When Chasewater became Monaco… and what of the Dolric?

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If I recall correctly, this was The Dolric cafe, now Brownhills Nursing Home. Image from Google Streetview.

I’ve had a great and fascinating email from Mark Morgon-Shaw, which I’m just going to throw out to readers. This is, I have to say, local history dynamite. Mark primarily writes about Brian Crighton, the motorbike engineering genius, but Mark mentions some stuff I forgot all about. The Dolric? Eddie Kidd at the stadium?

If Brian is reading this, we’d love to hear from you.

Any comments or thoughts? Comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers. Thanks to Mark for a wonderful, thought-provoking contribution.

Mark wrote:

Hi Bob

Stumbled across your blog – some great memories

You asked if anyone knew what Brian, the guy with the Norton Bike  on the video is up to these days… last I heard he was still living in Burntwood and restoring bikes that had been fire damaged at the Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

My Dad used to own Walsall motorcycles in Caldmore Road in the mid-late 70s and is still friends with Brian who he got to know through the trade when we lived in Brownhills West from 71 to 85. The other main thing I remember about Silver Court was going to the dentist!

My Dad closed his shop whilst it was still making money and ended up eventually working at Norton in Shenstone. Brian soldiered on but when his business went bust my Dad recommended him for a job at Norton and the rest is history.

They still get in touch every once in a while or sometimes go to a bike show together.

I have some fond memories of Brownhills:

Going to the Arcade at Chasewater to play on the space invaders – playing tug of war vs a Steam Roller at the Chasewater Rally (imagine the risk assessment now!)

Seeing Eddie Kidd’s stunt show at the track nearby – also saw them film some speedboat shots for the movie ‘Condorman’ on Chasewater which doubled for Monaco!

Watching them build Hillards.

One of sisters classmates being killed by lightening on the field at Brownhills Comprehensive.

Doing cross country down by the canal or down the black path and up The Parade.

2p bus rides to anywhere.

Range Records.

Currys in the precinct.

Watching the guy in Market on Saturday with the mic to catch the free stuff he threw into the crowd.

Tandy on the corner in the High Street.

The Dolric Cafe in Brownhills West with it’s pool tables and tabletop arcade machines (old folks home now).

Anyway – nice to read your blog, hope the info about Brian was useful… might be a little out of date but that was last I heard.


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20 Responses to When Chasewater became Monaco… and what of the Dolric?

  1. Steve says:

    Was the Doric a local night club at one point,I was trying to think what the shop was called on the high street and as you have stated it was Tandy’s thanks

  2. Mickysix says:

    The Dolric. run by Dolly Platt (Dol) (Ric) from Eric Platt who ran the transport company out back. 2 sons (I think). Eric was one of the main persons behind the water club at Chasewater and if i remember he was a commadore there at one time.
    I remember The co-op underneath the Labour Exchange, with it’s change machine which when you paid your bill the cash went in a tin, clipped to a track over head and off it went to the paydesk, and your change came back to the assistant who then gave you your change!
    Walking the track from Bottom of Peartree lane to the A5 for school at Watling St. Good days long gone

    • Lee Platt says:

      That was my Nan’s club. My memory of it as a young un was a cafe downstairs with a sweet shop at the front and a bar and restraunt upstairs. The food was superb. I am Lee Platt!

  3. Paul Green says:

    People always mention Range Records but does anyone remember it a long time before that time as Chasmick’s…

    • Lee Platt says:

      Range records was a good old fashioned music shop, as was the other a bit further down the high street. That was mainly vinyl though. At Range you could haggle with them. I remember us waiting outside patiently for them to open so we could get the first copy of the new Wonder stuff album.

  4. Paul Butterworth (who got me through my motorcycle test, yeahh!) who ran (and still runs I think?) Shireoak Motorcycle Training at the Brownhills Activity Centre off the Minor Island, worked closely with Brian Crighton on the rotary engined Norton. Maybe a chat with him may give more info.

    • Paul Butterworth says:

      Hello Chris,
      this is Paul Butterworth, i am no longer based at the Brownhills Activity Centre for CBT’s.
      I am now based at the unit 1 Gatehouse trading estate, Lichfield road in Brownhills.
      It would be nice to keep in touch Chris

  5. Ade Reid says:

    I well remember that tragic day of the lightning strike at Brownhills Comp as it struck both my brother Simon,and his best mate Christopher.Simon is still here today but sadly not Christopher.A terrible terrible time for all involved,..

    • Janine says:

      I also remember it very clearly. I should’ve been out on the field with Chris practising javelin but we had a school concert coming up so i opted for orchestra practice instead. Just dreadful. I didn’t know anyone else was hurt, glad Simon was ok.

      • Ade Reid says:

        Hi Janine. Simon was rushed to hospital and kept in for observation but was discharged a few days later with minor burns to his hands.Apparently the lightning struck his javelin and bounced off and hit Christopher.Simon has no memory of that day only the happy memories of him and Chris as best mates..

  6. stuart cowley says:

    I had my 21st birthday party at Platt’s in 1981 and my parents had their wedding reception there in 1950, my mother originated from Hednesford Rd.
    I remember Shoppers World in the high st

  7. emell says:

    Cross country runs,that takes me back.From the Comp down the A5 to the canal tow path up to the basin at Chasewater and back up Whitehorse Rd and then down the A5 back to the Comp and not a PE teacher in sight lol.

  8. emell says:

    Anyone remember the sweet shop next to Caters HiFi shop in the high street,now a dentists…….

  9. aerreg says:

    You have stired the old memory bank again I remember the orignal dol platts cafe an early morning assembly point for electric gas council baker workers for their bacon sandwiches and tales to swap I can smell that fragrence still happy days and memories thanks god bless

    • Pedro says:

      Hi Reg, you got me thinking of one 16th June on the riverbank at the break of daylight. Another season starting, and one of the lads was a butcher. About 9.00 o’clock he started a big fry up.

      Fishermen from far and near were attracted to the fragrance of the bacon!

  10. michael collingswood says:

    I remember the Dolric very well, for a time we held our C.B club there, I always knew the owner as Stan Platt, he was a friend of my fathers, he also had a politically incorrect nickname. One of his twin sons is Dave Platt, now a professional darts player in Australia and doing well for himself. The poor lad who was struck by lightning at the comp lived directly opposite us in Anglesey rd, he was a schoolmate of my younger brother his name was Christopher Bird.

    • Lee Platt says:

      Sorry Michael, I’m going to have to correct you on that. Dolly & Eric Platt were the of the owners of the Dolric. Stan and Floss helped run the club upstairs

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  12. David Boughey parker says:

    The Doric is where i did my pub training it was my partners family run business i moved from Yorkshire to live there in 1984 the Platt’s

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