Peace at last – a Christmas message from The Brownhills Blog


This festive chap was spotted on the Monsal Trail whilst I was walking there on Thursday.

Hey you lot – Brownhills Blog readers, browsers, information seekers, contributors, friends: have a great Christmas, and I wish you a happy, prosperous and peaceful 2017.

This is, believe it or not, the eighth annual Christmas message I’ve posted here, and I’m shocked, honoured and proud that after an inauspicious beginning in 2009, the Brownhills Blog continues to not just survive, but grow.

This year we’ve currently had about 945,000 hits since January 1st and look set to do about 965,000 in 2016 – a 50,000 increase on 2015. This increase surprises me as I just don’t think this blog can reach many more who would be interested in the fairly narrow range of local content it provides – when you think Brownhills Has a population of about 12,000 and Walsall Wood about 13,000 that’s quite a good reach.

This year has been very busy, and a challenge for me personally as work, rather than being able to ease off as I expected, became much more demanding. Occasionally things have swamped me, and I’ve missed stuff. Sometimes I’ve had to walk away, for the sake of sanity, or sleep. I apologise to anyone whose post or event was forgotten.

I do the best I can with my most precious resource – time – severely limited.

That this shambling vehicle remains on the road at all is due entirely to the community that supports it – from great article and content creators, researchers and writers like David Evans, Peter’Pedro’ Cutler, Andy Dennis, Ian Pell and others, to the wonderful folk who supply comments like David Oakley, the Anslow bothers, and dear old Reg. Then there are the people who share and read the articles, echo the social media posts, and offer general help and friendship.

I really couldn’t do it without you.


Christmas has been a long time coming this year.

I’d like to thank particularly Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove – he’s always generous with material and memories, but the warmth and uniquely human, loving and gentle nature of his comments means they have generated their own fan club and I consider Reg to be the honorary father of the Brownhills Blog. You are a true gentleman, Reg, and a star. Thanks.

Also due special thanks is David Oakley, whose considered and wonderful memories are often contributed in the comments. David’s work is wonderful and very much a part of why the blog connects with people. I need to thank David too for a wonderful act of generosity over the awful wheelchair incident – I did notice and was touched and stunned.

That whole episode demonstrated what a kind, caring community the readers are and I’m honoured and proud to be associated with you all.

Additionally, a shout for Trevor Brown in Australia – we’re all rooting for you old chap. I still roll down the road on 365daysofbiking with you in mind. Bless you.

I know I owe too,  a huge debt to my family as well as online and offline friends who put up with me permanently fiddling with gadgets and rambling. Their tolerance is noted and appreciated, as is their clearly very high boredom threshold.

The Plastic Hippo still does write brilliantly, and I’m so glad to see his work continue. Best wishes, old lad. For the sun on our faces and that first pint after a long walk.

I still have lots of great material to come, as well as local news, opinion and incoherent rants. I never thought I’d still be here today, but things seem to work, so let’s continue, shall we?

There will be another Grand New Year Quiz this year (earlier than last year – so stay tuned!) with ale and book prizes as usual, and I’ve got some great questions for you.

Thanks, and best wishes to you all.



For better or worse, this is my place and I’ll continue to do the best I can for the community.

This entry was posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Peace at last – a Christmas message from The Brownhills Blog

  1. David Williams says:

    Thank you . You too god bless all

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Stuart Cowley says:

    Back at you William! You do a terrific job holding it together and making it work.Do try and relax a bit over the festive period because it must take up a lot of your time,have a good one.

  3. tkevcro says:

    Merry xmas and hny.

    I wouldn’t think Walsall Wood pop’ is larger than Brownhills?

  4. Thanks Bob – a happy Christmas to you and yours and all your readers.

  5. morturn says:

    Bob, thank you for the continued support in our quest to save Sandfields Pumping Station. We have been working on this for the last three and a half years and are now at a place where the pumping station is looking better than it has looked for years. 2017 is going to be a challenging but interesting year.

    Thank you too for bringing together a great group of minds, opinions and contributions that paint a rich picture of the loves and lives of everyday people.

    You have given them a voice and an opportunity to make history so that others that follow can learn from our failures and most importantly benefit from our successes.

  6. captainocd says:

    Same back to you, Bob!

  7. Thank You Bob….All the best to you too
    Dave (Eddy) Edwards

  8. andyropes7 says:

    Awesome support Bob
    Thanks again FTGOTW

  9. Sharon Mason says:

    Hey Brownhills Bob. I’m relatively new to the blog. Got it on facebook earlier this year. I bloody love it. I run the local youth club and like you, continue to do so because I love my community. So I just want to wish you a merry Christmas and personally thank you for all your effort time and commitment you give to this blog….long may it continue x

  10. David Evans says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Bob and thanks for all you put into your exceptional blog…..hang your bike clips up for a well earned break for a while and compliments of the season to you
    young David

  11. Pat Coton says:

    Merry Christmas to you too Bob. Thank you for doing a brilliant job on here. Wishing you health and happiness for Christmas and the New Year xx
    God bless you
    Pat Coton xx

  12. Les Bullock says:

    Best Wishes BB to you and yours.
    Thanks for all of your output!

  13. david oakley says:

    Sincere best wishes for Christmas and the new Year, Bob, to you and your grand little team. To an elderly ‘Wood’ exile, living in darkest North Yorkshire, your blog is a shaft if light, which transforms each and every day for me. Thank you.

  14. Clive says:

    Merry Christmas to you and all the readers of the Blog. your doing a grand job Bob.

  15. John Anslow says:

    Merry Christmas, Bob. All the very best.

  16. David Edwards says:

    Merry Christmas Bob. Peace and Good Will.

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