Aston Manor Transport Museum in Aldridge – 2019 Spring Running Day this Sunday

I see from the events list that Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge have their Spring Running Day this Sunday, 28th April 2019 – It starts at 10:00am and should be just the thing for vintage transport fans, bus enthusiasts, petrol heads and big and little kids of all kinds.

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Aston Manor Road Transport Museum events are always popular – and it’s only up the road in Aldridge. What’s not to love? Image from the AMRTM Facebook page.

There will be stalls and displays, free bus rides and all the usual goodies for all the family to enjoy.

Entry is a pocket pleasing £5 for adults, £2 for kids and just £13 for a family ticket.There’s free bus service operating all day between various destinations and the museum in Shenstone Drive – see the timetable below.

While you’re there, you can check out all the great stuff in the collection, and talk to the volunteers, who’re doing a fine job.

This is sure to be a great event – please do pop along. The collection needs the support of the public to survive, and it really is a wonderful thing. The 2017 events schedule for the museum is any the foot of this post.

Why not check out the museum website or their Facebook group?

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Walsall Wood at home to Sporting Khalsa this afternoon in Bank Holiday boster!

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Walsall Wood FC have a great reputation for entertaining football, and a keen, loyal and friendly bunch of supporters! Come join in the fun this Saturday and see some cracking sport.

Monday 22nd April 2019

The Wood are at home in a bank holiday spectacular!

Following hammering Ilkeston4-0 away on Saturday, the Wood are at the top of the table. Can they conquer Khalsa and seize the lead?

Walsall Wood FC versus Sporting Khalsa FC

Kickoff at 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here

 

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Brownhills Carnival, circa 1972: A special gallery

I’m pleased and delighted to have been contacted once more by top local photographer and friend of the blog Peter Booth, who this time has sent me some images of Brownhills Carnival in 1972, kindly donated to him by Steve Craddock, taken by his father, Roy Craddock.

These are remarkably good photos, beautifully scanned and restored by Peter. They are fantastically clear and there is some absolutely stunning detail which I’ll leave readers to find and debate – but people in these pictures must be recognisable now.

Particularly interested in the cheeky wee lad peering into the camera on the marching band image, the people on the coal lorry float in front of the Station Hotel (especially the bearded lad, sure I recognise him), and of course, the carnival queen!

Peter said:

Hello Bob

Had these photos donated to me a couple of weeks ago of Brownhills Carnival procession in 1972 I think, that’s the date on the slide anyway.

These were donated to me by Steve Craddock taken by his Dad, Roy. He found them while sorting through his Dads old slides and thought they might be of interest to me.

These so far have cleaned up well showing a lot of detail of the high street at the time. 

Regards Peter Booth.

Again, my thanks and gratitude to Peter, it’s a pleasure and an honour to feature material of this quality here – and a special thank you to the Craddock family for sharing some photos from a time I thought we’d never see. Wonderful stuff. Thank you.

If readers have anything to add, please do comment here or mail me: Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

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Fancy an egg hunt this Easter Sunday?

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Fancy a bit of local eEaster fun? This could be just the thing….

For a bit of Easter fun on a beautiful weekend, I notice Oak Tree Farm down in Stonnall have an Easter egg hunt this Easter Sunday afternoon 21st April 2019 from 2pm to 4pm.

It’s £5 per child – no need to book, just turn up!

There are all the usual animals and fun stuff to see down there, so what’s not to love?

You can find out more at Oak Tree Farm’s Facebook page here.Oak Tree Farm is located through the second gate on the right, Gravelley Lane, Stonnall

WS9 9LB (That’s just down the Chester Road, left after the turning for Stonnall Village).

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Walsall Wood FC v Ilkeston Town – crunch away match today!

Love the clock tower – what a fine venue! Image from Ilkeston Town FC’s website.

Saturday 20th April 2019

A top of the table clash that’s been hotly anticipated – a win here for either side will be hard fought and make all the difference!

Walsall Wood F.C. v Ilkeston Town FC

Away at The New Manor Ground
Awsworth Road, Ilkeston DE7 8JF

 Don’t break your Wood vows, be there, be faithful to your local heroes

3:00pm kickoff

For The Good Of The Wood!

Visit the Walsall Wood FC website here

 

 

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Loads going on at the Horse & Jockey Walsall Wood – including a great charity Easter egg hunt and fun day this Saturday!

There’s also a bunch of great stuff going on this weekend at the revitalised Horse and Jockey pub in Walsall Wood (just opposite Barons Court Hotel) which has recently come under new management and is developing a great reputation for good food and entertainment.

Tonight (Friday April 19th 2019) they have a fun fancy dress Easter Break School Disco from 8pm until late which will have lots of 80s music and free entry – so what’s not to love there?.

Tomorrow (Saturday 20th April 2019) there’s a great charity Easter event – a kid’s Easter egg Hunt, Carboot Sale, Disco Dome, barbecue, Fire Service display and loads more for the whole family – all the brainchild of Alisha, 8 who wanted to raise money for WPH – supporting children’s mental health in the community, which is a fine cause.

The fun day kicks off at 1pm. Why not get down there?

The organisers said:

Alisha is a 8 year old girl that has organised this event with the help from the horse and jockey and ourselves at Firefly.

We would love for you to come along and help Alisha in raising awareness in mental health

CARBOOT SALE – DISCO DOME – BBQ – MIDLAND FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE – ICE DREAM VAN – EASTER EGG HUNT – BIG RAFFLE OVER 30 PRIZES TO BE WON

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Brownhills St. George’s Day gig and party at the Memo this Sunday

St Georges Day this year collides with Easter so not many St. George events about – but there is an excellent St. George Charity Gig and party in store at The Memo, Lichfield Road, Brownhills this Sunday 21st April 2019.

The party fun runs from 2pm until 10pm with lots of great bands, food and fun – and it’s just a tenner a ticket!

Live bands include the wonderful Two Ukes, From the Archives, Not Quite Dead Yet, Bad Things and Ska Face.

The Memo is unlicensed so you’ll need to bring your own beer – which is a bonus as it should make it a cheaper day out!

Tickets are available in advance – you can contact Ian Neville, the organiser via the his Facebook page here, to sort it out before you attend.

My best wishes to Ian and all involved – have a great party!

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Local miniature railway open this Easter Bank Holiday Monday!

Right, since it’s the first springtime bank holiday of 2019 on Monday, that means there will be one of the occasional openings of something remarkable I visited way a couple of years ago, and it’s well worth a visit.

Balleny Green is a narrow gauge, passenger-carrying miniature model railway located at Little Hay, east of Shenstone and north of Sutton Coldfield, just down the lane from the Holly Bush pub.

The railway runs it it’s own grounds which are beautiful, and is skilfully and safely operated by dedicated and clever engineers. It’s genuinely breathtaking, and what’s more, absolutely free (although you’d a total tightarse not to make a donation for such a wonderful thing – collecting box right by the clubhouse!)

Image from Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Society.

Balleny Green’s address is: SCMES Site, Little Hay, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 0QA – see the map above.

Balleny Green is something I heartily recommend – it won’t take all day, but it’ll easily burn a couple of hours and leave you feeling thoroughly charmed. It’s open from 11am until around 4pm.

You can find out more at the Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Society’s site here. I posted the following on my 365daysofbiking journal after my visit. It’s a terrific thing.

May 1st – Today, I did something I’d been meaning to do for years – I paid a visit to Balleny Green, a little-known narrow gauge railway layout run by Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Society at Little Hay, between Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield.

I’ve known this place was here for years, but never caught it open. This time, I made a concerted effort to find out when it was a ‘steam up day’ and popped in.

This was just so English. No entry fee. No charges to ride. Just a bunch of people sharing their love of a fascinating, beautifully engineered hobby in the middle of rolling countryside in gorgeous grounds.

There is a long layout consisting of several tracks – including a miniature one – but on the larger one, which interestingly is dual gauge – passengers sit in or on carriages and are conveyed by small locomotives – today one steam, one electric – through tunnels, over junctions, level crossings, past ponds, signals, signal boxes. It’s gorgeous.

The whole thing is clearly a labour of love.

There were no other attractions, and none were needed: tea and biscuits, and a tin for donations to cover running costs.

All right here on the doorstep, and few know about it. A wonderful thing.

Find out more about Balleny Green at their website here. I’d like to thank the members for a beautiful, life-affirming thing.

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Easter 2019 Big Bounce family fun day coming this Thursday to Oak Park!


Just a headsup to point out there’s a Big Bounce family fun day taking place at Oak Park Active Living Centre, Walsall Wood this Thursday, 18th April 2019.

It’s £7 per child and there are three sessions, 10:30-12pm, 12:15-1:45pm and 2-3:30pm.

There will be rides, inflatables, slides, go-karts and all sorts of fun, including a toddler zone.

You can check out the Facebook page of the event operator here.

The organisers said:

Easter Indoor Arena Big Bounce for Primary school aged Children & their siblings aged 2-13 years

An Arena filled with Inflatable wipeout games, Huge Slides, NEW Assault courses and more to Play, Bounce, Slide, Race & have loads of fun & our Easter Egg Hunt!

