Black Country news and blogs Tuesday 6 December 2016
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What happened to Five Ways pub? 

7 Dec

I HOPE you can help me, my wife and I now live in the south of England, but when we lived in Walsall we sometimes used to go to a pub in Lower Gornal.

Beacon’s Got Talent 2016 

6 Dec

Come and watch Beacon’s stage come to life in Beacon’s Got Talent 2016.

Cooking up a Christmas feast with Bacofoil 

6 Dec

It’s just three weeks until the big day and there’s still so much to get organised.

#WeKnowWhatMatters with Holiday Inn Express 

6 Dec

With Christmas just a few short weeks away, my focus shifts from buying and wrapping presents to making plans for how we’ll be spending time with our families this Christmas.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 3 December 2016 

5 Dec

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Paulinho CARIATA 20:15 Louise ASPINALL 28:08 Thomas HODGSON 23:18 Stephen DOUGHTY 34:21 Ben LEE 24:50 Charlotte LEE 37:43 Stephen BERRY 27:03 Amanda LEE 37:44 Wing LIU 28:02 ...

Top tips for being a busy Mum on the go 

5 Dec

*A post in collaboration with Rennie® Being a Mum is pretty much more than I thought it would ever be.

New Articles Online… 

4 Dec

A few new articles...

All Saints Church Set List 

3 Dec

This Time of Year Let it Snow Sweet Child of Mine Dancing on my Own O’ Holy Night Like a Prayer Somewhere Only We Know Hallelujah Stay Another Day Silent Night Last Christmas Here it is Merry Xmas...

All Aboard The Polar Express at Telford Steam Railway 

3 Dec

Last year we introduced Olly to the film, The Polar Express and it was one of the first films he watched the whole way through.

The Years Of Living Dangerously 

2 Dec

Where's those 30-odd years of my adult life gone? I'm 50 next week.

Taking off the pressure | being my own worst enemy 

2 Dec

I am pretty much my own worst enemy.

Using Olbas for Children this winter 

2 Dec

*A collaborative post With my three year old starting pre-school in September, the last couple of months have seen us warding off the cold and flu bugs.

Remembering lads at Bloxwich school 

2 Dec

FOR MANY people schooldays were among the happiest of their lives and we are always pleased when readers wish to share their memories with us.

Review: My First Scalextric 

2 Dec

Whenever we’ve been to friends and family’s homes and they’ve had a Scalextric to play with, Olly has always made a beeline for it.

Revisit: The Boatmans Rest 

1 Dec

Original post here I’d been meaning to reblog this for a long time.

Open Mic Club 

1 Dec

Filed under: Uncategorized...

It’s beginning to look a lot like a Magical Christmas at Drayton Manor 

1 Dec

At the weekend, we drove over to Drayton Manor to enjoy their Magical Christmas event.

The Me and Mine Project | November 2016 

30 Nov

November where did you go? The month we were really looking forward to as a family has flashed by in a blur.

Walsall Arboretum parkrun, Event number 247 – 26th November 2016 

29 Nov

News Walsall Council is looking to support the start up of a junior parkrun and Charlotte from the council will be coming down to the arbo this weekend.

Black Country Museum –  Photo Blog 

29 Nov

This was a photo I took a few years ago to the Black country museum.

What to buy a three year old boy for Christmas 

29 Nov

I am so excited for Christmas this year and I share this excitement with my three year old little boy.

Powis Castle –  Photo Blog  

28 Nov

This was a photo I took on a visit to Powis Castle in Welshpool, Wales earlier this year.

Looking Forward to The White Rabbit Project 

28 Nov

Netflix have just released the trailer for the white rabbit project and looks great.

Important Message to Members 

28 Nov

Hi all, quick message to let you know a member of the Heart FM Team will be coming to meet us tomorrow night (29th Nov) at our Tuesday night rehearsal at Pelsall.

Ain’t Going To Goa…Yet! 

28 Nov

Today is sunglasses and big coat weather, which I like...

We Will Rock You 

28 Nov

On Wednesday 7 th  December and Thursday 8 th  December the Performing Arts department will be hosting the musical We Will Rock You.

Children In Need 2016 

28 Nov

Fundraising for Children In Need not only involved pupils and staff coming dressed as superheroes or covered in spots but also a bake sale and a special event: A Lip Sync Battle led by Heads of House.

Tanker man unearths rare photo of Thompson Tweed 

28 Nov

GILBERT Greaves of Willenhall has made it his mission to preserve as much as possible of the history of the firm he spent years working for.

Staying in the south at Park Inn by Radisson London Heathrow 

28 Nov

We often travel to London for various things.

An away day with Rupert and Toby 

27 Nov

My first Rugby Union International at the home of the English game i.

It is a man’s world… 

27 Nov

It is man’s world.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 26 November 2016 

27 Nov

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Callum KYFFIN 24:51 Tracy WEBSTER 32:13 Richard ALLMARK 28:32 Kathryn MCGLONE-THOMSON 43:04 Amy FITZGERALD 31:28 Stephen DOWLING 45:28 Joining us for the first time from other ...

Which way to go? – Lego Adventures  

26 Nov

The very hard decision deciding which path to take the left or the right, what he didn’t realize is they both lead back onto each other.

The Best Little Bathouse In Texas 

26 Nov

I had a bucket list day on halloween.

Nessie and Bigfoot at School… 

25 Nov

Every November and December, me and good friend Shelly Covington-Montana do a series of lectures on the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot for the kids of Dallas' Highland Park School District.

More Articles… 

25 Nov

A few more new articles: 1.

More Features

Comment »

SOCIAL CUP: How to do social customer services… a lesson from Yorkshire 

6 Dec

Look, this is lovely.

Above the law 

6 Dec

It is becoming depressingly clear that sections of the UK media and swathes of the UK public have a remarkably thin grasp of how the law works so here is a word of advice to those attempting to undermine the credibility and national loyalty of senior...

CAFE SOCIETY: How the secret of coffee and cake can network your organisation’s comms 

5 Dec

For five years I worked in the public sector trying to embed digital communications across the organisation and in that time we found two secrets.

“Needs Work” 3 Bed House, Cecil Street, Walsall, WS4. With Yields Of 6.60%. 

5 Dec

A three bed terraced house in the Butts area Walsall, WS4.

Our Village – a great new local history book for Aldridge – out now and selling fast! 

5 Dec

There are a handful of great local history books out at the moment, just in time for Christmas, that would makes great gifts for those with a local interest - last week I noted the new book on Brownhills pubs by Clive Roberts, and I'm posting today ...

Appeal made for household items in aid of couple affected by Wyre Close fire 

4 Dec

Following the unfortunate house fire in Wyre Close, Walsall Wood on Saturday evening (3rd December 2016) friend of the couple affected, Abigail Claire has been appealing for anyone that may be discarding useful household items to donate them if they ...

TRUSTING ME: A quick guide to who, what and how to deliver a better message 

4 Dec

When you’ve got a difficult message to deliver don’t just send out the next cab on the rank.

Ice cream, miners, silent cinema and the Jones Boys. What do you know? 

4 Dec

An absolutely fantastic enquiry came in a couple of weeks ago (see how far I am behind? Sorry) from Sue Clarke in Hilton, Cambridgeshire which blends a number of disparate topics covered here including ice cream, old cycle shops, local music and ...

Woodmen enter new era with draw at Loughborough 

4 Dec

Saturday afternoon (3rd December 2016), Walsall Wood F.

House fire in Walsall Wood yesterday evening 

4 Dec

Sad to report a house fire occurred yesterday evening (Saturday, 3rd December 2016) - apparently in Wyre Close, Walsall Wood.


4 Dec

There is something irresistibly delicious in witnessing a pompous, privileged, and ultimately pathological politician unceremoniously dumped by a savvy electorate...

TV TIMES: That Yellow Pages bike TV ad from the 1980s? It’s emotion, stupid. 

3 Dec

I’ve blogged about how emotion has become the key to communicating in 2016 but it’s nothing new.

Suspicious activity in Brownhills: Be on your guard 

3 Dec

A strange one reaches me via a reader on Facebook - it seems there's been an odd trio of people operating in Lichfield Road, Brownhills this afternoon (Saturday, 3rd December 2016), and in the current climate it seems best to be safe and warn readers...

Aldridge Christmas Tree Festival – on all weekend! 

3 Dec

Continuing the burst of Christmas events (Where the devil did Christmas come from all of a sudden?) there's a wonderful Christmas Tree Festival at Aldridge Methodist Church running today (Saturday 3rd December 2016) right up until 6pm tonight, and ...

Enjoy live music at The Chase Inn this weekend! 

3 Dec

The Chase Inn at Newtown, Brownhills goes from strength to strength - there's not only great ale and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, but great live music most weekends, too - and tonight (Saturday 26th November 2016) there's top local pub rock band The...

Walsall Wood away to Loughborough this afternoon! 

3 Dec

Your chance to catch walsall Wood FC away at Loughborough this afternoon! Continue reading...

Beware: Children approached in Brownhills in two recent incidents 

2 Dec

Somewhat worryingly, a couple of incidents involving men approaching schoolchildren have been reported today (Friday, 2nd December 2016) in the local area that will be of concern to all local residents, but particularly parents.

