Category Archives: Blakenall Heath

Blakenall Know Your Place Project pages launched

Friends in the community: project participants led by Jenny Cartwright on an outing to Blists Hill (Pic: S. Williams)

The Blakenall ‘Know Your Place’ Project was a Heritage Lottery Funded community history project created by Project Co-ordinator Jenny Cartwright, working with Bloxwich Community Partnership and in liaison with the local community and other groups and organisations in Blakenall Heath and Bloxwich.  It ran from January 2010 till May 2011.

The project was a great success, unearthing a rich selection of photographs of the area and its people, almost all never seen by a general audience or in preservation.  It also resulted in a range of oral history recordings of memories of Blakenall folk, and offered numerous well-supported community events for the interest and enjoyment of local people, in an area historically neglected by officialdom.

Booth Street Chapel, Blakenall Heath, c1930s (Cliff Webb)

A small book of photographs – ‘Blakenall Memories’ – was published, as well as a “digital reprint” (only available online) of the only book ever published about the Parish of Blakenall Heath – ‘When Numbers Cease to Count’.

Coronation party, Wordsworth Road, 1953 (Betty Friend)

The project materials are now, in digital form, in the keeping of Walsall Local History Centre, but The Bloxidge Tallygraph was chosen to host the project online so that its results might be available to all, locally and world-wide.

The books linked for download

A special section of The Bloxidge Tallygraph, including the books mentioned above as well as a link to an associated Flickr photo album, has therefore been created by the Edditer, Stuart Williams, working with Jenny Cartwright, to document and present selected results of the project, and it is now available directly via the nav bar under Blakenall KYP or via the following link:

The Blakenall Know Your Place Project

We hope that you will find it as fascinating as we and the local community have!

Have Mayor – will travel!

Alex Murray prepares for a Mayoral haircut at Chatabox in Leamore (Pix: Walsall Council)

Walsall’s ubiquitous and always energetic Mayor, Councillor Gary Clarke, went into overdrive this week, spending two days flying across the borough from Bloxwich, Leamore, Blakenall and Coalpool to Aldridge and Walsall to work for businesses and schools while fundraising for charity.

The fun and frantic initiative, dubbed Mayor for Hire, was created by the Mayor in partnership with solicitors Addison O’Hare, with the aim of raising money for his Charity Appeal while giving him a taste of local life and work beyond the Council House.

Tuesday saw Cllr Clarke brushing up his customer service skills at Annette’s Pram Shop in Blakenall Lane, serving up lunch at Coalpool’s popular Edgar Stammers Primary School in Harden Road, washing hair, making tea – and chatting – at Chatabox Hair & Beauty in the Leamore Lane shopping precinct and meeting staff at Piquant Limited on the Willenhall Lane Industrial Estate in Bloxwich.

Kiran Patel and Jenny Turner await their food at Simply Sandwich, Bloxwich

On Wednesday, the Mayor tried his hand at sandwich making at Simply Sandwich Buffets at The Broadway, Walsall, became acting manager at Walsall Bus Station, served lunches at Cooper and Jordan Church of England Primary School and was interviewed by pupils at Castlefort JMI School in Walsall Wood.

All of the Mayor’s ‘employers’ have pledged donations to his Charity Appeal for Walsall Hospice and disadvantaged children, and Chatabox generously agreed to top theirs up by giving 20 per cent of the day’s takings as well.

The two days of fundraising and hard work, supplemented by a collection made by Walsall Hospice volunteers at the bus station, should net around £800 – a remarkable effort all round.

Cllr Clarke said: “I loved every minute of being put to work by everyone – it was an unforgettable two days.  I started at the pram shop and owner Annette Owles-Bryan was an absolute joy. Her business is a real asset to the area and she really goes out of her way to look after her customers.

“Later that day I had the privilege of working at Chatabox hairdressers where I met the charming Doreen Chivers, aged 64, who allowed me to wash her hair and declared that I had a gentle touch!  Owner Joanne Tidman has built up a gem of a business there and deserves to go from strength to strength.

No job too small: the Mayor makes tea at Chatabox

“I was also privileged to meet some of the hard working staff at Piquant Limited, another borough success story that we should all be proud of.   Shan Nagendram has established a fine sauce manufacturing business.

“Paul Keeling of Simply Sandwich had me hard at work in no time at all on day two and told me off for not putting enough meat on the bread. He wasn’t going to let me upset his customers.

