Walsall Wood – A short history by Margaret Brice

The readers of this humble blog really are remarkable people. No sooner had I mentioned yesterday that I was looking for a copy of Margaret Brice’s Walsall Wood book, than I had two readers offering me copies. Reader and top local history operative Clive Roberts kindly emailed to offer me his paper copy, and top chap David Evans sat down, scanned the whole book and sent it to me in electronic form. I really am most bowled over – thanks to both kind gentlemen for their generosity.

I believe the book to be from around 1980, and it really is of a very high standard, citing sources and talking authoritatively about the village – a wonderful thing. Since it’s almost impossible to get a copy, I’ve rolled David’s scans up into one handy click, download and print PDF file, available by clicking the cover below. I must say, David made a fine job of the scanning.

I’d still be keen to trace the author, if possible. As I say, I believe she was a teacher in Walsall Wood, possibly at St. Johns, I think.

Again, my gratitude to David and Clive, and of course, to Margaret Brice, to whose work I pay tribute here. Thanks to you all.

A lovely work – complete with authentic tea stain on the cover. Lovely picture on the front, too – note the tram tracks at the turnaround. Click to download your copy in PDF format. It’s 6.2 meg in size, so could take a while. Cheers to David Evans for some great scanning action, there.

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22 Responses to Walsall Wood – A short history by Margaret Brice

  1. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    its Typhoo, my GLW informs me! Thanks for putting this booklet on your blog..there’s some super material in it.

  2. pedro says:

    I had previously posted the info below for David under Local Quiz 1, but may be worth repeating here…

    From White”s Directory 1834, where Walsall Wood and Sheffield are described as being mainly inhabited by nailers and chainmakers. They are termed as villages in the Foreign of Walsall.


    John Harrison nail mfr
Henry Whitehouse Blacksmith
Robert Ball Four Crosses
Henry Homer chain mfr
Joseph bates fmr
Sl Harrison fmr
Jas Keeling fmr

    W Wood…

    Josiah Skidmore gent

    James Smart schmstr

    John Stephens canal agnt
Edward Stubbs Gent (and Walsall)
John Rock The Boot

    Sarah Stokes Horse and Jockey
Thomas Stokes Red Lion
John Latham Board Beer house
John Wigley Black Lion Beer House
Richard Jackson King William Beer House
    Jacksons…Chas, Saml, Thos, Wm, Wm Jnr….Chainmakers
    Edmund Arblaster, Ann L Harrison, William Taylor and Edward Twist all farmers

  3. david oakley says:

    hi Bob and David,
    My heartfelt thanks for taking so much trouble to put Margaret Brice’s work on the blog and in such a simple format. An utter delight.
    Being just four years younger than Margaret, many of her personal recollections are similar to mine, which added greatly to my own enjoyment of the work. The simple language used throughout would make the booklet a “must” for any local child interested in the history of the village.
    It may be a co-incidence, but a Miss Brice of a similar age, taught at Walsall Wood Senior School, Brownhills Road, during the latter part of the war.
    Best wishes.
    David Oakley.

  4. stymaster says:

    That’s rather excellent. I have a feeling I’ve read it before: probably a library copy, but not for some time.

  5. David Evans says:

    HI Pedro
    many thanks for putting the 1834 list here..I hope we can find out where the the lost Beer Houses were ; a part of history lost forever?
    kind regards

  6. pedro says:

    Surveyors of the Roads…

    The liberty of Sheffield and Walsall Wood, in the foreign of Walsall, surveyed by John Glover and John Hildick, 1768.

    From King’s Hays to Catsell; from Stubber’s Green to Ford Brook, at Pelsall Common; from Sheeroaks to Shaver’s End Brook; from the Four Crosses to the Cock at Walsall Wood, which roads have been usually repaired by the inhabitants of the above liberty.

    The Justices for the Borough and the foreign of Walsall, at their special sessions, on 1st Nov 1768, ordered that the inhabitants of the said liberty, shall do two days statute work on the new turnpike road, and the remaining four days to do the statute work on the bye roads yearly.

    (History and Directory of Walsall by Thomas Pearce, 1813)

  7. Clive says:

    Hello Bob and readers, you can download the book (History and Directory of Walsall by Thomas Pearce, 1813)
    by going to this link.
    Best wishes to all, Clive

    • pedro says:

      Thank you Clive,

      I did not realise that the book could be downloaded. It is a good source form a very early date, and worth a look.

      If you look in the index, I think the second item is the Moseley’s Dole that Margaret mentions. I think her source was the Victoria County History of Staffordshire that was started in 1899, and recognised as a remarkable mine of information.

      Many others relate the same as Margartet, but Thomas Pearce, from 1813, devotes about two pages and puts different slants on it.

      Regards Pedro

  8. Clive says:

    Hello Pedro and readers of the blog. here is a link to the search engine on the archive site were you can download old books to your heart content.
    Must warn you though, some of the files are quit big, but well worth the time.
    Best wishes Clive.

  9. pedro says:

    Another interesting link to Who’s Who in Brownhills in 1884…


  10. antony says:

    hi bob, just to clear up any confusion, Mrs Brice was a teacher at Walsall wood JMI school is the 80’s. i was a pupil of hers and she taught the 1st 2nd year. she was good friends with my dads sister who died of breast cancer in around 1981 at a tragic age of 42. i believe she lived around Clayhanger and she would be in her sixties, maybe older. she would remember me as i was the only wheelchair bound child throughout the school in the 70’s and 80’s. i would love to know if she is still around, there would be much to talk about. my mother has just confirmed that she was a wonderful woman.i would love to see her again. could i also ask, the Clive Roberts mentioned in this blog, would he be the clive roberts that used to do electronics etc? drove a white van? me thinks me knows him too well….. 🙂

  11. pedro says:

    New Church at Walsall Wood

    The first stone of a new Church to be built at Walsall Wood was laid on Friday June 3rd by Rev J Baron vicar of Wasall…the assembly was addressed by Mr J Downes of Burton on Trent. After the ceremony the children of the Sunday School, to the number of upwards of 200 were regaled with tea in the school room, which was tastefully decorated for the occasion. This is a place that has long stood in need of a Church, and we trust the benevolent public will step forward to assist so important a work.

    The inhabitants themselves are too poor to contribute to it; and hitherto they have had to carry their dead to the Parish Church in Walsall, four miles away. Not only is the Church needed, but an endowment must be provided for the Minister; nor will the work be complete until there shall have been provided a house of residence for the clergyman…

    21st September 1839 the Staffs Advertiser

  12. Pedro says:

    Sat 9 September 1837 Saffs Advertiser

    St John’s Chapel, Walsall Wood, was opened for Divine service on Sunday last when three sermons were preached…Rev J Owen, Rev G Frisk vicar of Walsall and Rev PG Harper minister of the Chapel…collections amounted to 47l and 4l and 5s….”we congratulate the people for whom this neat and simple structure has been raised, that at length the opportunity is afforded them of the worship of God, and hearing his everlasting Gospel, in a building of convenient size, set apart by solemn rites for this single purpose.”…

    …On Monday nearly 200 children connected with this Chapel received their annual treat of tea and cake in the school room…

  13. Pedro says:


    Court House Stafford 12 April 1838

    THOMAS CRESWELL, heretofore of Walsall Wood in the Parish of Bloxwich, near Walsall, in the county of Staffordshire, Labourer at the Lime Works of W Harrison, in the said county.

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  18. Gavin Stokes says:

    I had a teacher by the name of Margaret Brice. This was in 1986 when i was about 9 years old. The school was Walsall Wood Jmi (infants and juniors). This may help trace her (if you haven’t already).

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  20. Marion Biddle says:

    Margaret is still with us, she is my mother.

  21. Frances Trawford says:

    I started teaching at Walsall Wood JMI in 1971 when Margaret had just completed her first year at the school. I have fond memories of a lovely lady.

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