An absolutely fantastic enquiry came in a couple of weeks ago (see how far I am behind? Sorry) from Sue Clarke in Hilton, Cambridgeshire which blends a number of disparate topics covered here including ice cream, old cycle shops, local music and cinema.
I feel certain here readers like David Oakley and Reg Fullelove may be able to help, and all contributions very welcome.
For reference; we’re interested in all Brownhills history on the blog – at over 4,000 articles there’s almost everything covered! We remembered Ice Cream here, the High Street recalled by Reg Fuyllelove here, and lots of stuff on the musical history of Brownhills here with a lovely homage to Brownhills cinema here by Mick Stackhouse.
I’ll let Sue explain:
Hallo Brownhills Bob,
I’m contacting you as a starting point as I begin to research my family history. Having read about you on your Homepage I think I’m probably older than you.
My own memory of Brownhills ice cream was walking across a stretch of grass, maybe a common, to buy Selwyn’s Ice Cream… made in a metal oblong ‘scoop’ and then placed between wafers.
The Burton Boys in Stonnall enjoy a Selwyn Smith ice cream. Lovely 1958 film from Desmond Burton
My memories date back to the early 1950s when I visited my Granny Jones on Lichfield Road. I know that my grandfather and uncles were miners but on searching out more about my father’s family I find that they were miners over several generations and they all lived around Brownhills, Pelsall and Walsall. My uncles made a quartet and were called the Jones Boys/Jones Brothers and were popular playing for local gigs. My aunt played the piano for the silent films in the local cinema. On my mother’s side I believe that her father, my grandad Elford, had a bike/bike repair shop probably in the early 1930’s on, I think, the High Street.
I understand that I can go to the Walsall Council Archives and plan to do that in the New Year, in the meantime I wonder if you are able to put me in touch with any relevant Local History groups… I see there’s a Burntwood group… do you think that would be relevant to my geographical area?
I think you comment on the present times in Brownhills, I don’t Tweet on Twitter and am not very computer savvy so I’m not sure if your interest in Brownhills goes back to the early part of the last century but any thing you can tell me about the cinema and possibly my uncles’ music would be very welcome, as would anything else you think relevant.
Many thanks, I hope to hear from you
I’m currently unaware of any Brownhills local history groups that are active – but I can heartily recommend Burntwood Family History Group and also the Aldridge Local History Society whose territories clearly overlap in Brownhills, and I’m sure readers here will be happy to help with memories and contributions.
Thanks to Sue for a lovely question – if you can help, please do: Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.