A very interesting request for help came in last week from Bonita Clayton of Brownhills Community Association, who as you’ll know, are based at the former Brownhills Central Boy’s School, or as my generation knew it, the Annexe, which is just by the Miner Island in Brownhills.
These days, the fine old school building is known as Brownhills Activity Centre and hosts a whole range of great local activities and clubs, and is a real hub for all things community in Brownhills.
Bonita has decided she’d like to make a booklet, detailing the history of the school, and is interested in contacting anyone with memories of the place.
I wondered if you could help. I have been thinking about doing a booklet on the history of the Brownhills Activity Centre with information and old pictures for people using the centre to pick up and have a read.
This is a lovely old building at the top of Brownhills and as the years go by its history is lost.
Do you know anyone that might have a story to tell or have any old pictures of children and staff, or would anyone have any information about dates and events covering the past years?
Bonita R Clayton
Brownhills Community Association
Chester Road North
Telephone 01543 452119
Well, we’ve had discussions about the old school previously. There are articles and pictures of the Mr. Massey days here concerning a prize giving, yet another prize giving here and another here about an amateur radio club operating there. There is an extensive comment thread about the school to this article containing a photo of the staff too.
If you can help Bonita assemble a booklet by sharing any memory – no matter how small – please do contact her, or comment here. This is an important bit of local history which I’m keen to preserve and expand upon.
I visited the Activity Centre in 2010, and took some photos of the building which I posted to the blog at the time; I’ve posted them in a gallery at the top of the article in order that they may jog some memories.
I’ve included the latest newsletter from the Community Association below, just so interested folks can see the range and diversity of stuff going on there.
Please, comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!
have you any pictures of brownhills central school for boys from 1959 to 1963
I went there for one year starting in September 1973. We went over to the ‘Comp’ the September after. Teachers included Mr Massey, Mr Smith, Mrs Emberton, Mrs Morton. Among my classmates (class 1E) were Lynn Ball, Linda Hewitt, Lyn Derry, Alison Blair, Jane Carpenter, Michael Hughes, Donavon Thomas, Dean Bache, Michael Hamm, Paul Gomery and Matt Chalke. I have no pictures I’m afraid but lots of memories. Playing ‘British Bull Dog’ in the playground. Trekking over to Burntwood baths for games and swimming. The huge radiators which could scald your skin off in winter. The bike sheds which were used for smoking in more than anything else until Mr Massey appeared with his cane. The walls around the concrete play ground seemed huge, I seem to recall a target being painted on one wall. I lived at Brownhills West and would walk to and from school. Home time we would walk down the Chester Road and across the path past the football pitch onto Watling Street then down Hednesford Road, turning left at the ‘Monkey’ and getting sweets from Mrs Jones shop on Wilkin Road with Paul Gomery, Michael Hughes and others. Quick change then we’d be off over Chasewater to play football or sometimes we’d just play in the ‘garages’ on Medway Road. Happy times they were too.
Hi Bonita i started my first year at the central school as an 11 year old in 1971 .the last year as an all boys school .my lasting memory is “the torture tree ” which i believe is still there in the corner of the playground .if it was your birthday you would be stripped almost naked pulled through the forked tree and struck with branches all in front of the teachers .