Tag Archives: Walsall Observer

The race for space

Thanks to Stuart Williams of Walsall Local History Centre, I can share with readers today another piece in the remarkable jigsaw that is the Ferrie family history – the Ferries, as many old hands will recall, were a larger than life father and son who were well known in Aldridge and Brownhills for their entrepreneurialism and propensity to acts of community largesse and showmanship.

Bessie Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, 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, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Ferrie on the cut – but who with, and where?

I love how the blog allows stories to unfold slowly, gradually adding more and more information and evidence as time passes; and so it is with the story of the Charles Ferrie narrowboat, which Ralph Ferrie donated to Brownhills Youth Club in 1962, and was named in memory of his father.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger 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, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Is it our fault?

Reader John Blanchard has been in touch all the way from Aukland in New Zealand with some interesting and hopefully debate-provoking memories of subsidence effects in Walsall Wood from the 1960s onwards.

walsall_wood_arial_photo Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Me engine’s flooded!

I’ve been contacted by readers Denis Jones and Ian Race, who both spotted a rather extraordinary thing at Chasewater yesterday: an echo of the past, whit modern amphibious cars cruising around the lake.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Squatters rights?

Sometimes I get emails or contacts out of the blue with subjects that just knock me flat – and overnight I received a lovely, kind email from Malcolm Clarke, an ex-local now residing in New Zealand – Malcolm has an interesting bit of history I had no idea had occurred locally.
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Posted in Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

At silly mid on

A few weeks ago, the young David Evans started exploring the history of Walsall Wood Cricket Club here on the Brownhills Blog, following some great contributions by Julie Le-Moine – steadily, we’re building up a good record of the lost cricket club, which stood where Boundary Close is now, behind St John’s Church and the Library.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Park up, take a pew…

Over the last few weeks, a newspaper clipping found in the Walsall Observer archive by [Howmuch?] has caused a whole heap of interest, reporting the laying of a foundation stone for the ‘new schools at Watling Street’, readers have debated where it might actually relate to.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A treat for the choir and an ignominious extraction

Continuing with the surprisingly rich seam that is the thread originating from the 1931 Watling Street School Walsall Observer article, I’ve had a couple of excellent reader contributions which I just have to share.
park view 2 Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cheques and balances

It’s often the case that when discussing one topic here on the Brownhills Blog, it leads to an interesting discussion going off at a tangent, and so it has with the subject of the Watling Street School Walsall Observer article from 1931.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tell me on a Sunday

Last Saturday, I featured the above newspaper clipping, taken from the Walsall Observer reporting the laying of a foundation stone for the ‘new schools at Watling Street’ – the image, which was found by local history wonk [Howmuch?], had scant accompanying information, but since posted, he has told me that he’s fairly sure the clip dates from 1931.
Rehoboth 1938 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Set in stone… but by who, and when?

Here’s a quick puzzle for the researchers out there, and think it’ll also be interesting to Mike Stackhouse, who I know has a particular interest in Watling Street School – a fumble in the newspaper archive has left me coming up empty – so I’m wondering if anyone knows anything about the clipping below?
Watling st school 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The equestrian question?

Here’s one spotted by top local history ferret [Howmuch?] in the archives of the Walsall Observer – he doesn’t give an exact date, but says this is from 1926, and I’m wondering what readers know or can find out about our equine history?

Brownhills jockey Continue reading

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

Gathering moss

The Clayhanger subsidence and pumping station thread seems to have provoked much interest in the past week – there has been a great deal of reader comment, and I have further bits to add to the story in coming days.
clayhanger Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Amphibious Ferrie

I’m very pleased to note that Tony Winn has been in touch again – Tony seems to be something of an expert on the Ralph Ferrie history, and has formerly contributed some fine material relating to the larger-than-life local entrepreneur.
Amphycar on Chasewater
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Ferrie cross the Ogley

Tony Wynn – a man who’s previously helped with matters relating to the Ralph Ferrie story here on the Brownhills Blog – sent me the above, wonderful image today, with a covering note.
Charlie Ferrie canalboat Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger 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, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The class of 64?

