Casting aspersions – the University of Brownhills Prospectus 1979-80

University of Brownhills Prospectus_000001

I can’t see any company producing anything like this today – it’s quite remarkable.

I honestly haven’t got a clue what’s going on here at all – which is not totally unusual, let’s face it – but this one has me baffled, perplexed, astonished and smiling.

I have been given this comic prospectus, for the ‘University of Brownhills’ by a friend who found it in a charity shop. It’s a small booklet, A5 size, with a gloss card cover, consisting of in-jokes about the company and staff, with professional cartoons drawn by a noted artist.

The text is amusing, and well written.

Butler Foundries were, as far as I can ascertain, a metal casting company situated in Collier Close, just off Coppice Side in Brownhills, who seem to have disappeared around the early 2000s. They were a fairly large, well known company in my youth, and I knew a few with relatives who worked there. Their premises now seem to be occupied by a hazardous waste transfer company.

Several of the jokes would probably be regarded as a little off-colour today, but it’s neat, amusing and I have no idea why it was made, or for what audience. Customers? Workers?

It’s a real bit of Brownhills history, and fits well with my request for more information on local factories and workplaces.

But honestly, I’ve never seen anything like this and would appreciate any memories, knowledge or anecdote anyone can add.

You know the drill: comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


University of Brownhills Butler Foundries Campus Prospectus 1979-80 PDF download

(or click the pages below for a larger version)

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9 Responses to Casting aspersions – the University of Brownhills Prospectus 1979-80

  1. Pedro says:

    You gorra laugh….Capability Brownhills!

  2. Pedro says:

    From BHO online…Walsall Wood: Economic history…

    There was an iron-foundry in Beech Tree Road for some time before 1952 when it was taken over by Stephen F. Butler & Co. Ltd., who converted it for use as an aluminium foundry. Butlers moved to Lindon Road in 1958 and to Brownhills in 1964.

  3. Pedro says:

    What amazing things you can learn here on the BrownhillsBob Blog..

    The illustration of Dr Spooner, famous for his blowholes, was actually painted by
    Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, (8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896) who was an English painter and illustrator and was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

    ….and talking of the Pre-Raphs, Birmingham Museums Trust holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art anywhere in the world, numbering over 3000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design. The Pre-Raphaelite galleries bring together highlights from this extraordinary collection to tell the story of the Brotherhood, their associates and followers, and their revolutionary contribution to British art.

    Speculation from “Fox News” has it that the collection, along with the Staffs Hoard, will be moved to Brownhills for safe keeping.

  4. Andy Dennis says:

    Cracking gags in there. Somebody must know.

  5. Pedro says:

    2016 New Year’s Quiz…Question 1

    What is the connection between a local pit and the architect of the Vice Chancellor”s House and Garden?

    Prize a bottle of Owd Roger Ale.

  6. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Butlers first foundry in Beech Tree Road may possibly show in the 1926 aerial photo of Walsall Wood…..see Cape Crusader article

  7. Steve Swain says:

    Great memories, you had to be a part of the’family’ though to appreciate some of the humour. Without the insider knowledge some of the humour would seem a little off today. The hockey team for example … Singh, Singh, Singh… Etc, there really were sports sections where the majority of members were indeed Singh, not racist , but having a laugh with the workforce, I knew many in the iron foundry who were indeed Singhs.
    The foundry was at that time one of many competing for orders, but this made them memorable. They like everyone else, had the glossy brochures of their plant and capabilities. This was a little extra to ‘get them noticed’. Potential buyers would remember the humerous ‘University of Brownhills’ giving Butler Foundries the edge.
    I knew and worked with all the people named in the book. I’m still in contact with some, the MD Chris Butler is still a client today, he has many photos and original Larry drawings from the book around his home. The waste management company referred to still has a sculpture of Butler castings in its reception to the main plant, a reminder of the sites history.

    • Howard Davis says:

      We are a firm of solicitors specialising in asbestos disease claims. We are instructed by a widow and sadly are investigating possible exposure to asbestos on behalf of the estate of her now deceased husband who developed a significant asbestos related medical condition before his death and which was referred to as one of the causes of death. He was employed le to provide evidence about his employment and work conditions at the foundry. We are seeking any recollections about the foundry, the working conditions there and/or details of any work colleagues that may be able to assist. If you may be able to help, please contact the solicitor dealing with the claim at or telephone 0151.653.5222.
      This is a serious enquiry, we are not a claims management company and have been assisting victims of asbestos exposure for over thirty years.

  8. rambo says:

    as a former student at the above university, only one name springs to mind who had the intelligence
    and foresight to write this script would be a former student known as buddy Roberts.
    I toiled at the uni for many years before I gained enlightenment and scarpered without a diploma

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