Rushall May Fayre – this bank holiday Monday!

Always a great event!

Thanks to Claire Gibbs for pointing this out – there will be the annual Rushall May Fayre this Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May 2018 at Rushall Playing Fields, Rowley Place, Rushall from 10:30am until 4pm.

There will be classic cars, live music, Morris dancing, a maypole dance, welly hanging, tug of war, birds of prey, all the usual stalls and games, inflatables, food and fairground rides.

What’s not to love? The weather looks set to be great, too. See you there?

Posted in News | Leave a comment

So today is Election Day – your chance to have your say

So, it’s Thursday May 3rd 2018, a polling day in the UK when in our area you get to vote for one of your three local Councillors and for the next four years.

I think it’s important to vote – even if you’re totally disillusioned, go and spoil a ballot to send a message. Our democracy may not be perfect, but our forbears fought for it and we owe it to them to use it.

Whilst I have reservations about the system – we should take part.

If you’re a bit lost as to what all this is about, there’s a great explanation post over on Clayhanger’s Madwblog – non partisan, impartial, but clear and frank. I’m loving that blog – I do wish it posted more frequently. Such a strident, wonderful local voice.

It’s a lovely day – take a stroll up to your local station and exercise your democratic right. If you don’t have a polling card, you can still vote: go here to find your polling station.

Untitled 9

The brilliant Madwblog explains who the polls are for, and why they’re happening. A great, non-political explanation. Click on the screenshot to read the whole post.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Anything but idle: A great canal story performed free this evening and in the coming days

A fantastic performance art project. Image from the Alarum Theatre Company.

There’s a free touring theatre show happening this evening and again in the coming week in our area and it’s rather fascinating, as the touring part of it is based on a canal boat and the theatre production being staged tells the story of women working the waterways of the Midlands during the war.

The Idle Women is a great story and the the whole production looks like a cracker. Performances by the Alarum Theatre Company are happening this evening (Wednesday 2nd May 2018) at The Boat House in Rushall, and a week later in Bloxwich and Pelsall on the 8th May 2018. On the 9th and 12th May  2018 the production team get to Yates Club and Calf Heath Marina respectively.

  • 2 May, 7:30pm The Boathouse Pub, Rushall
  • 8 May 1:00pm Stan Ball Centre, Bloxwich
  • 8 May 7:30pm The Fingerpost pub, Pelsall
  • 9 May 7:30pm Yates Sport & Social Club, Lime Lane, Norton
  • 12 May 7:30pm Calf Heath Marina, Shareshill

As I’ve said, performances are free but donations are welcomed to keep the show on the road – er, water. There’s loads about this on the theatre company’s website here and on their Facebook page here.

Kate Saffin has been in touch to tell me all about it and ask if anyone can make a Brownhills history connection here? I’d love to hear what readers have to say about that, and if you go to a show please do feel free to give us a review and some pics. You can comment on this post or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Far from idle!

Dear Brownhills Bob,

I came across your website a few weeks ago and was fascinated to see so much about the Brownhills Colliery.

We are a waterways touring theatre company on our way to the Pelsall and Brownhills area with a show that shares the stories of the women who took on the working boats during the war. On this particular tour we are following the route worked throughout the war by Daphne March. Using her family’s boat, the Heather Bell, she carried flour from Worcester to Tipton and then coal from Cannock back to Worcester.

Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways is a double bill of theatre, poetry and music – a thoroughly researched and entertaining telling of the stories. As part of the show we aim to include stories local to the area. Our references for Brownhills are sparse but we know that two of her crew spent the nght on the drawing room floor at Mrs Arnott’s house in March 1941, having arrived to join her only to find she hadn’t yet arrived. I don’t know if you have ever come across Daphne and the Heather Bell but we would love to hear more if you have.

This looks like a fun and informative show. Image from the Alarum Theatre Company.

You can see more of our work via the links at the foot of the email.

Our shows in the area are on Tuesday May 8th at the Fingerpost in Pelsall and on Wednesday 9th at Yates Sports and Social Club, both at 7.30pm and hope you might be able to join us at one. And if you feel able to share what we are doing via your blog that would be wonderful.

Thank you and best wishes

 Kate Saffin

07976 818959
Website: www.alarumtheatre.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alarumtheatre
Twitter @Alarum_theatre

From the 2017 Tour:

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Lots to do at the Chase Sailing Club open day this bank holiday Monday

Chasewater

Chase Sailing Club are a busy and popular institution going back decades. Image from the Express & Star.

An interesting event is taking place next weekend, Bank holiday Monday 7th May 2018 at Chasewater, where the Chase Sailing Club (that’s the one on the north shore) will be holding their annual open day for people to come and check out what they do.

There will be sailing boat rides, safety boat rides, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, refreshments and other fun and games.

In the true tradition of the Hitchiker’s guide to the Galaxy, you’re advised to bring a towel.

The event runs from 10am until 3pm, so plenty of time to get up there,

The weather looks to be decent, so what’s not to love?

You can visit the Club’s website here – their address isThe Chase Sailing Club. Pool Lane, Chasetown, Walsall. WS7 3QY. Tel. 01543 686390

A great chance to find out about a great outdoor activity!

 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A personal message to the Walsall Wood Faithful, from Lynn Shaw

Mrs Lynn Shaw presenting the Bill Shaw award. Image Kindly supplied by David Evans.

I have a message from Lynn Shaw, which I suppose belonged in this weekend’s football match report, but it feels better to have it as a separate post – Lynn has a message for all at Walsall Wood Football Club and to the fans and faithful, who held her late husband, Bill in such high regard.

Hi Bob,

Hope you are well.

I went to Walsall Wood FC yesterday, Justin had asked if I could be there as they were having the League Trophy presented after the game.

Jonathan, one of the youth team managers met me when I first arrived and asked if I could do him a favour. He had spoken to Justin before organising a special trophy and shield in Bill’s honour to be awarded to a nominated young player for services to the club and community.

It is to be called the ‘Bill Shaw Award’ and he asked if I would present it at halftime, which I duly did with a few tears. Bill would have been humbled and honoured at the tribute.

It is a bittersweet weekend for me, yesterday was sad without him but a good day and it is 47 years today that I first met Bill.  He was not the romantic sort of person, but he never forgot the day we met, my birthday or our wedding anniversary.

I have a date for scattering Bill’s ashes at the end dedicated to him too, it is 26th May 6.30/7.00 pm. Justin is organising food etc., and just needs to know who and how many would like to attend, I know a few people have asked about it as they couldn’t make the funeral.

Sorry, I forgot to add there will be a memory book there too if anyone would like to add any comments.

We still have 3 games left to play I believe, so keep supporting a great football club. F.T.G.O.T.W.

Regards,

Lynn. xx

Thanks to Lynn for the email, all the readers and fans will appreciate it very much. I miss Bill’s reports as we all do and nobody could ever do what he did with such dedication and passion. Bill was a true gentleman and will be sorely missed.

Best wishes to you Lynn, and thank you.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

League champions Walsall Wood beat Paget, with fine tribute to Bill Shaw at half time

Images and captions Kindly supplied by David Evans.

Saturday (28th April 2018) saw Walsall Wood FC cement their position as league champions for the 2017-18 season of the MFL league by beating Sutton Coldfield’s Paget Rangers 3-0 at Oak Park, followed by the presentation of the Championship Shield, and event which at this point last season might have seemed fanciful.

David Evans was there to witness the match, punctuated at half time by Lynn Shaw, wife of the late, great Bill Shaw, presenting awards to the Saints team for their efforts this season, and also the new Bill Shaw award for service to the club – a very touching moment.

Russell Smith hasn’t yet posted footage from this match on The-Wood.TV, but he has posted the first half goals from the Ilkeston match on the previous Tuesday, 24th April 2018 which saw Walsall Wood defeated at home, 4-0, there only defeat do san this year. You can watch that footage here.

Dave Evans wrote:

Walsall Wood 3 v 0 Paget rangers
28th April 2018

Today the very full complement of spectators and supporters watched a fine display of controlled, accurate football by two sporting local teams whose determination and endeavour was a credit to all those who took part. Walsall Wood and Paget Rangers both took and lost possession of the ball in the first half as both sides exhibited the obvious need to win this match. Try as they may niehter side could effectively break through the opposing team’s resolute defence and the scoreline remained blank at half time.

With deft substitutions by both sides, and doubtless with sweet words of encouragement by the respective team managers over the half time cucumber sandwiches and Earl Grey tea from bone china cups, enjoyed in the privacy of the changing rooms, the teams emerged to continue this full speed encounter.

Eventually the Wood scored their first goal… a sweet gentle tap through a hole in the opponents’ defensive line. The reply by Paget was to be expected and they tried different tactics to outsmart the Wood. Delightful soccer. However, apart from one thunderous long-range shot on goal by Paget, which in other matches would surely have scored the rocket equalising goal, today it was not to be so.

Wood scored a second goal, employing one of their repertoire of tactics, and then a third.

Noticeable throughout this sporting encounter were the occasions when a player would offer a hand to help an opponent up from the lush, real grass, and the frequent brief handshakes, too. Love real soccer. Love local non-league soccer.

The game ended and all the spectators showed their appreciation . Applause for all the players.

Thanks to David for a great report and photos – for the good of The Wood!

Below is a gallery of images from the shield presentation for winning the league, again supplied by David.

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back in time gentlemen, please!

Blimey – McWarreners as a burger joint. There’s one to show the kids. Image by David Hodgkinson.

While I’m getting some stuff straight and catching up with the email mountain, here’s a post I’ve been meaning to do for ages to showcase the work of one of Brownhills longest-standing online historians: Old mate of the blog and constant inspiration David Hodkinson.

David runs one of the oldest – if not the oldest – online history site for Brownhills – check it out here.

David was the first person to my knowledge to record an online gallery of Brownhills pubs, which is still there (and being added to occasionally today). With that and David’s other work – most notably his efforts to chronicle local writing, both historic and fictional – it was this work that laid the inspirational foundation for the Brownhills Blog, which incidentally, is nine years old this week.

Nine years. Might get the hang of this soon.

Any road up, what I wanted to share was the fact that David has a great Flicker presence with some fascinating albums – including his large one on the pubs of Brownhills. I’ve grabbed some provocative ones to share here that will surely jerk some memories – may taken around the year 2000.

If you want to see the full album click here – but better start with David’s whole collection of albums which cover a lot of canal and other local history.

Explore. Get lost in the past for a bit. It’s bloody ace and I’d like to thank David for sharing his passions.

All the photos in the gallery below are David’s work – click any one to see a larger version.

Have anything to add? Please do – comment here or mail me: Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Chatting with Brownhills – a great new book of Brownhills memories out now!

Chatting with Brownhills is launched – image supplied by Janet Grinnell.

Another one I’ve had in for a couple of weeks now and really need to share with you readers is this great new local history book for Brownhills and the surrounding area that’s come about as a community project based at Knaves Court, the extra care facility in Brownhills near the Anchor Bridge.

I still haven’t acquired a copy yet but it really does sound very good and I shall order one forthwith, and I’m glad to see work being done with the elderly hereabouts to capture their memories while we can. Such things are the lifeblood of local history and it’s great to see them preserved.

The book is just £4.99 which is very pocket-pleasing indeed, and if you have one of those Kindle things it’s only £1.99 in electronic form, so what’s not to love? To buy your copy, click here.

Janet Grinnell wrote:

Hi Bob

I wonder if you’d be able to help us spread the word about our new Brownhills book, ‘Chatting with Brownhills’?  I know that local history and the community are two of your by-words and this should hopefully be of interest to you and your readers.

Over the last few months we’ve chatted to, and recorded the memories of, people from across the Brownhills area.  Local churches, clubs, support groups have all taken part with us, as well as individuals (some well known to your readers, others who’ve never before been involved in anything like this). The idea was to recognise the immense value of individual memories when looking at local history, and see them as something to preserve and cherish.

The book hasn’t been set out as a history text book – from the word go it was never intended to be. Instead its focus is on the community that makes up Brownhills rather than its changing bricks and mortar. It’s been written as a conversation between all the wonderful people who agreed to take part, with the local history snippets as a brilliant bonus. Hopefully, for those who’ve never before thought about the history of their local area, this will inspire them to find out more.

I’m Janet, activities co-ordinator at Knaves Court, and I’ve edited the book on behalf of the residents there. Quite a few of them follow you regularly and it would be wonderful if you could help us get the word out and share our enthusiasm.

(The book is now available on Amazon.)

Thanks a lot for your time and help.

Janet Grinnell
Activities Coordinator

Direct Dial 0370 192 4204
Knaves Court, High Street, Brownhills, Walsall, WS8 6DJ
Website: www.housingandcare21.co.uk
Follow us: Facebook / Twitter (@HousingCare21) / Linkdin

Thanks to Janet for letting me know and apologies for the time delay in publishing the plug.

If you get a copy, I’d love to hear what you think: Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Memories of Clayhanger and Brownhills, all the way from the Isle of Man

This photo from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington was taken during one of Clayhanger’s notorious floods. 

It’s always good to hear from ex-residents of the area and their memories, and here’s a lovely one that cam in a couple of weeks ago from Bryan Fletcher all the way from the Isle of Man – Bryan’s a former Clayhanger lad.

Bryan has written warmly of his memories of Clayhanger and Brownhills and I’m sure many of these memories will chime with other readers, and make me recall the work of Martin Dingle and also that of the greatly missed Michael Edwards.

It’s always sad to return and find the place you remember so fondly has changed, I guess but Clayhanger in recent decades has really changed for the better considering it’s polluted, isolated and flooded past. Sadly that meant many memories met with the bulldozer.

Thanks to Bryan for a lovely thing and if you can add to the recollections, please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com – thanks to Martin for a really interesting curiosity.

Martin wrote:

Greetings from the Isle of Man!

Hi there Bob.

I was nostalgically combing through memories of the Walsall Wood colliery where my Pop, (grandad ) was a collier.

What memories!

I was born in a miners cottage at 57, Clayhanger Lane in 1946. My Pop’s name was Samuel James Fletcher and my Nan was Dorcas, (nee Rickaus).

The Duttons House that stood on the canal between Catshill Junction and Clayhanger Bridge is subject to some pretty wild claims about subsidence. Image from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo and Geof Harrington.

We used to walk from and to Walsall and from and to the doctors at Walsall wood. I re-call the Wheel pub by the pit, it was where we got off if we were lucky enough to get a bus. The number 11 was to the other end of the lane I think.

In our row were five more houses, the Billings, the Days, the Talbots, the Ecclestones and one other chap I can’t re-call. the next door fella used to tap on the back of the bogey’ole, (indoor coal cupboard), door and I thought he was a ghost.

There was an old tin chapel halfway along the lane and a railway bridge over it, by gum we had some fun on that bridge!

Adjacent to our row of houses was the two overseers house opposite and the gangers two houses at an angle up a little dirt track. Further down towards the village was a stream under a little Bridge with Howdels? shop just before the bridge. We loved messing about in the stream but as I got older the stream got dirtier and filthier until even kids wouldn’t play in it.

The Iron Bridge in the late 80s from David Hodgkinson. How well we remember it…

We would walk into Brownhills through  the ‘Spot’ where the big ponds on the the other side of the road from I think sand extraction caused a lot of subsidence. We then went over the iron footbridge over the ‘cut’.

My Nan could never understand why ,’they’, wouldn’t let her take over a small house that had submerged it’s whole bottom floor. She reasoned she could live in the top floor!

If we walked the other way to the top of the lane and into Brownhills we saw the meandering canal and the massive china clay workings with their great Cat bulldozers looming over this little fella. Well I was then. (H and H) eat ya heart out. Finally we would end up by the railway station and then on to Poxons the butchers and of course the Co-Op, (was that number 70046)? hah.

I took my boys to see where I lived a good while back and, SHOCK, HORROR! None of it existed, all gone, disappeared. Just as though the little community I was born and raised in never existed, ever.I checked on Google, No, nothing. There was absolutely no sign whatever, no brick no old fence, nothing.

Right I’m going to cry into my cocoa now.

Just thought you might be interested in the ramblings of an old Clanger.

All the very best

Bryan F. (for Fletcher, of course)
Denham, Isle of Man

clayhanger

Clayhanger from the air, as Bryan would no doubt remember it, in an Aerofilms image supplied previously by Brian Stringer.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Some top brass, a tuba groover and an unsung hero

A remarkable local image of a band, from the turn of the last century. Image on display in Brownhills Library, via David Evans.

There has never been enough attention paid anywhere that I’m aware of to the Victorian father of modern Brownhills, William Robertssometime railway plate layer, ganger, brewer, publican, entrepreneur, civic stalwart, JP and philanthropist, William  was a very rare man in his time, and appears to have been generous, considerate, imbued with a real sense of social justice, and was undoubtedly a sharp-dealing rogue too.

I’ve covered the larger than life story of this remarkable man a fair few times – who to my knowledge and great shame, lies unrecognised by the town of Brownhills as a civic entity – including his obituary, will, other historian’s work on him and stories of his empire.

Today, out of the blue, David Evans sent me an image connected with Old Bill that I’ve never seen before to my knowledge. It shows a brass band in uniform, purportedly behind the Station Hotel, outside the Roberts Brewery in Brownhills which was  the seat of the Roberts great empire. The photo is of course, featured above.

The image contains the ‘ghostly image’ perhaps, of William himself – or perhaps someone else – who moved as the shot was taken.

David wrote:

This amazing photo caught my attention in Brownhills library this morning. The legend says that it shows a local band. The legend mentions that  there is a ghostly image with it of William Roberts, publican and important local man.
I wonder if readers can help to identify which band this is, and who the tuba player, wearing a bowler hat is. I wonder where the photo was taken?
Did William Roberts really take part in his boxing bouts in a ring behind his Station Hotel, or is this urban myth?
Thanks to the librarian for allowing me to take the photo and to send it for further research
kind regards
David

A man and his fixed wheel steed, not dissimilar to many fixie hipsters one might see in big cities today. Image originally supplied by the John Anslow.

Now we have a suspicion the man with the tuba may be the monstink featured here. They do seem quite alike, and Mr. ‘Monstink’ Bradbury had previous brass band form, as you can read in the related article here. That’s also a fine hipster beard the hirsute young lads today would be proud of…

Please, if you can help identify the band, exact location or anything else connected with this image or the Roberts history, please do get in touch – you can comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at googlemmil dot com. Thanks.

My gratitude as ever to David for his sharp eye and constant hard work in pursuit of our history.

I am terribly sad that William has not even a plaque in his honour in Brownhills, and before I shuffle off the mortal coil or finally lose my marbles, I’d really like one of the successes of this blog to be achieving some kind of memorial or civic recognition no matter how small, to the original Mr. Brownhills.

15C0AE8E487C42EDB274-1

William Roberts himself. Image from ‘Brownhills: A walk into history’ by Gerald Reece.

 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

League champions Walsall Wood to play Paget Rangers at Oak Park this afternoon!

Welcome to Walsall Wood, Paget Rangers! Image Kindly supplied by David Evans.

Today, Saturday 28th April 2018

Walsall Wood are at home

Walsall Wood FC v Paget Rangers

This looks to be a fun match, followed by the presentation of the league cup following The Wood’s win last weekend

There will be a real party atmosphere with inflatables, fun and games etc. so get down there!

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood!

Check out 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

Brownhills Community Centre Creative Arts Fayre this Saturday!

Looks like a fine event

Hey – if you’re looking out for stuff to do this coming Saturday (28th April 2018), look no further than Brownhills Community Centre (The old Central Boy’s School, or Annex to my generation), just off the Miner Island in Brownhills.

Happening there will be a Creative Arts Fayre, which runs from 11am until 4pm. The Community Association had this to say about the event:

We have 15 exhibitors coming to our Creative Arts Fayre at Brownhills Community Centre; only room for one or two more (01543 452119 for details). This Saturday, 28th – doors open to the public 11am, free entry and parking; lots to see and buy.

There will be lots of great stuff to see, do and get involved with, and while you’re there you can check out all the other interesting stuff Brownhills Community Association do – from  IT classes to coffee mornings.

If you pop along, why not take some pictures and send them to me so I can pop them up on the blog?

 

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

Meet your local coppers this Saturday afternoon in Brownhills

Meet your local policing team this Saturday at our very own grey Lubyanka…

[Sorry folks this post originally contained an error: I had stated this was on Saturday 28th April: My apologies, it’s a week later on Saturday 5th May 2018. My idiot hat is on and I apologise for any confusion or inconvenience caused]

I received notice of this great event from Brownhills Policing Team via the excellent WMNow service yesterday, advertising a pop-up meet the police event this coming Saturday afternoon, 5th May 2018 at The Parkview Centre, Brownhills (right on the Miner Island) from 1pm until 3pm where you can meet your local policing team and get help, crime prevention and public safety advice.

I must say, it’s good to see the local police making such concerted efforts to reach out to the public.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for WMNow, please do – it’s free and you can select to receive alerts on all kinds of local issues. It’s a fine thing.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe Titley found safe and well

Image from West Midlands Police

Thanks everyone for your help and concern – Joe Titley, who police were looking for as a missing person yesterday (Wednesday 26th April 2018) has been found.

They posted a simple message late yesterday afternoon:

Thanks for your help everyone, missing Joe Titley has been found.

My immense gratitude to everyone who looked out for Joe, shared posts and helped to publicise the search.

Cheers
Bob

Posted in Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Hall Mill: The historic wonder on our doorstep gears up for a new season

P1040438

New Hall Mill is a splendid place, restored and run by wonderfully dedicated volunteers.

I’m glad to say that Alan Dawson, Friend of New Hall Mill and also of the blog has been in touch to ask if I’d continue to support the Mill’s activities this summer and of course, I’m delighted to do so.

New Hall Mill is a restored and working water mill just outside the centre of Sutton Coldfield that’s a historic and engineering gem that dedicated volunteers have spent many years restoring. Throughout the late spring and summer they have free open days where you can explore the building and grounds and find out how this marvel works – and there are also great stalls, activities and demonstrations at every event. There’s a great tearoom, too!

I can heartily recommend the place – it’s fascinating and I had a great time there on 2015 Spring Bank Holiday Monday – not enough people know about this wonderful building.

There’s also an appeal ongoing for people who may be interested to join the friends of New Hall Mill and help in all sorts of ways – the team need all kinds of expertise from guides to engineering types who may have time to spare. You can contact the Friends via Facebook or their website, links at the foot of the post.

The list of events and open days for 2018 is below, with the first being a little over two weeks away on Sunday, May 13th 2018:

A fantastic place.

More details can be found on the New Hall Mill website – www.newhallmill.org.uk or their Facebook page here.

This is certainly a project worth visiting and supporting – please do pop along if you can.  You can check out a gallery of my photos taken there in 2015. I had a great time.

Posted in cycling, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mylee Billingham, rest in peace

Mylee Billingham.

Today, Tuesday 24th April 2018 the funeral of Mylee Billingham took place in Brownhills at St. James Church.

I speak for myself, my family and all the readers and friends of the blog in expressing my deepest condolences to Mylee’s family, friends and the community who have felt this most painful of losses so terribly deeply.

Our love and respect goes out to you all.

Rest in peace, little one.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Burger me

It’s a falsehood people. Come on. Image circulating on Facebook.

Right people – it’s not often I’m moved to do this sort of thing but there’s a hoax spreading rapidly via Facebook at the moment and it’s gained such legs that I’ve been inundated with email about it – McDonalds HAVE NOT announced they’re opening, or coming soon, to the site of the Rising Sun pub in Brownhills West.

Last week a photoshopped image – shown above – was posted on local facebook groups as a wind up. The banner is clearly false and the picture is not current – it was actually taken by Brownhills historian and old mate of the blog David Hodgkinson. You can see the original below.

David said:

It wasn’t me!

Thanks to everyone who pointed out that the Rising Sun McDonalds sign is a spoof – but that’s my original photo. First I wondered if I should feel violated and sue but very soon the ego took over and I just think ‘Coo! Someone has actually found a use for one of my photos’.

The Creative Commons I use includes rights to ‘Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material’. I need to find one that forbids use that is illegal, fraudulent or attempts to dupe the public!

Whilst I respect and admire the guile and cunning of the windup (and let’s face it I’m still getting angry emails about the wind farm on the common so I’m not above being a tosser in this regard myself) the volume of contact I’ve had over the weekend has led me to this post: McDonalds do not (nor do anyone else) have any current plans lodged with the council to do anything with the Rising Sun site and at this moment in time (23rd April 2018) this rumour is UTTERLY FALSE.

So please stop sending me the image and being all angry. Cheers.

I hope a use can be found for the site, and to be honest, I could see a Drive Through of some sort working there if the access can be sorted safely. But I think any such thing is a long way off.

I tried contacting Dick Turpin’s agent for comment, but he was unavailable, presumed hiding in a secret tunnel near Stonnall.

The original image, by David Hodgkinson from just after last year’s fire.

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Full of love for Mr. Fullelove

Images Kindly supplied by Brian Stringer via the young David Evans.

Last week I pointed out that this weekend, there was to be an unveiling ceremony of the restored George Fullelove Memorial Shelter near  The Parade in Brownhills – well, the event took place on Saturday morning (21st April 2018) in splendid weather to an appreciative crowd that  included several of the great chorister’s descendants – including honorary grandfather of the blog, Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove.

 It’s been brilliant to see the Brownhills Local Committee and other involved parties work so hard to preserve the memory of one of the finest sons of Brownhills: Chorister and Choir Master George Fullelove.

Thanks to old friend of the blog Brian Stringer, I can share the above gallery of photos of the day, including our MP Wendy Morton. Thanks to David Evans for sorting the photos out, after he was indisposed at short notice.

I think few people realise that Brownhills has a fine musical and choral history, and that George Fullelove led a prize-winning choral society that really were the toast of musical circles, every bit the match for the great Welsh ensembles of the day.

George passed away in 1956, and the Fullelove Memorial Shelter or Arbor was unveiled in April, 1959. This curious hexagonal shelter still stands today on the corner of The Parade and Chester Road and was intended, not as many think as a bus shelter, but as a resting and meeting place for people of the town where they could sit and chat in the dry and out of the wind.

The Fullelove Memorial Shelter, or as many of us know it, ‘The 50p piece’. Image Kindly supplied by David Evans.

Many generations – including my own – called this shelter ‘The 50p piece’ and loved it, spending hours there.

In the last 12 months, several organisations including Brownhills Local Committee and Walsall Council have come together to get the Fullelove Memorial Shelter restored, and for an information board to be erected nearby, and I must say, it’s looking very smart.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Woodmen outpace Racing Club Warwick to win the league!

Images and captions Kindly supplied by the young David Evans

It’s time for a mega football roundup – the young David Evans, Simon, Russell and co have been very hard at work reporting on the bewildering  and packed schedule of matches home and away for Walsall Wood in the last week – and yesterday (Saturday 21st April 2018) the Woodmen had real cause to celebrate when their 4-3 win over Racing Club Warwick meant they have won the league this season.

My congratulations to all at Walsall Wood FC and to the faithful who have really worked hard for this: I’m sure I speak for many in saying Bill Shaw would be very pleased indeed. I’m sure he’s got plenty to say up there about it! Bill, that one was for you.

That doesn’t mean the football is over this season, far from it: On Tuesday evening next (24th April 2018) there’s a very interesting match in prospect against Ilkeston Town, so stay tuned!

David Evans wrote:

Walsall Wood 4 v 3 Racing Club Warwick
Saturday 21st April 2018

[Bob’s note: Confusingly, although played at Chasetown FC this was a home match, relocated due to the St. George’s event at Oak Park.]

An excellent sporting game of real soccer which thrilled and delighted fans of both teams. Plenty of super action with seven goals in total this afternoon.

This was a game to remember for a long time, not only because winning gave Walsall Wood the league championship with plenty of games to spare, but because the spirit and sporting nature exhibited throughout the encounter by both sides was a credit to all of the players, and especially their team managers.

The usual professional, high quality match footage from Russell Smith at The-Wood.TV – Walsall Wood Fc’s own social media video channel – check it out here.

Spectators also saw an excellent, top class referee and linesmen in action which made  the afternoon complete.

Walsall Wood won four goals to three, but Sporting Warwick  played some excellent attacking football too and the final whistle came with WWFC supporters and Warwick supporters holding their breath.

Obviously, we’re all made up about this and it’s been a spectacular season for The Wood, who despite the poor weather and a heavy subsequent schedule have done brilliantly well, particularly considering their form the season previously.

In other football news, club channel The-Wood.TV also posted this footage of the Sporting Khalsa – Walsall Wood match in the Walsall Senior Cup on Thursday evening, 19th April 2018, which The Wood won 2-1:

The usual professional, high quality match footage from Russell Smith at The-Wood.TV – Walsall Wood Fc’s own social media video channel – check it out here.

There’s also a very thorough review of the previous Tuesday’s Walsall Wood v Studley match here at the Base of the Pyramid blog, thanks to David Evans for pointing that out. Wood won that one 6-0, so it’s fair to say the lads were well on form for that one…

Finally, let’s not forget in our euphoria that Walsall Wood FC’s Oak Park is also home to Pelsall Villa, and they played at home on Tuesday: David sent in this report and pictures.

Images and captions Kindly supplied by the young David Evans

Pelsall Villa 3 v 1 Northfield
Tuesday 17th April 2018

A super sporting game to spectate where Pelsall and Northfield enjoyed playing on the lush grass surface at Oak Park.

Pelsall played with spirit and determination in the face of opponents who enjoyed a higher position in the league. To their credit Pelsall played up to the level required and at half time were one goal to nil in the lead.

The second half was played at the same fast pace as the first half and Northfield gained the equalising goal. Pelsall then scored a second goal to take the lead, and then showed great composure and possession. They broke through the Northfield defence and in the final part of the game Pelsall scored their third goal to seal the match.

A very good win for Pelsall Villa.

Thanks to David, Simon and Russell for great reporting and remember, it’s all For The Good of The Wood. My congratulations once more to a great local team.

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Join the Scouts for their St. George’s Day parade this Sunday!

 

Walsall Arboretum is a wonderful venue for a St George’s Day parade!

With the good weather and St. George’s Day upon us, it’s great to see so many events coming up to celebrate – and I’m pleased to share this one in Walsall on Sunday, 22 April 2017, which is free and kicks off at 10:30am.

This is also a great chance to visit the Arboretum which looks spectacular in spring following the wonderful refurbishment over the last few years. It really is a local gem.

Rowena Moseley got in touch to tell me about it:

A fine thing indeed

There’s a St. George’s Day parade being held by the Scouts in Walsall Arboretum on Sunday 22nd April 2018. Parade starts at 10.30am. All are welcome!

Come along and show your support for Scouting and your Country!

If you have a St George’s event you’d like me to plug, do shout up!

My best wishes to all involved, and if you pop up and take some pictures or just want to tell us about it, please do – comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

St. George’s Day bash at Walsall Wood today!

By George, that looks like fun!

With the local Remembrance appeals in mind, I thought I’d advertise this event today (Saturday 21st April 2018): a great St George’s day party at Walsall Wood Football Club hosted by the Bard of Brownhills himself, Ian Neville.

The party funs from 2pm until midnight, with last admissions 8pm, at Walsall Wood FC’s Oak Park clubhouse.

Live bands include Marquis Drive, Live Wire, Play Things, Not Quite Dead Yet and From the Archive, and there will be a bouncy castle and snack van.

Ian is a top bloke, passionate about St. George, Brownhills and raising money for the Remembrance  day parades as well as Veterans Life Line. So please do support him and this great event.

Tickets are now scarce but cost just a fiver, so you’ll need to contact Ian via the event Facebook page here, or his own Facebook page here to sort it out before you attend.

Walsall Wood Football Club are a great asset to the community and stage lots of events, as well as so great football across a number of teams.

My best wishes to Ian and all at the club – have a great party!

Untitled 9

Walsall Wood FC – not just a great football club but a wonderful, community-spirited institution. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

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

Woodmen play Racing Club Warwick at Chasetown this afternoon!

Chasetown FC is a lovely ground, and remember, the local deer might be doing the Linesman’s job… Image from ‘Hopping all over the world’ blog.

Saturday 21st April 2018

Walsall Wood FC v Racing Club Warwick FC

Home match rearranged to be at Chasetown FC to accommodate Walsall Wood FC’s St. Georges Fun Day!

Chasetown Football Club, Church Street, Chasetown, Staffs. WS& 3QL

 Don’t break your Wood vows, be there, be faithful to your local heroes – win this one and the Woodmen could well take the league title!

Kickoff 3pm

Please come and get behind your local club

For The Good Of The Wood!

Check out the Walsall Wood FC website here

Go watch the lads!

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

Urgent! Please look out for this minibus stolen from Aldridge!

Images supplied by Barry Carpenter.

Hey folks – please be on the lookout for this distinctive white Ford Transit nine seater minibus, stolen this afternoon (Friday, 20th April 2018) from Leighswood Avenue, Aldridge, registration no HK61GDH and bearing a private hire licence number plate 547 on vehicle.

The van belongs to old mate of the blog Barry Carpenter, and it’s his sole source of income. He hasn’t just lost his wheels, he’s lost his means of earning a living, too.

Anyone with information about this theft is urged to contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also contact Barry directly via Facebook here.

You can always mail me in confidence if you’d rather – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.ctly

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A great disco in aid of a wonderful local charity on tonight!

Looks like a nice event

 

Just a quick note to point this event out that’s happening this evening (Friday, 20th April 2018) over in Cheslyn Hay that friend of the blog Stephen Hill has let me know about.

It’s a great disco at Cheslyn Hay Working Men’s Club, starting at 7:00pm and running through the eying, It’s just £5 a ticket with buffet included, and you can pay at the door. Kids go in free!

it’s all in aid of the appeal for the sensory room for disabled kids at the Walsall Child Development Centre, so what’s not to love?

Sorry for the delayed ad, but better late than never…

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Going above and beyond

EPW015100 ENGLAND (1926). The High Street and Brownhills Common, Brownhills, from the south-east, 1926.
Click for full size version.
https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW015100

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

Aerofilms, as the leader in such imagery for years, jealously guarded their work and getting hold of it has always been difficult and expensive – they did, after all, make commercial hay with the coffee table books of Britain from the Air for the last four decades.

Well, since launching the online digital image archive a few years ago with useful but low-resolution images, the curators have now opened high resolution versions to the public for free – you just create yourself an account and which is free and easy to do and away you go.

It’s free to use the images for noncommercial purposes and the terms of use – that you include a link to the source page – are very reasonable indeed.

I’ve included here high-res versions of popular local images for you to peruse. Click on them to zoom in – you’ll be amazed what you can find. I do believe that’s a clear view of The Mets and Pike Helve. And just look at the devastation wrought by mining on what is now Chasewater North Heath. The gasworks is particularly fascinating.

Let me know what you find – comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at googlemmil dot com.

These images are used in accordance with the service license. Why not visit the Britain from the Air site and check them out yourselves – you can do so by clicking on any image.

EPW015101 ENGLAND (1926). The High Street, Brownhills, 1926.
Click for full size version.
https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW015101

EPW060278 ENGLAND (1938). The town Gas Works alongside the Wyrley and Essington Canal, Brownhills, 1938.
Click for full size version.
https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW060278

EPW060277 ENGLAND (1938). The town Gas Works and the High Street, Brownhills, 1938.
Click for full size version.
https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW060277

EPW015098 ENGLAND (1926). The High Street and environs, Walsall Wood, from the south-west, 1926. This image has been produced from a copy-negative.
Click for full size version.
https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW015098

EAW024534 ENGLAND (1949). The site of the Cannock Chase Collieries, Chasetown, from the south, 1949.
Click for full size version.
https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW024534

Video | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Be alert – car stolen in Shire Oak

Untitled 7

Vehicle theft in Shire Oak – be on your guard, folks. Image from Bing! Maps.

I see from the excellent WMNow service that there has been a worrying theft of a car from Wrekin View, Shire Oak in the early hours of Wednesday morning (18th April 2018) which has been taken without keys – the latest in a series of such events across the local area of late.

The reader said:

A Ford Fiesta has been stolen from Wrekin View, Brownhills.  The ’65’ registration vehicle, which had been left locked up by it’s owner, was stolen some time between midnight and 7am Wednesday 18th April 2018. Broken glass was discovered on the driveway and the vehicle was stolen by unknown means. The owner still has the keys.

If you have any information that may assist the investigation please contact the police by dialling 101 and quoting crime reference number 20WS/85266L/18.  Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Don’t forget you can secure your vehicle by using a good-quality steering wheel lock or similar physical security device. West Midlands Police have negotiated a 15% discount on Disklok products for WM Now users.  

Sign up to WMNow or log in for details.

Please be vigilant, and I’d ask anyone with information to contact the Police, no matter how trivial you think it may be. It could, after all, be your motor next.

Anyone with information is urged to contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Cheers all.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great pub quiz at Brownhills Community Centre this Friday!

Looks like fun!

Sorry folks – WordPress, the hosts of the blog have been having some technical issues in the last 24 hours so I’ve been unable to post but I’d like to draw your attention to a great quiz night taking place this Friday evening at Brownhills Community Centre.

It’s being hosted by the wonderful Followspot Productions and Shake Entertainment, and kicks off at 7:30pm. The quiz is designed to allow the use of smartphones so there can’t be any cheating!

There will be a bottle bar and it’s only £4 a person to enter. What’s not to love there?

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.

brownhills-youth-centre-670

It’s all going on at Brownhills Community Centre. Image from Walsall Council.

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Van break-ins in Ogley Hay and Shire Oak: Beware, folks.

Beware is you down a van in Shire Oak and the wider Brownhills area. Imagery from Google Maps.

A quick warning to people with vans and appeal to folk in Brownhills for information – On Monday night into Tuesday Morning (15-16th April 2018), there were at least two break-in into vans in the town; one in the Ogley Road area and another in Shire Oak.

There appear to have been three offenders in both cases, and the Ogley Road report suggests they may have been in a Burgundy coloured, medium sized van.

During the break in at Shire Oak they were disturbed and sped off. This would have been at around 1:30 to 2:00am.

These scumbags have targeted someone trying to earn a living. It’s heartbreaking and my sympathies for the loss.

The people doing this are more than likely doing it to raise cash from the proceeds of selling what they steal. If you know of anyone hawking around gear that seems to be dubious, please grub them into the police – the stuff they’re flogging is probably nicked.

Meanwhile, West Midlands Police have recovered the following tools in an unrelated seizure in Darlaston and are trying to find the owners. Check out the video and Facebook post embedded below.

Anyone with information is urged to contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do the walk this weekend!

Find out how far they’ve come at Summerhill in just two years in this informative film for the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to remind us that there will be a guided walk of the Summerhill section of the canal they’re working on this Saturday 21st April 2018.

If you’re unaware of the local canal restoration that’s steadily progressing this excellent blog post by Christine Howles explains more about it. The trust run regular work parties and all are very much welcome, whether you’ve a specialist skill or not!

At the moment, the volunteers are not only beavering away on the Summerhill section, on the Walsall Road at Summerhill, but also at several sites, including Borrowcop on the A51 at Lichfield, and other places along the route of the lost line.

To find out more, please pop along to the Lichfield and Hateherton Canal Restoration Trust website here.

Tom Reid wrote:

Image from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

Canal Trust: Guided walk this weekend!

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust is holding a guided walk on the Summerhill section of the restoration project this coming Saturday, 21st April 2018.

Join us for a guided tour of the Summerhill section of the Lichfield Canal. See the huge progress we’ve made this year, with help from corporate volunteers from all over the country, as well as our own volunteers. Find out what’s next in store for this section.

Starting at The Boat Inn, we’ll walk up to the aqueduct and then back to the pub where you’ll be able to buy a hot drink (or something stronger) to warm up.

This is an easy access walk but due to the distance (approx 2 km), it is not suitable for people with mobility issues.

There is no charge for this event, but a donation would be appreciated.

Please make sure you wear suitable footwear as it could be muddy.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Volunteers at work on the Summerhill section of the Lichfield Canal. Image from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust.

To find out about individual or corporate volunteering opportunities with Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, please visit the Trust’s website.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mylee Billingham – funeral details, and an extra message from Jane Taundry

Mylee Billingham. Image from West Midlands Police.

Details have just been announced by Tracey Taundry rregarding the funereal of her daughter Mylee in a post on Facebook, which the Taundry family have asked be shared here on the blog.

Tracey Taundry said the following:

Firstly I would like to thank Brownhills and surrounding areas for the love support and kind donations it truly means alot to myself and family at this tragic time. The funeral of my daughter MYLEE will take place on TUESDAY 24th APRIL at St. James Church Brownhills at 10.45. All are welcome to pay their respects.

This will be followed by a strictly private committal of my immediate family only.

Floral tributes are welcome to my home address or St James Church. Donations on the day will be donated to Birmingham children’s hospital.

Mylee was my angel my true princess she will have the send off she truly deserves.

Dress code all things bright and beautiful just as she was.

With love, Mylees mommy Tracey. x

Jane Taundry has asked me to add the following:

‘Can you add a little note in, to let people know that there is a collection box in reception at William Mitchell Funerals in Aldridge for Mylee.

All of the donations will be for Birmingham children’s hospital as well.’

You can see the original post here on Facebook.

My sympathies and condolences remain with Mylee’s family and friends. My heart, best wishes and respect go out to them at this incredibly difficult time.

Posted in News

Looking after the legacy of a great son of Brownhills

Brownhills Choral Society – legendary and very successful, with the noted singer George Fullelove third from left. Image generously supplied by Margaret Yeomans.

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

I think few people realise that Brownhills has a fine musical and choral history, and that George Fullelove led a prize-winning choral society that really were the toast of musical circles, every bit the match for the great Welsh ensembles of the day.

George passed away in 1956, and the Fullelove Memorial Shelter or Arbor was unveiled in April, 1959. This curious hexagonal shelter still stands today on the corner of The Parade and Chester Road and was intended, not as many think as a bus shelter, but as a resting and meeting place for people of the town where they could sit and chat in the dry and out of the wind.

The Fullelove Memorial Shelter, or as many of us know it, ‘The 50p piece’. Image Kindly supplied by David Evans.

Many generations – including my own – called this shelter ‘The 50p piece’ and loved it, spending hours there.

In the last 12 months, several organisations including Brownhills Local Committee and Walsall Council have come together to get the Fullelove Memorial Shelter restored, and for an information board to be erected nearby, and I must say, it’s looking very smart.

David Evans has been in touch, to tell me about a ceremony that’s taking place next week at the shelter, to commemorate the renovation.

He said:

Hi Bob

A quick note to promote a local event, please…

On Saturday 21st April 2018 at 11am there will be a re-dedication ceremony of the refurbished George Fullelove Memorial Shelter, which stands near to the Parkview Medical Centre and the Community Centre in  Brownhills.

I understand that a small group of singers from the Wednesday Choir will perform  some of the pieces which were popular in the days of Mr George Fullelove’s choirs.

Local civic dignitaries have been invited to attend the re dedication of the shelter and the unveiling of the new information panel which gives the life story of Mr Fullelove.

Following the event refreshments will be provided  in the nearby Community Centre, I understand.

Many thanks in anticipation

Yours sincerely
David Evans

In order that people may find out more about this great man, I commend they read this post here, about George Fullelove’s earlier career, then the one included below, which covers his final years and the creation of his shelter and legacy. He really was a most remarkable and talented, as well as very humble and human gentleman.

Thanks to David for letting us know, and if you attend, please do take some pictures and drop me a line: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

If you’ve got a song to sing, sing out!

The Young David Evans – working with a number of sources, including the Fullelove family and members of the Choral Society – continues his meticulous and fascinating documentation of the history of the noted, famous and popular Brownhills Co-operative Choral Society. This is a great love of David’s, and one that is of huge interest to blog readers, including Ian Pell, who’s also discussed this wonderful history.

Thanks to David for yet another great article, and if you have anything to add, either comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Brownhills Co-operative choral society . The years 1949 to 1973

baton

George Fullelove’s all-important Conductor’s baton. Image supplied by David Evans.

The Brownhills Choral Society was inaugurated on Wednesday 19th January 1949 at a meeting held in the Co-operative Hall, Brownhills. The first conductor was Mr George Fullelove. The accompanist was Ernie Jones, who was also the chairman, the secretary was Frank Seedhouse, and the treasurer, who served for very many years, was Jim Ewens. The weekly subscription was 3d. The choir entered the Oakengates Music Festival on June 25, 1949. This was to be the first of very many festivals and contests that the choir would enter, and gain amazing success. In 1950 they entered the Bromsgrove Festival, gave two concerts and performed Handel’s Messiah at two churches. Membership of the choir at this time was 28. It would grow to over 70 by 1971. Seven concerts were given in 1950; four were given in 1951. There was to be a pattern to the concerts, which becomes apparent in later years’ records.

The minutes record that Mr George Fullelove, the conductor, died on Wednesday 13th  July 1956 and that in 1957 ‘the conductor’s baton passed to their new conductor, Mr Deryck Langford.

In 1959 the minutes show that in March the choir performed Mendelssohn’s oratorio ‘Elijah’ in Brownhills Wesley Methodist Church, and that the soloists were Rhylis Cooper, Alice  Holyman, Jean Langford, Jack Pearce and Doug Birch.

westley

Brownhills Wesley Church, March 1959.Photo kindly provided by Mr Michael Smith, – he’s the gentleman with the fine beard.

The choir also performed at the George Fullelove Memorial Service in Holland Park, Brownhills, on Saturday April 11th, 1959. where a brick arbor was dedicated and  a memorial tablet was unveiled with this inscription:

‘Affectionately remembered by Brownhills residents for his unceasing endeavours in the cause of music and charity’.

[Wonder what happened to that – I guess the ‘arbor’ is the memorial shelter, but what of the plaque? – Bob]

In 1960 the choir entered the Newport Music Festival where the soloists gained success, and in another concert  the choir ventured into musicals, performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Trial by Jury’. The choir performed the oratorios ‘Barabbas’, ‘Olivet to Calvary’, and in December held their third annual dinner. They entered the Newport Music Festival again in 1961. A press cutting of that event is headed ‘Brownhills Choir Sweeps the Board’. The choir entered the Bourneville Musical Festival in July, went on a Cultural Weekend at the Co-operative College, Loughborough, performed for the 75th anniversary of Walsall Co-operative Society, sang in the 53rd annual Co-op Choral Festival in Derby, performed ‘Elijah’ in Newcastle under Lyme, and several other   concerts that year. They enjoyed a well-earned and 4th annual dinner in December, at the Kenmare restaurant in Walsall.

The choir membership had grown to 59.

newport

This image is thought to be the Society at Newport Music Festival in 1961. Photo kindly provided by Michael Smith.

In 1962 the choir gave 13  detailed concerts, entered the Bournville Music Festival and the Newport   Music Festival. They again performed the oratorios ‘Elijah’ and ‘Crucifixion’ that year.

In 1963 they performed Brahm’s ‘Requiem’ and performed their first ‘Getaway’ Concert, in Aberystwyth, where they spent the day. This would not be the choir’s last visit to the Principality.

The minutes show that at the Annual General Meeting, in February 1964, a discussion was held where the members agreed to ‘strive to improve and aim for higher standards’ This marked a turning point in the fortunes and was to bring great success for the choir.

In 1964 the choir were recorded by the BBC, and later that summer Arthur Langford, BBC radio presenter and brother of Deryck, took a choir rehearsal and shared with them his own personal experiences during his years working in the BBC Forces Network. No notes exist of the details of his talk.  The recording was aired in the BBC broadcast ‘Brownhills Co-operative Choral Society and other choirs’ on Wednesday December 23rd.  Five  other major concerts were performed in 1964.

The choir were later to make two records, feature again on BBC Radio, and appear on BBC Television.

In May 1965 the choir took part in the ‘Choral Exchange’ at the Cannock Mining and Technical College, with Cannock and District Mixed Voice Choir, Chase Orpheus Male Voice Choir, and the Hadley Orpheus Male Voice Choirs. They entered the Cheltenham Open Music Festival, and won!

They performed ‘Messiah’ twice in December 1965.

greatw

Performing at Great Wyrley Methodist Church 30th December, 1965. Image generously supplied by Michael Smith.

On March 10th, 1966 the first of 18 Annual Brass and Voices Concerts was performed in Walsall Town Hall, with the CWS Manchester Brass Band, and the guest soloist, Keith Layton. These concerts soon became one of the highlights of the choir’s annual concert programme. On 19th March the choir travelled to Leicester to give their Grand Concert in the De Montford Hall, with the CWS Manchester Brass Band and combined Midland Co-operative choirs.

In the summer of 1967 the choir took part in the Morecombe Music Festival, the Bournville Music Festival (which they won), and gave their second Brass and Music Concert in Walsall Town Hall, with the Foden Motorworks Brass band. Angela Beale was the guest soloist in this concert.

In 1968 the choir again entered the Morecombe Music Festival, the Newport Music Festival and gave an annual Concert in Walsall Town Hall with the Foden Motor works band when the soloist contralto was Margaret Duckworth. The concert was a 1200 ticket ‘sell-out’. The choir also entered the Co-op Music Festival in Lincoln that year. In total the choir gave 10 concerts that year.

In 1969 the choir entered, and won, the Tamworth Music Festival, the Newport Music Festival and came second in the Bournville Music Festival. The choir had again performed 10 concerts in the year.

1970 marked the choral society’s 21st anniversary. The choir numbered 72 members. In true style the choir held a social evening at  the Elms hotel in Aldridge, a birthday cake was enjoyed, and certificates were presented to ‘Founder Members still in Choir’, who were recorded as Nancy Stewart, John Corfield, Ada Oakley, Winnie Ewens, Winnie Weston, Hugh Seedhouse, Jack Pearce, Frank Seedhouse, and Doug Birch.

Untitled

The choral society in 1970. Photo kindly provided by Michael Smith.

In 1970 the choir entered the Cheltenham Music festival, the Cardigan Musical Eisteddfod (note the return to the Principality…), they took part in the Senior Co-op Choral Festival, had another ‘sell-out’ annual Town Hall Concert where they were again joined by the Foden Motor Works Band, and Edward Darling was the featured tenor soloist The choir did their own recording in the winter, and again had performed 10 featured concerts throughout the year.

In 1971 the choral society increased its subscription to £1 10s. In June they commissioned their own record which contained 12 choral pieces. They won the Newport Music Festival again and were presented with the ‘Chief Choral Contest Cup’. In October the choir entered the Senoir Co-op Choral Festival in Coventry, the ladies choir won, the men’s choir won, and the two soloists Doug Birch and Jack Pearce came first and second. The Annual Town Hall Concert featured the Fairey Band, and John Heddle Nash was the guest baritone soloist. The choir had given 20 detailed concerts and the membership stood at 72.

In 1972, ‘Power Cut problems’ were discussed (presumably due to the three day week), the choir entered the Nelson Music Festival and won, gave a Charity Band/Choral concert for The Queen’s Royal Lancers and the Mayor, Councillor S. Wright presided at this concert. ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and ‘Dido and Aeneas’ were performed in Chadsmoor Methodist Church, Cannock. The minutes record a meeting of the Co-operative Choral Society and the  Brownhills Music Festival Committee. The annual Town Hall Concert featured the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band and John Lawrenson, baritone soloist.

Cannock Urban District Council sponsored the performance of ‘Messiah’ at the Forum Theatre in Cannock and the choir gave 22 detailed concerts in the year.

In 1973 the choir gave a concert in the Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton with the Dowty Boulton Male Voice Choir, and Mavis Jones, soprano soloist, and Keith Layton, baritone soloist. The choir entered and won the Morecombe Music Festival again. , the annual concert featured the CWS Manchester Band and Cynthia Glover, soprano soloist.

The 25th Anniversary Concert was given with the Orchesta da Camera,and featured Elgar’s ‘The Music Makers’. A total of 17 detailed concerts were performed in 1973.

Ada Oakley, a founder member was presented with a’ fine gift in her home as she was no longer able to attend rehearsals’.

My personal thanks go to Deryck Langford, Doug Birch, Micheal Smith and especially to Bob Watson whose meticulous details, so generously offered, have made this article possible.

David Evans, June 2013.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Where’s the fairness in Remembrance funding?

Brownhills Remembrance Parade in 2017 went ahead – and was very well supported – precisely because people like John Bird and Ian Neville worked tirelessly to raise funs for it. It’s wrong that they have to, although we’re all immensely grateful that they do.
Image from Shell Handley.

I’ve hd a really interesting email in from a respected elder in Brownhills, someone whose comments on the area I’ve always respected greatly and whose opinion I value and usually agree with – John Bird.

John Bird has periodically written clear, eloquent and concise letters to the local press – the ones that have always stuck in mind have been the ones relating to the development and plans for Brownhills High Street, and he’s written some brilliant stuff over the years.

I’ve very pleased that John’s made contact on another very important issue, too.

John is commenting on the fact that in Walsall and around the country, many Remembrance parades are having to fundraise to pay for road closures so they can go ahead. I’ve covered this point previously on the blog several times – the withdrawal of police support for this event has always angered me.

Thankfully, people like Ian Neville and friends in Brownhills, Dave Whitehouse an co. in Pelsall, Lee Bragginton and the Scouts in Walsall Wood and so many more work so hard to raise funds for it, so the parades have continued. But this is clearly not satisfactory – to me, John Bird or the wider community.

John Bird raised the following point:

Remembrance Sunday Parades.(Road closures.)

As we all know, the Police Authorities have withdrawn their support with respect to traffic management and road closures during the Remembrance Sunday Parades and the Cenotaph Services at the various local centres in and around Walsall.

In order that these dignified memorial events can take place it has necessitated the formation of teams of volunteers to not only organise them but also to raise the substantial funding to pay for professional traffic management and the high cost of public liability insurance.

Bearing this in mind, I would like to ask the question ”Does anyone know if the English Defence League paid for the substantial costs of the police involvement during their so called rally in Walsall town centre on the 7thApril 2018 recently?” There did not seem to be an officer shortage on this occasion.

In conclusion I would like to suggest that as the Police have had their government funding cut and are obviously feeling the affects of those cuts, they could help themselves by taking on the role of traffic management during these Remembrance Sunday Parades and making a charge for their services. I would have thought that this would probably be not only safer but cheaper than these very expensive traffic management companies.

That’s a good question John, and a good point. It’s worth pointing out that events like Pelsall Carnival, St Patricks Day, Pride and Vaishakhi parades etc. all have to raise money too (and have had to for a long time before Remembrance had to), not just Remembrance, just so we’re clear.

I think the reason the police turn out for protests (who ever is staging them) is that the right to protest is enshrined in UK law and a tenet of British civil society: If you assemble a protest and do it correctly, I don’t think the police or Council have any power to stop you except in very exceptional circumstances. I could be wrong. I welcome views on this.

However, that doesn’t make the situation right. I would never deny people the right to protest freely be they left or right wing, but I would also not charge Remembrance events for police help – that should be a civic duty to those who gave their all – that we do is a disgrace, plain and simple.

In this, I blame not the everyday frontline coppers, but the top brass who’ve clearly decided to make a political point over something dear to all of us.

What do you think? Please do comment here or mail me BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Again, thanks to John for making an excellent, thoughtful point.

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

Walsall Wood victory is a Pershore thing

Images and captions Kindly supplied by the young David Evans.

Yesterday (Saturday 14th April 2018) Walsall Wood FC travelled down the motorway to the King George Playing Field Ground to face Pershore Town – and continued their run of goof form, beating the visitors decisively four nil.

David Evans was there to witness a great match, and wrote:

Pershore Town 1 v 7 Walsall Wood

A superb display of smooth, controlled  soccer again by Walsall Wood rejoicing at playing on real, lush grass.

Pershore tried hard but, in all honesty, were outplayed for nearly all of the match, and in every department, too. There was very little frustration or petulance shown in the face of the mighty Wood soccer machine in full steam, but the good crowd of home and away supporters were treated to some masterly football, including an overhead scissor kick/goal by one of the Wood team.

Look out, Ronaldo, kid.

Thanks to David for the report and pictures!

Meanwhile, on Tuesday last (10th April 2018), Walsall Wood FC faced Coventry Copsewood at Oak Park: In very poor conditions, Walsall Wood beat the visitors 6-0.

Russell Smith from the wonderful The-Wood.TV posted this first half video on their YouTube channel and said:

First half goals – fog and rain made the second half very difficult to film and the image not good enough to post final result 6-0.

 

 

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

Works to improve the Streets Corner junction getting underway

Work is already underway on the verges at trees Corner, Walsall Wood. Image from my 365days journal.

A number of people have asked about the work currently taking place at the Streets Corner Junction in Walsall Wood, that has seen the wall in front to the shops demolished and excavations taking place on the land there.

This work is the first stage of junction improvement works that will see the entire junction remodelled and resignalled as part of the A461 improvement works in the area that has seen huge improvements to flows at the Shire Oak crossroads and will also see work to improve the Mellish Road Island in Walsall.

Streets Corner will be realigned on the Brownhills-Salters Road axis, to reduce the sharp corner on the northbound side of the junction. and extra slip road will be created between Salters Road and the Lichfield road for vehicles turning left from Aldridge. New crossings and refuges will be created, and signals renewed with intelligent control and sequencing.

The works are scheduled for completion in Summer 2018.

I wholly support this – the junction has been operating at capacity for some time now and really needs optimising for all users – drivers and pedestrians alike.

You can see a plan of the work below, or click in the link below it for a PDF version. You can find out more about the plans at Walsall Council’s webpage here.

What do you think? Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

The plan for improvements to Streets Corner, click for a larger version, or see the PDF link in the text. Image from Walsall Council.

A461 Lichfield Road – Junction Improvements Scheme

Main Scheme Information

The A461 Lichfield Road is an arterial route, which runs in a north-easterly direction from Walsall town centre to the Borough boundary. It carries large volumes of traffic throughout the day which results in heavy congestion at peak times. The A461 junction improvement scheme seeks to address the issue of growing congestion and the lack of traffic capacity along this strategic route.

The scheme will target two locations – A461 Lichfield Road / B4152 Salter’s Road junction and A461 Lichfield Road / A452 Chester Road (Shire Oak) junction. Both will be widened to increase capacity, benefit from improved pedestrian facilities, and new traffic signals and communications technology installed to improve operation.

The junctions will be linked by an intelligent traffic signal system and controlled and monitored by the Urban Traffic Controller facility at the Black Country Urban Traffic Control Centre. The new traffic signal junction installed as part of the Oak Park leisure centre development will also be linked via the same intelligent system.

Both Streets Corner and Shire Oak are busy junctions with congestion issues, as this archive picture shows.

Scheme Progress and Planned Work: Update 13 April 2018

Shire Oak junction is now largely completed. The timings of these new signals will be monitored and optimized by the control centre of the coming weeks.

The land required to widen the junction of A461 Lichfield Road / B4152 Salter’s Road is now acquired. The first stage of the works will be to construct a new retaining wall on the grassed area to the front of the ‘Family Shopper’ and ‘The Original Factory Shop’. Contractors will then go on to divert the existing underground utility services. Some preliminary works will start in February 2018. This junction will be complete at the end of summer 2018.

Works will begin outside the Co-op on Monday 16 April 2018. A footway closure is required for this work. Details of this and designated pedestrian routes can be found in the plan below (section of closed footway shown in blue hatching).

View plan of closed footway outside the Co-op (pdf)

Any planned disruption to utility services will be communicated in advance by the utility companies directly to their customers.

View plan of improvements at A461 Lichfield Road/Salter’s Road junction (pdf)
View plan of improvements at A461 Lichfield Road/A452 Chester Road (pdf)

For any further information please contact:

Donna Cattell
Senior Transport Planner
Email: A461@walsall.gov.uk
Phone: 01922 654659

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Police issue statement on incident at Vicarage Road, Brownhills on Friday evening

Vicarage Road, Brownhills. Imagery from Apple Maps.

On Friday evening (13th April 2018), there was an incident in the Vicarage Road area of Brownhills that generated a large amount of speculation on social media.

I made enquiries with the press Office at West Midlands Police, and this morning they issued the following statement:

A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault after police were called to a disorder in Vicarage Road in the Brownhills area of Walsall just before 7pm on Friday 13 April 2018. He remains in police custody this morning (Saturday 14 April 2018).

Sharn Braich
Corporate Communications
West Midlands Police

Please,  if you have information regarding this incident or if you have witnessed something suspicious, please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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

Walsall Wood FC visit Pershore Town this afternoon!

Pershore town’s King George Playing Fields Ground is a lovely setting. Come cheer the lads on! Image from the Pershore Town FC website.

Saturday 14th October 2018

Walsall Wood FC are away at Pershore’s King George ground!

Walsall Wood v Pershore  Town

3:00pm kickoff

Please come and get behind your local club

For The Good Of The Wood!

King George Playing FieldsKing George’s WayPershore, WR10 1QU

Check out the club 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

Aldridge Spring Market – on today!

Looks decent. Pop in and tell them all how nice the new development looks, why not?

Just a quick note to point out that today (Saturday, 14th April 2018) is Aldridge Spring Market with loads of stalls and fun for all the family, so what’s not to love?

It takes place in the town centre from 10am-4pm. At the same time there’s a craft fair in the Crown or whatever the Elms is called now.

AldridgeSpring Market 2018 – Saturday 14th April

Starts at 10:00am and runs until 4:00pm

All around the town centre

It’s at what used to be the Elms, right?

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Who’s on this team, and who are they?

This is a real mystery. 60s perhaps, but BDE? Bill is goalie, from left I think. Can you help? Image from David Evans via Lynn Shaw.

Since the sad passing of Bill Shaw, old friend of the blog, champion of local football and Clayhanger lad, the tributes have been fullsome, and so richly deserved – but it’s also wonderful to hear the memories and see photos emerge of this wonderful man.

Bill sadly passed away following serious illness on 4th March as reported here previously, and the accolades to this wonderful man have been copious and wide ranging. All our hearts go out to Bill’s wife Lynn, his family and all at the local football clubs he so diligently supported.

Lynn, Bill’s wife has written to me to ask about the image above, sent to her by David Evans. It shows Bill as goalie for this team – photo from the 1960s judging by the hair and kit.

She asked:

Hi Bob,

David Evans has kindly sent me the photo below, I’ve never seen it and I don’t know if Bill knew of its existence.  I recognise Bill he was goalkeeper.  David told me there are 2 more on photo that I know, John Clayton 3rd from right in back row and David Greenwood 2nd from right in front row.

I have no idea what BDE stands for though, can any of your readers help with players names or the team name please it’s sometime in the 60’s, long before I met Bill.

Regards,
Lynn (Shaw)

So, the burning question is who were the BDE team (obviously local, or near local) and who else is pictured? Please help if you can – comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Meanwhile, for the Wood faithful, it’s game on tonight for the Under 18s who I know Bill loved (Friday, 13th April 2018):

Bill and a somewhat skinny friend, as captured by David Evans.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Meet your local coppers this Saturday in Aldridge and Streetly!

Aldridge Libray. Image from Libraries Task Force on Flickr.

I received notice of this great event from Walsall Police via the excellent WMNow service this morning, advertising a pop-up meet the police event this Saturday, 14th April 2018 at Aldridge Library from 10:00am until 11:00am where you can meet your local policing team and get help, crime prevention and public safety advice.

This is the police team responsible for Walsall Wood so could be a good chance for the Wood Massive to chat to their local rozzers.

The team will also be at Streetly Library later the same day from 11am until 12 noon.

I must say, it’s good to see the local police making efforts again to reach out to the public. Long overdue.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for WMNow, please do – it’s free and you can select to receive alerts on all kinds of local issues. It’s a fine thing.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building bridges

I had a very interesting reply to my post of last weekend that featured the picture of the old Pier Street pedestrian bridge that crossed the canal for many years and was eventually replaced in 2007 by a much more user friendly structure – the original photo was by respected friend of the blog and Brownhills Historian David Hodgkinson, and a whole tranche of images of the bridge replacement being constriucted and the older one removed have been supplied by old Panoramio hand Facade66.

Facade66 noted that the bridge work attracted a large audience in comment to the original post. He wrote:

The new bridge went up on 3 June 2007, the old bridge came down on 8 July 2007. The installation of the “new” one was a spectacle, I’m surprised they didn’t sell tickets. Certainly the old bridge was fully load tested that day as we were all jammed on it. I’ve sent Bob a dropbox link to the pictures I took at both occasions.

Facade was good to his word and sent me the remarkable gallery of images above – my thanks to him for a wonderful piece of otherwise lost history.

I am, of course indebted to Facade66 and hugely grateful for such a wonderful donation – I do of course still welcome your memories and contributions on the subject. Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

This is the old Iron Bridge at the foot of Pier Street, Brownhills. Note the steepness of the steps. I’d say late 1980s, maybe early 1990s. Note that Silver Court Gardens and Bayley House are visible, and the rough nature of the towpath. It’s a market day and the thing is clearly in full swing; the original ‘Marina’ construction along Silver Street – with the bizarre, pointless walls – had yet to be removed. Image courtesy of David Hodgkinson.

 

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Mylee Billingham’s funeral details released

Mylee Billingham. Image from West Midlands Police.

Details have just been announced by Tracey Taundry rregarding the funereal of her daughter Mylee in a post on Facebook, which the Taundry family have asked be shared here on the blog.

Tracey Taundry said the following:

Firstly I would like to thank Brownhills and surrounding areas for the love support and kind donations it truly means alot to myself and family at this tragic time. The funeral of my daughter MYLEE will take place on TUESDAY 24th APRIL at St. James Church Brownhills at 10.45. All are welcome to pay their respects.

This will be followed by a strictly private committal of my immediate family only.

Floral tributes are welcome to my home address or St James Church. Donations on the day will be donated to Birmingham children’s hospital.

Mylee was my angel my true princess she will have the send off she truly deserves.

Dress code all things bright and beautiful just as she was.

With love, Mylees mommy Tracey. x

Jane Taundry has asked me to add the following:

‘Can you add a little note in, to let people know that there is a collection box in reception at William Mitchell Funerals in Aldridge for Mylee.

All of the donations will be for Birmingham children’s hospital as well.’

You can see the original post here on Facebook.

My sympathies and condolences remain with Mylee’s family and friends. My heart, best wishes and respect go out to them at this incredibly difficult time.

Posted in News

From summers long since passed…

A very beautiful and evocative image posted on twitter by @CRTINspectionTom. Click for full size version.

I’m also indebted recently to old friend of the blog The Stymaster (whose Piglog and Publog are much older than my blog and both still going strong) for drawing my attention to a thoroughly engrossing Twatter account which a couple of weeks ago featured the wonderful image above.

The picture is from the mid 1970s, as the poster states, and I think the implication is that it was probably 1976. The image shows the Anglesey Wharf and basin area – the end of the canal – near Chasewater, with a narrowboat moored by the overflow. Note Hammerwich Church on the skyline, and the remarkable lack of mature trees in the landscape.