Category Archives: Events

Cracking Easter Eggstravaganza for Bloxwich!

Easter Eggstravaganza

Bloxwich Business Partnership is hosting their first annual event of the year – the ‘Bloxwich Eggstravaganza Easter Event’ – on Saturday 7 April 2012.

This is a non-profit event providing Easter fun for the community to participate in during the Easter break.

Now in its third year, the 2012 Easter Eggstravaganza is all set to be bigger and better than before.

It will be a traditional event with support from groups, businesses and charity organisations.

This year there are also two competitions; an Easter Bonnets Parade at 2:30pm in Bloxwich Market Place and an Easter Egg Trail Competition 2pm in the Market Place, for the children to participate in.

There will also be various walkabout acts strolling around Bloxwich town centre, including a White Easter Bunny and Easter Chick who will be handing each child a chocolate egg.

The Mad Hatter will also be walking around the village, and there will also be Easter Donkeys, The Reach Up Tower, Face Painting, and two workshops – an Easter bonnet workshop (based in Bloxwich Library, Elmore Row) and a bunting workshop (based in the market) for families to participate in and be entertained by.

This event will create awareness of Bloxwich as a whole and what the village has available including the retail offer, leisure facilities and the historical values of the village.

You can download full details of the day’s events in a pdf flyer via this link: Bloxwich Easter Eggstravaganza 2012.

Titanic anniversary event in Bloxwich – with cake too!

R.M.S.  Embarking on Fatal Maiden Voyage 10 April 1912.

The Stan Ball Centre will be commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the legendary ocean liner RMS Titanic with a special exhibition day which will be open to the public, families and any groups who might like to come along.

The event takes place at the centre in Abbotts Street, Bloxwich, on Friday 13th April from 10am until 4pm.

Local artists Christine Bunn, Ian Edwards, Ann Hackett and Jason and Brenda Jenkins who all exhibit and sell  their work at The Stan Ball Centre are preparing special pieces of Titanic related work, as are the centre’s sugarcraft and art students.

Artist Ian Edwards, who inspired the idea for the day, will also be showing some vintage 1911 cinema reel film of Titanic.

Young people from the Elmore Row Centre, Bloxwich-based Electric Palace Foundation Learning Group, will be contributing with Titanic based  song and drama.

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

“We are appealing for the loan for the day of Titanic memorabilia, souvenirs, pictures, models and photographs and we already have some fantastic items coming into centre on that day. However we still have some tables free so we are appealing for local people to search lofts and cupboards and bring their Titanic items to The Stan Ball Centre and let other people see them just for the day. It would be great if they could also come and stand with their items and tell people the story behind them. Everything that comes into the centre will be returned on the same day.”

Also available on the day are a limited number of free art lessons between 1 and 3pm with one of the featured artists, Brenda Jenkins. The sessions will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Admission to the event is free and the Stan Ball Centre Cafe will be serving Titanic themed lunches and cakes.

Anyone able to set up a display table should arrive from 8.30am or ring Karen Smith on 01922 403351 to pre-book the space.

Saturday sparkle kick-starts Christmas in Bloxwich!

Happy Santa Strollers get into the spirit of Christmas
Happy Santa Strollers get into the spirit of Christmas on the old village green!

This year’s festive season in Bloxwich began with a much-needed boost on Saturday, thanks to Bloxwich Business Partnership and partners, as they staged their second annual Sparkle Into a Bloxwich Christmas event.

It's best feet forward for St Giles Walsall Hospice in the Santa Stroll
It's best feet forward for St Giles Walsall Hospice in the Santa Stroll

And despite the dull, blustery weather, the village was properly lit up ready for Christmas in a snow-fall of fun for all ages, with a Santa Stroll on the old village green, a wandering elf and snowman, donkey rides, charity market stalls and fine performances by local youngsters singing and dancing.

Alfie the Elf's reindeer Rudolph checks out the festive flora at Hearts and Flowers
Alfie the Elf's reindeer Rudolph checks out the festive flora at Hearts and Flowers
Donkey Derby? No, Park Rd Bloxwich!
Donkey Derby? No, Park Rd Bloxwich!

The partnership, chaired by ever-enthusiastic Emma Harewood of Co-operative Travel in Bloxwich High Street and strongly supported by the powerhouse that is Nikki Rolls, Walsall Council’s irrepressible Regeneration Assistant for Bloxwich, who co-ordinated everyone, aimed to use the event to both foster a greater sense of community and bring Bloxwich talent to the fore by showcasing local schools, community groups, churches, and key partners within the day’s programme of activities.

Not snoozing - but amusing! Pyjama-clad Co-op Travel staff collect for Women's Aid
Not snoozing - but amusing! Pyjama-clad Co-op Travel staff collect for Women's Aid

This they certainly did, bringing together local people of goodwill in so many ways to create not only a very successful, if somewhat windswept, event, but a great profile-raiser for both the community and traders in and around the village of Bloxwich and district, at a time when we all need cheering up!

