Grass fires at Gentleshaw ongoing 

I was elsewhere yesterday afternoon as it’s good cycling weather – but I noticed from social media feeds and enquiries that there was a grass fire on Gentleshaw Common towards the evening.

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Cliff and the Bluebirds – not Dover, but Birmingham!

Last week here I featured a film clip made be photo restorer and friend of the blog Lisa Ashby, celebrating Brownhills and the Black Country – Well, Lisa’s been at it again, and made a lovely clip about The Burntwood Bluebirds, the award-winning marching band from Burntwood.

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Do you know the Perrett family?

I’m looking for any local relatives of Mary Margaret Perrett who passed away in Burntwood a few years ago – Mary lived with her husband, who is also sadly no longer with us – as far as I’m aware, they had lived in Burntwood for a number of years.
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Crossing purposes

Last Sunday I featured here a taster of a photo archive discovered by some of the local history community containing some remarkable and mysterious pictures of the area – and one of those filed under Burntwood – that of a level crossing, caused me some bafflement.

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One little Spark is all it takes…

In the current economic and political climate, good news on public and community services is thin on the ground – so I was very happy to receive news of a wonderful followup to story I featured early this year.
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Burntwood Wakes archive film showing now!

I’ve just noticed via Facebook that there’s a showing of a unique Burntwood Wakes archive film at St. Anne’s Church, Chasetown this afternoon (Saturday, 25th July 2015); showings start every 20 minutes from 1pm until 4pm – it’s free.
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Great news! Burntwood’s Children’s Centres saved for now

Here’s a really positive followup (and what looks at the moment to be a blog exclusive) to a story I featured a couple of weeks ago, when Esther Allen of The Chasewater Strollers parent and toddler group contacted me to publicise their petition against the planned closure of both Burntwood Childrens Centres – otherwise known as ‘Surestart’.

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Important – help save Burntwood’s Children’s Centres

Esther Allen of Chasewater Strollers and Councillor ‘Aunty Sue’ Woodward have been in touch over the weekend to let me know that they’re very worried about the future of the two Children’s centres in Burntwood, and have launched a campaign and petition to keep them open.

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Now the water has drained away

Following my post recently concerning some great maps sent to me by Bruce Littley, reader, friend of the blog and top local allotment whiz Steve Hames has been in touch with some great images of the path of the former Cannock Extension Canal which was pictured in the Aerofilms image in the post.

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What’s the plan?

This is an interesting one I’ve had cooking for a while – reader Bruce Littley has kindly sent me these scans of maps that he’s come across, and he’d like to know more about them – or at least the annotations sketched thereupon.
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Lost – Keep your eye out folks

I’ve had a couple of notes about lost items at Chasewater yesterday – a camera and a GPS – one of which got mangled by the server, so I’d appreciate the person involved contacting me again.

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Thanks for an ingratitude

From time to time, I like to feature articles out of old gazetteers here on the blog – they are a great love of mine, and they help shine a new light on old, familiar places, as well as giving a neat insight into the times they were written in.
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The need for speed

It seems that reader Tony Winn opened an interesting can of worms when he set this fine question for the New Year Quiz.
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Controlled explosions in Burntwood today

Blimey, it’s all happening today – it seems some unexploded wartime grenades were found near Chasewater Industrial Estate, Burntwood (Known as the LCP) in the last 24 hours, which were subsequently destroyed in a controlled explosion.
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Strike up the band!

This is a huge post, but it’s just so wonderful I couldn’t butcher it – Wendy Jones has been working hard and supplying me with loads of material relating to her time in the Burntwood Blue Birds Marching Jazz Band.
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The march of time

I think it’s fair to say that in writing and curating this blog, fate occasionally turns up some remarkable material – whatever else this thing I labour over has done, it has actually seemed to have connected people to their history, and on rare occasions it has put back in touch people who were once familiar, but became separated by time or distance.
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Staffordshire Hoard talk at Chasewater Innovation Centre tonight

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The gold hoard to arrive in Brownhills at last…

My apologies to top fellow and friend of the blog David Hodgkinson, as quite frankly, I forgot this one, and it’s quite important for Staffordshire Hoard fans and local historians alike.

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Stolen caravan alert!

Today, I had my attention drawn to a very sad theft appeal on Twitter – I’m always ready to post appeals of this kind, so please keep an eye out. Dave, the owner, must be heartbroken.
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The man in the centre

I’ve received a fascinating enquiry from reader and friend of the blog Tony Briggs, who sent me a lovely photo, and other than his grandfather William Briggs being in the middle of the group, he knows nothing about it.
William Briggs Jr - Middle row third from right

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Where the art is…

Just a quick note to point out to readers that there’s some great coverage of the unveiling of Burntwood’s new mining memorial over on Lichfield Live – I passed through at about 2:45pm and it certainly looked very busy indeed – it seems like everyone had a great day.
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The other ‘Wood: from the air…

Following a request made by reader Kevin Barnett, I had a rummage through the excellent aerial images so kindly supplied by Gareth Thomas, Geographic Whizz from Lichfield District Council, feeling sure he’d sent me some. Sadly I was mistaken, and I’d already posted the one of Chasetown that I had.

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Some disassembly required

Readers with long memories will recall my ruminations on the Vulcan Bomber cockpit that notoriously found itself in a garden in Burntwood a few years ago. The story still gets a large quantity of hits, and I think it’s fair to say is somewhat of a legend hereabouts. Tom Moran has been in touch, and…

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Self vulcanising

Here’s an interesting blast from the past concerning some leftfield local mythology. I was contacted in the week by reader Richard Stanley, who posed this interesting question: Hey Bob, Odd memory that came to me whilst watching a program about the Falklands, there was at one point the cockpit section of a Vulcan bomber sitting…

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St, Matthews Hospital – can you help?

Following on from last week’s post about the the remarkable gallery of images of St. Matthews Hospital in Burntwood, the poster of those images, Tony Briggs, has been in touch to ask if anyone can help him gather personal reminiscences for the excellent Midland Heritage Forum. I’d point David at some of the excellent comment…

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The folk on the hill

It’s with great interest and thanks to the dedicated folks over at the Midlands Heritage Forum, that I can now highlight new information being collated about St. Matthews Hospital. Forum stalwarts YamahaPaul and TonyB appear to have done a great deal of work pulling fragments together, and more and more information is now being unearthed…

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This won’t hurt – Images of St. Matthews Hospital, Burntwood

Following my post earlier this week about Burntwood Asylum – latterly St .Matthews Hospital – I have been bowled over by the response of readers to what I thought might be a taboo subject. From reader responses – including some excellent work by Paul Ford, of Walsall Local History Centre – it seems I have…

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Unspoken histories – what do you know?

I’m respectfully making an enquiry as to a bit of history that isn’t talked about much and may be quite sensitive for some. This is a subject that has long interested me in one form or another, and I think it’s about time I mentioned it on the blog. For over a century, on the…

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I’m loving the Burntwood Blog…

I’ve been watching this one for a while, and I like the style. You don’t have to be interested in Burntwood to find it funny, either. There’s only one problem, they don’t post often enough. The Burntwood Blog… ‘News and an irreverent look at the local gossip and happenings. We take a look at the…

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