Tag Archives: Pedro

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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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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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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A mine of information

In my last article, I pointed out that I’d received extra information on a couple of posts over the weekend – both on the Anglesey/sea question, and also on the Mine Rescue Team image shared by John Sale and Bill Mayo.

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Rescue me

The great Bill Mayo, local historian and photo collector, has recently been digging in his files and found a few mystery images, like the one above of a local mines rescue team.

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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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Welcome to the pleasure grounds

I am indebted to friends of the blog and top local historians Clive Roberts and Stuart Williams who both sent me copies of the following image of Coalpool Pleasure Grounds taken I believe around 1910.

Pleasure ground Coalpool Continue reading

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In Coalpool did Brewer a pleasure ground erect?

Last week I revealed the mystery archive where I’d been finding all those great architecture pictures, and also pointed out that the filing system was curious, in that there seemed to be several dislocated images in the system – including the one of ‘Harden Hall’, which actually turned out to not be a Walsall image at all.
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The Old Hednesford Pit Disaster: a question of Merrit

Incisive and tenacious historian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been quietly continuing his investigations into the Old Hednesford Colliery Disaster, the 1911 accident that was brought to our attention when Reg ‘Are Reg’ Fullelove donated a poem he’d come to have in his collection to the blog.

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Thomas Stokes: Unsung hero of the Old Hednesford Pit Disaster

I must say there hasn’t been enough local history stuff here of late and it has also been too long since I last featured a research article by the incisive and tenacious historian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler.

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A Brownhills hero caught on film

A couple of weeks ago, I ran an article here that has proven remarkably popular: a story of amazing sporting heroism and a subsequent life of administering fair play as a snooker referee – the wonderful life story of local man Geoff Harrington.
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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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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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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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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.

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Trouble brewing?

There’s something I’ve been needing to get off my chest for a good while, and it won’t go away – however, recent finds and articles on the blog have brought it to the fore in my mind, and this is as good a juncture as any to brooch the subject: William Roberts is not recognised enough in our collective history.
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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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Safe as houses?

I’m pleased to say that, somewhat like rust, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler never sleeps, and his tireless and somewhat relentless pursuit of the evidential history behind some of the commonly accepted ‘authoritative sources’ of local mining history continues unabated.

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An electoral deformity

It’s interesting to note that Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler is coming over all iconoclastic again – and I, for one, welcome it, as Peter has a fine record of kicking over the statues of the local mining history – particularly in regard the the Harrison colliery dynasty.
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Vapour trials

The really fascinating thing about curating this blog is the way it inspires people to look into not just history, but the retelling of it; I have been banging on for years that we need to be careful not just of our own accounts and beliefs, but also of those accounts we hold as truths from authoritative sources.

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Swept everything before it

Last weekend, I revisited for the first time in ages the subject that was once so prominent here – Chasewater dam – but not in reference to the recent renovations, but to the creation of the reservoir and the failure of the earthwork dam in 1799.
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The darkness of those days

Mindful of the day and occasion, regular contributor and blog stalwart Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler wrote to me with an interesting couple of things to check out relating to the Second World War and Birmingham – I wasn’t aware of either, and they’ve been eye-openers, to be quite honest. Birmingham_Blitz_D_4126 Continue reading

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A fit of Peake?

I had this one in a couple of days ago from Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who continues his dogged research into local mining history, and the relationship between those above ground and those whose labours they depended upon beneath them.
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On the nightwatch

Now here’s a wonderful thing from local history Rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who in his usual inimitable style, has been rootling trough the newspaper archives for references to the air raids alluded to in the St John’s School log book I featured at the weekend.

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From Brownhills to Tottenham

Back in May, 2013, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler turned up the intriguing story of Cecil Poynton, a footballer of some note from Brownhills, and at the time, we could find little about the chap, and it seemed that in the annals of local sporting history, Cecil was somewhat overshadowed by the seemingly more well-know Dickie Dorsett, whose career has been covered here previously.

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Nailed it

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Puddled

We have talked a lot recently about the Birchills Ironworks, Talbot Stead Tube Works (latterly Sterling Tubes), and have ruminated on the nature of metal bashing and other industry – in his initial perusal of The Graphic, Peter spotted the following article relating to metal production in Cleveland, and I think it’s worth a read.
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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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An overwhelming sense of duty

Sister Dora is a beloved, dear heroine of Walsall; remembered long after her passing, she is a local heroine whose memory shines like a light in the grim, darkened industrial past of Walsall – her statue – finally restored to it’s rightful place on The Bridge, in the town centre – still sees regular laying of flowers and visits by those interested in the remarkable history it records.

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Fit for a queen

Continuing the Carnival theme (can there be a better one for such a summery spell?) Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been weaving his rapscallion magic and dredging the newspaper archive, finding two pieces in the Lichfield Mercury of 12th July 1935 and 25th July of the same year.
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That sinking feeling

I’m sure most of us have heard the tale from tour guides, teachers or those ‘in the know’ that the famous – some would say infamous – statue of Captain Smith in Beacon Park, Lichfield was originally made for Smith’s hometown, Hanley, in the Potteries, but was refused in shame and Lichfield took it instead.
Statue of Captain Edward Smith, RD, RNR in Beacon Park Lichfield Continue reading

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A bride in Jasmine

Here’s an excellent find sent to me this morning by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, in response to my somewhat tenuous enquiry about Jasmine Cottage.

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The far pavilion

I said I’d return to the subject of Walsall Wood F.C. in due course, and today, I have some interesting pieces of the jigsaw to throw in, courtesy of readers. I’ve got other contributions on the subject to come, too, which will be developed in a subsequent post.

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A spectator writes…

What I really enjoy about doing this blog is those times when we get a historical snippet, then explore it through various avenues, take it and run with it. Often, this not only reveals the story to be different to that originally stated, but also a fascinating journey through what would otherwise be lost local history.
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Stand up!

In honour of the great footballing occasion currently bestowed upon Walsall Wood, the inexhaustible Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, assisted by young David Evans has been making busy with the newspaper archives, and unleashed a deluge of historical articles about our favourite local soccer club.

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Meanwhile, in court a century ago…

Reader Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has again been ferreting in the newspaper archives, and this time has taken a look at crimes coming before Brownhills Petty Sessions – a magistrates court for the town, that sat regularly and dealt with low-level crime.
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The biggest liar in town

We all know the three-faced liar in Brownhills. The Council House Clock – stopped, restored, restarted, stopped, restored, restarted. I lie in bed on warm summer nights and hear it chime the hour over a sleeping, somnambulant town, usually incorrectly. It’s a thing of pride, embarrassment and hilarity in the community.
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Surging forward

I should have known, really. No sooner had I delved into the fascinating world of the Brownhills surge stack, then Ian Pell, railway historian extraordinaire, had written to me with a whole bunch of new information, clarifications and even a few questions.
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Hiding in plain sight?

It seems like we’re in a period for odd historical tangents and discoveries. It all started with Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler’s classic bit of gentrified nimbyism from ‘Captain’ Harrison at Aldershaw(e). From there, we alighted at Sandfields Pumping Station at Lichfield, and found a wonderful, but neglected steam engine. We’ve found since, via Peter’s further diligent research, and that of Dave Moore, a chap clearly expert on the matter, that there was a long forgotten water tower in Brownhills.

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Not in MY backyard (1896 style)…

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been in touch with a lovely quick snippet he spotted in the excellent History of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company, which is available online for free. It really is an excellent read and deserves wider exposure.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Harrison dynasty: Beginnings in Coal, 1849

Regular reader, commentarian and contributor extraordinaire Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler sent me this article some weeks ago now, and I’ve been waiting to finish the Pelsall Boiler Explosion series, so it has a clear deck. This is a continuation in Peter’s … Continue reading

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In pursuit of the truth

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, one of several readers and contributors without whom this blog would be nothing at all, has something to say, and I think we need to listen. Carefully. There’s something disturbing him, and me, in the way some … Continue reading

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An unimaginable hell

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been continuing his diligent work of researching the history of the Harrison Company and Family, looking into the darkest corners of the mining industry in Brownhills and its surrounds over a century ago. Peter is particularly … Continue reading

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The social contract

There has been some discussion here recently between regulars David Evans and Peter Cutler about miners working at Walsall Wood Colliery on day to day contracts. As a consequence, Peter found the following article in the Lichfield Mercury of Friday, … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The truth will out

I see that Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler continues his diligent and painstaking examination of the Harrison Company, family and concerns. The Harrisons, readers will recall, were wealthy mine owners hereabouts, and Peter has spent a great deal of time in recent … Continue reading

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I read the news today, oh boy…

I had a really useful and informative mail the other day from top walker and fellow Panoramio poster Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler. Peter, whose walking exploits are documented extensively in his huge, beautiful gallery, loves local history just like I do … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments