Walsall Wood Past and Present

The Village of Walsall Wood was a thriving community with a Colliery, Railway Station, busy shops in the High Street, and a variety of industries all located around the Church of St Johns. Sadly over the years the industry and retail shopping have gradually declined.

Situated on the High St, Saint  Johns Church is the focal point of the village.Built with Staffordshire blue engineering bricks in 1837, the church was originally consecrated in the parish of Walsall, but became a separate district in 1845, and was then known as district of St John Walsall Wood.

The Church was extended in 1886 and again in 1896 using ordinary red brickwork. The organ was installed in 1896 and in 1903 a 4 ft diameter clock was fitted in the tower side facing the High Street. A war memorial stands in front of the Church, inscribed with the names of the Walsall Wood people who gave their lives in the two world wars. Also in the Church is a miner’s lamp engraved with the names of the miners who lost their lives in the 1930 Grove Pit disaster.

Saint Johns Church February 2010, in the process of having a new roof fitted.

Walsall Wood was built around the mining industry. Known locally as The Coppy Pit, Walsall Wood Colliery, was opened in 1874

Two brick-lined shafts, each of 15 feet in diameter were sunk to a depth of 576 yards. The cages used to transport the miners to and from the pit bottom, and to bring the coal to the surface, were of 2 deck construction. Fitted onto the cages was a large water tank which was used to remove the water that had seeped into the workings.

A furnace was initially installed in the pit bottom, to ventilate the mine. It was replaced by an electric fan system in 1950.

In the first half of the 20th Century, a total of 1000 people were employed throughout the site, along with 50 to 60 pit ponies who rarely came to the surface.

Each week 6500 tons off coal left the site in Lindon Road. Being adjacent to the Wyrley and Essington canal, coal was loaded directly into narrow boats, for distribution by water. Links by rail were via the Midland Railway line to Aldridge, and a token operated single track line, direct to the marshalling yard at Norton Junction, Pelsall. Details of these railway lines can be found on other pages in this blog.

Like most Collieries Walsall Wood operated its own steam locomotives.

One of the Walsall Wood locomotives was 0-6-0 Lord Kitchener (photo courtesy of chasewaterstuff)

During the early 1960’s, the coal seams gradually diminished, and were eventually exhausted by 1964. The Colliery finally closed on October the 30th 1964.

For a short time after the closure, the mine workings were used to dispose of  Industrial waste from Leigh Environmental, trading as Effluent Disposal.

The site of the old Colliery is now used as an industrial estate.

Some of the original buildings in Lindon Road, have been converted into industrial units.

A memorial to the Colliery,  was erected in January 2010. Standing 60 feet tall the pit head replica is the largest of its type in the world, and stands in Oak Park close to the site of the old coppy pit.

The monument was designed and built by Luke Perry and his team from Industrial Heritage Stronghold.

 

Another major industry in Walsall Wood since 1775, was the manufacture of bricks. The ground around Walsall Wood is rich with red clay known as Etruria Marl which is used to produce the famous Staffordshire Blue engineering brick. Due to its high strength, and its very low rate of water absorbtion, it was used mainly for foundations, as well as being widely used in the canal and railway industries, for general buildings and bridges. Open cast mines were excavated on the Aldridge side of Walsall Wood to cope with the high demand for this extremely useful  product.

Most major Collieries had their own brickworks, and the Coppy pit  was no exception, when in the 1870’s the colliery and brickworks were opened side by side in Paul’s Coppice. Being adjacent to the Wyrley and Essington canal, 2 basins were constructed, one  for the colliery and the other for the brick works, to enable the end products to be loaded directly into narrow boats, for nationwide canal transportation. Distribution by rail was via the Midland Railway line to Aldridge, and a single track line direct to the marshalling yard at Norton Junction Pelsall. The brick works at Walsall Wood Colliery closed down in the 1920’s. 

Further brick yards were opened around the open cast mines in Stubbers Green, and a rail link cut through Shelfield, to connect with the Walsall to Lichfield line at Pelsall.

 

 

There were 6 major brickworks in the area, Barnett & Beddows, Atlas Brickworks, Empire Brickworks, Vigo Brickworks, Joberns Brickworks, and Aldridge Brick and Tile who manufactured the Utopia brick.

Road transport gradually replaced rail logistics and eventually the rail line closed.

There are only two brick manufacturers left in the area now, namely Salverson in Stubbers Green, and Ibstock, in Brickyard Road, who took over Aldridge Brick and Tile in 1965.

The Aldridge branch of the Midland Railway, built-in 1882 to transport freight from Norton Canes and the Cannock Chase coalfields, passed through the centre of Walsall Wood. A station was built on the land now known as Oak Park, adjacent to Lichfield road, and a passenger service commenced in 1884. 

The passenger service ceased in 1931 but coal traffic lasted until 1962 when the line eventually closed.

A children’s play area now occupies the site of the old station.

In 1904 a single track tramway was constructed from the terminus, opposite St Johns Church, into Walsall Town Centre

Lasting until 1927 the trams were then replaced by motor buses.

In April 1951 a more modern bus drives over the narrow hump back bridge at the end of the High Street.

A  footbridge was under construction for the safety of pedestrians to negotiate this dangerous bridge

 

Photographed in July 2010 the next photo shows how a major reconstruction of the bridge, incorporated a much wider roadway, with a more friendlier gradient, with footpaths on both sides.

One of the latest Travel West Midlands buses, leaves the High Street on its way to Walsall August 2010

Situated at the corner of Brook Lane, and Lichfield road, was a parcel delivery firm. Formed in the early 20th century by Charles Collins, it was originally called Collins parcel delivery specialists

Using a fleet of blue painted Bedford vans, the company offered a daily parcel delivery and collection service, within a 50 mile radius from their Walsall Wood base.

In the late 1960’s Collins Express Parcel Service, as it was then called, formed part of United Carriers. With the head office based in Wellingborough, it had 22 depots in the UK and with 3000 personnel, it offered a nationwide parcel service. Each depot ran a fleet of mainly Bedford vans in the new yellow livery, delivering and collecting in their locality.

A nightly trunking service ran between each depot using ERF articulated vehicles.

Each depot employed a night-shift, of sorter/loaders who ensured that the delivery vans were loaded for the next day’s delivery.

The French company Geodis bought out United Carriers in 1999, and then in 2002 they ceased trading with a job loss of 92 employees at the Walsall Wood depot.

A number of houses have been built, on the large piece of land, made available by the company closing down.

In the days before the extensive coverage of television, entertainment was by means of local cinemas. Most towns had at least one cinema and Walsall Wood was no exception. Situated in Brookland Road, the Palace Cinema, or the Blood Tub, as it was known locally,opened in 1913.

The noise coming from the steel corrugated roof in heavy rain, made it extremely difficult to hear the soundtrack of the film.

The late 1950’s saw the demise of many local cinema’s, and the Palace finally closed in June 1957.

A block of flats were erected on the land, when the cinema was demolished.

Walsall and District Co-op Society opened a store in the High Street opposite the Church, and offered a milk delivery service, using a horse-drawn milk float.

A new store was built on the corner of High Street, and Coppice Road.

It was converted to a self-service store in May 1957.

The  store closed in the late 1970’s.

Walsall Council built a neighbourhood office on the site of the Co-op store in 1981. With the re-organisation of Walsall council the office was closed in 2005. In 2007 Walsall Wood library was re-located from their old building in Lichfield Road into the vacant neighbourhood office.

Education in Walsall Wood was provided by the Lichfield road school of St Johns, which was opened in 1859.

 It was  then relocated to Brook lane in the late 1970’s.

The school at Streets Corner was opened in 1903, with Mr Street as the Headmaster. This is how Streets Corner acquired its name.

In later years, further Schools were built-in the outer areas of Walsall Wood. Castlefort School opened in 1960, and Shire Oak Grammer opened in 1961. Shire Oak Secondary modern opened in 1966, and then later merged with the Grammer school to form Shire Oak Comprehensive.

Apart from St Johns Church, other places of worship have been built-in Walsall Wood.

Built in 1878 on the Walsall Road, between the canal and Hall lane, was the old Westley Church.

In later years the Church was used as a Sunday School, followed by Hawkins & sons, organ factory, and H B Case leather works.

In 1902, a new Westley Church was built-in the High Street, opposite where St Johns surgery now stands.

 

This was closed in 1959 and demolished as part of the bridge and road development.

On Lichfield Road towards Streets Corner, was the Methodist Church, together with the adjacent Sunday School.

A present day photo shows the Church, standing alone, with the Sunday School having been demolished.

As well as the Co-op, many other shops have come and gone, in the Lichfield Road and the High Street, including the following.

Bayleys ran a shop at Streets Corner.

It was later changed to a Hairdressers, to be run by Mary Bayley, who is the little girl in the above photo. Now taken over by David James, the shop is still in business as a hairdressing establishment.

One of the larger stores in Lichfield Road was Batkins General Store.

Today the building is used by Roadrunner which is a thriving car spares and accessories company.

On the corner of  Beech Tree Road and the High Street was Emery’s Drapers.

In later years it was used by Whynott Cycles, until the shop was demolished and the area landscaped.

 

Jesse Shilvock ran a small one man cobbler shop for 17 years in the High Street.

After his retirement the shop was taken over by a motor cycle spares company, but a sign outside, suggests that another change of use is on the cards.

Opposite St Johns Church was Headley’s shop.

It as since been used by the Midland Bank, opening Tuesday and Thursday only. Then a pet shop, followed by Ashcroft Funerals and Memorials. When Ashcroft re-located, the building was a fruit and veg shop for a short time before its present use as a sandwich shop.

A small general store in the High Street was originally run by Mrs Boucher.

It was taken over by Mrs Williams, who ran it until her retirement, in the 1990’s.

Today the shop premises forms part of the Drunken Duck’s extension.

Side by side was Bill Holmes Greengrocer, and Don Smith Butcher’s shops. After Bill Holmes retired, the greengrocer’s shop, was run by Don’s wife Chris. When Don & Chris retired in 2005, Ashcroft Funeral Directors and memorials, re-located from opposite St Johns Church, into the two vacant buildings.

On the Walsall side of Don Smiths, would have been the new Westley Church, and Ecob’s Chemists.

Sadly both buildings have now gone, demolished as part of the road and bridge development.

Like most mining villages Walsall Wood has had its share of public houses. In the first part of the 20th Century there were four pubs on the Walsall side of the canal bridge. Standing on the corner of Boatmans Lane was the Boot Inn

On the same side of the road between Boatmans Lane and the canal, was the Travellers Rest.

The Coach and Horses, which was opposite the Travellers Rest, sold Blencowe’s Beer.

The fourth pub in the vicinity was the Horse and Jockey.

The four public houses, were sacrificed for industrial development, and a new drinking establishment, was built on the land behind the old Horse and Jockey. Originally called the Poachers Pocket, it as since been re-named The Horse and Jockey.

The Hawthorn stood in the High Street

After a few changes in name and structure, over the years, it is now known as the Drunken Duck.

Also in the High Street was the Red Lion.

After modernisation it is now known as The Boatmans Rest

Linda Robottom, daughter of David & Lucy Ray who were licensees of the Red Lion for many years, as sent me the following photo’s of the Red Lion and some of the regulars. Actual years when they were taken are not known.

Red Lion 002 Red Lion 003 Red Lion 004

Red Lion 006 Red Lion 007 Red Lion 008Red Lion 001

A more recent drinking house is the Royal Exchange.

Situated in Hall Lane was The Beehive.

Since it closed as a public house, it as been, a Foundry, Flats, and is now an Engineering Factory owned by Niken.

At the end of Hall Lane was the old Black Cock.

A new pub was built, retaining the name, on the corner of Hall Lane and Green Lane.

 On the site of Wally Evans Car Sales, in the High Street, is the new St Johns Medical Centre, re-located from Beech Tree Road.

The old site in Beech Tree Road as been re-developed and a Care Home built.

Since I moved into Walsall Wood during 1971, there have been many changes to the High Street. From those early days, only three business’s remain the same. The Transport Cafe, although having had numerous owners, still caters for locals, and passing lorry drivers, who can park on the lorry park at the rear.

Claridge Electrical still rents and sells televisions and domestic appliances. Sadly the owner Percy Claridge passed away on 30/10 2005.

Last but not least Trevor, who, even after his heart by-pass surgery, still operates his one man Gents Hairdressers, as he as done for the past 40 years or more.

One of the later shops to open in the High Street is the Spar Shop.

The store which includes a Post Office, is a thriving business open from 6-00am, until 8-00pm daily, and is a credit to the proprietors Rash and Lata Patel, who along with all their staff are very friendly and helpful.

150 Responses to “Walsall Wood Past and Present”

  1. D Evans Says:

    It was the Ebenezer Methodist Church that was demolished, not the Sunday School building, which is still standing and is now Walsall Wood Methodist Church. The foundation stone of Ebenezer is incorporated in the wall of the new side building. I think the foundation stone of the very original Chapel is still in the front boudary wall. Ebenezer Chapel was demolished because dry rot had affected the building. The little lad looking at the train is named Barry and he is standing on the Rabbit bridge in Vigo Road…in around 1950 or so.
    An excellent article showing how the Wood has evolved over the years. My congratulations, Oakparkrunner. David Evans

    • pamela evans Says:

      hello , my mame is pamela evans , iam looking for people there that might be related to william and anna evans ,he had a brother thomas , they moved to nova scotia in the late1800;s ,any information would be helpful , ty

  2. Frank Says:

    Great site on Walsall Wood Residents/buildings. Lets not forget our local barber ‘Trev’ he has been a wonderfull servant to the locals for over 40 yrs and a very well liked man.Isn’t it amazing how your town changes, and at times we don’t even notice. Its great to have a site like this to show the past and the present, like or dislike the changes. thanks to oak park runner for your work.Ive only been around 40+ yrs but my father drove trucks for Bressingtons transport up on the right in brooklands road when i was a youth, so i do have some memories.

    • Linda Robottom Says:

      My mother Lucy Ray, used to be Rose Bressington’s best friend, & Evan used to drink in the Red Lion also. We used to go on holidays with Rose, my mother & I,& Evan used to be our Santa for the Local’s children at Christmas, when we gave out presents, & had parties for them. We had a savings club at the pub & used to have parties for the children & coach trips to the sea side, & Christmas meals for the older members of our village. Mom had been known to provide sustinence,in the form of Sunday lunches for our locals who missed their dinners at home, due to the wives having binned them due to their husbands extra few minutes spent over that one last pint, at the Lion. Have many happy memories of Rose & Evan, both. We used to arrange charabangs, where we used to visit Evan’s brothers club in the evenings, after having a day out at either Barry Island, or Porthcawl, in Bridgend, & they would reciprocate by coming to Walsall Wood for a night out. The thing I remember most was the car park at the club, it was so steep that there was a rope that you could hold on to, to haul yourself up to the top of the car park if you were a little worse of ware,after a few bevies in the evening. This happened fairly often as the club was in a dry area of Wales on a Sunday! Also standing up at the end of the night,respectfully for the playing of the national anthems of Wales & England, the end of a perfect day..

  3. clive Says:

    Great site mate, brings back alot of memorys of walsall wood when I was a lad, do like like the photos of then and now, works well.
    cheers clive

  4. Keep on running… « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog Says:

    [...] Read more at Oakparkrunner’s blog… [...]

  5. Nick Says:

    Wow..brilliant. Thanks very much..! Happy memories.. :-)
    Are the black and white pic of the High Street and pubs ect available in a book or any other form of publication..? Id love to get a copy of a few of them.

    • oakparkpacersrc Says:

      Thanks for reading my blog and your comments. There is a booklet with these photographs in. Entitled MEMORIES OF OLD WALSALL WOOD, by Bill Mayo & John Sale, printed in September 2000 price £4.99. It was sold locally in local newsagents in Walsall Wood and Downes in Brownhills. There may be a copy in the Library. It was printed by COLOUR GRAPHICS Tel 01543 682181. Good Hunting. If you can’t download from my blog I could E mail copies of the photo’s that interest you. kind regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

  6. Anne Matthews Says:

    My mom and dad had the paper shop in the high street from 1968-1975
    and i remember taking the pink pappers on a saturday night to the red lion and the hawthrorn pubs and some of the other shops.

    • Brian jones Says:

      Hi Ann,the paper shop in the high street was owned by Beales before your mom and dad,i done the castlefort paper round for 3 years untill i left school in 64,There was Beales who had the red plastic paper bags in the high street,Claytons opposite the school,can anyone remember who ran the papershop at streets corner,i cant.Brian.

      • John CLaon Says:

        Hi Anne and Brain
        My parents used to have the paper shop opposite the school called Claytons and I think the other shop on Streets Corner was Bentons. My mom and dad left the paper shop in 1981 and moved up the roar to next to Roadrunner.
        Hope to hear from you both
        John Clayton

  7. stymaster Says:

    Top post- can’t believe I’ve missed it until BrownhillsBob linked it: I’ll make sure I drop by more often.

    I can just remember the old bridge: I’ve lived in Walsall Wood since around 1994 (so i remember the greengrocers, butchers, and Mrs Williams) but some family have lived in the area for more than 40 years, so I remember waiting to go over the old, narrow bridge. I’m also fairly sure I remember that the bridge at the end of Queen St was still open to traffic in the 70s?

    My neighbours mentioned there was a small shop in Coppice Rd- anyone remember it?

    I’m glad you’ve pointed out where some of the old buildings were: this isn’t clear from some of the local history books.

    • Hayley Says:

      I remember two shops in Coppice Road. The first one was just passed the old public toilets heading away from the High Street on the left-hand side. The gentleman that ran it was a gentleman called Sid. It was a tabaconist/sweet shop. Remember getting off the bus in the High Street and it been my first port of call on my way home from school. The second was further down Coppice Road on the right-hand side and was run by a lovely lady called Connie with the help of her daughter. This was a small but well stocked grocery store.

  8. oakparkrunner Says:

    Thanks for your comments, the bridge at the end of Queen Street was open in the 70’s, we moved into the Wood in 1970 and I can remember driving over it.(not often it was a bit hair-raising). Regarding the shop you mention in Coppice Road, there was a tobbaconists just inside on the left, where the library car park is. I seem to remember it was called Twists. Also further down the road was another small shop on the other side of the road,(painted White), a very small working mans club, and Craddocks Wholesale.

  9. Nick Says:

    Hi again….Regarding the pics. Ive downloaded from the blog but the quality is poor if I want them any larger than they are here.
    Im not sure if they would be better if you e.mailed me one (to try)..but if you have time to do it that would be great.
    Im interested in all the B+W pub pics…and the Tram in the High street at Walsall Wood….Thanks. nick@fjellnett.no

  10. John Says:

    Fantastic snapshop of history previous and now. Do you have anything for Beechtree Road. Also the lorry park has now gone may be this needs updating on the web. Thank You enjoyed the journey.

  11. Jane Radford Says:

    I was thrilled to see my Great, Great Grandads Public House on here, The Travellers Rest, and his name above the door John Wesley, his daughter May was my Great Grandmother, and my Grandad was born on Coppice Road. My grandad was always proud of his Brownhill Roots!

  12. Sue Oliver Says:

    Does anyone have any photos or knowledge of the grocers shop that used to be at 110 Wood Lane Pelsall. It was run by Minnie Morgan in the 1940s/50s and before her by her father James William Morgan. I think the buildings have now gone in Wood Lane. James William was my great grandfather and I’m researching Morgan family history together with Sadler, Hand, Preece – all ‘in-laws’ of the Morgans

  13. D Evans Says:

    The Black Country Museum in Dudley has an almost identical copy of Ecob’s Chemists, complete with a tin of Brilliantine in a glass case, though its scent has been lost. Well worth a visit. I think it may be mentioned on their website.
    The Spar shop was the other chemists/post office. Michael Smith helped his father who was the chemist many years ago.
    The story was that the cobbler paid his rent for the shop throughout the last war while he was in the armed services. Dr Roberts and Dr Lillywhite ran their surgery in Beech Tree Road. A nearby cul de sac is named after Dr Roberts. The cul de sac has old folks bungalows!.. It is called Roberts Close!
    The bakery in the High Street was owned by Smith, I believe Whitehouse owned the gents outfitters next to the bakers shop

    • Alison Says:

      Dr Roberts delivered my mother Margery Moseley nee Ensor in 1928. He signed my grandmother Sarah May Ensor nee Whitehouse’s death certificate. He also delivered me in 1964. I think I have heard my mother mention Dr Lilywhite also.

      John Whitehouse my great grand father gave his milk round to my grand father William David Ensor – I’m not sure what year that was – I believe before the second world war. There is a story of grand dad talking to someone and Tiny the milk cart horse getting into the front door of the bakery and eating buns off the counter.

      Sarah May Ensor (nee Whitehouse) father was John Collins and her mother Sarah Elizabeth Collins. Sarah Elizabeth’s mother was Mary Ann Collins but we don’t think that she knew this as she always refered to her grandparents Charles Collins and Maria Cooper as her parents. Does any one know if these Collins were connected to the delivery people or any infomation on these families.

      • Nina Warren (Williams) Says:

        I remember Dr Lilywhite, I was a very little girl when he retired and Dr Dingley took over. I lived in the Wood from the age of 6 to 38. My Mom was caretaker at Walsall Wood JMI and we lived on Streets Corner

    • Brian jones Says:

      hi again dave.i was in the church choir back in the early 60s with michael smith and his dad,along with mr crutchley and his son,the vicar was rev evans assisted by cannon edwards

  14. Pat Cross Says:

    Hi, I enjoyed all the old photos, remember them well.
    The Royal Exchange is not a recent pub as you suggest, and that verandah is awful! I was brought up there and the pub was known locally as Cross’s back then. The building on the far left used to be stables.
    I have traced back to my great great grandmother who was publican there in 1861.
    We left there in the early sixties but that was my childhood.

  15. james williams. ( Ron ) Says:

    fond memories of Walsall Wood..I drove for collins parcels in 1960,/ 61.. In the 50’s I was in the Boys Brigade based in the chapel opposite collins depot…..

    • oakparkrunner Says:

      Thanks for reading my blog, my two brothers also worked for Collins, and would have been there in the 60’s they are Jimmy and Peter Hucker. Kind regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

  16. Terence Millership Says:

    This is a reat site, very interesting. Its amazing the changes that have occured since my wife and I moved here in 1968.

  17. goodcuppa Says:

    I wonder if it is possible if you know when the Beehive was turned into flats. My grandparents lived at the Beehive. I have photos of them outside it. It still has the publican sign above the door. Did they help turn it into flats. or was this done before they moved in. I wonder?
    Also I see a photo of where the Wesleyan church used to be. I do not know if you are aware, where the steps are going down to hall lane, this was a small road, and my great aunt and her husband used to have a shop on the corner of it. this is an area I have yet to research. Hope you don’t mind me asking you about the Beehive. I have traced back to the first publican, but I am finding it hard to find anymore out. I must go to the archives in Walsall when I am next down in the area. I assume they will have details on it there.

    • oakparkrunner Says:

      I am afraid I cannot answer your question on the beehive being turned into flats. I can only remember it being flats and I have lived in the Wood since the 1970’s. Reading your blog reference living on Clayhanger or Clonger has it was known by the locals, I lived up Coppice Side by the Jolly Collier pub and attended the Clayhanger infants school in 1946 until 1949 when I went to Ogley junior school. I remember Jack & Alice Wickson very well and and the other names you mention from the village. Regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

  18. Alan Mills Says:

    My local parish church, St John’s, Walsall Wood, is celebrating its’ 175th anniversary this year. Clearly, many of the photos you have on this page would be of great interest to local people who are celebrating this special milestone in the church’s history.
    Not wishing to use your photos without permission, I wonder if you would allow us to include in a display information and images from this page to enhance local understanding and appreciation of the part played in the local community by St John’s since it was consecration in 1837?
    There will be no intention to sell prints of any of the images, but just to incorparate them in an exhibition available to the public to view.
    If you wish to ask any ore about our plans please email me at the address given below.
    Many thanks,
    Alan Mills

  19. Rev Ken Paskin Says:

    Thanks for a lovely hour spent reading the history and looking at the pictures. Was born in Beech Tree Road in 1944, opposite the police house and was a choir boy at St. Johns; later became a county policeman before going into the church. Remember Collins where used to work in school hols, the railway station where used to return moms Grattan catalogue stuff to, the old steam train ran behind our house. Smiths the chemist which was also the post office, Mrs Williams where used to get my sweet allowance and the old fish n chip shop near Ecobs, he used to do up old bikes, mine smelt of fish for years. Would like to know more of St Johns 175th and any folk of the 50’s who still around. Rev Ken Paskin

    • Brian jones Says:

      Reading your memories takes me back,i was also a choirboy as i stated on an earlier page,lived nextdoor to post office ,the house backed on to the doctors in beechtree road,he had a big orchard,we used to climb over the wall and scrump the apples and pears,also mr seaneys back garden where there was a big cooking apple tree,we loved it.The rev evans and cannon edwards was in charge then,we had 2shillings for a wedding and 2/6 for a funeral,and a trip to weston super mare each year,i sang solo at the the carol service each year with someone named Milton shelley i think.The organist was a mr wollverston ( again i think ) with a mr crutchley as stand in,choir practice every wed night at 7 oclock. I live in dolgellau n wales now.due to come back and see friends soon,should i drop in the church to have a look,or leave my memories as they are.Brian

  20. K C Says:

    I’ve just moved out if the flat aboue the Boucher/Willams shop. If only walls could speak I’d proberbly have some lovley stories (and gossip) to tell you all!

  21. j cartwright Says:

    does anyone remember len and gladys jackson who ran the hawthorn pub in walsallwood sometime in the late 1950s

  22. Sue Oliver Says:

    Does anyone remember the grocer’s shop which used to be in Wood Lane, Pelsall? Owned by Morgan family. It may have been a ‘Tommy Shop’ (associated with the pit). It’s not there any more but I remember it in the 1950s. This was my maternal grandfather’s shop and it was passed to his daughter Minnie Morgan – later Croome.

  23. I Tipper Says:

    Belting page Mr Runner. I was born in 1969 and spent my whole childhood/teenage years in Walsall Wood. The earliest shops I remember was the bicycle shop on the corner of High Street and Beech Tree Road, Charlesworths News agent and the Photographers.

    I remember shopping at the Co-Op with my mom long before Tesco and the like.

  24. david oakley. Says:

    My first visit to the blog and how very worthwhile! Born in Walsall Wood in 1930 I was fascinated to see so many old scenes that I well remember. The little shop in Coppice Road belonged to Sid Maxwell in the ’30’s and 40’s and was a “lock up” at the time, with Sid travelling by bus from somewhere in the Willenhall area, The club in Coppice Road was always known as “Merrick’s” but was kept by Mrs Humphries in the 1950’s.and properly named The Coppice Road Social Club. I was a member there and still have an old subscription card signed by the Secretary.
    I was surprised but delighted to see a picture of the old “Palace” in Brookland Road, as I remember it as both a patron and later as an assistant projectionist. Ned Williams, the author of “The Cinemas of Aldridge and Brownhills” was unable to find a picture to illustrate his article on the “Palace” but there it is!! The picture was apparently taken before the fire, after which the front was rebuilt.
    Having left the area many years ago I have only to close my eyes to see “The Wood” just as it was between the 30’s and the 50’s.
    My grateful thanks..

