Tag Archives: Gerald Reece

The way of the Sons of Waetla

As I’m still catching up, I thought today might be a good time to feature the writings of an old pal of the blog, Gerald Reece, and his musings on the A5 Watling Street, Newtown, Knaves Castle and the pubs … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Some top brass, a tuba groover and an unsung hero

There has never been enough attention paid anywhere that I’m aware of to the Victorian father of modern Brownhills, William Roberts – sometime railway plate layer, ganger, brewer, publican, entrepreneur, civic stalwart, JP and philanthropist, William  was a very rare man … Continue reading

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Making a Marklew

One enduring subject of very much debate here that continues to receive a lot of attention is the thorny subject of the Marklew family, Marklew’s pond off Coppice Lane, William Roberts and the claim that the farm was one of the last Tommy Shops operating.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A found connection

Way back last year, Patricia Cotton sent in the above photo of her brother Tony, family friends Dora Rathbone and her son Bob enjoying a picnic and a paddle in 1955 by the canal in Brownhills, aroundabout where the banks of the old clay pit are today.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caught short on the Pelsall Road

I’ve received via Facebook from very generous reader Patricia Cotton who’s send a very interesting picture, not just because it’s a wonderful period photo, but because lurking on the skyline is an indication of something being present several people dispute.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Get your Freakley on…

Just recently we’ve talked extensively about the Midland Railway through Walsall Wood and Brownhills, and the notorious rail tour that seems to have been the last passenger train along it – but we’ve also discussed local brick making too, and I think this is an excellent time to feature this article by top local historian Gerald Reece.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Warners, the Wheatsheaf, and Pat the dog!

Further to Wendy Gates’ enquiry about the Wheatsheaf pub last week, and of her father, Jack Warner, Wendy posted some more family images to share with readers and maybe jog a few memories of the family and the popular lost Brownhills pub.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Do you remember the Wheatsheaf?

Wendy Gates has been in touch to ask if anyone remembers her family who owned and worked at the long-gone Wheatsheaf pub in Ogley Road, Brownhills up until the 1970s – Wendy has fond recollectionsof this popular lost pub, and wants to know if anyone has any memories to share?
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Where there’s a will

I keep returning to the subject of the man I consider to be the father of modern Brownhills, the one and only William Roberts – railway plate layer, ganger, publican, entrepreneur, civic stalwart, JP and philanthropist.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The estate we’re in

I had an interesting email from reader and top local history technician Andy Dennis a couple of weeks ago that expands on a recent topic beautifully: that of William Roberts and his empire.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The lost Howdles Lane dam

In a remarkable instance of coincidence, last Friday, reader and top local history ferret Andy Dennis sent me an astounding piece on a lost reservoir near Howdles Lane, in north Brownhills, between Chasewater and the Watling Street.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio updates, Shared media, Shared memories, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Happy talk

Yesterday, I received a wonderful email from David Evans, who did such a fine job of organising and hosting Gerald Reece’s talk on Brownhills last Friday evening at the Methodist Church in Silver Street, Brownhills.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Gerald Reece talk: on tonight!

Top contributor, commentor and all round good egg David Evans has been busy over the last few weeks organising a treat for local history buffs in Brownhills and the wider community.
Gerald Reece flyer
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just William

The interesting history of William Roberts – the father of modern Brownhills – continues, and this time, Peter ‘pedro’ Cutler has taken issue with some other, intersecting local history, and just when exactly William Roberts came to Brownhills as a lad, and where he lived when his family moved here.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Your chance to meet a local history legend next Friday!

This is a reminder that this coming Friday, the elder statesman of Brownhills local history Gerald Reece will be giving a talk in Brownhills on the subject – this popular and knowledgable historian last gave a talk in Brownhills in 2012, an event which is very fondly remembered and raised £520 for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Gerald Reece flyer Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Such was his devotion

Back to William Roberts, then – railway plate layer, ganger, publican, entrepreneur, civic stalwart, JP and philanthropist – a very rare man in his time, he appears to have been generous, considerate, imbued with a real sense of social justice, and was undoubtedly a sharp-dealing rogue too.

station hotel Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Rovers return…

Top contributor, commentor and all round good egg David Evans has been busy over the last few weeks organising a treat for local history buffs in Brownhills and the wider community.

Gerald Reece flyer
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Truncated

I’m going to share here an absolutely astounding image donated by Brownhills Local History researcher in exile Gerald Reece, which is sure to create some debate – I’m going to be brief, as I feel it’s best.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Wheatsheaf, Brownhills – what do we know?

Here’s a quick one I’ve been asked about on twitter, and it’s piqued my interest to such an extent that I thought I’d post the question here, particularly while there’s a similar discussion centring around the Royal Exchange in Walsall Wood.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Dancing was allowed

Well, here it is – not merry Christmas (although that’s bearing down upon us) but the fourth and final instalment of the history of Ogley Hay, as researched and written by local historian Gerald Reece, in his remarkable book ‘Brownhills A Walk Into History’.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Old Ground

Here’s some mapping I’ve been meaning to run since reader Peter mentioned it in the comments to the post ‘Keep out of Cotterill’s road’ on Friday last – I may have posted similar before, but if I have, I can’t find a copy.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

The Ironmaster

Welcome to the third of what was to be a three-instalment series, covering Ogley Hay, the history of Brownhills businessman Charles F Cotterill and the towns evolution into the place we know today, as written by local historian Gerald Reece, in his remarkable book ‘Brownhills A Walk Into History’.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Keep out of Cotterill’s road…

Welcome to the second of a three-instalment series, covering Ogley Hay, landowner Charles F Cotterill and Brownhills’ evolution into the place we know today, as written by local historian Gerald Reece in his remarkable book ‘Brownhills A Walk Into History’.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Ugly Ay it?

Today, it’s long overdue that I expand on a thread I commenced some weeks ago; that of Charles Foster Cotterill – you may remember that I raised the question of the man’s history as the named Bankrupt in a sale notice Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler found in the Birmingham Gazette in 1850.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Do the walk…

Andy Dennis touches on a sporting phenomena which seems to largely have lapsed: pedestrianism, to which these days, power or nordic walking would be comparable.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Let it pour

Here’s an interesting (and slightly daft) query for a pre-Christmas weekend. David Evans, reader, contributor and top Walsall Wood bloke, was very kindly given this commemorative jug by local history wonder Gerald Reece, when Gerald undertook his recent excellent talk in Brownhills.
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Posted in Churches, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

After the gold rush

I thought that today, I’d dig some interesting mapping out of the archive. In the light of Gerald Reece’s talk on Brownhills and it’s colliery history, I thought this 1884 1:2,500 scale plan of Wyrley Common was due an outing. It shows – in some clarity – the extent of mining in the Engine Lane area at the height of the Victorian period.
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Local history talk in Brownhills tonight!

Top contributor, commentor and all round good egg David Evans has been busy over the last few weeks organising a treat for local history buffs in Brownhills and the wider community. David has kindly contacted noted local historian and author … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Curious electric

It’s a curious fact of local history that little St. Anne’s Church, in Church Street, Chasetown, was the first church in Britain lit by electric light. The history of this installation, and of electricity coming to Chasewtown and Brownhills is inextricably tied up with the history of mining in the area.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Top local historian to give talk in Brownhills!

Top contributor, commentor and all round good egg David Evans has been busy over the last few weeks organising a treat for local history buffs in Brownhills and the wider community.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Top local historian to give talk in Brownhills!

Top contributor, commentor and all round good egg David Evans has been busy over the last few weeks organising a treat for local history buffs in Brownhills and the wider community. Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Face to face

Following on from my post last week where I featured local historian Gerald Reece’s research and loving reproductions of the mapping for the the proposed Norton Branch of the South Staffordshire Railway, I have an interesting document to share with … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Up for sale – The Swan Inn, Brownhills, in 1835

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has played another blinder and found this auction advert in the Staffordshire Advertiser of Saturday, 31st October 1835. It advertises the Swan Inn and it’s not inconsiderable estate for sale. This was quite some holding, and would have … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tenths

One of the wonderful things Gerald Reece sent me following our recent email exchange is a scan of  a compilation of tithe maps of western Brownhills. I wasn’t actually aware this existed, and it helps clear up a few things, … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

A day at the races

I note today there’s been growing interest in the question of Brownhills Racecourse, such as it was. For younger readers, this wasn’t the old stadium by Chasewater which an unsuccessful trotting track, or it’s precursor, the trotting track on the … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Is Gerald Reece in the house, please?

Hi Gerald, if you’re reading this, any chance you could get in touch, please? Following your welcome and intriguing comments to this post, I sent a couple of emails, but no response, and I’m wondering if I have the correct … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Paradise lost… then found again.

Today, I received my very own copy of the excellent work, ‘Brownhills: A Walk Into History with Gerald Reece’. Up to know, I’ve been managing with photocopies and scans of critical parts of the work, and fortunately, a book search … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments