Black Country news and blogs Monday 20 February 2017
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How to get your work selected for an Open Exhibition 

20 Feb

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be selecting for Open All Media at RBSA, it was my fist time and I was on a panel with 4 very experienced artists.

Basque Pork – Essington style. 

20 Feb

I’m not a foodie but I do like cooking and of course eating the results.

A weekend away with the Toyota C-HR 

20 Feb

Last weekend we had the pleasure of test driving the new Toyota C-HR, a beautiful beast of a hybrid car that simply wowed me.

Going back to Edinburgh 

20 Feb

Back in December 2004, Greg and I celebrated Hogmanay on Princes Street in Edinburgh.

From The Estuary of the Wolf to The Villlage of the Cow – Travels To Goa & Beyond 

19 Feb

Ten hours and some 411 kilometres later the Malabar Express pulled into Mangalore Central.

Streetly Members – Important Message 

19 Feb

Dear Streetly Members, please head over to the Streetly Members Page for an important message.

To Fly. To Serve. My Arse! 

18 Feb

@ To Fly.

Dragon Lands At Delves!!! 

17 Feb

Did you hear about the commotion caused by the dragon during the last holidays? Year 3 were able to capture this on camera and this is what they wrote...

Year 3 Egyptian Day 

17 Feb

Year 3 have become experts in embalming and creating clay canopic jars.

Our weekend at Butlin’s Bognor Regis | Part Three 

17 Feb

We had premium dining as part of our stay which allowed us to eat in The Deck restaurant for breakfast and dinner.

Activities for pre-schoolers at Butlin’s Bognor Regis | Part Two 

17 Feb

We recently stayed at Butlin’s in Bognor Regis for a weekend of birthday fun for Olly’s fourth birthday.

A birthday weekend at Butlin’s Bognor Regis | Part One 

17 Feb

Last weekend we spent 3 nights at Butlin’s Bognor Regis on the south coast of England.

11 February – Event 259 

16 Feb

News: It looks like the weather's starting to get warmer so our first pacing parkrun of the year will be 25 February 2017 .

Cochin On A Budget – Travels In Goa & Beyond 

16 Feb

If you watched The Real Marigold Hotel last night you'll have heard our intrepid band of pensioners marvel at how cheap Cochin is.

Competition Corner – Christmas Stamp Design 2017 

16 Feb

Does your child love to draw?  This year as part of The Royal Mail Design a ‘Christmas Stamp’ competition, children between the ages 4-11 years may create and design a flat drawing (no collages please) using the theme “What does the Christmas ...

Beyond Boggy Creek – Reviewed 

15 Feb

Over at Mysterious Universe , I review the new Bigfoot-themed book from Lyle Blackburn, Beyond Boggy Creek .

My plans for bringing life back into our lounge 

14 Feb

*This is a collaborative post At the start of the year we decided to make plans to bring our home into 2017.

Happy Valentines Day 

14 Feb

Happy Valentines Day Don’t spend tonight alone – join us and sing along to some uplifting songs OR why not bring your partner and start a new activity together! First session is completely FREE.

Saltmine Theatre Company 

14 Feb

On Thursday 9th February, Saltmine Theatre Company were invited into school to work with Year 8 pupils to raise awareness of how to keep themselves online.

New Year’s resolutions: sorting your home in 2017 

14 Feb

*Post in collaboration with Jessica Foreman The arrival of a new year always gives us a great excuse to make some changes.

Rich Reynolds and 365 Days of UFOs 

13 Feb

Over at UFO Conjecture(s) , Rich Reynolds gives the thumbs-up to my new 365 Days of UFOs book...

Groove Is In The Art – Travels To Goa & Beyond 

13 Feb

As luck would have it - and it really was luck, we didn't even know we were going to Kerala until we'd secured rail tickets the morning before - our trip to Fort Cochin coincided with the Biennale, the city's two yearly festival of contemporary art.

Music and beer 

13 Feb

I was pleased to attend Looking Back’s gig at the rugby club on Friday night although the John Smith’s gave me a dull headache on the Saturday but the band played really well – best gig to date! Despite the bad weather and the aforesaid ...