    • Alison Says:

      David
      My Mum was born Margery Ensor in Walsall Wood in 1928.Her paternal grandmother was Elizabeth Ensor nee Oakley her father was James Oakley who married Jane Keeling. Are you by any chance related to those Oakleys?
      Regards
      Alison

  25. Viv Arnold Says:

    My first visit to the blog too. I was looking for Walsall Wood articles to print off for my mom who was born there in 1930.
    She lived in Salters Road opposite the pub, where the row of shops are now. She moved to Coronation Road when she was about 10 yrs old.She married at St Johns and went to the two local schools.
    Us three girls were all Christened at St Johns and were also at The Church School and Streets Corner, my two younger sisters
    going to Shire Oak 1966 and The Grammar 1970.
    She can tell some tales. She was only telling me a week ago about her, Stella Tenant, Nancy Mills & Gordon Arblaster going exploring
    over the fields opposite her house and swimming in the ‘ Clay Hole’
    with all the neighbours looking for them. Gordon Arblaster getting a smack around the ear from his dad.
    I remember most of the shops and the coop with the money whizzing
    about through the – I think – compressed air tubes, and the garden parties on the field at the back of the church.
    Mom is still registered with Walsall Wood Surgery although she has lived in Brownhills for the past 45 yrs. She will love everything that is on this blog. Our family names are Ethelstone, Price, Harley & Arblaster and my great grandads name is on the war memorial in St Johns Churchyard.

  26. david oakley. Says:

    Hi Viv,
    How interesting to hear from someone from Salters Road in the 1930’s. I remember those cottages quite well. was your mom’s name Joyce Ethelstone ? George Price was another name to remember, while Gordon Arblaster lived in the first council house past “Buckley’s shop” Mrs Price, an elderly women even then, always wore a black shawl. I lived higher up towards the Vigo in the new council houses built in 1933. Dr. Roberts would be your Mom’s doctor even then. Happy days

  27. David Oakley Says:

    Hi Alison
    Well, its a small world, as they say, but it can get even larger. Both Ensor’s and Oakley’s are both old Walsall families. Both lived in Brownhills Road Road in the 1850’s but Elizabeth Oakley owned at least four plots of land. My own descendants lived in the old cottage next to the “Streets Corner” cottage of Mr. George Street.. There was a David Oakley of 1828 my own great-grandfather but your own research knocks that quietly on the head. Sadly, I have not researched my own family. There was one other Oakley in the village in the 1930’s Mary Bayley, the hairdresser had a daughter who married an Oakley. Did the Ensor’s have a milk round in the 1920’s/1930’s, or have i got the wrong one ?
    Regards
    David.

    • Alison Says:

      David

      It was my grandfather who had the milk round. His name was Wiliam David Ensor (Bill) that was back in the days of the horse drawn milk cart his horse’s name was Tiny. Grand dad Ensor got the milk round from his father-in-law John Whitehouse.

      I was born on Brownhills Road in 1964 just up from Streets Corner across from the school. We lived next to Sam and Ethel Warrington (ethel had a little shop in the house) Sam was a cousin to my Mum. We lived there with Bill and his brother (a well know drunk in the village) until grand dad died and we moved to Australia in 1970. My brother Paul was born in Sheffield in 1951 (dad was from Sheffield) and they moved back to Walsall when grand dad got sick.

      David Oakley who was born about 1872/74 was the son of James Oakley and Jane Keeling.

      I’ve done a fair bit of family research, but there are still some holes, if you like, email me and i can give you access to my family tree at ancestry.co.uk. You can have a look then and see if the familes link up (think they all do at some stage). I will be going to Adelaide in a couple of weeks so will ask Mum if she hasany more details . . . any questions you may want to get me to ask her?

      Take care

      Ali

  28. The Irish question « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog Says:

    [...] above photo, which appears in one of Oakparkunner’s glorious blog articles, shows the view from VIgo Road towards Brookland Road , with the main cemetery to the right. The [...]

  29. David Oakley Says:

    Hi Ali,
    What a surprise !! Australia eh ? Long way from Brownhills Road, Walsall Wood. I have moved “next door” by those terms , merely to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, to enjoy my retirement, but still a “Walsall Woodie” at heart. Seems we are too close not too have a relationship on the Oakley side, although these co-incidences do occur. Does your mom recall any of those old times ? There was a house a few doors away, brimful of Oakley’s, Four lads and a girl, Muriel Oakley. Regarding the Ensor’s, I knew them quite well “Cag Ensor” was probably your grandfather’s nickname and yes, I remember the horse and cart quite well. I remember My parents buying an organ when I was a youngster and who “shipped” it to them ? Why, the Ensor’s of course. Was there a Janet Ensor, born about 1933 ? Further rambles on the blog may be shortened if I send my e-mail address, which is davidoakley06@aol.com. Armed with a little more evidence we shall soon sort this out. In the meantime I have sent out Oakley re-inforcements Two Oakley girls who have moved over there to take up SpecSaver’s franchise’s. Best wishes to you’re mom and to you,
    David.

    • Alison Says:

      Hey David

      Will email you soon.

      Yes Janet was my Auntie – Mum’s younger sister. She died in 1997 whilst having an operation for stomach cancer.

      Mum is still pottering along and I’ll definately have a chat with her when I see her in the next couple of weeks. She remembers quiet a lot of things about growing up and living in Walsall Wood.

      “Cag” was my Mum’s uncle – he lived with us until we emigrated,his real name was Arthur although i don’t think anyone called him that.

      will write to you soon over the email and send you a invite to the family tree. . . you might be able to figure something out there :)

  30. Viv Arnold Says:

    Hi David
    Yes, my mom was Joyce Ethelstone. Its her birthday on the 20th and I was looking for info on Walsall Wood to print off for her when
    I came across this blog.
    Mom has a great knowledge of Walsall Wood and Brownhills and is
    as sharp as she ever was.
    My Aunt Rose and Uncle Amos also lived in that row of cottages
    swapping with George Price (Son of the George who died in the
    first world war) as Georges family was so big and Rose and Amos
    had no children and had a bigger house. All you had to do then
    was go to the council and tell them you were exchanging houses
    and that was enough. Mom moved from 147 Salters Road to 2,
    Coronation Road when she was about 10/11.
    I cant wait to show her the information people have on this blog.

    • T Forrester Says:

      Hi my name is Tom, my mother was Beatrice Ethelstone, your moms sister. Unfortunately, my mom passed away a few months ago. Since then with the help of my granddaughter we have been doing some research on the family when we came across this article in which you also mention my late auntie Rose and uncle Amos. This was really interesting because we have come up against a brick wall as far as my grandparents (George and Rose Ethelstone of 2 Coronation Road) was concerned.

  31. David Oakley Says:

    Hi Viv,
    Bet your mom. Joyce, can still remember Coronation Road before it was built (1937) behind Salters Road there was a Council tip, quite low-lying with several pools. We would paddle there. It was gradually built up by tipping and Coronation Road was built there. I think you lived at the Brookland Road end, near to Jimmy Garrington who would be about your mom’s age. I was a great friend of George Price, a lovely quiet man who went on to become a bus conductor or driver, later in life. Does your Mom remember the big funfair that used to visit the “field” by the “Brickies” ? With Double Summer time it was light until midnight in the war years, I left Walsall Wood for Scarborough, North Yorkshire some years, but the memories remain undimmed and I am in my 80’s, a similar age to your mom, and luckily, I can still see Walsall Wood exactly as it was in the ’30’s and ’40’s. So very glad she is going on okay, best Wishes.

  32. janetslee Says:

    Hi,
    Just found your blog through Viv Arnold.great to read.
    I went to school with Viv in the 50’s and 60’s.First at St Johns Primary School in Lichfield Road, in fact l lived next door to it.
    My father owned Gordon’s Removals. Second School was Streets Corner. My family moved to North Wales in 1966 where l still live today.
    Great to bring back memories.
    Janet Craddock. Now Slee

    • Brian jones Says:

      hi janet,nice to here comments from the wood.i lived next door to the postoffice in the high street,went to the same schools at the same time,your dad moved us to our new house in poxon road on the castlefort est in 1960 in his big green van,i moved to dolgellau when i retired,still remember higgs,s shop opposite the school,and the lollypop lady was mrs roe who lived in coppice road,nice to read your comments look foward to reading more.

    • John Clayton Says:

      Hi Janet, nice to hear from you, I use to live opposite you at Claytons Newsagent.
      Please keep in touch
      John Clayton

      • janetslee Says:

        Hi John
        It’s been a long time since l used to call into your parents shop but Loved it. I used to go to Lichfield with them when they went to the wholesalers. Happy memories
        Janet

  33. Mal rudd Says:

    Hi,
    Lovely photos of Walsall Wood. I hope someone can help me. Has anyone photos of King Street Progressive Club and Institute, 27 King Street, Walsall Wood. The club was first opened in 1932 and this year celebrates its 80th year at the end of July. I would like to get some photos and information together so that I can display it in the club as part of our celebrations. Please email me if you have any information.

