Black Country news and blogs Saturday 27 May 2017
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Year 3’s Bubble Bonanza! 

26 May

Year 3 had great fun seeing who could create the largest bubbles using their home-made bubble devices.

Greece Is The Word 

26 May

After we missed out on Glastonbury tickets when they went on sale back in October Jon I made a plan to escape to Greece for the duration of the festival.

Sixth Form Graduation 2017 

26 May

Today we celebrated the graduation of our Year 13 students.

Talking with Children About Terrorism 

26 May

As with any ‘sensitive issue’, talking about it is better than ignoring it.

Putting his best foot forward // Start-rite school shoes review 

26 May

When it comes to school shoes, I’ve quickly learnt that they need to be robust, strong and durable.

Event 273 – 20 May 2017 

25 May

This week's Hi-viz heroes: If you can help us out by volunteering in future weeks, please get in touch.

Roswell and Coast to Coast AM 

25 May

Over at Coast to Coast AM you can find a summary of last night's show, on which I was interviewed about my new book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy .

Year 5 have been working on a whole class mural 

25 May

After studying work by artist Chris Ofili children in Year 5 have been inspired to create their own mural.

Community Event: Bees and Butterflies! 

25 May

Caldmore Community Garden would like to invite you to their “Bees and Butterflies” Open Day this Saturday, 27th May.

Making the most of every single day #SpendItWell 

25 May

*A post in collaboration with Marks and Spencer Every morning at 6:30am, my alarm goes off and I hit snooze.

How to sleep better during allergy season 

25 May

*A collaborative post  Allergy sufferers can really struggle to sleep and, if your sleep is continuously disrupted, your overall health can be affected.

Modroc magic in Year 6 

24 May

In Year 6 we are thinking about theatre and drama in our Lights, Camera, action… project .

Channeling The Old Masters 

24 May

Jain McKay RBSA Channeling The Old Masters My aim when starting to work on this show was to be inspired by good painting but to make it contemporary and relevant in todays art world.

Great dog show event this Bank Holiday Monday at Walsall Arboretum 

24 May

Source: Great dog show event this Bank Holiday Monday at Walsall Arboretum Filed under: Uncategorized...

Community Swim 5th-30th June 2017 

24 May

Swimming will be closed for the May holiday week, and when we re-open we will be running on a limited schedule for 4 weeks.

FrightFind & Roswell 

23 May


Beware of the Grinning Man 

23 May

That's the topic of my latest Mysterious Universe article - one of the stranger, supernatural entities that is "out there.

Year 3’s Fun at Kingsbury Waterpark! 

22 May

During their trip, the children used and extended their knowledge of the ‘Water Water’ topic through activities such as pond dipping and a river study.

Planning our French getaway 

22 May

In just under 3 weeks we’ll be flying off to France to enjoy a week in the sunshine (hopefully!) We’ll be staying with Canvas Holidays who have invited us to spend the week at their luxury campsite in Berny-Rivière which is in the north-west of ...

When Roswell Believers Attack Roswell Believers… 

22 May

That's the subject of a new article from me at Mysterious Universe - on the strange event which happened in Lincoln County, New Mexico in July 1947...

CCF Interviews 

22 May

The interview process for Barr Beacon School’s first ever Cadet Force is in full swing with possible recruits taking part in an interview and team building task before being selected to attend the trial period starting after the May half term.

Sudocrem wants you to Go Play More 

22 May

*A collaborative post  On my journey throughout motherhood, Sudocrem has been a pretty reliable companion over the last four years.

Only In Your Underwear 

22 May

Yay! The joys of being self-employed.

An Evening with Boycott & Aggers 

22 May

I took my Sister, Brother-in-Law and Nephew to The Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton to this event and what a great evening it was.

The U-Boat Offensive by V.E. Tarrant 

22 May

This is quote an academic book regarding one of the most vital conflicts of WWII.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 21 May 2017 

21 May

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Andy RICHARDSON 26:09 Eesa SADIQ 36:43 Umei NAMBIO 27:13 Lisa BRAITHWAITE 36:44 Anila PATEL 27:37 Janet BOGLE 37:06 Khaleel ALI 27:49 Bethany LEE 37:25 Scott WRIGHT 27:51 Bethany...

#SlimmingSunday (Week 12 – 2017) 

21 May

Welcome back to #SlimmingSunday, the new weightloss, fitness and healthy lifestyle linky with me, MrsShilts and Michelle from Mummy From The Heart.

We’re in! 

20 May

Well we are in! We have moved.

Meet Your New Prefects! 

