Going above and beyond

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

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Do the walk this weekend!

Find out how far they’ve come at Summerhill in just two years in this informative film for the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to remind us that there will be a guided walk of the Summerhill section of the canal they’re working…

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Looking after the legacy of a great son of Brownhills

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

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Who’s on this team, and who are they?

Since the sad passing of Bill Shaw, old friend of the blog, champion of local football and Clayhanger lad, the tributes have been fullsome, and so richly deserved – but it’s also wonderful to hear the memories and see photos emerge of this wonderful man. Bill sadly passed away following serious illness on 4th March…

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A Chemical Romance

I’ve been asked the question by reader Norman Taylor as to what I know about Brownhills Chemical Works – otherwise known as The Chemical or The Chemy, later the site of a notorious war scrapyard local kids were all attracted to. The Chemical, for those who don’t know, was situated high on the Lichfield Road,…

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A great chance for tea and cake in a great country canalside garden this Saturday!

There’s a great event going on in Whittington this acoming Saturday (31st March 2018) in aid of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust ‘Tunnel Vision’ appeal – Eric and Doreen’s All Day Easter Coffee Morning.

lhcrt easter coffee morning 2017

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Bill Shaw: Further details of funeral arrangements announced

The sheer number of people who have paid tribute following the sad news of the passing of Bill Shaw has been heartwarming, and many have expressed their desire to attend his funeral – well, Bill’s wife, Lynn has been in touch to give further details, including the details of the function afterwards.

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It’s a diesel takeover – this weekend!

Chasewater Railway – the little gem of a preserved industrial railway right on our doorstep is holding it’s annual Diesel Gala this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 24-25th March 2018.

diesel-gala

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Bill Shaw: A personal memorial, by David Evans

Everyone involved with the blog has been saddened and dismayed by the loss of Bill Shaw, Clayhanger lad, champion of local football, commentator and all round decent bloke – and I’m proud and honoured to feature here an obituary for Bill from his fellow match reporter at Walsall Wood, David Evans.

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Accession to the throne Brownhills stye

Following Janet Bullock’s wonderful photo posted here in the last few weeks there has been a terrific response to the Ogley Hay May Day them, with a further image of the same event being Kindly donated by Kate Dixon, and her mum May Queen Linda Horobin – now we have a further great image sent in by Sheila Kelly of May Day the following year.

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Huge commitment to heavy lift beats big freeze

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about a rather interesting challenge the trust’s engineers had to deal with last weekend when the big freeze hit the UK.

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Bill Shaw: Tributes, and details of funeral released

Following the sad news of the passing of Bill Shaw, long time contributor to the blog, Clayhanger lad and great champion of local football there, has been a huge outpouring of sympathy and condolence – Bill was certainly a friend and familiar face to many, not just in local football, but in the wider community.

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Goodbye Bill Shaw: There had better be good football up there

It’s my sad duty to report to you that old friend of the blog, Clayhanger lad and football reporter extraordinaire Bill Shaw sadly passed away yesterday following an ongoing, serious illness.

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Fit for a queen

Following Janet Bullock’s wonderful photo posted here a few days ago – which turns out indeed to be the May Queen celebrations at Ogley Ha Infants School in Brownhills – there was much discussion here and on social media about this traditional event, and reader Kate Dixon turned up local history gold.

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May be? Ogley Hay infants in the early 1960s

Reader Janet has sent me an absolutely gorgeous school photo from the early 1960s at Ogley Hay infants in Brownhills – from the activity and dress depicted, I think this may be a May Day celebration which I believe was customary at the school at the time?

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A feast of wire

Local rail buff Simon Swain has been busy of late covering the momentous and important Chase Line Electrification Project, which is seeing the rail line between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley electrified for hopefully faster and more reliable services.

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Two great events coming up from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about a couple of events the local canal restoration project are holding in the coming weeks, a quiz night on Saturday 17th March 2018 and a guided walk of the Summerhill section on Saturday 21st April 2018.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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Buses by Night 2018 – great Aldridge event on this Saturday!

