Author Archives: BrownhillsBob

Beware – Avian Influenza – Bird Flu – is here and affecting our wildlife

I’m sad to report that Avian Influenza – Bird Flu – has claimed the lives of several swans and geese at Chasewater and this has been confirmed by government scientists from DEFRA. There have been other deceased birds found at … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Unexpected development in bagging area – Aldi buy Ravens Court

Well, this is the news I though I’d never share: 12 years after my first article here about Ravens Court and the then promise of Tesco’s new gold dream that crumbled to dust, it turns out bargain supermarket chain Aldi … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Express & Star, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio photo discussions, planning, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pictures and video from Brownhills and Walsall Wood 2021 Remembrance Sunday

Today, Sunday 14th November 2021 saw the annual marking of Remembrance Day in the UK and I’m pleased to say the local area did both themselves and the fallen proud staging a whole range of parades and events that were … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s not just about the lost, it’s about those that remain too

I normally post a wordy, slightly emotional essay on Remembrance Sunday encouraging people to think not just about the lost and suffering of the two world wars, but about the meaning of Remembrance, the forgotten conflicts like Korea and Aden, … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Geof Harrington’s funeral details released

Following the sad passing of respected local gentleman Geof Harrington, David Evans has kindly sent me details of the funeral arrangements to share with you all, via Geof’s old pal and writing partner, Bill Mayo. My sympathies and condolences remain … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Details of 2021 local Remembrance events – live list

This post is pinned to the top until Sunday – new material will appear below. Remembrance Sunday 2011 Aldridge, by Andrew Watson, posted in his Flickr photo stream. As usual in a normal year, I will try and share with … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delivering the goods

I have been proud to feature in past posts here the remarkable paintings of local artist Dave Dunkley of Rushall Station and level crossing and of Rushall Square as he remembered it from his youth. Well, Dave’s been in touch again – … Continue reading

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Geof Harrington: A beautiful tribute by Martin Littler to an old friend

Following last week’s sad news of the passing of local historian, community stalwart, record breaking sprinter and Brownhills gentleman Geof Harrington, there has been an outpouring of sympathy and warm memories locally, particularly on social media. I have known few … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Brownhills loses a hero and true son: In memoriam Geof Harrington

It saddens me greatly to share the awful news with readers that hugely respected elder statesman of Brownhills Geof Harrington – a record breaking athlete in his younger days – passed away in his sleep on Saturday 23rd October 2021. He … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged | 7 Comments

The final days of 4-44 Ogley Road and Seedhouse’s Farm

Now I’m clearing some of the backlog and feeling much better, I thought it would be a good time to share some more of the remarkable images shared with David Evans by old friend of the blog, John Bird recording Brownhills … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 8 Comments

A steamy affair… And it’s on today, too!

Yesterday (Saturday 16th October 2021) I took the pilgrimage up the A515 to the generally biannual Steam Party event at Klondyke Mill in Draycott in the Clay, home of the North Staffordshire and Cheshire Traction Engine Club – It’s an event I … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lost and found: The search for the war medals of a lost local hero

Some time ago I was proud and honoured to feature here the beautifully presented history of Richard Meanley Anson written by Desmond Burton, who was lost like so many local lads in the Battle of The Somme. Richard was Desmond’s … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 9 Comments

Boys and Girls…

As I struggle to catch up with material sent in to the blog, here’s a great post for a Sunday from Pat Ward, who’s a long term reader and lady we’ve previously helped with family history matters here one the … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 2 Comments

Former Shire Oak Pupils Celebrate with a 6 decade reunion!

It’s always great to hear from folks having school and workplace reunions, and I was very impressed to see the well organised and attended celebration of the first Shire Oak Grammar School intake in 1961. It was held on 4th … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 2 Comments

In memoriam, Mr. Ian Pell

I have some very tragic news for blog readers that I have to share, but which has saddened me greatly: Ben Spears contacted me in the week to inform me that local rail expert and historian, many times contributor the … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | 6 Comments

Brownhills Canal Festival returns this weekend!

I’m so thrilled to share with you all that Brownhills Canal Festival returns this weekend for two days – today, Saturday 18th and tomorrow, Sunday 19th September 2021 – and is hosted by the wonderful Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Walking group sets off again in Brownhills this afternoon!