Reader Pete Leek has sent me the above newspaper clipping of a prize giving at Brownhills Central Boy’s School around 196 – note the keen, fresh faces and dapper dress.
pete school days Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Clubmen

Here’s a good one found by reader and local historian Clive Roberts, on the subject of Friezlane Lane Working Men’s Club, which I made an appeal for information about last week.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, 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, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Downstream

Thanks to reader David Oakley and the ever-diligent [Howmuch?], I’ve since found out that my speculation that Moss Pits was the location of Clayhanger Pumping Station to be utter twaddle. I’d heard the name before, yet couldn’t locate it. Since … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stirling Moss

I’ve a puzzler for readers of The Brownhills Blog. It’s more of a clarification, really. Top local history ferret [Howmuch?] has been rootling throughout he archives again, and came up with this snippet from the Walsall Observer. I’ve transcribed it … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Dabbling in Heroine

One thing I’ve come to realise as I get older and do more of this local history stuff is that nothing is ever quite what it seems. This morning, Graeme Clarke sent me the clipping relating to the remarkable story … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A local heroine: what do you know?

Sometimes, something just comes out of left field and takes you by surprise. So it is with this clipping, sent to me 30 minutes ago by reader Graeme Clarke. I had no idea about this incredible lady and her fascinating … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Plane bizarre

Here’s one from the odd box: spotted by local history whizz Stuart ‘The Edditer’ Williams, curator of the superlative Bloxwich Telegraph. Do any readers remember this? First mention of the event I’ve ever seen. A remarkable occurrence, which must have … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Build a rocket, boys!

This just in from the ‘You couldn’t make it up’ department. Top local history ferret [Howmuch?] spotted this article in the archive of The Walsall Observer, from the issue of Friday, 3rd January 1958. Charles Ferrie was the father of … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, 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, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Sink estate?

Here’s an interesting one turfed out by local history genius [Howmuch?], who’s still raiding the box under his sideboard for interesting clippings from local papers. The man really is a history magpie and a bit of a star. This extract … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Urban Exploration at Linley Caverns, in 1957

Hat tip here to the ongoing and excellent research being carried out by top local history ferret [Howmuch?], who’s located this smashing article from the August 16th, 1957 edition of the Walsall Observer. You’ll have to make do with my … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

The night the roof fell in

Brian Stringer – The Clayhanger Kid himself – has very kindly contacted me with his memories of the October 1956 accident at Walsall Wood Colliery. Brian sent me the following: Hi Bob. The article you featured re the medals presented … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Heroes of the underground

I thank [Howmuch?] for the following contribution, which he found amongst his paperwork while having his annual clear out. He really is every it the star… CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD. St. James’s Paloce, S.W.1. 12th February, 1957. … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stay pressed

In the wake of the continuing closure of local papers, this time in Cannock and South Staffordshire, there’s a very interesting article written by good friend of the Brownhills Blog, Stuart Williams, over at he is revitalised Bloxwich Telegraph. I … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Express & Star, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Soldiers on Brownhills Common in 1888?

This is local history dynamite. Top local history sleuth [Howmuch?] has been rooting through old papers again, and came upon the following article from the Walsall Observer, dated  June 16th, 1888. The image is as rough as a badger’s bum … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The George & Dragon, Clayhanger: What do you know?

I received a comment last week from reader Kylie who was interested in The George and Dragon in Clayhanger at the turn of the last century. She asked: Hi there, I’m interested in any history about the george and dragon pub … Continue reading

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

A dying trade

You may remember that way back in February, I posted an article on the mysterious mortuary situated near Bullings Heath in Walsall Wood. The morgue in question had been mentioned by reader [CAZ], and subsequently spotted on a large-scale map of … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Features, Followups, Local History, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Book Lovers

Here’s one for the Central School chaps to ponder over, and may also be of interest to the folks at Brownhills Memorial Hall. Thanks to [Howmuch?] for the spot.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Meanwhile, over in Brownhills West…

It’s funny how some things happen in twos and threes. The same anonymous contributor who doggedly sought out the story of the massive 2,240lb. ‘Hermann’ wartime bomb, discovered and defused in Walsall Wood, noticed this side-story in the same 1968 … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Events, Followups, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Going down a bomb

I’m eternally grateful to an anonymous reader who’s been trawling through old newspapers looking for the report of an event he recalls from his childhood. Occurring just up the road in Walsall Wood, this find caused no small controversy at … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments