Readers may remember there was some debate of a historic appeal for a new stand at Walsall Wood F.C. recently, and whether it was the one that’s present today. Whilst chewing the fat over that, we also mused on how the club was funded, who started it and the involvement of Mr. F. G. Peake, of Walsall Wood Colliery.
I think this may prompt a few answers, and also some new questions. What a great find these two items represent.
I’ve commented quite a lot lately about how this blog stands on the efforts of it’s many contributors. Here’s a great example of collaborative working at its best. This piece contains material found by both David Evans and Peter ‘pedro’ Cutler. David wrote the passage asking the big questions, and Brownhills Dog transcribed the newspaper cutting.
My gratitude to all three of you!
David Evans wrote:
The amazing image above, which was featured in the official matchday programme of Walsall Wood Football Club’s memorable F.A. Vase Quarter Final match against Guernsey on Saturday, 2nd march 2013 attracted the attention of a remarkable blog researcher, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler. Peter subsequently located the press cutting below from September 1935.
There are so many fascinating details in the report that it, and the image above both merit close study. So many questions… Is the pavilion and dressing room shown in the image the one mentioned in the report? Who is the gentleman standing on the far left of the photo? Who are the players? Why is George Mycock not wearing his cap, for goodness sake? Are there any photos of the team in their original stripy strip, or their ‘new’ strip of 1935?
WALSALL WOOD F.C’s. NEW PAVILION.
Opened by Managing Director of Colliery.
HOT BATHS AND SHOWERS.
An outspoken statement as to the future of the Walsall Wood Colliery at which large numbers of men in the Brownhills district are employed, was made by Mr. F. G. Peake (managing director) when, on Saturday, he opened a new pavilion and dressing room which members of the Walsall Wood football club have erected by voluntary labour at a cost of about £80.
Mr Peake, after congratulating all concerned, said the ground on which the club played was provided from the Miners’ Welfare Fund. Originally the collieries were supposed to be making handsome profits. The money for the fund was provided partly out of the miners’ wages and partly from the owners’ profits. In the Walsall Wood district there had been very little profit in the last six or seven years. Walsall Wood was an old colliery with a broken up area, and many of the most valuable seams were worked out. It was only by the co-operation of the management and the men that the colliery could be carried on much longer. Collieries could not go on making losses or practically no profit for very long. There had been a certain amount of reserves, which, to a large extent, had saved the situation. He was hoping that with an improvement in trade the colliery would be able to carry on.
‘If we don’t make more money than we made during the past year,’ said Mr. Peake, ‘I don’t know what the life of the Walsall Wood Colliery is going to be.’
Congratulating the club on their successes last season, Mr. Peake expressed the hope that their record in the coming autumn and winter would be even better. Sport, he said, was the backbone of the British Public, and the important point was not whether a team won or lost, but whether they played the game.
Mr. R. Stokes, who presided, accorded a welcome to Mr. Peake, who, he said, had been president of the club since its inception, and had proved a true and loyal friend. The club had every reason to be proud of their new pavilion, which should prove a great acquisition. Members had worked hard in erecting it and looked forward to a continuance of loyal support. They were very satisfied with the play last season, and hoped during the coming months to do even better.
The new pavilion, which is a wooden structure on a brick foundation, with a verandah, provides dressing room accommodation both for the home and visiting sides, and also a bath and shower. It is equipped with a modern hot water system. The home dressing room can be used as a committee room.
At the opening ceremony, two cups won by the team last year- the Birmingham and District Junior Trophy and the Rugely Charity Cup – were exhibited.
Prior to a match win with Wellington Town Reserves the players and crowd of some four hundred stood in silent tribute to the memory of the late Mr. Edward Leonard, one of their oldest supporters.
Walsall Wood played in new colours-blue shirts with white knicks, instead of black and white stripes. They defeated Wellington Town by two goals to nil, as reported in another column.