Woodmen badly mauled by Wulfs


Oak Park: Home to Walsall Wood FC.

Tuesday last (17th January 2016), the Woodmen faced AFC Wulfrunians at Oak Park, and sadly, were met with another resounding defeat.

Bill Shaw witnessed the calamity, and doesn’t mince his words:

Hiya Bob,

Another disastrous night for Wood, the team looked full of goals, but the defence was full of holes making for a good night for anyone who wasn’t a Wood supporter. At times like this it’s hard to keep the faith I know, but bear with us guys, we’ve faced worse than this in the last 17 years.

As they say – this too shall pass, don’t despair, at least not yet anyway.

Walsall Wood 3 v 5 AFC Wulfrunians

AFC Wulfrunians went home with the points, but alarmingly for Wood,  also scored five goals, to increase their goal tally to 31 for the season, as Wood went down to their fourth consecutive defeat.

As in last Tuesdays game the team who kicked off lost the ball, Wood immediately countered, Steven Hayles crossing from wide left, a touch by Joey Butlin set up player/manager Harry Harris and his low drive was just inside the right hand post.  The lead lasted just three minutes, Jake Webb sweeping the ball out wide right to put Craig Grigg clear, his cross fired home by Tom Grainger.

On nine minutes a long clearance by keeper Lewis Gwilliams was collected by Scott Rickards wide right, he cut inside and fired a cross shot wide.

A minute later Webb chased a lost cause into the right hand corner, cut inside and crossed to the far post, Gwilliams taking the ball off the head of Grainger. Next on 14 minutes Webb again raced clear wide right, his cross hit first time by Grainger and deflecting off Luke Wright for a corner that was easily cleared.  Seven minutes later Wood lost the ball on halfway, Webb put Grainger away through the centre, Adam Wood making a crucial challenge to save his teams blushes.

On 24 minutes Charlie Shaw picked up a ball right of centre, raced into the box, keeper John Bateman out quickly and bravely to save at his feet.  A long ball forward by Wood six minutes later found Butlin in the centre of the box, Matthew Hunt making a great challenge. A minute later a lovely reverse ball from Butlin wide right released Ashley Jackson into the right of the box, his rising cross shot high and wide.

On 33 minutes a pinpoint crossfield ball picked out Grigg right of centre, he immediately released Jacob Barnes down the line, his low cross half cleared to Mark Ganderton 25 yards out to hit a first time drive through a packed area and into the net.  They should have increased their lead on 43 minutes, Webb collected a long ball over the top of the defence, raced into the box only to fire high and wide of the advancing Gwilliams and the net.

On 52 minutes Harris hit a crossfield ball to pick out Butlin on the right of the box, his low drive deflected for a corner, from which Wood planted a far post header just too high. On 66 minutes Drew Aiton powered into the left of the box, he went down under a challenge from behind, half-hearted penalty appeals ignored.

Four minutes later a quick counter attack by Wulfs wide right, the ball crossed into the middle to find Grainger to run on and calmly score goal number three.

Within three minutes Wood were back in contention, a ball over the top of the defence was collected at pace by Aiton, he entered the left of the box, keeper Bateman saving bravely at his feet, the ball squirming loose, Liam Molesworth first to react firing the loose ball home.

Wood then committed suicide a minute later, a sloppy back pass was intercepted by Webb to easily score goal number four. With 79 minutes on the clock, Wulfs sewed the three points up, a long ball forward found Dimitri Brown just outside the D, he held off two players before cheekily lobbing the stranded Gwilliams.

The Wood kept trying  to get back into the game and on 84 minutes Louis Harris was brought down as he raced into the centre of the box, he took the penalty himself to bring the deficit back to two, but there was to be no reprieve as the loss became number four out of four.

Wood had the perfect start but things went downhill from then on, and not for the first time this season they lost their way, ending up being turned over by a side in the bottom six.

It’s Boldmere St. Michaels at home for Wood on Saturday 21st, followed by the league cup quarter final on Tuesday night against visitors Highgate United. With Alvechurch and Westfields due to play each other, with Lye Town waiting for the winners, this seasons competition is wide open, so all to play for.

Bill Shaw

The Teams:

Walsall Wood – Gwilliams, Shaw, Hayles, Bains, Wright, Wood, L. Harris, Rickards, Butlin (captain), H. Harris, Jackson, Molesworth, Deakin, Aiton, Taylor, Mansell. 

AFC Wulfrunians – Bateman, Grigg, McDonald, Sedgwick (captain), Hill, Barnes, Ganderton, Colley, Grainger, Webb, Hunt, Ray, Palmer, Rose-Laing, Brown, Stevenson.

Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend the coming games if you can.

For The Good of the Wood!


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Adrian Wigley: From Sankeys Club to Blackpool North Pier


Arian Wigley, rest in peace. Image generously supplied by Simon Reeves.

There has been a huge and touching outpouring of sadness and warm-hearted memory since the sad passing of local musician and entertainer Adrian Wigley last weekend.

Adrian was not only a son of Brownhills where he lived all his life, but a record breaker, wit, good guy and friend to the many, many people he met and chatted to on his daily trips to town.

Adrain’s great friend Simon Reeves, who worked with Adrian on the entertainment circuit, yesterday evening asked if I’d post this wonderful tribute to his pal.

I’m happy and honoured to oblige – this is a loyal and beautiful tribute to a good friend.

Simon wrote:

From Sankeys Club on Lichfield Road to Blackpool North Pier, Adrian Wigley performed and entertained all over the country playing his keyboard and singing songs for everyone to enjoy.

Singing and performing were like eating jam to Ade (we will get into that later) but he wasn’t just a solo act, he performed with many talented people such as Chick Bennett, Ronnie Noble and the famous Trevor Rowley, before finishing his entertainment career working with myself, Simon Reeves.

Adrian was a very generous man and would help anyone, which brings me to is charity work – playing keyboard with his nose, tongue and elbow, setting and breaking world records! Adrian also raised funds for hospitals, including Stoke Mandeville and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, work he often achieved working with Reg Morris.

Adrian loved Brownhills and lived in Great Charles Street with his Mom and Dad, dwelling there for 65 years before his passing.

Adrian was loved by many but he had a soft spot for only a few. He adored going round Brownhills and speaking to people, his favourite places being the Star Cafe and Tesco – where he wud buy endless amounts of jam and biscuits!

It was a running joke that Adrian went to Tesco everyday and the staff would know what he was buying. He loved the Star Cafe and his favourite line in there would be ‘Nora – loads of sugar! My sugar levels!’

During Adrian’s final few months he started to get tired a lot and would only go to Brownhills once a day instead of the 3 or 4 times he  usually did. Taken to hospital on 4th January, Adrian was admitted to a ward, where he fell gravely ill and was rushed to intensive care where he finally passed away peacefully and in no pain at 00:50 on Sunday 15th January 2017.

I love you mate.
Sleep tight

Adrian Thomas Wigley
14.10.41 to 15.01.17

Thanks to Simon for such an excellent and emotional tribute. Please, if you have anything to add, any memories of Adrian, please feel free to add them here – comment on this post or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

My condolences, and those of the readers and the wider community to Simon and all who loved and knew Adrian.


Arian Wigley, there’s bound to be some good entertainment up there now. Image generously supplied by Simon Reeves.

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Failing to engage


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

I’d just like to make a quick observation if I might, as I had very positive feedback from yesterday’s meeting of Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch at the Activity Centre which I’m told was informative, well attended, friendly and well managed – but just one thing seems to have cast a shadow on the evening.

I’m hearing that members of the youth club attempted to attend, and were turned away, being told it was a meeting for ‘adults only’ – which is sad, as they’re a bright bunch with positive ideas and stuff to say about their community.

Since youngsters are statistically more likely to be victims of crime – and also often get tarred with the same brush as a minority of their criminal peers – it’s to my frustration that the ‘adults’ should reject attempts by youngsters to get involved in community matters that most certainly do concern them.

It seems to me that if as a community we are to build bridges and solve the issues that affect all decent folk here of whatever age or grouping then we really need to engage with each other.

After all, how keen are kids going to be to try to get involved in future, or to help with issues when called upon if their efforts to get involved previously have been spurned?

Think on folks. This community is about everyone in it, and that includes the youth who are fed up with the crime too. I appeal to those who would bar the kids in future to please think again and build bridges, not burn them.


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Wyre Close house fire appeal – it’s all systems go!


Wyre Close is just off Coppice Lane, Walsall Wood. imagery from Apple Maps.

You may recall the unfortunate house fire in Wyre Close, Walsall Wood last December, and the subsequent appeal to folks who could maybe donate unwanted household items when the couple found a house again.

Well, after some time in a hostel, they’ve now been offered a house and the appeal is on.

Friend of the couple affected, Abigail Claire sent me the following message to share with readers:

On 3rd December 2016, a neighbours house on Wyre Close caught fire – the couple lost absolutely everything and have been lving in a hostel ever since.

They have now been offered a house and are looking for some household items that anyone may have spare.

As you can imagine they were distraught and need an act of kindness/humanity from anyone who can help.

Lets start 2017 with compassion and neighbourly spirit. I have set up a Facebook group Wyre Close house fire (click here) for anyone to add themselves to if they have anything they can offer.

Thank you

Thanks to Abigail for a true act of community spirit and warm-heartedness, and of course to all those who offer to help or donate.  This is true humanity.


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Concerned about local crime issues? Meeting tonight in Brownhills!


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

In light of recent events, there’s a very interesting meeting taking place at 7pm this evening Monday, 16th January 2017 – that of Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch.

It takes place at the Activity Centre (formerly the Central Boys School or Annexe)  right in the centre of Brownhills, just off the Miner Island.

With recent concerns about local crime – particularly burglaries on the High Street 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.

Kevin Pitt, the Walsall Police Partnerships Officer, sent out the following:

Dear Sir or madam

Your neighbourhood policing team invite you to the next meeting of Brownhills neighbourhood Watch, that will be taking place on Monday, 16 January starting at 7pm. Please note the NEW venue, which is Brownhills Activity Centre, situated on the junction of Pelsall Road and Chester Road North.

The Brownhills team will always be happy to hear from you. You can email them at brownhills@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, extension 881 6000.

Message sent by
Kevin Pitt (Police Staff, Partnerships Engagement Officer, Walsall)

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.

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The Friends of Brownhills Common – January 2017 meeting tonight!


We all love the common, but its management has proven controversial. Why not pop along to the meeting and discuss the issues with the experts and other users?

Here’s one for people interested in the issues surrounding Brownhills Common – theres a meeting tonight, Monday 16th January 2017 of the Freinds of Brownhills Common group at the Environmental Depot, 200 Pelsall Road, Brownhills – WS8 7EN – please meet in the reception by 7:00pm.

Brownhills Common needs a good active friends group and this is your opportunity to join in and have your say in shaping the future management of the open space we all love.

The meeting is also open to the general public who may not wish to join the friends group, but are encouraged to attend and hear what everyone has to say.

If you want to know what the group is about, you can read the minutes of their last meeting here.

It’s important that we recognise what a valuable, fragile and important habitat Brownhills Common is, and why it requires careful and measured stewardship.

If you’ve only heard the alarmists, it’s a good opportunity to go out and meet, talk and listen to people who understand the issues and want to preserve the wildlife, and to help shape the future of Brownhills’ greatest asset.

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Looking for Angela Lloyd, please…


Do you know Angela Lloyd, who used to live in Shire Oak? Image supplied by Joan Johnson, nee Hampton.

I had an interesting enquiry a few days ago, and it would be nice if possible to reunite two old pals after a long period lost.

John Johnson, nee Hampton wrote:

Hi Bob.

I don’t know if you can help. I had a friend called Angela Lloyd who lived on Shire Oak Hill.

Their house would have been where the new houses were built a few years ago. I met her when I was at Kings Hill School Lichfield.

Shire Oak and Kingshill went to Teddersley Park camping in the late fifties early sixties. I wrote to her for a few years, then lost touch. I wondered if you remember her at all.

My maiden name was Hampton. Joan Hampton.


Tanks to Joan for the enquiry, and if you can help please contact Joan via Facebook here, or alternatively, comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

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