This Saturday afternoon and evening (17th February 2018) there’s a great, innovative event taking place at Aldridge Transport Museum just off Northgate – Buses by Night, which is your chance to ride on some great old vehicles and see the local sights and photography hotspots – like Lichfield Cathedral – at night.

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A great vintage – a brand new shop at Chasewater Railway

I’m always happy to see new attractions at Chasewater Railway, so I was pleased to note the carriage on Platform One now has a new business within, the Chase Vintage Carriage operated by Charley Hughes, and it’s currently open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am until 4pm.

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Off the wall

Following the revisiting of the Stonnall tunnel legend a few weeks ago, sparked by a great enquiry from our Canada correspondent Brian Edwards, I had some great reader submissions, and a bit of local history news archive gold from Kate Cardigan over at Lichfield Lore, one item of which I’ll hold back for another article.

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Could you help restore a lost, local canal?

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the progress they’re making, and to send out an appeal for volunteers to help push the restoration forward.

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Tunnelling through the folklore

I’ve had a really interesting email in from the Brownhills Blog Canada Correspondent Brian Edwards who relates a very interesting tale concerning Stonnall, and the discovery of a tunnel there in the late 1960s.

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New year quiz 2018 – come on, have a go if you’re up for it!

Hey folks, a little later than hoped it’s the 2018 Brownhills Blog New Year Quiz – and don’t forget the photo competition is also running alongside, and similarly has beer and book prizes to be won! 

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New year quiz 2018 – get stuck in!

Hey folks, a little later than hoped it’s the 2018 Brownhills Blog New Year Quiz – and don’t forget the photo competition is also running alongside, and similarly has beer and book prizes to be won! 

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Living next door to the Grove – what do you know?

Last year I featured a very popular set of images from a place I genuinely didn’t realise still existed: The Grove Colliery, the remnants of which – the house and offices situated just off Lime Lane, between Pelsall, Brownhills, Norton and Great Wyrley – were documented by old pal of the blog Simon Swain and drone wizard Steve Martin also captured the site from the air.

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1444 (Brownhills) Squadron Air Cadets say thanks!

A lovely note reaches me from Flt Lt Carolyn Sault of the 1444 (Brownhills) Squadron Air Cadets, who do so much good work with the youth of Brownhills – people who shop locally will know that young people from the local Squadron often undertake bag packs at local stores in return for donations.

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Carols by the canal – and memories of great friends

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are holding a carol evening at their Fosseway Nature Reserve site, just off Falkland Road, Lichfield on Saturday 16 December 2017 from 7-9pm and all are welcome.

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We will never forget

It’s that time of year when I note Remembrance here in the UK and personally express my gratitude and concern for those who lost their lives in the service of our country – this post is one I make every year, but evolves as I think and reflect on those who paid and continue to pay a huge price for our freedom.

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Chasewater Railway – ride the Ghost Train this evening!

I note Chasewater Railway have Halloween ghost trains running this evening (28th October 2016) with prizes for fancy dress, ghostly fun and games and much more spooky fun for all the family!

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Lamping it

For those who missed it, I had an interesting question commented to an old post in the week, and I thought I’d make a post out of it as it deserves a wider audience – this certainly sounds like a remarkable family history, which someone out there must be able to help with.

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Autumn Leaves Running Day at Aldridge Transport Museum this Sunday – and the finale of Beer and Buses!

While the Beer and Buses festival is ongoing at Aston Manor Transport Museum in Aldridge today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday, 14th and 15th October 2017) it’s worth pointing out that tomorrow, as well as the culmination of the beer event, it’s also the Autumn Leaves Running Day at the popular local museum.

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Starting soon and running all weekend – Beer and Buses at Aldridge Transport Museum!

Over this weekend of 13th-15th October 2017, there’s a great, innovative event taking place at Aston Manor Road Transport Museum just off Northgate, Aldridge – Beer and Buses, combining a great beer festival at the local museum, culminating in the Aston Manor Transport Museum Autumn Leaves running day on the Sunday.

