Tag Archives: history

The First Cut and a musical history…

Folk band the Light Side, who will be performing at Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s Autumn Show. Image from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust have … Continue reading

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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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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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The Shoulder of Mutton, and two local family histories: What do you know?

I’ve had an enquiry in from reader Diane Clift regarding her family, the Danks, a connection with the Cliufts and the Sgoulder of Mutton pub in Church Road, Brownhills.

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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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Very late notice – Lichfield heritage walk to Sandfields starts soon!

Very late notice from the cardiganmonger Kate from the Lichfield Lore that her history group Lichfield Discovered is venturing out this morning (17th September 2016) for a Sandfields Waterworks history walk which is starting from Speakers Corner by Minster Pool at 11am.

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Would you like a chat about local history?

Top contributor, commentor and all round good egg the young David Evans has been busy over the last few weeks organising a treat for local history buffs in Brownhills and the wider community – he’s been asked to do a couple of talks on the history of Walsall Wood.

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Walk off that turkey with Lichfield Discovered this Sunday!

Feeling a bit porky after the Christmas excess – Are you up for an interesting an refreshing walk through Lichfield’s canal history this Sunday – Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is venturing out for a history walk with her informal and fun social history group, Lichfield Discovered.

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Have a Christmas pint with Lichfield Discovered tonight!

It’s time to get out your Santa hats because Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is convening a celebration of all that’s wonderful about Christmas, pubs and our nearest city tonight with her informal and fun social history group, Lichfield Discovered.

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Cartoon capers

The post here last Sunday discussing the Newtown area of Brownhills certainly created some interest and raised a few more memories and discussions – and one particular aspect caught the eye of reader and long term friend of the blog Tony Winn.

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Illuminating Ray – one for the researchers?

I have here an excellent enquiry for a Sunday afternoon which I feel many readers will be very, very interested in – not least Andy Dennis, if he’s passing, but maybe others concerned with the Newtown area on the Watling Street, which has been the subject of so many past articles here on the blog.

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Get down with the ancestors – Wall Open Day this Sunday!

That there Kate Cardigan from Lichfield Lore donned one of her many hats (and a toga-style ganzey) this week when she wrote to tell me that this Sunday, 19th July 2015, it’s the annual open day at Wall village and Roman site, just up the A5 between Lichfield and Shenstone.

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The Lectric Men

Old friend of the blog Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove has been at it again – and this time, he’s written a fabulous piece on his early working days as an electricity supply engineer for the Chasetown Electricity Board, in the very earliest days of domestic supply.
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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It’s all about roots and wings

Here’s a really nice thing that caught my attention yesterday – fellow local blogger for Clayhanger Marsh and hero of mine (whose mail I must get around to answering, sorry) Chaz Mason has written something wonderful and very, very engaging.

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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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Not only customers, but friends

A lovely bit of ephemera relating to Deakins’ Central Stores and Jonah Deakin has been sent in by the wonderfully generous Gillian Gaiser, who donated her wonderful writing about the Deakin family to the blog, published last weekend.

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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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As the dual carriageway came through

I’ve had a bunch of film clips for a while, which were recorded in short sections and obtained by the young David Evans from Barbara, the daughter of Fred Shingler who ran the Park View Methodist Chapel, which used to be on the Watling Street, just on the corner of Chapel Avenue.

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Early days in Foxes Row

In the sea of technical chaos I’ve been bobbing in in the last few days, I have somehow managed to find time to edit up the beginning of a new series of memories of life in Brownhills.Untitled Continue reading

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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.
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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

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.

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Stacked

A few weeks ago, I shared here a mining plan of how workings in the Robbins coal seam under Walsall Wood, Clayhanger and Brownhills affected the railway line above it, showing the coal mine excavations in great detail under the village.

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 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

Quality is important – What lies beneath once more

Hi folks – it’s not often I do this here on the blog, but I feel that quality is important, particularly in the recording of historically important documents I present, and an article I wasn’t happy with at all was published here a few weeks ago with a very heavy heart.
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Moving pictures – cinema returns to Aldridge

Regular readers will know well that I like to support community projects here on the blog, and anything that caters for the kids is particularly close to my heart – so here’s a bold and inspiring project I think we can all really get behind.
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What lies beneath

Way back at the beginning of August, I shared a partial scan of a document I’d acquired – a mining plan of how workings in the Robbins coal seam under Walsall Wood, Clayhanger and Brownhills affected the railway line above.
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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The lost hall of Fisherwick

