I’ve known about this for a few weeks now, but held off spilling the good news to readers until copies were available to buy – but I can now reveal that there’s a fascinating new history book on the subject of Brownhills now available, compiled by local historian Bill Mayo.
The book is a transcription of a diary kept by local shopkeeper Sid Pritchard and the wry, witty and touching journal is interspersed with some excellent, never before published images from Bill’s collection.
It really is a wonderful thing and I commend it to readers of the blog. It’s priced at a pocket-pleasing £8 and you can get it from Brownhills Library at the Parkview Centre in Brownhills (the old Council House) or contact me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com and I’ll pass any messages on to Bill.
Regular readers and local history aficionados will know that Bill compiled and wrote ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ with John Sale, and has worked with his wife Clarice and fellow local historian Geoff Harrington on two great Brownhills books, ‘Memories of Brownhills Past‘ and ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’.
A little bird tells me the young David Evans helped work on transcription, too, and frankly, I just don’t know how he fits everything in! As soon as I get my hands on a copy, I’ll give it a full review here.
Here’s what David Evans had to say about the new book:
From what was nearly lost
I received a phone call from Bill Mayo, well-known local historian, a month or so ago, to see some old documents. I was at his house within the blink of an eye! What he had to show me was truly amazing – a large pile of handwritten notes, some in ledgers, some on loose leaf foolscap paper, some in torn and worn diaries; all the observations of a Brownhills High Street shopkeeper, detailing places, people and characters of the Brownhills he had known in his lifetime.
Sid Pritchard, the original diarist had passed away in 1987. However, these notes had fortunately been rescued at the last minute, and Bill Mayo was invited to review them. A request was made that the notes be published in a book, dedicated to the memory of Sid Pritchard.
Transcribing the multitude of notes and deciphering some of the barely legible handwriting has been a challenging but immensely gratifying task.
There has been no transposition or correction made to the original notes in order to help preserve the original character of this perceptive and witty author in his colourful description of some of the people and places in Brownhills as he takes a ‘…walk from the Rising Sun to the Shire Oak Pub’. It is these notes that are now being published by Bill Mayo in his latest book,
‘Old Brownhills. The life and times of Sid Pritchard’ is out now at Brownhills Library price £8.