Plus NEW for 2019 Hungry Hippos, our NEW double Beam Total Wipeout Sweeper & Dedicated under 5’s Bouncers

We strongly advise pre-booking www.ticketsource.co.uk/BigBounce as once all tickets are sold we are limited to how many cash payers we can allow in on the door.

Tickets online from £6 for children, £1 adults. + family tickets £18 for 3 kids & 2 adults. On the door tickets £7 kids £1 Adults.

All attractions are FREE once admission paid.

We have 3 sessions to enable more youngsters to enjoy the fun!
10.30am – 12
12.15pm – 1.45pm
2- 3.30pm

Children Must be accompanied by a supervising adult, Adults may be responsible for up to 5 children.

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Don’t forget Easter Soultime – Northern Soul and Motown Disco with DJ Leekie and pals this Good Friday

The inimitable soul DJ Leekie has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing a special Easter set at his regular Soultime event at Pelsall Community Centre this coming Good Friday, 19th April 2019, where he and a number of great soul pals will be fulfilling all your Northern Soul and Motown requirements.

This is a full on two room bash with one dedicated to oldies hits and the other to Ska, Mod and 70s soul. What’s not to love?

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a bit of classic soul and Leekie is a great DJ for a wonderful night. A two-room event, it also features Steve Turner, Paul McCracken, Alan Wiley and Rob Edgar. Just the thing to get the Easter holidays off to a great start!

It’s just £5 a head and kicks off at 8pm and runs until Midnight.

That’s Pelsall Community Centre, Station Rd, Pelsall, Walsall WS3 4BQ. See you there?

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There’s a great autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

11:35am – Sorry folks my mistake the organisers told this isn’t happening today, next meeting is April 30th. Apologies for any inconvenience – Bob

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few months now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Easter Fun Day at Oak Park today!

I see for those of you still with the delightful wee nippers on school holiday, there’s an Easter Fun Day on today, Monday 15th April 2019 at Oak Park Active Living Centre, Walsall Wood, from  10am until 3pm.

It costs just £5 per child, and includes all activities.

Why not get the kids over there and find out what the place is all about? It really is a terrific facility.

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It’s Ogley, ay? The demolition of a local school: Please help with my confusion!

Some more pictures here for a Saturday of a bit of a mystery perhaps readers can help with: Exactly when the Ogley School at the top left of Church Road was demolished.

There’s a small but very interesting set from the ongoing exploration of the Gerald Reece collection from the demolition of this noted and well-loved school which seems to have taken place in the late 1980s: Of course, the other school opposite was demolished I think in the 90s where the new build housing is today.

The demolished school in the set below was on the left, behind the railings: The one razed later was on the right where the new houses are. I’ll confess I have no idea which is which and I invite reader contributions: I think the one on the left was the junior school.

I believe the one that remains now – in Great Charles Street, called St James Primary – was formerly the Ogley Girls Senior School. I could, of course, have all this wrong. Please feel free to clarify.

Images kindly supplied by Geraldd Reece and scanned by David Evans. Click for larger versions.

To make it clearer here’s a wonderful image taken in the snows of I think the early 80s looking down Church Road from St. James Church. It’s a great image posted on Facebook by David Tonks:

Image kindly supplied by David Tonks.

Now, one final image to jog the memory: I had this image in from reader Robert Sault a few weeks ago which he tells me is Ogley Juniors in the late 1960s. but looks like the school that still exists in the background. I’m confused.

Recognise anyone?

Image kindly supplied by Robert Sault.

I thank Gerald Reece, David Tonks, Robert Sault and David Evans for yet another remarkable set – you are a very wonderful and generous gentlemen.

The donor of the demolition images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
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Can you help a garden grow for Mylee?

I have a very important appeal for help here from Tracey Taundry, mother of Mylee who tragically died last year – St, James Primary School in the heart of Brownhills is the site of a beautiful garden as a tribute which is currently being created by volunteers and community support.

Tracey would particularly like to thank the community crew from One Stop on the Pelsall Road who helped so far, and appeal for plants and material and any help the community can offer for this wonderfully positive project.

Tracey wrote:

Huge thank you to the One Stop team for their hard work today (Friday, 12th April 2019) on Mylees garden!

If there’s anyone that can offer any help or materials for this project we would be truly grateful.

The plan is to make a garden at St. James Primary School where my daughter was a pupil – the garden will be used by all the children at St James as a place of calm and a place to work.

Mylee was a fun loving, bright, beautiful child who always had a smile on her face the garden will reflect that and will be a positive place for the children to try to take away the negative way she died, instead remembering Mylee as bright and beautiful.

So if you think you can help in anyway please get in touch with myself or St James School we’re in need of

  •  plants
  • outdoor paint
  • wind chimes
  • bird houses
  • bamboo screens
  • wood for raised flower beds etc.

A massive thank you to anyone that has donated, helped and for all your kind donations over the past year.

Thanks for reading!

If you can offer any help, please do: You can contact Tracey via Facebook here, or you can comment here on this post, grab me on social media or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

It’s wonderful to see something positive come out of such an awful event and I’d like to thank Tracey for this lovely idea. As ever, my thoughts are with the Taundry family and my best wishes go out to them.

 

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Why not Stay and Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 13th April 2019 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

BROWNHILLS STAY&PLAY
Saturday 13th April 2019

MELTED CHOCOLATE MESSY TRAY 🤭

This week we will EXPLORING MELTED CHOCOLATE 🍫 in our messy play tray

Our creative activity will be Easter cards to take home for our loved ones

We will have large building blocks in our outdoors area which is always enjoyed by the little ones 🌞 with the usual bikes and scooters 🛴 and some hidden chocolate coins 🤔

….Along with all our other areas of play within the nursery setting.

See you all Saturday!

10.00-11.30
£2 per child
Healthy Snack included

Feel free to invite your friends with children aged 0-4 years and share our events 👍🏼

This group is held at Little Green Dragons Day Nursery within Brownhills Community Centre every Saturday morning.

Add our Facebook Page –
Brownhills Stay&Play 🌈🌈

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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Beware! Bogus door to door charity scammers operating again

Beware of door to door charity collectors – they may not be all they seem. Image from West Midlands Police.

I’m troubled to see the return of a scam we’ve seen before in the area – that of  door to door cold callers pretending to be deaf and duping people into giving to a charity that doesn’t exist.

I first covered this scam in 2015 here, when the perpetrator was female, this time it’s a man who is also believed to be stealing mobile phones.

West Midlands Police said:

We’ve had numerous reports of a scam operating in the West Midlands area involving a man pretending to be deaf.

A man has been entering businesses such as hotels and funeral homes and presenting staff with a sponsorship form and asking for cash donations.

The form is headed with a blue “Disabled and Deaf” logo. This is not a registered charity.

Unfortunately fake charities such as this try to take advantage of your generosity and compassion for others in need.

Not only do these scams cost you money, they also divert much-needed donations away from legitimate charities and causes.

The scammer has also been using the sponsorship form to cover and then steal mobile phones.

The scam has been reported in Birmingham city centre, Stourbridge, Warley, Great Barr, Digbeth, Halesowen, Pheasey, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, Cradley Heath, Harborne, West Bromwich and Dudley.

An investigation is on-going. Please contact us via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk if you have any information.

PROTECT YOURSELF

• Ask the individual for details about the charity such as its full name, address and how the proceeds will be used.

• Check the organisation’s name and look them up. Check the website address to make sure it’s the same as what you searched for.

• Legitimate charities are registered – you check an organisation’s credentials on the GOV.UK website to see if they’re a genuine charity – https://www.gov.uk/find-charity-information

• Never send money or give personal information, credit card details or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust.

• If you are approached by someone directly, ask to see their identification. Remember, even if they do have identification, it could be forged or meaningless. If you have any doubts about who they are, do not pay.

Please tell your relatives and neighbours about these callers and impress upon them how important it is not to buy from, or accept services at the door, and not to give to charity cold callers who may not be genuine. Some of these people can seem very plausible, but genuine companies will always contact you by other means.

Explain that no official body will turn up unannounced demanding money for services like drain cleaning, tree pruning etc., and that if they are at all unsure of any caller, to close the door and contact the police.

You can contact Walsall Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

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The Brownhills are alive with the Sound of Music!

I note that top local performers Brownhills Musical Theatre Company have their next show The Sound of Music coming up at Lichfield’s Garrick Theatre next month, and I’m getting an advert in early as it’s sure to be a sellout.

The show is running from this Tuesday 7th May until until Saturday 11th May 2019 at the Garrick Theatre right in the heart of Lichfield. There are still performances you can catch but you need to be quick with getting your tickets – they’re selling fast!

This will be yet another great production from a very competent, talented and professional cast of local folk.

Brownhills Musical Theatre Company have a great pedigree and a wonderful track record for fun, endearing, entertaining and very professional shows. They really are a hidden gem and well worth catching.

Brownhills Musical Theatre Company wrote:

The Sound Of Music

These Midlands hills are alive with a dynamic new production of The Sound of Music, presented by Brownhills Musical Theatre Company.

This is an ‘all time classic’ guaranteed to touch everyone’s heart, featuring Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss and So Long, Farewell – This Oscar winning musical will be one of your ‘favourite things’ to see with all the family.

The children of Captain von Trapp fill their days playing funny tricks on everyone all around them but secretly want a mother to love them…only one person fits the bill, Maria! So, starts the adventure of a lifetime, and one that will change their lives forever.

Fresh from their critically acclaimed major production of Bad Girls and Half a Sixpence, early booking is strongly advised for BMTC’s next knock out performance.

DO – RE – MI … Get me a Ticket!

7th – 11th May 2019 at The Lichfield Garrick

We’re approaching a sell out now so why not make sure you book your tickets today!

Box Office 📞01543 412121

or online 💻www.lichfieldgarrick.com

#thehillsarealive

Brownhills Musical Theatre Company rehearsing in Brownhills. Image from their Facebook page.

Why not check out Brownhills Musical Theatre Company’s Facebook page?

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An appeal for help from Aldridge Shed: Can you help?

I have an important appeal for help here from John Morris of Walsall Council on behalf of the wonderful Aldridge Shed project where local folk get together every weekday to make and repair stuff, socialise and generally have a great, creative time.

These folk really do some wonderful stuff. Image from their Facebook page.

You can find out about Aldridge Shed here – it really is wonderful. I’ve also covered it in previous articles too.

Anyway, here’s the deal: The Shed are currently located in Alrewych Court, the special care accommodation on Northgate, smack bang on the border between Aldridge and Walsall Wood; whilst their current premises has been wonderful, they are growing so much they need a building with much more space.

John said:

Good morning,

I have met with members of Aldridge Shed recently and they have a dilemma, a good dilemma, following their success. They are now at the point, after being open 3 years in June, that their current premises are too small for the number of members they have which is increasing almost every week. Following a recent review of their 5 year plan, it would seem that the next stage in the progression of the group will be to operate from larger premises. This would enable them to take on activities other than woodworking and crafting, such as metalwork and welding. This would also enable more people in the community to be part of this movement that helps with social isolation and loneliness that is prevalent in our area.

I am emailing you to see if you are aware of any potential premises that Aldridge Shed may be able to consider as their next home? Listed below are some of the features than any potential building will need:-

  • Floor space of 2,000 square feet as a minimum
  • Availability 7 days a week
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to the premises
  • Somewhere within the East locality would be preferred (Brownhills / Pelsall / Shelfield / Rushall / Aldridge / Walsall Wood / Streetly)

If you are aware of any vacant premises that would be suitable, please can you let me know and I will pass on to members of Aldridge Shed?
It is also worth saying that the group would be interested in collaboration with other local community groups to set up a community hub. So if you would be interested in this idea, again please contact me and let me know.

Many thanks…

John Morris

Locality Manager – South / East
Resources and Transformation
Walsall Council
Civic Centre – 1st Floor Zone 1b
Darwall Street
Walsall WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922 653711

Email: John.Morris@walsall.gov.uk

You can also contact or visit Aldridge Shed directly:

Email: aldridgeshed@gmail.com
Telephone: 07973 657328

Open from Monday to Friday 9:30-16:00: Alrewych Court, 220 Northgate, Aldridge, WS9 8AF.

If you can help, please do: This is a really wonderful project, and I thank John Morris and the young David Evans for bringing this to my attention.

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There’s a great autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few months now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust April 2019 public meeting tonight

P1120641
Sandfields Pumping Station – a great historic building with immense history and social significance – not just to Lichfield, but to the Black Country. Lichfield Discovered and local historian Dave Moore have saved this valuable asset for the community.

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this Monday evening, 8th April 2019 there will be the monthly 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 is of course open to anyone interested.

Dave wrote:

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:  Monday 8th April 2019 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the
 
The Bowling Green
Friary Road
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6QJ
 
Tel: 01543 257344
 
The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.

February meeting notes are available here

Latest News

Building Lease Update

Two of the trustees had a meeting with Persimmon homes in March. The meeting was open, honest and frank. The trust welcomes this improved working relationship with the owners and wish to continue with a productive dialogue that will be of mutual benefit to both parties.
 
Mains cables have now been installed, with the remaining connections still to be made. Contractors surveyors and engineers have been on-site to assess the final connection works. Hopefully, electrical power will be available soon.
 
We see march as a month of significant progress, we would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support.

Important Note

After the visit by Historic England on 16 Jan, the site has unfortunately been placed on the Heritage At Risk Register.

This is indeed sad news to see that this magnificent piece of industrial heritage is now officially at risk of permanent loss.
 
The trust is committed to continue working with the owner, Persimmon Homes Ltd to find a sustainable solution that will bring this building and its historic contents aback into a community use.

Tonights Talk

Tonight talk is from Alan Taman a researcher based at Birmingham City University

Cholera, Burgers and Blame: The politics and psychology of health inequality

The development of antibiotics has been hailed as a significant step in the improvement in quality of life. Yet the reality it has not made a significant difference. [Astounding assertion there – Bob] Yet the provision of clean water and effective sanitation made a significant improvement in life expectancy but did not make the news in the same way as antibiotics. So, what are the factors that influence the health and wellbeing of the community?
 
Alan’s research looks at the importance of communities and the ways people support each other, as well as the more obvious areas like diet and lifestyle. We’re looking forward to hearing the early results.

Health and Safety

We are really pleased to report that we have been working for another month where there have been no incidents relating to health and safety. A very big thank you again to everyone for working safely and looking after your fellow volunteers.

Engineering Team Report

The engineering team are continuing to make steady but continual progress. They have made an impressive job of cleaning the chequer plate floors and the cylinder landing. The work is time consuming but showing amazing results.
 
Progress notes from the engineering team are available here.

Building Team Report

The building team are also making steady progress. Lighting has been improved to some of the basement areas and toilets. The railings and doors are looking better for a coat of paint.

The team are busy working on one toilet and converting it to a washing area with a sink and drainer, improving the welfare facilities to benefit all visitors.

Work is well underway preparing the wring system for the new power supply.

3D Walkthrough

Dudley Technical College has been extremely kind in producing a 3D Walkthrough for the trust. This is an amazing piece of work that not only showcases the site, it also provides an opportunity to those who are unable to visit the site or climb the stairs

Please click here to explore it.

History West Midlands – Podcast

History West Midlands have produced a stunning podcast titled – Making Cholera History in the Black Country.
 
 Presented by writer and broadcaster Graham Fisher and Directed by Andy Partington, featuring David Moore, the podcast gives a detailed history of both Sandfields pumping Station and the story of clean water.

Please click here to find out more about the podcast.

Archive and Historical Research Team Report

The archive and research team have done some sterling work preserving and cataloguing the historic artefacts left on site. Lists of water quality documents, tables, customer complaints and numerous other documents have been carefully and skilfully sorted, catalogued and stored.
 
The archive material will provide research opportunities for many years to come.

Donations

With over 2,500 volunteer working hours, (equates to more than two full time equivalents) and over £14,000 spent in cleaning equipment, materials and scaffold over the last two years. This month has seen quite a drain on our bank balance with invoices for the viability study and scaffolding landing on the desk. Looking at the engine now, as opposed to how it looked in 2016, the volunteers have made some remarkable progress.

We will also always invest in our people and we are planning further training days soon. All these costs soon mount up, so if you can donate, then please visit our donation page here.

Any amount is helpful, is well appreciated and will be carefully spent preserving our industrial past for our future generations, developing skills for our people and making our community a better place.

Please make cheques payable to; Lichfield Waterworks Trust, and send to our address:
 
22 Walsall Road
Lichfield
WS13 8AB
 
Membership

We would like this opportunity to welcome a few new members.

Thank you for joining the Lichfield Waterworks Trust. We hope you will enjoy your membership and become part of a very exciting heritage project that will benefit the people, the place and the community.
It would really help us if we develop and grow our membership. If you are not already a member and would you like to be a part of one of the region’s most exciting heritage projects then please, join us now by filling in Membership Application Form by going to our membership page here. It is free to join and be a part of this incredibly exciting project.
 
Finally
 
Thank you everyone for your continued support and helping to make a difference in our community. We hold work days every Friday between 10:00 and 12:00am, please feel free to pop in a see us, we make everyone welcome and have free tea and coffee!

Do pop over to Dave Moore’s blog and check out the history of Sandfields Pumping Station, an almost forgotten gem – the group also has a Facebook page.

Dave is, of course, one of the leading lights of Lichfield Discovered, along with Kate ‘Cardigan’ Gomez from Lichfield Lore.

It’s great to see people like Dave encourage a better attitude to our historic buildings -please do attend if you’re able, it’s sure to be enlightening and educational.

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Chasewater and the trotting track – back to the 80s

I thought I’d continue sharing the hugely popular 80s archive images today and the real treat from the immense Gerald Reece collection this weekend consists of the two related sets below.

Here we have two sides of Chasewater in the late 80s: The faded, down at heel amusement park era and the derelict, decaying trotting track, also covered very evocatively by Mike Leonard and the wonderful Peter Booth.

The Chasewater set below features the lake in spate and overflowing via the old spillway and weir system, just after the installation of the new under canal drain. We also see the end times of the Lighthouse (really a race observation tower) plus Anglesey Wharf before the motorway and also the mysterious valve house.

The second set is the derelict, abandoned trotting track stadium. Apparently purchased secondhand from a town in Wales, it was opened in 1971 to much applause but never really took off, and after several experiments with speedway and motorbike racing, it lay decaying until the M6 Toll came through at the turn of the millennium.

For all the opposition to the motorway (and lord knows, I opposed it) some places did benefit from it’s construction, and Chasewater was one of those places. Whilst it tragically lost the Go-Kart track, it gained a much better base for the railway, the clearance of the stadium and the regeneration of the south shore into something more appropriate for the age.

These remarkable images have been very generously supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – you are a very wonderful and generous gentlemen.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
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Faid away: The final dinner bell

Walsall Wood County Secondary School and a wonderful image offered by Tony Portman of the happy retirement presentation to Mrs Dolly James. The gentleman in the photo is Mr Faid, headmaster.

David Evans has again been chatting to the wonderfully generous Tony Portman, who as many of you will recall, has previously shared a huge number of photos with the blog of Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s.

That remarkable collection was introduced in this blog post here – and today I can share with you another photo, possibly of that period, of the retirement presentation to much-loved dinner lady Mrs. Dolly James at the school, by the head, Mr. Faid.

David Evans wrote:

HI Bob

Another wonderful photo, offered by Tony Portman, showing a happy retirement event.
I think we all have memories of school dinners. The good dinner ladies seen here toiled in a very small canteen kitchen at Walsall Wood Secondary school, to receive the meals that had been cooked in the central school meals kitchen which I think was in Brownhills.
This common kitchen possibly served pupils from the Primary and Secondary School and others in the district.
I am not sure of the date of the event.. Perhaps readers can help, please?
A big thankyou to Tony for offering this photo from his private collection
David
(Were the meals cooked in the former National restaurant kitchen, the corrugated hut behind the Brownhills central School? Although I don’t think the lady not in uniform is Mrs Parsley…)

Thanks to Tony Portman who generously granted access to a remarkable collection, and to David Evans for scanning them so diligently. People like you gentlemen are keeping local history alive. Thank you.

Please, any comments, contributions or observations welcome. Either comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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Walsall Wood fight hard to raze Romulus on the astroturf

Images and captions kindly supplied by the young David Evans

A chilly afternoon downwind of the rather aromatic Minworth Sewage Works at Romulus FCs Castle Vale ground rewarded the Wood faithful today (Saturday 6th April 2019) with a win in a hard fought but enjoyable encounter.

First up David Evans was there, and sent the above images and the following report – and following at the foot of the post, an additional report and footage from recent matches.

David Evans wrote:

Romulus FC 0 v 1 Walsall Wood FC
Saturday 6th April 2019

The football ground was probably the easiest one for me to find, situated in Castle Vale, just off the Spitifre Island. Impressive stand and complex, beautiful green grass. But not real grass. However the unusual –  ripe – aroma that pervaded the ground from the nearby ‘water treatment facility’ had nothing synthetic about it.

No matter. A goodly choir of Wood away supporters of various ages,  diameters and heights managed to squeeze through the eye-wateringly narrow turnstile [Lay off the half time doughnuts David! – Bob], regain composure and then, having made the necessary personal realignments, made their way  to the welcome indoor bar before resolving to take their seats or positions around the perimeter wire fencing out in the open air.

Such was the unpredictability and force of the breeze that occasionally a wayward kick directed the football toward the more vocal of the spectators sat sitting in the stand. The said supporters retained their vocality, however.

The contest proved to be captivating and thrilling throughout the entire game today. Played at a fast pace and on the hard unyielding surface, we witnessed a level of accuracy of passing and determination of leaping that we see on a real pitch. Players of both sides demonstrated a fine ability to adapt the style of football to the demands of the day. Full credit.

It was the Wood who were first to show their composure and dominance, with swift moves, possession and control; yet Romulus , too demonstrated that they were playing on a surface they were well accustomed to. There seemed to be a fine balance of steady moves and deceptive counter moves… By both teams.

The half time whistle brought the players a necessary break with the usual cucumber sandwiches and cup of hot tea, served by their doting managers. Meanwhile, supporters, who by now were gasping for something liquid, to rinse their vocal chords, and something solid, to subdue the complaining rumbles from their half-frozen empty bellies, made their way to the welcoming bar, warmth, and then, slightly unsteadily, perhaps to snack bar.

The second half began as supporters resigned themselves to brave both the cold and neighbouring earthy aromas.

Romulus were visibly re-energised and seemed to have the upper hand at times, launching attacks and dashes in to the Woods half. The Wood, for their part, were resilient in defence as always and employed different tactics, which, after what seemed an eternity, brought a beautifully crafted and executed goal for the visitors.

The visiting supporters, who outnumbered the home supporters, erupted in shouts of delight, cheers, and other well-known ways. It was  near the final ten minutes of the match and now Romulus threw everything, overcoming understandable frustration, attempting to gain a goal. But, today, mercifully, the day was the Wood’s.

Final score: Romulus nil, Walsall Wood FC one goal.

Now, who do the Wood play next?  Oh yes, that town near Heanor. Should  turn out to be an interesting match, that one, my ducks..

David

Thanks to David there – For The Good Of The Wood!

I notice also we recently had some match footage of the Saturday 23rd March 2019 Wood v Coventry Sphinx match posted up from the excellent and professional Russell Smith’s The-Wood.TV:

Additionally I have this report in from Simon Evans who attended the Loughborough away match last Saturday, another hard-fought Wood win.

Loughborough 1 v 2 Walsall Wood
Saturday 30th March 2019
Wood started the brightly, Paul Sullivan with an effort that the defender blocked, Loughborough countered and forced a corner, which was cleared. On 15 minutes, Paul Sullivan’s effort was straight at the keeper. Wood soon got the first goal, Mitch Tolley’s effort finding the back of the net.
Loughborough then had a brief spell of pressure, a freekick going just wide. Just before half time, Javia Roberts lobbed the oncoming Loughborough keeper from distance, but the ball bounced just wide. Loughborough countered and won a corner. The corner was swung in and found the corner of the net. The ref then blew for half time.
Wood started the second half brightly, Javia Roberts effort was deflected onto the Loughborough crossbar by Matt Dodds. From a corner, Kyle Rowley headed just wide, Matt Dodds then went on a 40 yard run, beating defenders, but the keeper was equal to the effort. Javia Roberts effort was well saved by the Loughborough keeper.
It was all Wood at this point. Wood sub Joey Butlin’s header from close range went agonisingly just over the bar. The last few minutes from a Loughborough attack, they won a freekick, which LLoyd Ransome in the Wood goal gathered. Then an effort from Loughborough went wide.
On  86 minutes a Joey Butlin freekick saw the Loughborough keeper make a fine save for a corner, the resulting corner wasn’t cleared and Kyle Rowley’s header forced the keeper to make another good save. With time almost up, Wood had a freekick, the ball was met by Kyle Rowley who’s header found the back of the net. Within seconds the ref had blown for full time.
Simon
Thanks to the Evans boys and Russell Smith for their excellent coverage as ever.

Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side and last season’s league champions with a big-hearted faithful who know how to have a great time supporting their lads, and welcome all comers to come enjoy great local soccer.

The boys from The Wood have been at the heart of the local community for a century or more, so please do go check out a match or two if you’re curious.

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A lost local landmark and a snowy market day

Saturday means it’s time for yet more images from the huge Gerald Reece collection – so kindly donated for use on the blog by the great man himself. Today, I have a selection of random images not big enough to fit in galleries of their own.

Today, the star of the show is something I thought I’d never, ever see: A photo of Brownhills bandstand that stood in Holland Park, facing the Annexe and Police Station, just by the toilet block. I think it was demolished in the 1990s. Gerald’s photo is late 80s from the graffiti to the right, and has been freshly painted by the looks of things.

A fresh coat of paint and an interesting stall, late 80s I think. Wonder what’s going on here? Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece.

I wonder what the stall was? Looks like it might have been local history. Possibly during a carnival. Anyone any idea on this?

In the gallery below we have other images of Brownhills Market on a very snowy day (again, probably 1980s) and images of the construction of the new pedestrian bridge at Pier Street – a subject also covered in this gallery byy old friend of the blog Facade66.

These remarkable images have been very generously supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – you are a very wonderful and generous gentlemen.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
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Got kids? You are invited to a family fun day at Chasewater this Sunday

Local mum Claire Mason is staging something rather lovely at Chasewater this Sunday (7th April 2019) that people with kids (or looking after them!) can get involved with to socialise and have fun.

Loads to do at Chasewater for all ages. Image from Enjoy Staffordshire.

Claire has noticed that it can be quite isolating being a parent with young kids and wants to organise informal play and meeting groups at local parks and attractions, and is kicking off by inviting you to join her this Sunday, 7th April 2019 at Chasewater, where you can meet by the cafe at 11:15am.

There’s no fixed plan, but Claire wants it to be organic and see what folk attending would like to do. That could be feeding the birds, playing ball games and sports, having a picnic or whatever suggestions come up.

The weather looks to be dry and warmer, so if you’re a mum, dad, grandma or grandpa with kids at a loose end, why not pop along? This is how the great Chasewater Strollers started, and that grew into the wonderful Spark Burntwood, so the sky’s the limit!

You can join the Facebook group for the event here.

We all love Chasewater! Image kindly shared by Steve Martin.

Claire Mason said:

Fun family day for moms dads nans grandads with children to play ball games (football,rounders,catch etc.) bring food for ducks and if nice a picnic.

You dont have to stay all day just come and meet new people and have fun.Children can play while adults socialise.

(If anyone has any other outdoor games bring them along or bring your ideas)

Everyone welcome

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

The inimitable soul DJ Leekie has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing a special Easter set at his regular Soultime event at Pelsall Community Centre this coming Good Friday, 19th April 2019, where he and a number of great soul pals will be fulfilling all your Northern Soul and Motown requirements.

This is a full on two room bash with one dedicated to oldies hits and the other to Ska, Mod and 70s soul. What’s not to love?

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a bit of classic soul and Leekie is a great DJ for a wonderful night. A two-room event, it also features Steve Turner, Paul McCracken, Alan Wiley and Rob Edgar. Just the thing to get the Easter holidays off to a great start!

It’s just £5 a head and kicks off at 8pm and runs until Midnight.

That’s Pelsall Community Centre, Station Rd, Pelsall, Walsall WS3 4BQ. See you there?

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Walsall Wood away to Romulus at Castle Vale this afternoon!

Romulus play at the impressive Caste Vale Stadium. Why not pop down? Image from Tripadvisor.

Saturday 6th April 2019

Walsall Wood are away to Castle Vale’s Romulus FC

Walsall Wood F.C. v Loughborough F.C.

Romulus FC, Castle Vale Stadium, Farnborough Road, Birmingham B35 7LQ

Don’t break your Wood vows, be there, be faithful to your local heroes!

3:00pm kickoff

For The Good Of The Wood!

Looking forward to the match report…

Visit the Walsall Wood FC website here

 

 

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There’s a disco at the Motivation Hub this Saturday for adults with additional needs

It’s good to see the Moivation Hub in Walsall Wood going from strength to strength – this wonderful facility for those with learning disabilities or other special needs fills a real local gap in provision and provides a warm, safe and welcoming atmosphere for folk to socialise, learn and hang out.

This is a heads up to folk who may be interested that on this Saturday evening, 6th April 2019, they will be holding a disco night for adults (18+) with additional needs.

It’s just £3.50 per head, including a drink, snack and raffle ticket. There’s a real gap locally for events like this and this is wonderful to see.

All this takes place at the Hub’s premises in the former Youth Club behind Walsall Wood Primary School at Streets Corner Walsall Wood – Call Suzanne Sant for more information on 07388 553615‬ or email her on santsuzanne@yahoo.com – you can also check out the Motivation Hub’s Facebook page here.

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Chasewater Railway Littleton Coal Train event all this weekend

One for the train buffs out there – Chasewater Railway have their Coal Train event this weekend (Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April 2019) with a mixture of diesel and steam runnings, demo trains and working plant.

The organisers said:

With an intensive passenger service and demonstration coal trains recreating coal haulage in the area, this year we remember Littleton colliery after its closure 25 years ago, with visiting guest locomotive YEC No2748, stands from local mining museums, tales from ex miners at Littleton colliery and more.

Did you or do you know anyone who used to work at Littleton? Then this weekend will be perfect to remember parts of how it used to be and you may even run into some old familiar work colleges.

Coal train weekend 6th & 7th April timetable and prices.

Adult £9.50
Concession £8.50
Child 2-16 years £4.50
Family £23.50
Members £3.50 (on production of a valid membership card)
Children under 2 free per paying adult

An added treat for local transport fans: Godfrey Hucker said ‘On Sunday 7th April, we are over moon to have Harper Brothers bus attending he event, company used to provide buses for Littleton Colliery. 
Thank you to owner for bringing it to event.’

This event will be well worth a look – the Railway is one of our hidden gems, situated at Chasewater Country Park, and is well worth a visit. There will be stuff there for all the family, with an intensive passenger service so please do wander down if you can.

Chasewater Railway is a wonderful attraction with regular passenger services at weekends and during school holidays, featuring two excellent cafes and a fascinating museum that chronicles not just railway history, but that of our area and industry.

The whole thing is staffed by helpful and friendly volunteers who are always ready to chat and talk about the railway and rolling stock.

At Brownhills west station there are also a lovely model railway, plus a couple of great vintage and collectible stalls. The railway itself has a shop selling books, rail models, toys and other merchandise.

Please do pop down if you haven’t already – Chasewater Railway really isn’t pushed enough; it’s wonderful.

You can check their website here – trains run this and every weekend from 11am to 4pm with the museum, cafes and stations open earlier.

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There’s a great autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few months now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Wild boar being introduced locally cause stir

Many of you who keep an eye on local news and events will have spotted a story that broke late last week when night-time traffic on the Cannock Road was held up between Five Ways at Heath Hayes and Burntwood by some unusual pigs taking a walk, and there has been much speculation about exactly what breed they were, and where they originated.

Indeed, they were so hairy and of such unfamiliar nature that I initially mistook them in the footage for Muntjac deer. Most of the speculation settled on them being wild boar.

I include the circulating film of the incident below:

You can also read a BBC News report of the incident here.

Well, one of the reasons I’ve not had much time to post on the blog this weekend is because having reflected on the nature of the porcine perambulation, I was troubled by the question of what the animals were exactly, and where they may have come from.

My interest was piqued when a local farmer got in touch to tell me he was being engaged in an experiment sponsored by Natural England to re-introduce wild boar in the area.

This is obviously a matter of some concern, as the pigs clearly have no road sense, and we already have a high accident toll from traffic collisions with deer, badgers and other other wild animals. Just what good can come of the introduction of pigs?

A unique breed of pigs go for a stroll – but what on earth is going on? Image from Andy Marshall.

It seems that Natural England have been very concerned about changes in the area brought about by overdevelopment of housing – particularly in the Norton, Burntwood and Lichfield areas, where large new developments are either in the pipeline or well underway.

Powerless to intervene in planning matters, specialists from Natural England have been clearly thinking outside the box and have worked with local anti-development protesters to thwart developments by other means.

Yesterday, I spoke with representative of the Burntwood Anger Group (BAG) Gloria Frottage about this curious initiative, who told me, ‘We could see that in some areas of the country large developments had been halted or cancelled completely by the discovery of rare, important species on the sites concerned, so we set out with Graham Wigglescope of Chasewater Wildlife Group to find some. He was talking about some toads and newts and other horrid things but he just came up with a blank. We knew then we had to introduce a species that was unique, and preferably jolly cute – not slimy and unpleasant like those toads.

‘Graham had explained that the deer we have were too common to be protected – even you in Brownhills have them for heavens sake! So a few of us approached Natural England who have several schemes relating to wild boar across the country. We decided we could buy into this, but it would need to be special.’

What I found out next was quite shocking. On a quiet farm between Heath Hayes and Gentleshaw, a unique breed of pigs has been interbred for release into the area, and has been registered with the National Pig Society as the Burntwood Boar. This short, stout and somewhat aggressive animal has been bred to reflect the characteristics of the local youth, with whom it shares 99% of its DNA. It is a remarkable animal possessing thick fur on its back, a strongly aggressive personality and is given to wandering into roads randomly, often with a long line of its ill-disciplined offspring in it’s wake – as can be seen in the film above.

The farmer, who wishes to remain nameless until the insurance position has been clarified, has carefully bred these animals over a three-year period, and late last year trial releases started in Burntwood’s greenbelt and on the few grass verges that remain in Norton Canes. Cuckoo Bank has seen a release, as has land between Wall and Lichfield.

It is hoped the presence of this unique species could prevent any development as it would threaten their habitat.

The new local gang problem on our streets: Are they worth the hassle? Burntwood Youth are coming to a green space near you.

All is not well, however. The Burntwood Boars released so far have caused several traffic incidents, but worse than that, have been exhibiting the rampant behaviour of their forebears: they have been breeding freely, have been eating all before them including crops in fields and gardens, have run amok in villages and towns at night fighting and generally being a source of constant antisocial behaviour.

Police Constable Wayne Peeler of Staffordshire Police is very concerned about the situation, ‘Of course the introduction of the pigs was cleared with us first, and to be fair the behaviour they exhibit is far from unusual in Norton, Chase Terrace and Burntwood. Indeed, the pigs seem to feel at home and only last week I had to make several arrests in a turf battle between Chasetown Youth and a herd of pigs. The pigs seemed to be winning, but of course, they had all the brains on their side.

‘It’s bad enough having to cover an area from Penkridge to Burton single handedly, without having to regularly round up wild animals and transport them back to the fields. On the plus side, it does seem like the developers are pulling out citing property value concerns.’

Over in Lichfield, the pigs have been more of an issue, with them roving onto leafy estates at night, mating noisily in The Close and bathing in Stowe and Minster Pools with little regard for the City’s history or standards. One resident commented it was like bower day, when all the townies came in from Walsall. Only the pigs were better behaved. And their thick fur has caused several to be mistaken for the local MP, much to his annoyance. To be fair, the pig also seemed pretty annoyed at the comparison with synthetic fur, as anyone would be.

The question is, are the Burntwood Boars a good idea if they do prevent further urbanisation? I’d love to hear from you. Comment here, hit me up on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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The Station currently departing…

I think it’s about time for another excellent, memory-jogging gallery from the wonderful Gerald Reece collection – this one mostly of the end of the Station Hotel which I think would have been around 1988-90, when it was being replaced by a new Aldi supermarket.

These remarkable images have been very generously supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

I must admit may memory of Brownhills High Street at this time is very sketchy, as I was spending more time in Walsall and Birmingham at the time. The Station Hotel had been derelict from the mid 80s – I had thought it went at the time of construction of the island, but it seems to have lasted much longer.

The construction of the Aldi which was ongoing in 1991 was not itself without controversy as this report from the April edition of the Brownhills Gazette of that year shows:

Brownhills Gazette, April 1991 – click for a larger version.

I’m particularly interested in the low building with the blue doors – what was that? Old stables? Some of the shop names will bring memories flooding back. Also, possibly the only photos I’ve ever seen of the Station Hotel cellars!

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – it really is most excellent and for me personally has stirred many memories, as they always do. Gerald, you are a very wonderful and generous gentleman.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Deer waters rising…

A lovely video here posted on Facebook in the last couple of days by Anna Marie Davies which she recorded of red deer bathing in the canal near Anglesey Wharf, just beyond the M6 Toll Bridge near Wharf Lane, Brownhills.

Deer like to bathe all year around, but particularly at the moment as they’re mounting and their shedding winter coats cause irritation, the water helps to remove the old fur and ease the skin.

This isn’t the first time local deer have been recorded going for a swim. Peri-urban deer expert Jochen Langbein recorded these animals having high jinx at Chasewater a few years ago. You can see that film in this post here.

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A still capturing the moment a stag chases a group of females through the water at the local reservoir. Image snipped from a video included below with kind permission of Jochen Langbein.

Thanks to Anna for a lovely film and a reminder that although we think of our town as being quite urban, we have a whole host of fascinating wildlife right here on our doorsteps.

Meanwhile, a quick public service announcement: Sorry folks I’ve been very busy the last couple of weeks and this weekend I’ve been absolutely exhausted, so not had much time for the blog. My apologies for this, it’s not permanent I’m just getting older (the blog is ten years old in a few weeks) and I’ve not the energy I used to have. Please bear with me for a while.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fancy finding out more about local wildlife? You can, right now until 3pm!

I note that since it’s such a lovely spring day it would be an excellent chance to nip up to Stubbers Green with the kids, grandkids of even just by yourself and chat to the Swan Patrol.

The Patrol are there this and every Sunday from 1-3pm and have bird books, binoculars and a wealth of knowledge to share – so why not join them? There’s so much more local wildlife than people think!

The reserve is by the pools on Stubbers Green Road, between Aldridge and Shelfield.

Ann Lawrence of the Swan Patrol said:

Do you want to know more about nature and wildlife?

Do you want your children or grandchildren to learn about your local environment?

Swan Patrol volunteers at Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge Walsall are there every Sunday 1-3pm. Binoculars and bird books are available. Stickers for the children as a reward for bringing suitable foods for the birds. (sweet corn, peas, porridge oats, rice, lettuce, vegetable peelings…

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Walsall Wood away to Loughborough this afternoon!

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Loughborough have a great ground. Image from Loughborough University Football’s Facebook page.

Saturday 30th March 2019

Walsall Wood are away to Loughborough

Walsall Wood F.C. v Loughborough F.C.

University Stadium, Oakwood Drive, Loughborough LE11 3QF

 Don’t break your Wood vows, be there, be faithful to your local heroes

3:00pm kickoff

For The Good Of The Wood!

Looking forward to the match report…

Visit the Walsall Wood FC website here

 

 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why not Stay and Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 30th March 2019 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

BROWNHILLS STAY&PLAY
Saturday 30th March 2019

MOTHERS DAY! 💐
Our messy tray will be full of different craft resources to create some masterpieces for Mothers Day!😊

We will also be decorating biscuits to take home with us 🍪

(I’ll bring lots🤣)

Not forgetting our outdoors area which was enjoyed very much last week 😍

….Along with all our other areas of play within the nursery setting.

See you all Saturday!

10.00-11.30
£2 per child
Healthy Snack included

Feel free to invite your friends with children aged 0-4 years and share our events 👍🏼

This group is held at Little Green Dragons Day Nursery within Brownhills Community Centre every Saturday morning.

Add our Facebook Page –
Brownhills Stay&Play 🌈🌈

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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Do you walk your dog in Hillside, Shire Oak and drop your poo bags – bad luck, you’re on CCTV

Screenshot from CCTV supplied by resident

If you walk your dog on Hillside, Simmonds Way or the alleyway between Hillside and Lindon Road and if you’re the person that is tossing away your dog’s poo bags as you walk when you think nobody is looking, the residents of Hillside would like you to know they have several video clips of you discarding you dog waste in this way.

If your activities do not cease these clips will be passed to the authorities.

If you’re responsible enough to own and walk your dog, dispose of its waste properly, not toss it onto the footpath when you think nobody is looking.

The council have just had to make a special effort to clean discarded bags from the alleyway. Think on.

Thanks to residents of Hillside for contacting me about this.

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Fancy getting involved with Chasewater Railway? It’s Volunteers Day this Saturday!

Chasewater Railway – the little gem of a local preserved industrial railway is this Saturday (30th March 2019) staging it’s Annual Volunteers Day, when the railway will be holding an event aimed at recruiting more folk interested in helping out with all aspects of running and maintaining the local preserved line.

The Volunteer Day runs from 11am until 4pm, and there will be talks and tours and current volunteers who can tell you all about it. You just need to be aged 14 or over and keen!

Chasewater Railway said:

Some of our volunteers last night giving red bagnall 2842 a good polish ready for the first steam service of 2019 this Sunday (31st) while the other two locos willy 3063 & Dunlop 2648 Also receive a bit of tlc.

Don’t forget it’s our volunteers day this Saturday 30th March 2019!

Come along and see for yourself up close what it’s like to volunteer at Chasewater Railway, if you are 14 or over we have volunteer roles in all departments and we appreciate as much or as little time as you can give to us, tasks such as cleaning locos and carriages is hugely appreciated.

The meeting point is at Brownhills west booking office where you will be taken round in groups by one of our guides between 11am – 4pm where at the end you will be given the opportunity to join as a working member.

Chasewater Railway is a wonderful attraction with regular passenger services at weekends and during school holidays, featuring two excellent cafes and a fascinating museum that chronicles not just railway history, but that of our area and industry.

The whole thing is staffed by helpful and friendly volunteers who are always ready to chat and talk about the railway and rolling stock.

At Brownhills west station there are also a lovely model railway, plus a couple of great vintage and collectible stalls. The railway itself has a shop selling books, rail models, toys and other merchandise.

Please do pop down if you haven’t already – Chasewater Railway really isn’t pushed enough; it’s wonderful.

You can check their website here.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Environment, Events, 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get your car washed and help a squaddie this Saturday!

Here’s a useful one from local lad Andy Sawyer who’s been in touch to let us know that there’s a charity car was in Walsall Wood this Saturday, 30th March 2019 – you can get your motor looking shiny and help a very good cause at the same time.

 

The Horse and Jockey has recently had a change of management and is getting very good reviews – particularly for food. You could pop in for a bite at the same time! Image from Trip Advisor.

The event takes place at the Horse and Jockey pub in Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood from 9am until about 5pm, and is in aid of the local ‘Help a Squaddie’ charity.

You can get your wheels cleaned by the charity fundraisers and also buy a whole range of Help a Squaddie merchandise while you’re about it.

All money raised will go to this fine new military charity based in Rugeley helping all services veterans – you can find out more at their Facebook page here.

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The Brownhills Canalside Festival is reborn in 2019 – and it’s coming soon!

Absolutely terrific news and a huge raspberry to the naysayers – the successful and sadly missed Brownhills Canalside Festival is full steam ahead for a huge revival in May 2019 by the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society who are planning to make it a whole weekend event.

It will take place over the weekend of 17-19th May 2019 and it looks like a real belter of a do – it runs from Friday Evening and from 10am until 5pm over the Saturday and Sunday.

There will be trade boats and stalls at the canalside, and other entertainment and a bar at the Community Centre on the Miner Island (The old Annex, or Central Boys School).

On Friday evening the 17th, there will be Black Country entertainment from the wonderful Billy Spakemon and pals.

On Saturday afternoon there will be an excellent railway historical talk by the knowledgable and expert Ian Pell, a regular contributor to this blog.

Saturday evening there will be the top folk band Wild Irish to get get glasses raised and feet tapping!

You can find out more by visiting the event Facebook page here, and posting an enquiry there or mail Brenda directly at boundarypost@gmail.com – I will keep you updated as we get more news and things take shape. Please do support this, it’s great to see it return and I for one love a good canal event.

My thanks to the BCN and Brenda for taking this on. Wonderful stuff.

You can contact Brenda on the means above, or you can comment here, ping me on social media, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

An always wonderful event is reborn. Great news for Brownhills.
Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There’s a great autism support group meeting in Brownhills today and every Tuesday!

Just a heads up to let folk know that there’s a popular and regular autism support group meeting in Brownhills every Tuesday lunchtime from 1:30-2:30pm at the Smithy’s Forge pub, Lichfield Road, Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

For parents, carers, etc. of children and adults with autism.

Weekly support group every Tuesday at the Smithys Forge, Brownhills 1:30-2:30 🌈


The group has been running for a few months now and is growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Changing times on the canal: Local waterways in the 80s

Finally today for Sunday evening after a lovely day, what better to browse Tham the next gallery from the wonderful Gerald Reece collection, kindly supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

I’d forgotten this, a rather interesting image… We can now date this to pre-1987 as the Superalloys chimney is visible on the skyline.

This tranche of images concerns the canal locally, again mainly in the 80s with some images later. Many feature narrowboats which I know lots of you are interested in, but also as usual, the backgrounds are just as interesting as the subject – there are incidental shots featuring The Spot (Clayhanger Common) being reclaimed; Silver Court Gardens; the tower blocks; the mid-80s recabling of the long-gone electricity lines over the High Street – and an interesting shot from near Wharf Lane.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – it really is most excellent and for me personally has stirred many memories, as they always do. Gerald, you are a very wonderful and generous gentleman.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

I note that since it’s such a lovely day (or at least it seems that way after the grimness of the last couple of weeks) it would be an excellent chance to nip up to Stubbers Green with the kids, grandkids of even just by yourself and chat to the Swan Patrol.

The Patrol are there this and every Sunday from 1-3pm and have bird books, binoculars and a wealth of knowledge to share – so why not join them? There’s so much more local wildlife than people think!

The reserve is by the pools on Stubbers Green Road, between Aldridge and Shelfield.

Ann Lawrence of the Swan Patrol said:

Do you want to know more about nature and wildlife?

Do you want your children or grandchildren to learn about your local environment?

Swan Patrol volunteers at Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge Walsall are there every Sunday 1-3pm. Binoculars and bird books are available. Stickers for the children as a reward for bringing suitable foods for the birds. (sweet corn, peas, porridge oats, rice, lettuce, vegetable peelings…

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F Company, blocked roads and tough nuts…

It’s time this week to post an article I’ve had for a week or two but not had time to lay out – a fascinating one on the topic of the local Home Guard and the interesting subject of local roadblocks.

For background, I’ve posted about the home guard before here and last year of the discovery that they had a large local shelter nearby here.

This wonderful article written by David Evans with photos from Shirley Downs captures life during wartime, and introduces the topic of wartime defences erected to prepare for the possibility of ground invasion by the enemy – pillboxes are a common remnant of this act defence of the realm but there were also gun and searchlight mounts, tank traps and road blocks. I had no idea there were apparently road blocks locally.

I’ll let David expand on this – and thanks to him for his tireless work, and for the invaluable contributions of Ray Share, Shirley Downs and Dorothy Gooding who have expanded ofn a bit of undiscovered history.

David Evans wrote:

Image kindly share with David Evans by Mrs Shirley Downs.

So very little has been written about Walsall Wood Home Guard F Company, and yet some of those named in the quotes below are well-known to locals. Mr George Mycock was the Walsall Wood Football Club founder; Mr Smith was the High Street chemist. I believe Mr Arblaster  was one of the well known Arblaster family and may have played for the football club at one time. Mr Arthur Wadey was the football team’s trainer in post war years.

Our history goes back to the dawn of civilisation in this country.  True, it is unwritten history, but the evidence is here for all to read who will. Some of you have trained and sited strong points and machine-gun posts on the fern-covered slopes, which once were Knaves Castle and the Old Fort at Upper Stonnall.

Hills were just as important strategically, when slings and boulders were the weapons, as they are to-day, and for probably two thousand years or more those entrenchments have mounted guard above the Old Chester Road.

From “The ground We Defend” article, written by Lieutenant W Oakley, published in Staffordshire Home Guard website

On to F Company. How well Smith and his loyal lieutenants, Arblaster and Mycock, did look after the creature comforts of their men! I still retain visions of amazing meals on mustering tests.

Smith was in command for a considerable time until one day came re-organization and the size of the company was increased by the inclusion of the Shire Oak Platoon, and the stormy petrel of the battalion, the one and only Torkington, took over command.

I find it difficult to understand, but F has always been a tough nut to crack. Even “Talky” could not change the Walsall Wood spots, but I am sure there are men in that locality who will never forget the intrusion of this warrior into their peaceful world. If ever circumstances had demanded action on the part of F Company, it would not have failed to give a very good account of itself.

In passing on, we must salute the Old Brigade and those young officers Harrison and Dodd.

From ‘A Review’, by Lieutenant-Colonel C Cartwright, DSO MC in 1944, and published in Staffordshire Home Guard website.  F company was the Walsall Wood platoon.

A wartime roadblock designed to frustrate the progress of a ground invasion. Image from the Pillbox Research Group.

We see reference to Shire Oak Hill… To strong points being set up on the slopes of Caste Fort Hill, presumably overlooking the Chester Road. But, again, so little recorded. I had been told by Arthur Wadey’s widow, that her husband, a member of F Company, that the platoon went on route marches up Castle Road, interestingly by the Old Fort, and to Shire Oak and then back down the Lichfield Road. The local HQ was the Boot Inn, near to Barons Court Hotel  on the south part of the village. Arthur had won a leather wallet in a shooting competition… Now known to have taken place on a shooting butts in the brickworks near Stubbers Green, by the canal,  Aldridge (source: Mr John Sale who, with other lads at the time, collected the spent rounds from the mound in the following days after the shooting practices).

I had vague memories of hearing about a roadblock at Shire Oak road junction, but I needed corroboration of this oral history. Then, very recently, during a meeting of old Walsall Wood folk, I was told by Mr Ray Share that there had been concrete blocks at Shire Oak, to form a chicane to traffic coming from the Streetly direction, along the A 452, and that these blocks were removed for ‘the convoys’.

Image kindly share with David Evans by Mrs Shirley Downs.

In the same meeting was given photos of the Shire Oak junction’s garage and petrol station, Goodings Garage as it was during the war. 

I contacted Mr Gooding’s daughter, who I know well, who confirmed that there had been concrete blocks in the  Chester Road by the garage,  by the Waterworks house, at the time. They were removed to let the convoys of tanks pass as they went  on to Chester ‘…or somewhere up there’. The people in the photos were wartime employees in the garage.

Image kindly share with David Evans by Mrs Shirley Downs.

From another source: Mr Goodings had a big black Austin car that served as  the local wartime taxi. Someone else there drove a small van.

Brownhills Urban District Council minutes give details of the quantities of petrol issued to the garage, and others during the conflict.

From Mr Ray Share: more roadblocks were near the Rising Sun Inn, near the junction of the A452 and the A5 Watling Street.

 So, another page of our local history unfolds…

My thanks are extended to Mrs Shirley Downs for kindly passing these photos to me, to Mr Ray Share, and to Dorothy for allowing me to use the photos of her father’s garage.

David Evans
March 2019

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Wood dominate Coventry, defeat Dunkirk and stuff Stourport

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

Walsall Wood FC were at home to Coventry Sphinx yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 24th March 2019), and won somewhat resoundly, continuing this seasons run of general good form.

This match leaves Wood second in the table on 64 points – just three points behind leaders Ilkeston Town with 67 and 7 above Sporting Khalsa’s third position at 57.

David Evans has submitted an excellent match report, as he usually does:

Hi Bob

Walsall Wood 4 v 1 Coventry Sphinx

A very important match was set to take place at Oak Park today. The pitch  looked splendid as usual, the biting cold northerly wind was its usual self, a large crowd of well-lubricated spectators of all ages and girths surrounded the perimeter fence, some standing tall and proud, others just standing.

There was to be no loud fanfare  from the sound machine this afternoon and the opportunity to converse and socialise with locals and visiting fans from Coventry was taken and everyone shared in the eager anticipation of the thrilling game to come.

The match started and the Wood were  dominant and forceful from the start. Their accurate soccer and resulting early gains brought an added spark to the already fast pace of the game. But, Coventry, urged and encouraged by their vociferous management team seemed to be in defensive mode. A measure of greater confidence in themselves was yet to be apparent at this stage of the match.

Excellent passing and  tackling by both teams characterised the overall play, with the Wood showing  more maturity and coherence perhaps. Add to this the sparkling, dazzling play by some of the Wood’s team throughout the match and an understandable frustration among the Coventry side did take the edge of an otherwise positive game.

Yet Coventry, when they were two goals down started the second half by cheekily shooting for goal, from the centre spot… put their mark down  for what was to come.

The Wood, for their part, excelled, to the delight of the home spectators. An almost successful overhead scissor-kick, and shot rebounding from the crossbar, rapid running with and for the ball. Well –worked accurate passing, delightful speciality moves, challenging tactics, all gave the home goalkeeper little to worry about today.

