Category Archives: Features

Soultime – Northern Soul and Motown Disco with DJ Leekie this evening in Walsall Wood!

Local DJ Peter Leek has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing his  Soultime Disco event at The Drunken Duck, Walsall Wood this evening, Friday 23rd November 2018 where he will be fulfilling all your Northern Soul … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Soultime – Northern Soul and Motown Disco with DJ Leekie and pals this Friday!

Local DJ Peter Leek has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing his semi-regular Soultime event at Pelsall Community Centre this Friday, 16th November 2018 at Pelsall Community Centre, where he and a number of great soul … Continue reading

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Brownhills Motor Sales at Streets Corner – what do you know?

Old pal of the blog Alvin Cox contacted me yesterday asking if I had any images of the motor sales workshop/garage that existed at Streets Corner, Walsall Wood, before the Co-op was built: Latterly it was Saturn Motor Sales. He … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Taking the strain in Walsall Wood – could you be a champion too?

Over the years on the blog we’ve covered the great, and often surprisingly diverse sporting history of Brownhills and Walsall Wood – from the notable local teams like Walsall Wood Football Club, Cricket, Bowls – to more esoteric stuff like … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Environment, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soul and Motown party with DJ Leekie at the Shire Oak this New Years Eve

Local lad Peter Leek has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing this New Year’s Eve (Sunday 31st December 2017) with his Soul and Motown Party at the popular Shire Oak Pub in Brownhills.
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1444 (Brownhills) Squadron Air Cadets say thanks!

A lovely note reaches me from Flt Lt Carolyn Sault of the 1444 (Brownhills) Squadron Air Cadets, who do so much good work with the youth of Brownhills – people who shop locally will know that young people from the local Squadron often undertake bag packs at local stores in return for donations.

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Soul and Motown night for Children in Need at the Shire Oak tonight!

Local DJ POeter Leek has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing tonight, Friday 17th November 2017 at the Soul and Motown Party Night at the Shire Oak Pub to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

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The Electric Movie

I’ve been asking for years for more material on Crabtree and other local factories, as I’m sure there’s an untapped and rich seem of material to be found from these great lost local employers – but sadly little has emerged.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Brownhills Air Cadets say thanks!

A lovely note reaches me from Flt Lt Carolyn Sault of the 1444 Brownhills Squadron Air Cadets, who do so much good work with the youth of Brownhills – people who shop locally will know that Cadets from the local Squadron often undertake bag packs at local stores in return for donations.

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You are my Sunnyside

A nice gentle one for a Saturday afternoon here, and people interested in the borderlands between Aldridge and Walsall Wood, known as The Vigo – David Evans have been in conversation with local man Ken Massey, who lived there in a more rural time, and has kindly donated mages of the farm and life there.

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Posted in Environment, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Telling the whole story of Richard Meanley Anson

Desmond Burton has again been in touch, still pursuing his extraordinary research on the subject of his Great uncle Richard Meanley Anson who died in a military hospital on The Somme 100 years ago, almost to the very day.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

There’s the rub

One recurring theme here on the blog is the story of one of Brownhills’ most notable sons – Dickie Dorsett, ace footballer known as the Brownhills Bomber, who was a major-league football star in times past and by all accounts a thoroughly decent bloke.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Events, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Something fishy afoot?

I’ve had an interesting question in from Taffy of Tamworth, who’s an angler who enjoys fishing Marklews Pond, off Engine Lane in Brownhills – but he’s recently noticed something.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Panoramio photo discussions, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Walsall Wood Boys Brigade reunion this Wednesday!

Here’s a great thing happening this Wednesday (18th November 2015) at the Walsall Wood FC Clubhouse, Oak Park from 7:30pm – the annual reunion of Walsall Wood Boys Brigade.

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

Richard Meanley Anson – the story of a hero unfolds

Earlier this year, Desmond Burton contacted me to require if I’d post his research on the subject of a chap called Richard Anson, a Rushall lad who sadly gave his life in battle on the Somme in September 1916 – I was happy to do so, for it’s a fine, exemplary and fascinating piece of research.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Richard Meanley Anson – a Victim Of World War One – can you help?

Long term readers will no doubt remember the fascinating and remarkable story of Arthur Burton, a local Great War hero, whose story was told by David Evans and Desmond Burton in the early days of this blog.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An elocution confusion solution?

Here’s a thing – it’s rare I think, that I can answer a question asked of the blog so comprehensively, but today an enquiry dropped into the mailbox from reader Glen Wootton, who posed the following question:
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, Local music, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Electric Co.