Bloxwich Carnival royals Jessica Jones (left), Abbie Nicholls, Phoebe Lago WIlletts and Lucy Kirk
Bloxwich Carnival royals Jessica Jones (left), Abbie Nicholls, Phoebe Lago WIlletts and Lucy Kirk

Some of the features of Sparkle Into a Bloxwich Christmas included:

  • Santa on his sleigh from Bloxwich Rotary Phoenix with his helpers handing out free gifts to children.
  • A Christmas Trail.
  • Best Dressed Shop Window Competition judged by St Giles Walsall Hospice.
  • Business Festive Offers and Christmas Activities.
  • Christmas Fayre organised by and at St John’s Methodist Church.
  • Santa Stroll in Bloxwich Park, organised by St Giles Walsall Hospice.
  • Decorations made by local schools in shop windows.
  • Christmas Charity Stalls on Bloxwich Market.
  • A Christmas Raffle.
  • And donkey rides!

Preceded by the Santa Stroll at 10am, the majority of the day’s events ran from 11am – 3pm, delivering a jam-packed Christmas programme, including choirs from St Peter’s RC Primary School, Elmore Green Primary School, Lower Farm Primary School, Walsall Academy Choir, All Saints Church Youth Choir, Masquerades Youth Theatre and St Peters Church Choir, as well as a dance performance from Russon Dance Academy.

All Saints Youth Choir, accompanied by Revd Roger Williams, were in fine festive song on the Move truck
All Saints Youth Choir, accompanied by Revd Roger Williams, were in fine festive song on the Move truck
Young performers from Russon Dance Academy launch into a routine
Young performers from Russon Dance Academy launch into a routine

Performances took place both on the stage of Walsall Council’s versatile Move Bus at High Street/Park Road and in a shelter at the ASDA store, where there was singing and face painting, and store staff were also collecting for the Hospice while Dame Hilda and Queen Prunella were outside promoting the forthcoming panto ‘The Snow Queen’ at Forest Arts Centre.

It Asda be Dame Hilda and Snow Queen Prunella!
It Asda be Dame Hilda and Snow Queen Prunella!
Rob Henden, Jeanette Ball and Maureen Allport shake a bucket for St Giles Walsall Hospice at ASDA
Rob Henden, Jeanette Ball and Maureen Allport shake a bucket for St Giles Walsall Hospice at ASDA

St John’s Methodist Church held its’ ever-popular and packed-out Christmas Fayre in Victoria Avenue, with Santa in attendance for photos to be taken with local youngsters thanks to the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix.  And at the Park Road End of High Street, Parklands Court Nursing Home was also holding its own traditional Victorian Christmas Fayre.

Lots to see at St John's Christmas Fayre
Lots to see at St John's Christmas Fayre
Santa gets up close and seasonal with mum Rebecca Rowley and daughter Connie, aged 2 1/2, in his grotto at Saint John's Christmas Fayre!
Santa gets up close and seasonal with mum Rebecca Rowley and daughter Connie, aged 2 1/2, in his grotto at Saint John's Christmas Fayre!

For those wandering between events or shopping in the High Street, St Peter’s RC Church Choir offered a medley of carols and festive songs outside the Church doors at 11.30am, a sprinkling of festive shop windows lit up many a child’s eye (with Jeneve Bridal Wear winning the competition!) and Alfie the Elf was readily spotted riding his reindeer up and down, occasionally followed by a huge Snowman and Miss Santa herself, 2010 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Jessica Jones, ably assisting the big man in his heavy schedule for the day.

Carollers at St Peter's Roman Catholic Church lift up their hearts and sing!
Carollers at St Peter's Roman Catholic Church lift up their hearts and sing!
Competition-winning festive window by Jeneve Bridal Wear on the High Street
Competition-winning festive window by Jeneve Bridal Wear on the High Street

And in Market Place, various charities had stalls with a Christmas flavour, and Cheque Centre staff were in the festive mood, collecting for the NSPCC.

John Roberts, Paula Neal (manager) and David Merriman represented The Children's Society on Bloxwich Market
John Roberts, Paula Neal (manager) and David Merriman represented The Children's Society on Bloxwich Market
Shirley Hodgkins (left), Vicky Caddy, Cllr Kath Phillips and Maurice Phillips ran the St Giles Walsall Hospice market stall and tombola
Shirley Hodgkins (left), Vicky Caddy, Cllr Kath Phillips and Maurice Phillips ran the St Giles Walsall Hospice market stall and tombola
Raising funds for the NSPCC was Diane Turner of Cheque Centre
Raising funds for the NSPCC was Diane Turner of Cheque Centre

Christmas cakes and festive drinks were also laid on for happy families and spectators by the Move truck, courtesy of Bloxwich Phoenix Rotary, and a Hog Roast was popular at the ASDA store.

Carrie Hurst (left), Jennie Allport and Jess Woolley serve up sherry and mince pies on behalf of Rotary
Carrie Hurst (left), Jennie Allport and Jess Woolley serve up sherry and mince pies on behalf of Rotary

Finally, the seal was set on this great start to Christmas, for the kiddies at least, when Santa and his beautiful assistant Jessica Jones, aided by Bloxwich Carnival royalty Abbie Nicholls, Phoebe Lago WIlletts and Lucy Kirk, plus our local police, handed out scores of presents to clamouring youngsters outside Sweet and Fancy in Park Road.

Santa and his posse hand out the goodies!
Santa and his posse hand out the goodies!

After all the hard work and enthusiasm put in by all concerned, this second annual event was another fine success and has definitely kick-started Christmas in Bloxwich.  Why not support the other local Christmas events on our Events Page, and add even more sparkle to your own festive season?

What it's really all about - a traditional nativity scene in the Life shop window
What it's really all about - a traditional nativity scene in the Life shop window

The Bloxwich Telegraph is proud to continue to support ‘Sparkle Into a Bloxwich Christmas’ and the people of Bloxwich and district, and our editor, Stuart Williams, took a wide range of photos, some of which are shown here.

These, and many more, may be freely downloaded from Flickr as personal souvenirs and for non-commercial use by those people and organisations taking part.  Follow this link: Sparkle into a Bloxwich Christmas Photo Album.

What’s on at Walsall’s New Art Gallery on 26 Nov?

Walsall NAG

There’s a lot on for art and book fans at Walsall’s New Art Gallery on 26 November!

Artists’ Book and Independent Publishing Fair  12pm – 4pm

Walsall NAG’s annual Artists’ Book and Independent Publishing Fair where you will be able to buy your own affordable books, zines and multiples by artists from the UK and beyond. Continue reading What’s on at Walsall’s New Art Gallery on 26 Nov?

Stan Ball Centre Remembrance Sunday event

The Stan Ball Centre.
The Stan Ball Centre.

The Stan Ball Centre will be hosting a Remembrance Day event with a difference on Sunday 13 November.

The usual monthly indoor car boot sale  will be dressed in Union Flags and the Support Our Soldiers charity will be supported at the event . This includes the launch of a used stamp appeal.

A box has been set up in the Stan Ball reception area and used stamps can be taken into the centre and will be forwarded on to support the Support Our Soldiers used stamp appeal. The appeal will continue throughout the year, and stamps can be dropped in at anytime on weekdays.

There will be a one minute silence at 11am and wartime music will be played throughout the day.

Probably quite uniquely for an event taking place on Remembrance Sunday there will be for the first time an Ann Summers stall selling fun ideas for Christmas.

Deb Brownlee, Young at Heart project co-ordinator said “We hope the Ann Summers stall will pull in a few extra people, it all helps to support our own charity Bloxwich Community Partnership and the forces charity Support our Soldiers. We recently raised over £400 for Help For Heroes, so we need to see if we can top that!”

The event takes place at the Stan Ball Centre, Abbotts Street, Bloxwich from 11am to 3pm. Admission is free.

Telephone enquiries to Karen Smith at the centre on 01922 403351.

Bloxwich first as 2012 Olympic torch comes to borough

The 2012 Olympic Torch.
The 2012 Olympic Torch.

Bloxwich people will be first in the borough to see the Olympic Flame as it passes through the village on Saturday 30 June 2012 before continuing on to Leamore, Birchills, Walsall, Willenhall and beyond as part of the Olympic Torch Relay Route, it was revealed today.

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets along the route and celebrate as local torchbearers proudly take part in the relay. Walsall Council is planning a number of events to mark the memorable historic occasion and local schools and organisations will be encouraged to get involved in the celebrations.

Bloxwich is one of over 1,000 villages, towns and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.  LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in  Walsall borough to devise the route.

Cllr Anthony Harris flies the flag for the borough.
Cllr Anthony Harris flies the flag for the borough.

Councillor Anthony Harris, cabinet member for leisure and culture at Walsall Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the borough of Walsall. Local residents and surrounding communities will be able to see the Olympic Flame and witness the spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay.

“It will provide a chance for the community to join together and celebrate the Olympic spirit and mark the countdown to the start of the games. It will also shine a light on the communities who will come to welcome the flame and support members of the community who have been chosen as torchbearers,” he added.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled to confirm that Walsall, Bloxwich, Leamore and Willenhall will act as host locations for the Olympic Flame, extending an invitation to people in Walsall to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay during its journey around the UK.

“This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Walsall to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”

The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.

In announcing the villages, towns and cities LOCOG has realised the aspiration of taking the Olympic Flame to within an hour’s journey time of 95% of the population. In fact, over 95% of the population will be within just 10 miles of the Olympic Flame next summer. The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.

People are invited to view the interactive map at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.

The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community. In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final Torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.

David Moorcroft, West Midlands for 2012 Chair said: “What fantastic news for the residents of Walsall that they will have the opportunity to welcome the Olympic Flame on June 30th. We encourage communities to start thinking now about how they will celebrate as the Olympic Torch Relay, a once in a lifetime experience for many of us, signals the approach of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

Today LOCOG launches two new public participation programmes. The ‘Local Leaders’ initiative is an invitation to people to take the 2012 Games into their community and create their own celebrations next year, for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. People are encouraged to sign up to the Local Leader programme at www.london2012.com/localleaders to receive further information on a range of themed celebration ideas focusing on the Opening Ceremony evening, gardening, quizzes and barbecues and be in the front row to receive free London 2012 event materials to support events.

Also launched today is the ‘Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay’ education resource, available to all schools registered with Get Set, London 2012’s official education programme. The aim of the resource is to provide schools with cross-curricular resources aimed at teachers working with 3 to 16 year olds to aid learning around history of Olympic Torch Relays, the design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Torch itself.

A further education resource will launch next year to encourage schools to plan a welcome for the Olympic Flame and show support for the Torchbearers.   Lloyds TSB, official Education Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, have launched their Flame Followers schools programme which compliments the Get Set resources, and gives schools once-in-a-lifetime opportunities be right at the heart of the excitement and celebrations of the Relay.

Zeppelin bomb goes on show at Walsall Museum

Zeppelin L21 berthed at Nordholz, 1916, and the crater it left in Bradford Place.
Zeppelin L21 berthed at Nordholz, 1916, and the crater it left in Bradford Place.

A very rare 20lb German incendiary bomb casing, which was dropped on Walsall in 1916 during the Great War, has gone on show in a new display at Walsall Museum.

The bomb casing, which is so rare that it may be the only one held in a British museum, is believed to be one of those dropped on Walsall during the night of 31 January 1916, when the Black Country suffered one of the heaviest air raids of the ‘war to end all wars’.

Tipton, Bradley, Wednesbury and Walsall were bombed by two Zeppelins, leaving 35 people dead.   One bomb landed on Wednesbury Road Congregational Church, but thankfully no-one was killed, while another landed in Bradford Place, and claimed the lives of three people, including 55-year-old Mary Julia Slater, the Mayoress of Walsall.

She was a passenger on the number 16 tram when the bomb hit, and suffered severe wounds to the chest and abdomen. She was taken to hospital and died a few weeks later on February 20th from shock and septicaemia.

Walsall’s Cenotaph now stands on the spot where this bomb landed and also destroyed the public toilets in the gardens outside the Science & Art Institute, which is why new ones were later built beneath Sister Dora’s statue on The Bridge.

Wednesbury Rd Congregational Chapel after the Zeppelin raid, 1916.
Wednesbury Road Congregational Chapel after the Zeppelin raid, 1916 (WLHC).

Also on display in the museum is a fragment of leaded window from the Wednesbury Road Congregational Church, the roof of which was destroyed during the raid.

The display, entitled Walsall’s Zeppelin Raid, can be seen in Walsall Museum’s local history gallery, The Changing Face of Walsall, from Tuesday 1 November until Saturday 3 December 2011, and is particularly poignant at this time of year.

The bomb casing no longer contains any incendiary material and is certified as safe.

For further information on the display please contact Walsall Museum on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk.

Hallowe’en bites back in spine-tingling new theatre tour!

Fright Bites poster
Fright Bites poster

Professional Theatre Company “Don’t Go into the Cellar!” is bringing a number of spooky shows to venues around Birmingham this Hallowe’en!

Hallowe’en itself sees them stage a “Fright Bites” night at the Kitchen Garden Cafe. Original creepy theatre and ghost stories will be performed in-between courses at an event that will serve up meals with squeals!

Later that week, and following their headline slot at Whitby’s Bram Stoker International Film Festival over the weekend of October 28th – 30th, the company perform their vampire show “The Feast of Blood!” at The Old Joint Stock Theatre on November 3rd and 4th.

The original piece is based on the notorious Penny Dreadful serials of the Victorian Era, and is an inspired mix of traditional frights and the occasional chuckle in-between the screams!

Don’t Go Into The Cellar! has only been active for the past year, and has already established itself as the UKs only professional troupe that specialises in original Victorian ghost and horror tales, Music Hall revivals and Steampunk shows.

Details:

“Fright Bites”

Venue: The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, October 31st.

“The Feast of Blood!”

Venue: Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham City Centre, November 3rd and 4th.

Website: www.dontgointothecellar.com
Email: thebestcellar@gmail.com