Today the sun shone weakly and a chill northerly breeze tickled the corner flags but the spectators were treated to a match to savour and stamp their feet, cheer and shout for this afternoon. The team are on song and full of it – confidence and top class spirit, and, my word,  it shows.

Love the Wood!

Thanks to David for the pictures and report – for the Good of The Wood!

Also a couple of orphaned match reports from the last couple of weeks by Simon Evans, who’s been attending away matches when David has been unable. He sent the following reports:

Dunkirk 0 v 7 Walsall Wood
Saturday 9th March 2019

On a cold and blustery afternoon, Dunkirk hosted Walsall Wood.

From the off, Walsall Wood looked sharp, Matt Dodds thwarted by the Dunkirk defender. Javia Roberts was causing the Dunkirk defence trouble with his pace. From a resulting corner, the Dunkirk defence cleared the ball and had a counter attack, the resulting shot didn’t test LLoyd Ransome in the Wood goal. Paul Sullivan then had a shot blocked by the Dunkirk defender, the ball fell to John Atherton whose shot hit the side netting.

The opening goal came on 24 minutes, a cross was headed out to Javia Roberts, who’s shot went in off the post. 0-1

Soon after it got better for the Wood, from a long goal kick by Lloyd Ransome, Javia Roberts won a corner. The corner was crossed in, Dunkirk keeper Alex Smith pushed the ball out to Jak Barnes who’s shot found the back of the net. 0-2

HT 0-2

The second half started brightly for the Wood, Matt Dodds having a great chance but the shot hit the side netting. Dunkirk then had penalty appeal waved away, Wood countered Matt Dodds raced through but Alex Smith was equal to the effort making a fine save.

On 60 minutes Wood scored again, Matt Dodds raced through again, his pull back was met by a combination of Javia Roberts and Dunkirk sub Nat Appiah, the ball finding the back of the net 0-3 .

On 66 minutes Paul Sullivan rounded off a fine performance with Woods 4th goal. 0-4. Wood were rampant now and were looking for more goals. On 69 minutes a reckless challenge by Dunkirk keeper Alex Smith saw him yellow carded and a penalty to the Wood. Mitch Tolley making no mistakes   0-5.

On 73 minutes the Wood were awarded another penalty, Alex Smith the Dunkirk keeper getting a second yellow, which saw him sent off. Up Stepped Mitch Tolley who again made no mistake from the spot 0-6.
The next attack saw Peter Till’s pass met sweetly by Mitch Tolley, his effort just the wrong side of the post.

Dunkirk then had a half chance, but the effort didn’t trouble Lloyd Ransome in the Wood goal.

In injury time Javia Roberts raced through, but the substitute Dunkirk keeper pulled off a fine save. Not to be outdone, the next attack, Javia Roberts ran into the box, his pullback was met by Kevin Monterio who made no mistake from close range. 0-7

Stourport Swifts 1 v 2 Walsall Wood
Saturday 2nd March 2019

Walsall Wood gave starts to their new acquisitions, Kaylum Mitchell and Matt Dodd. Wood  started on the front foot. An early free kick was easily held by the Stourport keeper. The first real chance saw Lloyd Ransome in the Wood goal with a fine save to thwart the Stourport attacker. Both teams were creating half chances but there was no end product.

A great long range pass from Mitch Tolley found John Atherton who surged into the box, but shot high over the bar. A Stourport freekick was headed over by the Stourport Attacker. HT 0-0

The scond half started, the first attempt fell to Stourport, but the shot was over the bar. Wood started to get a foot hold. A freekick resulted in a corner which was cleared. A long range effort by the Stourport attacker, saw Lloyd Ransome make a fine fingertip save.

The breakthrough came just after the hour, Matt Dodd was bundled over in the box. Mitch Tolley scoring the resulting penalty. 0-1.

Within a couple of minutes Stourport had equalised, a towering header finding the back of the net. 1-1. With time running out, Wood went searching for the winning goal, John Atherton found Javia Roberts but the keeper was equal to the effort.

With time almost up, Paul Sullivan’s cross was met by Javia Roberts, who’s header found the back of the net. Soon after the ref blew for FT, Wood winning 2-1

My thanks to Simon for those reports: I know you’ve been busy old chap just been waiting for an appropriate post to attach them to.

Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Brownhills went off the rails

Since it’s Saturday and I’m very busy with work matters, I thought I’d feature the next gallery from the wonderful Gerald Reece collection, kindly supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

This montage features images mostly from 1986 of the removal of the South Staffordshire Railway line through Brownhills (the old Walsall – Lichfield line that ran under the Miner Island) which is now being beautifully reclaimed as a cycling and walking route by Brian Stringer and his pals at Back the Track, who I know will love these photos.

There are also images of the construction of Brownhills Bridge, when it was doubled and turned into an island, which would, I think, be 1985, as well as some of the Anglesey Branch aqueduct and Anglesey Sidings, by the Charringtons Oil Terminal (now Quattro Plant).

One bridge that interests me here is the one that existed behind Taylor’s Cafe and led into the Pelsall Road meadow, where the Watermead Estate is today. The bridge is long gone but its abutments can still be seen on the old line and now form part of a private garden.

I’m fairly sure this bridge crossed the railway from Taylor’s Cafe car park to the field behind. Not sure when it was lost.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – it really is most excellent and for me personally has stirred many memories, as they always do. Gerald, you are a very wonderful and generous gentleman.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Walsall Wood face Coventry Sphinx at Oak Park this afternoon

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why not Stay and Play – at Brownhills Community Centre this morning

If you’ve a child or children under 4 years of age, there is a great Stay and Play session running at Brownhills Community Centre in the heart of Brownhills this Saturday morning 23rd March 2019 from 10-11:30am.

It costs just two quid per kid and includes fruit and a drink, so it’s great value and it’s run by those wonderful people at the Little Green Dragons Nursery, who are resident at the centre and are fully qualified nursery teachers.

There are games and toys and all manner of fun for the weans – and you get a break to boot.

BROWNHILLS STAY&PLAY
Saturday 23rd March 2019

We will be exploring our Builders sand tray! We will also have water play and messy crafts available for the children all session…

Remember we also have outdoors 😍

….Along with all our other areas of play within the nursery setting.

See you all Saturday!

10.00-11.30
£2 per child
Healthy Snack included

Feel free to invite your friends with children aged 0-4 years and share our events 👍🏼

This group is held at Little Green Dragons Day Nursery within Brownhills Community Centre every Saturday morning.

Add our Facebook Page –
Brownhills Stay&Play 🌈🌈

The Community Centre is what my generation would know as ‘The Annexe’ – the old Central Boy’s School, now a bustling community resource. To find out more,  you can pop in or call them on 01543 452119.

The Community Association have lots of stuff going on, and loads of great facilities, right in the heart of Brownhills. I love what they’re about and all the great things they’re doing.

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Models at the museum 2019 – a great event happening this Sunday

I see from the events list that Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge have a ‘Models at the Museum’ event this Sunday, 24th March 2019 – It runs from 10:00am until 4:00pm and should be just the thing for modellers, transport enthusiasts, petrol heads and big kids of all kinds.

There will be loads of modellers stalls and layouts, kids activities, films and all the usual goodies for all the family to enjoy.

Entry is a pocket pleasing £5 for adults, £2 for kids and just £13 for a family ticket.

There’s a free bus service operating all day between Walsall and the museum in Shenstone Drive, and also from Aldridge Community Centre car park with a free connecting bus.

There’s more information on the event’s Facebook page here.

While you’re there, you can check out all the great stuff in the collection, and talk to the volunteers, who’re doing a fine job.

This is sure to be a great event – please do pop along. The collection needs the support of the public to survive, and it really is a wonderful thing. The 2017 events schedule for the museum is any the foot of this post.

Why not check out the museum website or their Facebook group?

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Fancy a signs of spring walk at Chasewater this Saturday?

The revitalised Chasewater Friends group are holding a ‘Signs of Spring’ walk at our favourite country park this Saturday morning, 23rd March 2019 and would like to invite interested folk to join them.

You can join the walk with Ranger Rob, and afterwards there will be tea, biscuits and chat – meet at the Innovation Centre at 10:30am, wear warm clothes and stout footwear.

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I adore Chasewater, and I know many of the readers do too. It’s time it was promoted better – can you help?

Chasewater will massively benefit from an active community of friends and I look forward to seeing their progress – Chasewater is a great asset not just to the local population but to the local ecology and we need to cherish stand look after it’s interests.

You can find out more about the Chasewater Friends at their Facebook page here.

The organisers said:


Chasewater Friends

Signs of Spring Walk.

Chasewater Friends are holding a walk Saturday, 23rd March, entitled “Signs of Spring”

Rob the Ranger will be leading the walk around Chasewater, and showing the wildlife, insects and plants who are once again returning with the promise of warmer weather! 

After the walk, you are welcome to pop into the Innovation Centre, and have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, and chat to the Friends about their plans to help at the Park.

Meet at the front doors of the Innovation Centre at 10.30am, and please wear sensible shoes and warm clothing!

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