event with some really great stalls – including traders like Howcurious? Hoot and Glam and Backyard Brewery.

Laura said:

Following on from the success of last year’s gift fayre, we’re back! This time we’ll have some local food and drink caterers, as well as some amazing brand names!

🎄 Locally roasted coffee, amazing teas and incredible cakes by The Reading Rooms Pelsall Pop Up Coffee Shop. We recommend
you book a table! (Call 07713 634811)

🎄 Unusual and unique gifts and home decor from HowCurious? Ltd

🎄 Visit our Prosecco Piaggio courtesy of Little Fizz Co.

🎄 Sample some local ales supplied by The Backyard Brewery.

🎄 Beautiful jams, chutney’s, chocolates, fudges, sweet and savoury bakes from Tina’s Temptations.

🎄 Luxurious beauty goods from Neal’s Yard Organic and Natural Skincare.

🎄 Beautiful handmade jewellery and accessories from Hoot & Glam.

🎄 Unusual and expertly constructed crafts from Dandelion Day Dreams.

🎄 Stunning woodturning designs from the talented Mark Anslow.

🎄 Handmade gifts from Handmade by Kelly.

🎄 Locally made Indian Snacks from Diamond Deli’s.

🎄 Personalised baby and children’s and baby wear from Kids and Bibs.

🎄 Pressies for pampered poochies from Oscar Pet Foods.

🎄 Specialised photography showcase from Philip’s Photography.

And much more: Many personalised gifts available, unique and perfect for Christmas, handmade bags, scarves and poncho’s, stunning wax warmers and home décor and handmade cards and gifts.
Limited stalls still available. Please call 07713 634811 to enquire or email hello@the-reading-rooms.co.uk.

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

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 Community Centre. Image from Walsall Council.
Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, Local music, News, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lichfield Waterworks Trust November 2018 public meeting this evening

P1120641
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 12th November 2018) 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 November News Letter

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:
Monday 12 November 2018 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of:
 
The Bowling Green
Friary Road
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6QJ
 
Tel: 01543 257344
 
The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.
 
This is an incredibly exciting community heritage project, so do come along and become involved, everyone is welcome.
 
Meeting Notes

September meeting notes are available here

Tonights Talk
Friday 26 October 2018 was the 160th anniversary of the first water to be pumped from Sandfields Pumping Station. A truly remarkable achievement in Victorian water engineering that changed the course of the industrial revolution. The Victorians achieved many things that shaped the world we all live in today, but do we really understand Victorian culture?
 
It is said that the way a civilisation treats its dead it the key to understanding the culture, so how did the Victorians treat their dead?
 
Our very own David Moore, Charmin of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will be talking tonight about the symbolism found in Victorian Cemetery’s.
 
Symbols are a language that can help us understand our past. As the saying goes, “a picture paints a thousand words”: but which words? Understanding our past determines actively, our ability to understand the present. Tonight, we take a journey back in time to look at the symbolism found in Victorian cemetery’s and try to understand what messages the living left, to tell the story of their dead loved ones.As always, this talk will invite you to think about the past differently.

Health and Safety
We are really pleased to report that we have been working for another month where there have been no incidents relating to health and safety. A very big thank you again to everyone for working safely and looking after your fellow volunteers.
 
Donations
With over 2,500 volunteer working hours, (equates to more than two full time equivalents) and over £6,000 spent in cleaning equipment, materials and scaffold. 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.

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

Walsall Wood Remembrance Sunday 2018 pictures

The young David Evans yesterday (Sunday, 11th November 2018) went to his local Remembrance event in Walsall Wood and sent in a wonderful gallery of images to mark this most sombre of  days.

It was a lovely afternoon, and The Wood was out in force… image supplied by David Evans.

And ever, 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, as ever for the traditional Sunday Afternoon parade, a timing which I believe to be unique within the local area.

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.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hundreds of years of immense bravery and unbelievable political folly

Harry Patch was a genuinely Great Biton.

Today is of course Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday and the centenary af the end of World War One – the Great War. Never was a conflict so inappropriately named. 

All over the country and further afield, men, women and children have paraded, or stood in silence and reflected on those brave and heroic souls who gave everything for their country – not just in the Great War, but all the conflicts we’ve been involved with before and after.

Please also remember the unsung heroes of the Commonwealth Forces and ANZACs – people who pushed into the very worst battles and fought with huge pride and courage. Redgum’s remarkable ‘I was only nineteen’ was about Vietnam, a war in Which Australia were sadly involved, but the song is timeless. 
The story of an ANZAC who was actually from Norton Canes can be read here.

Specifically, of course, we remember those who paid the most extreme price one can ever pay in service of one’s country, but also those wounded, mentally and physically, and for those who continue to fight so we might live another day.

Please take time out today to consider those that gave, and those who may yet give their lives for us to live in peace and relative prosperity. From the fields of Flandria to the jungles of Burma, from the deserts of Iraq to the frozen waters of the South Atlantic, when their time has come, good and noble people have given their all that we may enjoy better days.

This year has seen a remarkable display of poppies in towns and villages across the country – the astounding and stunning Poppy Road in Station Road Aldridge is extraordinary; the Pelsall Poppy Clock is gorgeous poignant as are memorials in places as diverse as Stonnall and Hednesford. I salute and thank everyone involved.

Wilfred Owen rang the bell loud and clear: The Great War was an inhuman hell and a generation was sacrificed. Thanks to him, we can feel what those lads experienced.

For some fascinating and poignant Great War local history, do pay my dear and friend Linda Mason’s blog a visit by clicking here. Over recent days Linda has written a series of beautifully researched and worded posts about local soldiers that are by turns fascinating, moving and heartbreaking.This brilliant lady is a local history dynamo and deserves a much wider audience.

I will, as always, continue to document local war history here too – just last week we found documented evidence of a huge local World War Two air raid shelter which is a story still developing.

Poppy Road in Aldridge is absolutely breathtaking.

It is right and wonderful that we remember these men and women and honour their sacrifice. They fought for this day – a better day. Thanks to them all.

Today I have stood and remembered. I have felt the pain of loss, separation and of the sacrifice of others. The veterans I have known – many passed now – haunt my memories and thoughts. I will never, ever forget them or what they went through. On their shoulders we all stand.

Remembrance is not about glory, it’s not about posturing and it’s not about patriotism. The hell that poets like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon experienced and spoke so eloquently about was not about any of these things. It was about the sheer, unrelenting dehumanisation of armed conflict.

Again this year I have seen the poppy used as a tool of prejudice and superficial posturing on social media, particularly Facebook. It’s not about wearing a symbol, or pointlessly making it your profile picture, it’s not about exclusion, aggression, hatred and being seen to do the right thing. It’s about respect and memory.

Time and time again our armed forces have taken up arms in order to overcome the dark forces that would silence those who oppose them, who would exterminate opponents and those who would stand up for democracy. From Arnhem to Kandahar, from Kapyong to the Kosovo our forces have fought to restore freedom and democracy. To apparently now live in a country where people who question societal norms like Remembrance – as is the British way – receive death threats for non-compliance terrifies me and shames us all. 

This year I felt the shallowness of social media particularly keenly on the issue of Remembrance. I’ve witnessed people berating others for not showing the considered appropriate grief, or displaying the correct symbolism. This is awful, and I hate to see something that’s about continued freedom be abused and manipulated in this way.

Jack Judge, writer of iconic Great War sing ‘It’s aLong Way to Tipperary’ was a son of Oldbury and the legend of the song is amazing.

The young men who gave their all on the battlefields that have ebbed and flowed over the globe over the last century did so to keep us free. In order that we may live without oppression. Their fight was for people to have the freedom to choose, and that includes not joining in acts of overt Remembrance if they choose not to do so.

I also feel that this Remembrance is about not just the dead, the fallen and the human cost; it’s about the gross human folly that is conflict and war. That we still expect young people to give their all after thousands of years of societal evolution is a shame on our civilisation. As Tony Benn once put it ‘…all war can be regarded as a failure of diplomacy’.

Poets like Siegfried Sassoon communicated to us the hell they experienced.

I do, of course, wholly support the Poppy Appeal, appeals by the Royal British Legion, and Help For Heroes. I am, however concerned that particularly in the latter case, the generosity of the public is being used by the faceless mandarins in government to relieve the burden on state funds. I am unsettled by the business operations and big money directorships in some of the more prominent armed forces charities.

Those injured and bereaved in defence of the state should be compensated and protected by it. It’s the least we can do. While there’s a place for charity, this shouldn’t be a substitute for care of our veterans – of whom a disconcerting number go on to fight the effects long after their service has passed.

The Pelsall Poppy Clock is again thought provoking and devotional. 

It is very sad and a national tragedy that ex-servicemen and women are disproportionately represented in the numbers of the homeless and mentally ill.

Please, if you can, give to one of the many armed forces support charities, a huge list of which can be found here. This year, I’ve personally bought a poppy as usual, but also supported Soldiers off the Street, who seem to be doing particularly vital work

A century from the end of a massacre of youth that was settled around a table, it’s important to me that we should remember that it’s the ordinary people who bear the brunt of war; the leaders who declare it are rarely victims. The human cost of armed conflict is massive. We should endeavour, after Remembrance and thanks, to show our huge debt of gratitude by attempting to prevent war occurring.

It is to humanity’s shame that we appear to have no leaders of the calibre required to do so.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Followups, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Victorious Wood send Normanton south

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 10th November 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Derbyshire club Normanton Town Athletic at Oak Park, and in an entertaining, gripping match the Woodmen sent the visitors home defeated one nil – but the Woodmen really had to work for this one.

David Evans was there to enjoy the match, and wrote:

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

Hi Bob

Walsall Wood 1 v 0 South Normanton Athletic

This has been a bitter-sweet afternoon for all the many spectators today.  A sea of red – junior ‘Saints’  started the afternoon in a wonderful, moving and sincere tribute as they gathered on the pitch with the two teams, to listen to the Last Post being played by an excellent bugler, and then to pause, heads, bowed, in two minutes’ silence; to stand, quiet and still, in humble reflection on lost souls, distant and recent.
 
The match that followed was played with determination throughout the entire ninety minutes. Spectators enjoyed seeing excellent passing, sharp ball skills, delicate dribbling, accurate long kicks and solid competitive football by both sides. 

South Normanton were the first to show their prowess as they put early pressure on the Wood’s defence. But, as we know, the thin red line is strong and resilient in every match. Today was no different as South Normanton soon realised. However, such complications seemed to spur the visitors on as they harried and took on the Wood’s players. This was a game where determination and delicate approach were to complement each other as the game evolved.

The only goal of the match – the game was surely worth more than just one – came from an unexpected moment when the old adage ‘play to the whistle’ was never more appropriate and the Wood’s attackers  weedled, twisted, turned, returned, and suddenly , the ball was in the “sprout bag”.
This unexpected goal gave the match  greater impetus as South Normanton challenged, tackled, passed, kicked, dribbled, out-paced as  the game sparkled and delighted. There was to be no magic moment for either side in this contest. Moves were well-worked out, passes were largely accurate. 

What did stand out today was the gratifyingly consistent sporting acceptance of opposition challenges and manoeuvres, and lack of  any consequential complaining by all the players whose love of the sport was self-evident and delightful to spectate. 

South Normanton Athletic FC were worthy opponents for Walsall Wood and made them work for everything in the game. But, there again, this was what Walsall Wood required of them, too. The Wood left the game with three points, but South Normanton, with all their sporting endeavour, honest play and positive approach to the game are to be commended.
 
 David Evans


I also have this report from last Tuesday, 6th November 2016 when Walsall Wood faced Nottingham side Dunkirk at Oak Park.

Simon Evans wrote:

The game started in high tempo, Wood forcing a corner within the first minute. The first chance fell to Dunkirk after fiveminutes, Dunkirk striker firing over after the Wood defence failed to clear. The next chance saw Joey Butlin’s find Javia Roberts, his pace beating the defender, but his shot was the wrong side of the post. Dunkirk then had a couple of chances due to confusion in the Wood defence. Jordan Nadats cross was headed to Mitch Tolley, his volley grazing the crossbar, Javia Roberts then had an opportunity again his effort was the wrong side of the post. Dunkirk then had a half chance, the defender blazing an effort just over the Wood bar.  The breakthrough just before half time. Joey Butlin curling a freekick in.

Half time: 1-0

The second half started with Dunkirk pressing for an equaliser. The first chance fell to the Dunkirk striker, somehow missing his kick and the Wood defence clearing. Jordan Nadat and Joey Butlin were combining well, but with no final result. Wood made a substitution, Peter Till was replaced by Atherton. His first touch won the Wood a corner. Jordan Nadat then tested the Dunkirk keeper, who was equal to the effort. Jordan Nadat and Mitch Tolley then both had shots blocked by the Dunkirk defence. Wood were now in control and soon they made it 2-0. Atherton with a jinking run, then cuts inside and curls a left footed shot into the back of the net. Wood were now turning it on, James Bennett-Tindall with a great effort that was just over the bar, Mitch Tolley then had a shot straight at the keeper. The last action saw a Dunkirk freekick which the Wood players saw out.

Full time: 2-0 to the Wood.

Simon Evans

Thanks to David and Simon for the reports and pictures – much appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The end of the line for Walsall Wood in 1928

It’s always good to hear from old friends of the blog and it’s been too long since we heard from the Wild Man of Clayhanger Marsh himself, Chaz Mason – Chaz wrote the Clayhanger Marsh wildlife blog (Latterly the Mind of the Antisocial Birder) which recently, he closed, a matter of great sadness to me, as I’ve been a reader for most of the time I’ve been writing the Brownhills Blog.

I do, however, understand Chaz’s reasons for chucking in the towel, and I wish him well in the future. He really is a top bloke of whom I’m particularly fond.

It seems independent voices in Walsall are getting thinner and thinner on the ground.

Any road up, Chaz has made a rather wonderful discovery, which I know the bus and transport fans will love. I’ll let him explain:

Rushall Square, 31st March 1928 and one of the last trams ever to run to Walsall Wood trundles past the George and Dragon pub. Image kindly shared by Chaz Mason.

Hi mate, hope you are well (been a while)?

I just thought that I would share something that might be of interest
to your blog regulars, I have long had an interest in the Walsall
Corporation Tramways that operated until 1933 and whenever I come
across anything on e-bay relating to this, I always have a go, be it
Tickets, buttons, photos etc.

Last week I made an offer for three photos of Walsall Trams, one on
the Bridge in the town centre, one at Darlaston and one at a site I
couldn’t recognise. They arrived today and I was astonished to find
that the Photograph of Tram #24 was taken at ‘Rushall Square’. That
was interesting enough but the photo is dated 31/03/1928, the last day
of tram operation to Walsall Wood. What a find eh?

Anyway, I don’t have a scanner but have carefully photographed the
images and they are attached so feel free to use them if you have a
slow news day.

All the best that man – C

— 
Chaz Mason
Clayhanger, West Midlands

The reverse of the photo. Ihave a feeling I’ve seen that handwriting before… Image generously donated by Chaz Mason.

I’d like to thank Chaz for such a wonderful donation, and it’s startling to think that there cannot be many people left who actually remember this sercvice running at all.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this picture before – if you have any memories, or anything at all you’d like to add, please feel free – you know the drill by now – comment here, shout me on social media or send me an email: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Why not Stay and Play – 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 10th November 2018 from 10-11:30am.

Brownhillls Stay&Play 🌈 Remember this week alongside all of our other activities we will be making a Poppy for Remembrance Sunday. We will also be creating poppy biscuits! See you all Saturday. 

It costs just two 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.

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.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Don’t miss Walsall Wood at home to South Normanton FC this afternoon!

Get down to Oak Park for some great community and excellent sport! Image kindly supplied by the young David Evans.

Saturday 10th November 2018

Walsall Wood FC at home to South Normanton Athletic FC

As befits Remembrance Weekend, there will be a minute’s silence before the match – a local bugler and the Under 18s team will be present

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

3:00pm kickoff

Please come and get behind your local club

For The Good Of The Wood!

Oak Park, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood. WS9 9NP.

Hopefully, a match report will follow

Check out the club 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

Details of 2018 local Remembrance events – live list

This post is pinned to the top until Sunday – new material will appear below.

Remembrance Sunday 2011 Aldridge

Remembrance Sunday 2011 Aldridge, by Andrew Watson, posted in his Flickr photo stream.

Following my request for information to make a list of local Remembrance events, I can again share with readers a list of local Remembrance services taking place locally this Remembrance Sunday, 11th November 2018 – this list will be updated with more info as I get it.

I’m still after details of events not mentioned. Comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com if you have information to share. All welcome!

This post will remain pinned to the top of the blog until Sunday, so the information is to hand. Just click the ‘more’ link in grey below if necessary for the full details.

Please note: this is a live list – if you have any corrections, clarifications or additions, please do comment or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. I’d like to get the list as accurate and comprehensive as possible.

These functions are organised by a diverse range of organisations, nearly all outside the auspices of the local authority, so getting comprehensive information is no small task.

This may not be complete, and details are supplied in good faith. Neither I, or the named readers will be held responsible for inaccuracies in the details provided. We are all human, and this is always quite a tough task.

All events are assumed Sunday Morning 11th November 2018, unless otherwise stated –  Walsall Wood parade (Sunday afternoon as always).

Your understanding is appreciated.

    • Brownhills: Memorial Hall, November 11 – A parade will start to assemble at 10:15am and depart at 10:30am.’The Brownhills branch of The Royal British Legion,will be holding their remembrance service,on Sunday November 11th 2018, it will start with the parade starting at Brownhills Memorial just after 10:30 am it will take the route, Lichfield Road into Great Charles Street, Short Street and Church Road, for the Service of Remembrance at St James church Cenotaph Brownhills 11:00 am, after there will be a service in St James Church.
    • Walsall Wood: Lee Bragginton said: This year’s Walsall Wood remembrance event is the same format as in previous years as follows:1.45 – 2.00pm Parade assembles on the former Oak Park Leisure Centre car park behind KFC2:00pm A461 is closed from Streets Corner to High Street/St John’s Close2:15pm Parade departs on A461 south to St John’s churchService of remembrance around the cenotaph, including wreath laying, followed by service in the church3:15pm approx. The parade reassembles to return north to the old Oak Park car park for dismissal3:30pm approx. A461 is reopened
    • Pelsall: Please find below a précis of the salient points regarding Sunday’s Parade.-  Roads will be closed at 10am.-  March participants muster at the Village Centre from 10am.
      – The Village Centre will be open from 09:30 for drinks and shelter from the elements.
      –  March commences at 10:35am prompt.
      –  Act of Remembrance commences at 10:48am.
      –  First Aid & Lost Child Point will be the POPRS Gazebo situated at the Poppy Clock.
      –  Roads will reopen at 11:30.
      –  Service Sheets will be distributed prior to the service, however an electronic version can be downloaded from our website www.poprs.org, this is also the place to find detailed information of Sunday’s Parade.
      We look forward to seeing you there.
    • Rushall: Claire Gibbs said: Rushall. Meet at the remembrance stone outside the library at 10:50, short service and silence will be held there.The old Library will be open afterwards for refreshments.
    • Aldridge: Russell Smith said:The Parade will assemble at the Community Centre from 9.30 onwards. We leave at 10.20/10.30 for the War Memorial. The Parade route is attached and Walsall Council have this year made the arrangements with TRAFFIX for the traffic management. TRAFFIX will arrange the diversion and road closed signs. Walsall Council Safety Advisory Committee have met with us to confirm arrangements. Walsall Council will have done the permanent and temporary (rolling), road closure orders.The Service takes place at the War memorial on the Green and Little Aston Rd and nearby Roads are closed off from about 10am til 12. The Parade returns to the Community Centre about 11.45.The Parade contains approx. 500 people of all ages and the public assemble along the route and at the War memorial. Last year the estimate was some 3000 people.
    • Wimblebury and Heath Hayes: Ray Smithe said: I am the Clerk for Heath Hayes and Wimblebury Council and I am arranging the event at Heath Hayes. Cannock Council has a full page planned in The Chronicle.Sunday 11th November 20180930 – Assemble at the Heath Hayes Constitutional Club0940 – Parade to the Bourne Methodist Church
      1000 – Services at Bourne and St John’s Churches
      10.40 – Parade to Five Ways Island Memorial Gates
      1100 – Exhortation, Last Post, Silence, Reveille, Reading the Names, National Anthem
      11.15 – Parade to Cons Club for stand down and refreshmentsAll welcome. Volunteers to help with marshalling please contact raysmythe@msn.com
  • Walsall: For a full programme of the Walsall event including hymns etc. click here.10.20am: Laying of wreath at the Carless VC Memorial before parade from Walsall Council House’ leaving 10.25am along Lichfield Street, Lower Bridge Street,The Bridge and Bradford Street to the Cenotaph in Bradford Place for a 10.40am service11.30am: Remembrance Sunday event at the Town Hall including battlefield archives, poppy displays, plus 1940s dancers and music

Click for a larger version

3pm: Remembrance and Reconciliation Concert at St Matthew’s Church, Walsall, featuring choirs from the Black Country, France and Germany

  • Willenhall: 9.30am:Muster for parade starting from by the clock tower and travelling to the Cenotaph via Market Place, Stafford Street and Field Street
  • Darlaston: 9.30am: Muster for parade from King Street to St Lawrence Church via Victoria Avenue and New Street
  • Short Heath: 9.30am: Muster for parade from the British Legion building down Church Road, Bloxwich Road North, A462 Lane Head Bridge and A462 High Road to the cenotaph
  • Streetly: 9.30am: Muster for parade from the community centre to Streetly Methodist Church for a Remembrance Service
  • Bloxwich: 9.30am: Muster for parade in Bloxwich Memorial Club in Harrison Street to the cenotaph on A34 High Street
  • Cannock: 10.30am:Parade starts from South Staffordshire College to the Cenotaph for a 10.45am service6:00pm: The Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute ceremony at St Luke’s Church, also a performance by Giacoso Singers before a beacon is lit at 7pm7.30pm: The Last Day, a musical WW1 drama at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock
  • Chadsmoor: 10:00am: Service at the Bethany Chapel before a ceremony at the War Memorial
  • Norton Canes: 10.30am: Service at St James The Great Church6.30pm: Beacon Lighting Ceremony at Brownhills Road Playing Fields
  • Hednesford: 9.45am: Service at St Peter’s Church, followed by a parade at 10.40am to the War Memorial
  • Brereton: 9:00am: Parade leaves Brereton Social Club for a 9.15am service St Michael’s Church, followed by a parade at 10.40am to Brereton Cenotaph
  • National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas: 10.30am: The Field of Remembrance will open to the public with a special service. Runs until November 19th.
  • RAF Cosford: 10.45am: Service of Remembrance at the RAF Cosford Museum in Hangar 1. The Cosford Military Wives Choir will perform before and during the service

We will Remember them.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appeal for the funeral of Janey Hatfield – please help if you can

For those wishing to help following the awful, sudden death of Janey Hatfield of Walsall Wood on Sunday, 4th November 2018, there is a JustGiving appeal running to help raise funds for her funeral.

There has been a remarkable response to Janey’s sad passing and the sum raised is growing by the day.

The appeal has been organised by friend of the family Jack Elliott who said:

Please help with the cost of Jane Hatfields funeral she was such an inspirational person to all in and out of Walsall wood and her death has come as a shock and was unexpected.

We are raising this money to help her son Sam towards the funeral so he is not alone.

You can donate securely on the Just Giving site here or click on the screenshot above. Please help if you can.

My heart and condolences remain, as ever, with Janey’s family and friends.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

See you up the Poppy Road?

Here’s a heads up for something remarkable I was planning to visit last weekend, but sadly tragic events took over – I will however be visiting in the coming days, and I commend all to go and see this remarkable Remembrance project.

Station Road in Aldridge has been turned into a veritable festival of the poppy, all in aid of Remembrance and the 100 year centenary of the Great War. Those excellent people from the Aldridge Great War Project, community volunteers, historians and miles and miles of wool from keen knitters and crochet crafters have come together to create something utterly stunning.

There is no fee to visit. Just walk station road yourself and take the air, and reflect on the huge price communities like Aldridge and our own paid though war and service to their country.

Old pal Linda Mason has visited this wonderful thing in recent days and written a couple of excellent blog posts with huge galleries of which you can see the first by clicking here and the second one by clicking here.

You can find out more about Poppy Road and the Aldridge Great War Project at their Facebook page here.

I will be attending Poppy Road as soon as I can. I don’t want miss this.

There will be more from the wonderful Linda Mason on the matter of local war history  in coming days, and of course, I’ll be compiling the live list of Remembrance events which should be out overnight tonight, and I’ll be doing other Remembrance themed posts to mark this important weekend.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You ancestors role in the Great War?

Following the sadness of the weekend, it’s hard but I guess the show has to go on – and since it’s coming up to Remembrance, particularly with it also being the centenary of the end of the Great War, here’s a wonderful offer from reader Nick Pilley that will be of great help to many researching their family history.

Nick, you’ll remember, was the reader who asked here about his great grandfather Alfred Merrick, a debate that in the end ranged far and wide and really caught the researchers attention.

Well, Nick has this remarkable and historic book: The Walsall and District Roll of the Great War.

Nick Pilley has made a wonderful offer to blog readers

…And he’s kindly offered to look up any name from the index, and share the entry with you. All you have to do is state the name you’re looking for.

To help you, the index has been scanned and I’ve presented each page in gallery view at the foot of this post. If you wash to study a page, just click to zoom in; pages are in alphabetical order. Alternatively, you can download a PDF file of the index by clicking here.

Nick said:

Hi Bob,

Attached is the name index from a book I have which lists all (most?) from Walsall area who were involved in the Great War.

Each entry has a very brief paragraph about their service and injuries etc. A (very) few have photos with them.

As you can see, the index shows surname, initials, local area and the page on which the entry appears.  There’s far too much to scan the entire book but if anyone finds family mentioned and would like to know what it says I would be happy to provide a scan of that paragraph. They can just email me the details on that entry.

I’ll try to respond quickly but I guess it’ll depends if I’m overwhelmed with requests. In which case it’ll be ‘as soon as possible’.

Thanks for everyone’s help with my research, this is a small return.

Nick

Nick has included a typical entry below as an example of what can be found in the Roll of Honour.

That’s a remarkable set of injuries to return to service from. Image kindly supplied by Nick Pilley.

I’d like to thank Nick here and now for this very kind and thoughtful offer, and if there’s a name you’d like Nick to look up, please do comment here, email me on BrownhillsBob at googlemmil dot com or give me a shout on social media. 

Remembrance is very important to me and the blog and this is a wonderful opportunity to find out about what your relatives might have been doing in the First World War. 

Posted in News | 10 Comments

Goodbye Janey…

Janey Hatfield: Rest in peace, spud.
It’s my awful duty to share with blog readers that sad news that today (Sunday 4th November 2018), top local lass, admin of the We are the Wood group on Facebook, and videocaster extraordinaire Janey Hatfield was found by her neighbours, passed away at home. Continue reading
Posted in News | 1 Comment

Dronfield defeated leave Wood’s field of dreams

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 3rd November 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Derbyshire club Dronfield Town at Oak Park, and in an entertaining, gripping match the Woodmen sent the visitors home defeated, three goals to one.

David Evans was there to enjoy the match, and wrote:

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

Hi Bob

Walsall Wood 3 v 1  Dronfield Town

It would be somewhat of a slight injustice to call today’s game a typical cup tie match. The quality of ball control, passing, tackling and turning were of the highest standard throughout. There were very few slack passes by either team. On the contrary we were thrilled to see accuracy and skill on display. There was no complaining by players or officials. This made for an entertaining and captivating contest, I am pleased to note, where the referee’s decisions and officiating was respected and accepted by all, both on and off the field of play.

The blustery, unpredictable sharp wind could have marred and adversely affected the quality of football. But not today, to the credit of the players whose skill and ability allowed them to quickly adapt to this additional challenge.

The game flowed from end to end; sometimes from long kicks from goal, sometimes from delicious throw-ins, sometimes from swift breakaway lunges. This was a game where spectators dare not blink .

The minutes sped by in the first half, with neither side seemingly able to counter their opponents’ determination and defences. Until, a glint, a mere chink, a bobble of a pass and the Wood pounced and scored that precious first goal. Now we were to see how Dronfield would respond and the game, already played at pace showed another level of determination and commitment as each player gave of his best, turning, running, sliding, wheeling , spinning round opponents… Super soccer to spectate and bringing frequent applause from spectators.

Half time and a cup of Earl Grey tea from bone china cups, and cucumber sandwiches, minus crusts, for the teams in the privacy of  their boudoirs. Meanwhile confused spectators fumbled around to partake of vital nourishment and urgent throat lubricant preparation for act two of this sporting drama.

The second half brought a second and a third goal to the Wood. A composed, proficient, capable and effective home side were showing their opponents a clean pair of heels. And yet, Dronfield showed their grit and determination in a true Derbyshire manner. They challenged, passed, ran their hearts out and gained a goal. And a very good goal, too.

However, the time had run out for them and the willing and sporting footballers from Dronfield left to pitch, sadly, without the victory they had worked so hard for. And with them they took the total respect from Walsall Wood, players, managers, club directors and spectators for the sporting manner in which they played their game here today. 
 
 David Evans

Thanks to David for the report and pictures – much appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Precautions for war – the local fortress

I’m absolutely indebted to the young David Evans this week who’s been beavering away while I’ve been rather indisposed, as many of you will be aware – anyway, I’m back at it now and David has sent me a whole bunch of interesting archive material including this absolute stunner from the Walsall Observer in 1939.

1963 aerial image of Stubbers Green with Northywood Bridge upper left of centre, with Aldridge Brick and Tile on the right of the canal. By this time the pit mounds from the former colliery (left of the bridge) seem to have gone. Image from the University of Cambridge Archive. Click for a larger version.

This report, published on Saturday 29th April 1939 – before the outbreak of war itself in the following September – illustrates what life in Britain must have been like in the run up to the great conflict, documenting how a local company had converted an old pit working and associated buildings into a veritable command centre and shelter for up to 350 people. This must have been a remarkable construction, and I wonder when it was razed? 

I do hope we can find someone with living memory of this.