Kate Cardigan Gomez, irrepressible wonder behind Lichfield Lore has organised a walk and tour around the remains of the incredible Fisherwick Park estate with her other project, Lichfield Discovered – it takes place tomorrow, Saturday 27th September 2014.
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Scouting out the history

I have been contacted by the Group Chairman of 2nd Brownhills Scout Group, Clive Chapman, who’d like to hear from locals who may have been Scouts, or people who worked with the group over the years – it’s their 100th anniversary next year, and Clive is looking to record the group’s history and organise a celebration event.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Don’t blink

Kate Cardigan Gomez and Sandfields champion Dave Moore have teamed up with their informal local history group Lichfield Discovered to give a free talk in Lichfield this coming Monday evening (8th September 2014) entitled ‘Weeping Angels – Symbolism in Victorian Cemeteries’.

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Seam stress

Now, since it’s been a few days of catching up with little bits and pieces, here’s something massive for readers to get their teeth into – this is a historical artefact which I’ve been lucky enough to find, and I’m very excited about it.
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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Military speaker to tell story of the South Staffords in the Great War

This is just a quick note to flag up what looks to be an interesting, engaging and relevant talk by an excellent speaker coming up at Walsall Local History Centre next Monday evening, when Major Ted Green (Retired) will present an illustrated talk entitled ‘The South Staffords in World War 1’.

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Walsall’s world of work – a chance to share your memories

Again, sorry for the short notice (But I am catching up – I can actually see my keyboard now, which is progress) but this is a very, very important event happening tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, 13th May 2014) for anyone interested in the working and social industrial history of our area.

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Closer

Kate Cardigan Gomez, irrepressible wonder behind Lichfield Lore has organised a walk and tour around Cathedral Close in Lichfield tonight (Monday, 12th May 2014) with her other project, Lichfield Discovered – it starts at 7:00pm outside Lichfield Heritage Centre.555423_10151544401766622_1645456257_n Continue reading

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The rise and fall – a walk into history tomorrow!

Kate Cardigan Gomex, irrepressible wonder behind Lichfield Lore has organised a walk and tour around the remains of the incredible Fisherwick Park estate with her other project, Lichfield Discovered – it takes place tomorrow, Saturday 5th April 2014.
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The final lot

The demolition is by now nearly complete – after 155 years extant, and about 40 of those derelict, the former St John’s School in Walsall Wood has now largely reduced to pallets of bricks and oddments of scrap.
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Breaking down the walls…

The tenacity and charm of the young David Evans continues to be rewarded, and he has again created great pictorial documentation of the demolition process being undertaken on the former St. John’s School in Walsall Wood.
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Posted in Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio updates, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Demolition, man

Thanks to the keen eye and subsequent alert by reader, fellow local blogger and freind of the blog @thestymaster, plus the outrageous cheek, charm and loquaciousness of the young David Evans, I can present internal and external shots of the former St. John’s School in Walsall Wood, currently undergoing demolition.
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Posted in Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio updates, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A century in 12 objects…

I see that there Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore is going from strength to strength with her informal and fun Lichfield local history group, Lichfield Discovered.
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Brick by brick

Today, thanks to the eagle eye of reader, fellow local blogger and freind of the blog @thestymaster, plus the dedication and guile of a couple of regular blog readers and contributors, we have managed to catch the last days of a local, doomed landmark: St. John’s School, in Walsall Wood.

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Posted in Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio updates, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Brownhills School: driven to distraction

The ongoing issue of Brownhills School’s withdrawal of community access to it’s facilities rumbled on this week, as the Walsall Advertiser published another excellent report about how the Spotlight Youth Theatre Group were told they’d have to move from the school last December.RichardShepherdMP Continue reading

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

School’s out

I think this might be controversial – from recent activity at the site, it seems like the former St. John’s School, in Lichfield Road Walsall Wood, may be about to be demolished, and it’s site possibly redeveloped, together with the derelict bungalow next door.

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Posted in Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Panoramio photo discussions, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A walk in the woods

Just a headsup for folks interested in Lichfield history, geography and miscellany – top local historian, blogger and cardigan enthusiast Kate Gomez from the wonderful Lichfield Lore has organised a walk tomorrow around the woods, lanes and greens of Leomansley.
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Sharing the knowledge

Contributor and mainstay of the Brownhills Blog Andy Dennis has written to me, to point out some work he’s done on a story for another local history site – Andy has researched a mine explosion involving some of his relatives in the Moira Bath Pit in Leicestershire in 1845. It’s harrowing stuff, but fascinating.
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Book search – can you help?

I’m looking for a book – everyone knows that local history books get rare once they sell out of their initial runs – very often, titles appear fleetingly, and disappear into the ether without ever really being seen again.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments