Category Archives: Walsall Borough

Bloxwich and Walsall election results

 

It was a quiet start to the day for the Little Bloxwich polling station at Holy Ascension Church
It was a quiet start to the day for the Little Bloxwich polling station at Holy Ascension Church

After a busy day and night for candidates and Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council staff, the results are now in for this year’s round of local government elections.

Council control

With a low voter turnout overall, and despite being the party with the largest number of elected Councillors, Labour have still not managed to achieve a majority across the Borough. However, Walsall’s Labour Leader Cllr Sean Coughlan has reportedly stated that the party will be meeting the two Liberal Democrat councillors this morning to discuss joining forces to run the council. We are awaiting an official announcement on this.

Whoever takes control will still have to implement massive cuts forced on them by the Conservative governments ‘austerity’ policies, although it is expected that Labour will have a differerent take on what public services and other areas will be cut, where and how.

Victims of changes

There was dramatic change in Blakenall Ward this time around, with ‘independent’ incumbent Pete Smith being knocked out by Labour’s Matt Ward with a majority of 257.  Meanwhile in Bloxwich West, the Conservatives gained a surprise seat, with Brad Allen defeating Labour’s Patti Lane by just 109 votes.

Over in Birchills-Leamore and Bloxwich East, the song remained with same with Tina Jukes and Julie Fitzpatrick holding fast for the Labour Party with 1736 and 1168 votes respectively, the Tory candidates being beaten soundly by Labour majorities of 1229 and 690.

Polling Station banner

The detailed results for the Bloxwich and district wards are as follows:

Birchills-Leamore
Candidate Party Votes received
Ali Shaz The Conservative Party Candidate  507
Jukes Tina Joan Labour Party  1736**H

** Elected
H or G: Hold or Gain

Blakenall
Candidate Party Votes received
Derry Hilda The Conservative Party Candidate  228
Smith Pete  811
Ward Matt Labour Party Candidate  1068**G

** Elected
H or G: Hold or Gain

Bloxwich East
Candidate Party Votes received
Fitzpatrick Julie Labour Party  1168**H
Statham Mark Andrew The Conservative Party Candidate  682
Timmins Gary UK Independence Party (UKIP)  478

** Elected
H or G: Hold or Gain

Bloxwich West
Candidate Party Votes received
Allen Brad  The Conservative Party Candidate  1434**G
Lane Patti Labour Party  1325

** Elected
H or G: Hold or Gain

Borough results

Election results for the whole of Walsall Metropolitan Borough can be found via the following link:

http://webwalsall.com/elections/results2/

 

Results figures are provided here courtesy of Walsall Council

Beano Artist to produce designs for Silver Thread Tapestries project

Artist Hunt Emerson and Rachel Parker from Walsall's Creative Development Team
Artist Hunt Emerson and Rachel Parker from Walsall’s Creative Development Team

A borough wide project set up to celebrate 25 years of delivering community arts in Walsall has drafted in renowned Beano artist Hunt Emerson to help design 11 unique tapestries.

The ‘Silver Thread’ project involving an army of local people will see 11 unique tapestries created representing the six towns and other areas in Walsall Borough. Reflecting the borough’s living history the tapestries will show the diversity while acknowledging the past, reflecting the present and embracing the future.

A successful £73,400 Arts Council England Lottery Funding bid is allowing Walsall Council Creative Development Team to deliver the unique year long community arts project which will involve an army of local people.

Artistic involvement
Panel from 'Ratz', one of Hunt Emerson's Beano comic strips
Panel from ‘Ratz’, one of Hunt Emerson’s Beano comic strips

Hunt Emerson said of his involvement in the creation of the tapestries, “This project provides a fantastic opportunity for local residents to put forward their suggestions for what should be included in each tapestry and how it represents their view of the world. This is about ways of seeing the world and I’m looking forward to making their creative imaginings take shape.”

The tapestry aspect of the project is aimed to provide a common thread of arts and local history and runs alongside  work to produce a commemorative book featuring 25 of Walsall Council’s Creative Development Teams most notable projects.

The first meeting dates have been set for local people to help decide what will be included on the tapestries. Walsall Council Creative Development Team are inviting anyone who has an interest in local history, local Identity or to find out more about the project to come along to a meeting in different localities across the borough.

Get involved
Silver Thread meetings details - click to enlarge
Silver Thread meetings details – click to enlarge

If you are interested in getting involved in the sewing which will start in May, or if you want updates on the Silver Thread project visit www.creativewalsall.com or facebook page  Walsall Silver Thread or by contacting the team on 01922 653114 or email prey.chauhan2@walsall.gov.uk

Walsall Silver Thread project now on Facebook

 

The project's first sewing group, Arboretum Craft Group, left to right: Colette Mumford, Yvonne Thomas, Beth Porter, Eunice Kirby, Joyce Lilwall, Lynne Tandy & Sue Collingwood.
The project’s first sewing group, Arboretum Craft Group, left to right: Colette Mumford, Yvonne Thomas, Beth Porter, Eunice Kirby, Joyce Lilwall, Lynne Tandy & Sue Collingwood.
Walsall’s new ‘Silver Thread’ project is a great new local community project organised by the Walsall Council Creative Development Team. It celebrates both local history and arts, and 25 years of work by the Team (which will itself be marked with a new book).
 
The project, which covers Walsall Metropolitan Borough, has now been launched and is being organised on many fronts – including Facebook!  A brand new social media page is now online, and can be visited via the following link: Walsall Silver Thread Facebook page
 
There will be local meetings in many places across the Borough to involve local people with the project on the history, arts and crafts front. Many local towns and villages are being represented in a series of ‘tapestry’ works which will be created.
 
Anyone interested in their local history (including in living memory) or who was involved in the past local manufacture of needles and awl blades (for which Bloxwich is historically famed), or who is a keen sewer or in a sewing group, will be particularly welcome. Arboretum Craft Group are the first sewing group to sign up to help sew the Silver Thread Tapestries.
 
Also, contacts are invited by the organisers from people who have been involved with past Creative Development Team projects like The Bloxwich Tardis on Elmore Green, or The Brownhills Miner!
More information can be found on the Facebook page and in our previous news item: PROJECT WILL SEW A SILVER THREAD OF ARTS AND HISTORY

Project will sew a Silver Thread of arts and history

The project's sewing group, left to right: Colette Mumford, Yvonne Thomas, Beth Porter, Eunice Kirby, Joyce Lilwall, Lynne Tandy & Sue Collingwood.
The project’s sewing group, left to right: Colette Mumford, Yvonne Thomas, Beth Porter, Eunice Kirby, Joyce Lilwall, Lynne Tandy & Sue Collingwood.

As part of a celebration of a quarter of a century working in community arts, Walsall Council’s Creative Development Team are now set to deliver a unique year long community arts project for Walsall Borough.

The scheme is being funded through a successful application for £73,400 from Arts Council England Lottery Funding.

Involving an army of local people, the ‘Silver Thread’ project will see 11 unique tapestries created, representing the six towns and other areas in Walsall Borough. The tapestries will reflect the borough’s living history, diversity and commonality; acknowledge the past, reflect the present and embrace the future.

A common thread

Creating the tapestries will provide the common thread to produce a commemorative book featuring 25 of Walsall Council’s Creative Development Team projects, which include the Bloxwich Tardis monument, the Brownhills Miner, festivals and a host of other projects from the 25 year history of the team’s work.

The book will tell the story of the engaging creative processes and the impact participatory arts have made in Walsall’s communities across an area so diverse in history, heritage and geography.

The Silver Thread Tapestries and the book project will demonstrate how the Creative Development Team is a thread linking people, places and policies and instigating positive change in communities. The aim of the project is to celebrate and bring to life the thread sewn over the life of the teams work in community arts.

Meetings across the borough

Throughout February and March organisers will be hosting meetings in 11 different areas of Walsall to plan the content for the tapestries and they are inviting local community groups, history groups, and individuals to help decide what to feature on the tapestries. If you would like to help tell Walsall’s story or you would like to attend a meeting in your local area please contact 01922 653114.

Awl blades of Bloxwich repute

Local historian Billy Meikle took this picture of a typical Sandbank awl blade maker’s workshop in 1915 (courtesy Walsall Local History Centre)
Local historian Billy Meikle took this picture of a typical Sandbank awl blade maker’s workshop in 1915 (courtesy Walsall Local History Centre)

Included on the tapestries will be leather work to show the rich history associated with the leather industry in Walsall.  An example of this link can be seen with the famed association Bloxwich had for centuries with needle and awl blade making through local people in tiny home workshops and firms like Somerfields of Clarendon Street, who operated for over 200 years until around 1992.

During their time in Bloxwich, Somerfields made it into the Guinness book of records for the world’s largest needle measuring more than 6ft long for sewing mattresses, made by Mr George Davies, master forger.

Letterhead of Somerfields of Bloxwich, circa 1930’s, (courtesy Walsall Local History Centre).
Letterhead of Somerfields of Bloxwich, circa 1930’s, (courtesy Walsall Local History Centre).

A tribute

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Underhill, when talking about the project stated:“This project is a fitting tribute to the work the team has carried out over the last 25 years and reflects the creative energy that the people of Walsall exhibit in not only the industry of the borough but also throughout the region’s history and culture.”

Content and sewing

Once the content for the tapestries has been decided, Midlands Artist Hunt Emerson famous for being an artist on the Beano comic will create the designs for the 11 tapestries. Once the designs are completed organisers will be recruiting an army of volunteers through sewing groups and individuals to help sew the images.

Starting after Easter sewing will continue until the autumn to create the unique set of tapestries to be exhibited together and toured around the borough in January 2017. If you or your sewing group or community group would like to take part in the sewing we call 01922 653114.  As well as sewing volunteers project organisers are also keen to hear from sewing experts able to lead groups and look after a tapestry as part of the delivery team.

Past projects included

Over the past 25 years Walsall Council’s Creative Development Team (Formerly known as Walsall Council Community Arts Team) delivered hundreds of participatory arts projects involving thousands of local people.

Of the best projects 25 of the best will feature as examples in the ‘Silver Thread’ book and the team are eager to hear from anyone who remembers participating in past projects to help tell the story of local communities and the impact these had for participants. If you remember taking part in any of the theatre projects, exhibitions, events, projects or festivals thye want to hear from you. Contact the team on 01922 65311.

Try something new at Walsall Libraries

Computer course

Walsall Libraries have just launched their new programme of computer taster courses for the whole academic year starting from September 2015 – July 2016.

There are now an extensive range of courses available from lots of individual teaching slots where you can seek help on specific things e.g. if you are unsure of how to create an email, how to buy and sell online, to more structured sessions on Ebay, Family History, CV help and Work Clubs.

In partnership with Walsall College, some libraries will be running 3 week basic taster courses and also a brand new 3 week course covering social media, and using comparison websites.

Helena Denham Information and Learning Co-ordinator said “Walsall Libraries love to offer new learning opportunities for our customers. Libraries are a great place to learn in an informal, relaxing and friendly environment.”

To book your place please visit or telephone your local library, or check out Walsall Libraries’ Adult Zone, then click ‘Learning’ on the website at www.lovelibrarieswalsall.co.uk

Tasty computer courses in Walsall Libraries!

Walsall Libraries Adults Zone
Walsall Libraries Adults Zone

Walsall Libraries have just launched their new programme of computer taster courses for the whole academic year starting from September 2015 – July 2016.

There are now an extensive range of courses available from lots of individual teaching slots where you can seek help on specific things e.g. if you are unsure of how to create an email, how to buy and sell online, to more structured sessions on Ebay, Family History, CV help and Work Clubs.

In partnership with Walsall College, some of the libraries will be running 3 week basic taster courses and also a brand new 3 week course covering social media, and using comparison websites.

Helena Denham Information and Learning Co-ordinator said “Walsall Libraries love to offer new learning opportunities for our customers. Libraries are a great place to learn in an informal, relaxing and friendly environment.”

To book your place you can visit or telephone your local library, or check out the Adults Zone, then click ‘Learning’ on the Walsall Libraries  website at www.lovelibrarieswalsall.co.uk

Crabtree Society donation boosts Bloxwich Telegraph

The Crabtree Society logo

Following our recent appeal for donations to help save the domain name of The Bloxwich Telegraph, we were grateful for the generous support of four local people who very kindly chipped in and saved the day. Now, a local group has come forward to help out further!

Last week our editor, Stuart Williams, was contacted by the Chairman of  The Crabtree Society, Mr Allan Preston, with the generous offer of a donation of £50 in support of the running of The Bloxwich Telegraph, which we have gratefully accepted.

The Crabtree Society is a group formed in 2000, mainly by ex-employees of Crabtree Electrical Industries Limited, which at one time was the largest employer in Walsall borough.

The Society aims to acknowledge the importance Crabtrees had for Walsall in its 80 years association with the town. In 1999 Crabtree’s head office and factory, the Lincoln Works near Walsall Arboretum, was demolished, and shortly after all manufacturing sites in the Walsall and Brownhills area were closed.

The Lincoln Works being built, April 1923
The Lincoln Works being built, April 1923

The society  provides a social forum for its members who are mainly ex-employees and their friends, maintains maintain the archives of the company, and has published a substantial book on the history of the company. The book was actually launched on the 24th May 2012 and is a superb publication.

Many Bloxwich people, including the mother of our editor Stuart Williams, were proud to work at Crabtrees over the decades, being transported there by special buses. and several Society members still live in Bloxwich.  With such local connections, the Society felt it appropriate to offer its support to The Bloxwich Telegraph in this way.

A cheque was presented to Stuart Williams on Saturday, by the Society’s Secretary & Treasurer Ray Parton, and will be added to the remainder of other recent donations to help with any ongoing costs the site may have.

For more details of The Crabtree Society, check out their website: www.thecrabtreesociety.co.uk

For further background information, see:

http://thecrabtreesociety.co.uk/Articles.html

http://thecrabtreesociety.co.uk/Events%20Archive.html

Historic images shown courtesy Walsall Local History Centre

Readers to beat a path to Walsall bookshop this Saturday!

Southcart Books' last event was a splendid Steampunk Day!
Southcart Books’ last event was a splendid Steampunk Day!

To end their Walsall Town Festival festivities, Southcart Books in Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, are having a little bookshop party showcasing some of their local and regional author friends’ talents on this Saturday 25th July.

And there’ll be quite a variety of writing talent on offer, all of whom will reading from their work in crime fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror and more!

The Master of Ceremonies will be the Editor of The Bloxwich Telegraph, A. Stuart Williams, who is himself a local author.

The programme for Saturday’s event  is as follows:

10.00am Southcart Books Opens

  • 11.00am WELCOME by Scott & Amy, proprietors of Southcart Books
  • 11.05am INTRO by MC and author A. Stuart Williams
  • 11.10am  Adrian Middleton
  • 11.35am  James Josiah
  • 12.00pm  Anthony Nick Britt
  • 12.25pm – 1pm Lunch Break for Mingling and Browsing
  • 1pm-1.25pm  Janet Edwards
  • 1.25pm-1.50pm  Mike Chinn
  • 1.50pm-2.15pm  A. Stuart Williams
  • Mid-Afternoon Break 2.15pm-2.35pm
  • 2.35pm-3.00pm  Don Melbourne
  • 3.00pm-3.25pm  Rob Cartwright and Theresa Derwin
  • 3.25pm-3.50pm Rob Grimes
  • 3.50pm Thanks & Chucking Out by MC A. Stuart Williams

Shop Closes 4.30pm

Works by these authors will be on sale, subject to availability, and may be signed on request.

All are welcome, and ADMISSION IS FREE! Light refreshments will be available. Get there early if you can, as these events are always highly popular!

If you are on Facebook, you are invited to sign up to the Event Page, where you can find out more about the authors who will be reading on Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/events/1600897530184162/

Southcart Books is the area’s ONLY independent bookshop, and is located at 20 Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, WS1 1RL.

You can also find them on Walsall Market today with their mobile bookstall, as part of the special Walsall Town Festival market!

Click and care online in Walsall

Walsall Community Living Directory

A range of up to date information, support and advice available in Walsall is just a click away thanks to a new online directory.

Walsall’s Community Living Directory is an easy to use comprehensive website available online at www.wcld.co.uk/

Walsall residents can now find out about local and national care and support services including what’s going on in their local community, at the touch of a button by accessing the new directory.

Individuals can search information about money matters, help to live at home, housing advice, things to do, staying safe, caring for someone, health and wellbeing, getting about and education, training and employment.

The site will include a product showroom where people can view aids and equipment to help them live independently as well as a personal assistant network to search individuals they could employ to help them with their daily living needs.

Individuals will also be able to refer themselves to help and support electronically through the website.

The web-based directory has been developed to help signpost local people to help and advice in their community which has become more important as the Care Act becomes law on 1 April 2015.

The act places a duty on all councils to provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. In addition, councils will be expected to give people the support they need to help prevent their care needs from becoming more serious, or delay the impact of their needs.

Children and families with special educational needs (SEN) will also be able to access a range of information and advice through the directory as the SEN local offer will also be available through the website.

Councillor Diane Coughlan, portfolio holder for social care at Walsall Council, said: “This directory is much more than a social care resource, it is for anyone wishing to find out more about help and activities available in Walsall.

“Our aim is to signpost people to a range of good quality information and advice.

“Being able to access local information about community groups and support agencies will help people to remain more independent.

“This is important because in future the council will likely have more people requesting help and support, so it is essential we try to signpost people and their families where possible.

“If people are able to access good local information and advice they will remain more independent for longer and they will have the information they need to make good decisions about activities, care and support.

“I would encourage everyone to take a look at the Walsall Community Living Directory on www.wcld.co.uk/ and find out what’s on offer.”

Urgent Dental Treatment over Christmas

toothache

Residents in Walsall who do not have a regular NHS dentist are being reminded where to go if they need urgent dental treatment over the festive period.

The Dental Access Centre, which is based in Blakenall Village Centre, will be open between 8.30am and 12 noon on weekends and bank holidays including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. It will offer appointments to NHS patients who require urgent  dental treatment for pain or swelling.

Vikki Tolley, Oral Health Coordinator for NHS Walsall, said:

“With Christmas just around the corner everyone is ready and geared up for the festivities to get underway. Constant snacking, drinking and eating sugary foods and drinks can make the holiday period a miserable time for teeth.

“NHS Walsall just want to remind people to think about their teeth and continue to look after them like you would do all year round. However if you do find your teeth are causing you pain or swelling then there are services available to help you.”

For help and advice or to book an appointment during a weekend or bank holiday contact the Dental Access Centre on 07976 246 404.

The standard NHS urgent fee of £17.50 applies unless you are entitled to free NHS dental treatment.