Category Archives: Staffordshire

Funding secured for Chase Line electrification

 

Bloxwich Station at Croxdene Avenue
Bloxwich Station at Croxdene Avenue

 

Cannock Chase Council’s Economic Development Leader has welcomed news that vital improvements to the Chase railway line have been approved.

The Government gave the go-ahead earlier this month for a £30 million electrification of the Rugeley to Walsall Chase Line, which includes stations at Bloxwich (Croxdene Avenue) and Bloxwich North (Mossley), extended halts which in 1989 replaced the original, more substantial LNWR Bloxwich Station in Station Street, which had closed to passengers in 1965 then been demolished, under the ‘Beeching Axe’ which destroyed many local train services.

Cannock Chase Council has worked hard over the last few years to build a wide coalition to press the case for electrification, including Centro and the Cannock Chase Rail Promotion Group. Meetings to press the case have been held with Centro, Network Rail and London Midland, while an adjournment debate secured in Parliament last month raised the profile of the need for electrification even further.

Cllr Gordon Alcott, Cannock Chase Council Economic Development Leader, said:

“The Council has been campaigning for electrification of the Chase Line for years so we’re delighted that the scheme has finally got the green light. Electrification will deliver faster and more frequent trains to Birmingham and boost Cannock Chase’s economic growth. This is the result of a great deal of effort on the Council’s behalf and I would like to pay tribute to the work of the Council’s principal planning officer, John Morgan, who has worked tirelessly for the electrification cause for decades.”

Over half-a-million passenger journeys a year are made from railway stations in Cannock Chase District and this figure is rising, with increased passenger growth of 10% per year seen in recent years.

The line is also extremely popular with travellers from Bloxwich and Walsall, offering links both to Birmingham New Street (via Walsall) and Rugeley Trent Valley (via Cannock and Hednesford).

Work on the Chase Line will not start until at least 2014, as the announcement from the Government covers the period 2014 to 2019.

Staffordshire Police appeal to trace missing 20-year-old

Thomas Haddock

UPDATE:  According to BBC Midlands Today a body has been found in woodland in Fradley, Staffs. Police believe it to be that of 21 yr old Thomas Haddock who went missing last week.

More information will be posted when it is released by Staffordshire Police. Meanwhile please see the earlier story below.

Posted 21 Feb 2012:

Officers are appealing for help to trace a man who went missing from his mother’s home near Lichfield on Saturday night, 18 February.

Thomas Haddock left the house in Shaw Lane, Riley Hill, Kings Bromley, saying that he was heading for Lichfield.

The 20-year-old currently lives in Cheltenham but regularly visits the Lichfield area.

Thomas is described as white, 5ft 10ins tall, of medium build, with short dark brown hair and blue eyes.

He was last seen wearing dark blue Armani jeans and a dark-coloured top by a friend near the house walking along the A515 Lichfield Road towards Lichfield at around 8pm.

Inspector Jed White, Lichfield local policing commander, said: “Thomas has never been missing before and we’re very concerned for his safety.

“It appears he intended to head to Lichfield to meet some friends for a normal Saturday night out.

However, we don’t know if Thomas reached Lichfield and, when he didn’t return home, his family raised the alarm yesterday afternoon.  Since then we’ve carried out extensive inquiries to try and find Thomas – these are continuing today.

“We want to speak to anyone who saw, or spoke to, Thomas on Saturday night or on Sunday or who knows where he might be.

“Anyone with information should ring Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 497 of 19 February.’

Staffordshire Police website

Sneak-in burglar targets elderly victims

Staffordshire Police Crest

Staffordshire Police officers are investigating a series of sneak-in burglaries at warden-controlled accommodation in Cheslyn Hay.   It is believed that the offender may be from the Bloxwich, Walsall or Pelsall area.

The crimes happened between 4.30pm and 5.25pm on Wednesday 30 November at the building in High Street, Cheslyn Hay. Continue reading Sneak-in burglar targets elderly victims

The Staffords come home to Walsall

The lads pass in review
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (The Staffords) today took part in a homecoming parade in Walsall to mark the end of their Afghanistan tour of duty, in the past week also being welcomed in Lichfield, Stafford and Hanley.  They received a massive Walsall welcome by people from across the borough, together with local dignitaries and other officials.

