I walk the line

This Sunday morning (15th June 2014 at 11:00am), there’s going to be a rather excellent event put on by Lichfield Discovered, a side project of Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore – a walk along the line of the great, legendary and hotly debated Hanch Tunnel.

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Anyone fancy some detective work?

South Staffordshire Water historian Chris Pattison continues to send me fascinating bits and bobs of local water-related history he finds in the company archives, and every one of them has been an absolute gem.1865 Application for Water Supply1

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Water supply issues in Brownhills, Aldridge & Pelsall

Seeing lots of reports of folk with no water or severely reduced pressure in our area, as far away as Aldridge, Brownhills and Pelsall – here’s the latest updates.
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Can you help The Clayhanger Kid?

I received a message today from friend of the blog and top local campaigner Brian Stringer, author of the best-selling (and now sold out) book The Clayhanger Kid – Brian is in a bit of a pickle – he’s still got people asking for copies of his first book, but sadly, he has none left.
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Putting a lid on it

The story of the abandoned Shire Oak Reservoir is a recurrent theme from the very earliest days of the Brownhills Blog.

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Supporting services

It’s been a while since I did a mapping post here on the blog, and yesterday, whilst visiting the open day at Christchurch, in Leomonsley, I saw a huge copy of the 1884 OS map of Lichfield that inspired me. If you ever get chance to see it, do so. A beautiful, A0-size hand-tinted copy, clearly for ecclesiastical use. A thing of rare and immense beauty.

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Watchers of the night?

Interesting question here from reader David Evans. I have my own views on this which I’ll go into later in the week, but it’s a very intriguing proposition, and thought I’d formally toss it out to you readers. Anyone know anything more? HI Bob I wonder if your readers can help. Gordon Mycock’s wonderful notes…

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Light flight

As regulars will know, I have lately posted articles featuring the stunning work of Aldridge amateur photographer Barry Carpenter, whose work frequently leaves me speechless. Barry is a very talented, creative chap, and one of the tools in his photographic armoury is Kite Aerial Photography, or KAP for short. I recently asked Barry to write…

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Sadler Road closure this Saturday!

Just a quick headsup to point out that Sadler Road in Brownhills will be closed at the junction of Lichfield Road from tonight (Friday 15th April 2011) until Sunday (17th April 2011) for sewer works. The works are being undertaken by A&H Construction. Thanks to Walsall Transport (on Facebook) for the info, details checked with…

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Old Brownhills pubs question: Can you help?

I have been contacted today by a reader who’s been studying local directories for details of people and businesses of old Brownhills. They have come upon two public houses recorded which neither of us have ever heard mentioned anywhere else. The first is The Royal Oak, in Green Lane, Walsall Wood, the second being The…

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The Clayhanger Kid

I spotted today in The Walsall Advertiser that local history buff and top bloke Brian Stringer has got a self-published book out at the moment, detailing his childhood growing up in Clayhanger. Brian mentioned the book was upcoming in some correspondence I had with him last year, and as soon as I heard it was…

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The importance of local knowledge

I notice the good folks at the Express & Star still seem to be having trouble with accuracy on their local patch. This puff piece, pointlessly punted for Walsall Council’s Arboretum revamp project would be fine if the hapless hack who compiled it knew anything about the park he was covering. That isn’t the Arboretum…

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Shire Oak Reservoir: detailed plans submitted

Many of the links in this post are .PDF files. If you haven’t already got it, go and get Adobe Reader before clicking on any of the links. I discovered today that detailed plans had finally been submitted for the site of the now demolished Shire Oak reservoir. It’s been some time since the first…

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Something is happening

I see that the site of the now demolished Shire Oak Reservoir has finally been sold to Morris Homes. Since outline planning permission for a housing development on the site was granted way back in 2006, the only thing standing in the way is the fine detail of any plan; houses will be built here…

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Down from above…

Tonight’s Express & Star had another feature about Shire Oak Reservoir, this time featuring a rather nice aerial shot of the completed demolition. The article is available online, but doesn’t feature the full photo, which kind of destroys the point of running it. I’ve been taking photos of the  demolition progress for weeks, but since…

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A very thorough investigation…

I noted this evening with some amusement that the good ol’ Express & Star lags behind the Brownhills Blog yet again. On Saturday, you’ll remember, I pointed out that demolition of the old Shire Oak reservoir had pretty much started. In that post, I included a picture or two of the machinery on site. Four…

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Look out, here comes rubble…

Interesting times up on Shire Oak at the moment. For the next six weeks, the Lichfield Road is going to be one-way between Shire Oak crossroads and Street’s Corner, downhill only, with a diversion round Lindon Road and temporary lights at Anchor Bridge, to enable replacement of gas mains. This is interesting, as there were…

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Express & Star: getting that sense of deja-vu

Out on a ride this afternoon, whilst indulging in tea and cake shaped nutrition near Uttoxeter, I pulled out the phone to absent-mindedly check twitter. To my surprise, I had been direct messaged; the poster wanted to know if I’d seen page 14 of the Express & Star. A quick phone call home informed me…

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A ride into the Staffordshire Moorlands… and trips closer to home.

Saturday, 13th June 2009 was a blistering, glorious summer day. I’d decided a couple of days before that I was going to get another long ride in – the weather looked like it was going to be terrific, and not being one to miss an opportunity, I prepared the bike for a long dayride. Setting…

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About that Express & Star article…

I’d just like to comment on the matter – so many people read the post I made on Friday that I was quite, quite shocked. I was unaware that my little niggle could engender so much comment and interested reaction. Thank you for all the comments – it’s nice to know that other people are…

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BrownhillsBob does the Express & Star’s homework – whilst they relocate Shire Oak to Brownhills Market…

Cheers, guys… When you contacted me and expressed interest in my blog post about Shire Oak reservoir, I was naturally flattered – everyone who creates a blog about anything on the net dreams of getting something into the conventional printed media, and the thought of getting a credit of some kind in the Express &…

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Shire Oak’s buried secret…

More precisely, everything I can find out about Shire Oak Reservoir. When I was a teenager, I used to pass the unassuming green embankment by the lights at Shire Oak without much thought. Everybody knew that there was a reservoir there, behind the railings; everyone also ‘knew’ that the reservoir had been built, cracked after…

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