Walsall Wood: An old pictures special edition

I’m indebted to reader David Evans who, in response to the enquiry and delightful photo supplied by Caz,has dug out a veritable goldmine of pictures for posting here on the Brownhills Blog. There are some absolutely captivating shots here, and I thank David most profusely for his kindness and time taken to scan them. If you know the story behind any of these photos, or know the names of any of the people featured, either mail me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or comment on this post, cheers.

First off, there’s a great shot of a Boys Brigade soccer team from the sixties. This is worth perusing full size for the facial expressions along. It really is a cracking shot. David had this to say:


Your readers may be interested in this photo of the Walsall Wood Ebenezer Boys Brigade football team, from the 1960’s, and may be able to name the whole team!

This copy was sent to me from Adelaide, Australia by one the team!


David Evans

Walsall Wood sixties footy team - picture supplied by David Evans.

David also generously sent me a series of six images scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Church in Walsall Wood. He asked the following:

Hi Bob

Caz might welcome this photo page to look over… it is from a very rare 1952 booklet published by Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood to celebrate the installation of the new church organ and almost every page has group photos. I have chosen these as there may be some people, still alive and somewhere in the world who will recognise faces.

The organ was dedicated in November 1951!

With kind regards

David Evans

Picture scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood.

Picture scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood.

Picture scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood.

Picture scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood.

Picture scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood.

Picture scanned from a commemorative booklet issued by the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Church in Walsall Wood.

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50 Responses to Walsall Wood: An old pictures special edition

  1. warren parry says:

    Cracking images David/Bob. Looking at the youth football team, the faces somehow look familiar. i look forward to seeing if any names are from families that still live local.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. CAZ says:

    Many thanks to David and Bob for these fantastic photo’s.
    I could look at old pic’s like these all day…..sod the housework.
    Like Warren, i’m thinking some of the footie team look familiar……the two, centre back look like they have such small heads compared to the rest,they must be standing further back, but it looks odd.
    One lady pops up in several photo’s,womans own, missionary and young people,
    wearing a uniform with some sort of badges on her lapels and hat….what is this?
    The thing that stands out on lots of these old photo’s is how all the men seem to wear suits and ties and the ladies, hats and gloves. so smart.
    I could imagine the boy at the back [far left] on the young peoples class photo growing up to be a politcian, he has the look?
    The young boy on the missionary photo looks so cute, and i remember well the
    T-bar sandals he’s wearing. I had a red pair with light coloured soles and I loved them….so comfortable…….wouldn’t be seen dead in them now mind lol
    Thanks again…….can’t wait to see if any names start popping up

  3. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    the young peoples class,,back row left became a chemist. His brother is on the far right…Whitehouse lads.
    The lady with the uniform, hat and badge is a Girls Brigade officer, Mrs Edie Bullock
    The Boys Brigade photo may prove interesting to relatives of those in this photo…Worth a long, slow, careful look.
    The young boy in the missionary photo is still around..my cousin Cyril, a painter and decorator of note. He helped check Caz’s coach photo for any local faces, in fact. Some of the Women’s Own group were well into their 80s!
    A few choir members’ families are still around..
    Perhaps these names will help ..Delbridge, Clayton, Higgs, Walker, Beniston, Riggs, Tams, Lees, Taylor, Holland, Edwards, Thacker, Rowley
    the footballers?
    try Hovis for starters!..adding Officers Whitehouse and Smith(ex POW) might jog things along among the Boys Brigaders

    David Evans
    must tell Cyril’s wife about him being “cute” once upon a time! Thanks, Caz, you have made me chuckle!

    • ray share says:

      gordon lewis was captain others where ted broadway gavin owen ken bradshaw david greenwood jonny wood

  4. CAZ says:

    Would your ‘cute’ cousin Cyril, happen to know who the girl was on the far left of that photo? When I first looked, I thought it may have been my Aunty Maudie [Edwards] but I’ve never seen a photo of her at that age.She joined the St.Johns Ambulance Service when older. She would have been 92 now, so if he doesn’t know perhaps he could eliminate her just by comparing his age?

    So…my ‘politician’ became a chemist……….he probably still could have run the country better than some of our present politicians. lol.

    My Dad would have been happy if that new organ had been installed when he was a child. When his Dad was caretaker and his mom cleaned there, he used to get roped in to help, if the usual ‘organ pumper’ didn’t turn up, and he hated it.
    He recalls sitting on a chair behind the organ, hidden from the congregation by a red velvet curtain and pumping a pole to stop a ‘mouse’ from dropping below a line.If it did no sound would come out. He said it was damn hard work sometimes, the mouse went up and down like a yo-yo, especially when Mr Bampton played the Halleluiah Chorus. He also remembered one Sunday evening, after a long sermon, when the organist started to play….it was silent. When they pulled the curtain back, they found ‘Mr Boden’ the pumper, fast asleep.

    many thanks Caz

  5. D.Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Caz..I have sent Bob some more photos for you and other Walsall Wood people to enjoy…watch this space.
    There are references to Edwards….over a long time, locally. The caretaker’s house, next to the chapel, was subsequently used as offices for Collins Parcels…the name Millard is connected here..but I hope Bob can publish all in due course. The documents’ details are fascinating.
    I think the girl is not Maud ..she would be in her mid 70s now. I knew Bill and Evelyn Bampton well..they were wonderful people .
    Dry rot spores spread by the air from the organ brought about the demise of the building. But that’s another story!
    David Evans

  6. CAZ says:

    I look forward to those new photo’s…….Bob willing?

    My Dad wrote about moving into the House by the Chapel,in 1934 [aged7] and l wondered why his parents would have moved such a short distance, from the cottage around the corner in Brownhills Road, [next door to the school]. Perhaps this was when his Dad became caretaker? he says his Dad was also working during the day as a miner.

    Thanks for the info David and thanks Bob for this very interesting site

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  8. Trevor Brown says:

    Hi this is Trevor Brown (Hovis) from Brisbane Australia re the above Photos

    Football Team, real Champions they were, Back row, Ken Whitehouse, third from left Trevor Brown me, Barry ?, Jim Smith far right,
    Second row 2nd from right Ken Robins second from left Roger Faulkner,
    Front row far right David (dicky) Greenwood, center Gordon Dukes,

    Boys Brigade, Third Row from front, Officers Webster Brothers one named Tom,
    Jim Smith, Ken Whitehouse, next but one my brother Colin Brown,

    Life Boys, front row far right Trevor (Hovis) Brown (me) far left chap out of football team photo, next David Greenwood,

    Young Peoples Class, front row second from right my Sister Wendy Brown,

    Missionary Helpers My Grandmar Sara-Jane Brown,

    Womans Own back rowfar left Sara-Jane Brown, My grandmar,

    Just a note I have no Photos of my Grandmar, Auntie Clair and Uncle Ron Davis who are in the Choir Photo so this blog from David is so good thanks,
    Cheers Pommy Trevor

    • Susan Cuthbert says:

      Was very interesting seeing all these photos with you and our family in Dad. Love you lots, Susan xxxx

      • Susan Cuthbert says:

        Just showed Tayla and Julia picture of Sara-Jane Brown, your Grandma and they said she looks like Aunty Helen.(My sister and your daughter) which is what I said to you this afternoon. Always thought Helen looked like mums side of the family and I looked like yours.

  9. Trevor Brown says:

    Hi to Caz,
    I am the one of the little chaps at the back row of football photo dressed in black we were just younger by about three years, I’m even on tip toes, but I’m glad that you thought we were not big headed,
    We were the reserves no subs in those days you started the game with eleven and had to manage, The team under Mr Jim Smith won the Birmingham Battalion
    football league 11 years on the trot and the cup competition 12 times in twelve years, he was a great leader,
    G-Day from Pommy Trevor

    • CAZ says:

      Hi Trevor,
      You had the smallest head of all, but to be fair, winning so many competitions, it would be understandable if you were all big headed. lol
      The name Gordon Dukes rings a bell?
      Do you know what year the Life boys photo was taken?………the boy on the far left standing, looks remarkably like 2 boys on my Mom’s group wedding photo, taken 1950. They look like identical twins but could be brothers born very close in age and I’ve no idea who thay are? Do you know his name?
      I noticed on that photo that you crossed your legs, the opposite way to everyone else.

      • ray share says:

        try raymond share miss osbourne was the leader trevor brow had a older brother colin gordon dukes was my mate ain.t heard from anyone for years i lived inst johns close next to the vicar for 3 years

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  11. Hi people. I was sent the following mail by Brian Stringer, The Clayhanger Kid:

    Hi Bob, keep up the good work with the blog.

    The lad second left holding the ball in the 60s photo of W W Boys Brigade is a relation of mine, Kenny Bradshaw.

    In my book you may recall I mention an Uncle Alec from  Shire Oak who finished up cutting my hair when my mom had upset the two local barbers. He was Kennys dad. Tell the truth Alec was moms Uncle and Kenny my second cousin, but we respectfully called a lot of distant relatives , Uncle in those days.


  12. Trevor Brown says:

    Hi Caz, the photo was taken in 1951, you are wasted Caz you should have been a copper to notice my legs are placed opposite to every one else,

    sorry I don’t know the name of the boy on far left, I do remember ken Bradshaw,

    I have a photo taken of the Walsall Wood School intermediates football team taken about 1956 which also has some of the same boys in it,

    I don’t know how to upload a photo to this site so if anyone would give me a email address to send it to they could perhaps post for all of us to see,

    The lady who pops up in the photos with the uniform on was the Captain of the Girls Brigade.

    • Hi Trevor, thanks for your contribution (and to everyone else: this is really fascinating)

      You can mail me at brownhillsbob at googlemail dot com, replacing the ‘At’ and ‘dot’ with @ and . as appropriate.

      Cheers, and greetings to all in Oz.

      Best wishes


    • CAZ says:

      Hi Trevor, thanks for the info.
      A copper? No, i’m just nosey.
      The Captain of the Girls Brigade, certainly looked a pleasant lady.
      best wishes Caz

  13. Susan Cuthbert says:

    Trevor is my dad and he showed me all these photos and posts today. They are fantastic. He showed me photos on here also of his bestman – David Greenwood, his brother and sister and his Grandma who I had never seen a photo of. It’s a great site.

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  15. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    one picture certainly can be worth a thousand words. I hope that a gentle look through the documents will bring names and forebears to light for other former Walsall Wood people.
    I found the aerophoto of the Wood ( 1926..mentioned in earlier posts ) just by taking a scond glance at the photo when it was used in a display before the Seconday School moved up the hill…for example.
    I would imagine that there are a thousand stories from the Prims football team waiting to be told……The call was “Bump it Bomper” at one time time!
    best wishes
    David Evans

  16. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Trevor may be able to confirm…BB football team, second row in front of Jim Smith, on far right of the row is Terry Murray; front row, holding the cup is Gordan Lewis or so I have been told.
    David Evans

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  19. Caz says:

    Hi David,
    Do you know what year the Boys Brigade photo was taken?
    I’ve found a picture of my Dad in Boys brigade uniform dated 1938. I’ve tried enlarging the picture but can’t make out if he’s in it.I doubt it because his cap looks different, with 3 possibly chrome or silver coloured badges or buttons?
    Many thanks for all the wonderful photo’s you’ve supplied and thanks to Bob for posting them.
    best wishes Caz

  20. Trevor Brown says:

    Hi Caz, The Photo of the Boys Brigade was taken at Weymouth Camp in 1951 or1952 ,
    My Brother Colin of Shire Oaks tells me; in the third row centre is Jim Smith next Ken Whitehouse dont know next fellow then Colin Brown,The officers did have different hats on,to the rest of the boys,
    Trevor brown,

    • Caz says:

      Thanks for the reply Trevor. I know now that my Dad can’t possibly be in that picture as by the time it was taken, he was married with a baby.In the photo that i’ve got, he’s aged about 12, so perhaps the uniform changed over the years. many thanks Caz

    • Ray Share says:

      The photo of the b b camp was Abergele I am on the back row on the left 1949 my first camp

  21. D.Evans says:

    Hi Trevor
    its Ernest Bullock next to Ken Whitehouse, I think. His wife Edie was captain of the Girls Brigade…in one of the group photos .. both good people to know!

    I think if you look on Walsall’s ” a click in time” archive of photos there’s a photo of the BB marching down the Walsall Market hill in the early 1960s with Ken leading the “troops”
    David Evans

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  23. David Oakley says:

    Hi David.
    What a joy this site is! Wished I’d stumbled across it earlier. Have just looked at the photos you recommended and how very worthwhile. Found I could identify quite a number of faces, despite the intervening years, many of whom have been identified by earlier correspondents. I was thrilled to see my Grandma, Mrs. S. Oakley featured in the picture of the first wedding at the Ebenezer chapel, Didn’t see a date but my Grandma was born in 1864, so perhaps it dates from around the turn of the century.
    Ernie and Edith Bullock were personal friends of my parents, living next-door-but-one to us in Salters Road, throughout the war years. We had what was called an American organ at the time, the pedal bellows type and and Mrs Bullock would often come round to play it, much to my enjoyment. They has two daughters, Marion and Hilda. I heard that Hilda married and emigrated to South Africa, Marion, by then Mrs. Higgs, visited her sister and most tragically, both were killed in a car crash
    This set me thinking of the vigorous Christian community in Walsall Wood in the ’30’s an ’40’s. St. John’s church. and the three chapels were all well attended and much of the social life of the village revolved around them.
    Enjoyed reading the comments by “Aussie” Trevor Brown. Couldn’t place him until he mentioned Colin and Wendy, then I remembered Castle Road. He would probably be born there. The houses are still there and are featured on many photos taken over the years from the Vigo Corner.If Trevor ever wants a “claim to fame” I can tell him that Mrs. James, who lived almost directly opposite to him in Castle Road was the aunt of Sue Nicholls who has played the part of Audrey in Coronation Street for such a long time.
    David Oakley..