    Mal Rudd

    • David Oakley Says:

      Hi,
      One of the earlier members of the club would be a Mr, Jack Tolley who was probably a member there from the early 1930’s. Jack was a kindly man, a Knife Grinder by trade who liked his pint
      Jack was born in about the 1860’s and was a stone breaker as a young man. He lived nearby and would often entertain us kids on his accordion. I seem to remember King Street Club as a very small building on the corner of King Street and Queen street, in the 1930’s so am pleasantly surprised to find it still in existence after such a long time. Every success.

  34. david oakley Says:

    Hi Janet,
    Great blog with some great, old photographs, showing pre-1930’s and the modern Walsall Wood, just right for us exiles !! I was particularly interested in two of your comments – Gordon’s Removals took over the house that had been vacated by Mr, Hayes, the School Attendance Officer in the 1930’s/40’s, while his neighbour was the fearsome Mr. Boot, Headmaster !!. I removed to North Yorkshire from the West Midlands later in life and although it wasn’t the same firm I retained Gordon’s Removal’s for the move and they did an excellent job for me. Best wishes.

  35. janetslee Says:

    The photos bring back memories,such a shame to see the old School boarded up. Would love to take a trip back sometime to see all the changes.

  36. david oakley Says:

    hi janet.
    Remember it ?? big, rough, boy’s playground facing the main road, girl’s playgound at the rear, facing the Infants school, looking at Google Earth and all the changes made in the last 50 years or so, ‘fraid you’d get lost. Looks a pleasant place to live, though, Pity the school is semi-derelict. Haven’t been back since leaving. plenty of nostalgia, though !

  37. janetslee Says:

    Yes l remember it well, l used to play on the common at the back of the school , my friend Ann Martin used to live in the School House next to the School, her mother was the caretaker.
    Also used to play tennis at oak park and the swings and roundabout were my favourite. Remember the co-op on the corner and the newsagents opposite our house. Many memories are flooding back

  38. david oakley Says:

    yes, the common behind the school backed on to the Oak Park grandstand. Playing field comprised baby swings, big swings, frying pan, giant stride, two joywheels, helter-skelter, boat, six leapfrogs. Tiny old newsagent shop named Higgs opposite your house. You stepped down to get into the shop. You have look at the modern photo you see where your Co-op disappeared to.. Happy days.!

  39. David Evans Says:

    HI Viv
    does the name Dunning mean anything to you or your mom?
    cheers
    David Evans

  40. irene robinson nee russell (claytons granddaughter) Says:

    what a lovely hour to spend on your site bringing back old memories has anyone got any photos of the coronation celebrations at shire oak or anniversaries at walsall wood methodist or springhill chapel in the 40s 50s or 60s i was born at sandhills 1941 and my daughter at shire oak 1963 i remember my mom and mrs williams collecting each week for coronation funds and mr frank hall making a bench which was unveiled by someone from the archers it was placed on the bank at the cross roads for years we held the party on the field which is now patterson place

  41. Trevor Brown Says:

    Hi Irene If you go to Brownhillsbob Blog and have a scratch around a bit you will find some photos and stories of the Methodist Church,Boys Brigade etc
    They are in local stories,Hope this helps,
    Trevor Brown, formaly of Shire Oak Hill, now Brisbane AUS

  42. Walsall Wood’s lost beer houses: an exploration by David Evans « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog Says:

    [...] This raises the possibility that the Horse and Jockey Inn, listed in White’s directory in 1834, was also a farm. Certainly the Highfields farmhouse of a few years ago looked to be much more modern than the 1834.  The Horse and Jockey Pub original building is shown in Oakparkrunners blog article, ‘Walsall Wood Past and Present’. [...]

  43. Ken Paskin Says:

    Brian, yes the doctor was Dr. Roberts in my day and living in Beech Tree Road, surgery (old bungalow) was just opposite and he had two (or three) boys and we got the apples too, must have been a big tree. He was a ‘Villa’ fan, I was a ‘Baggies’ but always remember the Harpers coaches pulling up outside church on a saturday lunchtime, but never got to go until joined the force and got in free.
    Last Saturday in March (especially if it was Easter) was a good day for weddings, could do 5 0r 6 nice pay day; but always remember the funerals for the men killed in the pit disaster.
    Surgery has certainly changed and so has church, but for the better in many ways, but still miss the old cricket ground between it and the canal embankment, where we could chill out on a sunday afternoon. I have retired to the ‘Peaks’, after Police service and then 30years in church ministry, but still call back when visiting sister as mother Beattie Paskin died last year.
    Be nice to hear from anyone who remembers me, the old St Johns School or church etc.. Ken Paskin

  44. janetslee Says:

    Hi Brian
    We’re we in the same class at school
    I have forgotten most of the names of the pupils in our class now.
    I went back to Walsall Wood a few years back,passing through on business so l couldn’t stop but the St Johns school was all boarded up and looked in a sorry state.
    I too live in North Wales near Prestatyn. Move with my parents to Rhyl when l was 16.
    Only kept in touch with Vivian.
    Nice to have all these memories

    • Brian jones Says:

      Hi Janet,nice to here back from you,can your remember Ann collins,her dad had the parcels warehouse on the corner opposite the royal exchange,i was in the same class at school,they built a new school at the back of collins;s in brook lane.we used to go on the common at the back of the infants at lunch time,but never herd the bell ring and got back late,sent to the headmasters office,forget his name ,but he smoked a pipe with bruno tobacco in it,you could smell it all through the school.those were the days.Brian.

    • Brian jones Says:

      Hi again Janet,do you remember Ann collins,her dad owned collins parcels,opposit the royal exchange,she was in the same class as i was,we used to play on the common at the back of the infants at lunch time,but never herd the bell and always got back in school late,sent to headmasters office many times,cant think of his name,he smoked a pipe with bruno tobacco,you could smell it all through the school.oh happy days.Brian

  45. Alison Rothery (nee Moseley) Says:

    Ken – I’ll speak to my Mum next time I call her. She was at St John’s and I believe that she was in the choir. Her name was Margery Ensor before she married.

  46. David Evans Says:

    HI Oakparkrunner
    my article “Where the streets have a name” which is published in BrownhillsBobs Brownhills blog, gives the origin of the name “Street’s Corner” in Walsall Wood, which may interest readers
    My other article, “Divine Water”, may be the one that shows the last Mrs Street to have lived in the cottage..picture probably taken at the time of her husband’s funeral, 1889, I think.There are two original photos; one shows the older lady seated with a younger man standing by her. The first occupant of that cottage appears in the 1841 census, and a Street name is in 1801 Moleseleys dole for Walsall Wood. The entry for 1841 shows the Mr Street in that thathced cottage was a nailer.
    There was also a Mr Robert Street, who indeed was the first headmaster at the school in early 1900s. He lived in a house on Shire Oak hill. This may be where the confusion arose.One of the pipes of the Ebenezer refurbished organ( early 1950s) is dedicated to his memory. Details are in Brownhills Bobs blog,Ebenezer commemorative booklet. articles.
    kind regards
    David Evans

  47. joanna dukes Says:

    hi all, i was born in 1968
    i was bought up in poxon rd, went to castlefort jmi, moved to holly lane, went to shire oak, i remember at the bottom of wolverson rd, opposite the red post box, there used to be a little corner shop, i think it was called ‘holmes’s’?? then we had a chemist, then photograph shop, hairdressers, its been quite a few different shops, over the road, where the factory shop now is, it used to be a supermarket called ‘meadow market’ then it changed to kwiksave, above those shops there used to be an hairderessers, which is now the ‘learn to dance’ place. behind there where fitness first is, used to be a working mens club ( or a club of sorts), then it was ‘dream’ the nightclub. up of salters road there was another working mens club, that got burnt down, behind there a kids park, atthe bottom of brookland rd, just off there, there was a little hut used to learn judo there ect…many more places i’l remeber, if anyone has pics of anything iv mentioned please send them me.

  48. joanna dukes Says:

    also at the back of our house in holly lane, was the ‘sand hills’ some of its still there, and there was a pool we called the ‘pump house’ iv never known why? if anyone can fill me in on this. on streets corner at the bottom of shire oak hill, there used to be a little outdoor shop, cannot remember what it was called though. then there was the vigo quarry, spent many a day down there hanging around getting filthy lol, now filled all in which started around 1993 if i remember right.

    • Phil norwood Says:

      Hiya my name is Phil Norwood, I was born in Walsall wood 1958′,
      I lived in blakemores road, I remember all the places you have mentioned, the outdoor was whittles wines, we had loads of fun over the sand hills, loads of memories from my childhood days

  49. brian jones Says:

    Can anyone remember the craddocks who lived in coppice road,i went to streets corner school with a John Craddock early 1960s,any thoughts ?

