Whose beacon is it anyway?

Someone had a burn-up and failed to invite Brownhills. Image by Steve Craddock.

The Clayhanger Kid – perhaps better known to readers of The Brownhills Blog as Brian Stringer – has been in touch with a bit of an odd request. Brian initially wrote to me a couple of weeks ago to tell me about a public meeting he’s organising to discuss Walsall Council’s approach (or lack thereof) towards the Staffordshire Hoard. As I’ve documented previously, Brian would like to see a bigger Brownhillian involvement with the treasure as it was found so locally.

Brian wrote:

Hi Bob,

Sorry to keep banging on but I’ve not given up on the Anglo Saxon Hoard just yet. Responding to the letter in last weeks advertiser I’ve got together with half a dozen supporters and have decided to call a public meeting in the Park View centre on the 9th Oct at 7pm.

The aim of the meeting is to try and kick start WMBC into action and encourage them to show some of the hoard in the New Art Gallery, Walsall. We’d also like to find some way of erecting some sort of permanent monument or plaque on or near the site.

The meeting should give us some idea of the support we may get, and possibly by raising awareness, put pressure on the powers that be, even if it is limited to just a response.

I’ve arranged for Dr. Della Hooke to come and give a talk, throw the floor open to the public to have their say, and listen to anything constructive they may come up with.

I know a lot of your bloggers may be interested so would be obliged glad if you could give us a mention.

Cheers Bob


Brian wrote to me again today, and posed this rather interesting question. Regulars will remember that I was a tad miffed at New Year when I found that a beacon had been lit on the site of the Hoard’s discovery near the Warrenhouse, unannounced to the people of Brownhills. It seems that this beacon was organised and erected by Hammerwich Parish Council.

Brian is appealing to readers to see if they know the owner of the beacon itself – still in the field, although now stood at a somewhat jaunty angle:

Hi Bob,

I wonder if any of your readers may be able to help. The public meeting on Tues the 9th of October is still on but before then I’m trying to find out who erected the Beacon on the site of the Hoard find, who it belongs to, and what if anything, they intend doing with it.

I’m told it may belong to Hammerwich Parish Council but I can’t seem to get in touch, and I’m sure someone who reads your blog could help.

By the way, [Referring to my question in the aerial photo post from Saturday] that is a caravan site on the picture. It used to be where Rose Drive and Dingle Rd are now.

Cheers Bob,


So, not to put too fine a point on it, can you help? I’ll give Brian’s meeting a better plug closer to the event, but it the meantime, if you do know who owns the fire basket in the field, comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


The beacon – which can’t have been cheap to make – is central in this crop and blow-up from a much bigger picture, just above the two bushes. But who does it belong to?

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5 Responses to Whose beacon is it anyway?

  1. Mick K says:

    Is the beacon the one that was originally outside Hammerwich Parish Church

  2. Exile says:

    I suspect Lichfield District Council may know, as it was erected as part of the chain of official beacons to celebrate the recent jubilee event.

  3. Vance Wasdell(Chairman HPC) says:

    Allow me to answer these questions,the beacon was erected at Hammerwich Parish church in 1999 for the millenium,we were asked to consider a beacon for the Jubilee and the origianal idea was to light it again at the church,however their insures refused cover so the PC asked Mr. Johnson if we could light it in the Hoard field,he agreed to this on the basis it was not a public event,given the lack of parking space,faced with this choise HPC decided this was better than doing nothing and that was done,only those who Fred Johnson invited should have been there,and unless your photoghrapher was invited he was tresspassing,Fred’s land,Fred’s conditions.All of this was publiclly debated at several PC meetings.
    With regard to the future as those who took the trouble to attend the Sept meeting of HPC are aware it was decided that the condition of the beacon makes it unfit for further use,some of the iron work has corroded away and the top of the post got charred so I intend to see Mr.Jonhson with a view to scrapping it,if anyone wants it they could attend the next meeting of HPC and put there wishes to us.
    Getting in touch with us requires very little efought,there are notices on Parish notice boards,minutes are available in the post office where I am a well know regular customer,Parish Council Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month(exept August) at the W.I. Hall in Burntwood Road Hammerwich 7:30pm start and the public are welcome to attend.

  4. brian stringer says:

    Thanks for enlightening us. We may consider a repair if you don’t want it. We will have a word with Fred if that’s OK. Anyone from HPC wishing to attend our meeting in the Park View Centre on 9th Oct will be more than welcome.

  5. Vance Wasdell(Chairman HPC) says:

    Pleased to be of help,If you wish to see Fred about it all well and good.I will try and catch him myself and put him in the picture,regretably I can’t make the 9th,but as a totally personal comment I would like to see the hoard displayed at local venues Walsall,Brownhills etc,any other comments or concerns about Hammerwich please bring them to my/our attention and we will do our best to address them.

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