A cold February afternoon on the beach with Blacks & Millets 

13 Feb

This weekend we have been away on a little mini break to the seaside.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 11 February 2017 

12 Feb

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time David BIRKETT 24:55 Helen TOLLEY 31:22 Claire ROACH 29:13 Paul HENRIQUES 33:59 Stuart PEARSON 29:58 Sam RHODES 50:15   Joining us for the first time from other parkruns: Runner ...

Finally getting an infertility referral 

12 Feb

On Thursday after what seems like such a battle to get there, we were finally seeing an infertility consultant at our local Women’s Hospital in our bid for our much wanted second pregnancy.

The Ordinary Moments #6 His fourth birthday 

12 Feb

On Friday, Olly celebrated his fourth birthday.

Kororinpa & Marbles Balance Challenge on Wii 

12 Feb

The information in this article, has been taken from a Facebook page I set back up in 2009, but didn’t really update the page after that year.

Tamworth Town Hall – Photo Blog 

12 Feb

We went to Tamworth shopping the other weeks, not normally a place we go, but thought it would be a change and we was on our way back from Coalville in Leicestershire.

Godshill Methodist Church – Photo Blog 

12 Feb

I was just messing around with an photo editing app on my tablet called Photostudio Pro and just choose this photo I took of Godshill Methodist Church which I took while we on holiday...

Thunderbird Email Client Tips 

11 Feb

On my main Windows PC, I used to use Microsoft Outlook as my main email client, but really have moved away from Microsoft Office to Libre office as my main office suite.

What I’ve learnt four years on | Being a Mummy 

11 Feb

Yesterday my baby boy turned four years old.

The Mistress Of Spices – Travels To Goa & Beyond 

10 Feb

Fourteen hours after boarding the sleeper train we pulled into Ernakulam Junction in Kerala.

Year Four Eco-Homes for Art Day 

10 Feb

Year Four have had a brilliant day creating our dream Eco home as part of our Grand Designs topic work.

The Roswell UFO Festival… 

10 Feb

An event I'll be speaking in a few months, June 30-July 2 (click on the image to enlarge).

Beyond Boggy Creek 

10 Feb

Something great arrived in the mail - the new book from good mate, Lyle Blackburn, Beyond Boggy Creek .

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Historic England refuse Great Barr Hall planning application 

20 Feb

It is not widely known but Historic England submitted a further response to Walsall Council on 29 November 2016, about the Great Barr Hall and parkland planning application.

The Portman Collection – part three: Final forms, and on with the sport 

19 Feb

In the third serialised article of what will turn out to be quite a few, here's the next three photos from Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s with accompanying notes, as introduced in this blog post here - This time, I am including the ...

A message of thanks from the Shed 

19 Feb

Just a quick note to than friends of the blog Steve Hames from SJH Computing and Ray Johnson who helped Aldridge Shed project with donated computer hardware following their recent request for help, which I publicised here on the blog.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again… 

19 Feb

Never argue with an idiot.

Update on recent Chasewater Dam works from Andy Dennis 

19 Feb

There's ongoing interest in the drainage works taking place at Chasewater Dam, and I'm indebted to reader and top blog contributor Andy Dennis who's kindly sent me another bunch of pictures and a short video of what's going on.

Woodmen fight Coventry United for a well-earned draw 

19 Feb

Walsall Wood FC were at home to Coventry United yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 18th February 2017), and much to the relief of the hard-pressed faithful, they Woodmen pulled off a hard-fought draw.

Fake news 

19 Feb

Dateline: Saturday 18th August 2017 Newly elected British Prime Minister Keir Starmer has caused further controversy just two days into office by signing a series of executive orders distancing the United Kingdom from formal agreements made by his ...

Market Forces 

18 Feb

If you think that doesn't sound like much, you're right.

The Madness of King Trump 

18 Feb

The past few weeks has seen some in the United States openly wondering if the lunatics are running the asylum.

Gorgeous locks! 

18 Feb

Just a quick note to point out that this weekend (18-19th February 2017) there's a rather unique vent at Fradley Junction between Lichfield and Alrewas, where you can tour lock 17 which is currently drained, undergoing maintenance.

Great live music at The Chase Inn this evening, bargain drinks from 7-9pm! 

18 Feb

The staff from the Chase Inn at Newtown, Brownhills have been in touch to let me know that there's live music on again this evening at the popular Brownhills pub.

Walsall Wood at home to Coventry United this afternoon! 

18 Feb

your chance to catch Walsall Wood in home action at Oak Park this afternoon! Continue reading...

What’s the plan, and what of the Central School? 

17 Feb

Yesterday, a terrific enquiry came in from the young David Evans who's be talking to community stalwart Doug Birch MBE about local history a fair bit lately.

Grot Spot Walkabout 

17 Feb

Went on a walkabout pointing out some of the fly tipping grot spots around New Invention to Walsall Housing Group and Walsall Council’s Clean and Green Team.

West Midlands #Mayor, Undemocratic, costly and BOYCOTT #walsall #birmingham 

17 Feb

This report from Rob Mayor the ES reporters sums up the whole farce that is the West Mids Mayor.

Making a Marklew 

17 Feb

One enduring subject of very much debate here that continues to receive a lot of attention is the thorny subject of the Marklew family, Marklew's pond off Coppice Lane, William Roberts and the claim that the farm was one of the last Tommy Shops ...

It’s karaoke night at the Chase Inn! 

16 Feb

Just a note to point out that tonight, Thursday 16th February 2017 it's Karaoke Night at the Chase Inn up on the A5 Newtown at Brownhills.

#Aldi Planning REJECTED 

16 Feb

Great news today from Neil Elkjes at the Birmingham CC planning meeting.

This week’s Lib Dem Advice Surgeries 

16 Feb

As well as keeping in touch with residents through our Focus Newsletters and social media, Liberal Democrats across New Invention and Short Heath hold regular Advice Surgeries.

Combustion in the trouser department 

16 Feb

In primary classrooms, Sunday schools, Madrassas, Gurdwaras, Synagogues, Temples and nurseries across the planet the message is simple; if you tell a lie you will always be found out...

Local civil defence and Horace W. Smith – what do you know? 

16 Feb

Here's an interesting thing for a Thursday - can anyone shed any light on the above certificate, or the person to whom it was awarded please? Continue reading...

Statement on Article 50 vote 

15 Feb

Having campaigned for a ‘Remain’ vote, I was saddened and frustrated by the outcome.

Today’s Buy To Let Deal. Ready Made Tenant! 2 Bed, West Street, Walsall, WS3. With Yields Of 6.75%. 

15 Feb

In my previous buy to let deal of the day, I asked what could be more ready to go than a newbuild..

Appeal – did you know Kathleen Coley? 

15 Feb

Hi folks, an unusual enquiry please but I hope it's one the readership might be able to help with.

Walsall Properties…”How Much to Buy Them All?!” 

14 Feb

My 14 year-old has started his GCSE’s this year.

Beer and Buses by night: This Saturday 

14 Feb

This Saturday, 18th February 2017, there's a great, innovative event taking place at Aston Manor Road Transport Museum just off Northgate, Aldridge - Beer and Buses by Night, which is your chance to ride on some great old vehicles and share a beer or...

Grot Spot Britain: The sheer scale of a fly-tipping epidemic 

14 Feb

An ITV News investigation has revealed fly-tipping is on the rise in some parts of the UK.

NEWS FLASH: Fake news at the Parish pump… and what comms and PR people need to do about it 

14 Feb

  You need to think about fake news.

Buy To Let Deal Of The Day 2 Bedroom Semi, Waters Keep, Walsall, WS3. With Yields Of 6.13%. 

13 Feb

How’s this for a ship shape and ready to go deal? You don’t get more ready to go than a newbuild, do you? This 2 bedroom semi detached house on Waters Keep in Walsall, WS3 is part of a newbuild development in the north Walsall area, which ...

Ongoing incident: Accident at Ogley Road/High Street junction in Brownhills 

13 Feb

Monday, 13th February 2016, 1:53pm - Traffic is currently backing up in the Brownhills area due to a collision between a lorry and a car at the junction by the former Warreners Arms pub, where Ogley Road meets the High Street.

West Midlands Police issue appeal after man dies in Pelsall collision 

12 Feb

There has been much shock and sadness in the local community following the fatal car crash that took place between Pelsall and Brownhills on the B4154 Pelsall Road last night (Saturday, 11th February 2017).

Cannabis factory fire in Walsall Wood High Street 

11 Feb

It's been a busy night in the area for the emergency services as Saturday evening (11th February 2017) saw a major accident on the Pelsall Road in the Highbridges area, an incident that closed the M6 Toll for a while and now a blaze in what West ...

