Occasionally on the Brownhills Blog we strike a little bit of gold that sets things alight for a bit – this has happened over a variety of disparate topics; the Brownhills Carnival video, and the later cinefilm from the Brownhills Camera Club; the studies of the Harrison Empire, and the Lost Stonnall Hoard.
I rarely know what’s coming next, but there always seems to be something good not too far away.
When the young David Evans unearthed a copy of the Brownhills Gazette a few weeks ago, I was really, really pleased; little did I realise this would lead, through the generosity of Brian Stringer, to the whole cannon of this lost newspaper being scanned and made available via the blog.
What has surprised me is the continued interest; we’ve had 8 issues now, and the interest remains as keen and has actually increased, where I had imagined it might wane. I’m so pleased, as the brownhills Gazette was a major inspiration behind this blog and I read every issue.
John Sylvester was the motive force behind Baker Bond, the company that produced the Gazette and sister titles from the print shop in Laburnum Cottage, on the corner of High Street and New Road in Brownhills, and he recently sent some lovely photos and had this to say:
I was delighted to see you are showing copies of the Brownhills Gazette on your web site a publication I started not long after leaving the Post & Mail Group after 25 years’ service and starting my own company Baker Bond along with three colleagues who joined me in the venture.
I left the Post & Mail group for a similar reason to you starting the web site, I had lost faith in the way local newspapers were going, today is even worse and in my opinion the local weekly newspaper is dead, and web sites like yours will grow in importance to the community.
I attach 9 pictures for you should you wish to use any of them I also enclose a press cutting of a picture taken at the now defunct Brownhills cricket club. I do have a number of other photographs along with a considerable number taken at Walsall Wood Fc a club that was and in fact still is very dear to me.
Brian Stringer and I are still friends and still meet on a regular basis so feel sure we will be able to help with any further information you may need.
Special thanks to John, Brian Stringer and to David Evans, without any of which none of this would have been possible, and my particular gratitude to them for sharing a wonderful thing, that’s part of our community history.
There is one last image John sent, that’s really of interest to local sports fans – it’s a celebration at Brownhills Cricket Club in 1979:
That has to be worth a comment from local cricket fans! If you have any memories, questions or observations please do comment or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.