Interested in the old local buses?

Just a quick headsup for the local history and transport enthusiasts out there who may be interested in the story of the iconic Harper Brothers bus company, whose green buses were a common sight around these parts up until the mid 1970s.

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Our Village – a great new local history book for Aldridge – out now and selling fast!

There are a handful of great local history books out at the moment, just in time for Christmas, that would makes great gifts for those with a local interest – last week I noted the new book on Brownhills pubs by Clive Roberts, and I’m posting today to point up the new book by Sue Satterthwaite and Len Boulton covering Aldridge.

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The long march: 50 years of jazz band history

Readers who’ve been hanging around this ramshackle, leaky village pump for a while will no doubt remember how we’ve touched here on the history of local marching bands, particularly the Burntwood Blue Birds Jazz Band.

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Make a present of the past

This is a reminder that currently available hereabouts, there are some great local history books that would make excellent Christmas presents for local history buffs or folk who just want to remember, or learn about our local history.
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Aldridge Christmas Tree Festival – with a historical treat in store!

Continuing the burst of Christmas events (Where the devil did Christmas come from all of a sudden?) there’s a wonderful Christmas Tree Festival at Aldridge Methodist Church running today (Saturday 5th December 2015) right up until 7pm tonight, and from 12-4pm tomorrow – and there’s a fine historical twist, too.

Image supplied by Aldridge Methodist Church.

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New Brownhills history book hot off the presses!

A little bird tells me (well, actually Walsall Local History Centre tweeted) that there’s a brand new Brownhills local history book just come out – the third from local researcher and historian Clive Roberts of Walsall Wood.

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Burntwood Blue Birds reunion this evening

As usual, I’m a bit late to the party with this but this is a very important announcement for anyone who was a member of, or is interested in the marching bands so popular in our area that were huge from the 1930s onwards, but particularly in the 60s-90s.

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Marching through the memories

Long-term readers will remember well friend of the blog Wendy Jones, who donated so much material to the blog – both in the form of photos of the area before the mM6 Toll came through, and her main interest, the history of local marching bands, particularly the Burntwood Blue Birds Jazz Band.

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Personal delivery

I’m always keen to promote the work of other local historians here on the Brownhills Blog; we can never have too many voices in this thing and Clive Roberts, Walsall Wood historian and author is one of the nicest and most diligent of them all – his work on Walsall Wood and Shire Oak has been thorough, but understated, and from his emails to me, Clive is always working on something new of interest.
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Your guide to Walsall – 125 years ago

Here’s one I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but the sheer labour of it has been off-putting; but now I have access to a professional scanner, it’s a lot easier to scan publications like W Henry Robinson’s ‘Guide to Walsall – an illustrated guide’, which was published in 1889 and is a captivating gazetteer and document of a growing town and its life.
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Just look at those haircuts!

Today, I did a deal with Walsall Wood historian and author Clive Roberts – he sent me scans of the above wonderful 1970s photo of a Walsall Wood Football Club team lineup, and said I’d happily point out that Clive’s latest book ‘Snippets of History in and around Walsall Wood’ is still available with new stock now at Egans grocery shop in Brownhills High Street.
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A lesson in local history

A couple of weeks ago, I featured here scans of a local history book I’d unexpectedly found in a bookshop – it was a real cracker, and at the same time, a valuable and overlooked bit of Brownhills social history.

The book even made Local History magazine! Image kindly supplied by Mark Staples.

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Local history events this week

Kate Cardigan Gomez from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is really going some with her local history group, Lichfield Discovered – in the next week they have two events, one of which is tonight, and on an appropriate Great War theme, with author Joss Musgrave Knibb.
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A son of The Wood

I’ve finally bought my own copy of Clive Roberts’ book ‘ Snippets of History In and around Walsall Wood’ which I review here today – I must say the 79 page £8 book is a cracker – and it’s available right now.

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Wood ‘n’ heart – a new book out now!

The young David Evans has kindly alerted me last week to a new history book on Walsall Wood, written by local author Clive Roberts who’s a lifelong Walsall Wood mon™, local historian and occasional contributor to the blog.

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Cherished Reg

I’m surprised and delighted to note there’s a rather excellent new blog on the scene, and it features the work of a rather wonderful chap who has previously contributed a huge amount to the Brownhills Blog – Reg Fullelove.

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Both sides, now

Here’s a thing I’ve been trying to get round to for a while now, but scanning booklets is a time consuming and laborious job – but in this case, very much a worthwhile one.
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Burnal Martin and the class of 1922-3

I’m very pleased to note the continued interest in Watling Street School’s history, a thread started by Adrian Reid before Christmas – a couple of days ago, I received the above scan from reader George Martin, taken around 1922 or 1923, featuring his father.
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Watling Street School: The class of 1903

Thanks for the great response yesterday to Adrian Reid’s enquiry for the Watling Street School anniversary book; whilst copies to own are apparently very, very thin on the ground, it seems they can at least be borrowed for study.

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Can anyone help a desperate reader, please?

Hi folks – this is just a quick enquiry from reader Adrian Reid. He’s after a book on a very specific bit of local history that has become rather rare, like most such volumes do. I’ll let Adrian explain.
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Inn for a treat

‘Snippets of History in and around Shire Oak’ is a very comprehensive history of the pub at the crossroads of the Lichfield Road and Chester Road, and of the brewery that few realise towered over the pub for many years.
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A Shire thing

Here’s a treat for Brownhills folk into local history – A new local history book, focussing on Shire Oak and it’s environs has been written by Walsall Wood chap Clive Roberts.
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Rock and coal

Here’s one that is certain to create debate, comment and further articles. Alerted to it in the last week by both Gareth Thomas (Geographical whizz from Lichfield District Council) and Paul Daniel (data whizz behind the mechanism that keeps local news site The YamYam running so brilliantly), it’s a book scanned and published by that wonderful resource Google Books.

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