A Blakenall Heath furniture workshop was gutted by fire in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The blaze destroyed stock, fittings, buildings and a delivery van as it ripped through the yard and worksop at the rear of popular dealer Peggy’s Place in Barrack’s Lane around 3am.
All but the shop facing onto the lane, which remains open for business, was destroyed, leaving charred wood, furniture, materials and debris surrounding the van, which was rendered a write-off.
Owners believe the fire may have been started deliberately in the workshop area before spreading to other parts of the courtyard.
Co-owner Matthew Cooper has said that around £10,000 – £15,000 worth of stock has been destroyed in the incident. Apparently the yard has been targeted by thieves and vandals in the past, with tools being taken.
Firefighters from Bloxwich Community Fire Station and Fallings Park attended following the alarm being raised by neighbours, and worked for more than four hours to put out the blaze, concluding that work around 7.30am yesterday.
They have not yet been prepared to comment on the precise cause of the fire as an investigation is underway, with investigators examining the scene in detail for clues. Police were also due to attend later.
If any report is forthcoming we will update this news item in due course.
Special thanks to Mr Ian Morton-Jones for supplying the exclusive photographs of the aftermath of the fire above and to Peggy’s Place for the picture of the shop.
In Bloxwich, you can always tell Christmas is coming – it’s when the Rotary Santa Claus drops in!
For decades, the real herald of the season has not been Mr Robin, Jack Frost, snow falling, or even naff festive muzak in the shops – it’s been the jolly red-suited man in the sleigh with the golden cog-wheel on its side. And this year is no different, children and adults in the village and on the estates will be delighted to hear!
The Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix are enthusiastically maintaining the fine tradition of festive visitations and felicitations begun decades ago by their predecessor group, and they can always be sure of a warm welcome in so many places and from so many people that may have little else to cheer them on these cold, dark nights.
As is traditional, Santa and his community-minded helpers will be touring all over Bloxwich and district – including Blakenall Heath, Mossley, Dudley Fields, Lower Farm, and Turnberry (plus Pelsall!) – and that tour starts this week! See below for routes and times.
A LETTER FROM SANTA FOR YOUR CHILD
And for some added fun for families, if you’re on one of his routes, Santa and his helpers can deliver a letter from Santa to your child. Please send letters to Santa c/o 28a Lister Street, Willenhall, West Midlands. WV13 2HQ, or request a letter via the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix website. They will hand deliver a reply free of charge on the evening of your route.
Santa is also internet-savvy these days – so if you prefer to e-mail, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for this, or any other queries you have.
And what’s more – would you believe it, Norad in America may be able to track Santa on his way round the globe, but we can go one better, as you’d expect, and track him round Bloxwich!
On the evening of each route, you will be able to track Santa’s location in real-time online on Rotary’s website www.bloxwichphoenix.net, so there’s no need to stand outside in the cold weather for too long!
Of course, Santa’s visits to Bloxwich and district are not just about some much-needed seasonal jollity; there is a serious purpose too. Rotary is a charitable organisation that does good works both in the local community and on a global scale.
All the money collected from the Santa Sleigh collection will be donated to the Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom. The charity provides funds for many important humanitarian projects at home and abroad is one of the major partners in the drive to finally eliminate polio worldwide.
They need our help, and donations are welcome, so why not look out for Santa coming your way, say hello, have some family fun and do some good, in the true spirit of Christmas?
The times and dates of Santa’s visits this Christmas are listed below for your reference. Remember they may be subject to change, but you can track Santa online to make sure!
For more information, you can also read or print online a special leaflet which is being distributed locally, via this link.
SANTA WILL BE VISITING YOU ON THE FOLLOWING NIGHTS AND ROUTES:
The festive season kicks off at Bloxwich’s Stan Ball Centre on Friday 7th December from 1pm until 3pm with the Centre’s annual CHRISTMAS CAROL CONCERT.
