The long march: 50 years of jazz band history

Readers who’ve been hanging around this ramshackle, leaky village pump for a while will no doubt remember how we’ve touched here on the history of local marching bands, particularly the Burntwood Blue Birds Jazz Band.

10847400_10205110054369560_5194641721673395470_o

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Cliff and the Bluebirds – not Dover, but Birmingham!

Last week here I featured a film clip made be photo restorer and friend of the blog Lisa Ashby, celebrating Brownhills and the Black Country – Well, Lisa’s been at it again, and made a lovely clip about The Burntwood Bluebirds, the award-winning marching band from Burntwood.

905673_10205101761762250_8714830110682704753_o

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Burntwood Blue Birds reunion this evening

As usual, I’m a bit late to the party with this but this is a very important announcement for anyone who was a member of, or is interested in the marching bands so popular in our area that were huge from the 1930s onwards, but particularly in the 60s-90s.

10847400_10205110054369560_5194641721673395470_o

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Marching through the memories

Long-term readers will remember well friend of the blog Wendy Jones, who donated so much material to the blog – both in the form of photos of the area before the mM6 Toll came through, and her main interest, the history of local marching bands, particularly the Burntwood Blue Birds Jazz Band.

11200949_10205157161907219_4939393328539560788_o

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Don’t disrupt the bingo!

Today, reader and longstanding friend of the Brownhills Blog Stuart Cowley mailed me the above wonderful image of Chasetown Working Men’s Club Committee from years past, when Stuart’s Dad was involved.

chasetown working mens club committee

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Strike up the band!

This is a huge post, but it’s just so wonderful I couldn’t butcher it – Wendy Jones has been working hard and supplying me with loads of material relating to her time in the Burntwood Blue Birds Marching Jazz Band.
1374601_10201282923413678_1689447942_n

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

The march of time

I think it’s fair to say that in writing and curating this blog, fate occasionally turns up some remarkable material – whatever else this thing I labour over has done, it has actually seemed to have connected people to their history, and on rare occasions it has put back in touch people who were once familiar, but became separated by time or distance.
1383582_10201246300898138_1452577973_n

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Local or distant?

This is nice, quick one that came in at the weekend from reader and friend of the Brownhills Blog, Stuart Cowley, whose passion is Marching Jazz Bands and their history…2511-0

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

The spirit of radio

Here’s an interesting piece from reader and friend of the blog Stuart Cowley – I spent my teenage years glued to Beacon and miss it’s old, original incarnation terribly before the days of playlists and targeted marketing, the station was radical, quirky and had real Black Country personality.3632283925_2960c2959c_z

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Let it bee

Reader and friend of the blog Stuart Cowley asked me if I’d plug this talk for him. It is, of course, a pleasure. Anyone who wants anything publicising, please do contact me.

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Marching on

I’ve had a blistering article mailed in from reader and friend of the Brownhills Blog, Stuart Cowley. Stuart, you’ll recall, has written and supplied some great material on the subject of Chasewater, and his pictures and recollections of the cafe there have been very popular.

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

A Chasewater childhood

Regulars will remember that recently, I featured a post from reader Stuart Cowley, who generously recounted mhos memories of of summers spent in and around Chasewater, where his family worked at the cafe.

Rate this post...
Continue Reading

Memories of Chasewater

I’ve had a great email from reader Stuart Cowley, about growing up and spending summers helping his family out at the cafe in Chasewater in the 1960s. It’s a really touching, well-written piece. I remember the Chasewater of the 70s, when it was running down, but at it’s height it seems to have been a real leisure attraction.

Rate this post...
Continue Reading