Road accidents on Pelsall Road and near the M6 Toll this evening 

11 Feb

I'm receiving bits of information about a couple of road accidents this evening (Saturday, 11th February 2017) - a clearly quite serious one on the Pelsall Road between Brownhills and the Fingerpost, and another either on, or on the approaches to the...

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Cult classic Trainspotting to be brought to Nuneaton stage 

20 Feb

A CULT classic will be brought to life on a Nuneaton stage by a company renowned for pushing the theatrical boundaries.

Review: Thoroughly Modern Millie at New Alexandra Theatre in… 

15 Feb

LOVE was well and truly in the air on Valentine's night as little Millie Dillmount, played by Strictly Come Dancing winner Joanne Clifton, eventually found her man, albeit not the one she first hoped for.

Jack Whitehall’s new show ‘At Large’ at Birmingham’s Genting… 

13 Feb

THIS year sees one of the UK's brightest comedic talents return to the stand-up stage as Jack Whitehall announced an extension to his biggest ever tour.

Prepare to scream for the Dreamboys 

3 Feb

PREPARE to scream for The Dreamboys in what promises to be their sexiest show to date when it arrives at The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry later this year.

PREVIEW: Wonderland at New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham 

3 Feb

FOLLOWING sold out international seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo, the multi Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated Frank Wildhorn's Wonderland comes to Birmingham next week, as part of its UK and European premire.

Visit My Mosque Sunday 5th February 

29 Jan

The post Visit My Mosque Sunday 5th February appeared first on Aisha Mosque Islamic Centre .

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.

More More blogs

Outdoors »

Monday 20th February 2017 

20 Feb

1330 - 1400 cloudy, 13c : Oystercatcher 2, Lapwing 52, Wigeon 6, Pochard 4, Tufted 28, GC Grebe 2, Common Gull 3, Heron 2, Cormorant 8.

Finally – 100 ! 

20 Feb

I was determined to get my hundredth species for 2017 before the end of February so today I did an unusual anti-clockwise circuit of the marsh, taking in the devastated surfaces at the north end in my pursuit of a 'Tick'.

Are they gone for good? 

19 Feb

After doing a full circuit yesterday I decided to turn my attention to one of our more elusive species and spent an hour up on Clayhanger Common and around O'Grady's Pool in the hope of finding one of our remaining Willow Tit .

February 17th – On the way home, just on the cusp of darkness… 

19 Feb

February 17th - On the way home, just on the cusp of darkness and in the middle of bustling, humming Pleck, snatched in the traffic, a great sunset.

A full circuit on Saturday 

18 Feb

Yep - did the whole lot today and although Spring has not yet arrived there is every indication that from the birds point of view, winter is more or less over.

Ten days until Spring 

18 Feb

Just a quick update at 11.00 - there have been visits to the North Common this morning ( Per.

*** Scarce Bird Alert *** 

17 Feb

I received a text from Anita Scott today regarding an exceptional find on Pelsall North Common, I will allow the text to say it all: "TWO Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers ! Pelsall North Common, by the boardwalk at the side of the bridle path leading down ...

Friday 17th February 2017 

17 Feb

1045 - 1100 lightly overcast, 9c : Wigeon 2, Teal 8, Great Crested Grebe 3 (photo), Cormorant 8, Lapwing 200, Common Gull 3, Bh Gull 250+, Pied Wagtail 2, Stock Dove, Song Thrush in song, Buzzard 4.

February 17th – I noticed something today I’ve passed many times… 

17 Feb

February 17th - I noticed something today I’ve passed many times but never stopped to look at - Wood Green Church.

Thursday 16th February 2017 

16 Feb

Late morning, fairly sunny, 9c : Little Egret again at Swan Pool, Goosander, Wigeon 5, Cormorant 13, Lapwing c120.

February 15th – I see the completion of the conversion of the… 

16 Feb

February 15th - I see the completion of the conversion of the old church/chapel at Kings Hill, Darlaston is very nearly finished: this has taken years and the workmanship looks stunning.

Crossbills provoke some interest. 

15 Feb

Its funny how some birds always pique the interest of birders and it has been nice to get some responses to my posting yesterday.

February 14th – A few people have asked, so as I passed the… 

15 Feb

February 14th - A few people have asked, so as I passed the canal towpath resurfacing works today I took a pic of the map and details.

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