Black Country news and blogs Tuesday 24 January 2017
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Later Start Tonight 

24 Jan

Hi members, please arrive slightly later tonight at 7.15pm to allow sufficient time for the car park to be vacated prior to our arrival.


Press Pass with the Albion Foundation 

24 Jan

Two groups of students were invited to flex their journalistic muscles during two different West Bromwich Albion games.


Encouraging learning with Education Quizzes 

24 Jan

*This is a collaborative post My nearly-four year old son is a quick learner.


First Timers and Record Breakers – 21 January 2017 

23 Jan

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Hum GURUNG 18:33 Jessica FORKNALL 36:57 Ravi THAPA 19:39 Tim POWELL 37:54 Ryan MCCARTHY 23:36 Victoria CARTER 38:38 James REAMES 25:32 Jackie WILKINSON 39:17 Stuart RAWLINGS 25:...


Meal Planning Monday 23rd January 2017 

23 Jan

Another Monday, another Meal Planning post.


{The Ordinary Moments 17} #3 Friday afternoons 

22 Jan

Fridays are my absolute favourite day of the week.


Creating Website Type App – Google Chrome Windows 

21 Jan

This is a quick tip on how to make a website a web type app within Windows using Google Chrome Browser.


My Fathers Brass Belt Buckle Collection 

21 Jan

As regular reader will know my late father collected all sorts of items, one was belt buckles.


Lock It Up – Photo Blog 

21 Jan

I took this photo of just a padlock on a gate while out on a walk,  thought it would make a nice shot.


Community Events: Holocaust Memorial Day 

20 Jan

Walsall will mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27 January with a special midday multi-faith and community event at St Paul’s, The Crossing in the town centre.


Top tips for hosting a stress-free birthday party 

20 Jan

*A collaborative post In just a few short weeks, my three year old will be turning celebrating his fourth birthday and with so many of his pre-school friends being born around the same time, the birthday party invitations have been flying home.


The one with the dodgy equipment – 14 January 2017 

19 Jan

Surprisingly, "Is this thing supposed to beep when you press the button" is more commonly said at parkrun than you'd think.


A Town Plunged Into A State Of Terror 

19 Jan

A new article from me at Mysterious Universe on a very weird affair that went down in France in the early 1950s...


Lose Those January Blues! 

19 Jan

Still trying to lose the January blues? Pop in for a FREE first session tonight at Streetly Community Centre from 7.30pm – good for your pocket and it is pretty good fun too...


Why parents are looking for much more in a family holiday 

18 Jan

*Post in collaboration with Tots To Travel As the dreary weather continues and families are now back into their normal routines with work and school, families just like mine are planning their escape to the sunshine for a well deserved holiday.


January blues? 

17 Jan

Beat the January blues and join your local community choir – singing is a great way to raise your spirits...


Bad Princess 

16 Jan

It will be Saturday the 18th, new revised poster coming soon.


Apologises – Normality Will Resume Soon! 

16 Jan

You’ve probably noticed my lack of updates here.


Meal Planning Monday 16th January 2017 

16 Jan

It’s Monday and time for my regular Meal Planning Monday post.


Taking blogging a step further in 2017 

15 Jan

It’s absolutely no secret that I love to blog.


A cold rainy weekend in January 

15 Jan

The week has been quite cold and with the parents (and a lot of others) falling victim to a nasty flu like bug, it’s been quite a depressing time.


Walsall 4:1 Sheffield United 

15 Jan

Saturday saw the return of the Brother-in-Law return to the Bescot this year and prompted Walsall to play one of the best games and the most goals I’ve seen them score since the 2003-04 season! Right from the off, Walsall were at it and scored ...


{The Ordinary Moments 17} #2 Getting a hair cut 

15 Jan

When Olly was a baby he had the most beautiful head of hair.


Midlands Victoria Cross heroes commemorated in new booklet 

14 Jan

A NEW BOOKLET by Walsall's Running Ambassador Mark Dabbs chronicles the stories of Midlands Victoria Cross heroes with all proceeds going to the Walsall Hospice Appeal.


A great week on plan | Slimming World Update 

13 Jan

After my first Slimming World weigh in of the year being not as successful as I had hoped (you can read about it here) I came away from group feeling really determined.


Happy New Year – The first parkrun of 2017 at the Arbo. 

12 Jan

News *Reminder*  The Grange car park is closed.


School Closure 

12 Jan

Weather forecasts have predicted snowfall in our area overnight and this may be disruptive to your journeys to school in the morning.