Reverend Monica Arnold from All Saints Church, Bloxwich and Reverend Paul Myers from Christ Church, Blakenall Heath will be in attendance at the Centre in Abbotts Street, along with the Green Rock Primary School Choir for what will surely be an enjoyable yuletide afternoon service.
The Stan Ball Centre’s Christmas Fayre takes place on Saturday 8th December 10am until 1pm.
A few tables may still be available at a cost of £8 each or £5 for registered charities – contact Karen on 01922 403351 to book.
The Centre’s Bistro will be open throughout serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, and Santa will be paying a visit this year!. Pop along for a festive morning out and find that last-minute Christmas gift! – free admission and free parking as usual.
Christmas Dinners will be available every day week commencing Monday 10th December to Friday 14th December. Purchase your Dinner ticket in advance from Stan Ball Reception for the day of your choice at a cost of £5.50 for two courses.
The Stan Ball Christmas Party will be held on Wednesday 12th December 1pm until 3pm with the “Val Rivers Show”. This popular entertainment duo return for another festive musical treat for the party season. Why not pop along for your Christmas Lunch beforehand and make a day of it?
Show tickets are on sale now from Stan Ball Reception costing just £3 per person. A Christmas Hamper Raffle will be drawn during the afternoon – raffle tickets will be on sale from Monday 3rd December £1 per strip.
For further information, or to book any of these events, please contact Karen or Pete on 01922 403351 or come into the Centre during office hours Monday to Friday.
A small but extremely interesting local history exhibition showing both military and civilian items and information from the First World War period (1914 – 18) opened last Friday at the Blakenall Village Centre off Thames Road, Blakenall Heath.
The exhibition was launched as part of the Blakenall Heath Peace Tree Plaque and Jubilee Stone dedication, for details and pictures of which please read our earlier story.
Combining display material relating to the forthcoming book ‘Sorrow into Pride’ by local historians Ken Wayman and Barry Crutchley with numerous fascinating objects on loan from Walsall Museum with supporting objects from Pelsall Local History Centre and a number of individuals (including one item from the editor of The Bloxwich Telegraph!), the display comprises of several display panels and cabinets attractively set up, complete with sandbags, in the foyer of the centre.
It has been organised jointly by the Centre, Walsall Museum and Messrs Crutchley and Wayman, and not only offers much of both military and domestic interest but also serves to promote ‘Sorrow into Pride’, which documents and commemorates the men on the Elmore Green School war memorial, which was returned to the school and rededicated on Armistice Day last year, and something of the local history of the Bloxwich area.
It also contains a Foreword by Stuart Williams, editor of The Bloxwich Telegraph.
The book, which runs to more than 300 pages of A4, has kindly been funded by New Horizons Community Enterprise, which manages the centre and runs many local activities in Blakenall Heath and parts of Bloxwich and Leamore. It is presently at the publishers and is expected to be available to buy some time in December or early January.
The exhibition also offers a little mystery which organisers hope that Bloxwich Telegraph readers can help with – identifying the unknown item of military equipment pictured above! If you know what this is, please email The Bloxwich Telegraph via our Contact page and we will pass the information on!
The exhibition runs until 7th December 2012.
For more information about the exhibition, the book or to check opening hours, contact Terri Wall, Service Manager of Blakenall Village Centre, on 01922 714900.
More photographs of the exhibition can also be viewed via this link.
A MYSTERY SOLVED!
Since this item was published, we have been contacted by Mr Adrian Rothery, who informs us that the mystery object is in fact an oil bottle, part of a cleaning kit for the Lee Enfield Rifle, which would also have included a cord to be oiled and pulled through the gun to clean it.
Similar information has also been given by several visitors to the exhibition, who additionally say that the item would have been stored within the rifle butt, and we have advised the Blakenall Village Centre and Walsall Museum that the mystery is solved!
Our thanks to Mr Rothery and these other members of the public for their help!