Superb 3 Bedroom Terraced House, Bentley Lane, Walsall, WS2. With Yields Of 6.60%. 

2 Dec

A three bedroom terraced house in the Birchills area of Walsall, WS2.

FILM ALERT: Don’t be Groundhog Day 

2 Dec

Yesterday was a good day.

Badger baiting taking place locally as wounded dog found in Brownhills 

2 Dec

Here's an absolutely horrific story currently running across local media - on Monday evening, 28th November 2016 a local resident found a badly injured dog at Chester Road up by Brownhills Common - the dog, later christened Elf, was suffering ...

Valerie raises a Point of Order on DCLG and Walsall Council 

1 Dec

On 1 December 2016, I raised a point of order in the House of Commons.

Business Questions 1 December 2016 

1 Dec

On 1 December 2016, as Shadow Leader of the House, I started Business questions by calling for the Government to announce the forthcoming business.

Skittles and pie nights at the Chase Inn – starting tonight! 

1 Dec

As well as being a great venue for live music and quality ale, the Chase Inn have started a new entertainment option for the pre-Christmas period: Skittles and pie nights, the first of which is tonight, 1st December 2016.

2 Bed Terraced House, Trent Place, Walsall, WS3. With Yields Of 5.40%. 

30 Nov

A two bedroom terraced house in the Blakenall Heath area of Walsall, WS3.

ALARM BELL: The Unexpected Door Opening and a comms lesson 

30 Nov

Can you remember a single lesson from when to at school? Not the dates and fact you learned but the actual lesson that delivered them? For me, one stands out above all others.

Urgent! Please look out for a moped stolen from Walsall Wood 

30 Nov

I see the thefts and criminality in Walsall Wood continnue - please be on the lookout for a stolen moped VX07CSY, taken on Monday evening 28th November 2016 from Ivy Grove just off Occupation Road, Walsall Wood.

Find out about a great local canal restoration with a guided walk this Saturday! 

30 Nov

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the organised walk of the SUmmerhill section that's taking place this Saturday, 3rd December 2016.

FILTERED AIR: The social media bubble and one step to begin to combat it 

29 Nov

The issue of social media bubbles has become a bubble of its own just lately.

Walsall Landlords and Tenants : What does the Tenant Fee Banning order mean for you? 

29 Nov

Tenant Fees set to be banned within 12 to 18 months Rents due to rise as those fees passed to Landlords Landlords won’t be worse off – and neither will tenants or agents With our new Chancellor of the Exchequer revealing a ban on tenant fees in...

Shires: Conservatives should look to their own record before claiming the moral high ground 

29 Nov

Commenting on the news recently that the Former Leader of Walsall Council Cllr Mike Bird was criticising the current Labour/Lib Dem Leadership of the council for engaging Julie Alderson as Interim Executive Director for Change and Governance, ...

Brownhills Christmas Market Magic 2016 – coming soon! 

29 Nov

Diane Mansell at the Walsall District Management Team has written to let me know that there will be a Christmas market event in Brownhills this year, planned for Saturday 10th December 2016, and the team are appealing for stallholders.

Fancy a brew and a chat? Pop into Brownhills Library today! 

29 Nov

Here's a great chance for a bit of a chinwag, a brew and even a biscuit for anyone who can make it to Brownhills Library, this and every Tuesday morning from 10am until 12 noon, where the new Place of Welcome initiative is running.


29 Nov

In terms of religious superstition, when Donald Trump talks of millions of illegal votes, Theresa May states that she is governed by her faith in Almighty God and Nigel Farage, without any sense of irony, claims that he is fear for his life, then it ...

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More blogs »

Crimes Against Christmas – an anti-panto for adults 

5 Dec

AGATHA Christie meets 12 Days of Christmas in the Lichfield Garrick's ultimate anti-panto, Crimes Against Christmas.

Strictly Come Dancing Live is back! 

2 Dec

CELEBRATING their tenth fab-u-lous year, the entertainment extravaganza is back on the road for a supersized amount of Strictly magic! With a new celebrity line-up and a host of breath-taking dance routines guaranteed to leave audiences spellbound, ...

Lichfield Arts hit all the right notes for autumn season 

28 Nov

LICHFIELD Arts opens its new season of concerts with four nights of music for all tastes, ranging from hard rock, to folk, jazz and blues.

Dear Santa comes to life at the Lichfield Garrick 

24 Nov

IT is the time of year when children across the area are putting together their present lists.

Swashbuckling fun as REP sets sail for Treasure Island 

22 Nov

GET ready for some swashbuckling fun as Birmingham Repertory Theatre sets sail for Treasure Island this Christmas.

