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

Right Royal Bloxwich Carnival programme unveiled!

With Bloxwich celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee almost upon us, one of the high points, and the biggest – Bloxwich Carnival itself – is all set to pay loyal tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday 16th June.

And it is now possible for The Bloxwich Telegraph to reveal the final details of Bloxwich’s biggest public event of the year, which this time around offers carnival-goers FREE admission in honour of the Diamond Jubilee!

The carnival is being held, as is traditional, in King George V Playing Fields, Bloxwich, and opens to the public at 12 noon.

Before the Royal-themed event is officially opened, at 12 noon a horse-drawn carriage will carry the 2012 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Alice Jones and her attendants Princess Amelia Ellis and Rosebud Megan Leigh Small, plus 2011 Carnival Queen Abigail Nicholls, followed by the Mayor of Walsall in his official car, and the Carnival Committee Chairman and a chaperone in a further car, from All Saints Church, Bloxwich, to King George V Playing Fields.

Once at King George’s Fields, the Carnival Royalty will proceed to the podium at Walsall Council’s MOVE bus, where they will be formally crowned by local dignitaries in a Right Royal Opening Ceremony at 12.30pm and the young Carnival Ambassadors will then receive their medals.

Bloxwich 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.  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!”

As is traditional, Pat Collins Funfair will be on site and open throughout the afternoon and into the evening.  See their Facebook group also.

Entrance to Bloxwich Carnival is on foot at the Bealey’s Lane/Bell Lane entrance and at the Stafford Road entrance to King George’s, where there is a small car park.

The Bloxwich Carnival Arena Programme for the day is as follows:

Start times                   End times

12.45pm                       1.05pm             UK FMX Stunt Motorcycle Team

- Dancers & Cheerleaders at intervals -

1.10pm                          1.40pm            Bruce Airhead

- Dancers & Cheerleaders -

1.45pm                           2.05pm           UK FMX Stunt Motorcycle Team

2.10pm                           2.30pm           Zumba Displays

2.35pm                           3.00pm           UK FMX Stunt Motorcycle Team

- Dancers & Cheerleaders -

3.10pm                           3.40pm           Bruce Airhead

- Dancers & Cheerleaders -

3.45pm                           4.05pm           UK FMX Stunt Motorcycle Team

4.10pm                           4.30pm           Zumba Displays

BLOXWICH CARNIVAL RAFFLE DRAWS about 4.30pm.

THE CARNIVAL CLOSES at 5pm.

Jewellery Designer, Jolene Smith with one of her pieces

Leamore learners unearth hidden gems

Jewellery Designer, Jolene Smith with one of her pieces
A jewellery designer from Walsall has spent the last six weeks helping learners at a college in Leamore to design and fabricate their own pieces of jewellery.

Artist Jolene Smith (above, right), who has been designing and making contemporary jewellery since 1984, has been supporting adult learners attending the Enterprise Jewellery Workshop at Walsall Adult & Community College (WACC).

The class is part of the college’s Learn for Living and Work Reablement Programme that helps learners to develop new skills and regain those they may have lost as a result of an illness, injury or trauma, such as a stroke.

Jolene, who has designed handmade jewellery for department store Harrods, as well as various gift shops in the Midlands, has supported the learners to use recycled materials to come up with a range of 12 unique designs.

Once each prototype was developed, the design was formed into a cast which can then be reproduced and sold as necklaces, brooches and earrings.

Jolene, who runs a number of workshops at Walsall Leather Museum and schools in the borough said she has been very impressed with the number of designs that the class has come up with.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with these wonderful people,” she said. “The workshop has given each learner the opportunity to discover their hidden talents and I’ve been impressed with the range of different designs they’ve come up with.”

Mary Evans, 85 from Bentley who attends the class, added: “It’s been very good and thoroughly enjoyable. Jolene’s a wonderful person and she has inspired me to come up with my own set of designs.

“I’d recommend the course to others to try.”

WACC logo

To find out more about the college’s Reablement Programme contact the college on 01922 663000, check out their website via this link or search for Walsall Adult & Community College on Facebook.

To find out more about Jolene Smith and her jewellery visit www.jolenesmith.co.uk

Poster by Walsall Lithographic Company (image copyright Walsall Museum)

Museum expert takes nostalgic look back at historic advertising in talk

Poster by Walsall Lithographic Company (image copyright Walsall Museum)
A special illustrated talk at Walsall Local History Centre in June explores the eye-catching posters and marketing material created by a world-famous local firm.

The talk, which takes place at the Essex Street, Walsall, centre on Monday 11 June, focuses on advertising material created by the Walsall Lithographic Co for well-known companies and businesses across the country.

The company has designed and produced imagery for firms such as Cadbury’s Chocolate, HP Sauce and Kunzle cakes.  There will also be a look at some of the striking posters created for firms further afield, including Quaker Oats and Star Lager of Nigeria.

Walsall Museum’s Community History Curator, Jennifer Thomson, will be delivering the talk, which is based around the Museum’s exceptional collection of advertising material produced by the Walsall Lithographic Co and which was acquired by the Museum three years ago, just before the firm’s former premises were demolished.  The Local History Centre holds advertising material also and records of the work produced by the company.

The talk, entitled ‘Regional Firms in Historic Advertising’, starts at 7.30pm and the evening closes at 9pm.  The talk costs just £2 but advance booking is essential, so please telephone Walsall Local History Centre on 01922 721305 to reserve your place.

Walsall Local History Centre is the archives and local studies service for Walsall Metropolitan Borough and is part of Walsall Council.  For further details please drop in to the Centre or check out our website: www.walsall.gov.uk/localhistorycentre

Coronation Party, Abbotts St, Bloxwich, 1953.

Street party fever hits Bloxwich and the borough!

Coronation Party, Abbotts St, Bloxwich, 1953.

Royal party fever will be sweeping Bloxwich and across Walsall borough this Diamond Jubilee weekend as residents toast the Queen’s 60th anniversary year.

A total of 27 street parties will be taking place across Walsall between Saturday 2 June and Tuesday 4 June – compared to seven that were held for last year’s Royal wedding.

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Dennis Anson, said he was thrilled that local people were showing their support for such an important anniversary.

“There is a real feelgood factor around as we head into the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend and Walsall is leading the way.

“Fingers crossed for another spell of warm weather as the parties get under way.”

Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Well done Walsall on showing such sterling support for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

“I’m delighted to see so many residents of all ages getting into the celebratory spirit in this way.

“I would like to wish people all the best as they enjoy this extended Bank Holiday weekend and toast Her Majesty!”

The street parties have been organised as private events by residents who have sorted out invitations and road closures where necessary.

The deadline for applications has now passed and no new applications will be considered now because of traffic management’s timescale for planning any required road closures with contractors.

Parties will be taking place at the following locations:

Saturday 2 June 2012:

Daisy Bank Crescent, Walsall
Myatt Avenue, Aldridge
Greenhill Way, Aldridge
Lichfield Road, New Invention

Sunday 3 June 2012:

Greenwood Park, Aldridge
Hough Road, Pleck
Pershore Close/Tintern Way, Bloxwich
Westbourne Street, Walsall
Pomeroy Road/Princep Close, Pheasey
Princes Avenue, Walsall
Hobart Drive, Walsall
Hay Hill, Orchard Hills
Hucker Close, Walsall

Monday 4 June 2012:

Colliers Close, Willenhall
Orwell Road, Walsall
Valley Road, Streetly
Rectory Avenue, Darlaston
Burrowes Street, Walsall
Mayfield Road, Streetly
Scott Road, Walsall

Tuesday 5 June 2012:

Hereford Close, Aldridge
Bank Street, Walsall (the Walsall Arms pub)
St Francis Close, Pelsall
Valley Road, Bloxwich
Collins Street, Palfrey
Dorsett Road Terrace, Darlaston
Fern Close, Shelfield

Many public events have also been organised both by local people and in concert with Walsall Council and other organisations.

For details of events in Bloxwich and district follow this link, and also check out Walsall Council’s two events websites, Walsall for 2012 and What’s On Walsall.

DC Fontana 2011

Get into the summertime groove at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre!

 

 DC Fontana 2011

Bloxwich Library Forum has released the latest list of acts and events coming to Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre this summer, and there’s something for everyone – both in the way of live music and opportunities to join in and have a go yourself!

Apart from the regular and highly popular FREE Open Mic Nights – two each month, for youth and adults – there’s some great live music lined up.

Talented Black Country Prog Rockers ELIGH TOADD plus support are playing at the Bookmark (the 1964-built venue formerly known as Bloxwich Library Theatre) in July, with a gig on Saturday 7 July at 8pm.

For just a fiver, music-lovers can expect a heady blend of classic progressive rock covers together with the Toadd’s very own unique Black Country-themed prog anthems – not to be missed!

August sees a real highlight for Country Music fans in the Midlands as the legendary GEORGE HAMILTON IV treads the boards at Bloxwich for the first time ever with his Gospel Show on Saturday 4 August at 7.30pm.

This will be a rare treat since as far as we know Mr Hamilton has never been to Walsall in his long international career!  Again, tickets cost just £5.

And last but definitely not least, top exponents of Art & Soul and Sixties vibe DC FONTANA are returning to Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre with a new line-up to blow the roof off once again on Saturday 8 September from 8pm. 

A top night out full of great original material and sixties covers for only £5.

Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, in Elmore Row, Bloxwich, is managed by Bloxwich Library Forum in partnership with Bloxwich Library.

For more information, including full details of the events listed and more, including Open Mic Nights, check out the Bloxwich Library Forum website.

Please telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900 to book tickets.

Chuck Micallef - picture by Stuart Williams

Canadian star sings Country in Bloxwich this Saturday

Chuck Micallef - picture by Stuart Williams

Canadian singer songwriter Chuck Micallef will be bringing his own style of Country, Folk and Blues to  Bloxwich when he returns to play a gig in the town this weekend.

He is appearing at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre with multi-instrumentalist Dave Luke and special guest Tony Barrett on Saturday 2nd June.

And he is relishing his return to popular Elmore Row venue formerly know as Bloxwich Library Theatre.

“I am looking forward to getting back onstage at the Bookmark – It’s a great room with a fabulous atmosphere,” he said.

The singer started writing songs for his own enjoyment at an early age before venturing out on to the stage at Thistletown Collegiate’s annual Variety Night.

At that time he was based in Rexdale in Northwest Toronto but eventually he made his way down town getting exposure at such venues as the legendary Riverboat CoffeeHouse, The Backyard Café, The
Backroom of Pizza Patio, and Free Times Café. He continued to perform at venues that presented acoustic-based Country, Folk and Blues music as he travelled across Canada to British Columbia.

In 1979 Chuck returned to Toronto and was accepted on to the Humber College Music Programme as a Vocal Major.  There he met Ron Dann (pedal steel player/arranger/producer) and 1983 saw the release of his first single Within You.  That first single was followed up by English Style Lovin’. His third release Loving You charted both in Canada and in the United States.

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

“For the past 15 years Chuck has resided in the UK, becoming a regular at Country Music clubs and festivals throughout the country as well as at Bookmark Bloxwich.  He was even asked by writer/director Chris Cook to record Man of Constant Sorrow for the film soundtrack of The Penalty King, an independently produced British feature film.  Cook also picked up Chuck’s self-penned The Moon The Stars and The Sun for another scene in the film.

“Since Chuck first performed at our venue he’s become a great friend of the Forum, helping organise our Live Music Review, and we’re only too delighted to have him take centre stage once again.

“Chuck is also bringing two other talented performers, Dave Luke and Tony Barrett, so music lovers are assured of a great night out in Bloxwich this Saturday!”

Doors open 8pm for 8.30pm start.

Tickets cost just £5, and booking is recommended.  Telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900 to reserve.

Stan Ball Centre Main Building

Stan Ball Centre Friendship Circle Update

 

Stan Ball Centre Main Building

The launch of the Stan Ball Centre Young at Heart Project 50+  Friendship Group on 16th May was a great success with 40 people attending at the Centre in Abbotts Street, Bloxwich to learn how the group will work.