Aldridge Brick And Tile I think were on the Aldridge/Walsall Wood/Stubbers Green border where the Brickyard Road industrial estate is now, or possibly on the other side of the canal where Veolia is now. That was certainly the site of the colliery mentioned.

The area around Northywood Bridge in modern times: Broadly from the same angle as the archive aerial above. Lovely drone work by Pete Hummings. Click for a larger version.

I’d love to know more about this, including any information possible on location and just when the installation was demolished.

If you can help, or have an opinion to share on the matter, please do get in touch. You can comment on this article, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my coat on social media.

David Evans transcribed:

An Air Raid Fortress

Walsall Observer, Saturday 29 April 1939

Disused pit engine house and tunnels adapted at Aldridge

Observation posts

Much interest has been aroused by the extraordinary comprehensive scheme of air raid precautions evolved by the Aldridge Brick Tile and Coal Co for the protection of their employees.

They have been able to use an engine house and ventilation tunnels formerly serving the now disused Aldridge Colliery for the creation of a splinter, blast and bomb-proof shelter and to install on the top of the old pit mounds observation posts from which operations could be directed in the event of the works being attacked during a raid.

The scheme is centred upon the old engine house. Around its existing walls and additional wall has been built, five or six feet away, and the intervening space filled with rubble. This gives walls eight feet or more thick and the roof of the shelter has been protected by 12 feet of alternate layers of concrete and rubble.

The interior has been converted into a complete A.R.P. headquarters with rooms for first aid, rescue, decontamination and fire squads; store rooms and a specially protected wireless telephone room from which connection can be established with an inter-shelter and inter-works telephone system as well as with the national system. There are four entrances to the shelter all on the air-lock principle.

Aldridge Brick and Tile from the book ‘Aldridge Village Memories’ by Stan Brookhouse and John Sale.

From it steps lead down to an underground chamber which was formerly the ventilation fan drift  and to a barrel arch ventilation tunnel. These once connected for ventilation purposes with the up-cast and down-cast pit shafts of the old colliery, now blocked up. The deepest parts are about 20 feet underground and they are electrically lighted and painted with anti- gas paint. They have been reinforced with steel girders.

                                                       Room for all 350 employees

The whole of the employees numbering upwards of 350  can be accommodated and they can all reach their places in the shelter in less than seven minutes. Detailed squads are being trained and equipped to carry out all the functions of A R P

On top of the pit mounds are the two observation posts. Two steel tanks with doors and observation slits form the basis for these and they have been covered with a layer of cement 2 feet thick, a layer of bags filled with rubble and finally another foot of concrete. The observation slits narrow down to the interior so as to lessen the danger from flying splinters.  First-aid chests and telephones form part of the equipment.

The observation posts command the whole of the works and during a raid it would be the duty of trained observers to inform the A.R.P. squads where their service were required in the event of a direct hit or a fire. Their task would also include keeping a watchful eye on the nearby Birmingham canal. This is on a higher level than the works and a direct hit might cause serious trouble through the breakdown of the banks leading to flooding.

The cost of the scheme works out at about £3 per head of the employees.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Warning: Attempted break in to occupied house in Shire Oak

A warning here for readers of the blog throughout the area, but particularly in the Shire Oak and Walsall Wood area, where on the early hours of Wednesday 1st November 2018 a resident of Shire Oak suffered an attempted break in while they were at home.

Be vigilant throughout the area, but this latest incident was oil Shire Oak. Imagery from Apple Maps.

It’s thought the culprits – four youths – were attempting to steal car keys.

The reader said:

Hi Bob

I thought I would just let you know so that you can perhaps get the word out there for people to be extra vigilant and more aware of security.
 
We had an attempted break in on Wednesday 1st November at 1:25am at our house in Commonside.

Four youths tried to gain entry via the front door while we were asleep upstairs. They have smashed the lock on the outside of the door and had almost got in, but luckily for us we heard the noise as they snapped the outside of the door handle and I went down to investigate and they ran off when they heard me opening the door.

We called the police and I showed them the CCTV footage that I had captured of the youths as they walked on to the drive. I have not included this as the police now have a copy of this.

The Police seem to think it was an attempt to get access so they could get keys to steal the car as there has been a huge spike in this sort of crime at the moment and Aldridge is being targeted as well.

We have now changed the lock on the door to an anti-snap one and are looking at extra ways to boost the overall security. I would recommend to anyone to look at changing to the anti-snap locks after seeing how easy it was to snap the one we had in place.
 
Many thanks Bob and for all the good work posting all the useful information.

Lock snapping exploits a common vulnerability in a lot of older doors and more can be found out at this link here. Many window and door companies offer upgrades: Get several quotes and do shop around.

Anyone with information on this or any other such incident is urged to contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or you can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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

Bonfire and Fireworks at Hammerwich this evening, and Walsall Wood FC on Sunday!

Two firework and bonfire events this weekend – one in Hammerwich this evening (Saturday 3rd November 2018) and the one tomorrow evening at Walsall Wood FC (Sunday 4th November 2018) – both events are always a great night out and the weather looks decent, so why not take a spin out?

The Hammerwich Cricket Club bonfire is lit at 6:30pm this evening and there are two firework displays – one softer one for younger kids at 7pm and a more dramatic affair at 7:30pm. There will be hot food from a variety of vendors, inflatables, barbecue, entertainment and all kinds of fun and games.

Parking is free, adults get in a £5 with kids at £3 – weans get in free. It’s at Burntwood Road, Hammerich, which for Satnav wranglers is WS7 0JQ.

Then tomorrow evening, Sunday 4th November 2018 it’s the event at Oak Park, Walsall Wood…

If you’re at a loose end on Sunday evening (4th November 2018), or are looking for a good firework party to take the kids to, there’s a great event at the Walsall Wood Football Club Ground, Oak Park, Walsall Wood  kicking off at 5:00pm.

🎇🔥BONFIRE NIGHT AT WALSALL WOOD FC 🔥🎇

📆 Sunday 4th November

Come along for an awesome firework display and huge bonfire in a safe environment for the family!

⏰ Bonfire- 17:00pm

⏰ Fireworks display- 18:30pm

It’s £4 per adult, £2 for kids and OAPs or a bargain £10 for a family ticket. There’s a bonfire, firework display, and the club will be serving excellent food and drink from it’s friendly and welcoming clubhouse and a variety of stands. Looks set to be a great do!

All funds to Walsall Wood F.C. – For The Good of the Wood!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t miss Walsall Wood at home Dronfield Town FC this afternoon!

Get down to Oak Park for some great community and excellent sport! Image kindly supplied by the young David Evans.

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Walsall Wood FC at home to Dronfield Town FC

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

3:00pm kickoff

Please come and get behind your local club

For The Good Of The Wood!

Oak Park, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood. WS9 9NP.

Hopefully, a match report will follow

Check out the club 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

Elderly Brownhills couple menaced into handing over cash by bogus workman

Awful news reaches me of a bogus caller menacing and elderly couple into giving him cash for utterly false work in the Whitehorse Road/Howdles Lane area of Brownhills, that took place Tuesday, 30th October 2018.

A bogus caller has been demanding money with menaces in the Whitehorse Road/Howdles Lane area of Brownhills. Imagery from Apple Maps.

The couple’s son, Chris Clarke said:

WARNING

Yesterday my mom and dad who are both in their 90s opened the door to a man who claimed he was working on the opposite house at the end of their garden.

He said their trees had damaged the fence and wanted £250 towards repair… This was not true.

He demanded the money and said if they didnt didn’t pay they would go to prison. My mom said they had no money. He persisted. My mom was scared so gave him £50. Not enough he demanded. So my dad gave him another £120.

He then ran off to Whitehorse Road.

He is medium build, grey top and dirty jeans and also steel toe cap boots. He is missing most of upper teeth on one side.

I now know there was a second man on a mobile which the man at the house made my mom speak to… It was him also asking for money and saying about prison.

Please share and catch this scum… Police are now involved.

Thanks..

Please tell your relatives and neighbours about this scam, and impress upon them how important it is not to be menaced into giving money for services  at the door, no matter how plausible the people demanding cash are.. Genuine companies will always contact you by other means.

Explain that no official body will turn up unannounced demanding money for services like gardening, drain cleaning, fence repairs, tree pruning etc., and that if they are at all unsure of any caller, to close the door and contact the police.

Scumbags preying on the elderly and vulnerable are lower than a snake’s knees.

Please,  if you have any further information relating to this matter, or if you’ve witnessed something suspicious, please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community | 1 Comment

Bonfire and Fireworks at Walsall Wood FC this coming Sunday evening!

If you’re at a loose end on Sunday evening (4th November 2018), or are looking for a good firework party to take the kids to, there’s a great event at the Walsall Wood Football Club Ground, Oak Park, Walsall Wood  kicking off at 5:00pm.

🎇🔥BONFIRE NIGHT AT WALSALL WOOD FC 🔥🎇

📆 Sunday 4th November

Come along for an awesome firework display and huge bonfire in a safe environment for the family!

⏰ Bonfire- 17:00pm

⏰ Fireworks display- 18:30pm

It’s £4 per adult, £2 for kids and OAPs or a bargain £10 for a family ticket. There’s a bonfire, firework display, and there will be excellent food and drink from the welcoming clubhouse and a variety of stands. Looks set to be a great do!

All funds to Walsall Wood F.C. – For The Good of the Wood!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fancy some musical fun with the Brownhills bad girls?

Old pal of the blog Jamie Norgrove of top local performers Brownhills Musical Theatre Company contacted me yesterday afternoon to ask if I’d plug their latest show – the popular and fun Bad Girls the Musical – which looks set to be a real gem.

The show is running from this Wednesday 31st October until Saturday 3rd November 2018 at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock including a Saturday Matinee – there are still performances you can catch but you need to be quick with getting your tickets – they’re selling fast!

Brownhills Musical Theatre Company have a great pedigree and a wonderful track record for fun, endearing, entertaining and very professional shows. They really are a hidden gem and well worth catching.

