Life after the war

I still have a little of the very popular Mavis Woodhouse material to come – so far we’ve had the Foxes Row and Victor Haines articles, the Fred Shingler film of Newtown, Mavis’s recollections of the mining history, the curious disappearing cottage, and memories of Sunday School in the small community on the Watling Street.

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I’m after all the tanners!

The Mavis Woodhouse material featured here of late is a local history gift that just keeps giving, and yesterday, I had a fascinating email very kindly sent to me by Ann Grinstead, the lady who edited the initial copy of Mavis’s family history, subsequently later edited for the blog by the young David Evans.

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A huge black cauldron

Mavis Woodhouse really started something when she kindly donated her family history material to the blog – the Foxes Row article was very popular, the Victor Haines material had us all head scratching, and the film of Newtown that was so newly relevant has had a huge number of views.

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Let’s have a butchers…

An enquire that interested me particularly came in last week from Martin Williams – Martin doesn’t say where he’s from, but I’m guessing he’s not local; he raises the interesting question of the Poxon family and their businesses.
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The scars were always black

The generosity of Mavis Woodhouse in allowing David Evans, myself and you readers to share her privately produced family history book is really proving to be a rich source of discussion, debate and new local history tangents – the Foxes Row article was very popular, the Victor Haines material had us all head scratching, and the film of Newtown that was so newly relevant has had a huge number of views.

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For the want of timber

Last week I featured an article by local history Rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler about a text, available for free via Google Books called ‘Black Diamonds or the Gospel in a Colliery District’ written around 1860 by mystery author HHB.
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Diamonds and dust

This is an important one, and I think there may well be more to follow, as top local history wonk Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler is not one to let sleeping dogs – or local history matters that are niggling him – lie.

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As far distant as the millennium

Found coincidentally to reader Alan Harvey’s request for more Norton Canes, this article on the village, from the Saturday, 30th January 1886 copy of The Graphic, is a remarkable travelogue written by a visitor to a small, dirt-poor community, just before everything changed.

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My Fair Lady

This is a wonderful article from local history rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler which I think readers will really, really enjoy. Peter has developed a reputation hereabouts for being something of the iconoclast; formerly he has not pulled punches in his explorations of mining and industrial history, often to the surprise of readers. Continuing this theme,…

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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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12 good men – The verdict

So, the final instalment. Regular readers will recall that we’ve been discussing the fatal explosion at Pelsall Coal and Iron Company, that took place in December, 1887. The inquest into the deaths, having been adjourned, was resumed, and this is the account of the second day, published in the Birmingham Daily Post of Saturday, 7th of…

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Footage of Grove Pit Disaster, 1st October, 1930

A tip of the hat yet again to local history wonder [Howmuch], who in addition to spotting the Chasewater newsreel in the British Pathe archive, was busy over the weekend rooting through other video archives for the benefit of likeminded Brownhills local history ferrets. This snippet – just 21 seconds in length, from the archive,…

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Spot the difference

Whilst out and about, I’ve noticed the remarkable proliferation of new monuments to former mines and their workers. I’ve commented on the subject in several posts to this blog, in particular to what I see as the wastage on the sculpture binge in Walsall Wood. It’s not that I believe this industry is unworthy of…

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