Elmore Green School War Memorial - click to read.

Appeal for info on Elmore Green School Memorial men

Elmore Green School War Memorial - click to read.
Elmore Green School War Memorial – click to read.

Local historians Barry Crutchley and Ken Wayman have been researching the lives of the men whose names are on the Elmore Green School Great War Memorial in the primary school at Bloxwich.

All of the men came from Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath and Leamore. They have a great deal of information about the majority of the men but the details of three men remain elusive.

There are three men named H. Hill who came from the area but there are no conclusive facts that tie one of them to Elmore Green School

There are five men named J. Smith one of whom went to Elmore Green School.

There are four men named J. Yates, none of whom can be linked to the school.

If anyone has a relative who died in the Great War perhaps they could look carefully to see whether they might be one of the men above.

Anyone with information on the above men is asked to contact Barry Crutchley on 01922 691515 or Ken Wayman on 01922 683668.

Election Question

Going to the Polls in Bloxwich, Blakenall and Birchills-Leamore

 

Election Question

One week today sees what may be the deciding round in the current close fight for overall control of Walsall Council, as a third of Councillors across the borough go to the polls to test both the popularity or otherwise of their parties and the appreciation or not of local people for the work they do, both on their own ‘patch’ and in the Council Chamber.

The current composition of Walsall Council is shown on Wikipedia via this link.  As you can see, after the 2011 elections the Conservative Party currently holds 28 seats, down from 33 in 2010; last year Labour leapt from 18 seats to 26; and distant runners-up the Liberal Democrats lost 1 seat, knocking them back from 6 to just 5, with 1 ‘other’ making up the numbers in Lichfield Street. 

The Poll will take place on Thursday, 3 May between 7am – 10pm, and apart from national politics and traditional allegiances which always have an effect, some of the biggest issues in local voters’ minds are bound to be controversial Council cuts and Councillors’ allowances, not to mention the state of the local economy, jobs, potholes – and parking!

Personalities are also going to be a factor in some quarters, as well as surprise changes of allegiance; for example former long-serving Bloxwich East Conservative Les Beeley is  turning out as an Independent this time, while new Tory on the block Peter Hyruk is being parachuted in to compete against him and the resurgent Labour vote in the Grand Duchy, including popular Bloxwich East  incumbent Julie Fitzpatrick. 

Mr Beeley had previously been defeated in May 2011 by Shaun Fitzpatrick of Walsall Labour, and in a double-whammy later that year Mrs Fitzpatrick stormed ahead to win for Labour in the by-election which followed the death of long-serving Tory Bill Tweddle.

The big question is, can an apparently revitalised Walsall Labour Party take more seats from both the Tories and the few remaining Liberal Democrats, gaining overall control of the Council House, or will the Conservatives bounce back? 

The margin is a narrow one, and much will depend on who can motivate their voters best, as turnout in such local elections is notoriously poor.  The Bloxwich Telegraph will watch with interest, and report back on the results, fresh from the fray!

For Polling Stations and various other details including Candidates and their addresses borough-wide, see the pdf DOWNLOAD on Walsall Council’s website via this link

If you do not already know your Polling Station, then do check this list, as some of them have been changed from the last election, notably in Bloxwich East where voting has been moved from Lower Farm Primary School to Holy Ascension Church this time around.

A brief list of candidates in our own area, by Ward:

BIRCHILLS-LEAMORE Ward

Bob Ball                                         British National Party

Leandra Gebrakedan                  Green Party

Matthew Conway Griffin               Liberal Democrat

Tina Joan Jukes                            Labour Party

Chris Newey                                  English Democrats

Chad Louis Pitt                             Conservative Party

BLAKENALL Ward

Hilda Derry                                     Conservative Party

Ian Charles Robertson                  Labour and Co-operative Party

Pete Smith                                     No party indicated

BLOXWICH EAST Ward

Steve Baggott                                No party indicated

Les Beeley                                     Independent

Julie Fitzpatrick                              Labour Party

Peter John Hyruk                           Conservative Party

BLOXWICH WEST Ward

Christine Cockayne                       Liberal Democrats

Abi Pitt                                            Conservative Party

Mick Ross                                       No party indicated

Fred Westley                                  Labour Party

Elmore Green School War Memorial.

Passing away of Elaine Box

Elmore Green School War Memorial.
Elmore Green School War Memorial

It’s likely that the majority of our readers will never have heard of Elaine Box, but I wanted to share with you the news that she has, sadly, passed away.

Elaine started her 37-year career at Walsall Council in Catering Services and then moved to Property Services.

It was while she was working in Property Services that she became Asset Management Support Officer for the Council, and she took particular pride in her responsibiltities for the War Memorials in the Borough.  She felt it was an honour to ensure that they are preserved, and she loved that part of her job.

Elaine, together with now-retired colleague Mike Gaffney, was instrumental in returning the Elmore Green School War Memorial to its rightful place in that fine old Bloxwich school in March last year.