“Centro made sure I carried out various checks at the bus station and took the time to listen to passengers’ experiences.

“The business community I met was loyal and committed and showed me just a small example of the talent we have in the borough.”

The Mayor was also asked to serve up lunch at Edgar Stammers Primary School – and did so resplendent in his white unform and purple cap.

He said: “What smashing children, teaching and kitchen staff I met at Edgar Stammers.  I was on Yorkshire pudding duty to start with and progressed to gravy, beans and custard as I got into my stride.  I didn’t stop smiling all the time I was there – although I understand I made service a little slower than normal. That’s partly because I was stopping to answer so many questions about my chain of office!”

The Mayor serves Ellie Fishwick her lunch at Cooper and Jordan School “On day two I went to Cooper and Jordan School where I had to arrive as a fairy godmother, complete with a wand and sparkly headband. The children were fortunate that I’d had some school meal practice and I think I managed to hold my own, again with grateful thanks to the kitchen staff.  Again, the children were fantastic. Some of them queued up at the end asking for my autograph which made me feel like a proper celebrity.”

At Castlefort School the Mayor was toured by Year 6 pupils who then joined in a question and answer session as part of work they have been doing on leaders.

“The school should be very proud of the polite, well-mannered and confident children it has at Castlefort,” said the Mayor.  They gave me a guided tour and showed me all the classrooms and the work that is going on this term.  They fired plenty of questions at me and kept me on my toes but I made sure I answered everything they asked.

“The two days were really enjoyable and I am delighted that I had the chance to meet some of the wonderful people who make this borough such a great place, ” Cllr Clarke concluded.

Anne Ward of Addison O’Hare Solicitors also agreed the two days had been a super success.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to make pledges and hope they all enjoyed the experience as much as the Mayor clearly did.  Mayor for Hire was always intended to be a memorable fundraising experience for everyone concerned while drawing the Mayor’s term to a fitting close.”

The Bloxidge Tallygraph would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Councillor Clarke.  We have attended many of the events he has supported as Mayor in Bloxwich and beyond, we have always been welcomed and we can’t remember a more active, friendly, supportive and enthusiastic Mayor – and Mayoress!

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Election 2011

Welcome to The Bloxidge Tallygraph’s page focusing on the forthcoming local council elections, and the national AV referendum on the voting system for MPs, which both took place on 5 May 2011, with results announced on 6 May.

Here you will find information on our local Bloxwich East,  Bloxwich West, Blakenall and Birchills-Leamore ward  candidates, as well as links to AV info, statistics, and local and national party websites.

The results are now published here.

Stuart Williams, Edditer

Breaking election news

Significant election news for those Walsall Council wards within Bloxwich and district is included on this page.

TODAY’S RESULTS – 6 May 2011

Walsall Council election results today reveal that there is now no overall control due to a surge in Labour gains – see our report below and the link to Walsall Council’s website for detailed results across the borough.

See below also for the results of the AV referendum.

For news sourced from across the web we highly recommend The Yam Yam, which has been automated to pick up local news online from selected websites:

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Election Report – Bloxwich and district

Dateline: 6 May 2011

News coming in this lunchtime has revealed a massively successful fight-back in the old ‘Foreign Ward’ by Walsall Labour Party candidates against their entrenched opponents in yesterday’s Walsall Council elections.

Bloxwich East was the hardest-fought ward in Bloxwich and district, with Shaun Fitzpatrick for Labour on 1205 votes narrowly defeating long-serving Tory Councillor Les Beeley with 1191 to give an important gain for Labour over the Conservatives.  Interestingly, Alan Sheath of UKIP with a modest 229 votes still managed to trounce Stephen Baggot of the Democratic Labour Party with just 107 votes and Chris Cockayne of the LibDems barely moving the needle at 81.

In Bloxwich West, Labour candidate Sue Fletcher-Hall romped ahead, spearheading the turn against the Tories and gaining the seat by defeating another long-serving Conservative Councillor Des Pitt by 1438 votes to 1360 and leaving the Democratic Labour Party’s Michael Ross with 234 votes and LibDem Jeanette Pearce at 146 gasping in the distance.

Meanwhile in Blakenall Heath, a bruising Blakenall Ward bust-up left prominent (and only) Democratic Labour Party Councillor Peter Smith out-for-the-count after Ann Young delivered a surprise uppercut with 1256 votes vs 928 gaining the trophy for Labour yet again.  Tory Afzal Muhammed and LibDem Robert Pearce were, unsurprisingly, left gasping on the ropes with just 453 and 95 votes respectively to show for their part in the melee.

Finally, there was icing on the day’s cake for celebrating Labour ‘Forreners’ with a sold hold in Birchills-Leamore, as Walsall Labour Group leader, Councillor Tim Oliver, reaped a substantial vote of 1574 compared to 961 cast for Kamran Aftab (Conservative), 167 for Roy Robinson (LibDem) and 158 for Alan Davies (Democratic Labour Party).

Election results Borough-wide

May be found in detail on Walsall Council’s website via this link.

Borough-wide it now seems that Walsall Council has, as predicted by local pundits, returned to the ‘good old days’ of no overall control, with 28 Conservatives, 26 Labour, 5 LibDem and 1 Independent councillors now in place.

What will happen next depends largely on whether the LibDems follow their traditional practice of rolling over for the Tories or whether they regain some of the principles which their national party has seemingly abandoned and go for something more progressive alongside Labour.

Bloxwich and district awaits the consequences with bated breath – but one thing is sure, our new Labour councillors can be justly proud of a fight for progress in the old ‘Foreign’ well  won.

The AV Referendum

As this was a national vote, the results have come in later.

The AV result for Walsall is as follows:

Yes: 18,437, No: 52,641 with 736 void and 57 not counted as they voted for both options.

Overall nationally it looks as if the Nos have it in the referendum

Our thanks to Walsall Council for election results

The Council Press Office is also to be complimented for their excellent Twitter announcements through the count.

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Which ward are you in?

If you are not sure which electoral ward you are in for the purpose of Walsall Council elections, take a look at the official downloadable pdf format maps linked below:

Birchills Leamore

Blakenall

Bloxwich East

Bloxwich West

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Walsall Council election candidates by ward

BIRCHILLS-LEAMORE WARD

Aftab, Kamran.    13 Segundo Road, Walsall, WS5 4PY.   The Conservative Party Candidate.

Davies, Alan George.    78 Chase Road, Walsall, WS3 2PT.   Democratic Labour Party.

Oliver, Tim.    54 Delves Crescent, Walsall, WS5 4LR.   The Labour Party Candidate.

Robinson, Roy .   245 Stroud Avenue, Willenhall, WV12 4DA.   Liberal Democrat.

BLAKENALL WARD

Afzal, Muhammed.    30 Eastbourne St, Walsall, WS4 2BN.   The Conservative Party Candidate.

Pearce, Robert Norman.    5 Myrtle Close, Willenhall,  WV12 5NS.    Liberal Democrat.

Smith, Peter Edward.    65 Harden Road, Leamore, WS3 1EL.    Democratic Labour Party.

Young, Ann.    12 Archer Road, Leamore, WS3 1AN.   The Labour Party Candidate.

BLOXWICH EAST WARD

Baggott, Stephen John.    175 Ingram Road, Blakenall, WS3 3AL.   Democratic Labour Party.

Beeley, Les.    27 Mallory Crescent, Little Bloxwich, WS3 3DD.  The Conservative Party Candidate.

Cockayne, Chris.    26 Smithfield Road, Walsall, WS3 1ND.  Liberal Democrat.

Fitzpatrick, Shaun Francis.  41A Victoria Avenue, Bloxwich, WS3 3HT. The Labour Party Candidate.

Sheath, Alan.   9 Portland Road, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 3HT.   UK Independence Party (UK I P).

BLOXWICH WEST WARD

Fletcher-Hall, Sue. 49 Clarendon Street, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 2HT.  The Labour Party Candidate.

Pearce, Jeanette.  5 Myrtle Close, Short Heath, Willenhall, WV12 5NS.  Liberal Democrat.

Pitt, Des.  5 Whitminster Close, Willenhall, WV12 4ER.   The Conservative Party Candidate.

Ross, Michael Ronald.    36 Abbey Square,  Walsall, WS3 2RJ.  Democratic Labour Party.

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Labour fight back in the Foreign

The clunking fist strikes back!

News coming in this lunchtime has revealed a massively successful fight-back in the old ‘Foreign Ward’ by Walsall Labour Party candidates against their entrenched opponents in yesterday’s Walsall Council elections.

Bloxwich East was the hardest-fought ward in Bloxwich and district, with Shaun Fitzpatrick for Labour on 1205 votes narrowly defeating long-serving Tory Councillor Les Beeley with 1191 to give an important gain for Labour over the Conservatives.  Interestingly, Alan Sheath of UKIP with a modest 229 votes still managed to trounce Stephen Baggot of the Democratic Labour Party with just 107 votes and Chris Cockayne of the LibDems barely moving the needle at 81.

In Bloxwich West, Labour candidate Sue Fletcher-Hall romped ahead, spearheading the turn against the Tories and gaining the seat by defeating another long-serving Conservative Councillor Des Pitt by 1438 votes to 1360 and leaving the Democratic Labour Party’s Michael Ross with 234 votes and LibDem Jeanette Pearce at 146 gasping in the distance.

Meanwhile in Blakenall Heath, a bruising Blakenall Ward bust-up left prominent (and only) Democratic Labour Party Councillor Peter Smith out-for-the-count after Ann Young delivered a surprise uppercut with 1256 votes vs 928 gaining the trophy for Labour yet again.  Tory Afzal Muhammed and LibDem Robert Pearce were, unsurprisingly, left gasping on the ropes with just 453 and 95 votes respectively to show for their part in the melee.

Finally, there was icing on the day’s cake for celebrating Labour ‘Forreners’ with a sold hold in Birchills-Leamore, as Walsall Labour Group leader, Councillor Tim Oliver, reaped a substantial vote of 1574 compared to 961 cast for Kamran Aftab (Conservative), 167 for Roy Robinson (LibDem) and 158 for Alan Davies (Democratic Labour Party).

Borough-wide it now seems that Walsall Council has, as predicted by local pundits, returned to the ‘good old days’ of no overall control, with 28 Conservatives, 26 Labour, 5 LibDem and 1 Independent councillors now in place.  What will happen next depends largely on whether the LibDems follow their traditional practice of rolling over for the Tories or whether they regain some of the principles which their national party has seemingly abandoned and go for something more progressive alongside Labour.

Bloxwich and district awaits the consequences with bated breath – but one thing is sure, our new Labour councillors can be justly proud of a fight for progress in the old ‘Foreign’ well  won.

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Stacey seals Stan Ball Centre sale success

Willenhall Carnival Queen Stacey Senior (left) and Deb Brownlee of the Stan Ball Centre (Pix: Stuart Williams)

Yesterday saw the first ever Sunday Table Top Sale at The Stan Ball Centre in Bloxwich, and the undoubted success of the event was sealed by a visit from the lovely Stacey Senior.  Stacey  travelled across the borough from her home in Willenhall to open the event as the new Willenhall Carnival Queen, by invitation of the organisers, at 11am on Sunday.

The day saw two ‘firsts’ – the centre’s first ever sale event and Stacey’s first public engagement as Carnival Queen.  But why would a Willenhall Carnival Queen be making an appearance in Bloxwich?
The super new Stan Ball Centre consists of two buildings in canalside grounds off Abbotts Street
Well, this remarkable two-building centre, a major facility catering for the over 50’s, opened last year in Abbotts Street and replacing a previous building, has been working closely with Stacey in her ‘day job’ as a Senior Social Worker for Walsall Council.  And she has been helping to prepare the model for a widow and widowers group soon to be set up there.
And Stacey was not only performing a ceremonial role, she was joining in with the event itself as she and her mother had their own table selling their home made cakes  as a fundraiser for a family friend in need of treatment for cancer.

Stacey meets local artist Jackie (left) and Eddie Plimmer on their stall then checks out the display from St. John’s Church Perservation Group who had come all the way from Dudley

The Bloxidge Tallygraph was delighted to be invited to cover the event, and Edditer Stuart Williams rolled up with his camera at opening time to be welcomed at the door both by Queen Stacey and by Deb Brownlee, Young at Heart Project Co-ordinator and energetic organiser at the centre.  The hall in which the sale was being held was already packed with great stalls and enthusiastic buyers checking out their wares.

Deb Brownlee said “What a relief that people turned up! It had been throwing it down with rain all morning and being our first one we couldn’t be sure that people would come!  But by 11am the sun was shining and with 28 tables there was a wide variety of goods and stalls on offer.   To have the Willenhall Carnival Queen to perform the opening ceremony was really just the icing on the cake. It was a great day and we are so grateful to everyone who helped us develop this and gave us support.”

The centre opened its doors in January and is developing a wide range of classes, groups, care services and fundraising events, plus dances every Saturday night.Details from 01922 403351 or Facebook Bloxwich Community Partnership Stan Ball Centre.

More photographs on Flickr via this link.

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