May you remain in light

I’m not normally one for dogs in jackets but I met this smug lad in Buxton on Friday and he’s just so pleased with himself. Merry Christmas little fellow!

It’s THAT time of year again, and I shan’t ramble on – but I’d just like to take time to wish everyone out there reading this a very happy Christmas, and the most peaceful, happy and prosperous new year – wherever this message finds you, I wish you well.

I’d particularly like to thank you readers for making this shambling, rambling pile of cobblers what it is – bafflingly popular. For some reason, when I started this blog nearly nine years ago, I unleashed something small that grew and grew. What I expected to die a timely and well-deserved death instead flourished, and became an entity of it’s own that people read daily and look to for local history, a little news, events and a bit of a laugh.

I have no idea how this thing got here. I have even less where it’s going. I’m still enjoying it, but I’m tired. I’m getting old. So tired. But this is a labour of love and this town, this community and the people in it are in my heart, my soul and being.

I never thought I’d still be here today.

I know lots of people don’t get what I’m doing or actively dislike it. Sorry, but I’ll stop irritating people when I die. You have my sympathies. You can’t actually do this without being opinionated and annoying. It’s what gives you determination.

Thanks to all who contribute – every one of you. From football reports to railway images, from psychogeography to union history, from cake to carnivals, it’s the stuff readers send me that make this what it has become. I could not do this without the generosity and patience of everyone who sends material, does research, or helps behind the scenes.

Merry Christmas also to those who put up with me and this in my life; to those who listen to me when I’m down and stop me throwing the towel in. The gentle encouragement, humour and assurances that I’m not actually mad really do help, as does a bloody good laugh.

My co-admins on Facebook, Linda Mason and Phil Griffin deserve an award for managing to deal with me. Thanks, you two. It is appreciated.

Just so you know, this year has seen surprising growth for the blog, mainly due I think to social media and all the lovely people doing stuff on Facebook. In 2016, we did about 970,000 views. A couple of days ago we crossed 1,100,000 views for 2017, and look set to clear maybe 1,120,000 for the year. That is mad. Bonkers. Ridiculous. But WordPress collect the stats – and they don’t count my access either!

If you want to reach about 20,000 pairs of eyeballs a week just drop me a line – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. The population of Brownhills is about 13,000. I find this clash of numbers bizarre.

My apologies are due to anyone who’s contacted me this year and who has been forgotten or it’s taken an age to get your material up – work has been very busy this year and there are many demands on my time. If you think I’ve forgotten your stuff, feel free to remind me. I won’t bite. I get a huge amount of mail and sometimes stuff gets overlooked. I’m sorry.

There will be a Christmas competition this year. I’m just not sure how that’s going to work yet. I shall think about it.

Best wishes, everyone – if you celebrate, have a good one. I f you don’t, I wish you the best. For me, the main thing about Christmas I the beginning of the return to light. The end of the darkness.

Thank you everyone. This wouldn’t be here without you.

May you all remain in light.

Morris with his Christmas lights is a little bit Vegas in a small way. I love that.
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16 Comments

  • Annette

    Happy Christmas to you and yours

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

     
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  • Merry Christmas Bob, really enjoy reading your blog,don’t ever stop.xx

     
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  • No need for thanks. I do it because I love you in a friend love kind of sense before anyone gets any ideas! Thank you for doing what you do and with such aplomb! I guess I must have been one of the first readers which, is amazing. Thanks also for supporting us in a personal capacity. We do appreciate it and you!
    I think I’m doing well if I get a 1000 hits a week (not often but then I am not prolific like you) so all power to your keyboard. Long may you continue.
    Merry Christmas to you and Mrs Bob and all the Bobettes and Bobbyhangerson xx

     
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  • A very merry Christmas to you too Bob! This place is always an enjoyable read and has that down to earth honesty that’s sadly lacking in some of the main stream media.

     
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  • Alvin Cox

    Wishing you a very happy Xmas and new year and thanks for all the info over the last year

     
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  • Merry Christmas Bob!

     
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  • You too Bob đź‘Ť And a very Happy New Year. Thank you so much for all your hard work and research on this site, I really enjoy catching up with snippets of my old home town.

    Looking forward to reading more news and nostalgia from Brownhills in 2018

    Regards
    Kay Torné
    Barcelona

     
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  • Patrick Hall

    Best Wishes Bob and to all the readers. I remember my fondest Christmas`s as a child growing up on the farm behind Dunn & Hales garage in the late 50`s and early 60`s.Wonderful

     
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  • Clive

    Merry Christmas Bob and readers of the Blog, keep up the great work Bob.

     
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  • Happy Christmas

     
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  • Malcolm

    Merry Christmas Bob, to you and all your followers. I grew up in Rushall , during the time of the Beatles, met my first serious girlfriend at Walsall town hall , Happy days I no longer live in the area, but thanks to your blog l can occasionally look back at my past and relive fond memories. I am ok, l have a good life, but it’s just nice to look back as l do with fondness cheers, and I wish you all a happy new year.

     
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  • Thanks Bob, and A Merry Christmas to you

     
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  • GOD BLESS YOU BOB YOUR NOT OLD YOU ARE A TONNICK AND A GOD SEND ALSO A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND ALL WHO SUFFER MY ONE FINGER GOBBLY GO ONIST AR CON SPELL ITS THIS WORN OUT ONE FINGER WHICH KEEPS PUTTIN THE RUNG WERDS IN AGAIN GOD BLESS YOU MY DAILY FRIEND

     
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    • Hi Reg

      Merry Christmas and a happy new year old chap.

      Thank you for all your lovely comments you write – I love every one and they are so wonderful, warm and informative. You are the honorary grandfather of the blog and a comment from you makes my day!

      Your fanbase is wide and extensive!

      Reg, please don’t ever change. We adore your gobble goo…

      Cheers and thank you
      Bob

       
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  • Sheila Hall

    I’m sure lots of people are like me. I don’t live in Brownhills any more but was born and brought up there. My mum still lives there and I love to see posts etc about past and present Brownhills. Please keep up your brilliant work.

     
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  • hi shiela hope ime not being peronal but the name shiela hall has brought back some happy memouries of my days in lichfield road years ago there were two sisters shiela and nancy grandma was mrs lydal their husbands were roy silvester and mellor cant think of his christian name but to me they hold many persnol lovely memouries a lovely well love family as i say i hope ime not to personal but this old brain of mind sparks to life at the mention of a name ore place in old brownhills infact i dont think mentaly i ever left thanks to bob and his team god bless and happy 2018 thank you

     
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