I was honoured to attend and report on the subsequent rededication of that memorial on Armistice Day in November.

Elaine, who had been unwell over the last few months, was only diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of April this year. She passed away aged just 58.

Like so many Council officers, she worked away quietly, tirelessly, out of the limelight, doing the best she could for local people and the borough.

She deserves to be remembered for that, and much more.

Steve Hayes and Lester Hunt

Rock on in Bloxwich with Hayes and Hunt!

Popular venue Bookmark Bloxwich is getting ready to rock with another great night of live music coming up soon!

Latest act Hayes and Hunt, who will be taking to the theatre stage in Elmore Row, Bloxwich on Saturday 5th of May, are regulars on the international music scene – and now look set to take Bloxwich and Walsall by storm!

Steve Hayes is lead singer/guitarist with highly acclaimed Nearly Dan and Lester Hunt can be heard around the world whipping up a storm as lead guitarist with the famous Climax Blues Band, still one of the UK’s finest acts after nearly 40 years.

The talented pair will be raising the roof in the ‘Bookmark’ with their take on classics by Sting, Gerry Rafferty and Jimi Hendrix, to name but a few.

Stuart Williams of Bloxwich Library Forum, which manages the theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library, said:

“Hayes and Hunt are well known around the UK for their acoustic set which includes songs from many musical genres, offering something for everyone – and we’re really looking forward to a great night out for one and all!

“We’d hoped to have them on the stage in Bloxwich back in February, but blizzard conditions in Staffordshire prevented them travelling.  Tickets purchased for that gig will be honoured this time around – just call us to book!”

Doors open at 8pm for an 8.30pm show start, and there will be a bar.

Tickets cost just £5 and are available now from Bloxwich Library in Elmore Row, Bloxwich or by calling 01922 655900 to reserve.  Advance booking is strongly recommended.

The gig is part of Bookmark Bloxwich’s Live Music Review series, organised by Canadian singer-songwriter Chuck Micallef.

Steve Jenkins with Britney Spears

Pop legend Steve Jenkins returns home to launch book

Steve Jenkins with Britney Spears
Steve Jenkins with Britney Spears

A top music producer who had a hand in the careers of Britney, Kylie and Justin Timberlake is set to return to his Walsall roots for a major book launch.

Walsall Council host the launch of Steve Jenkins’ autobiography ‘The Future is in the History’ at New Art Gallery, Gallery Square, Walsall on Saturday April 28 at noon.

The music mogul also stages a meet the author session at Walsall library, Lichfield Street from 2.30pm on Thursday April 26 with members of the public urged to come along to both events.

Bloxwich-born Steve, who still has family connections in Leamore, was a pupil at Walsall Technology College and Joseph Leckie School, became MD of Jive Records after starting a career as a DJ in Walsall, Lichfield and Birmingham. He then joined the record industry with The Beatles management company in the 1970s.

His career has seen him his career has seen him awarded more than 260 platinum, gold and silver discs

Steve said: “No matter where I’ve been throughout my career I’ve always been hugely proud of being from Walsall.

“Being a DJ in Walsall as well as in Lichfield at Barnaby’s and Birmingham at places like Barbarella’s helped shape my understanding of what worked and what was popular that would help me in future years.  I was also a DJ at Hospital Radio Stafford which I’m very proud of.

“Now I’ve written my book launching it in Walsall before anywhere else feels the right thing to do and Walsall Council have been really supportive.

“It also feels like the right time to publish the book. So many acts I worked with are returning to the stage and 80s and 90s music seems to be wall-to-wall at the moment.

“What I hope people will take from the book is two things. Firstly, some of the stories behind the big names and records. People have always asked me about how I helped sign Britney Spears and what it was like to work with Pete Waterman, for example. This book tells them and lots of other things.

“But I’d also like people to be inspired to follow their own dreams like I did.”

Artists Steve helped work with include Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Back Street Boys, Steps, The Stone Roses, David Bowie, Bjork, The Prodigy, Groove Armada, Billy Ocean, Kylie Minogue and Simple Minds.

As well as a label boss Steve also worked to market and promote acts.

The book talks about growing up in Walsall in the 1950s and 1960s and talks of his DJ career which started at Pelsall Community Centre.

For four years running from 1999 to 2002 Steve led Jive Records to be the label of the year in the industry’s own Oscars The Brit Awards.

To buy the book log on at: http://amzn.to/stevejenkins.

To find out more information about Steve Jenkins career: http://www.stevejenkinsuk.com/home/

To follow the Facebook page log on at: https://www.facebook.com/SteveJenkinsTheFutureIsInTheHistory

2012 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Alice Jones (centre) and her attendants Princess Amelia Ellis (left) and Rosebud Megan Leigh Small.

A Right Royal Carnival in prospect at Bloxwich!

Crowds of local people gathered excitedly at St John’s Methodist Church in Bloxwich on Saturday to witness a fine old local tradition carried out – the choosing of this year’s Bloxwich Carnival Queen and her ‘royal attendants’, the Carnival Princess and Rosebud.

And the event proved ideal for the official announcement that another right royal occasion – Bloxwich Carnival itself – would pay loyal tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, celebrating her Diamond Jubilee by offering this year’s carnival-goers FREE admission!

The carnival is being held, as is traditional, in King George V Playing Fields, Bloxwich, but earlier than usual, on Saturday 16 June at 12 noon, falling nicely just after the official nationwide celebrations of the Jubilee.

Carnival Committee Chairman Terry Bate congratulates new Bloxwich Carnival Queen 2012 Alice Jones, Princess Amelia Ellis and Rosebud 2012 Megan Leigh Small.

Carnival Committee Chairman Mr Terry Bate said:

“Bloxwich Carnival Committee are proud to announce this one-off gesture in honour of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.  And in the spirit of the occasion this year’s Bloxwich Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud were judged by several past ‘queens of Bloxwich’ as well as one of our local Councillors.

“We were delighted that 1950 Carnival Queen Mrs Elsie Walker-Biddle, 2011 Queen Miss Abigail Nicholls, and 2003 Queen Ms Tammy Scale were able to join Cllr Fred Westley in choosing the three wonderful young ladies who will represent Bloxwich and district for the coming year.

Bloxwich Carnival Queen Judges
The 2012 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Judges, L to R: Tammy Scale (Carnival Queen 2003), Abigail Nicholls (Carnival Queen 2011), Mrs Elsie Walker-Biddle (Carnival Queen 1950), Cllr Fred Westley.

“We hope the people of Bloxwich and beyond will all join us in celebrating both our own royal occasion and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee!”

The Queen Choosing event was co-organised by Bloxwich Carnival Committee and the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix, who are strong supporters of the carnival, and the event was compered by Troy Allen of Rotary.

The judges chose the 2012 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Alice Jones, Princess Amelia Ellis and Rosebud Megan Leigh Small (see first picture above), who have all studied at Lower Farm Primary School, Little Bloxwich, from more than twenty excellent entrants all-told.

Bloxwich Carnival itself will begin on the day with a short parade led by the Carnival Queen and her attendants who will travel in stately style in a horse-drawn carriage, starting at 12 noon from the rear of All Saints Church, Bloxwich, then along High Street and into the Stafford Road entrance of King George V Playing Fields when they will proceed to the podium where they will be formally crowned by local dignitaries in a Right Royal Ceremony at 12.30pm.

St George and the Dragon

Saturday’s the day, By George!

 

St George and the Dragon

Walsall will be awash with patriotic colour and life this weekend with residents and shoppers invited to enjoy a carnival of activity to celebrate St George’s Day.

Among the highlights will be a children’s face painter, three live music shows and a scouts-led church service.

Jon Burnett, Regeneration Officer for Walsall Town Centre Management, said the day would have something for everyone.

“St George’s Day is always a special occasion and we want people to enjoy it as much as possible,” he said.

“We have received great support from our partners who have helped to organise some fabulous activities. Now all we need is the weather to be kind!”

All market stalls in Walsall will, on Saturday, be decorated with St George’s flags and bunting. Pow Wow face painting will have their own stall where children can have their faces painted for free.

There will also be face painting at Bloxwich Market where some of the traders will be dressed up in St George’s red and white!

Meanwhile, 15 musicians, from the Heritage Lottery funded Bayard’s Colts project led and supported by Walsall Civic Society, have been recruited to perform three separate shows in Walsall town centre, between 12-noon and 2.30pm.

There will also be a special St George’s Day service at St Paul’s Church (The Crossing) in Darwall Street, starting at 10am. This will feature scout groups from across the borough.

St George’s Day falls on 23 April, which is also coincidentally William Shakespeare’s birthday as well as World Book Night, but street celebrations are generally held on the nearest Saturday.

Bloxwich Library

Book giving and poetry celebrate the Bard at Bloxwich

Bloxwich Library

Bloxwich Library Forum is joining forces with talented Midlands poets next Monday to celebrate World Book Night and the birthday of William Shakespeare!

An evening of free book giving and Shakespeare-inspired performance poetry is being held at Bookmark Bloxwich in Elmore Row on 23rd April, and members of the public are invited to drop in from 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

While stocks last, free books marking World Book Night will be handed out in the foyer of Bloxwich Library by volunteer book givers, plus an evening of poetry entitled ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’ will be available for those who wish to stay on and make a night of it.

Guest Poets Marcia Calame, Charlie Jordan, Roy McFarlane and Bobby Parker will be hosted by David Calcutt in the adjoining Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, and Floor Spots will also be available.

Admission to the World Book Night book giveaway is free, and admission to Sounds and Sweet Airs costs just £4, tickets are available now and on the night.

Booking is recommended for ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’.  Tel: 01922 655900.

Bloxwich Library Forum manages Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library.

Bloxwich Library Forum website:  http://bloxwichlibraryforum.wordpress.com