Bloxwich Telegraph editor Stuart Williams’ latest book for Walsall Local History Centre has just been published and will be on sale from this week – with a special launch event taking place at Walsall Museum on Thursday 6th December (details below), and just in time for Christmas.
Reflections of Old Walsall – subtitled ‘Local history in and around Walsall Metropolitan Borough’ – includes diverse subjects from local heroes like Walsall’s greatest aviator Flt Lt Webster to coalman’s son and Bletchley Park code-breaker Harry Hinsley via spooks and spectres, the remarkable Highgate Windmill, Aldridge’s Naval VC, Bentley’s ‘Giant’s Causeway’, one of Queen Victoria’s greatest diplomats – from Birchills(!), the time Sherlock Holmes came to Walsall, Walsall’s electric trams which were “better than Blackpool” and Bloxwich’s war poet Harold Parry – plus many more!
In fact if you thought the story of old Walsall was just about the leather industry and Sister Dora, then you’re in for a few surprises with this book. Even the essential Sister Dora article takes a very different track to the usual story…
The illustrated A5 format softback book, 72pp plus 4pp cover, is a compilation of the original, uncut texts of twenty of Stuart’s Local Heritage articles which were written on behalf of Walsall Local History Centre for his monthly feature in the Walsall Chronicle newspaper – a series which has run since 2001 and which was renamed Memory Lane at the end of 2011.
As such, the newspaper-published and edited versions of the articles are not only long out of print but were somewhat shorter than those in the book. The articles in the new book also have their original titles, which were often changed by the Chronicle’s editors!
Each article as published now comprises 3-4 pages with 3 or 4 period photographs, so the book is ideal for dipping into, especially as the subjects focus on numerous surprising, quirky and often forgotten aspects of the area’s history and its people from ancient times to the 1970s.
The new book costs £6.99, and you may be interested to know that Stuart’s previous book for the Centre Billy Meikle’s Window on Walsall is also still available for £5.
The individual titles of the articles in Reflections of Old Walsall are:
- A Bridge By Any Other Name
- Bentley’s ‘Giant’s Causeway’
- Things that Go Bump in the Borough…
- From the Earth to the Moon – Highgate Windmill
- From Red Books to the Red Planet – W. H. Robinson
- One Man and His Books (to say nothing of the dog)
- Remembering Aldridge’s Naval VC
- Sister Dora and the Steam Engine
- The Battle of Walsall
- When Sherlock Holmes came to Walsall
- Better than Blackpool: Walsall’s Victorian Tramways
- An Englishman’s Castle: Council housing in Walsall
- From Dixon of Dock Green to Gene Hunt
- Flaming brilliant: Walsall Fire Brigade
- From Guild Hall to Civic Centre
- Going to the ‘flicks’ in ‘Sixties Walsall
- From Borneo Street to the Stars
- The Hinsley Enigma – Decoded
- From Birchills to Beijing – Sir Harry S. Parkes
- Remembering Harold Parry – Bloxwich War Poet
‘Reflections of Old Walsall’ by Stuart Williams
Publisher: Walsall Local History Centre
ISBN: 978 1 907363 03 0
A5 format softback 72pp plus 4pp cover.
Retail price: £6.99.
BOOK LAUNCH AT WALSALL MUSEUM Thursday 6th December 2012
REFLECTIONS OF OLD WALSALL is being launched by Walsall Local History Centre with the kind assistance of Walsall Museum who are hosting the event in their Education Room on Thursday 6th December.
The launch will take place between 10am – 12 noon at Walsall Museum, 1st Floor, Central Library, Lichfield Street, Walsall, WS1 1TR. ADMISSION IS FREE.
The launch programme is as follows:
10am Doors open. Informal chance to speak to the author and view the book.
10.30am Talk: Reflections of Old Walsall.
11am Book sales and signing. Books cost £6.99.
11.30am Videos and FREE refreshments.
12 noon Close.
After the launch, Reflections of Old Walsall will be available from Waterstone’s bookstore in Park Street, Walsall Museum, Walsall Leather Museum and of course direct from Walsall Local History Centre in Essex Street, Walsall, which will also operate a mail order service – telephone 01922 721305 for details.