Jamie wrote:

Our Bad Girls have been busy putting their finishing touches to the show this weekend as we move to the Prince of WalesTheatre on Sunday for Band Call, Tech and Dress…

Bad Girls is not suitable for under 16’s but the fruity characters and language tell a story that has real heart, and a message that even in despair there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Prison officer Jim Fenner is ‘old school’ and expects results in exchange for favours. But when his behaviour results in the suicide of a young prisoner a riot ensues. With the aid of a progressive wing governor and her young officer the inmates take their revenge and the diabolical Jim Fenner is brought to book.

Brownhills Musical Theatre Company has been entertaining people for 47 years and during that time have won many friends and several awards. We continue to strive for the highest standards of entertainment.

Seriously if you haven’t got tickets for our production of Bad Girls the Musical don’t delay, what better way to spend a cold autumn evening than the entertainment this talented bunch can provide you with? 

Visiting Times : 31st October to the 3rd November, tickets from £15
01785 715368

Visit the online box office here!

Why not check out Brownhills Musical Theatre Company’s Facebook page?

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

…And the birds in the trees sang their requiem to the Coppice Pit

A great quick post here from the ever-resourceful Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler who’s found some absolute (black?) gold in the British Newspaper Archive.

This article, published in the Birmingham Post in 1964, records the end of the last production shift at Walsall Wood Colliery, published almost 54 years ago to the day on Saturday, 31st October 1964.

Walsall Wood was the last pit in the immediate area to close, although I think (but am by no means certain) that the Grove in Lime Lane held on until 1968. Clarification welcome on that.

Thanks as ever to Peter for sterling work, I really couldn’t do this without him, and all the wonderful contributors to the blog.

If you have anything to add, please do: Comment on this post, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tap me on the shoulder on social media.

The end of an era – production ends at Walsall old Colliery in 1964 as recorded by the Birmingham Post in 1964. Image from original archive, found by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler.

Last day at the ‘Coppice?

By Bill Pemberton Birmingham Post Walsall Staff

THE lift cage at Walsall Wood Colliery slid into position smoothly at the top of the 400-yard-deep shaft.

Metal doors clanged loudly In the strangely silent air. Two blackened figures emerged blinking Into the half-light of a smoggy autumn afternoon.

With no more ceremony than that, which has been enacted daily for nearly a century, the colliery known more familiarly locally as the “Coppice”— closed down for ever yesterday.

It was as though the elements were aware of what was hap­pening. The grey light pene­trating an overhead fog bank was appropriate to a dismal occasion. Birds in the trees sang their requiem to an audi­ence more concerned with the future than the past.

In the words of 53 year-old Mr. Arthur Aldridge. of New Haven, New Road, Brownhills, last of the deputies to come from the final day shift: “You can’t work at a pit for 40 years without feeling something In your heart when the moment comes to part.”

48 yeas’ service

Their was olao Mr. Pat Hession. 41-year-old deputy of Watllng Street, New Town, whose last 19 years hare been spent at the “Coppice” daily quipping with Mr. Edward Penton, of High Street. Brownhllls, who first entered the pit 48 years ago.

Mr. Penton is one of 100 men who will stay on for the time being doing salvage work. The other 207 miners, including Mr. Aldndge and Mr. Hession have already been found employment at Lea Hall or other Chase pits.

At one time the “Coppice” was among the moat progressive mines in the Midlands, and It has produced millions of tons of high-grade household coal In its 90 years’ serrlce. Now it is “worked out.”

“There la a big difference to­day from when I first started as a boy at the pit.” Mr. Ald­ridge said.

“Then It was known as a ‘donkey’ pit. and eyerythlng had to be done by hand. It was real hard work, with periods of unemployment.

As these old-timers whose lives have been spent gathering black diamonds walked with the unmistakeable gait of the face-man towards the colliery office for the last time they could not help but look back over their shoulders.

The pit shaft and cage wheel stood straight, proud and unmoving—but those who had served with It for generations moved on.

Posted in News | 10 Comments

Wood eleven leave Long Eaton beaten

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 27th October 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. braved the cold to visit Long Eaton at Grange Park, Leicestershire, and came home with a solid two-nil win. 

David Evans was there to enjoy the match, and wrote:

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

Hi Bob

Long Eaton 0 v 2 Walsall Wood FC

A mighty cold arctic blast brought the summer-like days to a crashing end today. Dedicated followers of the Men in Red travelled through a hostile snow shower to arrive, frozen but eager, at the fine football stadium that is Long Eaton’s Grange Park, to meet the genuinely friendly home spectators and warm welcoming directors and chairman of the club.
 
The wintry climate made the playing conditions challenging and demanding, for both teams
 
The brave soccer fans, wrapped up and cocooned in numerous layers of anything thick, wool, and to hand took their places in the open-plan grandstand as the two teams emerged from the long plastic umbilical plastic tunnel to the real grass playing surface that graces Long Eaton’s main pitch.

Walsall Wood played some excellent, smooth, proficient, mature and patient football this afternoon. There were moments of real individual skill in the visiting team too. Deft moves, leaping for high balls, accurate passing and meaningful challenges brought this game to sparkling life at times and the steady composure of the visiting team brought out the best in the home side too.

Long Eaton’s centre of field players were resolute and strong. They presented the Wood with the challenge of overcoming, or out-manoeuvring this impasse, which the Wood did with panache.

Bright attacking moves by both sides gave the game a measure of spice that kept the attention of all the spectators and match officials alike.  There was no animosity, no complaining by the players – or anyone else – in this Saturday’s game. This was appreciated by those privileged enough to witness it. But the Wood were the more proficient and dominant of the two teams today. They showed composure, controlled passion and confidence in their performance at Long Eaton.

The first goal came from a combination of smart moves and well-understood tactics. The second goal was one to savour and remember for a long while. A  blistering snap-shot, from an oblique and unguarded angle to goal was inch-perfect and rocketed past the hapless goalkeeper.

Long Eaton earned the full respect of the visiting side and the visiting fans this afternoon and will surely have learned new skills to add to their repertoire from the encounter and sporting contest with Walsall Wood. 
 
David
 
 David Evans

There’s also the following footage released in the last week from the previous week’s home game against Quorn that Wood also won. It’s recorded and published by the ever-excellent The-Wood.TV filmed by the hugely talented Russell Smith

Thanks to David for the report and pictures, and to Russell for the excellent video coverage – much appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holland Park 2018 bonfire and fireworks: This evening!

Always a good display….

Readers have been asking for details of this year’s Walsall Council Bonfire Night events in the borough, and particularly Brownhills, so here is the latest information.

The Brownhills Holland Park event will take place tonight Saturday, 27th October 2018. Other events take place in Willenhall on the Thursday 1st November, Walsall Arboretum on Saturday 3rd November and Bloxwich on Monday 5th November 2018.

Entry for the local events is still a pocket-pleasing £4 for adults and £1 for kids – plus little ones under 5 get in free.

For safety reasons – no fireworks or sparklers. No alcohol allowed. Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

Walsall Council wrote:

Bonfire and Firework Displays

Walsall’s four regular Bonfire and Firework displays will be taking place in 2018 at :-

Holland Park on Saturday 27th October
Willenhall Memorial Park on Thursday 1st November
Walsall Arboretum on Saturday 3rd November
King George Vth Playing Fields on Monday 5th November

All four of these events will include funfairs, catering stalls, and our bonfires and fireworks.

Please note that as a condition of entry being granted into these events, you may be subject to a security search. This may  result in queues, so please arrive early if there is a particular event or activity you plan to see.

Tickets for Holland Park, Willenhall Memorial Park, and King George V Memorial Playing Fields will be available on the gate, and priced at £4 for adults, £1 for children, and under 5s will be free. Limited car parking is available at all the sites – King George Vth Playing Fields via the Stafford Road entrance, Holland Park via the Parade vehicle entrance, and at Willenhall Memorial there are parking spots within the park via the Pinson Road entrance.

These are at £1 per vehicle, and we would encourage walking or taking the bus to the parks if possible.

For these three parks;
Gates will open at 5:30pm, as will our fairground and concession stalls
Bonfire will be lit at 7:00pm
Fireworks display starting after 8:00pm
*****Times subject to change *****

Tickets for these three sites will be available on the entrance gates of the events, at £4 for adults, £1 for children, and free for under 5s.

Holland Park bonfire is always a good one. Image by the wonderful Steve Martin.

For the Arboretum, this year as last year, you will need to purchase advance tickets online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/walsallarboretum. These are priced at £9 for adults, £4 for children, and under 3’s go free. Family tickets are available for groups of two adults and two children at £24, and all these online tickets are subject to a booking fee.

There are cash only sales of tickets available at the Arboretum Visitor Centre between 10am – 3pm Monday til Sunday, but this will only be available before the day of the event (3rd November.) 

No tickets will be sold on the entrance gates.

For the Arboretum, car parking is available at the Sutton Road / The Crescent entrance, WS1 2DD, and will be priced at £2 per vehicle.

At the Arboretum;
Gates will open at 5:00pm, as will Pat Collins Fairground
The Free Radio Stage live music will start from 5:30pm
The Fire Act show starts at 6:00pm, from the second stage
The Alice in Wonderland Stage Show starts at 6:45pm, from the second stage
The bonfire will be lit at 7:00pm
Doreen Tipton will start at 7:10pm
The Fire Act Show has a reprise at 7:30pm, from the second stage
Lemar starts on the Free Radio Stage from 7:30pm
And the fireworks will be lit after 8:00pm
***** Times subject to change *****
 

For safety reasons, no fireworks or sparklers may be brought onto any of these venues. No alcohol is permitted.

Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult. Please note that as a condition of entry being granted into this event, you may be subject to a search.

Walsall Council reserves the right to change any of the attractions, which are all subject to weather conditions.

For up to date information about the bonfire and firework events, please check our dedicated Facebook event pages for our bonfires, the official Facebook of Walsall Arboretum, or follow us on Twitter @WMBCGreenspaces or @WalsalArboretum

For any more information about this years fireworks events, please contact us on cleanandgreen@walsall.gov.uk , or call us on 01922653344

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

Walsall Wood away to Long Eaton at Grange Park this afternoon

Grange Park, home of Long Eaton United. Image posted on Panoramio by Stephen Harris.

Saturday 27th October 2018

Walsall Wood away at Long Eaton United

Grange Park, Station Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire NG10 2EF

Kickoff 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.

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

Urgent appeal: Do you know of a band that could support the Brownhills Remembrance Parade?

Wendy Dance, Treasurer of the Brownhills branch of the Royal British Legion has been in touch to ask if anyone knows a military band that might be available to play in the Brownhills 2018 Remembrance Sunday Parade?

Image of the band in 2017s parade kindly shared by Claire Sutcliffe.

This is always a well-attended event, and it just wouldn’t be the same without a band.

Wendy asked:

REMEMBRANCE PARADE.

Urgent post.

Our military band is not able to be on parade this year. Is there anyone that knows a band that can play in the remembrance parade this year please?


If you can help with this, do please call Wendy Dance on 07792 533438 or if you want you can mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or hail me on social media, from where I’ll pass the message on.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Police arrest 15 year old following Brownhills stabbing

Following Monday’s dreadful attack in Fourth Avenue in which a local man was stabbed, West Midlands Police today announced that they had arrested a 15 year old in connection with it.

Thankfully, as I shared yesterday, the victim seems to be recovering from what are apparently serious injuries.

Image from West Midlands Police.

West Midlands Police said:

BROWNHILLS STABBING UPDATE: Detectives investigating a stabbing in Brownhills last night (Tuesday 23 October) have arrested a teenager on suspicion of attempted murder.

The 15-year-old boy has been taken into police custody for questioning.

The victim suffered serious injuries in Fourth Avenue after a dispute with a group on bikes. The man, aged 21, remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Enquiries are continuing and anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am to midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Quote log number 1884 of 23/10/18.

Posted in News

Man mugged in Brownhills: Did you see anything?

It seems the crime news doesn’t abate at the moment andI do hope this bad patch passes soon – on Monday night I was made aware that last Sunday evening (21st October 2018) a local man was mugged and severely beaten for his iPhone at the bottom of the Black Path near Brownhills Library.

The reader would like to warn others that these muggers are at large, and to appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

Image of the victim posted on social media by his daughter

They said:

Appeal for information:

My dad was beaten up by three men and had his phone stolen Sunday about 6pm by Brownhills library/medical centre. They ran off up the black path. Did anyone see anything?

If you have any information, or saw anything, please do contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can, as always, email me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or give me a shout on social media in total confidence and I’ll pass any information on.

Thank you. 

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

Exhibition and sale of local artists work at Brownhills Community Centre this Saturday

Hey you lot – there’s an exhibition this Saturday 27th October 2018 of local artwork at Brownhills Community Centre, just by the Miner Island in Brownhills from 11am until 3pm – and it’s free to enter!

Janet Davies, from Brownhills Community Centre said:

On 27th October the Centre will be taken over by a group of local artists for an exhibition and sale of their work. 

The exhibitors are all local artists from a group under the tutelage of Pat Ryan. 

With all levels of expertise, there is a wide range of medias such as pencil, oil, acrylic, watercolour and pastel on display.

Admission is free, so come along!

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.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Police launch enquiry after man stabbed in Brownhills

The Avenues estate, Brownhills. Imagery from Apple Maps.

As many of you will be aware from social media, there has been a serious incident in Fourth Avenue, Brownhills this evening (Tuesday, 23rd October 2018) in which a local man was stabbed.

9:35am Wednesday 24th:

A member of the victim’s family has bee in touch and said:

 9:35am Wednesday: 

A relative of the victim has asked me to share the following:

The person everyone is referring to of being stabbed is my family member he is in hospital and he is stable condition on ITU ward

West Midlands Police issues the following statement:


I’m sure readers will join with me in wishing them all the best for a speedy recovery. A truly awful thing to happen.

We are investigating after a man was stabbed in Fourth Avenue, Brownhills, following an altercation at around 6.20pm this evening (Tuesday 23 October).

The victim, believed to be aged in his early 20s, has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a dispute with a group on bikes. 

They fled the scene and enquiries are underway to trace them. Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am to midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Quote log number 1884 of 23/10/18.

Posted in News

Fancy a laugh this Wednesday evening?

Good to see live comedy making a comeback locally.

A quick headsup for a new comedy club that’s operating in Aldridge and has a host of great acts on this Wednesday evening (24th October 2018) – it takes place at Aldridge Social Club in the High Street and entry is just £8.

You can find out more about Juney’s Comedy Club at their Facebook page here or you can call 01922 456742.

The organisers said:

Join us on Wednesday 24th October for the second of our Comedy Clubs at Aldridge Social, supporting local venues with big shows. 

This month, catch MANDY MUDEN, Britain’s Got Talent star with glamour, comedy and magic …

CRAIG DEELEY A massive Twitter star, loads of one 
liners and stories you’ll love!

ANDREW McBURNEY We saw his comedy partner Gary Powndland last month, now see this award winning,  talented character comedian with a big future!

MAUREEN YOUNGER October’s show is compered by one of the best MCs on the circuit!

Plus a spot from our new NEW TALENT act of the month.

Tickets only £8 Book Now!

18 + Open to non members Bar open 7pm, 8pm show

Buy in person at the club or online here:
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/446247
Or call 01922 456742 (Juney’s Comedy Office)

Posted in News | Leave a comment

All at sea – but where, and when?

Here’s a challenge for the history researchers this afternoon while I’m busy getting some air and autumn – a short but interesting postcard that was addressed to Pier Street, Brownhills.

Image of postcard addressed to Brownhills posted for sale on eBay by seller 89Chatsworth.

The card has been spotted for sale on eBay and is not dated – indeed, it was sent from a ship. If you want to buy it, it’s currently up on sale by seller 89Chatsworth for the princely sum of £1.25. You can see the sale particulars here.

What the card actually says is

‘Arrived in England this morning Sunday(?). Will write again when I know(?) where I have got to.

John

It’s addressed to Miss P. Dorricott (or Derricott), Pier Street, Brownhills.

What can we find out about this? Why would you arrive in England but not know where you were? I assume this would be military related.

Please, any views welcome. It’s been fascinating me since I spotted it for sale earlier in the week.

Please do comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my sleeve on social media.

The picture side is a fetching lady in maybe 1920s dress with the name ‘Trisa’ – was she a noted model of the day? Image posted on eBay by seller 89Chatsworth.




Posted in News | 10 Comments

Wood meet Quorn substitutes in Oak Park roast

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 21st October 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. faced Quorn F.C. at Oak Park, and I’m pleased to say Walsall Wood again won in a fast paced game with lots of action.

David Evans worte:

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

Hi Bob

Walsall Wood FC 2 v 1 Quorn

An unexpectedly warm late October afternoon, thin sunshine and no breeze. The pitch looked glorious… freshly cut real grass, immaculate and a feast for the eyes. Newly installed boards round the pitch are now complete and the footpath around it just completed. Each week some new work and visible improvement reflects the hard work and devotion of the volunteers who toil to bring the sporting spectacle in all its glory to those who are fortunate to attend.
 
Quorn the visitors have travelled from far away to bring their sporting challenge to Oak Park. The usual warm welcome and courtesies are offered and readily accepted.

Just as the game was about to start a beautiful marauding buzzard flies high over the field of play. Fine feathers, but no club badge. Groundhopper?
 
The game itself  turned out to be a hard, physical challenge by the visitors, which brought out the controlled patient team soccer that we always enjoy. Today home and away spectators were delighted to witness skilful, though physical soccer both two teams who were determined to win. And this showed, sometimes in deft footwork, sometimes in accurate passing and running. Perhaps inevitably there were some, deliciously interesting moments which challenged the officials throughout the match. But patience was the bye-word today, both for the  match officials and especially for Walsall Wood.

Sharp breakaway moves by Quorn reflected the game they play on their home synthetic grass surface. But, as we have seen recently, the whole range of soccer tactics are limited; here at Oak Park the visitors were repeatedly frustrated when dispossessed of the ball.
 
The first goal, in the first half, brought a sense of satisfaction, joy and contentment  for the home team, and an amazing outburst of petulance from elsewhere  – away from the field of play. But, to their credit, the visiting players now set to their task of achieving an equalising goal, as the Wood increased their own tempo. Super game to watch.
Quorn ‘s hard work and effort was rewarded when they scored that precious equalising goal, not long before the break brought when both teams enjoyed that magical  cucumber sandwiches, no crusts, and Earl Grey  tea time, and spectators took a while to re-lubricate sore throats , to reflect and blink again on what they had seen… and heard.
 
The second half brought with it a harder, more physical display of soccer, with both goalkeepers performing to their limit, bringing appreciation from the spectators. Some substitutions were made to implement different tactics. A fast flowing game of soccer was apparent in the second half play, with some odd apparent clumsy tackles here and there, but no real antagonism. The Wood scored their second goal from a brilliantly worked out and executed plan. 

Despite all the hard effort, bluster and gritty determination by the visitors the  final score remained two goals to the Wood, and one goal to Quorn.

The final whistle was blown and the Wood gained the reward of a well-deserved home win against some spirited play by the visitors from their posh synthetic surface in Leicestershire. The visiting team, for their part, contributed fully to make this match a delightful one to spectate. 

David Evans

Thanks to David for the report – much appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Institutional bias – what’s the deal here?

I’m indebted as I have been previously San Antonio resident and Walsall Wood ex-pat Porktorta who’s put some time into sorting out the colour on the image of what I (apparently , incorrectly) presumed wast the Walsall Wood Miners Institute last week – and he’s done a spiffing job; but not just that, it seems I may be mistaken about the building depicted.

A nice restoration by Porktorta – but I’m none the wiser. Can you help? Image from the Bill Mayo collection, shared with kind permission of Bill himself.

The photo featured last week – kindly shared by David Evans from Bill Mayo who was kind enough to allow me to post it here – shows a building on the corner of Brownhills Road and Coppice Road, Walsall Wood, where Oak Park Leisure Centre stands today (well, it’s grounds, at least).

In the background can be seen the twin pitheads of Walsall Wood Colliery, where Brownhills Business Park now is, and the old Colliery Offices which I believe survived until the 1980s when they were, if I recall correctly,  destroyed by a fire.

Now the institute was definitely on this corner, but I have reason now to believe the building here was actually a colliery staff house and the institute, apparently demolished here, may have been next doo (to the left in this picture.