Sometimes, something comes in unexpectedly that puts a huge smile on your face, just for the sheer rarity value of it – and the email I received a couple of days ago from Mike Blakeway in South Australia did just that.

Crabtree B'hills 1975ish red

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Heart Bypass: Jonathan Meades in Birmingham

Hi folks – here’s something I found last night that I’d forgotten about, that ties in with my fascination for Birmingham and architecture – and also, my obsession with well-crafted language.

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Posted in Bad Science, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, Local politics, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t tell him, Fullelove!

Last week, the young David Evans spent an afternoon of tea, cake and conversation with Reg, who remembers his father David Fullelove being a member of the Local Defence Volunteers. The LDV later evolved into the Home Guard
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A local mining accident – more information available

A couple of days ago I asked for information about a local mining accident, suffered by the Grandfather of reader Gill Joesbury, but the request it was a bit of a mission impossible, as we didn’t have a name to go on – since then, Gill has now been in touch with more information.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A local mining accident – can you help?

Here’s a quick one to get the researchers scratching their heads – and it’s a very long shot, but please do what you can, I’ve asked for more information from Gill, and I’m hoping she’ll comment here.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

A summer long since passed

Readers may well remember the photo of the Brigade football team from the 1960s – the young David Evans, himself a former member of the local Brigade has been in contact with local chap John Genders, who’s dug out some lovely … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The boys are back in town this Wednesday!

Here’s a great thing happening this Wednesday (10th December 2014) at Oak Park Football Clubhouse, from 7:30pm – the Christmas reunion of Walsall Wood Boys Brigade.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Leaving hibernation

We’re a third of the way through March, and daffodils are out, the sun is high in the sky and spring is in full effect – I left in the afternoon for a quiet, fast spin – I ended up on a 45-miler around Lichfield, Croxall, Edingale, Harlaston, Whittington, Weeford and Shenstone.
[caption id="attachment_17934" align="alignleft" width="300"]How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette[/caption] Continue reading

Posted in Churches, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Urban spring

As is usual, today I visited Erdington Bike Jumble, the yearly tat-bazaar for cyclists that always takes place the first Saturday in March.
The domestic geese at Brookvale Park are every bit as hostile as their brethren at Chasewater Continue reading

Posted in Churches, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The first good day of the year

First weekend in march is always Erdington Bike Jumble. I usually go if the weather’s OK, and potter round, enjoying the company and chatter of other cyclists. Normally a pretty isolated activity, it’s nice to meet other riders socially for a change. A chance to meet old mates, compare machines and have a natter.
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Posted in Churches, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A railway expert writes…

Top rail historian Ian Pell, late of this parish, dropped me a line today to point out the origins of the photos that I borrowed from the South Staffordshire Railway Site to illustrate yesterday’s article about Charringtons Oil Terminal and Anglesey Sidings.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Narnia, in Stubbers Green

This morning, on Twatter, good friend @ChisDavies1 from darkest Pelsall posted a picture of an unusual ice formation on bushes at Stubbers Green. It was so remarkable, that it piqued my interest; this afternoon, in a low, late winter sun, I went to check it out.

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Posted in Features | 5 Comments

In the beginning

I’ve got some great stuff coming up. But here’s a taste of something really exciting from reader and New Year competition winner Fred Butler. I give you… the start of Crabtree, Brownhills, in 1954.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Cervine suggestion

Today, we went up on Cannock Chase again, and I make no apologies for another feature on the deer. These lovely ladies were a smaller subset of the herd from last week, but on this occasion, they were a little more tolerant. They may well have been hungry. This is the closest I’ve ever managed to get to them.
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Posted in Cannock Chase, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Shared media, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

24 Carrots

A sunny, winter’s Saturday afternoon on Cannock Chase. The wild fallow deer in their usual spot, always happy to come for a bag of carrots. Skittish and nervous, they stay long enough to take our orange performance fee, then wander … Continue reading

Posted in Cannock Chase, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Shared media, Wildlife | 4 Comments

Archdeacon blues

Further to last Sunday’s article here regarding the book I recently acquired, ‘Visitations of the Archdeaconry of Stafford 1829-1841’ I thought I’d take the opportunity to fulfil a couple of requests.
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Posted in Churches, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The state of the estate

I’ve been given a rather excellent book this week, which, if there’s interest, I’ll share more of. It’s the ‘Visitations of the Archdeaconry of Stafford 1829-1841’ published by the Historical Manuscripts Commission and Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (HMSO). This copy was published in 1980, and bears the ISBN of 0 11 440066 0. The work is edited by David Robinson MA, Ph D.
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Posted in Features | 11 Comments

The lost

I was recently given this lovely image, which formed a greeting card purchased at Walsall Leather museum. Roger Felton has painted a gorgeous watercolour of the old BOAK building in Walsall, sadly lost to the arsonist’s zippo over the summer. … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get some Iron

Here’s a quick one. Reader and local history researcher Clive Roberts dropped me this email a week or so ago in relation to questions about Irondish/Iron Dish, between Walsall Wood and Shelfield. Readers will remember that this courtyard of houses – that possibly contained an alehouse – stood about where the car sales lot is today, just on the Shelfield side of Jockey Meadows.

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Posted in Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Join the Freemasons – for a pint

Following the fascinating, tangential debate about the Freemasons Arms in Walsall, sparked by reader Ann Cross and her wonderful articles about the Royal Exchange, in Walsall Wood, Ann has scanned the following photo from a book, which can hopefully help the debate along a little.
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Posted in Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A solid brick foundation

Students of Brownhills Local History will be aware of an elusive, long lost site by local chap Robert Webster. This great resource ceased to exist a few years ago, when Freeserve, the service provider in whose hosting space the website was based, shut down and merged with Orange.

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Posted in Features | 3 Comments

On the subject of the Freemasons Arms…

I had the above clip in from reader Greame Clarke this morning, and seeing as there’s such debate around the Freemasons Arms, I thought I’d post it up. The English seems a bit odd, and I can’t vouch for the accuracy, but it’s something to add to the melee.
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Posted in Features | 6 Comments

Chasetown, Burntwood and surrounds, mid 1800s

Here’s another gem from contributor and top Lichfield District Council officer Gareth Thomas. It’s an undated property map of Chasetown, Burntwood and the surrounding area – including the tip of Chasewater, here named Norton Reservoir – in what I think … Continue reading

Posted in Features | 26 Comments

Learning to drive on Big K car park…

Rights of passage. The local ones we all know; for those of a certain age, learning to drive on the Big K car park was an unforgettable experience – as was visiting this local DIY palace of glittering delights with … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rock and coal

Here’s one that is certain to create debate, comment and further articles. Alerted to it in the last week by both Gareth Thomas (Geographical whizz from Lichfield District Council) and Paul Daniel (data whizz behind the mechanism that keeps local news site The YamYam running so brilliantly), it’s a book scanned and published by that wonderful resource Google Books.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Fallen of Walsall Wood: a project

Since it’s Remembrance weekend, I thought I’d share with you a project that top reader and contributor David Evans has been working on. David has gone through the roll of honour for the First World War on the Walsall Wood memorial, and listed the entries, and what he can find out about them, in spreadsheet format.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A new resolution

Gareth Thomas was good to his word, and rescanned last week’s 1971 images of Clayhanger at a much higher resolution. The fragment below, showing Clayhanger Refuse Tip, or ‘The Spot’ as it was known, can be seen below.

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Posted in Features | 4 Comments

Fill your boots… it’s boom time

I ‘d just like to draw attention to a couple of blog posts here for the benefit readers. I know I’ve plugged both of these authors recently, but to be quite honest, their work is blowing me away. We really are living in excellent times for local history – so many people are coming forward with their stories, unhindered by publishers and commercial pressure.

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Posted in Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The western front

Some weeks ago now, I featured a British Railways Board plan I’d purchased from a map dealer, which showed the coal workings in the Yard Seam below Brownhills Common. At the same time, I bought the one featured here, too. … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Other channels

Friend of the blog and top local government operative Gareth Thomas has been at it again. Not only has he started his own, rather wonderful looking blog, but he’s sent me a whole tranche of new aerial images. Quickly flicking through some from 1971, I spotted something really interesting.

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Posted in Features | 9 Comments

The secret army

There’s a nearby blog I love that’s going from strength to strength. It’s a blog I’ve plugged before, and it’s by Susan Marie Ward, who’s a great local historian. Susan lives out in South Staffordshire, but has historical connections to Aldridge, Walsall Wood and Stonnall.
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Posted in Chasewater, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

War child

Here’s an interesting bit of postwar ephemera, lent to top reader and contributor David Evans for use here on the blog by local lady Marjorie Hadley.

I know nothing about this unusual document, who issued it or any details. I’ve certainly never seen one before. Did every war-child receive them? What effort of campaign were they linked with? Was it a local or national thing? Church or school?

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A fleeting chance

This is a post about being lucky. About being in the right place and the right time. About being fortunate to witness nature at it’s best. About loving where you live. About loving being outdoors.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments