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 17th August 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.

 

This week we will have watermelon shaving foam in our messy play tray!

Our creative table will be dinosaur green Playdough 🦖🦕

Alongside all our other areas of play including the garden area, the book/music area, the home corner, the maths area, the baby sensory… and the small world play and construction. 

£2 per child (healthy snack included)
From 10.00-11.30am

Come along and join in the fun!

This group is for children aged 4years and under we can not have older children in group.

Thank you

Share share share tell all your friends about 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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Parkrun is now at Chasewater every Saturday morning!

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here.

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (17th August 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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Are you ready for Walsall Wood’s Summer Bank Holiday music fun festival?

On the Summer Bank Holiday weekend event score, there’s a great music, fun, family and food festival planned right across the break from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th August 2019 – and it’s all in aid of charities Livvy’s Smile and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

This looks like a great return to the well remembered Walsall Woodstock festivals of summers passed. I’m really looking forward to it.

It’s free to attend, and there are a host of great, feel good bands and acts in store – but also inflatables, streetfood, carboot market, craft fair, face painting, competitions and live DJs.

You can camp, too. 

It all takes place around the Horse and Jockey Pub at Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood and in the lovely field at the back. 

For more info you can visit the Horse and Jockey Facebook page here, the oganisrer’s Facebook page here or call the event hotline on 07399 547577.

See you there?

The Horse and Jockey in Walsall Wood is a great site for a festival. Imagery from Apple Maps.

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Up for some Boats, Beats and Bites this bank holiday weekend?

Since we’re getting close to August Bank Holiday weekend, the events for the last mid-year Bank Holiday of the year are coming in thick and fast – and the first of these is a very interesting looking food, music and watersport festival going on at Chase Watersports Club at Chasewater.

Boats, Beats and Bites takes place on Saturday, 24th August 2019 at Chase Watersports Centre at Chasewater and features craft stalls, bar, street food, DJs and speedboat rides.

The organisers said:

Boats, Beats & Bites is a street food and music event with added speedboats! Run by a collective of local people with a passion for bringing the best DJ’s and traders to the beautiful setting of Chasewater. Family and dog friendly!

It runs from 1pm until 10pm, and looks like real fun. The event is totally free to attend.

You can find out more on the Boats, Beats and Bites Facebook page.

 

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The Greatest Show comes to Brownhills this Thursday!

There’s an interesting looking fund day event happening this Thursday, 15th August 2019 at Millfield Primary School, Catshill, Brownhills from 11am until 2pm – and it’s totally free, with crafts, art, games, food and fun – and as it’s being organise by Walsall Housing Group, money and housing advice for the mums and dads too!

If you want to find out more you can at the Greatest Show Facebook page here.

Walsall Housing Group wrote:

We’re taking The Greatest Show on tour! 🎪

Following the success of this year’s whg Customer Open Day at whg Main Office, we’re taking #whgGreatestShow on the road throughout August.

All times 11am-2pm
▪️ Thursday, 15th August: Millfield Primary School, Brownhills
▪️ Thursday, 22nd August: whg The Workplace, Leamore
▪️ Thursday, 29th August: Darlaston Community Assoc. Sports & Social Club

🎯 Fun & Games
🎨 Arts & Crafts
🐖 Money Advice
ℹ️ Housing Help & Info
🧸 Kids Corner
😋 Food and refreshments available

Admission is free: just arrive on the day!

 

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

The inimitable soul DJ Leekie has been in touch to let me know that he’s DJing his regular Soultime event at Pelsall Community Centre next Friday evening, 16th August 2019 at Pelsall Community Centre, where he and a number of great soul pals will be fulfilling all your Northern Soul and Motown requirements.

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 Roger Haywood, Rob Edgar, Alan Wigley, Adrian Kent, Steve Hill and of course, Leekie!

It’s just £5 a head (payable o the door) and kicks off at 8pm and runs until Midnight. What’s not to love?

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

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Supporting the Rainbow autism support group have a holiday catch up today!

 

Whilst the popular Supporting the Rainbow autism support group is having a well-deserved summer break from it’s usual venue at the Smithys Forge pub, the group are organising some special meet-ups you can bring your kids along to – the second of which is today at Brownhills Community Centre from 1:45 to 2:45pm today, Tuesday 13th August 2019.

There will be a making your own plant activity, and there will be a prize for the best one! What’s not to love?

Brownhills Community Centre is the former school located right on the Miner Island in Brownhills. Parking is at the rear, off Pelsall Road. You can’t miss it.

Supporting the Rainbow is really growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Gerald Reece and friends took another walk into history!

David Evans yesterday sent me this lovely gallery from Gerald Reece’s walk from Chasewater Railway yesterday morning (10th August 2019) – sadly the weather was atrocious and although I hoped to make it, I was unable to go and meet with my hero.

I had planned to walk with Gerald myself to celebrate his 80th birthday, and I’ll be writing to the man himself later to apologise and wish him well. 

It’s good to see some of Gerald’s old pals there and I’d like to thank Chasewater Railway and Godfrey Hucker for making them so welcome. I just love the Yoghurt shirt. For those puzzled about that, see this post.

For those wondering why I make a fuss about this fine man, Gerald Reece is the talented and superlative local historian, now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

Gerald did all his work by hand, in the days before the internet: This meant he spent long days in libraries, archives and record offices copying material by hand, and at no small cost. His photos were taken on film, not by digital means as we do so easily today. Gerald’s work was seminal, thorough and wonderful.

Anyone interested in our local history today will be aware of Gerald and just how much we owe to him; I wish him well and hope I can catch him one day soon.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

 

 

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Lichfield Waterworks Trust August 2019 public meeting takes place Monday evening

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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 evening, Monday 12th August 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:

Lichfield Waterworks Trust August Newsletter

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:  Monday 12th August 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.

Latest News

Building Lease Update:

Persimmon have not offered a revised lease to the trust that unfortunately has given us no alternative to reject on the following grounds:
 
The main issue for the Trust is the limitation of Persimmon’s responsibilities for repairs, outgoings and insurance to 5 years, despite the following undertakings.

 The 4th schedule of the S106 agreement dated 24 Dec 2004 between Persimmon, LDC and others states that Persimmon will submit maintenance arrangements for Sandfields Pumping Station to the planning authority and thereafter maintain it.

 The Development Strategy Document which formed part of the planning documents for the residential planning permission headed Future Use of the Pumping Station said, ‘Persimmon will set up an adequately funded management company with trustees to maintain the property in perpetuity.’

Design Drawing AAA4729 which was submitted and approved as part of Planning Application 06/00763/FUL and listed building consent 06/00762/LBC included the words ‘Original pumping station basically renovated for weather resistance, security and safety, prior to being donated to a charitable trust.’

Persimmon therefore acknowledged responsibility in a number of documents for this now Grade ll* listed building in perpetuity, not for 5 years.  If you want to pass some of this responsibility onto LWT the Trust will require decades of financial support or a capital payment in lieu.
 
Turning now to the other amendments, with regard to the Term, and the repairs needed prior to the lease commencing, LWT would additionally need the following identified in the ‘Urgent and Essential Repairs’ document provided to the Staffordshire Historic Buildings Preservation Trust in the 2013 Options Appraisal:
 
1. Improve security at rear
2.Test and repair lightning conductor
3. Treat stanchions to 1960s building
4. Provide tanking to areas below ground level
5. Reseal concrete panels in the 1960s building
6. Reglaze with toughened or laminated glass
7. Carry out health and safety and access audit
8. Reposition metal staircase to provide safe head height
9. Improve access arrangements to roof
 
With regard to the Termination, we understand that you would like to have a Landlord’s break, but that would make it impossible for the Trust to seek external funding, as a guaranteed 35 year plus tenure is required by most funding bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund.   

With regard to Outgoings, we suggest using the definition in the draft lease you sent the Trust in October, plus the annual inspections identified by our Quantity Surveyors, Greenwoods Project Management, for electrics, fire, lift ,crane, and lightning conductor.
 
With regard to Outgoings, Insurance and Repair, we find the 5 year limitation period as discussed above unacceptable, although we agree that the future repairs could be those requested by LDC/HE.
 
With regard to Consents, we accept your proposed amendment. 
 
This is not the end of the world, just another round of negotiations with the Persimmon.

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.

Tonight’s Talk:

This month’s talk is by our very own Katy Shore-Kapsis and is all about Bee Keeping.
 
How the Victorians made key discoveries and developments which have led to current bee keeping practices.   Also, a look at what is involved in a typical year for a beekeeper.
 
We will be selling some honey on the night – with the profits going to Sandfields.
 
Honey will be on sale – £4.50 a jar, with a £2.50 donation of that going to Sandfields

 

 

Health and Safety

We are really pleased to report that we have been working for yet 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.

Engine Team Report

The new tower scaffold has proved its worth, enabling the difficult to access parts of the cylinder lagging to be cleaned and lacquered, and the remaining brass banding to be cleaned. Good progress has been made and this task is nearing completion.

Work to clean the chequer plates on the middle floor has proceeded well. Whilst the work to examine the regulator valve on the valve chest, carry out repairs to the corroded valve spindle and reassemble the valve has been proceeding, the team have been cleaning the chequer plates around the valve gear on the engine house ground floor. To protect the cleaned plates – in an area which is subject to a lot of foot fall – temporary matting has been secured in place with taping. In the long term the intention is to use some form of matting such as coir matting, which would have been used to cover walkways when the station was in use.

Read more here: Progress notes from the engineering team.

 

Building Team Report

The building team continue to make steady progress. The focus has been to improve the welfare facilities onsite.
 
The work on the one toilet to convert it to a washing area with a sink and drainer is now completed and the team are focusing improving the office and remaining toilets and shower.
 
Electrical Supply
 
Great news, we now have a power supply. This is a significant step forward and has improved the working environment for all of the members and visitors.

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 are continuing with their 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. Their efforts are now bearing fruit as the extraordinary story of clean water unfolds, waiting to be told.
 
“The heritage of the modern water industry is almost entirely absent despite its unarguable relevance to human development.”
 
J. Douet

 

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 12:00pm, 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 Railway – 2019 Annual Charities Day this Sunday!

Always a great day out!

Chasewater Railway – the little gem of a local preserved industrial railway is this Sunday (11th August 2019) staging it’s Annual Charities Day, when the railway will be operating with steam trains, and there will be charity stalls and activities at Brownhills West Station.

The Charities Day is always great fun and a good way to find out what local groups are up to – as well as to enjoy fun and games for all the family, explore the working railway and Country Park it runs in.

Chasewater Railway said:

CHARITIES DAY SUNDAY 12th AUGUST UPDATE

We welcome our friends to this Sunday’s charities day!

Lots of charity stalls, steam train rides, museum, shops, model railways and our The Sidings Tea Room there is something for all the family at Chasewater Railway. See you there!

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.

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

Brownhills now has a fantastic independent coffee and cake shop!

Laura Tarburton mailed me over the last couple of days to tell me that she was starting a new venture right in the heart of Brownhills with baker extraordinare Tina Williams: Bean and Baked in the Community Centre on the Miner Island, open to the public every day of the week except Sunday and Monday.

This terrific looking coffee and cake stop opened on Thursday to a great reception, and I for one will be over there as soon as I can to sample the goodies on offer. People visiting so far have sent in great reviews which bode well for a great social and food space that will really become a focus for the community.

Laura wrote:

Bean and Baked is due to open in Brownhills on Thursday 8th August 2019. The Microbakery and coffee house will be located inside Brownhills Community Centre (the annex).

Local girls, Tina Williams and Laura Tarburton are eager to bring a new experience to the people of Brownhills and surrounding areas. Not only will baking take place daily from the premises, supplying fresh homemade cakes, bakes, brownies and savouries but a wide range of events will be hosted over the coming months, including pop up restaurants, jazz nights, gin tasting nights, board game clubs, acoustic nights and much more!

The coffee house will be serving outstanding coffee hand roasted in Shrewsbury and pulled using a beautiful vintage two lever coffee machine. The deli counter is freshly stocked daily with a wide range of homemade sausage rolls, quiches and salads. Other items on the menu include toasties, filled croissants and a brunch menu including smashed avocado on toast and buttery scrambled eggs on toast.

We are so excited to bring something special to Brownhills and can’t wait to welcome you!

Our opening times are;

Sunday and Monday – Closed for Baking
Tuesday – 9:30 to 7:30
Wednesday – 9:30 to 3:30
Thursday – 9:30 to 7:30
Friday – 9:30 to 3:30
Saturday – 10 to 3

My best wishes to Laura and Tina in this wonderful venture, and if you pop along why not drop me a line to let us know what you think? Comment here, find me on the Twitterbook or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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Woodmen away at Shrewsbury this afternoon!

It’s going to be an interesting game in this weather…. Image from Footballgroundmap

Today, Saturday 10th August 2019

The Wood are visiting the Sports Village, home of Shrewsbury’s Haughmond FC

Haughmond FC versus Walsall Wood FC

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood! 

Shrewsbury Sports Village and Indoor Bowls Centre
Sundorne Road
Sundorne
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY1 4RQ

Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.

 

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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 10th August 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.

 

This week we will have cars and paints in our messy play tray

our creative table will be Playdough and dinosaurs 🦖

Alongside all our other areas of play including the garden area … The book/music area, the home corner, the maths area… The baby sensory area… and the small world play and construction area.

£2 per child (healthy snack included)
From 10.00-11.30am

Come along and join in the fun

This group is for children aged 4 years and under we can not have older children in group

Thank you

Share share share tell all your friend about 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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Parkrun is now at Chasewater every Saturday morning!

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here.

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (10th August 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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Come down to Chasewater Day – a great family fun event this Saturday!

Just a quick heads up that this Saturday (10th August 2019) there’s Chasewater Day, a great family fun event at your favourite country park – the whole thing runs from 10am until 3pm, with all kinds of fun activities, stall, fairground rides and more.

It’s free to attend and there’s also a free shuttle bus operating for those in Heath Hayes, Norton Canes, Chase Terrace, Burntwood and Chasetown (details below).

Lichfield Live posted the following piece about Chasewater Day:

A local group is gearing up to host the first Chasewater Day.

Taking place between 10am and 3pm on 10th August, the event has been organised by the Chasewater Friends group.

It will be a chance for local people to learn more about the country park, with music, games, storytelling and crafts sessions on offer.

Members of the Chasewater Friends group

Members of the Chasewater Friends group

Secretary Susan Williams said she hoped to see plenty of families bringing picnics to enjoy a fun day out.

‘The friends all know what a fantastic place Chasewater is and we want to help spread the word,’ she said.

‘We are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will be kind and hope that lifelong Chasewater lovers along with people visiting for the first time will join together in a great community event.’

A shuttle bus will be operating during the day to bring people to and from Heath Hayes, Norton Canes and through Burntwood to the pedestrian bridge over the Burntwood bypass at the end of Church Street.

New trustee, John Griffin, said: ‘Chasewater is such a fantastic place for local people to enjoy, take time out and get a bit of rest and relaxation.

‘For the more adventurous, Chasewater also has a whole range of sporting and other activities going on and Chasewater Day will give an opportunity for people to see just how much is on offer there.’

For more details about the shuttle bus visit the Chasewater Friends Facebook page.

This event is well worth a punt if you’re at a loose end – and there’s always the Chasewater Railway while you’re up there. I must say, the Cafe at the station does a cracking butty.

 

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Exploring the history of Rugeley’s lost hall

It’s always a pleasure to feature the work of other historians here and this has been a longstanding tradition since the very start of this blog over a decade age: Today, I’d like readers to welcome a new contributor to the Brownhills Blog community, Kim A. Osborn whose article below on a lost great house in Rugeley is fantastic stuff and hints at some terrific material to come.

1884 OS 1:10,000 mapping overland on modern Google Earth imagery to give the location of Hagley Hall. Click for a larger version. Image from the National Library of Scotland Archive.

Hagley Hall (not to be confused with it’s more famous namesake) has an interesting history and I must say I was utterly unaware of it at all. The inimitable Kate Cardigan from Lichfield Lore has covered the matter previously in her wonderful way, and apart from that there’s nothing much out there on a house that was only lost relatively recently.

I ‘d like to thank Kim for this, and my apologies for not publishing it sooner; it really is a terrific and beautifully researched piece of work. It reminds me very much of Stuart Cowley’s explorations of Hilton Park which remain popular.

If you have anything to add to the history here, please do – you can comment on this post, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tap my shoulder on social media.

Kim Osborn wrote:

Hagley Hall, Rugeley

Hagley Hall was a large country house within Rugeley— or more accurately originally on the outskirts of Rugeley at the time of construction. Gone today, but still much remembered and celebrated, I’d like to give a little discourse on the history of the hall which was quite unique in ways from other such estates in Staffordshire, or indeed, the country.

1884 OS 1:10,000 mapping showing Hagley Hall. Click for a larger version. Image from the National Library of Scotland Archive.

The original Hagley Hall was situated upon the small ‘island’ that is now in the centre of Elmore Pool, within the towns park. ‘Hall’ may be a bold term, as the site is much smaller than what one many consider conventionally ‘a hall’.  The ‘island’ is a deliberate construction, as the brook was diverted at the time to form a moat around the hall which is the reason the pool exists in it’s current form. It is uncertain why the owners of the land chose to do this, or indeed if this was a later construction than the hall itself, but it is evident that it would be purely decorative in nature and would not be designed as any sort of serious defensive structure – the pond is neither deep enough or large enough to warrant such an explanation.

Records indicate the original ‘moated hall’ was constructed around 1392 by Thomas de Thomenhorn, at the time the Keeper of the Royal Forest of Cannock Chase. Indeed it is suggested he “felled over 100 oaks [within the] bishops chase of Cannock’ according to extracts of the Plea Rolls of Richard II. It was primary a timber framed construction that was so typical of the time and as such little evidence remains of the site other than brick footings and some foundation stonework. Due to the park’s current status, natural erosion, (and health and safety legislation) no significant archaeological survey has been done of the island. But, at the time of writing (Jul 2019) the island has recently has the vegetation cut back [in an effort to combat the goose invasion] and some of the afore mentioned brickwork is now clearly visible. More brickwork exists at the sides of the pool, evidencing the nature of the diverted stream, and is clearly visible in the summer when the water levels drop.

The pool, looking at the former hall site:

Image from Staffordshire County Archives.

However, the better known Hagley Hall was a later construction, located on a small rise some 300 yards to the west of the park. This rise now forms the north-eastern boundary of the playing fields on the other side of the Western Springs Road. The hall building itself [and some surrounding stable blocks etc.] is sadly now demolished but several fascinating structures still exist. Many of these are not accessible to the general public but can still be safely seen from the boundary fences.

[sources: ‘A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 5, East Cuttlestone Hundred’. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1959.]

[note: The Western Springs Road is a much later 20th C construction which bisected the lands into the ‘park’ and the ‘playing fields’ at that time, historically they were one and the same.]

The later hall was constructed by Sir Richard Weston in 1636, was extended several times – most extensively in 1752 by Sir Assheton Curzon and again in the 19th C by adding more structure to the east side. The former remodelling included the planting of the gardens and lands below the hall which are the primary above-ground evidence of the hall today. Also an ornamental bridge over the Rising Brook was constructed, which has been kept in good condition by the land owners to date despite recent vandalism. It was about this time the site became known as ‘Hagley Park’. In the more modern age, by extension, the playing fields and nearby high school [renamed later and then closed recently] adopted the same name and are commonly referred to as such today.

[sources: Research done by CCDC for the heritage trial, Historic England]

Steel engraving of the Hall circa 1831:

Image from Staffordshire County Archives.

The ornamental bridge:

Ornamental Bridge, Hagley Hall, Rugeley

Ornamental Bridge, Hagley Hall, RugeleyThis ornamental bridge was built in the 1790s for Assheton Curzon in the grounds of Hagley Hall, Rugeley. It spans the Rising Brook as it runs from Cannock Chase, through Hagley and Rugeley to the River …View Full Resource on Staffordshire Past Track

 

Apparently, parts of the hall were designed at this time by the much noted architect, James Wyatt. Sadly however I was not able at this time to cite such sources or find further evidence of such – existing sources have been disputed. On the west of the hill was an 18th Century stable block, later converted to cottages, as well as a cylindrical ice-house sunk into the hillside. Also several ranges of brick outbuildings with stone dressings and founding existed as part of the Hagley Farm which utilised much of the lower ground beyond the gardens, now the playing fields.

[sources: ‘A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 5, East Cuttlestone Hundred’. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1959.

A notable resident of the hall in the 19th Century was the Honourable Robert Curzon, a captain of the local volunteer regiment. During his tenure, the hall was used as their offices and the grounds were used for parades as well as open for the leisure of local residents. This link with local military would continue for some time – up to World war One when the hall was used as a centre for the Officers Training Corps. Later the hall came into the hands of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company – in line with many other structures along the Rising Brook even up to the nearby hamlet of Slitting Mill to the north-west.

[sources: Alan Roderick Haig-Brown – the O.T.C and the great War, p 39]

A good image of the hall at about this time (1900 ish) can be found here:

Image from Staffordshire County Archives.

The Home Guard stationed at the hall:

Image from Staffordshire County Archives.

Image from Staffordshire County Archives.

It was during this time that the hall came to the most severe of neglect and the structure was deemed to be unsafe and unsound. Over a period of time, most notably in 1932, successive demolitions of parts of the hall left little of the original structure remaining by 1967—when ownership passed to the Town Council. Most of the impressive decorations of the hall, both internal and external were gone by this time, as were the extensions built in the 18th century. Plans available during the 1932 demolition show gabled wings at the rear which may have represented portions of the original 17thcentury house before the later remodelling.

[sources: In addition to the above, mainly local parish/town council records]

This remaining part saw various community uses for a time, housing the local ruby club and even as an arts centre, until the remaining surface buildings were demolished entirely in the eighties. The site is now developed for housing, the cul-de-sac road that would formerly been the main approach to the hall being named ‘Bank Top’.

A now sadly much reduced hall, shortly before final demolition:

Hagley Hall, Rugeley

Hagley Hall, RugeleyIn 1941, Hagley Hall was bought by Mr C.J. Whieldon, proprietor of the Green Bus Company, Rugeley. Due to the War effort, he could not occupy the Hall until the Military had exited the property in 1945. …View Full Resource on Staffordshire Past Track

As much of the hall, even neglected, was still extant within living memory, many accounts exist amongst long-time residents of the town about the hall. And due to the grand status of the hall in it’s time, many pictures and photographs exist on the Staffs Past Track website which clearly highlight what a loss to local history and architecture the demolition of the hall has been.

You may have noted that I referred several times to ‘surface’ buildings. This deliberate remark is due to a very specific curiosity of the hall site. Underneath the hall are a series of interconnecting passages and small rooms, often collectively known as ‘the catacombs’ [though strictly speaking they do not qualify such a moniker]. Local legend and tales vary wildly as to their purpose, as does indeed historical and archival descriptions of their construction and possible purpose. Dismissing the completely ridiculous suggestions still leaves many questions as to why these were built. Some have dismissed them as a folly. Some claim they served as war-time storage. But there is little ‘hard evidence’. While they are blocked off from access today due to safety and vandalism — a local team did get permission to enter by the local authorities and took many photos showing a fascinating range of architecture as well as the impressive size of the tunnel network. If this article proves interesting, I shall attempt a second about these tunnels alone.

Another interesting piece to mention is the aforementioned grounds. These have been subject to recent vandalism and the elderly owners of those ground have struggled to pay for repairs or maintenance. A local group has been set up to support those efforts and many seek to open them up to the public for future generations to enjoy.

[Disclaimer: I am not part of these groups and were not asked to promote them.]

Please note that at the time of writing (Jul 2019) that much of the usually publicly accessible site is off-limits due to the recent construction of flood defences under the playing fields.

An ideal visit would be in the autumn or winter months where a lack of vegetation allows clear views of the gardens and ‘catacomb’ entry portals from beyond the boundary fence.

The site itself is private land and in the writing of this article I do not wish to encourage trespassing upon these grounds.

Written by Kim A. Osborn in July 2019, using various local sources and texts. Authors have been cited where possible. Please feel free to redistribute but please leave original credit to the sources in the interests of those respective authors. Not to be published for profit. Copyright is held respectively by the content creators where appropriate. All sources were used with permission

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Woodmen leave Gresley grazed and beaten

Images and captions kindly supplied by the young David Evans

Walsall Wood FC kicked off the new season on Saturday 3rd August 2019 with a decisive win over Gresley FC at Oak Park – a good start that delighted the faithful.

David Evans was there, and sent the following match report.

He wrote:

Walsall Wood FC 4 v 2 Gresley FC
Saturday 3rd August 2019

Walsall Wood welcomed Gresley footballers and their  supporters to Oak Park to herald the beginning of the new season, a season which  promises to be one where the home side will have to work hard for every point they get.

A new season and a new team here at Oak Park. New rules and regulations have been brought in to this league’s games and all paid-up members,- players, clubs and match officials –  have the added dimension of a  sin bin and, perhaps, a greater issue of yellow and red cards, to illuminate and grace the occasion.

There has been discussion among the followers of the noble game, of course. How will match officials implement and measure the sharpened rules? How will players respond? Who will be the first to be offered a ten-minute sideline seat? How many sinners could there be? Will the character of the game be improved for players and especially for spectators?

A mighty extra weight of responsibility has been placed on the referees, here in the Midland League.

The match this afternoon was a super game to spectate. All the players displayed new season freshness and eagerness to score the first goal. Some in-play early positioning adjustments were made by both sides, some rapid acceptance of the sharpness of decisions, and the game soon settled down to a fluid display of accurate passing, long shots and well-practiced manoeuvres, especially from the home team. By the end of the first half  the Wood had scored  three well taken goals.

Half time brought a time for spectators to attend to their need for  vital hydration, and  to fill  empty tummies. It also gave the  team managers  the opportunity to serve their teams cups of tea and sandwiches, and engage in polite conversation in the privacy of the changing rooms.

The second half brought new tactics, mainly sporting, by the visitors and an increased sense of consternation by some home players, yet to adjust to the new game rules. Gresley took the game to the Wood and as the Wood seemed to be in some bafflement, they scored two goals, after the Wood had scored their fourth goal.

Understandable frustration, more an over enthusiasm by a few players in both teams, gave the match officials plenty to do  in this match.

Corners came by the bucketful today. Players gathered in  sporting proximity to each other and leapt for the sky again and again in this second half. Both goalkeepers performed well and up to standard as the tempo increased and the sharp rain fell to drench every player at one point.

The final score, a four goals to two win for the home side gives both managers plenty to consider, study and implement in the next games. This season has got off to a flying start and all those present, home and visiting supporters return  to their homes with a cracker of a  game to remember.

David Evans

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

Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side 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.

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

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

I note that since it’s Sunday 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 afternoon – 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?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.


Donations welcome

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There’s a litter pick at Chasewater this morning!

There’s a community litter pick event taking place in Brownhills this morning (Sunday 4th August 2019) from 10am until 11:30am at Chasewater ‘beach’ being organised by Burntwood #LitterHeroes.

Chasewater beach is gorgeous – but even nicer without litter. Image from my 365days journal.

This event is being run by a local band of volunteers for the benefit of the community, so it’ll be a worthwhile event to get involved with and help improve the local environment.

Burntwood #LitterHeroes said:

We will meet at the beach at the Chasetown end of the dam. Please bring gloves, grabbers and bags if you have them!

We will be going ahead if it rains, (unless it is biblical monsoon weather or thunderstorms). I’ll post on our Facebook page here if we have to cancel.

See you on Sunday!

You can check out the event’s Facebook page here.

Previous local litter pick events have been a huge success, so let’s see if we can make this one even better!

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Who lived in a in a house like this, and where was it?

I won’t beat around the bush. I’m knackered and way behind with lots of online stuff like 365days – so quick posts here this weekend – but I have some fabulous quick queries you all can ponder over.

The first is this remarkable photo of a Brownhills cottage, now apparently lost.

A mystery Brownhills cottage. The photo isn’t ancient, and is high quality. Anyone recognise the building or house behind? Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece via David Evans.

The image is from the wonderful Gerald Reece donations, and don’t forget the great man will be returning to Brownhills next week for a visit (you can join him on a walk – see details here).

David Evans said:

Hi Bob

As I was going through some of Gerald Reece’s amazing materials yesterday I came across this fine photo. I think it may have been taken by Gerald’s son some years ago.

I have no clue where it was, but it says demolished, Brownhills on the back. I wonder what stories and history this image may reveal?

kind regards
David

The only clue for me is the considerably better maintained building in the background. What and where is it?

My thanks to David and Gerald as ever for a great puzzle. If you can help, please do – comment here on the blog, on social media where you find me or via email: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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Start the season with a great match at Oak Park this afternoon!

P1000426

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 football.

Today, Saturday 3rd August 2019

The Wood are at home, entertaining Gresley

Walsall Wood FC versus Gresley FC

Kick off is 3:00pm

Hopefully, a match report will follow…

For the Good of the Wood! 

Oak Park, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood. WS9 9NP.

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

Parkrun is now at Chasewater every Saturday morning!

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here.

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (3rd August 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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Brownhills music festival A5 Live starts today and runs all weekend!

Long term readers will remember the annual music and fun festival that’s taken place on the smallholding just off the A5 at Newtown, Brownhills, now renamed and revitalised as A5 Live.

This year the music, entertainment and fun returns to the smallholding just off the A5 Watling Street at Newtown, Brownhills, and takes place all this weekend from today, Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th August 2019, and tickets are still available but selling fast!

It promises to be the biggest and best A5 Live yet!

Tickets range in price from a fiver to just £25 for the whole weekend which is smashing value I think you’ll agree.

There are a fantastic range of bands – The Livewire, JR Hardbridge Band, Not Quite Dead Yet, The Dynamics, The Foo Fighters, Tin Soldier, Fleetwood Mad, Blacksheep, Slyder, Martian Social Club, The Endings, Teachers Pet, Arran Page, Skyfoil, Daisy D*ukes, Tin Alien and Caroline Bella.

A5 Live – the summer festival on your doorstep.

An unforgettable crowd, fantastic live bands, the amazing Humbuckers Licensed Bar, plus fantastic food vendors.

This is the 3rd year of A5 Live and the bands will be announced soon, the charity is Dementia Awareness and Livewire are headlining Friday night and a Foo fighters Tribute are headlining Saturday night.

With an incredible line up for 2019, you won’t want to miss the biggest A5 Live yet – so get your tickets sorted by clicking here, and come join us from 2nd August!

There’s also to be a poetry stage, featuring Staffordshire Poet Laureate Emily Rose Galvin among of other great talent. That’s just fantastic!

You can get tickets from the A5 Live website here or by emailing A5Live@outlook.co.uk. You can check out the festival Facebook page here, too.

I wish everyone the best for this and it’s always good to see local music events.

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Concerned about local crime issues? Meeting this evening in Rushall

In light of recent events, there’s a very interesting meeting taking place at 7:30pm tonight, Wednesday, 231st July 2019 – that of Rushall, Sheffield, Pelsall and Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch – and there’s a specific invitation to Brownhills residents.

Rushall Olympic is just off Daw End Lane. Imagery from Apple Maps.

The meeting takes place at Rushall Olympic Football Club in Dales Lane, Rushall, starting at 7.30pm.

With recent concerns about local crime and ongoing antisocial behaviour issues – this could be your chance to get your voice heard. If you’ve been unhappy with recent police performance, this would be a good forum at which to raise that, or any other related issue you may have.

The Watch group posted on Facebook:

Public meeting to discuss local crime issues and some new developments. Our AGM will form part of the meeting. Our neighbourhood police team will also be in attendance, subject to operational priorities.

Please, if you go along, do let me and the readers know what happened – either by commenting here, or mailing me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, 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

Supporting the Rainbow autism support group have a holiday catch up today!

Whilst the popular Supporting the Rainbow autism support group is having a well-deserved summer break from it’s usual venue at the Smithys Forge pub, the group are organising some special meet-ups you can bring your kids along to – the first of which is today at Brownhills Community Centre from 1:45 to 2:45pm today, Tuesday 30th July 2019.

There will be a making your own rainbow activity, and the best one will be chosen as logo for the group! What’s not to love?

Brownhills Community Centre is the former school, located right on the Miner Island in Brownhills. Parking is at the rear.

Supporting the Rainbow is really growing in popularity – so why not pop along to see what it’s all about?

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Tubs of blood and lost palaces

There has been a great response to the recent series of articles on local cinemas from an old, long out of print Ned Williams book David Evans has spotted in the huge Gerald Reece collection.

The Palace – or Blood Tub – in Brookland Road, Walsall Wood. Image from ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ by Bill Mayo and John Sale.

However, a comment made by honorary grandfather of the blog Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove on the post about Walsall Wood’s Palace Cinema set the cat amongst the pigeons and bit I and the young David Evans are keen to learn more.

Reg had this to say on the Walsall Wood  cinema post:

Hi readers

Fantastic reading! May I make one non criticism BLOOD TUB was as I’ve previously said was at the top of Lichfield Road by the Smithy I have recently found a photo copy given to me by a very good friend showing its location bless him…

God bless
Reg

The Smithy is of course the site today of the pub, Smithy’s Forge.

Now, the 1984 book gives the most complete history I’ve ever seen of the picture houses of the area – including Walsall Wood, and it’s well worth bagging a copy – but you can find the articles on The Palace, Brownhills here, The Palace (‘Blood Tub’), Walsall Wood here and the Regent, Brownhills here – but it does seem that the Blood Tub in Lichfield Road escaped the attention of Ned Williams.

Whilst there’s no doubt the Wood folks called their Palace The Blood Tub, Reg is adamant this was the case in Brownhills too, so I’d like to find out more. He sent this photo to David Evans:

Lichfield Road, Brownhills from near where Smithy’s Forge is today, looking towards Co-op corner. Image kindly supplied by Reg Fullelove.

That is clearly Lichfield Road, and what’s more from the railway company bus, it’s pre-Great War. What I’m asking here is which building was the cinema – was it the low building, and if so what is before it?

From conversations David has had with Reg, he seems to think it was an early travelling picture show that settled here.

Does anyone have anything on this curious bit of lost history at all?

Reg also sent the following picture in of a Palace Cinema in Heath Hayes we’re also not familiar with, and we wondered what readers could contribute to the knowledge on that one?

The Palace Cinema, Heath Hayes. What do you know? Image kindly supplied by Reg Fullelove.

 

So please folks, can you expand on this topic please? If you have anything to add, please do: Comment here or on social media, or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Thanks to David and Reg, and to Ned Williams too, whose fine work set the course for this thread.

 

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 , , , , , | 8 Comments

Big Bounce family fun day in Brownhills this Monday

Just a headsup (I’ve only just noticed, sorry) to point out there’s a Big Bounce family fun event taking place at Holland Park, Brownhills (Next to the Library and Medical Centre) this Monday, 29th July 2019 with sessions starting at 11am and 1:30pm.

It’s actually looking like decent weather for the day too, in contrast to the weekend washout.

It’s £7 per child with adults and babies free.

There will be rides, inflatables, slides, toddler zone and all kinds of supervised fun.

The organisers said:

Holland Park, in Brownhills off the Parade WS8 7JB on Monday 29th July 2019

FOAM Party is back in the SUN! As a treat on the hot days we fire foam on the exit slide of an assault course at the end of the session

Big Bounce returns for our Summer tour around Walsall Parks, Staffordshire outdoor spaces & Stourbridges Crystal Leisure centre* Huge indoor arena.
We return with…..

Big Bounce brings Loads of Inflatable fun for children of all ages. Huge Slide, challenging Obstacle courses, Bouncy Castles, Sweeper Games, Human wrecking Ball, Nerf Guns, Hungry Hippos Bungee run, Chair-O-Planes, animal hopperz for little ones & loads more.

We open for 2 sessions per day from 11am-1pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm
Only £7 per child, Under 5’s £5, Supervising Adults & Babies in arms who cannot play are FREE

No booking required just turn up and pay by cash or card on entry.

Money OFF vouchers on our events page – click here.

Bring a picnic & chillout while the kids go & have fun!

Free Parking at most of our outdoor venues

Please bring socks to play on the inflatables.

 

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

I note that since it’s a decent 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 afternoon – 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?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.


Donations welcome

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Vintage Fair at Chasewater Railway today!

I notice that today, Sunday, 28th July 2019, there’s a rather fun looking craft and vintage event being staged at Chasewater Railway.

The fair runs from 11am until 4pm at Brownhills West Station (Use the Chasewater main entrance from the A5 and Pool Road) and there will be fun stuff to see and do, lots of stalls, the noted tea rooms and of course the wonderful atmosphere provided by a working preserved steam railway.

What’s more, the fair will be free to enter!

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.

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

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

Motorway flyover – aerial images of the M6 Toll construction

I’ve had some fascinating images sent in to the blog by regular reader Robert Sault, taken at the turn of the millennium as the M6 Toll motorway was being built trough our area.

These are a remarkable selection from what Robert describes as a much larger collection, and are notable for the fact that these must have been aerial images from an aircraft, as drone photography wasn’t around twenty years ago.

Robert Sault said:

Hi Bob

While having a tidy up I came across a disc containing photographs of various stages of construction of the M6 Toll.

There are dated aerial shots referenced to their section and random structures, holes in ground, watercourses etc.

Obviously some are on our local patch and I’ve included a few for you to gander.

Best wishes,
Rob

I’d be fascinated to see more and I’ll certainly be in touch with Robert about this collection in the near future – Considering that by this stage I had a digital camera, I took next to no photos of this construction at all and I really have no idea as to why not. A lot of it seems to have passed me by at the time, which is something I’ll always regret.

From comments he’s posted in the past, I believe Robert worked on the construction of the motorway which was not without controversy and I’ve covered before here several times.

Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a large version.

The image above shows the southern shore of Chasewater from the west looking towards Hammerwich. The route  of  the  motorway  can  clearly  be  seen bisecting Hendnesford Road, Pool Lane and Wharf Lane. Note the lost Pear Tree Cottage pub bottom centre left, and the totally different road layout pithing Chasewater Park.

Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a large version.

The construction cuts Wharf Lane in two in this aerial shot of  the Anglesey Branch, and a temporary bridge is installed for heavy construction traffic. Construction of the canal flyover is well underway.

The old motocross track in the former quarry has been destroyed.

Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a large version.

This one took me a while. This is the Chase Road flyover and new motorway construction again from the west, looking northeast. The Triangle is top left and the outlines of the future intersection and islands can bee seen. The stub of Green Lane, lined with tall trees, would remain truncated.

Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a large version.

That’s clearly Hammerwich Church in the background to the shot of concrete being poured; I’d say this is on the region of the flyover in the previous image on Chase Road, but I could be wrong.

Image generously supplied by Robert Sault. Click for a large version.

I’m n ot sure if this is the flyover above of not; it’s datestamped earlier, March rather than April 2002 and yet the guard rails in the preceding picture are temporary scaffold.

My thanks to Robert for sharing these remarkable images – this is most generous and will help to fill a gap only so far really covered by the wonderful Wendy Jones in her set from the period, which remains very popular – you can see that one here.

Anything to add, or memories you’ve resisted? Comment here, mail me open BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or hit me up on social media. Lets see what we can recall!

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Just one week to go until A5 Live! Loads of great bands and spoken word acts!

Long term readers will remember the annual music and fun festival that’s taken place on the smallholding just off the A5 at Newtown, Brownhills, now renamed and revitalised as A5 Live.

This year the music, entertainment and fun returns to the smallholding just off the A5 Watling Street at Newtown, Brownhills, and takes place next weekend from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th August 2019, and tickets are still available but selling fast!

It promises to be the biggest and best A5 Live yet!

Tickets range in price from a fiver to just £25 for the whole weekend which is smashing value I think you’ll agree.

There are a fantastic range of bands – The Livewire, JR Hardbridge Band, Not Quite Dead Yet, The Dynamics, The Foo Fighters, Tin Soldier, Fleetwood Mad, Blacksheep, Slyder, Martian Social Club, The Endings, Teachers Pet, Arran Page, Skyfoil, Daisy D*ukes, Tin Alien and Caroline Bella.

A5 Live – the summer festival on your doorstep.

An unforgettable crowd, fantastic live bands, the amazing Humbuckers Licensed Bar, plus fantastic food vendors.

This is the 3rd year of A5 Live and the bands will be announced soon, the charity is Dementia Awareness and Livewire are headlining Friday night and a Foo fighters Tribute are headlining Saturday night.

With an incredible line up for 2019, you won’t want to miss the biggest A5 Live yet – so get your tickets sorted by clicking here, and come join us from 2nd August!

There’s also to be a poetry stage, featuring Staffordshire Poet Laureate Emily Rose Galvin among of other great talent. That’s just fantastic!

You can get tickets from the A5 Live website here or by emailing A5Live@outlook.co.uk. You can check out the festival Facebook page here, too.

I wish everyone the best for this and it’s always good to see local music events.

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Parkrun is now at Chasewater every Saturday morning!

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here.

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (27th July 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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Active Games Club for kids at Brownhills Community Centre this morning!

As well as Stay and Play, this Saturday 27th July 2019 if you’ve got older kids why not try the PEPA Active Sports Club at Brownhills Community Centre from 10amn-11am?

It’s suitable for kids from 6-11 years old and there’s all manner of fun stuff going on – Dodgeball, Archery, Nerf Wars – just £3 per week per kid.

See you there?

🌟 Saturday 8th June 🌟
🌟 Brownhills Community Centre and The Lamp 🌟
🌟 £3 per session 🌟
🌟 Bring a friend and get the next session free 🌟
🌟 6 – 11 year olds 🌟
🌟 Come and have a go on our smoothie bike🚲 🌟
🌟10 am – 11am 🌟

💫Keeping Kids Active 💫

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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 27th July 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.

 

Saturday 27th July 2019
MESSY MUD PIES

We will have all resources set out for your little ones to create messy mud pies this week! (This activity will be in the garden)

We will be continuing to explore the water play in the garden with our bikes, scooters, slides, footballs, large chalk boards and much more!

Our playroom has had a move around so come and explore our new areas…

Our creative table will be based around dinosaurs this week…

Our Sandtray will be open and accessible as it is every week…

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

• home corner
• construction
• small world
• maths area
• cosy book/music area
• baby sensory area

See you all Saturday!

We will be both indoors & outdoors (weather permitting).

10.00am-11.30am
£2 per child
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 every Saturday morning.

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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Follow Ian Neville on his mammoth bike ride for charity today!

Ian is an experienced cyclist – and hopefully the road conditions will be a bit better than this for his journey to Blackpool! Image from Ian’s Facebook page.

Here’s an appeal to sponsor Brownhills poet and human dynamo Ian Neville who is today (Friday, 26th July 2019) riding from Brownhills to Blackpool by bicycle – a distance of 120 miles, a remarkable endeavour.

You can follow Ian on his Facebook page here where he’s posting updates.

This will be a challenging ride and is being undertaken in support of Walsall Wood’s Motivation Hub, the centre at Streets Corner for learning disabled adults. This is a fantastic and important cause and huge respect to Ian for this ride – it’s a very tough challenge.

Ian said:

DONATIONS WANTED
MOTIVATION HUB
WALSALL WOOD

Paying in details:

Motivational Hub Services
Sort code 30-90-89
Account number 44214560

You can also chat to Ian directly via Facebook here or contact Suzanne Sant directly at the Motivation Hub on 07388 553615 or email her on santsuzanne@yahoo.com

If paying by bank transfer, please put ’cycle 120’ as your payment reference so they know what its been donated for.

Thanks for your support already!

Next Friday 26th July 2019 I shall be cycling from Brownhills to Blackpool for a stag do – a distance of 120 miles give or take a few… I will probably get lost along the way so probably be more…

I’m doing this as a charity ride for the above organisation to help raise awareness and funds. It will be a struggle as I’ve not really trained for this one but I did say I’d do it one day and this seems as good a time as any – I’m getting no younger 😀

If I dont raise at least £300 i may as well go to work and donate the cash myself 😉

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN ADVANCE!

14034832_10153887753437106_8637344643656991253_n

Ian’s a well know local lad and top bloke! Image from his Facebook page.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

New Hall Mill July 2019 open day this Sunday!

P1040438

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

Theres a lovely thing to visit locally today (Sunday 28th July 2019), that’s close by, free and absolutely fascinating…

New Hall Mill is open again this Sunday and 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. See the message at the door to the post.

The open day is free to enter too (although donations are welcomed).

The Friends of New Hall Mill said:

Bob

New Hall Mill – 28th July 2019 Open Day

The Friends of New Hall Mill will be opening the water mill to the public on Sunday 28th July. Come along and see flour being produced from wheat in the traditional way, have a go on a hand operated quern as still used in parts of the world today. Visit the gift shop, be entertained with Live music, see the many side stalls in the grounds and experience lovely walks alongside the streams and through the meadows.

There is an exhibition room and small tearoom selling cakes and beverages along with a garden shop where produce may be purchased from the millers garden. Don’t forget to visit Auntie Wainwrights to find that bargain that you always wanted.

For your entertainment, we have The Lichfield Lighthouse Company performing 20 min sessions in the mill yard at 12:30, 1:20 and 1:55

There will be a guided walk at approx 2.00 pm around the mill and the grounds.

In the meadows and grounds; we have Displays & Demonstrations  by –

  • West Midlands Wood Turners
  • Owen Motoring Club
  • Erdington Historical Society
  • Bournville Bread Basket
  • Vintage Gardening Equipment Display
  • ECO Sutton
  • Lucy May’s Animal Days
  • Maidens Fayre Jams
  • The Beekeeper
  • Electrical Horrors
  • Vintage Electrical Display
  • The Turner Model Collection
  • Steel Pen Trade Display
  • International Plastic Modellers Society
  • Writing Equipment Display
  • Stockland Green Local History Group
  • Face Painting
  • Story Telling
  • Vintage Bicycles Display
  • Birmingham & The Black Country Wildlife Trust

P1040417

I totally geeked out over this wonderful place.

Entry to the site and Parking is free, donations are always welcome in order that we raise funds to maintain the buildings for all to see in the future.

Please note that we open at 10:00 and close at 16:00 with last entry onto site being at 15:45.

Only disability assistance dogs are allowed on site.

Access to the mill is off Wylde Green Road, Sutton Coldfield, B76 1QU some 200 metres from National Cycle Route 534.

Having seen what we do, could you be able to assist? In order to continue holding these events, we need additional membership to help out on Open Days and Work Days. It is not all about Flour production – We have ageing machinery to maintain, tea room staff are always welcome, there are openings in all areas. Have a chat with a volunteer on Open day.

Hoping to see you there
Alan Dawson – A friend of New Hall Mill.

More details can be found on their 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 last year below. 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

Fancy joining Gerald Reece for a walk into history?

Hello folks – great news reaches me from David Evans. It seems that he’s been in communication with the greatest historian ever to have written about Brownhills, Gerald Reece, who will be returning to Brownhills on the 10th August 2019 to undertake a Walk Into History.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

Gerald Reece is of course the 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.

David wrote:

Hi Bob

I have a wonderful invitation from Gerald Reece.

He will be returning to do another of his walks around the parish boundary of Brownhills this year, as he celebrates his 80th birthday.

His last visit and walkabout was five years ago. He is inviting those interested to join him and enjoy seeing and learning about the local history that he has written about.

The walk will start from Chasewater Railway station, who kindly offer their facilities, cafe, and a room by the museum as well as free parking, at 10 a.m. on Saturday 10 August.

Gerald has told me the walk usually takes him around three hours.I would recommend strong walking shoes and a good camera for the occasion.

Many thanks and my kind regards
David Evans

Members of the public interested in Gerald’s work are invited to join him and Beat the Bounds together, whilst Gerald shares his knowledge. The event will, as far as I’m aware, be free – but you’ll need to be nimble and attentive to keep up with Gerald!

Thanks to David for letting us know about this.

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 , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vintage Fair at Chasewater Railway this Sunday!

I notice that this Sunday, 28th July 2019, there’s a rather fun looking craft and vintage event being staged at Chasewater Railway.

The fair runs from 11am until 4pm at Brownhills West Station (Use the Chasewater main entrance from the A5 and Pool Road) and there will be fun stuff to see and do, lots of stalls, the noted tea rooms and of course the wonderful atmosphere provided by a working preserved steam railway.

What’s more, the fair will be free to enter!

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.

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

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will you sponsor Ian riding to Blackpool this Friday for a great local cause?

Ian is an experienced cyclist – and hopefully the road conditions will be a bit better than this for his journey to Blackpool! Image from Ian’s Facebook page.

Here’s a heads up for an appeal to sponsor Brownhills poet and human dynamo Ian Neville who will be riding from Brownhills to Blackpool by bicycle this Friday, 26th July 2019 – a distance of 120 miles, a remarkable endeavour.

This will be a tough ride and is being undertaken in support of Walsall Wood’s Motivation Hub, the centre at Streets Corner for learning disabled adults. This is a fantastic and important cause and huge respect to Ian for this ride – it’s a tough one.

Ian said:

DONATIONS WANTED
MOTIVATION HUB
WALSALL WOOD

Paying in details:

Motivational Hub Services
Sort code 30-90-89
Account number 44214560

You can also chat to Ian directly via Facebook here or contact Suzanne Sant directly at the Motivation Hub on 07388 553615 or email her on santsuzanne@yahoo.com

If paying by bank transfer, please put ’cycle 120’ as your payment reference so they know what its been donated for.

Thanks for your support already!

Next Friday 26th July 2019 I shall be cycling from Brownhills to Blackpool for a stag do – a distance of 120 miles give or take a few… I will probably get lost along the way so probably be more…

I’m doing this as a charity ride for the above organisation to help raise awareness and funds. It will be a struggle as I’ve not really trained for this one but I did say I’d do it one day and this seems as good a time as any – I’m getting no younger 😀

If I dont raise at least £300 i may as well go to work and donate the cash myself 😉

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN ADVANCE!

14034832_10153887753437106_8637344643656991253_n

Ian’s a well know local lad and top bloke! Image from his Facebook page.

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

I note that since it’s a decent 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 afternoon – 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?

Stubbers Green Nature Reserve Aldridge
Swan Patrol every Sunday 1-3pm

Lollipops and stickers for children that bring good healthy bird foods. Sweet corn, lettuce, porridge oats, branflakes, cornflakes, vegetable peelings, bird seed.

We have binoculars and bird books available to use.


Donations welcome

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All the fun of the fair – but how much can you remember?

This weekend Carters Steam Fair is back in Beacon Park in Lichfield.

All the fun of the fair! Image from Carters Fairs.

Carters Fair is very traditional travelling fair of the type that used to visit Brownhills in days of yore – and of course, Walsall Wood is home to the famous Pat Collins funfair.

I can remember Danters Fair coming here in the 70s and 80s for the carnival.

David Evans watched the showmen setting up in Lichfield this week and made the following observation – and it struck me that we’d never discussed Brownhills or local funfairs (and of course, circuses) much, if at all.

David Evans wrote:

A wonderful image of Carters setting up in Lichfield by Mark Smith.

Hi Bob

I was interested to see the sight of a classic showman’s caravan rolling into Beacon Park, Lichfield this week, which brings back some distant memories of the Brownhills Fair many years ago when I was a toddler.

My grandma’s niece was married to one of the showmen and I can remember climbing up steps to go in the caravan and then going on all the rides… For free!

The man she married was affectionately known as Coconut George and went onto became the wealthy owner of a fairground in the North East.

David

So, what do you remember of the smell of candy floss, toffee apples, shooting galleries with guns with bent barrels? Of the lights and the Waltzers and loud music? What daft prizes did you win?

Please do comment here of mail me:  BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com – or collar me on social media.

Image from Carters Fairs.

You can find out more about Carters Steam Fair which is in Beacon Park, Lichfield all this weekend 20-21st July 2019 by clicking here.

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There’s a lovely coffee concert starting this afternoon in Brownhills!

Friend of the blog Chris Booth has been in touch to let me know about a rather nice Coffee Concert that’s due to take place this afternoon (Saturday 20th July 2019) at the Silver Street Methodist Church in Brownhills, featuring the talented tenor soloist Alan Hazel.

There’s coffee and cake afterwards, so what’s not to love? It kicks off at 2:30pm

Come and join us for our monthly 45 minute coffee concert with Tenor Soloist Alan Hazel with music from all genres followed by refreshments!

Retiring collection for Church Funds!

Hope to see you there

 

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger 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

Active Games Club for kids at Brownhills Community Centre this morning!

As well as Stay and Play, this Saturday 20th July 2019 if you’ve go older kids why not try the PEPA Active Sports Club at Brownhills Community Centre from 10amn-11am?

It’s suitable for kids from 6-11 years old and there’s all manner of fun stuff going on – Dodgeball, Archery, Nerf Wars – just £3 per week per kid.

See you there?

🌟 Saturday 8th June 🌟
🌟 Brownhills Community Centre and The Lamp 🌟
🌟 £3 per session 🌟
🌟 Bring a friend and get the next session free 🌟
🌟 6 – 11 year olds 🌟
🌟 Come and have a go on our smoothie bike🚲 🌟
🌟10 am – 11am 🌟

💫Keeping Kids Active 💫

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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 20th July 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.

 

Saturday 20th July 2019
Bathing the Babies
Our messy tray will be bathing the babies this week.  

Following the children’s interests from last week we will be continuing to explore the water play in the garden as well as bathing the babies alongside our bikes, scooters, slides,  footballs large chalk boards and much more!

Our playroom has had a move around so come and explore our new areas.

Our creative table will be free flow with a variety of mark marking tools to explore.

Our Sand tray will be open and accessible as it is every week.

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

• home corner
• construction
• small world
• maths area
• cosy book/music area
• baby sensory area

See you all Saturday…

Fingers crossed the sun still has her hat on ☀️☀️☀️

We will be both indoors & outdoors 🌈🌈🌈

10.00am-11.30am
£2 per child
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 every Saturday morning …

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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Get steamy near Burton this weekend!

There’s something for all ages at Barton Steam Rally. Image from the 2017 event.

There’s a great steam, vintage vehicle and generally fun event on this weekend near Barton Under Needwood, Staffordshire, which I think many blog readers would enjoy – Barton Under Needwood Steam Rally takes place this Saturday and Sunday 20th-21stnd July 2019 at Barton Gate, not far from Burton Upon Trent.

I’ve visited this one several times including in 2018 – a gallery of which you can see here – it’s a large event in a rural location and is wonderful for all the family. There are always loads of engines and vehicles, large and small, models, vintage ephemera and all manner of food, fun and entertainment – and usually a very good beer tent too.

Sadly I can’t make it this year so if you go, please do have fun and send me some pics.

The fair is open both days, 10am – 5pm Saturday, 10-4pm Sunday, with adult entry at £7 – but kids under 16 accompanied by an adult go free, which can’t be bad.

Parking is free, and the address for Satnav wranglers is Needwood Rise Farm, Barton Gate, Barton under Needwood, Staffs, DE13 8AP.

You can find the event on Facebook here as Barton Steam, and their website is here.

The organisers said…

Barton Under Needwood Steam Rally and Family Festival – 20th & 21st July 2019

10am – 5pm Saturday, 10am – 4pm Sunday

Adults £7 – accompanied children aged 16 and under are free

Free off road parking

Needwood Rise Farm, Barton Gate,

 Barton under Needwood, Staffs, DE13 8AP.

You can find us on Facebook as Barton Steam.

Come along, we have something for everyone……

Full size and Miniature steam engines

Magician

Chainsaw carving demonstrations

Commercial vehicles

Tractors

Woodturning demonstration

 

 

 

 

 

Falconry displays

Face painting

Ferrets – race a ferret through a tube and find out about these fascinating creatures

Other animals to handle and observe

Childrens fairground – Swing boats, hook a duck, fun house, Inflatable slide and bouncy castle

Arena events both days from 11:30

Come and steer a steam engine!

Hot and cold food

Licensed bar

…….. and much, much more for the whole family

More to be confirmed………

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Parkrun is now at Chasewater every Saturday morning!

I know we have a lot of running folk amongst the readership, and in the mass of volunteer, community organised stuff in recent years, one of the most impressive demonstrations of this has been the growth of the free, Saturday morning Parkrun phenomena, where volunteers and runners gather every Saturday in local parks for a run, totally free of charge.

The second Parkrun at Chasewater attracted more than 300 runners. Image from Susan Williams.

It’s not competitive – except for against your own personal best – it’s properly marshalled and you have to register, but it’s a free, friendly thing that’s hugely popular and a stunning demonstration of community in action.

It’s suitable for runners of all experience levels and paces. Find out more at the event page here.

Having run for years now at Walsall Arboretum and Cannock Chase, we now have a 5km Parkrun at Chasewater that happens every Saturday (events in the park permitting) – and has been attracting over 300 runners already!

It’s on this Saturday (20th July 2019) at 9:00am and the organisers have this to say:

What is Chasewater parkrun?

It is a 5km run – it’s you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place at Chasewater Country Park, Pool Rd, Burntwood, Brownhills, WS8 7NL. See Course page for more details.

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing – it’s free! but please register before your first run. Only ever register with parkrun once. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). If you forget it, you won’t get a time.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

Chasewater parkrun needs you!

It is entirely organised by volunteers – email chasewaterhelpers@parkrun.com to help.

We’re friendly!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the South Shore café – please come and join us!

Please, if you go for a run this Saturday, drop me a line and let me know how you get on – this is a fascinating thing and it’s growth is really wonderful. Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Just walking to the start shows the large number of runners already making this a great event! Image from Susan Williams.

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

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

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 Moldie, J.C., Jon Harfield, Reggae Rita and of course, Leekie!

It’s just £5 a head (payable o the door) and kicks off at 8pm and runs until Midnight. What’s not to love?

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

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Lichfield repair cafe July meet up – get together and get things fixed this Saturday!

Never one to sit back and let life pass her by, that there Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is involved with the excellent Lichfield Repair Cafe project – which continues it’s regular residency this coming Saturday afternoon (Saturday 20th July 2019) at Curborough Community Centre, Lichfield from 2pm until 5pm.

Kate, who’s more usually known for her excellent work with Lichfield local history group, Lichfield Discovered and other projects, started a community initiative to help people repair, recycle and put back to good use things that my be broken or need some love.

This looks like a great way to have fun, meet up with other like minded folk and also learn some new skills.

If you’re unsure where to find  Curborough Community Centere, check out their contact page here, and the address for twatnav wranglers is 37, Reynolds Close, Lichfield Ws13 7NY.

I’ll let Kate explain:

Hello! 

The Lichfield Repair & Share cafe meets again at Curborough Community Centre on Saturday 20th July 2019 between 2pm and 5pm. As a way of reducing waste whilst learning new skills, we have a team of volunteer repairers on hand to show people how to try and mend their broken or damaged items, rather than throw them away. 

Bring your broken household items along to see if our team of volunteer repairs can help you fix them- or just pop in for a chat & a brew! All welcome, no charge but voluntary donations welcome 🙂

There will, as usual be a cafe with hot and cold drinks and cakes. Whilst there is no charge, voluntary donations are appreciated!

The cafe will be taking place at Curborough on the 3rd Saturday of every month and we are always looking for more people to get involved whether they want to offer their skills as a repairer or run a workshop. To find our more information, or to volunteer, please email lichfieldshare@gmail.com, join the group’s Facebook page Lichfield Repair Café or follow us on Twitter @lichfieldshare.

For more information, contact Kate Gomez at lichfieldshare@gmail.com or joing the Lichfield Repair & Share group on Facebook here.

Many thanks as ever!
Kate

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Why not come meet Walsall Humanists – tonight in their new venue!

The Walsall Arms is a great little pub. Image posted on Flickr by Geoff Pick.

Here’s a quick plug for something I asked for help with a couple of weeks ago: Lichfield, Walsall and South Staffordshire Humanists – a philosophical debating group – have their quarterly meeting tonight, Wednesday 17th July 2019 at their new home – the Walsall Arms pub, 17 Bank Street, WS1 2EP.

The meeting kicks off at 7:45pm and goes on until about 10pm.

I asked for help with a new venue for the group a couple of weeks ago – they used to meet at the Boatman’s Rest in Walsall Wood but since the restaurant conversion, they pub has no meeting room. Thankfully they seem to have found an excellent and very suitable new venue.

Old pal of the blog, Charles Street let me know about the group and their meeting schedule – and the fact that’s it’s completely free to attend.

If you’re interested in philosophy, the nature of what we believe and accept, this could be a great evening with like minded people.

Charles said:

Hi Bob

I wonder if you’d be kind enough to give a mention to our Humanist group on your blog?

I’m a member of Humanists UK, and also a member of the local Humanist group (LWASS – Lichfield Walsall and South Staffs) Humanists –  we hold a meeting every quarter for those interested in Humanism, Atheism, Secularism and related subject areas.

We meet on the 3rd Wednesday every quarter – January April July and October at 7:45pm-ish until 10pm-ish for those interested in Humanism and related matters.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday July 17, 2019 – venue: the Walsall Arms pub, 17 Bank Street, WS1 2EP.

The pub itself does not have on site parking but ample on street parking nearby. It is within easy walking of Walsall Town Centre and public transport. It has the advantage that it has projection facilities and as soon as we have understood the projection logistics we can show films for discussion.

At the moment there are around a dozen of us that meet up and have a general chat about Humanism – we’re looking for new people to come and add to the discussion.

There is no membership fee – anyone that’s interested just come and join in. We have a diverse range of members, and from all colours of the political spectrum. – If you’re interested come and say hello – we are really nice people!

Our local website is:  lichfieldhumanistgroup.webs.com   If you’d like to know more about Humanism in general, have a look at the Humanists website  https://humanism.org.uk

Regards Chas

If you pop along to the meeting please drop me the word and tell me how you got on – the Humanists have a whole bunch of stuff going on and their website above is worth a look: I’ve always been a big fan of Birmingham Sceptics in the Pub who post some very interesting, thought provoking stuff on social media.

Tell me more: Comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my coat on the antisocial media.

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Help with the July 2019 Brownhills Summer Clean this Saturday!

There’s a community litter pick event taking place in Brownhills this weekend on Saturday morning, 20th July 2019 from 10am until 12pm – and all are welcome. All kit will be provided!

Every bit helps! Image from the event Facebook page.

This is being run by local lady Kathryn Grace and a band of volunteers for the benefit of the community, so it’ll be a worthwhile event to get involved with and help improve the local environment.

Kathryn said:

It’s almost time for a summer spruce up! So take a hold of your community spirit and join us for a litter pick around the beautiful canal, Brownhills High Street and surrounding area.

Add your name to the list. Do come and meet your neighbours, bring along your children and let’s ‘Make Brownhills Great Again’.

Clean & Green will provide pickers, vests, gloves and bags.

Meet at ther lower car park near the Green Bridge.

You can check out the event’s Facebook page here.

Previous local litter pick events have been a huge success, so let’s see if we can make this one even better!

Recent litter picks have been a huge success and very popular.
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