19 May

Following our ‘Prefect Launch’ assembly with Year 10 on Friday 17th March, Heads of House have selected their Prefects for 2017/2018.

Gruffalo hunting at Birches Valley, Cannock Chase 

18 May

A couple of weekends ago, we headed to our local forestry commission, Birches Valley at Cannock Chase to spend an afternoon hunting for the Gruffalo.

Scrap Craft – The Art Of Making Do & Being Unique 

18 May

Ever heard of scrap craft? According to gardening guru Guardian columnist, Alys Fowler , in her superbly sensible book, The Thrifty Gardener , it's when you reuse or recycle unwanted items into something useful.

Event 272 – 13 May 2017 

18 May

This week's Hi-viz heroes: If you can help us out by volunteering in future weeks, please get in touch.

Year 5 Class 8 sunflowers day 10  

18 May

Yes!! They have started to grow.

The joy of moving home…. 

18 May

I have read recently that “moving house” no longer makes it into the top list of most stressful life events.

The Health and Happiness Show 

18 May

Filed under: Uncategorized...

Smoke, Fire, and Monsters… 

17 May

That's the subject of a new article from me...

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Today’s Buy To Let Deal, 3 Bed Terraced House, West Street, Walsall, WS3. With Yields Of 6.00%. 

26 May

There is  very nice spec here and can be let as is.

Which side are you on? 

26 May

I have to admit that until Monday evening, I had never heard of Ariana Grande and even now, more than 72 hours later, I remain completely unfamiliar with her work but recognise that her talent and status make her important as an icon and role model ...

Just the job… local lad still looking for work 

26 May

I have here an imprtant and unusual request from long time friend and blog stalwart David Evans, whose son is looking for a job locally.

NUMBERS: Survey: Press Releases are Sunday Best 

25 May

A few weeks ago I blogged about press releases and asked people to educate themselves as to how effective they now are.

Vigil at the Crossing at St Paul’s 

25 May

Reverend Mark Kinder organised and led a vigil at the Crossing at St Paul’s on Tuesday 23 May 2017 to remember those who were killed in Manchester.

Family history in Clayhanger: What do you know? 

25 May

I've had a very interesting enquiry from new reader Annie who's working on her family history which involves a family that were resident in Clayhanger High Street at the beginning of the last century.

Walsall’s new Mayor’s inclusive style cuts across party lines 

24 May

Cllr Marco Longhi Walsall’s 640th Mayor Marco Longhi was unanimously elected by his fellow councillors as Walsall’s Mayor for 2017/18 at the Annual Meeting of the full council on Monday evening.

Great dog show event this Bank Holiday Monday at Walsall Arboretum 

24 May

Facebook pal of the blog Mark Poole has asked me to shout out to readers that he's staging an event in Walsall Arboretum this coming May Bank Holiday (29th May 2017) in aid of the Laradorsinneed.

Multi-faith discussion 

23 May

I joined a multi-faith discussion, broadcasted by Kanshi TV, to reflect on the Manchester atrocity and talk about the issues that affect each community.

The 2017 General Election and the Walsall Property Market. 

23 May

The past does not equal the future however, it’s as good a barometer as any when it comes to making  attempts to predict it.

New Hall Mill open day this Bank Holiday Monday – could you be a Friend of the Mill? 

23 May

Theres a lovely thing to visit locally this Bank Holiday Monday (29th May 2017), that's close by, free and absolutely fascinating...

Urgent – Millie the dog stolen from Brownhills West – can you help? 

22 May

I note from local social media that a pug cross dog, Millie was stolen this evening, Monday 22nd May 2017 from Hednesford Road, Brownhills - I would ask that anyone seeing the dog, or who knows who may have her, contact the local police, K9 Search or...

Consideration being given to creating the longest Local Nature Reserve in the West Midlands 

22 May

Walsall Council’s Labour/Liberal Democrat Cabinet will be considering a report in July on work which has been progressing between Walsall MBC and the City of Wolverhampton Council, Canal and River Trust and Natural England to designate a new Local...

Walsall Council prepares to swear in new Mayor 

22 May

As the current Mayor of Walsall Cllr Kath Phillips prepares to bow out at the end of her year office a new incumbent, Cllr Marco Longhi, is preparing to be sworn in at the Annual Meeting this evening.

If you didn’t know it, you can meet a Poet at Brownhills Library this Wednesday! 

22 May

This Wednesday, 24th May 2017 it'll be a rather special day at Brownhills Library in the Parkview Centre as Brownhills adopts its own poet for a day! Continue reading...

The Portman Collection – part ten: The appliance of science 

21 May

In the tenth and sadly penultimate serialised article of what will turn out to be a series of eleven, here's the next batch of photos from Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s as introduced in this blog post here - sadly, these images don't ...

The Metz office? 

21 May

An intriguing enquiry reaches me from local historian and blog dynamo the young David Evans, who's after a rather specific bit of history relating to a lost courtyard of dwellings in Brownhills High Street Called 'The Metz'.

Claridges – a great local company, but do you remember Percy? 

21 May

I've had a couple of appeals reach me in the last couple of days, one from Pat at Clartidges, and one from Emma Kempson from Pioneer Magazines in Aldridge who are writing an article celebrating 60 years of the local electrical retailer's trading.

Travellers encamp at Holland Park 

21 May

I’ve received a few emails, tweets and Facebook posts pointing out that travellers encamped at Holland Park, Brownhills last Friday, 19th May 2017.

Adam Ainsworth – his four wives, curs and a horsewhipping 

20 May

This isn't about Aldridge or even Walsall.

Theme for a meme… 

20 May

In the past couple of days, reader and local chap Christopher Evans posted the following, wonderful image he'd taken of Morris, the Brownhills Miner at sunset on Facebook here - I think you'll agree it's rather wonderful, so thanks to him for that! ...

Valerie attends open day of Zia-E-Madinah Masjid 

20 May

On Saturday 20 May 2017 I attended the open day of Zia-E-Madinah Masjid in Darlaston.

Life’s rich tapestry – on show at Brownhills Library until Friday! 

20 May

My apologies for only just spotting this, but there's a great display of a wonderful community artwork currently ongoing at Brownhills Library in the Parkview Centre, running until next Friday, 26th May 2017.

Non stop collision in Walsall Wood: Police appeal for help 

20 May

I note that Aldridge Police are appealing for help and seeking witnesses of a traffic incident that apparently took place on Friday, 19th May 2017, described as occurring in the 'Walsall Wood area'.

Images from the Walsall Wood Veterans Match 

19 May

Last week you'll remember no doubt that I advertised the Shire Oak Saints Football Festival that took place last Sunday (14th May 2017) and I asked readers to send photos - well, thanks to Simon Evans I can share this lovely gallery of images from ...

Catch The Fazys at The Memo this Saturday! 

19 May

Dawn Hayton from The Memo in Lichfield Road, Brownhills (That's the Memorial Hall for the uninitiated) has been in touch to tell me that there's a great pop gig on there this Saturday, 20th May 2017 featuring local five-piece covers band The Fazys.

Pen pals 

19 May

In an age of brutally instant electronic communication, how pleasant and delightful it is to receive an actual letter through the post that is not a final demand, court summons or an invitation to the home owner or occupier to wave goodbye with ...

Look, there’s a familiar man on the TV… 

18 May

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore revealed a surprise today - he's been on BBC Midlands Today with presenter Bob Hockenhull talking about the remarkable project behind which David has been the prime ...

Valerie visits Palfrey Sure Start 

18 May

It was a pleasure to visit Palfrey Sure Start’s mother and baby clinic on Thursday 18 May 2017 to meet its hardworking team and see the children enjoying themselves.

In the soup again… at Chasewater this Saturday! 

18 May

This Saturday, 20th May 2017 sees the second Chasewater Soup micro funding event, run by, among others, Kate cardigan from Lichfield Lore.

New plan brings together public and private sectors working with local communities for the common good 

18 May

Special Cabinet: Thursday 18 May 2017 @ 6.00 pm @ Walsall Council House.

Concerned about local crime issues? Meeting next Monday in Brownhills 

18 May

There's a very interesting meeting taking place at 7:30pm Monday, 22nd May 2017 - that of Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch (but is open to anyone interested in local crime issues).

Valerie chairs Q&A session with Keir Starmer in Walsall 

17 May

I was delighted to chair a question and answer session with Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, at the Park Inn hotel in Walsall on Wednesday 17 May 2017.

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REVIEW: The Wedding Singer the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 

25 May

FORGET Romeo and Juliet, the Wedding Singer is a romantic tale of Robbie and Julia who both overcome romantic misfortunes to find their 'happily ever after'.

The curse of Early Access 

22 May

We know the positives of Early Access.

Opera Boys to bring ‘powerhouse of vocal harmony’ to Lichfield… 

17 May

CLASSICAL Crossover vocal harmony group The Opera Boys are coming to the Lichfield Garrick on May 20.

Jenkins Library 

14 May

Jesus fuck I hope this is the last Jenkins blog I do.

Comedy society celebrates 50 years 

8 May

ALDRIDGE Musical Comedy Society (AMCS) is making a welcome return to the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock for a magnificent celebration of 50 years as a society.