NEW TERM Starts Tonight  

12 Jan

Join us for the new term tonight at Streetly Community Centre from 7.30pm – first session is FREE and no singing experience needed...


First Timers and Record Breakers – 7 January 2017 

11 Jan

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Shaun DUDLEY 22:05 Tracey WHITE 35:51 Chris WHITEHOUSE 24:18 Craig HARRIS 35:53 Kurt PRITCHARD 25:51 Ade WHITE 35:57 Jon TURNER 25:56 Kerry ELLSMORE 36:35 Paresh PATEL 26:34 Gina...


Alien Artwork 

11 Jan

Last year, artist Carol Ann Rodriguez generously let me use one of her paintings in my book, Women in Black .


A Sex Pistol & Nessie… 

11 Jan

Currently reading: Lonely Boy , the autobiography of Sex Pistols' guitarist Steve Jones - which is an excellent book! Also, picked these 2 oldies up the other day at Half Price Books in Arlington, Texas - (1) a 1939 book, A Book of Fabulous Beasts ...


Pelsall gunner fought in the Battle of the Bulge 

11 Jan

ON DECEMBER 16, 1944, the Germans suddenly began, in the Belgian Ardennes, a full scale armoured attack against the weakest part of the 1st US Army sector.


Keeping toys tidy with The Sorting Box | Tidy Boxes review 

10 Jan

It’s inevitable that after every Christmas, our children are luckily inundated with toys, books and games.


NEW TERM Tonight  

10 Jan

Brand new term starts TONIGHT! Plus we have a fantastic up beat new song too.


Darlaston students raise hundreds for hospital 

10 Jan

DARLASTON students raised 720 for Birmingham Children's Hospital's Star Appeal at the end of last term, by wearing a range of Christmas woollies and festive outfits on Jolly Jumper Day.


A day out at the rugby 

9 Jan

On Sunday I went with our local Rugby Club to the Ricoh Arena to watch Wasps -v- Leicester Tigers.


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Comment »

Predictions for Walsall Property 2017 

24 Jan

January 2017 is almost over and finally I feel like the dust has settled allowing me the opportunity to catch my breath to reflect on the past year.


The rise and rise of self publishing 

24 Jan

OK, I’ll admit to a little self interest here, but bear with me.


Still looking for Andrew Cooper: a former Walsall man missing form Stourport 

24 Jan

I make no apologies for running this again - please keep an eye out for the above chap, Andrew Cooper who's still missing from his home in Stourport as he has been since Wednesday 4th January 2017 - Andrew is a gentleman from Walsall originally and ...


Why Ukip’s tax bill killed my calculator. 

23 Jan

Thank God for cheap Japanese electronics because I’m lousy at maths.


On Our Own by 2020! 

23 Jan

By 2020 Walsall Council will be getting virtually no support from the Government.


Class photos 

22 Jan

This is a taster of a truly remarkable piece of local history David Evans has been granted access to by it's owner, Tony Portman - we have a collection of photos of life at Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s.


Subaru car stolen from Aldridge – keep an eye out folks 

22 Jan

Diane Mansell, of Aldridge Village Partnership has asked that readers could please be on the lookout for this somewhat distinctive Subaru car (registration K23DHN) which was stolen from Aldridge last night (21st January 2017).


Making Sperm 

22 Jan

He's learning, I'm learning, everybody's learning.


Arrests made following Brownhills burglary 

22 Jan

Interesting news just released from West Midlands Police via WMNow: Continue reading...


Oak Park misery continues as Mikes master Wood 

22 Jan

The faith of the faithful at Oak Park is being severely tested at the moment as the Woodmen seem to be enduring a losing streak, this time to long-term combatants The Mikes yesterday afternoon (Saturday 21st January 2017).


Playing for a Freeman of Walsall 

21 Jan

Originally posted on Dischord : Yesterday we had the great pleasure of playing a gig at Walsall’s New Art Gallery.


A mystery for the narrowboat folk 

21 Jan

Here's one I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks now, but it's about time I shared this wonderful enquiry from the startlingly prolific Andy Dennis, who's running a great local/genealogy/history blog that's quite frankly, showing me a clean pair...


Remember the man with the clipboard? 

21 Jan

Interested to note that yesterday, local police finally issued an alert about the man with the clipboard panhandling for money in the Brownhills and Walsall Wood area, claiming his vehicle has been towed and he needs to get somewhere else - usually ...


Adrian Wigley: Funeral details announced 

21 Jan

Simon Reeves, friend of sadly departed son of Brownhills Adrian Wigley has been in touch to ask if I'd share with readers the details of Adrian's funeral, which takes place on Friday 3rd February 2017.


Walsall Wood FC against The Mikes this afternoon! 

21 Jan

Your chance to catch Walsall Wood FC in action against The Mikes this afternoon! Continue reading...


Clayhanger New Year litter pick this morning! 

21 Jan

I see from the excellent Madwblog that there's a New Year litter pick event going on in Clayhanger this Saturday morning (Saturday 21st January 2017) from 8:30 to 10:30am and all are welcome - kit and gloves provided! Continue reading...


Lib Dems call for demolision of derelict pub 

20 Jan

Willenhall Liberal Democrats have called for the demolition of the former Brown Jug pub in Short Heath following fears about the safety of the building.


White Hermione and Straight Biggles 

20 Jan

When I first read Harry Potter, Hermione was white.


Sweet thing 

20 Jan

I was sad to note at the weekend that Ted Gray, of Black Country confectionary maker and seller Teddy Gray's had passed away in his sleep at the age of 81.


Constant sorrow 

20 Jan

In an infinite, expanding and increasingly bizarre universe where strangeness and what once passed for normality have become blurred, the prospect of George Clooney forming a ZZ Top tribute band to perform at the inauguration of a racist con man as ...


Business Questions 19 January 2017 

19 Jan

At Business Questions I raised various issues with the Leader of the House, Rt Hon David Liddington MP.


Urgent! Bike stolen from Shelfield 

19 Jan

This morning (Thursday, January 19th 2017) at 7:10am a Trek 7300 bike like the one above but in white was taken from outside the Co-op at the former Spring Cottage in Shelfield.


Woodmen badly mauled by Wulfs 

19 Jan

Tuesday last (17th January 2016), the Woodmen faced AFC Wulfrunians at Oak Park, and sadly, were met with another resounding defeat.


Steampunk Dreams and Future Proofing 

18 Jan

Imagine a world where technology is very different to ours.


Open House Viewing For This 3 Bedroom Semi, Reservoir Street, Walsall, WS2. With Yields Of 6.49%. 

18 Jan

A 3 bedroom semi detached house in the Alumwell area of Walsall, currently marketed by Bairstoweves (01922 312 791).


Picking cherries 

18 Jan

Thank heavens, thank goodness, thank all our lucky stars and thank you sweet baby Jesus for giving us at long last some clarity and a time scale as to how the British government is systematically taking leave of its senses...


Adrian Wigley: From Sankeys Club to Blackpool North Pier 

18 Jan

There has been a huge and touching outpouring of sadness and warm-hearted memory since the sad passing of local musician and entertainer Adrian Wigley last weekend.


Failing to engage 

17 Jan

I'd just like to make a quick observation if I might, as I had very positive feedback from yesterday's meeting of Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch at the Activity Centre, but just one thing seems to have cast a shadow on the evening.


Are Walsall Pensioners ‘Trapped’ in their Homes?! 

17 Jan

During a site visit last week I was approached by a mature, friendly gentleman who lives next door to one of the properties I manage in Pelsall.


Wyre Close house fire appeal – it’s all systems go! 

17 Jan

You may recall the unfortunate house fire in Wyre Close, Walsall Wood last December, and the subsequent appeal to folks who could maybe donate unwanted household items when the couple found a house again.


Yet More accidents on the #Queslett, will #birmingham and #walsall do anything ? #greatbarr 

16 Jan

Yet again the Great Barr Observer is reporting more crashes not he Queslett Road – LINK This time on the same day and within metres of each other on the Old Horns island.


Concerned about local crime issues? Meeting tonight in Brownhills! 

16 Jan

In light of recent events, there's a very interesting meeting taking place at 7pm this evening Monday, 16th January 2017 - that of Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch.


Valerie signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment 

16 Jan

I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment on 16 January 2017 to pledge my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and to honour those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust ...


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More blogs »

Birmingham date for Kaiser Chiefs 

19 Jan

FRESH from a run of sold-out summer shows and a headline slot at this year's V Festival, Kaiser Chiefs have announced a brand new single Hole in my Soul and their first UK arena tour in two years in support of the forthcoming album Stay Together.


Willow Bird Sculptures for Adults 

14 Jan

Learn to weave a bird sculpture for your house or garden with expert basket maker Sue Kirk.


Brassed Off dates announced at Wolverhampton Grand 

12 Jan

A CLASSIC comedy drama will be the first major show produced in-house at a popular Wolverhampton theatre for more than 40 years.


Evita is set to hit the stage at Wolverhampton Grand 

9 Jan

EVITA is set to thrill audiences across Wolverhampton as the show is coming to the city later this year.


Unity 2017 Changelist 

3 Jan

We do a thing in Rust’s subreddit where we get people to post their ideal changelog.


REVIEW: Dick Whittington pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome 

22 Dec

IT'S EVERYTHING you could expect from a pantomime and more! Dick Whittington has laughs, magic, innuendo, silliness, stunts and tricks and you'll be laughing out loud through the whole of the show.


Dick Whittington promises to be an ‘unmissable’ pantomime treat 

19 Dec

OUTRAGEOUS costumes, some amazing special effects and lots of laughs that's what to expect from this year's pantomime at the Birmingham Hippodrome.


Review: Chicago The Musical at New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham 

13 Dec

SLICK, sexy, sassy and enough see-through to cover the entirety of Birmingham's Bullring Chicago rolled into town on Monday and it was a theatre-lover's dream.


Jools Holland returns to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall 

12 Dec

Musical master of ceremonies, Jools Holland, and his much loved Rhythm Blues Orchestra are set to return to Birmingham with some very special guests as part of their 2016 Autumn/Winter UK tour.


Last chance to get Status Quo fix in Birmingham 

12 Dec

THEY'VE rocked all over the world, but not for the first time Status Quo decided this would be the last of their 'electric' tours.


REVIEW: The Nutcracker – Birmingham Royal Ballet 

9 Dec

Having seen the performance many many years ago as a young girl, I was giddy with excitement to see it again - even more so to be taking my own daughter to see it this time.


REVIEW: Keep Dancing at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 

8 Dec

SEQUINS, glitter, amazing choreography, dazzling costumes...


Inside the Hodson Shop – Illustrated Talk 

7 Dec

A fascinating illustrated talk about the Hodson Shop Collection currently on display at the Leather Museum.


Leather Stud Box Workshop for Adults 

7 Dec

Learn to make a traditional leather covered stud box (suitable for storing earrings and cufflinks) with Keith Parker.


More More blogs


Outdoors »

Tuesday update 

24 Jan

A little bit of summer on the Marsh today, Ray Fellows managed to find an overwintering Chiffchaff along the mineral line this afternoon.


Are canals the common factor? 

23 Jan

Big thank you to Steve Hill for a morning out.


Monday 23rd January 2017 

23 Jan

1000 - 1130 weak sun, misty, 4c : Goldcrest, Goldfinch 6, Chaffinch m, Redwing 4, Goosander 11, Teal 14, Wigeon 6, Tufted 28, Cormorant 4, M.


January 21st – An experiment with long-exposure photography was… 

23 Jan

January 21st - An experiment with long-exposure photography was fun with these thirty second exposures.


Sunday 22nd January 2017 

22 Jan

1200 - 1230 overcast after frost, 2c : Common Gull 5, Lapwing 61, Wigeon 9, Teal 2, Heron 2, Cormorant 2, Bullfinch f, Goldfinch 6, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard.


Sunday Update 

22 Jan

It's very embarrassing but...


How does ‘Brownhills Bob’ ever sleep? 

22 Jan

Do you know what the most common interpretation of the word stupid is? - " Someone who doesn't learn from his/her mistakes ".


Saturday 21st January 2017 

21 Jan

1015 - 1100 fog & frost, 2c : Goosander 9, Wigeon 9, Teal 16, Tufted 14, Cormorant 11, Heron, M.


January 20th – Then, as if by magic, the light appeared to save… 

21 Jan

January 20th - Then, as if by magic, the light appeared to save my soul.


January 19th – Another late return, another dearth of decent… 

21 Jan

January 19th - Another late return, another dearth of decent photographic inspiration.


Friday 20th January 2017 

20 Jan

1015 - 1200 sunny (at last) 2 - 4c : Heron, Cormorant 2, M.


schadenfreude anyone? 

19 Jan

An empty bird table - redolent eh! I am not a big fan of revelling in other peoples misfortune ( I have spent too much time being the other Person ) but I will share an e-mail with you that I received tonight from one of my blog regulars.


Thursday 19th January 2017 

19 Jan

1115 - 1330 overcast, dull & damp 7c : Golden Plover, Lapwing 200+, GC Grebe, Cormorant 8, Mute Swan 5, Goosander 8, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal 10, Tufted 24, Common Gull 6, large gulls 80+, Pied Wagtail 2, Stock Dove 2, Collared Dove, GS Woodpecker, ...


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