Staffordshire Hoard public meeting tonight!

The Clayhanger Kid – perhaps better known to readers of The Brownhills Blog as Brian Stringer is, with other interested parties, tonight holding a public meeting about the Staffordshire Hoard at the Parkview Centre in Brownhills, at 7pm.

Brian initially wrote to me a couple of weeks ago to tell me about the meeting discussing 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


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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17 Responses to Staffordshire Hoard public meeting tonight!

  1. Rob says:

    I really don’t see the point here.
    It wasn’t found in Walsall, it was in another county.
    It’s been on show in Birmingham, which covers the West Midlands, and any other displays have taken place in Staffordshire, as that’s where it was found.
    There’s no connection, historical or geographical, concerning Walsall, who I’d have thought had enough issues of its own to keep its council occupied.

  2. pedro says:

    One geographical connection could be that Walsall was once in Staffordshire, as Birmingham was in Warwickshire.

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    I don’t get this fretting over ownership. So far, we can only speculate on when and why it was buried, why in that place, where it was bound, and who might have owned it. I suggest the most obvious base is Tamworth, which was the seat of power in the Kingdom of Mercia and the castle, although itself a later building, seems a fitting place for display. Lichfield may have been an important ecclesiastical centre by the time the hoard was hidden. Walsall appears not to have existed at all and the rest were at best tiny blips on the map. The ancestors of almost, if not everyone living in Brownhills and environs today lived somewhere else back then. No problem with visiting displays at Walsall and other galleries and museums, provided satisfactory security is availble.

  4. martin says:

    Sorry, can’t see the point either, it’s got nothing to do with Walsall.
    Given it was found in Stafforshire I’d go with the suggestion of housing it in Tamworth, if anything.
    The Hoard probably belongs in a museum, but certainly not in an art gallery, and not in Walsall.

  5. As far as I know the Hoard has now been bought and paid for by Birmingham and Stoke and they are going to hang on to it.

    I think the main question in the Brownhills/Walsall MBC area is that the vast majority of people living within a mile or so of the discovery site are Brownhills people. A visiting exhibition within the Walsall MBC area and recognition of the close geographical link between Brownhills and the hoard site is the least that should be expected.

    Display of the hoard was only one of two main issues raised at the meeting. The other was a proposal to have a permanent marker for the discovery site. I would hope that everyone will be able to agree that this is a plan that is needed, whatever patch of turf they claim as their own.

    David Hodgkinson

  6. pedro says:

    While a Visitor Centre and regeneration of the area could be emotive subjects, the request that there should be some kind of memorial and information placed outside of the field itself, and directing the view to the spot where the Hoard was found, could surely be of no objection.

    This would not about Walsall but something of immense national interest. I am sure that people from all over the country would make a detour to visit.

  7. Ayup, folks.

    My views on some of the wilder guff surrounding the Hoard are well known.

    I’ve never thought Brownhills/Walsall could feasibly – or indeed, should – have bought or obtained the hoard, and displayed it in some custom visitor centre. Walsall never had the money, and the gold would always need to be within spitting distance of the academics who’re studying it. On that basis, it was always going to be in Birmingham, I felt.

    However, cycling hereabouts, one does tend to meet people looking for the site of the discovery, and I do think Brian’s push for a monument – whatever form that takes – is a good, worthwhile idea. People must be quite disappointed to come here and find nothing but a field full of horse manure and Hammerwich’s cast off beacon at 70 degrees.

    Further, Walsall was given the wonderful new art gallery – itself holding a collection to rival the Hoard in value. Security would surely be fine, and I, like many, are sad that walsall appear to be showing no interest in pulling in the mobile exhibition into the town. it would be good for business, if nothing else.

    I really feel that issue should be confronted. It’s the citizen’s gallery and wouldn’t hurt to reflect the fact. This wouldn’t be a permanent thing. Let’s face it, Lichfield Cathedral made lots of money out of it, and their security can’t be that fantastic.

    I’m with Andy, Pedro and David.



  8. Rob says:

    Starting to sound like sour grapes and envy because it wasn’t found in Brownhills.
    As for those looking for the site, I’d have thought a bit of research before setting off would be in order, not difficult in the age of smart phones etc.
    If, when they do find it, they’re quite disappointed with a field full of horse manure they shouldn’t be. It was a field of horse manure that the hoard was found in.
    if that really is too unacceptable there’s always Drayton Manor up the A5 or Alton Towers slightly further afield, which is probably more their style.

  9. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Has anyone asked the owner of the field for his views?

    • Hi David

      Yes, if you recall the articles about Brian’s campaign you’ll find Brian has been talking to Fred. He was also mentioned in the enquiry about ht e beacon. It’s linked from the piece above.



  10. pedro says:

    Hi Rob,

    I have no connection with the Northern Wastes of Walsall, but I’ve done a bit of walking in my time with an OS map and a compass; needs a bit of research when you do that, but still got lost at times!

    Came across Bosworth Field; didn’t have to pay the £2.50 parking travelling by Shanks’s. Never went into the Visitor Centre, just stood looking over what seemed to be a field of spuds.

    Passed Alton Towers on the Staffordshire Way, but never went in.

    Passed over Powick Bridge and saw this monument…

    Now you’ve got me thinking!

    • Rob says:

      Yes, I’ve had to backtrack a few times in the Lake District and what felt like most of Perthshire.

      Those locations were usually a fair few miles from traffic islands and trunk roads though!

      • pedro says:

        Ah the Lake District!

        On the second day of the “Coast to Coast” me old mucker (who is now brown bread) fell on Red Pike. We made the best of our way to Scarth Gap, but could not face the climb up Haystacks. Decided to pass the Black Sail Hut and climb up Loft Beck. Added about 5 extra mile, how stupid can you get?

        Could have gone down to Buttermere and got a taxi!

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