A familiar view to Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler who’ll appreciate this one I think.

You’ll all know that of late, I’ve not been too well and that work has taken up a huge amount of my time – well, my health is now thankfully improving, work is easing off and the sun came out (although the wind was still a bit keen), so yesterday I had a great 58 mile ride via old haunts into South Derbyshire.

It was a ride in decent weather, warm when out of the wind; it was great cycling and although my choice of cake-stop was sadly closed (Rosliston Forestry Centre’s Hub Cafe is on winter hours until April 1st and shuts at 4pm – boo!) the day closed with a terrific sunset.

Spotted in Brownhills: this beautiful little thing had presumably just emerged and was drying it’s wings.

I went to Lichfield, Whittington, Whitemore Haye, Croxall, Walton, Rosliston, Coton in the Elms, Lullington, Clifton Campville, Haunton, Rickercote, Wigginton, Hopwas, Hints, Weeford, Shenstone and home.

The spring is beautiful this year, and the wildflowers profuse. If you can, get out there while the season is still on her throne.

For more of this sort of thing, please check out my 365daysofbiking journal which is remarkably six years old next weekend

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Car wash at the old Middle Oak?

The Royal -or Middle – Oak shortly after closure a couple of years ago.

Just a quick note to say that I’m aware that a car wash seems to be coming into operation at the empty former Royal – or ‘Middle’ – Oak pub on Chester Road, Shire Oak, although I haven’t seen it personally yet.

The former once-popular pub has stood empty after it’s closure and private purchase several years ago.

As far as I’m aware, such an operation would need planning permission, and searches in the week I made didn’t find any, although I welcome clarification or correction on either of the above points – if you know something I don’t, please do comment.

You can search for planning applications here and see if I missed something.

I have contented Walsall Council to investigate the position and await a reply.

In the meantime, if this operation is concerning you, your best course of action is to contact any of the Walsall Wood ward Councillors who cover the area: Peate Sears, Gary Clarke or Anthony Harris whose contact details can be found here.

I’ll update you all as soon as I know anything.

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The Portman Collection – part five: Staff and class photos on a wet day

Image 13: A class photo on a rather wet looking day. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be a member of staff in the picture. Photo generously supplied by Tony Portman via David Evans. Click for a larger version.

Tony’s notes for image 13. Click for a larger version.

In the fifth serialised article of what will turn out to be quite a few, here’s the next three photos from Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s with accompanying notes, as introduced in this blog post here – This time, I am including the handwritten notes by Tony himself below each image.

I return now to featuring images in order. Apologies for the delay in this post, thinks still a bit behind, but I’m catching ups now.

I shan’t comment on the notes directly, or attempt to transcribe: these are clearly a matter for readers as they obviously raise questions as well as answer them – and the last thing I want to do is lead the witnesses!

Thanks to Tony Portman who generously granted access to a remarkable collection, and to David Evans for scanning them so diligently. People like you gentlemen are keeping local history alive. Thank you.

Please, any comments, contributions or observations welcome. Either comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Image 14 – members of staff from the school. Again, I’m struck by how relaxed and generally happy they look! Photo generously supplied by Tony Portman via David Evans. Click for a larger version.

Tony’s notes for image 14. Click for a larger version.

Image 14 – another wet day photo of a large group. Photo generously supplied by Tony Portman via David Evans. Click for a larger version.

Tony’s notes for image 15 – confusingly, two pages. I hope someone can make sense of this. Click for a larger version.

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Woodmen outclassed by Coleshill

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

Walsall Wood FC disappointed the fans yesterday (Saturday 25th March 2017) when they lost to Coleshill Town in a high scoring match.

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

Hiya Bob,

The four game unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt on the Coleshill plastic.  It’s still tight at the bottom with Wood still five points clear of 20th place.  However players must realise that when you are in trouble that communication is extremely important at all times no matter what.

Still a lot of football to be played, the next three at home, Highgate Saturday 1st April, Long Eaton Saturday 8th and Rocester Tuesday 11th.

Now nine points would see us safe, so come on folk, get behind the team and keep us in the Midland League Premier division – please.

For the Good of the Wood.

Coleshill Town 5 v 2 Walsall Wood

Coleshill kept alive their slim title hopes with this Simeon Cobourne inspired performance.  Wood just couldn’t handle the diminutive wide man who spelled danger every time he had the ball.

On two minutes a long ball over the top of the Wood defence saw keeper Adam Jenkins race out of the area to kick clear from Mykel Beckley.

Wood had the first shot on target after nine minutes, James Spray holding the ball up before laying it back to Michael Williams who cleverly released Liam Molesworth into the right of the box, his first time rising drive pushed away by keeper Paul Hathaway.

On 10 minutes a left wing corner was played short to Dean Rathbone on the left edge of the box, he took one touch and curled the ball into the far corner to open the scoring.  It was almost two when four minutes later Mykel Beckley dissected the centre of the Wood defence to put Simeon Cobourne in on goal, Jenkins sticking out a right foot to keep the ball out. On 24 minutes a weak back header saw Jenkins race to kick clear from Beckley – just.

A minute later a powerful Williams run left of centre saw his pass out wide collected at pace by Spray, his low powerful cross missed by everyone.

On 31 minutes Rathbone raced onto a ball left of centre, his low 25 yard drive tipped onto the left hand post by Jenkins, the ball bounced off the inside of the post across the goal before going out for a corner just beyond the right hand post. Five minutes later Tom Weale powered forward and fed Cobourne wide right, his lovely ball inside found Rathbone, his first time low drive pushed away at full stretch by Jenkins. The second goal came on 39 minutes Rathbone raced onto a ball through the centre, played the ball out to Giovanni Dainty on the right of the box, he cut back inside his marker and arrowed the ball into the far corner of the net giving keeper Jenkins no chance.