In what seems to be a truly international effort, John Blanchard from Auckland, New Zealand was one of several to comment. He sent the following mail:

Hi Bob.

 In my recollection, my maternal Grandfather, William Ernest Share (deputy Manager of Walsall Wood Colliery until he retired in 1952, aged 75) , told me that the property identified as the Walsall Wood Miners Institute on the corner of the what was the “Magazine field” was a house occupied by a Mr Buick who was (possibly) an Engineer at the mine in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. I have a feeling that Mr Buick owned an Buick car from the USA.

Does this re-ignite memories from others?

Regards, 

John Blanchard
Laingholm,
Auckland,
New Zealand

Well, I’m completely foxed now, so I really need folk’\s help here. I have other material to come for the institute itself, but my real question is this: What the Dickens happened to it? Was it this house? Something different? When and why did it close?

Thanks to Porktorta for a lovely restoration, John for some good solid info and everyone else who’s commented. This is turning into a real group effort. Thank you all!

If you have any more information or memories of the institute, please do get in touch – you can comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my sleeve on social media.

Ordnance Survey 1:1,250 scale mapping overlaid onto Google Earth imagery showing Walsall Wood Colliery and the Institute (Highlighted) showing just how much has changed – including the alignment of the whole junction. Imagery from the National Library of Scotland Archive. Click for a larger version. 
Posted in News | 8 Comments

It’s getting better – Wood fortunes improve with wins away

A belated Walsall Wood football roundup here for the Wood faithful -Tuesday last (16th October 2018) Walsall Wood FC’s fortunes continued to improve when they beat Boldmere at Sutton following a three-nil win at Smethwick Rangers FC the Saturday before – here are reports from both matches by the father and son team of David and Simon Evans.

There’s also footage below of Walsall Wood v AFC Wulfrunians on 6th October, a match that the Woodmen sadly lost one nil as reported here – the footage arrived later in the week from the wonderful Russell Smith at The-Wood.TV:

Anyway, on with the reports:

Images kindly supplied by Simon Evans

Simon Evans wrote:

Smethwick Rangers 0 v 3 Walsall Wood

Saturday 13th October 2018

Wood kicked off in blustery conditions, and were the first to adapt to the weather, Jordan Fitzpatrick with the first effort which went straight to the keeper, Paul Sullivan then made half a yard his effort was also direct to the goalie.

A minute later a cross by Paul Sullivan was headed from under his own crossbar by the Smethwick defender. Smethwick then enjoyed a bit of possession, a freekick into the Wood box was claimed well by Lloyd Ransome in the Wood goal. Another freekick found Paul Sullivan, in turn he found Jordan Nadat, but the keeper was equal to it.

The first goal soon came, Javia Roberts was fouled just outside the box, the freekick was swept home by Joey Butlin.

Wood nearly scored again, the Smethwick defender hitting his own post. Wood were dominant now, Paul Sullivan  forced another corner which was defended.

Half time: Smeththwick 0 v 1 Walsall Wood 

The second half started as the first ended with Wood on top and soon they had doubled there lead. A Gavin Hurren free kick from fully 50 yards out resulted in the Smethwick keeper tipping the ball over the bar for a corner. From the corner, the ball found Paul Sullivan, he made half a yard and swept home the second goal.

It was soon 3-0, with Jordan Nadat finishing off a slick Wood move.

The match was then held up due to a nasty collision between Gavin Hurren and the Smethwick defender. Gavin was carried off and also red carded. A Peter Till corner then clipped the crossbar. Soon after the ref blew the final whistle. Wood won 0-3.

Simon Evans

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

David Evans wrote:

Boldmere St Micheals 0 v 1 Walsall Wood

Tuesday 16th October 2018

On a clear still evening the moon shone brightly from afar, peeping through the clouds to catch a glimpse of the much – anticipated contest between two local rival teams. The bright green of the synthetic grass surface heralded a fine contest to grace the pitch and entertain the numerous spectators.

The Wood wore their dazzling sunshine yellow away strip as they took to the field, a distinct spring in their step. Boldmere St Michaels, the host team took their places after the customary handshake with their opponents The scene was set. A shrill blast from the referee’s little Acme Thunderer and the game commenced to a shout from the Wood’s choir of angels.

A sense of eager anticipation accompanied the players, fresh from their hard fought victory on a different surface at Smethwick. Had the team now found its rhythm, its pace, its confidence?

This evening’s match, for at least the first half, was characterised by the fast action and accurate passing that has to be played on synthetic surfaces. Long passing by both sides, well co-ordinated, rapid attacking moves, fine play especially by both goalkeepers all thrilled the spectators.

The Wood demonstrated their mature composure and team discipline early in the game and this became more and more evident throughout the course of the match, which made it a joy to spectate.

A penalty was awarded by the man in black and the Wood scored what turned out to be the only goal of the match, and at this moment, to gain the upper hand. How would Boldmere respond? Could the Wood add to their first goal?

The second half brought a more physical strategy by the home side, an approach which did not reflect the fine delicate soccer of their first half. The referee took a moment to address the unacceptable phraseology of the home bench, after even his patience had worn thin.

There were some clattering tackles by the home players, some heavy shoulder charges, and increasing frustration as they tried everything they knew to score the equalising goal. But to no avail as the strong Wood defence was impenetrable. 

Further into the second half and an event off the field of play where the referee had the most demanding of situations to deal with, marred the game for me. A red card to the home player, and the game, which was beginning to fall apart for the home side, re-started for the final moments of this match.

This match had brought to light some of the many fine sporting aspects of the Beautiful Game;  for most of the match, at least.

A fine, well- deserved win for Walsall Wood FC, whose joy rang out from the changing rooms after the match. The Wood came marching home this evening. Superb.

David Evans
 

Cheers to David and Simon for great reports and pictures, as ever.

Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend the coming games if you can.

For The Good of the Wood!

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

Will Walsall Wood roast Quorn?

Saturday 20th October 2018

The Wood are at home!

Can the boys from The Wood beat Quorn FC?

Kick off is 3:00pm

Come along and support the local lads

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Visit Walsall Wood FC’s 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

Macmillan coffee morning on this morning in Brownhills!

A quick note to say there’s a coffee morning for Macmillan going on at the Calvary Pentecostal Church in Brickiln Street, Brownhills this morning, Saturday 20th October 2018 from 10am to 1pm. 

There will be cake, hot drinks and great company – as you’d expect from such a friendly local institution.

You all know how much I like Macmillan as a charity and anything that benefits them is cool by me.

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

Why not Stay and Play – 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 20th October 2018 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two 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.

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.

Plenty of activities for the little ones. Image kindly supplied by Stacey Poole.
Posted in News | Leave a comment

Lichfield repair cafe – get together to get things fixed this Saturday!

What a fantastic idea this is!

Never one to sit back and let life pass her by, that there Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is involved with the wonderful Lichfield Repair Cafe project – which continues it’s regular run at their new home this Saturday (Saturday, 20th 2018) at Curborough Community Centre, Lichfield from 2pm until 5pm.

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

This 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 satnav wranglers is 37, Reynolds Close, Lichfield Ws13 7NY.

I’ll let Kate explain:

Hello! 

The Lichfield Repair & Share cafe launches at Curborough Community Centre on Saturday 15th September 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. 

Few new things for tomorrow: a craft corner, so bring along any projects you’re working on and take some ideas home with you; info on local wildlife and a games area. 

Volunteers from the centre will be running 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

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

Coming soon: great Halloween party in Walsall Wood

Nice to see there are plenty of Halloween events this year, and there’s going to be a wonderful Halloween Party on Friday, 2nd November 2018 at Walsall Wood Football Club at Oak Park.

There will be a disco, fancy dress competition, raffle, buffet and lots of spooky fun and it’s just five quid for a family ticket – that’s up to two adults and four kids. That’s a bargain!

It’s running from 6:30pm until late. and you can book tickets by calling Claire on 07568 097817.

Thanks to all at the club for what looks set to be a great event.

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

2018 Autumn Leaves Running Day at Aldridge Transport Museum this Sunday

This Sunday 21st October 2018 it’s the annual ‘Autumn Leaves’ running day at Aldridge Transport Museum, when you can ride vintage and classic busses free, and browse stalls, the museum – and visit Chasewater in style!

It’s £5 entry for adults, £2 for kids and a family ticket is just £13, I believe the open day kicks off at 10:30am.

The museum said:

Our regular Autumn Running Day, with a choice of buses and routes to have rides on, as well as seeing the exhibits within the Museum, where there will be our own shop, as well as sales stands attending.

Admission £5 adult, £2 child, £13 family.

See our website & Facebook page for updates

Aston Manor Road Transport Museum
Shenstone Drive, Off Northgate, Aldridge, Walsall W89 8TP

The timetable of bus operations is below – more details can be found on the museum Facebook page.

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

2018 local Remembrance events – let’s make a list – can you help please?

12219471_490070897862035_188197736618274891_n
Brownhills always puts on a sombre, dignified event. Local children paid their respects in 2015, as captured by the good folk of St. James Church.

This is just a quick request for help – in past years, we have crowdsourced from readers a list of local Remembrance parades and events taking place throughout the area, that was popular and useful to many of the readership – last year I left it a little late so this year I want to be better prepared.

I’d like to match last year’s list if I can.

There are a huge range of local services taking place, although some parades may be changed a little due to well-publiscised policing issues.

If you contribute details I’ll wrap them all up into a big post later in the month before Remembrance Sunday.

If you can supply details for any local event in Walsall or South Staffordshire, please comment here or mail me. I know people tend to travel to their home Remembrance event, and we have a wide audience, so stuff in the wider area is very much welcome.

I’d also like readers to take photos of their local events if they can and I’ll feature them here; particularly after photos of Brownhills, Walsall Wood and Norton if possible.

If you’d rather, feel free to mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Summer 2018 photo competition – the results are in!

Eryl Powell
Winner
Shelley Hankin 
Winner
Jackie Astbury 
Winner
Katie Tuck
Winner
Sean Geraghty
Winner
 Sam Turner
Winner
Tracy Dunn
Runner up
Kerry Christie
Runner up
Anthony Hoult
Runner Up
Sarah Emily Challis
Runner up
Chris Hill
Runner up
Laura Taylor
runner up

Mick Geraghty
Runner up
Sara Campbell
Runner up

Right, it’s been a hellishly difficult thing to do, but the judges (Myself Bob, Phil Griffin, David Evans, Linda Mason, Phil Griffin, the young David Evans and a late addition of a certain young lady) have pondered and head scratched in the last week to find the winners and runners up of the BrownhillsBob/Brownhills Blog 2018 Summer Photo Competition.

