A son of The Wood


Walsall Wood Bridge before reconstruction – a remarkable image featured in Clive’s book, from the Bill Mayo archive.

I’ve finally bought my own copy of Clive Roberts’ book ‘ Snippets of History In and around Walsall Wood’ which I review here today – I must say the 79 page £8 book is a cracker – and it’s available right now.

Clive is lifelong Walsall Wood man, and has spent years researching his family tree; as a separate pursuit, he loves exploring local history and has contributed much to this blog. Clive’s contributions are always interesting, well thought out and considered, and this, his second local history book is no different.

Clive’s first work ‘Snippets of History in and around Shire Oak’ was a fascinating and remarkably thorough look at the area around the pub, and gained much praise from readers and local historians alike.


Clive makes use of lots of great archive material like Tithe Maps.

This time out, Clive looks at Walsall Wood from his usual quirky angle, and it’s a fascinating journey. There’s stuff in here about a lost local pub, The Wheel Inn, including some intimate personal history; the surprisingly long history of Friezland Lane; a fascinating physical geography exploration of Walsall Wood Bridge; the history of a lost Institute and material on local football and all interspersed with great postcards and photos – many unpublished before – and some intriguing archive news material.

It’s all written in a very personable, inimitable Walsall Wood style, and I enjoyed reading the book immensely. It’s so good to have new local history books being written by people who engage with their communities rather than just being compilations by outsiders, and the local knowledge here shines through and is refreshing, honest and charming.


This image – I’ve cropped the talking point off so as not to spoil it – is from a stereoscopic card, and contained an amazing bit of local history. That Clive spotted it at all is testament to his approach and expertise. All is revealed in the book.

I recommend that if you have any interest whatsoever in Walsall Wood and its past, you snap up a copy of ‘Snippets of History In and around Walsall Wood’ while you still can – I keep banging on about this, but local history books only exist in limited runs, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. I’ve paid way over the odds for many local history books just to secure copies for the blog, and I regularly get enquiries for where to get them.

While you have the chance, take it.

Clive’s book is £8 and can be bought from Egans shop, High Street, Brownhills; Walsall Wood Library; the Corner Shop, Friezland Lane, Shire Oak and also Walsall Local History Centre. Failing that, leave a comment here and I’m sure Clive will reply.

Thanks to Clive for such wonderful book, and I look forward to his next work…


Out now – get a copy while you can!

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.

16 Responses to A son of The Wood

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    congratulations to Clive for this super book..and for possibly including another Walsall Wood mon at work in the images …is this our very own David Oakley driving his bus over the “cut” bridge? Amazing!
    best wishes to Clive
    kind regards

  2. Ann Cross says:

    Hi Bob, got mine now, I sent a cheque to Clive and he posted a copy to me very promptly.
    Looking forward to the read!
    Best wishes

  3. Clive says:

    Hello Bob. Thanks for the write up on my book, so pleased you enjoyed reading it. You never know i may write a book on Brownhills next mate.

  4. leonardstretton leonardstretton@hotmail.co.uk says:

    Great read clive , thanks for wayne for getting my copy , looking forward to reading your next book
    when available .

  5. Ann Cross says:

    Hi Bob, thanks to Clive for a great book.
    Interesting to see that my great grandmother’s second husband James Welsh had made the acquaintance of the local courts long before he was landlord of the Royal Exchange! Page 55 of Clive’s book, when he was about 26 years old, caught gambling with dice for money by candlelight on the Recreation Ground! We already knew of his drunken behaviour at the pub in 1893 and 1894 and of course the infamous “blind pony and drunken man” in 1895! (Page 59 in Clive’s book). Quite a character!

  6. Clive says:

    Hello Ann. so pleased your enjoying my book. Can you send me an email, as l have found some info on the landlords of the Royal Exchange for you.

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  8. Clive says:

    Hello readers of the Blog. Walsall Wood Library as now recieved some more of my books, as the first batch have all been sold.

  9. Clive says:

    Hello readers of the Brownhillsbob blog. Egans of Brownhills high street have now recieved a fresh supply of my book; Snippets of history in and around Walsall Wood. Thank you Bob.

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