    • Paul Owens Says:

      I recall john Craddock ,he was head boy at WWCSS when I started there.he also played in the first rock n roll band I ever saw the’Scarfells’ at walsall wood working men’s club Lichfield road ( on the site of the fitness club opposite oak park)

  50. janetslee Says:

    Hi, he was no relation to me (Janet Craddock) Lichfield Road, next to the old school.

  51. brian jones Says:

    Hi JAN.can you remember who lived in the bungalow the other side of the school from you.i can just remember a lady who came out every break time and gave us sweets,think hard.

  52. janetslee Says:

    Hi Brian
    I can’t remember her at all. Do you know what plans they have for the old school. It’s such a shame to see it all boarded up. I only visit about every 20 years or so and everything looks so different.
    I used to be friends of the Martins who lived in the school house, caretakers of the school. Ann was a year younger than me and her brother John

  53. stymaster Says:

    The old school has had a multitude of plans submitted. I think we can be sure that whatever happens, the school building will be demolished, as it’s probably beyond repair. The old schoolmaster’s house seems to be getting a refurb as a Co-op nursery, but given the state of the attached school, I can’t see that being a long-term thing.

  54. john golby Says:

    as you went over the old canal bridge in high st there was a blacksmiths i went to with my granddad have you any photoes

  55. David Evans Says:

    Hi John
    in BrownhillsBob blog; posted July 15 2012, “Walsall Wood- a short history by Margaret Brice” booklet may have a photo of the blacksmiths, Jacksons. Perhaps this is the one?
    regards
    David Evans

  56. Brian Says:

    hi dave,is there a robert oakly in your family should be about 40ish.i worked with him at hickinbottoms bakery in wenesbury in the 80s he did say he remembers an uncle ira is the same family

    • david oakley Says:

      Hi Brian,
      Yes, you are quite right. Robert is my son, he is 50 this year, and now lives in Stratford, London, working for Newham Council in one of the libraries. I still think he is in touch with one or two from Hickinbottom’s. Think one lives in Wales, nowadays. He will be pleased that you have enquired about him. I’ll pass it on. He is on Facebook, if you want to try your luck. His Uncle Ira (my brother) went to America for about ten years, but he’s back home again, living in Merthyr Tydfil.
      Regards
      David Oakley.

  57. Brian Says:

    Hi Dave,thanks for the info. ill go on facebook see if i can track him down,let you know what happens,Brian Jonesl

  58. Brian Says:

    Hi Dave,no luck tracking Robert.next time you speak to him ,ask him to get in touch with me via this page thanks Brian.

  59. Bryan Preston Says:

    Hi, I was born in Walsall Wood in 1946. My Dad was the Coop chemist in Aldridge and then he opened his own shop. Jack Preston. For a short while he had a second shop in Walsall Wood and I remember Ecob’s. Used to cycle down to the canal and Stubbers Green and also remember the mine and of course the enormous brickworks. What was the name of the firm that made crisps? Big square tins of them. Living in Cornwall now but still following the exploits of the Wood and the Saddlers.

  60. Bryan Preston Says:

    Jones’ Of course. When I moved to Cornwall in the 60s I used to take tin boxes with me. Everyone loved them. I was born in Castle Road and used to drink in the Manor arms when George ad Eileen Cod and young George were landlords. Happy days.

  61. Ken Paskin Says:

    Hi Bryan yes Jones crisps were famous they sourced their potatoes from farms at Shire Oak, stonnall and around and cooked them in good old fashionned deep fat lard. The same as they used at the fish n chip shop next to Ecobs, which made them taste so good. Mind you the bits of old bikes he used to cobble together and sell also smelt of it for years. Oh memories…… Ken Paskin (Beech Tree Rd. – now Matlock)

  62. Brian Jones Says:

    i was born and bred in walsall wood,a lots been mentioned about the beehive foundry,but i cant remember where it was,please help

    • oakparkrunner Says:

      The Beehive foundry was in Hall Lane Walsall Wood. It was a public house before it became a foundry. It is now an engineering factory and is called Niken House. kind regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

  63. Brian Jones Says:

    Does anyone remember Peter Male.lived next door to the post office in the high street in the 50s 60s,he had a sister called theresa who was a nurse,mom s name marjorie ,dads name jack.can anybody help thanks,Brian.

  64. Brian Jones Says:

    Thanks Godfrey,was catshill foundry at the bottom end of linden road by the anchor pub.Brian

    • oakparkrunner Says:

      Yes Catshill foundry was in Linden Road about 100 yards from the Anchor pub, on the side of the canal next to the canal junction (Catshill Junction) which went to Chasewater or Norton Pool as it was called years ago. Regards Godfrey.

  65. Brian Jones Says:

    Another one for you Godfrey,the coppy woods

  66. oakparkrunner Says:

    Hello Brian the only coppy woods I can recall would be the Coppice Woods in Brownhills which where adjacent to the road Coppice side, off Pelsall road. These woods were lost when Potters Clay & Coal Company opened their open cast mine for clay and coal. It was used as a tip for a short while after Potters finished but is now waste land, and nature is slowly reclaiming it. Regards Godfrey

  67. Ken Paskin Says:

    Hi, ken paskin here, the coppy woods were on the back road from hall lane and step hump back bridge to shelfield came out by their old tin church which was replaced by a new one. The coppy was on the righthand side and we got our holly and mistletoe from there. It is still there. Ken

  68. Brian Jones Says:

    Hi Ken,thats right it is down hall lane,the top school used to use it as part of the cross country run when we had p.e.i was in Walsall wood in august,lots of changes lot less shops than there used to be,one time you could buy anything in the wood,but this is called progress,is it for the better?.Brian

  69. Susan metcalf Says:

    The horse and Jockey was run by Joseph blakemore. my moms Uncle. He was her dads oldest brother. (harold blakemore)He had three sons, Vi, Denis and Jack. Jack married Jessie Blakemore (no relation!), they had a daughter Josie. mom remembers her sister Nora’s 21st birthday being held there. mom is called Doreen Woolley nee Blakemore and has lived in Walsall Wood most of her life. Mom and her younger sister, Yvonne were members of the Girls Life Brigade. I joined the girls brigade In my teens, and also took part in Sunday School anniversariesinside the Methodist Church..

  70. Ken Paskin Says:

    I remember the Blakemores well, believe Doreen and Yvonne were in the Girls Brigade with my sister Margaret (Sylvia) Paskin, now Bensley and living in Simmonds Way, Shire Oak. The Horse and Jockey now a much larger modern carvery, back in the day they used to have whippet racing round the back, that’s where my father Tom Paskin met mother Beattie Paskin, they then lived in Beech Tree Road where I was brought up. Ken Paskin

  71. Sue Oliver Says:

    Hello Walsall Wood bloggers.
    Does anyone have information or photos to do with WOOD LANE from years ago? I’m interested in the GROCERY SHOP that was there at 100 WOOD LANE (now demolished and has houses I think). My MORGAN ancestors ran it and lived there – first my great grandfather James William MORGAN, then his daughter, my Gt Aunt, Gertrude (known as Minnie) MORGAN later married to become Minnie CROOME. James William MORGAN was also involved with PELSALL VILLA FOOTBALL CLUB.
    If this is not the correct site for this enquiry I apologise and perhaps someone could direct me to the correct place?
    I have also had no success trying to contact Pelsall Villa FC for info about my Gt Grandfather – can anyone out there help me at all? I’m in Australia so difficult to visit! Thanks very much!

  72. Brian Jones Says:

    im still looking for Peter male lived next door to the post office,some of you woodies have got to know,please try your best

    • Joe Headley Says:

      Hi Brian,
      Only just found this site but I remember the Male family rather than individual members. I recall Mr Male used to work at the brickyard if I’ve got the right family and I’m pretty sure I have. I remember the house clearly it used to have a long covered entry. I was born at 19 High St. Headleys Grocery shop, Harry Headley my dad. Sorry I can’t help more if I’ve helped at all!

      • Linda Robottom Says:

        I remember you Joseph! I used to go to school at Hydesville with you… I remember your Dad also, & the shop. You were a prefect when I was there, & I a young girl, in the juniors. I can still remember you in your school uniform!! So there! I hope you are keeping well, best wishes from Linda Robottom nee Ray, Lucy & Dave’s daughter from the Red Lion. I can still remember the lovely smells in your dad’s shop.

      • Joe Headley Says:

        Hi Linda,
        I remember you very well too and I nearly added a reply to your first post but never thought you would remember me. I was ever grateful to your Dad for all the lifts to school much better than standing waiting for the bus on freezing cold mornings.
        I am keeping well thank you and trust you are doing likewise, its always nice to hear of someone remembering the old place. I put quite a few photo’s of family and the shop on Brownhills Bob’s Blog, they may still be there if you want to take a look. I trust no one on this site will take offence at me plugging Bob’s site.
        Best wishes Linda.