I’m glad to see that some important social activities are resuming in light of their cancellation for lockdown – and the resumption of the Wednesday afternoon walking group in Brownhills is great news. The Walsall Healthy Spaces Team volunteer led … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Brownhills Canal Festival returns for 2021 next weekend!

Due to the nature of this strange pandemic year, I’ve held off advertising this one until I’m absolutely sure it’s going ahead, but I’m so thrilled to share with you all that Brownhills Canal Festival returns next weekend for two … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

On islands…

Today, I have a remarkable set of photos for readers from longtime reader, friend and contributor to the blog Robert Sault. Robert, you might remember, contributed a remarkable gallery of images, mostly old-school aerial ones, of the M6 Toll being … Continue reading

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Walking group sets off again in Brownhills this afternoon!

I’m glad to see that some important social activities are resuming in light of their cancellation for lockdown – and the resumption of the Wednesday afternoon walking group in Brownhills is great news. The Walsall Healthy Spaces Team volunteer led … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

From Toffee Roberts to Tuckleys

Hello folks – I’m still getting better and gradually catching up with things, so on this grey Bank Holiday Monday, I thought it would be a good time to share some more of the remarkable images shared with David Evans by … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 2 Comments

Walking group sets off again in Brownhills this afternoon!

I’m glad to see that some important social activities are resuming in light of their cancellation for lockdown – and the resumption of the Wednesday afternoon walking group in Brownhills is great news. The Walsall Healthy Spaces Team volunteer led … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

The future was bright…

A quick one here while I prepare another post – this was inspired by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler who spotted a different article mentioning the same firm in the British Newspaper Archive – Barbright USAM who were based on Lichfield Road … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 1 Comment

Walking group sets off again in Brownhills this afternoon!

I’m glad to see that some important social activities are resuming in light of their cancellation for lockdown – and the resumption of the Wednesday afternoon walking group in Brownhills is great news. The Walsall Healthy Spaces Team volunteer led … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Clearance – everything must go!

Well, hello everyone. Long time no post. My apologies: The ever present bad health this year has been very difficult in recent weeks, and I’ve not been able to post. My apologies. But I am backhand on the mend! Have … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 10 Comments

Get some Iron, man – the 2021 Ironman triathlon hits Chasewater and South Staffordshire this Sunday

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that this Sunday (July 18th 2021), the sixth Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 Triathlon will be staged, with a 1.2 mile early morning swim in Chasewater being amongst the highlights. Since the event consists … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, cycling, Environment, Events, Express & Star, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering the grand opening of a local icon in 1967

Today, I have a great bit of local ecclesiastical history to share with readers who will, I’m sure, be interested in the Opening and Dedication Service Programme to Silver Street Methodist Church, Brownhills, which opened at 3pm on Saturday, April … Continue reading

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Blind date

Here’s an article to ponder I really intended to post up yesterday, but problems of a technical nature prevented me, which was a shame as it’s a real belter. The young David Evans has been given a three page, hand … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 3 Comments

On the Spot

Here’s a quick simple question for debate amongst the readership: Of late, the Young David Evans has given another talk to the children of Holy Trinity School in Clayhanger, about their local history. In the course of this talk, David … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 5 Comments

Happenstance: Two tales of Brownhills Canal Heroism

In one of those somewhat odd bouts of synchronicity that often befalls this blog, this week I have stories of two canal heroes that cropped up within days of each other yet are complete unconnected, except by location. A number … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 2 Comments

A hundred years apart: One year on…

Old friend of the blog Ian Broad has been in touch again to reprise his hugely popular series of historical then and now photos that he started creating in 2020 as part of his lockdown exercise bike rides. Ian sent … Continue reading

Posted in News | 2 Comments

In the Buffs

An interesting enquiry here from old friend of the blog Bruce Littley who’s got an interesting, possibly local artefact from the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, of Buffs for short. The Buffs (who are still a fine and popular organisation) … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 1 Comment

Music without peer…

What seems like an age ago, but in fact was only in 2019, I featured an article here about the Brownhills Co-Operative Society Orchestra. It was a surprisingly popular post for what I, at the time, foolishly considered a slightly … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From Shire Oak to way out West: Can you help with this family history?

It’s about time we got back to some local history here, so here’s a nice one for the family historians and archive diggers for a wet spring weekend. So sorry for the lack of posts lately: I am very busy … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 21 Comments

How Brownhills marked the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh

It’s always good to hear from old friend of the blog and respected elder of Brownhills, John Bird a man I’ve always respected, not just for his activities with and in support of the local Royal British Legion and Remembrance, … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walking group sets off again in Brownhills this afternoon!

I’m glad to see that some important social activities are resuming in light of their cancellation for lockdown – and the resumption of the Wednesday afternoon walking group in Brownhills is great news. The Walsall Healthy Spaces Team volunteer led … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Sandfields reopens for volunteers today!

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to share the latest news for local history enthusiasts and members of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group – Sandfields is … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How you can support Baby Ciaran’s family, plus details of local church support

Sorry folks very, very late with this but following the awful tragedy at the weekend in which baby Ciaran Leigh Morris lost his life following a traffic collision in Brownhills High Street, many people are asking where they can get blue … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Ravens Court to be demolished in ambitious redevelopment plan

Readers who have been here for a while will know that one of the recurrent and most intractable stories on the blog over the 12 years of it’s existence has been the exasperating and somewhat depressing story of Ravens Court, … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 17 Comments

Ravens Court – A message from Councillor Steve Wade

A couple of weeks ago I told you to keep watching the Ravens Court situation, as it looks like something is going on. Local MP and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street have been having a big social media push on … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 1 Comment

it’s going ahead – A5 Live is on for 2021!

Long term readers will remember the annual music and fun festival that’s taken place on the smallholding just off the A5 at Newtown, Brownhills every summer – except last year, when it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Obviously none … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

The early days of powerboats at Chasewater – a massive gallery

I am honoured today to be able to share with readers an archive gallery of images that are of Chasewater and the Speedboat Club in the earliest years, when the lake was still surrounded by the remnants of mining history … Continue reading

Posted in News | 4 Comments

An interesting aside

Sorry folks a bit busy elsewhere at the moment, but something came to light recently I’d just like to point out to readers. In the Walsall Council Cabinet Meeting of 10th February 2021, a private session was held. This isn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 1 Comment

Cottage loafing…

Here’s news of a great new group on Facey for canal enthusiasts – particularly those into canal cottages. The BCN Canalside Cottages group has been created by BCN Society member and old friend of the blog Brenda Ward to try … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 3 Comments

A corner of Bloxwich remembered – heavy industry in it’s prime

Here’s a great bit of reminiscence for a chilly Sunday from Martin Hughes, the chap that works so very hard to keep the Brownhills Community Centre in the local eye by publicising it’s events and facilities. Martin grew up in … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | 8 Comments

The Thompson Family of Chasetown: What do you know?

It’s always nice to know the blog has helped a reader in some small way and today I can share with readers a fine email I’ve had thanking me for scanning and posting the booklet ‘Old Chasetown’ on the blog … Continue reading

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Walsall Wood Trooper Henry Hall: A message from The Netherlands

A few weeks ago I featured a post here telling the remarkable story of a soldier from Walsall Wood – Trooper Henry Hall – who died in the liberation of Dieteren in The Netherlands from Nazi occupation, and of the … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

A lucky escape at Sandhills – what do you know?

A quick one for now while I sort out another post, but this remarkable image came to light a couple of weeks ago, posted on Facebook by Gill Brown. It shows Gill’s grandfather, Henry Penton standing in the crater caused … Continue reading

Posted in News | 5 Comments

A magnificent man in his flying machine – what do you know?

Here’s a great one from reader Peter Gibbs who’s making a rather wonderful enquiry relating to an incident in Chasetown/Burntwood in 1917 which seems to have been the talk of the area! I’ll let Peter explain. This is, genuinely wonderful … Continue reading

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Distraction burglars and bogus callers operating locally: Be on your guard!

There have been several incidents locally in the last week where elderly people have had money stolen by bogus callers pretending to be from the Water Board. This warning from West Midlands Police is important – please care it with … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community | Leave a comment