Six minutes into the second half a ball from Williams was headed down by Butlin into the path of half time substitute Josh Mansell who ran at goal but under pressure finished weakly to give Hathaway a comfortable save. Three minutes later Butlin held the ball up wide right before finding Molesworth inside, he laid the ball back into the path of Drew Aiton whose first time low drive was diverted just wide. From the left wing corner the ball fell to Aiton, this time his shot was blocked.

On 56 minutes a long ball out of defence was collected at pace by Cobourne who went on a right to left diagonal run, his ball into the left of the box found Beckley, Rikki Bains saving Wood with a superbly timed challenge. Two minutes later Cobourne made the left byeline, his ball inside hit first time by Beckley deflecting off a defender towards the right hand post for Dainty to tuck home

Number three, three minutes later Josh Quaynor raced from halfway into the left of the box, Jenkins saving bravely at his feet. On 68 minutes a neat left wing move ended with the ball into the box finding Beckley, his rising drive superbly saved.

On 70 minutes Mansell hit a ball from wide right into the near post, Butlin holding the ball up before turning and firing into the roof of the net to give Wood a glimmer of hope. Within two minutes the three goal cushion was restored, Quaynor’s ball inside from wide left found Rathbone on the left of the box, he took one touch and buried the ball in the far corner. Four minutes later a long ball forward was cleverly won by Curvin Ellis who ran into the box, his pinpoint diagonal ball found Beckley who made no mistake to make it five-one.

Wood then lost substitute Lewis Taylor Boyce to two yellow cards but on 76 minutes pulled a goal back, a move left of centre gave Butlin a shooting chance, his shot was blocked but he was first to react playing the ball back to Mansell to hammer the ball home through a crowded box,

There was still time for former Wood favourite Andre Gonzales to set up Dainty, Jenkins tipping over his rising drive. Another ball in from Gonzales right on time was somehow headed wide by Ellis from five yards with the goal gaping.

For once this season the form book was proved right, but 11th hour changes didn’t help Wood who had to make tactical changes just hours before kick-off.

Highgate (never an easy game) next for Wood at home on April Fools Day.

Bill Shaw.

The Teams:

Coleshill Town – Hathaway (captain), Gonzales, Quaynor, Weale, Fishwick, Mulligan, Dainty, Taylor, Beckley, Rathbone, Cobourne, Leek, Tymon, Ellis, Evans, Shaw.

Walsall Wood – Jenkins, Williams, Deakin, Brooks, Bains, Wood, Aiton, Adams, Butlin (captain), Spray, Molesworth, Taylor Boyce, L. Harris, Mansell, Taylor, Henry Harris.

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

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

Distraction theft at Morrisons car park, Aldridge – be careful, folks.

In busy car parks like the one at Morrisons in Aldridge, keep your wits about you and your valuables hidden away. Imagery from Apple Maps.

People are being warned to be on their guard after a distraction theft incident in the car park of Morrisons in Aldridge on Friday, 17th March 2017 in which a debit card was stolen from a car while the driver was being asked for directions, and subsequently used fraudulently.

It would be a very good idea if you have elderly or vulnerable family or friends to warn them about this.

West Midlands Police issued the following statement:

From Mari Amos (Police, Sergeant, Walsall)

An incident has been reported to us today (24th March) which occurred on 17th February 2017 at 11.30hrs at Morrisons car park, Aldridge.

A female has approached the passenger side of a parked vehicle and opened the door and leaned in to speak to the driver who was stationary at the time. The female had a large map and was asking for directions to Tamworth.

The female was petite and looked Malaysian and was with a heavier set male. The driver of the vehicle tried to help the female with some directions but half of the map was missing.

The female then left in a grey vehicle with the male. During this interaction it has since become apparent that a debit card which was in a handbag in the passenger footwell was stolen, and this card was used to withdraw cash 30 minutes later.

Enquiries are being undertaken in relation to this incident, however this distraction method has been used in this area in the past (in 2016).

The offenders were very subtle and believable as the theft was not discovered until several days after it occurred.This message is to raise your awareness of this type of method of offence.

These incidents do take place in Aldridge so please take note and always “Think Safe”.

When in your car, always a good idea to keep valuables well tucked away and don’t store your PIN with your cards.

Please, if you have any information, do speak to the cops. These people need to be caught before they do it again. If you know who they might be, or if you saw anything at all, please do contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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

Get your music fix at the Chase Inn tonight…

Looks like another great gig at the Chase Inn!

The live music and good times at Chase Inn at Newtown, Brownhills continues – and this week there’s a packed schedule with live music this evening, Saturday 25th March 2017 from brilliant rock band ‘Livewire’, starting 9pm.

Livewire are a covers band playing floor filling anthems from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s!

Why not get down there? You’re guaranteed a great night…

For the satnav folk, the address is: 6 Watling Street, Newtown, Brownhills WS8 6JS

You can contact the pub on: 01543 899568 or visit their Facebook page.

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

Walsall Wood away to Coleshill this afternoon


Coleshill Town: in the mire. Image from David Stowell and posted on Geograph under Creative Commons.

Saturday 25th March 2017

The Wood are away at Coleshill!

Can the boy from The Wood continue their return to form?

Kick off is 3:00pm

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