      • Linda Robottom Says:

        Glad to hear your reply, didn’t think you would get back so soon. We must be psychic. Would have liked to see some photos of Walsall Wood Cricket pitch, I remember that you played a bit also, if my memory serves me right! Only one I have is of a ragamuffin child,me, & a long suffering dog called Sally, that was dressed up to the nines, by me again,having a long distance view behind of the cricket pitch from Dad’s garden at the Lion. If I remember rightly there was an old pavillion that stood at the back of St John’s church, before a much larger one was built at the bottom of the path leading down to the cricket pitch from High Street. I remember the fields behind the crcket pitch being flooded, & I used to catch tadpoles from there. Am just now looking at a picture of a very young Joseph at a party upstairs in the Lion. I have some photos which Old Walsall Woodians might enjoy of some of the regulars that used to frequent the pub on occasions, if i knew how to upload these! Plus a couple that show rush hour in the Wood in the 1960’s. Lovely to hear from you, Linda.

      • Joe Headley Says:

        Hi Linda,
        Your post evoked tremendous memories, to be honest, most of which I have actually forgotten! The cricket pitch was a great asset to the village if not for cricket for playing on! I think the old club house or at least the one I remember was sited at the bottom of the access lane from the High St., between the church and the Co-op butchers and I’m fairly sure the new building was more or less on the same site but I stand to be corrected. There was a paddock behind the church where I think they built the new vicarage, dad used to turn the horse out there that was used to deliver groceries again before your memory span.
        You mention in an earlier post Sgt Bennett; do you remember Mrs Jones the cook at Hydesville? She was Sgt Bennetts sister in law.
        Your photo of me at the Red Lion, at a party is positively frightening! I cannot for the life of me recall that, I hope you’ve reserved the copy right!
        Your recollection of the ground along the bottom of the canal from the cricket pitch towards the Black Cock Bridge is most accurate, it was always very wet and now there are houses on it! My uncle owned a part of it about at the rear of the off-license in Coppice Rd., I don’t expect you’d remember that but there we are.
        I’ve no idea to help up-load the photos you mention but I guess you would need to contact Oakparkrunner who would then post them. I have a lot of memories of the “Lion” and its clientel and would love to share them with you. I would like to ask Oakparkrunner if he monitors these posts to pass on to you my e-mail address but if that doesn’t happen I can only say thank you for your correspondence, its brought back a lot of happy memories, your mom and dad I remember so well and of course the “Lion “was Dad’s watering hole too.
        If my e-mail is passed on and you don’t get a reply I’m out of the country from 1st to 6th of October.
        Its fantastic to be able to correspond with you after all these years and I sincerely hope that you will receive my e-mail address and we can continue the dialog.
        Best wishes and kindest regards
        Joe

  73. tom Says:

    would anyone know which part of Birmingham collins parcel office was in,have a relative driving me mad to find out.
    thanks in advance
    tld

  74. Ann Cross Says:

    Hi Tom, there is a picture in a book by Jan Farrow which says that apart from Lichfield Road Walsall Wood, the other address for Collins was 12 Jennens Row, Dale End B’ham. The phone number was Central 6256!
    Hope this helps.

  75. Dave (Eddy) Edwards Says:

    Sorry folks….nearly got it right

  76. tom Says:

    thank you ann
    i only remember walsall wood from the 1960,s even then it was a thriving place
    tom

  77. tom Says:

    hi alison
    thank you,i remember a few of the collins[not many] from the 1960,s onwards
    regards tom

  78. darrell terry Says:

    darrell terry, loved the photos

  79. Kelvin Watkins Says:

    The miner’s lamp in St. John’s church has nothing to do with Grove colliery but has the names of miners who lost their lives at Walsall Wood colliery and miners who have since died through mining related diseases. As a matter of interest it is 50 years since the colliery closed on 30th October 1964. Is there any commemoration service planned by St.John’s church,Walsall Wood ? The last memorial service for the miners killed in the 50’s was a great success with the church filled to capacity. Both my father Bill Watkins & myself Kelvin were employed at Walsall Wood colliery.
    Myself along with my friend Keith Stokes were the last two lads to be set on at the colliery before its closure.

  80. Ken Paskin Says:

    Hi, Ken Paskin here, could you let me know if they do do a 50th commemoration service, was a choirboy at the funeral of the miners and missed out on their commemoration. Also my Golden just before that date. Ken

  81. trevor Brown Says:

    Hi, my name is Trevor Brown, I lived in Castle Rd untill 1950 next door to Keith Stokes, is Keith still around?
    Regards Trevor Brisbane AUS

  82. Brian Jones Says:

    Kelvin Watkins and Keith Stokes are two names i recall from my class at the top school in 1964.

  83. Ken Paskin Says:

    Kelvin remember playing with you and your elder brother, Royston, is he still around, remember me to him. And the birthday parties at your place at the back of the old cobblers. remember he made us new studs for our old football boots out of left over leather bits. We lived up Beech Tree Road, backing unto the railway line, which doesn’t exit anymore, as neither does the waste piece of ground we used to play on, now the car park. The fairground used to come there twice a year too, and we used to search the grass after it left for any dropped pennies from the slot machines. How times change. Ken Paskin

    • Linda Robottom Says:

      Mr Paskin,I have been researching a branch of my father’s family & came upon a James Bromley Derry who was the son of Wilfred & Sarah Ann Derry nee Bailey. He married an Ada Paskin, could it be a relation of yours? They married in 1919. Wilfred’s father & Mother were Frederick & Louisa Derry, who at one point lived on Linley Hall farm, at Stubber’s Green. We may be distantly related! Anyway I also remember the fair coming to the Jockey fields in my youth, & I can just about recall certain shops in the High Street, opposite the “Lion”, Archer’s electrical store where I bought my first Singles in vinyl no less, Firkins cake shop,& a painting and decorating shop at one point,in the same row. Mr Arthur Hands engineering workshop on the land, behind Garbutt’s butchers,(where my father used to help out originally, before he took over completely after Mr Hands retired to Llandudno), & a regular, Billy Morgan who lived in the house the other side of the driveway. One shop used to be a Chemist at one time. And many happy hours playing Space Invaders, at I believe it was, Con’s Cafe opposite! Went past the old school site, cannot believe how many houses cum flats are being built there! Final memory Sliding down the old railway cutting banking on an old tin tray as a child!!! Linda Robottom

      • Sue Oliver Says:

        Message for Linda Robottom: Hello, I see you have mentioned a Billy Morgan in your reply to Ken Paskin. Do you know any more about him please? I am related to the Morgan family of Walsall Wood/Pelsall and wondered if Billy Morgan could be William Morgan – a family name. My Morgan family (James William and then his daughter Minnie had a grocery shop and also lived – at 100 Wood Lane which is no longer there. Other names in the Morgan family are Croome, Preece, Sadler. If anyone knows any of these names I’d be delighted to hear.

  84. Brian Jones Says:

    Kelvin Watkins, was his dad on brownhills council in the 50s/60s

  85. Linda Robottom Says:

    I remember purchasing a book on Walsall Wood by Bill Sale, which had a photo of the Red Lion in. The people that ran the pub had been mentioned but it was incorrect, the photo had been taken whilst my mom and dad ran it, probably in the 1970’s, as the pub had an Ansells sign outside. My mom, Lucy,& dad,David Ray were tenants at that time, & when they first moved in the pub was under Ind Coope’s ownership.They ran the pub for over 33 years. My mother had also lived previously at the Black Cock with the Holland’s, Ray & Eileen, and also at the Queen’s at Pelsall with Ray’s Mom & Dad. I grew up in the village and remember the Wesleyan Chapel on the bridge, which after it’s removal had for a short while a tyre firm on the land which burnt down, accidentally, after the tyres were set alight, if I remember well on a bonfire night. I used to play on the cricket pitch as a child, and once remember Sergeant Bennett, chasing us, when we had hidden under some tarpaulin thinking that he hadn’t seen us, and remember the Air raid siren being tested at the back of the Coop. Originally the pub had outbuildings behind that were stables, and which my father had as his bottling store and became his garage also when he bought his first car. Next door was a row of shops, houses flanked the other side originally.The shops were Alan Beamand, shoe repairer, Bill Smith’s Fishing tackle, & Michael Wheeler, Ladies Hairdresser, amongst others.

  86. David Oakley Says:

    Hi Linda, Nice to meet you. I was delighted to see this post, as I remember David and Lucy so very well, being a seven-a week customer for the whole of their time at the pub. Those were great days. The pub was Ind Coope when they moved in, previously it had been under the tenancy of Billy Burton, who was ‘past his best’ to say the least, with about three regular customers, David and Lucy were like a breath of fresh air in the gloomy place and set about rebuilding the clientele with their own sheer hard work and personality. With a good pint once more being offered, and a good, organised darts and domino activity, the pub fully realised its potential and was packed most nights Thanks to Lucy, sandwiches and pigs pudding went around the pub on darts and domino match nights, and were much appreciated. The perfect host and hostess. I never witnessed any unpleasant scenes in the pub, although like every pub, it had its share of troublemakers, after a pint too many. You could never fall out with David Ray, too nice a guy. David supported his pub teams, home and away, and coined the phrase,”Remember the Alamo” !! when his side were up against it, which became a battle-cry from the team when a member had got off to a slow start, and induced a strong effort to pull the match out of the fire. David lived for his pub, and the pub lived for him, so much so that it was always difficult to clear the pub, after time, After two or three fruitless efforts, David would call out,” You can stay here all night, yer buggers, but you’ve STILL got to go home. Yes, we’d still to go home, after the warmth and friendliness of four hours in the Red Lion, on one wanted to leave.
    If I remember correctly, David and Lucy went on to keep the Black Cock, a black day for the Red Lion, but nothing lasts forever, and the happy memories of those days are still with me.

