Twenty six ladies, a trophy and an upcoming school reunion. What do you know?

Ladies in the yard of Brownhills Central Boy’s School. But why, who are they and what was the cup awarded for? Photo courtesy Janet Davies/Brownhills Community Association.

There’s been a real buzz around about the Brownhills Central Boys School/Annexe Reunion event coming to the old school (now Brownhills Community Centre) on June 30th 2018, and to mark the occasion, Janet Davies and co have been digging material out of the archives, and popped up a mystery.

A group of ladies – 26 in all, including one in a wheelchair, photographed in the old school yard with a cup they’d clearly won. Maybe wartime, or I think late 1940s, maybe early 50s. Some great hair. But what’s it all about? Does anyone know?

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the lady in the wheelchair might be Gwen James. Perhaps the whole thing is related to Mrs. Parsley and the wartime ladies =- although they seemed more, shall we say, senior?

If you can help, we’d love to hear more.

Meanwhile, the menu for the reunion has been revealed – and it’s just a fiver, booked in advance: The reunion is otherwise free, so what’s not to love?

Janet Davies said:

Here is the menu for school dinners at our ‘All Back to Brownhills Central School’ open day on 30th June 11am-3pm.

Two sittings, 12.30pm and 1.30pm, tickets a fiver (for online booking click here – no booking fee): choose from Cheese and Potato Pie or Cottage Pie and from Concrete and Custard or Spotted Dick.

Just 25 places left !

If you can help identify the ladies and why they won the cup, please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

Here’s my original post about this event from a couple of weeks ago – please do attend if you have an interest in the old school – they’d love to see you!

What a great idea!

Oh my (school) days, there’s a terrific thing going on at Brownhills Community Centre, what my generation called the Annex but was originally the Central Boys School – there’s going to be a celebration, reunion and open day for those who remember the days of that particular school yard.

It’s taking place on Saturday 30th June 2018 from 11am until 3pm at the former school, now Brownhills Community Centre, and there will be memory-jogging tours of the building you knew so well, archive photo displays, real school meals (including concrete and custard!) a film show of old Brownhills and loads of people to chat to and reminisce about the days of Mr. Massey and co.

There are some great pics of this old days in this post here

The day itself is free, but if you want to partake of lunch, it’s £5 for mains and pud, and you can book in advance at the link in the text below.

Brownhills Community Centre wrote:

Open Day Saturday 30th June 11am – 3pm

You may know it as the Boys’ School, Central School, the Annexe or the Activity Centre. The building has been all these things, and has now been extensively refurbished in its new role as Brownhills Community Centre and The Lamp.

You may not know that it has a fully-equipped Ladies’ Gym, a cinema/theatre/concert venue with bar, a nursery, a motorcycle training centre, a computer suite, rooms for hire for parties and training and a wide variety of activities to suit every interest. Its facilities are for everyone, local or further afield.

The building is 125 years old this year, and to celebrate we are hosting a Back to School open day on 30th June. The whole Centre will be open for you to look around, a chance to reminisce or to explore the new facilities.

We have a big archive of photographs which will be on display. Perhaps you’ll be in some of them! We will also be serving (edible) school dinners.

Free parking via Pelsall Road entrance. WS8 7JE.

The open day is free, no need to book. School dinners need to be booked in advance. £5 gets you 2 choices of main meal and pudding, including concrete and custard! Tickets from (no booking fee):

If you haven’t yet visited th Community Centre, you really are missing out; it’s a busy and welcoming hive of activity with a great atmosphere operated by a lovely community of dedicated folk, located in the old Annex or Brownhills Central Boys School right there on the Miner Island in Brownhills. You can find out more here.

Please ring the crew on 01543 452 119 if you have any queries or need any help or email:

There’s loads going on at the Activity Centre on the Miner Island in Brownhills!

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11 Responses to Twenty six ladies, a trophy and an upcoming school reunion. What do you know?

  1. Julia Price says:

    Clay hanger Girls Club ran by Gwen (lady in wheelchair). Recognised by Jennie Rushton (nee Wall) of Lichfield Road

  2. aerreg says:

    the lady in the wheel chair is gwene chames i knew her and the family when the lived in lichfield road many years ago she and her sister were very active members at clayhanger chapel and inthe years before the the war there was a very active youth club there yes gwene and her family had their pathway down memory lane god bless them

  3. Kevin Jpnes says:

    Have you got film and photos 1972 when the BBC come to the school reporting on the poor standed of the Building

  4. Petra says:

    Whatever happened to me Massey he was a great teacher

  5. Fawlty says:

    Bob Massey died some years ago. He was a member of Aldridge Conservative Club. Proper gentleman. Hard, but fair and well respected by all.

  6. David Evans says:

    front row second from e left and also front row second from the right ..Clayhanger Methodist ladies, and possibly sitting by Gwen is her sister Violet.
    Possibly a singing contest?

  7. aerreg says:

    hi jennie are you the jennie of old beaty biging days if so what a lovely start for sunday morning so many many happy memouries of that period bless you

  8. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Gwen’s autobiography, Sunshine after Rain has appeared here on your blog..May 2015 and may give some clues. The Clayhanger Girls Club met in the Central Schools ( seen in the photo) for a month, circa 1947/8 while the wooden hut at Clayhanger Methodist Church was being repaired. One possibility. So I phoned Doug Birch to see if the Brownhills Music festival was held in the Central Schools…negative.
    Then a quick check with the photo in the Sunshine blog article and some of the ladies do appear in both images.
    But, the trophy and the occasion still remain a mystery
    A check with Methodist Girls Clubs site was fruitless..and the Clayhanger Girls Club was a non demonination club ( Gwens own notes), though based at the Methodist Church
    This leaves the Staffs County Youth Service ..a possibility?The County was very actively creating and promoting Youth Services in the immediate post-war years. But that is as far as I have been to able to get…but I hope readers near and far will be able to complete this theme….
    I recommend reading Gwen’s amazing story. I knew her and she was a remarkable lady who lived through some remarkable times
    kind regards

  9. Ade Reid says:

    Mr Massey was the best.Hard but fair.Always remember a gang of us trainspotting lads walking down to Charringtons bridge to watch the Locos shunting wagons.All under the supervision of Mr Massey.Times long gone and a time never forgotten.How I miss those days.Boys were boys girls were girls.How times change.I do so miss those innocent days..

    • dawn says:

      I agree , Mr Massey was a great teacher. They were great times and time goes by so quickly, but I can still almost recall the school register in order. I am so gutted I missed that reunion

  10. dawn says:

    I agree. He was a great teacher and I enjoyed my schooldays
    I am so gutted I missed the reunion.

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