Make a present of the past


A fantastic book with lots of unique research. Image posted on Twitter by Walsall Local History Centre.

This is a reminder that currently available hereabouts, there are some great local history books that would make excellent Christmas presents for local history buffs or folk who just want to remember, or learn about our local history.

Selling well at the moment is Clive L. Roberts’ fantastic book ‘Snippets of Local History In and around Brownhills’ which I’ve now had chance to read – it’s a fine work. Covering subjects as diverse as the Anchor Tollgate, the lost foundry that made the Chasewater steamboat and a doomed scrap-picking mission at Superalloys. There is a remarkable and very thorough section on Pike Helve, the lost row of houses at the bottom of Pier Street and the history of the rickety footbridge that crossed the canal there.

The whole book is interspersed with great pictures, historic newspaper adverts and maps. It costs just £8 and can be bought from Walsall Wood Library, Brownhills Library, the DEI Corner shop Friesland Lane, Egan’s shop in Brownhills High Street and Walsall Local History Centre.

Clive also notes that:

There are just a few left of Snippets of History in and around Walsall Wood, they can be obtained from the above places except Brownhills Library.

My first book Snippets of History in and around Shire Oak as sold out, but you can get a copy in PDF format on DVD from Walsall Wood Library and Egan’s in the High Street Brownhills.

You can also leave a note here on this post and I’ll hook you up with Clive.


Just one of the great, rare photos in Clive’s book. I think we all remember that bridge…

Chris Mayo-Poole also notes that there are some copies of her Dad Bill’s latest work left, but you need to be quick. ‘Old Brownhills – The Life and Times of Sid Pritchard’ has proven popular and there are just a handful of copies left.

The book is a charming and engaging view through the eyes of an old Brownhills shopkeeper, and has been carefully transcribed by Bill Mayo and the young David Evans.

It’s also £8, and can be obtained either from the One Stop store on Chester Road, Shire Oak or by contacting Chris directly. Copies on eBay are already going for £11, so get in quickly. If you want a copy, please comment here or mail me and I’ll put you in touch.


A fine book, with just a few copies left.

There’s also the Sue Satterthwaite book about the great war history of Aldridge Manor, which I featured a request for help with over the summer and is proving to be a real eye-opener. I’m halfway through it at the moment and it’s a crucial book for local historians.

You can find out more at the Aldridge Great War Project’s website here.

‘A Patriotic Endeavour – Aldridge Manor House as a Military Hospital’ is £9.99 and can be bought from Aldridge Library, Croft News, Lynda’s, Simply Delicious, Thomas Project, Walsall Garden Centre, Walsall Local History Centre and Waterstones. All proceeds to Aldridge Great War Project.


A wonderful community history project bearing fruit.

There’s also a book about on the subject of Pelsall’s pubs called ‘Last orders, Please’ by Annita Bates, which I know very little about other than I saw a Facebook post plugging it – but it looks like a good one.

Richard Webster from RW Print in Norton Road, Pelsall posted:

We’ve just taken delivery of a limited edition book containing the history of Pelsall’s pubs, clubs and inns. Priced at £10 each an ideal stocking filler!


Looks like a good one.

If you’re interested in the above books, please visit the outlets named, comment here or mail me and I’ll do my best to connect you with the authors. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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7 Responses to Make a present of the past

  1. Clive says:

    Hello Bob. Thank you for your kind words about my latest book. and thank you for putting it on the blog. if I bump into you one day I will buy you a pint mate.

  2. Clive says:

    Hello Bob and readers of the Blog. Just to let you all know there are only 50 books left on Brownhills, I’m pleased to say. and just 2 books on Walsall Wood.
    Big thank you to all the folk that have purchased a copy of my books.

  3. Clive says:

    Hello Bob and readers of the Blog. Just a quick one to let you know, Snippets of History in and around Walsall Wood as now sold out. But can be puchased on DVD in PDF format.
    Snippets of History in and around Brownhills is selling fast but there are a few still out there.
    Big thank you to Brownhills Bob.

  4. Alan H says:

    Waterstones Walsall doesn’t have Bates’ book in stock. I’d like to get a copy as I was active in the old Pelsall CAMRA branch in the seventies. Any idea of stockists?

  5. philip plested says:

    I would like purchase some post cards of Walsall Wood High st you had on1 of your pages,d1950 to present day,as i cannot find the page they were on,being a old Walsall waller,still remember the old Walsall wood i was born in,can you help,as i live in London now.Phil.

  6. Christine Stretton says:

    Hi Bob any chance you could put me in touch with Clive Roberts ? It’s concerning a photo

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