What was (nearly) lost…

Here’s a little local Remembrance history, appropriate for the day I think. David Evans sent this article to me a week or so ago regarding two rolls of honour he’d been very kindly donated by local lady Gladys Preece.

The rolls once hung in a lost Working Mens Club I’d forgotten all about – Walsall Wood WMC, that stood where the private gym does today, opposite Oak Park. It’s important that these were saved and I’m so very glad that Gladys’s son Grahame was able to – I fear many such rolls from chapels, factories and social clubs may have been lost over recent years in the great social change that has seen so many of these gathering places carried to dust.

I’d like to thank David for his efforts in documenting these vital pieces of local history, and of course, Walsall Wood Football Club for proudly putting them on public display.

Huge gratitude of course to Gladys and family, too – a true act of felicity and generosity.

If you have anything to add, please do: Comment here, find me on social media or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

David wrote:

These two rolls of honour were recently passed to me. They originally hung in the Working Men’s Club, which stood in Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood, near the Streets Corner junction.

The Working Men’s Club has played an important part in the local football club’s history. It was here that Walsall Wood Football Club held their annual dinner. The teams used a room there to change for the matches. This was before the club obtained a wooden hut – their first pavilion – and built their brick stand, in the 1930s.

The 1945 image shows the Working Men’s Club, and the football ground nearby, with the tennis courts, bowling greens, playing field of Oak Park. The present brick clubhouse was built in 1948.

I am not sure when the Working Men’s Club was demolished – perhaps the 1970s- but I am delighted that these two Rolls of Honour were preserved and are now been presented to the football club to be displayed in the new club room there.

[Bob’s note – I can recall the club, just about although I never went in. I think it was demolished in the mid 80s, specifically for the development of the night club that is now the gym.]

I would like to thank Mrs Gladys Preece, for offering these Rolls of Honour, and so fulfil the wish of her late son Grahame, that they be displayed to remember and honour those named.

David, October 2019

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