6 May

I wanted to explain how to write Jenkinsfiles in my last post but I blurted on too much.

Bananarama announce Birmingham date as part of one-off tour 

4 May

The girl group that defined the 80s are back to their original line-up for a ONE-OFF tour, it has been announced.

Smash hit Funny Girl is on its way to Birmingham Hippodrome 

2 May

SHERIDAN Smith is coming to Birmingham as part of smash hit musical Funny Girl.


29 Apr

A long long time ago we used Jenkins.

Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival 2017 

25 Apr

THE third Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival is fast approaching with the line-up confirmed and programmes hot off the press.

Tickets for new Lady Gaga tour date on sale 

6 Apr

LADY Gaga's Joanne World Tour one of this year's biggest events keeps getting hotter and hotter with sold out shows and additional dates added in response to extremely high demand throughout North America and Europe.

Jason Donovan to bring new tour to Birmingham 

3 Apr

FROM Neighbours to a chart-topping music career, Jason Donovan has consistently captured the hearts of his adopted country and entertained us all along the way.

Haywire at the Lichfield Garrick 

31 Mar

AFTER their record-breaking performance of Dad's Army in January, The Lichfield Players will be back on the Lichfield Garrick studio stage next month with their next production of Haywire by BAFTA award winner Eric Chappell, whose extensive list of ...

Gareth Gates to star in Jack and the Beanstalk panto 

29 Mar

WOLVERHAMPTON Grand Theatre has revealed the first names to star in the 2017/18 pantomime.

More More blogs

Outdoors »

Railway Inn Beer Festival – Pelsall 

26 May

The excellent local festival commenced tonight.

Friday 26th May 2017 

26 May

1215 - 1330 Quarry & marsh (hot & sunny, 27c) - Common Blue, Small Heath, Dingy Skipper, Burnet Companion 8+, Mother Shipton 2, Latticed Heath, Speckled Wood 5.

Bank Holiday coming up 

26 May

For those amongst you who like your ale, just a reminder that this weekend is the annual May beer Festival at the RAILWAY INN in Pelsall.

May 24th – One of the more strikingly beautiful wayside flowers… 

25 May

May 24th - One of the more strikingly beautiful wayside flowers that grow pretty much as weeds along the cycleways and towpaths is Hawkweed.

The things you expect me to do! 

24 May

Today's star bird! - Well you know what I mean? Early afternoon, temperature in the mid-twenties and I should be safely ensconced in a darkened room looking out at the idiot sun-worshippers and laughing - where am I actually, walking a half circuit ...

Wednesday 24th May 2017 

24 May

1130 - 1230 sunny, 22c : Common Tern, LBb Gull 71, Herring Gull 5, LR Plover, Lapwing 2, Grey Wagtail 2, Pied Wagtail, Heron, Mute Swan pair + 5, GC Grebe 4, Whitethroat 2, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Swallow 3, Buzzard, etc.

May 23rd – With warmer weather, during the warm hours, the urban… 

24 May

May 23rd - With warmer weather, during the warm hours, the urban cat population revert ro their languid, lazy norms, finding shady, peaceful spots to doze and watch the world go by - at least until it’s cooler, when they tend to be more active.

May 22nd – A long time since I featured Jockey Meadows here -… 

23 May

May 22nd - A long time since I featured Jockey Meadows here - the Site of Special Scientific Interest lying on wetland between Walsall Wood and Shelfield.

May 23rd – Spotted in Walsall late this afternoon, parked up… 

23 May

May 23rd - Spotted in Walsall late this afternoon, parked up outside the Saddlers Health Centre - this Dutch box bike, clearly used for transporting a child.

A Breeding First for the Marsh and Mere 

22 May

The happy Mom (or more likely Dad) - Photo Courtesy of Sindy Weals Thanks to Anita Scott and Ray Fellows for confirming that the two Greylag Geese that have been spending so much time on the Mere have had a secret agenda! The result is the sites ...

Monday 22nd May 2017 

22 May

1000 - 1130 usual hazy sun, 15c : Oystercatcher, Lapwing, LR Plover, Common Tern, Swift 6, Swallow 7, GC Grebe 2, Heron, Mute Swan pair + 5 cygnets, Tufted Duck 4, LBb Gull 25, Herring Gull 2, Pied Wagtail 2, Blackcap 2, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, ...

A disapointing trip to Chasewater 

21 May

A nice day for a visit to the Pool but with an agenda.

May 20th – I popped out for a short run on shopping errands to… 

21 May

May 20th - I popped out for a short run on shopping errands to Brownhills, in a gap in the rain.

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