    • Linda Robottom Says:

      Thank you for your kind words about my parents, who kept the Red Lion, in Walsall Wood, David & Lucy.It’s lovely to hear from someone who was a regular, they would have loved to read your post. Mom & Dad had been at the Black Cock working there before they went to the “Lion”,with Ray, & Eileen Holland. They retired from there in the early eighties, & moved into a flat at Street’s Corner. Sadly both are no longer with us, so it was bitter sweet to read your rememberances, but thank you anyway. Sorry It took so long to post a reply but I got there in the end! Linda Robottom

  87. Margaret Cooper Says:

    Hello, I am Margaret Cooper (later married and now have a surname of Hajdu). I was born in 1930 in a caravan in Sandhills. At 6 weeks old I moved to 118 Hall Lane, Walsall Wood. My father was Philip Cooper (born 1906 Walsall Wood) and my mother was Lucy Cooper (also nee Cooper!!) (born 1905 Walsall Wood). We lived at Hall Lane with my Grandmother (My Dad’s Mother) Sarah Jane Cooper (nee Herrington). I had an elder brother, Philip and three sisters, Doreen, Maureen and Jean. I went to school at St John’s and Walsall Wood Secondary Modern. My son is typing this out for me and will be happy to pass on any regards should anyone remember me. I’ve really enjoyed having the above entries read to me and can remember quite a few of the names mentioned.

    • Steve Says:

      Hi Margaret

      I am not certain whether you know or are related to some people I know. My girlfriends grandmother was Dorothy Alice cooper (married name perrins). She lived in hall lane and her mother was called Sarah Jane cooper. My mom also lived in hall lane to I think Audrey shaw,moved then to Vigo road.

  88. Margaret Cooper Says:

    Hello Steve, my name is Tony and i’m writing on behalf of my mother, I’ll give her a ring in the morning and read your message to her.

  89. Margaret Cooper Says:

    Hello again, Steve.

    Spoke with Margaret (mom) today and she informed me that Dorothy Alice Cooper is (was) her Aunty. Small world! She also remembers Audrey Shaw.

  90. Steve Says:

    My girlfriend said that her farther would be your moms cousin Jim perrins.thanks for reply

  91. Brian Jones Says:

    can anyone remember the jones family from poxon road 60s/70s?

  92. Margaret Cooper Says:

    Hello Steve,

    Thanks for the information. If your girlfriend would like to speak with my mother I’m sure she’d be delighted. Drop me a line to porkynash@blueyonder.co.uk and I’ll give you her number.

    Kind regards

    Tony.

  93. Brian Beard Says:

    fantastic , proud to say i was born in walsall wood in 1970 in sally ward drive, some wonderful pictures and have brought back some wonderful memories .. thank you

  94. Jo lelai. Says:

    Hi I worked in Walsall wood in about 1956/7 at ]Walsall Conduits there was a place called Barons Court next to it,later called the Water Splash.I also had friends in Brook Lane their surname was Fisher,does anyone remember them or the places.

  95. serenevanscharrington Says:

    Hello, My mother is a relative of Bouchers who owned the general store we have been looking for an image of the old shop for years, is there anywhere I can obtain a copy of the image? This is a wonderful site that has provided a trip down memory lane. Thank you

  96. Alison Rothery Says:

    Just to let the older and middle aged Walsall Woodiens know that my Mum, Edith “Margery” Moseley nee Ensor passed away on 12 July and her funeral was held today.

  97. Dave (Eddy) Edwards Says:

    Hello Alison
    Sorry to hear of the passing of your mum. Are you any relation to Michael Moseley born c1945 and was in my class at WW Sec Mod (the old school @ Streets Corner)
    Dave (Eddy) Edwards

  98. Beth Bailey Says:

    Lovely to look at all the pics of Walsall Wood. I was born here in 1982 and lived in Queen Street for 13 years before my parents seperated. My mom ran the Sunday School at St John’s where i was christened and confirmed and sung in the choir. I went to castlefort JMI. My dad also lived in the Wood in the 1950’s in Wolverson Road. Lots of fond memories of my years in the Wood. After living in Wiltshire for 12 years, I am now in Brownhills. Hope to see some more pics soon.

  99. rachel jhonson Says:

    hi i am only 26 so do not remember much of walsall wood but i lost both my parents before i was 14, and have not been intouch with the family (extended ) since,. i would very much like to find out more about my parents, My fathers name was Brian Pratt ( Was known as jimmy) and mother was Lavinnia Yates (known as viney). my father lived in walsall wood since his birth he would now be in his 60’s i believe. I do not know where my mother was from but i know it was the chasetown, brownhills side. both were married before and had children from previous marriage. if anyone knew them i would really appreciate hearing all about them as i have no link to them and do not really remember much about them thanks

  100. Trevor Says:

    what was your Dads first name Beth we may know him,
    Trevor ( Hovis) Brown

  101. lillyfern50 Says:

    My dad is Robert Gray. He has 4 brothers , Bill, Ron, Doug and Peter and a sister Judy.

  102. Louis Lillywhite Says:

    What an excellent site! Brings back memories as my father was one of the local doctors mentioned in some of the earlier posts. We first lived at 117 Castle Road, next to the Jellings (?) shop and then moved in 1954 to 39 Castlefort Road (house is now a care home) as the open ground there was developed. Holiday jobs included a loader at Collins (2s 6d an hour) and a receptionist in the Beech Tree Surgery (no appointments, long queues stretching out of the door at opening time and no nurses). Used to play on private land on south of Castle Road (unless chased off it) where an old ammunition dump was said to have been (tried exploding some disused 303 cartridges once – luckily unsuccessfully) and in the ‘sand hills’ at the back of Holly Lane (‘Danger – Keep Out’) which was unfenced and good for scrambling. .

    A lot of the photos bring back memories – old library where I spent much time, Street’s Corner where I caught the bus to Lichfield, to the Grammar School, and as a 12 year old I was allowed to cycle everywhere, to Rushall via the Brick Works, to Clayhanger via a rough road and Aldridge which then had a cinema. There was what at the time seemed to be an excellent cycle shop in the High Street, which along with the Barbers are the only two shops that I recall.

    Just about remember the pit – remember my father having to attend an accident there. Not mentioned were the ‘prefabs’ on (I think) Vigo Road used I believe for those bombed out of their homes in Birmingham in WW2.

    As I said – great site.

  103. Bryan Preston Says:

    Hi Louis, remember your Dad. I was born in Castle Road in 1946. My Dad Jack Preston was the chemist in Aldridge. First for the Coop at 13 Anchor Road next to the Avion cinema where we lived above the shop and then he had his own business in Portland Road. For a short while in the 60s he opened another shop in Walsall Wood. We use to cycle down to Stubbers Green and along the cut which we were always forbidden to do.remember the prefabs and the brickworks at the Vigo. I went to grammar school in Lichfield as well on a Harpers Gloria Deluxe double decker from Aldridge. Always breaking down and having accidents. Live down in Cornwall now but come back up to watch the Saddlers and follow Walsall Wood FC on line.

  104. Kenneth Paskin Says:

    Hi Bryan, yes remember you and school at King Edward VI, but do you remember the little old fish and chips shop on the corner at the Vigo, all in fat…………………. and the old ladies on the canal boats outside the brickworks or coming up from Walsall Wood Colliery. But of course in those days it was the AVAN cinema, compared with the old tin shack we had in the Wood. Ken Paskin

  105. trevor Brown Says:

    Hi Louise Dr Lillywhite was my Doctor when I was a kid, I also was born and lived in Castle Rd in 1944.
    Trevor Brown

    • t_forrester@sky.com Says:

      Hi Does anybody remember a family by the name Ethelstone, who lived in Coronation rd during1940, only my mother who’s name was Beatrice died earlier this year, and used to live there with her parents and two sisters named Joyce and Rose, i was born in 1942 and lived and went to my first school there for a spell. Tom Forrester

  106. Ken Paskin Says:

    Hi Linda, Yes kind of related, Brom and Aunt Ada were my only known relatives on my dads side until we started to research after dad died, because he wouldn’t allow us to before then. My dad was born in 1913 but was given away at birth to old Tom Paskin and his wife of 78 Lichfield Rd, Shelfield and was bought up there with Ada as an elder sister and another adopted child Edna, but unfortunately, Mrs Paskin died in the flu epidemic in 1918, so they were mainly brought up by Brom and Ada who married soon after and lived there too. They could not have children. Brom later damaged his leg in a work accident, never worked again and had to have the leg cleaned and bandaged every day until he died to stop it going gangerous.
    We lived in Beech Tree Road, and I loved the railway embankment too, but mainly for all the creatures that lived in the drainage ditch at the bottom, which I collected and took home, sadly kids no longer have such simple pleasures.
    Thanks for filling in a blank in the family history, if we can help you with any more details please let me know, am on facebook. Ken Paskin

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