Inn for a treat


A fine book, and a snip at £8. Available from Downes Newagents in Brownhills, Walsall Local History Centre and Walsall Leather Museum.

Well, thanks to top local history lad [Howmuch?], I have been loaned a copy of the Clive Roberts book to peruse for the the blog. It’s really very interesting, and a welcome addition to the cannon of historical works covering Brownhills and Walsall Wood.

‘Snippets of History in and around Shire Oak’ is a very comprehensive history of the pub at the crossroads of the Lichfield Road and Chester Road, and of the brewery that few realise towered over the pub for many years. The author has clearly undertaken lots of research from many disparate sources, and crafted them together well into an engaging, chatty and relaxed read.

There’s plenty of quirkiness too, with ephemera such as adverts, images of promotional objects (including a very interesting find by the author himself), historical pictures and anecdotes. Far from just concerning himself with the Inn, however, Clive turns his attention also to the matter of the tree that gave the pub and it’s hill the name, and also to events and stories from the immediate area.


Ouch – that’s got to hurt. A remarkable local image, from the wonderful work ‘Snippets of Local History in and around Shire Oak’ by CLive L Roberts.

I’m very impressed with the book, particularly after wondering what it was going to be like after first hearing about the project a couple of years ago. I had wondered if there was enough material, but the writer has more than met the task in hand, and created a lively, engaging history that represents its community and history well.

As with all authors I mention here, do buy a copy of Clive’s book while you can. It’s not a huge print run, and such books can be very hard and expensive to obtain when out of print. Copies of Gerald Reece’s ‘A walk in to History…’ for example, are currently changing hands for upwards of £40 on eBay. Do get a copy of this while it’s still at a sensible price!

The other reason to buy this – or any other local history book for that matter – is that we need to encourage local, small-scale writers and amateur historians. Reading this book, I feel sure that the author has more great work to come and if encouraged, I’m sure Clive will teach us much through his continued explorations in local history.

‘Snippets of Local History in and around Shire Oak’ by Clive L Roberts is available from Downes Newsagents in Brownhills High Street, Walsall Local History Centre, in Essex Street, Walsall, and Walsall Leather Museum, just on the ring road opposite Tesco in Walsall, priced at a pocket-pleasing eight quid.

My thanks to the boy [Howmuch?] for lending me his copy until I can get one myself.


What’s that you say? Free samples of whisky? Don’t mind if I do… A sales pitch from the Shire Oak Brewery, as featured in the book ‘Snippets of Local History in and around Shire Oak’ by CLive L Roberts.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Inn for a treat

  1. David Oakley says:

    Thanks for the review, Bob. Fascinating read for local historians. The mention of Joules Stone Ales, reminds me that Joules beer was a lower gravity compared to other breweries, and sold for a penny a pint cheaper. During the war, all breweries produced a proportion of low gravity beer, known locally as tenpenny beer, or “Smackers”. Hardened drinkers would not touch this product and would roam the neighbourhood looking for a pub who still had some of their allocation of full-strength beer on tap. A chalked cardboard notice on the pub door, ‘Smackers only’ meant just a
    smattering of mournful drinkers on the premises.

  2. Pedro says:

    Has Joule’s made a come back?

    “The famous red cross trade mark has started to re appear on pubs in its Staffordshire and Shropshire heartland, all that was missing was the re-emergence of the beer, a wait which ended on Monday 25th October 2010, 36 years to the day of the last Joule’s Brew in Stone.”

  3. Jeepboy says:

    @pedro – and it reopens the debate of the pronunciation – is it Jools (as in Holland) or Jowls (as in the bird). Back in the day, as a young beermat collector (we had proper hobbies in those days) I heard both used

    • Pedro says:

      And was it sold at the Barley Mow, pronounced Mow asin mow the lawn, or Mow as in cow?

      I’m strongly in the cow brigade!

      Regards Pedro

  4. Clive says:

    Hello Bob, thanks for the review on my book, (I`m blushing) so pleased you enjoyed the read.
    Best wishes Clive

  5. Pingback: Celebrating Triumph | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  6. Pingback: The life of Brian | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  7. Pingback: Woodmen of old | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  8. Pingback: An institution | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  9. Pingback: Pictures from Woodstock | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  10. Pingback: Scouting for history | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  11. Pingback: Postcards from the edge | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  12. Pingback: Sweet James | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  13. Pingback: Trouble brewing? | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  14. Pingback: Wood ‘n’ heart – a new book out now! | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  15. Pingback: A son of The Wood | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  16. Pingback: Just look at those haircuts! | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  17. Pingback: Personal delivery | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.