Going above and beyond

I’m pleased to see that the expansion of online history resources continues apace, with lots of formerly quite restrictive services opening up with more sensible usage terms and conditions – one such archive is the British Library’s Aerofilms archive of aerial photography of Britain from 1919-1953. Aerofilms, as the leader in such imagery for years,…

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Do the walk this weekend!

Find out how far they’ve come at Summerhill in just two years in this informative film for the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to remind us that there will be a guided walk of the Summerhill section of the canal they’re working…

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Looking after the legacy of a great son of Brownhills

There’s something that’s quite historically important been going on for months now right in the heart of Brownhills, that whilst not earth shattering, is very significant to our local history, and helps to preserve the memory of one of the finest sons of Brownhills: Chorister and Choir Master George Fullelove. I think few people realise…

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Where’s the fairness in Remembrance funding?

I’ve hd a really interesting email in from a respected elder in Brownhills, someone whose comments on the area I’ve always respected greatly and whose opinion I value and usually agree with – John Bird. John Bird has periodically written clear, eloquent and concise letters to the local press – the ones that have always…

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Who’s on this team, and who are they?

Since the sad passing of Bill Shaw, old friend of the blog, champion of local football and Clayhanger lad, the tributes have been fullsome, and so richly deserved – but it’s also wonderful to hear the memories and see photos emerge of this wonderful man. Bill sadly passed away following serious illness on 4th March…

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A Chemical Romance

I’ve been asked the question by reader Norman Taylor as to what I know about Brownhills Chemical Works – otherwise known as The Chemical or The Chemy, later the site of a notorious war scrapyard local kids were all attracted to. The Chemical, for those who don’t know, was situated high on the Lichfield Road,…

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust April 2018 public meeting this Monday

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening (9th April 2018) there will be the April 2018 Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group. The meeting is at the Bowling Green pub, Lichfield from 7:30pm and…

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A great chance for tea and cake in a great country canalside garden this Saturday!

There’s a great event going on in Whittington this acoming Saturday (31st March 2018) in aid of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust ‘Tunnel Vision’ appeal – Eric and Doreen’s All Day Easter Coffee Morning.

lhcrt easter coffee morning 2017

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The race for space

Thanks to Stuart Williams of Walsall Local History Centre, I can share with readers today another piece in the remarkable jigsaw that is the Ferrie family history – the Ferries, as many old hands will recall, were a larger than life father and son who were well known in Aldridge and Brownhills for their entrepreneurialism and propensity to acts of community largesse and showmanship.

Bessie

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Bill Shaw: Further details of funeral arrangements announced

The sheer number of people who have paid tribute following the sad news of the passing of Bill Shaw has been heartwarming, and many have expressed their desire to attend his funeral – well, Bill’s wife, Lynn has been in touch to give further details, including the details of the function afterwards.

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It’s a diesel takeover – this weekend!

Chasewater Railway – the little gem of a preserved industrial railway right on our doorstep is holding it’s annual Diesel Gala this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 24-25th March 2018.

diesel-gala

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In the Regency period

There has been some discussion of late on Facebook and other places about local cinemas, and with Russia topical at the moment too, this is a good time to share this one from reader Sam that came in a few weeks ago.

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Bill Shaw: A personal memorial, by David Evans

Everyone involved with the blog has been saddened and dismayed by the loss of Bill Shaw, Clayhanger lad, champion of local football, commentator and all round decent bloke – and I’m proud and honoured to feature here an obituary for Bill from his fellow match reporter at Walsall Wood, David Evans.

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It’s good to repair (and share!) – a great event this Friday in Lichfield

Never one to sit back and let life pass her by, that there Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is involved with another project – Lichfield Repair and Share workshop – which takes place this Friday, 16th March 2018 at the Tesco Community Room, Tesco Extra, Church Street, Lichfield from 7-9pm.

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust March 2018 public meeting this Monday

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening (12th March 2018) there will be the March 2018 Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.
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Branch line summers fade

I always love expanding railway threads here on the blog – and it’s always great to hear from local railway historian and expert Ian Pell.

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Accession to the throne Brownhills stye

Following Janet Bullock’s wonderful photo posted here in the last few weeks there has been a terrific response to the Ogley Hay May Day them, with a further image of the same event being Kindly donated by Kate Dixon, and her mum May Queen Linda Horobin – now we have a further great image sent in by Sheila Kelly of May Day the following year.

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Huge commitment to heavy lift beats big freeze

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about a rather interesting challenge the trust’s engineers had to deal with last weekend when the big freeze hit the UK.

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Bill Shaw: Tributes, and details of funeral released

Following the sad news of the passing of Bill Shaw, long time contributor to the blog, Clayhanger lad and great champion of local football there, has been a huge outpouring of sympathy and condolence – Bill was certainly a friend and familiar face to many, not just in local football, but in the wider community.

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Goodbye Bill Shaw: There had better be good football up there

It’s my sad duty to report to you that old friend of the blog, Clayhanger lad and football reporter extraordinaire Bill Shaw sadly passed away yesterday following an ongoing, serious illness.

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Fit for a queen

Following Janet Bullock’s wonderful photo posted here a few days ago – which turns out indeed to be the May Queen celebrations at Ogley Ha Infants School in Brownhills – there was much discussion here and on social media about this traditional event, and reader Kate Dixon turned up local history gold.

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May be? Ogley Hay infants in the early 1960s

Reader Janet has sent me an absolutely gorgeous school photo from the early 1960s at Ogley Hay infants in Brownhills – from the activity and dress depicted, I think this may be a May Day celebration which I believe was customary at the school at the time?