In Afghanistan, apart from their military duties, the Staffords also helped set up a school in the village of Rahim Khalay, in Helmand Province, and doubled the size of the protected community, undermining the stranglehold the insurgents have over the area.  Sadly, during the tour the regiment lost 22 year-old Private Gareth Bellingham, killed on June 18 while fighting insurgents.

Private Derby, a Derbyshire ram goat is the regimental mascot, inherited from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters
Private Derby, a Swaledale Ram, is the Mercian regimental mascot, inherited from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters

Troops assembled in Darwall Street at 12.30pm today in preparation for the march, which at 1pm took them along Darwall Street, turning right into Tower Street, right into Lichfield Street and then in review past the Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall (Councillor Garry and Mrs June Perry), the borough’s Chief Executive, the Leader of the Council and other dignitaries.

The Regimental Band turns into Lichfield Street from Tower Street
The Regimental Band turns into Lichfield Street from Tower Street
Veterans flank the reviewing stand, standards grounded
Veterans flank the reviewing stand, standards grounded
Walsall lads approach and take the salute
Walsall lads approach and take the salute
On the reviewing stand the Mayor and Mayoress join the Chief Exec, Leader of the Council and others
On the reviewing stand the Mayor and Mayoress join the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council and others

Preceded by the Regimental Band and the Mercians’ mascot ‘Private Derby’, a Swaledale Ram inherited from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, hundreds of local soldiers were received with thunderous applause by hundreds of Walsall people cheering, waving flags and shouting an excited welcome as the lads marched smartly past, ‘eyes right’ as they passed the Mayor and Council House, flanked by local veterans with standards grounded in their honour.

Row on row, marching into history they go
Left and right, row on row, marching into history they go...

More cheers were raised for the popular ‘unofficial’ mascot of the Staffords, ‘Watchman V’, a young black Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with his handler Colour Sergeant Greg Hedges, and the Regimental Colours which he preceded.

Watchman V, 'unofficial' mascot of the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords)
Watchman V, 'unofficial' mascot of the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords)
Best feet forward, Watchman!
Best feet forward, Watchman!

The troops then marched along lower Bridge Street and around the block, returning via Darwall Street and Leicester Street, before falling out and being welcomed by the Mayor, Councillor Gary Perry, to a reception in the Town Hall, where he later presented these local heroes with their campaign medals.

Children from Pelsall Village School were also present, and had entertained the Mayor’s guests prior to the parade.

Returning to a reception in Walsall Town Hall
Returning to a reception in Walsall Town Hall
The arrival of The Colours at Walsall Town Hall
The arrival of The Colours at Walsall Town Hall
Watchman awaits while Colour Sgt Hedges salutes The Colours
Watchman awaits while Colour Sgt Hedges salutes The Colours

The Mayor later said it had been “an unforgettable day.”

“I don’t think there was a single person watching the parade who didn’t get a lump in their throat or a tear in their eye as we applauded those brave soldiers,” he said.

“Many commented how young the troops looked and seeing them march past really brought home to us all that they are someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s husband, and they are putting their lives on the line.

Soldiers are welcomed to Walsall Town Hall
Soldiers are welcomed to Walsall Town Hall

“It was a real privilege for Walsall to host this parade, it was an unforgettable day.

“Our good wishes and prayers go with the troops as they continue their work and our thoughts are also with the families they have to leave behind.”

The people of Walsall Metropolitan Borough certainly did them proud as well, this day.

The Staffords are coming home!

South Staffordshire Regiment Badge.
South Staffordshire Regiment Badge.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (The Staffords) will take part in a homecoming parade in Walsall next month to mark the end of their Afghanistan tour of duty.

Troops will march through part of Walsall on Thursday 1 December and local heroes will receive their campaign medals from the borough’s Mayor. Continue reading The Staffords are coming home!