Aladdin panto swoops into Wolverhampton’s Grand 

21 Nov

ALADDIN is coming to Wolverhampton as the pantomime season gets under way.

Innovative film explores X-ray experience in dance and sound 

18 Nov

HIPPODROME Creative has announced details of an innovative new digital dance film and sonic soundscape commemorating the anniversary of the first medical X-ray.

Spamalot: 2017 dates announced for Wolverhampton Grand 

15 Nov

LISTEN out for the sound of banging coconut shells as one of Monty Python's favourite sketches gallops back.

​Simply Red celebrate 25th anniversary of ‘Stars’ at the Genting… 

14 Nov

SIMPLY Red take their classic album 'Stars' on the road this November in what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the year; and as part of the tour, they will visit the Genting Arena in Birmingham on Sunday, November 20.

Steamworks SDK 

1 Nov

I’ve been working on Facepunch.

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at Birmingham’s New Alexandra… 

1 Nov

I MUST admit that I went into this production blind.

Nintendo reveal new console – Nintendo Switch 

20 Oct

NINTENDO have today (October 20) revealed their new console launching in 2017 - the Nintendo Switch.

Rockstar Games confirm that we’re most certainly getting a new… 

17 Oct

ROCKSTAR Games has injected some fresh Wild West hype into the world after their latest social media posts confirmed that a new Red Dead game is on its way.

University of Wolverhampton Big Band 

17 Oct

When: Wednesday, 26 October 2016 from 19:30 to 22:30 (BST) Where: The Performance Hub, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus Magdalene Rd WS1 Walsall United Kingdom Hosted By: The Performance Hub, University of Wolverhampton Register for this ...

More More blogs

Outdoors »

Monday 5th December 2016 

5 Dec

1430 - 1500 hazy sun, frosty, 4c : Lapwing 5 + another 11 on field at Daw End canal, Rushall, Goosander 4, Wigeon 3, Teal 9, Tufted 12, Heron, M.

December 1st – The long-closed Shire Oak Pub at the crossroads… 

5 Dec

December 1st - The long-closed Shire Oak Pub at the crossroads atop Shire Oak hill reopened only a few days ago, and it’s so nice to see the building lit up again at night.

December 1st – Unusual to see cats about more than fleetingly in… 

5 Dec

December 1st - Unusual to see cats about more than fleetingly in the cold, dark evenings, but passing through north Walsall I was accosted by this lithe, shiny coated cat who mewed at me softly.

An Update – with better news. 

4 Dec

After my last posting I received an e-mail from Chris and Graham Weston who paid the site a visit this morning: Hi Chaz, We went over Clayhanger this morning for 1.5 hours and here are the more unusual sightings.

Great White – Elephant! 

4 Dec

Why is it always when I am half way through a meal that someone contacts me with interesting bird news - a certain law must surely apply? So it was that at lunchtime today I received a text from Anita to say that there was an Egret on the island in ...

Twitching by bus – again! 

2 Dec

Photo (C) Jonathan Woodcock After having to turn down a lift on Wednesday and not having heard any news today, I decided to roll the dice and see if I could locate the female Velvet Scoter that has been at Chasewater since Tuesday.

Friday 2nd December 2016 

2 Dec

1015 - 1130 overcast, 6c : Lapwing 144, Common Gull 4, GBb Gull 15, Herring / LBb Gull 85, Bh Gull 250, Greylag 2, Cormorant 3, M.

Get your tour souvenirs here! 

2 Dec

It’s a sign that the Great White Egret is on tour and not only putting itself about a bit, but is also conspicuous enough to catch the attention of non-birders.

Thursday 1st December 2016 

1 Dec

Linley Wood 1400 - 1500 fairly sunny, 6c : Nuthatch 2, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit 2, Long-tailed Tit 6, Redwing & Fieldfare mixed flock of 15+, Blackbird 6, Wren, Chaffinch 2, Goldfinch 5, etc.

Tuesday 29th November 2016 

30 Nov

1230 sunny after frosty night : Cormorant, Heron, M Swan 4, GBb Gull 6, Common Gull, Teal 4, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing 80+.

Mid-Week update 

30 Nov

Wigeon numbers increase as smaller pools freeze Just the usual suspects on the Marsh and Mere and one or two of the usual suspects on the shore.

November 29th – A dreamy, icy, freezing morning that turned my… 

30 Nov

November 29th - A dreamy, icy, freezing morning that turned my breath to clouds of steam and air that hurt the back of my throat, all in glorious, glorious hazy sunshine.

November 28th – Although Victoria Park in Darlaston is beautiful… 

29 Nov

November 28th - Although Victoria Park in Darlaston is beautiful any time of year, in winter it comes into it’s own.

More Outdoors

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