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A feast of wire

Local rail buff Simon Swain has been busy of late covering the momentous and important Chase Line Electrification Project, which is seeing the rail line between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley electrified for hopefully faster and more reliable services.

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Two great events coming up from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about a couple of events the local canal restoration project are holding in the coming weeks, a quiz night on Saturday 17th March 2018 and a guided walk of the Summerhill section on Saturday 21st April 2018.

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A great vintage – a brand new shop at Chasewater Railway

I’m always happy to see new attractions at Chasewater Railway, so I was pleased to note the carriage on Platform One now has a new business within, the Chase Vintage Carriage operated by Charley Hughes, and it’s currently open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am until 4pm.

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust February 2018 public meeting this Monday

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening (12th February 2018) there will be the February 2018 Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.

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Could you help restore a lost, local canal?

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the progress they’re making, and to send out an appeal for volunteers to help push the restoration forward.

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A team line up and a pig roast: What do you know?

Brian Clenton contacted me again just before Christmas and asked if I could round these two photos again, as he’s still looking for names and information about the people in them – and they’re wonderful images, so it’s a pleasure.

clayhanger chapel bbq

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New year quiz 2018 – come on, have a go if you’re up for it!

Hey folks, a little later than hoped it’s the 2018 Brownhills Blog New Year Quiz – and don’t forget the photo competition is also running alongside, and similarly has beer and book prizes to be won! 

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust January 2018 public meeting this Monday

lds Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening (8th January 2018) there will be the January 2018 Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.

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New year quiz 2018 – get stuck in!

Hey folks, a little later than hoped it’s the 2018 Brownhills Blog New Year Quiz – and don’t forget the photo competition is also running alongside, and similarly has beer and book prizes to be won! 

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Whistle and flute?

I have a really simple enquiry and request in from a reader this week relating to a local shop I’d completely forgotten about, and I think it’s worth asking you readers for help.

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Living next door to the Grove – what do you know?

Last year I featured a very popular set of images from a place I genuinely didn’t realise still existed: The Grove Colliery, the remnants of which – the house and offices situated just off Lime Lane, between Pelsall, Brownhills, Norton and Great Wyrley – were documented by old pal of the blog Simon Swain and drone wizard Steve Martin also captured the site from the air.

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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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Carols by the canal – and memories of great friends

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are holding a carol evening at their Fosseway Nature Reserve site, just off Falkland Road, Lichfield on Saturday 16 December 2017 from 7-9pm and all are welcome.

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Aldridge Christmas events start today and run through the weekend

It’s that time of year again, and I welcome news of Christmas Fairs, tree festivals and festive events of all kinds to share with readers – first up there are three great Christmas events in Aldridge this weekend, with the three-day Christmas Tree Festival kicking off at 11am this morning.
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Pictures and video from Brownhills and Heath Hayes 2017 Remembrance events

Last weekend, Saturday and Sunday 11-12th November 2017 saw the annual Remembrance weekend in the UK and I’m pleased to say Walsall Borough and South Staffordshire did themselves proud and staged a whole range of parades and events that were well supported and attended – and I was especially pleased to see the wonderful turnout and effort in Brownhills.

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Walsall Wood Remembrance Sunday 2017 pictures

The young David Evans yesterday (Sunday, 12th November 2017) went to his local Remembrance event in Walsall Wood and sent in a wonderful gallery of images to mark this most sombre of days.

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We will never forget

It’s that time of year when I note Remembrance here in the UK and personally express my gratitude and concern for those who lost their lives in the service of our country – this post is one I make every year, but evolves as I think and reflect on those who paid and continue to pay a huge price for our freedom.

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Details of 2017 local Remembrance events – live list

Following my request for information to make a list of local Remembrance events, I can again share with readers a list of local Remembrance services taking place locally this Remembrance Sunday, 12th November 2017 – this list will be updated with more info as I get it.

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust November 2017 public meeting this Monday

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening (13th November 2017) there will be the November 2017 Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.
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2017 local Remembrance events – let’s make a list – can you help please?

This is just a quick request for help – in past years, we have crowdsourced from readers a list of local Remembrance parades and events taking place throughout the area, that was popular and useful to many of the readership.

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Chasewater Railway – ride the Ghost Train this evening!

I note Chasewater Railway have Halloween ghost trains running this evening (28th October 2016) with prizes for fancy dress, ghostly fun and games and much more spooky fun for all the family!

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Lamping it

For those who missed it, I had an interesting question commented to an old post in the week, and I thought I’d make a post out of it as it deserves a wider audience – this certainly sounds like a remarkable family history, which someone out there must be able to help with.

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust October 2017 public meeting this Monday

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening (9th October 2017) there will be the October 2017 Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.

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A hole lot of sink

One of the curious things about writing and keeping this blog has always been the steady, curious dynamic of story arcs – where an old subject gets continually, slowly and gradually expanded as Google lists it, people search and find the post, comment and expand it.

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Chasewater Railway Coal Train event this weekend

Sorry again for the late notice but I note Chasewater Railway have their Coal Train event this weekend (Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2017) with a mixture of diesel and steam runnings, demo trains and working plant.

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Pictures from the 2017 Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

Yesterday (Saturday 23rd September 2017) I got chance to go to the first day of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust’s Heritage Gathering at Huddlesford, near Whittington.

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Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering is this weekend!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is running on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (23-24th September 2017), and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.
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Less than two weeks to go until Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is coming up over the weekend of 23-24th September 2017, and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.

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