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A hole lot of sink

One of the curious things about writing and keeping this blog has always been the steady, curious dynamic of story arcs – where an old subject gets continually, slowly and gradually expanded as Google lists it, people search and find the post, comment and expand it.

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Chasewater Railway Coal Train event this weekend

Sorry again for the late notice but I note Chasewater Railway have their Coal Train event this weekend (Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2017) with a mixture of diesel and steam runnings, demo trains and working plant.

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Beer and Buses – a great ale and transport festival coming soon!

Coming over the weekend of 13th-15th October 2017, there’s a great, innovative event taking place at Aston Manor Road Transport Museum just off Northgate, Aldridge – Beer and Buses, combining a great beer festival at the local museum, culminating in the Aston Manor Transport Museum Autumn Leaves running day on the Sunday.

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Pictures from the 2017 Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

Yesterday (Saturday 23rd September 2017) I got chance to go to the first day of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust’s Heritage Gathering at Huddlesford, near Whittington.

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Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering is this weekend!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is running on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (23-24th September 2017), and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.
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Less than two weeks to go until Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is coming up over the weekend of 23-24th September 2017, and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.

wpe1de599f_14_06

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A remedy to the shortage of water

Several times over the previous eight years of this blog the question of the function and decommissioning of the steam pump that once stood at Chasewater has cropped up, and always provokes interesting debate – well, reader Ian James has been in touch with a snippet of information he’s found in a book relating to the long gone pumping plant.

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Chasewater Railway Late Summer Gala this weekend

Sorry again for the late notice but I note Chasewater Railway have their late Summer Gala this weekend (Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September 2017), with special guest engine Bagnall 0-4-0ST 2842 Kent No 2 and a much busier running timetable than normal.

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Restoring a lost canal – and creating a new haven for wildlife

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are keen to share the news that they’re now creating a new nature reserve along the line of the soon to be restored canal between Wall and Lichfield.

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Up the Ryecroft Junction

Local rail buff Simon Swain has once again been busy with the camera and maps, tracing out the history of the South Staffordshire railway line that used to run from Wychnor near Alrewas to Dudley, but called at Lichfield, Brownhills and Walsall on the way.

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Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering coming soon!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is coming up over the weekend of 23-24th September 2017, and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.

wpe1de599f_14_06

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Looking for Sheila Southall, formerly of Walsall Wood please

I’m interested in contacting Sheila Southall, who used to live in Brownhills Road, Walsall Wood, and who now would be in her mid to late sixties.
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Chasewater Railway – Annual Charities Day this Sunday!

Chasewater Railway – the little gem of a local preserved industrial railway is this Sunday (6th August 2017) 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.

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The Grove Colliery – remembering a lost pit

Last year I featured a very popular set of images from a place I genuinely didn’t realise still existed: The Grove Colliery, the remnants of which – the house and offices situated just off Lime Lane, between Pelsall, Brownhills, Norton and Great Wyrley – were documented by old pal off the blog Simon Swain and posted here as a gallery I include below.

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The Swan, Brownhills: Come say farewell, and welcome a new era

It’s been six short years since Jane and Geoff Taylor took over The Swan pub on Pelsall Road, Brownhills, transforming it from a pub long closed and thought of as lost to an absolutely banging community real ale pub.

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Brownhills war hero Edward Tunstall: can you help locate the lost photos please?

I’ve had a fascinating and very detailed enquiry come in from reader Emma Smith that I’m hoping some of the old blog hands and researchers can help with – I know that Brownhills still has a British Legion Branch (whose current appeal for the Remembrance Parade is very important) and I hope someone can hook up with them to perhaps light this enquiry up.

plaqueunveilingbrownhills

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2017 Chasewater Grand Prix – this weekend!

This Saturday and Sunday (15th and 16th July 2017) will be quite a special weekend for the local powerboat community as Chasewater hosts the PowerBoatGP 2017 Chasewater Grand Prix at our favourite reservoir and country park.

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The death throes of the local line

Local rail buff Simon Swain last week sent in the above image of one of the last freight workings on the South Staffordshire Line through central Brownhills – and there was a large amount of interest in this remarkably evocative photo.

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