I’d like to thank all entrants for their patience, and for their wonderful, beautiful entries. If you haven’t won, our commiserations, but there were so many brilliant images it was a very tough task.

You can see the entire gallery of entries by clicking here.

If you were unlucky, there will be a similar competition over the coming New Year holiday as is always the case.

It was originally going to be five winners and five runners up; it’s actually come out at six winners and eight runners up as the field was so fine. 

The winners, who each win a mini keg (8.8 pints) of Backyard Brewhouse ale which is brewed in Brownhills to great acclaim – (you’ll have to collect from the Brewery in Lichfield Road) are Eryl Powell for Harvest, Shelley Hankin for Family on the move, Jackie Astbury for Chasewater in pink, Katie Tuck for Hedgehog day, Sean Geraghty for Misty sunrise (or maybe set…) and Sam Turner for Berry meringue.

If winners are teetotal or too far away we’ll sort something out.

The runners up will each receive a book prize: I have a selection of used but good condition books on local history or themes and I’ll pass the list around: Pick the one you want and I’ll post it to you. Runners up are Tracey Dunn for Bouncing Bridesmaids, Kerry Christie for Fowl play, Anthony Hoult for Sunshine field, Sarah Emily Challis for Beach Buggy Fun, Chris Hill for The thrill of The Chase, Laura Taylor for Hand in hand into the forest, Mick Geraghty for Lilo and pooch and Sara Campbell for the Pike hunters.

I will be in touch over the next week or so with prize winners – please bear with me as I’ve not paid for the beer yet and I’ll need to know what they have available at the moment and what your choice is.

Prizes are as ever, are funded out of my own pocket – there are no sponsors and no funny stuff, this is purely for the community and the fun of it. The judges decision is final.

This competition has been for enjoyment and good feeling, thank you all for being so wonderfully community spirited, and for sharing the very best of what you found. It’s been a blast.

Thank you everyone.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

BRD days – a 149 page history for you to explore

A few weeks ago I promised a treat for those who were interested in the history of the BRD company in Aldridge – many readers will have worked or had relatives that did in the huge, sprawling engineering company the closed some years ago now.

Last year I acquired a book via a good pal called ‘Early Days at BRD’ by Jim Edwards, former Company Secretary and Chief Accountant, which is a nearly 150 page work on the history of this remarkably innovative company up until the work’s publication in 1995, but concentrating mainly on the period from the 1950s to 1970s.

A young lady engaged in what is described as ‘Production Machining’ in a lovely undated image from ‘Early Days at BRD’ by Jim Edwards. Do you recognise her?

This remarkable book is packed with details about BRD products, the various factories in the group (although focused on Aldridge), the company’s links with others (including GKN, who eventually took them over) and most interestingly, the social club and life of the business as a community.

It even documents The Omtitis, the BRD Social Club magazine, a copy of which I scanned and shared here previously.

The book is packed with photos and archive material, and is a real trip down memory lane. And I’ve scanned the whole thing for you to read.

The book was printed by Baker Bond in Brownhills (Who produced the beloved ‘Brownhills Gazette’) in 1995 and is long out of print, and I’ve never seen another copy – indeed I was shocked to see this one! I think it’s a shame it’s not more widely available, so I’ve worked hard to share it here.

You can download the full book in PDF form by clicking here – it’s searchable text so you can look for names you know. It’ll take a while to download as it’s 35 megabytes in size, so be patient.

You can peruse the first 20 pages in the gallery at the foot of the post. Clcik on any one to read it full size.

The social life at BRD was important. Here is a photo from a BRD Horticultural Show in the 1950s. Image from ‘Early Days at BRD’ by Jim Edwards.

David Hughes has previously written about the BRD company for the blog, Linda Mason has recorded with great love and fondness her memories of the great Aldridge factories. Many local people worked there and travelled daily on the works busses from local towns like Brownhills.

Please, if you have any memories, or spot anything you’d like to talk about or share, please do – you can comment on this post directly, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com of say hello on social media.

My thanks to Jim Edwards whose hard work in creating this book is clear to see. It’s beautifully written and fascinating.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A lost institution

Walsall Wood Institute on the corner of Coppice Road at it’s junction with Brownhills and Lindon Roads, I’d say 1950s or 60s. Walsall Wood Colliery in the background. Image very kindly shared by Bill Mayo.

A quick one for a Sunday from respected local historian Bill Mayo – something I didn’t know existed: A photo of Walsall Wood Miner’s Institute which stood at the junction of Coppice Lane and the Brownhills/Lindon Roads, just where the leisure centre is today.

In the background can be seen the twin pitheads of Walsall Wood Colliery, where Brownhills Business Park now is, and the old Colliery Offices which I believe survived until the 1980s when they were, if I recall correctly,  destroyed by a fire.

The institute was a social club, not just for miners but the local community as a whole. I’m not sure when it was lost, but probably after the mine closed in 1964.

I’d like to thank Bill for his generosity in sharing this image via the young David Evans who spotted it on display at Brownhills Community Centre last weekend.

I believe from the concrete lamp-post the photo would be from the 1950s or 60s.

If you have any more information or memories of the institute, please do get in touch – you can comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my sleeve on social media.

Ordnance Survey 1:1,250 scale mapping overlaid onto Google Earth imagery showing Walsall Wood Colliery and the Institute (Highlighted) showing just how much has changed – including the alignment of the whole junction. Imagery from the National Library of Scotland Archive. Click for a larger version. 
Posted in News | 13 Comments

Police seek man following knifepoint betting shop robbery in Brownhills

Can you identify this lads please? If so, Police would love to hear from you. Image posted on Social Media by West Midlands Police.

This morning (Saturday, 13th October 2018) police in Walsall issued the above image of a man they’d like to speak to after the Paddy Power betting shop in Brownhills High Street was robbed at knifepoint on Monday 10th September 2018.

I’m unclear why the large delay between the incident and releasing this picture, but it’s very clear and someone must know who he is.

If you do, please do contact the police forthwith.

They said:

Walsall Police
Saturday 13th October 2018

APPEAL – Can you help?

We want to speak to this man after a betting shop worker was threatened with a knife during a robbery in Brownhills.

A worker at Paddy Power, High Street, was forced to hand over cash at around 7.50pm on 10 September. Nobody was injured.

Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Quote crime reference number 20WS/206982H/18.

Please,  if you have any further information relating to this, or any other incident, or if you witnessed something  please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 and quoting 20WS/206982H/18 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The First Cut and a musical history…

Folk band the Light Side, who will be performing at Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s Autumn Show. Image from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust have a couple of great fund-raising projects coming up – there’s a great new comic novel on sale in support of the Trust, and also a wonderful show – a musical history of the Birmingham Canal Navigation – coming up in November.

The Trust are working to restore the entire lost canal between Brownhills and Huddlesford, which I’ve documented here previously – you can find out more about that at this post here, or find out how you can volunteer to help in this post here.

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust wrote:

AUTUMN SHOW FEATURES MUSIC OF THE WATERWAYS

A musical history of the Birmingham Canal Navigations will be the highlight of Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s Autumn Show.

The Birmingham Lads tells the story of the beginnings of the BCN, its rise to prosperity and its effect on Birmingham and the wider area.

In a similar vein, folk-based band The Light Side’s repertoire puts the emphasis on canal and other watery songs.

The Autumn Show will be held at Whittington Village Hall on Friday, November 16, with doors opening at 6.30pm.

The bar will be open from 6.30pm with supper served at 7pm and the show starting at 8pm. A grand prize draw will be held in the interval.
Tickets cost £15.50 inclusive of show and supper.

To apply for tickets, contact Sue Williams, Norfolk House, 29 Hall Lane, Hammerwich, Burntwood, Staffordshire WS7 0JP, telephone 01543 671427 or 07968 168728, or email suzi_williams@hotmail.com
 Tickets can also be obtained securely online with PayPal at https://www.lhcrt.org.uk/nov_show.htm.

Now available on Amazon – and all proceeds to the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust!

NOVEL BOOST FOR CANAL TRUST FUNDS

Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has found a novel way of raising money – proceeds from all sales of author Simon J Stephens’ new comic tale of cruising on Britain’s waterways are being donated to the Trust.

The First Cut tells the story of three families hoping for a relaxing holiday on a hire boat cruising the Four Counties Ring.
But little do they suspect how events will unfold in this very English farce.

Simon J Stephens spent most of his working life in retail before selling his house and moving onto a narrowboat, now moored in Penkridge, in 2012.

Cruising the waterways of the Midlands and particularly Staffordshire, he spends his time reading and writing and walking his dogs.
His previous work includes two crime thrillers, Righteous Correction?and Redeeming Choices?

All proceeds from the sale of The First Cut on Kindle Direct, priced at £1.99 (ASIN: B07HN267CL) will be donated to the Trust (Clcik here to see it on Amazon).

The paperback version, also available on Amazon, costs £7.99, and the royalties of £1 per copy will go to the Trust (Clcik here to see it on Amazon).

Simon J Stephens said: “Whilst there are numerous groups of hardworking , unpaid volunteers working to restore the lost waterways of this nation, a brief glance at any map will show you that restoring both the Lichfield and the Hatherton Canals will create a priceless link between the Staffs and Worcester and the Coventry canals, taking in the wonderful Pelsall village and making new cruising rings possible.

“The sooner the canals are restored, the sooner we can all enjoy the benefits. 

“This is no vanity project – this area needs these links for sound commercial reasons and to revitalise these places of such natural beauty.
“I dream of the day that I make it as a novelist and help LHCRT complete the work with some of the royalties received!”

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

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

What wonderful thing…

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 6th October 2018 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two 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.

Stacey Poole said:

Come along this Saturday morning where we will be exploring shaving foam alongside our autumn sand tray and many more activities

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

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.

Plenty of activities for the little ones. Image kindly supplied by Stacey Poole.
Posted in News | Leave a comment