If the kids are united

It’s about time the children of the past got a look-in with the old pictures feature, so this is for them; the kids who, in whichever decade, played knock and scarper, fell in the cut or played cowboys and indians on the common. The characters who made dens, hung out in the precinct, wagged off school and sat looking miserable on the Witches Hat. They may have gone to Walsall Wood Youth Club, The Annexe or the Friday Disco at the Memo. They perhaps hung around at the Galleon, played the fool up the batters or skulked near the pavilion on Oak Park. Whatever age they came from, they knew all the same places we did, and still do. Here’s to the scallies, ragamuffins and little monkeys we all know and love.

As ever, if you like these pictures, do try to get copies of the original books. The authors are committed local historians and I salute their fantastic efforts.

The audience at one of the last Saturday Matinee shows at the Regent Cinema, Brownhills, in 1962. Taken from ‘Around Pelsall & Brownhills’ by David F. Vodden.

Do you know any of these bright, young faces? Are any of these budding actors reading this now? Taken from ‘Memories of Brownhills past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington

This looks like the old Walsall Wood Scholl on Street’s Corner to me, but I’d be happy to be corrected. I think it’s the shape of the door arches. Peculiar how some of the kids look oddly timeless. Taken from ‘Street names of Brownhills, Clayhanger, Shelfield & Walsall Wood’ by Betty Fox and Walsall Local History Centre.

Do you know any of the footballers in this Brownhills team? Can you recall the names of either of the two teachers pictured beside them? Taken from ‘Around Pelsall and Brownhills’ by David F. Vodden.

A bonus extra childhood picture this week: spotted on Facebook, uploaded by Pamela Whittaker and dated 1982. I think any Brownhills child of a certain period will remember the ‘big slide’ in Holland Park. I ran up this, slid down it, burned my legs on hot days and cried when I fell off. Note that’s tarmac underneath, not your namby-pamby modern safety matting. A bad fall really would crack heads, and often did. Each step – and if I recall correctly, there were 14 – had the legend ‘Wicksteed, Kettering’ ornately cast into it. Ah.. memories…

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12 Responses to If the kids are united

  1. Dave Cresswell says:

    I remember this slide very well as I fell off the top of it on to the solid floor below. No safety surfaces back in the late 1960’s then.

    Witches hat I remember as well as too many people wanted to go the wrong way. Not sure why anticlockwise was the wrong way as it went both ways though.

    • Chris says:

      Ah the witches hat, a later addition. Holding on for dear life. At one time there were 2 little boats put up which you pulled a rope to make it swing as you sat in it. The giant slide and the big boat,all really dangerous. But great fun.

  2. Mark Blackstock says:

    Even back then the little BrownhillsBobit was recording all those small details, counting steps and noting the maker’s name… blimey you must have been a handful…

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  4. Pablo Oplywiss says:

    Can’t speak for Hollands Park, but Rushall Park had a witches hat that’d be completely outlawed with today’s health & safety regulations.

    There were also kids in Rushall that would also be completely outlawed…

    • stymaster says:

      I remember the Witch’s hat in Rushall Park very well, and yes, I too remember the name cast into slide steps, and the proper *hard* surfaces you could fall on to.

  5. jane griffiths says:

    the teaching staff at millfield school were mr marshall ane mr davenhill

  6. CAZ says:

    lots of wonderful memories of the BIG brownhills slide and witches hat.Also brings back memories of the park in walsall wood which also had a fantastic witches hat, slide and roundabout.when the bigger kids pushed the roundabout,it went so fast you had to hang on for your life or you flew off onto concrete. It was at the back of walsall wood school on the very spot where oak park leisure centre is and it was ten times better than the feeble park the kids have now near the high street.But then we didn’t have a skate park,swimming baths or football pitch…….l know which l’d prefer…… the witches hat every time.l think councils would consider them too dangerous now, what with the compensation culture we live in. shame

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  9. tracey says:

    I loved this slide, seen many fall of it and boy did it burn your skin in the summer
    Do you have any pics of the bandstand

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