    • Dave Edwards says:

      Was the James in Castle Rd any relation to Joe James who married Mary Merrick (my aunt) & played cricket for Lynn. When they were married they lived in Walton Rd off Walsall Wood Rd. My moms family lived in Brook Lane, her mom & dad were Lij & Jinny Merrick.

      • david oakley says:

        Hi David.
        The James referred to in Castle Road had only one son, Harry, who worked for Mr. Felton, the butcher, in High Street. There was another James, a little higher up who had a son Alan and a daughter, Betty. Never knew the extended family. I remember
        the Merricks from Brook Lane, They had a daughter, Iris, Might be your mom.

        • Dave Edwards says:

          Hi David
          Iris was my moms younger sister, my mom was Vera. There were 2 brothers, John and Lij and another sister Mary.
          Dave Edwards

          • david oakley says:

            Hi Dave,
            Quite a family. eh? yet I always thought of Iris as an only child. Some of her
            local friends were Margaret Glover and Marion Ward, who loved close by, and Margaret Sinnott who lived in Oak Road. I took my kids to Kidwelly holiday camp, some years ago,
            Very quiet place for a holiday town, except for the planes. Do you remember, Billy Hughes from Collins’s my old mate from Salters Road. I think he was foreman night loader at one time but he had a fatal heart attack when he was only 39. Great bloke !

            • Dave Edwards says:

              Yes David, quite a family, all passed away though now. Iris remained friends with Marrion all her life. Kidwelly was a very quiet place and I remember the planes very well offloading the anti tank weapons right next to the holiday camp.
              I pretty sure I remember Billy.Did he work on the building site before Collins or was that his brother.

  24. John and Lin clayton says:

    Hi David
    John Clayton hear just been looking at the BB football team photo which was very interesting.
    Did you know that we have a BB reunion every year in march last ther were about 150 attended
    Hope to hear from you soon

    John clayton

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  26. This is fascinating – just discovered my great great uncle was minister there – a Frederick Pilkington in the 50s. Thanks so much for sharing.

  27. mike hall says:

    Boys’ Brigade football team – back row -Ken Whitehouse, John Wright, Trevor Brown, Barry Evans, Ivor Osborne, Jim Smith – middle row – Mike Hall (me), Roger Faulkner, John Wood, Kenny Robbins, Terry Murray – front row – John Phillips, Kenny Bradshaw, Gordon Lewis, Gavin Owen, David Greenwood. The photo was taken in 1959.michael

  28. Ron Williams says:

    Hello Mike. remember me. Ron Williams…..Often wonder how you are or if your still alive. Hope you are well…Let me know.

    • Ron Williams says:

      just remembered Mike ,we called you ” tosh ‘ …Do you live local to Aldridge.? Regards, Ron…

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  31. Chris Smith says:

    On the picture of the football team the gentleman top left is Kenneth Whitehouse who lived with Mr A B Whitehouse at the men’s outfitters in Walsall Wood. Ken was my uncle, a devout Methodist lay preacher and had formerly severed in the Royal Navy, one of his fellow officers being Prince Phillip.Chris Smith

  32. JOHN BARLOW says:


  33. barry says:

    I have come upon a rather strange old silver fob watch pendant, chain and watch. Front of the pendant has Walsall FA badge on it, the rear has an inscription reading,”1912, challenge cup runners up, Walsall Wood YMF, J Nicholls ” I intend to pass it onto the football club as I have no use for it,the only thing I can say is it came from my uncle who worked at Brereton coal pit, he said he was given them by a friend many years ago, beyond that i know nothing, could you perhaps help the football club with any info ?

  34. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a huge thanks to Barry for this amazing comment. There is the photo of the 1912-1913 Walsall Wood YMF( Young Men’s Fellowship) end of season team photo, with trophies, and standing in front of the wooden pavilion which was by the Horse and Jockey Pub…”somewhere” in the blog. and I think we may now have the names of two of that team; Nicholls and Wilkinson. There was a J Nicholls aged 20 living in one of the houses in Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood..and, coincidentally very close to the present football field, in the 1911 census. kind regards and best wishes David

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