Author Archives: BrownhillsBob

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Walking group sets off again in Brownhills this Wednesday 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Honouring the local Fallen, an ongoing duty – help needed please

Hello folks – I have a very important request here from blog contributor, friend and historian David Evans who is helping a team from the Netherlands uncover the history of the forces that liberated their village of Dieteren in 1945. … Continue reading

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Fair and Square

I featured a few weeks ago a painting by local artist Dave Dunkley of Rushall Station and level crossing that was very well received and generated a lost of positive debate about the station’s history. Well, spurred on by this, … Continue reading

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The crossing

Back in the end of November (what seems like an age away now) Dave Dunkley, a talented local artist and Rushall lad sent me a picture he’d painted from memory of the Rushall Station he remembered from his youth. Rushall … Continue reading

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Remembering a Brownhills D-Day hero

Another great piece of research comes in from reader and local military historian Isaac Marklew-Brown, whose article on his relative Thomas Marklew, a victorian ere soldier was so well received here a few months ago. This time Isaac again writes … Continue reading

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Sweet reason and the sourness of hypocrisy

An interesting contribution today from veteran blog writer and local industrial historian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who has once again been delving via the newspaper archives into the grizzly reality of life as a miner, rather than indulging the more airbrushed … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas in this most peculiar of years…

Hi all I’d just like to take five minutes to wish you a happy Christmas and let us all hope for a better 2021, and hopefully a return to some kind of normal when we can enjoy cafes, a pint … Continue reading

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Let’s have a butchers!

It’s been a while since I featured a local history article by the young David Evans who’s still beavering away diligently in the background, and today we return to his home ground of Walsall Wood, where the good gentleman has … Continue reading

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Check out the true spirit of Christmas – on Clayhanger Common

Hi folks – here’s a heads up to something lovely that’s very local and a credit to the creator, lovely local lady Kathryn ‘Chalk Fairy’ Grace – The Clayhanger Common Nativity Trail. Kathryn works tirelessly for the good of the … Continue reading

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Rolling coal

Just a quick heads up as the great Canal Hunter Andy Tidy has posted some new episodes of a great canal history series on YouTube that I have plugged before about lost local canals – this time covering coal transport from … Continue reading

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West Midlands Police Statement: Illegal ‘lock in’ broken up at football club in Walsall

As a long time supporter of Walsall Wood Football Club as a historic, community institution, I’m angry and saddened to see West Midlands Police post the following statement yesterday. I will not carry any further material from the club until … Continue reading

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When the sound of bikes echoed across the town

A quick one for Saturday while I’m busy – a few weeks ago reader and Facebook group member Jim Wall posted some lovely period pictures of busy days at Wharf Lane Motocross Track that existed in a quarry that’s now … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Supporting our veterans: A military historian is to skydive for charity!

A few weeks ago, I featured here a very popular article about a local late-Victorian era soldier from Brownhills from an engaging, enthusiastic and interesting man: Isaac Marklew Brown. His fascinating research and supporting material on the history of soldier … Continue reading

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The sands of time – another link to Old Brownhills is sadly lost

I was contacted earlier this month by old friend of the blog and frequent contributor Sheila Norris, with some rather sad news – her father, Leonard Jones sadly passed away last April. Len was the last of the Jones brothers … Continue reading

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Picture this: A lost local station

I was contacted in the week by local artist and reader Dave Dunkley who’s sent me a remarkable and lovely painting of something I was only peripherally aware existed: Rushall Station. And what’s most interesting is that Dave had painted … Continue reading

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A very rare species: Bike racing at Lazy Hill in the 1960s

Sorry, been a bit busy this week but hopefully can get some interesting stuff up in the next few days or so,. including some gems from the Young David Evans. In the meantime, a bit of motorbike racing ephemera that … Continue reading

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Bogus callers preying on the elderly are about again: Be on your guard!

There have been several incidents locally in the last couple of weekss where elderly people have had money stolen by bogus callers, or have been conned out of cash by people posing as workers. In one case reported this week, … Continue reading

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

Virtual Remembrance around the area

This lovely tribute video was made by old friend of the blog Matin Littler and sent to me earlier in the year. A lovely thing. Thank you Martin! As explained in my previous post, since life under Coronavirus restrictions has … Continue reading

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A Remembrance Sunday unlike any other

In the remarkable and worrying times in which we now live, there are few constants remaining. One of those that has sustained, but in a very different – and somehow more starkly appropriate form – is the annual act of … Continue reading

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A brief apology to readers

Hello everyone – I’d just like to issue an apology for missing the traditional Remembrance post this year – last night I have something unexpected to deal with and events overtook me. There is some coverage coming up in the … Continue reading

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A record for Brownhills!

A treat today for the choral music fans – the wonderful transcription of a long-lost Brownhills vinyl LP record to MP3 that’s a real part of Brownhills cultural history. ‘Choral Favourites’ by Brownhills Co-Operative Choral Society is the second album … Continue reading

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Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, one last chance this afternoon!

If you, the kids or grandkids are at a loose end today, since it’s the last chance before the next lockdown, it would be an excellent chance to grab the young ones and nip up to Stubbers Green where you … Continue reading

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A forgotten hero: From the mines of Brownhills to the deserts of Egypt

As I’m getting g back on the blog bike (metaphorically and in reality) I’m picking up speed and getting down to more regular articles here which I think readers will appreciate. Today I have an absolute gem from reader Isaac … Continue reading

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Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, this afternoon!

If you, the kids or grandkids are at a loose end today, since it’s such a lovely autumn day it would be an excellent chance to grab the young ones and nip up to Stubbers Green where you can chat … Continue reading

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It was hall or nothing…

Images kindly shared by Chris Booth. Click any one to see a larger version. A second set of period images here this weekend from old friend of the blog Chris Booth he’s sharing out of the Clayhanger Methodist Church collection … Continue reading

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