I’d like to wish all blog readers, contributors and friends a merry Christmas and a very happy, peaceful and prosperous new year – may 2016 bring all you hope for.
As each year passes, I get more and more surprised the blog is still going, and still growing. It really wouldn’t be possible at all without the help of the many contributors, associates, commentators, mates and co-conspirators. This thing is a team effort and I never lose sight of that.
This shambling, rambling edifice continues to stand on the shoulders of work done by fantastic people like Gerald Reece, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, Andy Dennis, Ian Pell, David Evans, John and Paul Anslow, Ruth Penrhyn-Lowe, Dave Moore and Brian Stringer. But it also relies on tipoffs with news, gossip, historical titbits and all manner of wonderful ephemera from a whole host of readers.I thank you all, for all of it: from the hysterical to historical, from the sad to the joyful.
Traffic has been good again this year – we’re nearly at three million hits, and this year should complete on course for about 940,000: we did about 890,000 in 2014, so things are still growing. In that year, two large news events alone accounted for about 180,000 hits, and thankfully we’ve had no news of such magnitude this year, so the blog is growing more than might be immediately apparent, but I feel sure it’s peaking now. There can’t be many more people to reach interested in the eclectic and rambling stuff I generate about Brownhills.
This has been a difficult year for me personally, with work taking up more and more of my time. A friend recently pointed out that I don’t actually write much stuff of my own at the moment, that it’s mostly contributions here: he’s right. Things slacken off in the New Year, so I intend to get back to writing more again.
I’m knackered right now. I need a rest.
To anyone whose subject they feel abandoned, or anything I’ve forgotten, please don’t hesitate to contact me and remind me. I’m over local social media like a bad case of measles or you can mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. It’s hard to keep up sometimes and I am very forgetful. I appreciate reminders.
These people, for comments, local blogs or other support should all be noted; The Stymaster, Richard ‘Wee ginger sausage’ Burnell, David Oakley, the loyal and fearless [Howmuch?], Trev in Aus (we’re all rooting for you mate), Paul Ford, Linda Mason, Aiden MacHaffie, The Plastic Hippo (Best blogger in the Midlands), Jayne Howarth, Kate Goodall, Susan Marie Ward, Kate ‘Lichfield Lore’ Gomez, The YamYam, Walsall Local History Centre and many others.
We have continued to explore our area, rattle a few cages, and most of all, I think we’ve largely been having fun. Thanks for riding along with me, for the trust you place and respect you show.
In the face of stuff getting stolen, copied and ripped off for a few easy likes elsewhere, I will continue to pursue full debate and research here – to do this history we share justice. I keep this blog because I adore it, and love the conversation. This isn’t a popularity thing, and I can’t please everyone. I will continue in the manner to which I have become accustomed; impertinent, irreverent, opinionated and erratic, but searching, open and respectful to those who generate all the wonderful history that’s so abundant now.
Remember, if people like us weren’t doing the work, the magpies would have nothing to steal.
Take it easy, have a great time, and sharpen up for the the 2015/6 grand New Year Quiz, the format of which will change a little this year to give the underdogs more of a chance, but it will still be fiendish! As always, there will be top prizes of Backyard ale, books and other fantastic stuff.
Thanks, and best wishes to you all.