The Friendship Circle programme has now commenced and includes hosted breakfasts, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon entertainment on Wednesdays and Fridays with potential members welcome to come along anytime to suit from 9am onwards. The entertainment programme on these days will include activities, speakers, entertainers, ballroom dancing lessons, Tai Chi, interesting debates and once a month linking with the Local Community 50+ Forum.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays members can come along from 11am to 2pm and enjoy a cooked meal, seated exercise, entertainment or activity and bingo. On Thursdays there is also a 50+  computer self help group and a monthly Chips ‘n Chat.

Deb Brownlee, Young at Heart Project Co-ordinator, said:

“The Friendship Circle is aimed at anyone aged 50 plus who would like to expand their circle of friends. Potential members can come along alone, with other friends, or as a couple. As the meetings are hosted plenty of introductions will be made, and we hope many new friendships will be formed through these meetings.”

The second Monday of the month will be devoted to 50+ Widows and Widowers, commencing on Monday 11th June, with a choice of activities starting with breakfast at 9am, morning coffee at 10am, lunch at 12pm and hosted afternoon entertainment from 1pm until 3pm.

Deb continued:

“The bereavement does not have to have been recent, and it does not matter if there is now a new partner – although the partner can only come to the meetings if they are also a widow  or widower. There is the opportunity for one to one chats, as well as a lively social programme. We will also be linking with various bereavement services which can prove invaluable when the bereaved person does not want to talk about their real feelings to family and friends, for fear of upsetting or alienating them.”

The Friendship Circle also offers home visits and telephone calls to the housebound and applications for this service can now be taken, and volunteers are also asked to come forward. The housebound will also be offered the option of the free loan of a computer and private lessons, in order to learn how to connect with family and friends through social media, email and the Skype video telephone service.

Deb Brownlee “We would also like to hear from people who would like a social evening for 50+ dating. We’ve had quite a few expressions of interest about this section of the Friendship Circle, and if we can get enough names together we’ll try an evening. It would be hosted so there would be plenty of introductions made. We would have to try to ensure roughly even numbers of women and men so we urge both sexes to get in touch with us and get their name put on the expressions of interest list.”

Full information about the Friendship Circle is available by telephoning the Stan Ball Centre on 01922 403351, by emailing stanballcentre@bloxwichcp.co.uk or by calling in to the centre. The schedule contains details of Friendship Circle charges which range from £1.50 to £5.

The project is funded by the National Lottery Big Lottery fund.

 

Jolly Jubilee Jamboree

Have a Jolly Bostin’ Jubilee Jamboree in Old Wedgbury Town!

Jolly Jubilee Jamboree

Jolly old pals at the professional theatre company “Don’t Go into the Cellar!” are to bring another slice of vintage entertainment to the Black Country this June, to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

Wednesbury’s Museum & Art gallery will play host to “A Jolly Bostin Jubilee Jamboree!” on Saturday 2nd June at 7pm, and the performance will feature star turns from Victorian and Edwardian music hall stars such as Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Tod Slaughter and Le Petomane – or at least, actors impersonating them!

The fun interactive show will feature many well-known music hall songs and comedy skits, and audience participation will be actively encouraged! The vintage variety show, in the style of the BBC’s much-loved series “The Good Old Days”, will be the first in a proposed series of performances across the Black Country region.

The performance will also feature a specially-commissioned Victorian-style house-band! “The Penny Farthings” will supply live musical accompaniment to the acts, in the style that variety artistes of the day would have been familiar with. Popular songs to be played include “The Cock Linnet Song” and “Knees Up Mother Brown”. The show will finish with an audience sing-a-long of favourites from Last Night of the Proms.

The Birmingham theatre company has already established itself as the UKs only professional troupe that specialises in original Victorian ghost and horror tales, Music Hall revivals and Sherlock Holmes shows.

The theatre company’s Director, Rachel Green, is delighted that Cellar is able to help Sandwell celebrate the Jubilee in traditional style, the way the region would have done 100 years ago or more.

Rachel says, “We are thrilled to present this traditional theatre show and re-introduce audiences to the Victorian Era’s very own stage superstars!”

Tickets £6.00 / £5.00 children can be purchased directly from the Museum by calling 0121 556 0683.