Walsall’s oldest group for writers across the borough is celebrating its fiftieth birthday this year, and after a special Circle meeting to mark the occasion earlier this month (pictured), they are now joining forces with Walsall’s only independent bookshop, Southcart Books of Lower Hall Lane, to carry on the festivities and launch their latest book!
The Circle was formed by local writers in 1966, initially as part of an initiative by Walsall Central Library, where the group met for some years before moving on to Park Hall School and now the Broadway North Recovery College, where they meet every second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm. Continue reading Walsall writers hit 50 and still going strong!→
Many Bloxwich people should be well aware by now that, due to the swingeing national government budget cuts being inflicted on many local authorities in England, Walsall Council is seriously considering closing all of the Borough’s branch libraries, including Bloxwich Library and Theatre (aka Bookmark Bloxwich) in Elmore Row.
Amongst the many other possible ‘culture cuts’ (including massive reductions in funding to the New Art Gallery and major cutbacks involving the potential downsizing and moving of Walsall Leather Museum and Walsall Local History Centre in with the Central Library in Lichfield Street), such a closure would be a huge blow to Bloxwich and district both in cultural and educational terms. Continue reading Bloxwich Councillors bid to save Bloxwich Library and Theatre→
An appeal has gone out to members of the public in Bloxwich and district for desperately-needed financial assistance in supporting this year’s Bloxwich Christmas lights.
Contrary to popular belief, the sparkling annual decorations along the High Street and in trees adjacent to the War Memorial and All Saints churchyard, Bloxwich Park and the Promenade Gardens have not been funded by Walsall Council since the last round of government budget cuts in 2012, following which the local authority decided not to deliver Christmas lighting in the town.Continue reading Appeal to public to support Bloxwich Christmas lights→
Do you love Bloxwich? Would you like to see a brand new flag flying over the town? Or even over your home? Well, now’s your chance to have your say on the matter, and even contribute to design ideas for our very own Flag for Bloxwich. You can even win a prize of £150!
We’re looking to tailor The Bloxwich Telegraph and the BNN social media more to meet the needs of our readers and followers, so we’d be grateful for some feedback about what you’d like to see (or not) on the website and via Twitter or Facebook. This first poll is to find out how you like to receive your local news.
Please be honest with your answers – it’s particularly important to us to find out whether you need this service from us or not – after all, there are many local news services and there’s no point in us duplicating these unless you actually use ours. Please tick only those options you really prefer to use, then click on Vote.
The amount of feedback we get will also prove a useful indicator of the actual level of interest in these facilities. Can you please fill in this first LOCAL NEWS poll accordingly, and many thanks for your help!
Walsall Council’s Creative Development Team and Regeneration and Development Service are currently working on a heritage project in Bloxwich to design, fabricate and install 4 new public art pieces in different locations, to promote and celebrate the history and heritage of Bloxwich. This has been made possible from Council and Section106 funding.
The year’s top event for Bloxwich and district, Bloxwich Carnival, took place last Saturday, and with perfect weather on order this year, couldn’t fail to be a super success with thousands attending, thanks to the massive amount of hard work from the unpaid and often unsung heroes who run the show every year.
Specifically, thanks to Bloxwich Carnival Committee, now headed by Shaun Fitzpatrick as Chair, and other volunteers, including several members of hard-working past Carnival Royalty who give unstinting support. Not to mention the stalwart Walsall Council workers who always provide invaluable support on the day and in other ways . Which is why this year’s carnival feature header is a picture of the committee and volunteers!
Members of other local groups like the tireless Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix and the energetic young people of 196 (Walsall) Squadron of the Air Training Corps also contribute hugely to the work of the carnival throughout the year, including the Carnival Royalty choosing event and one of the main reasons for the carnival, the annual Senior Citizens’ Party (now at the excellent Stan Ball Centre, but for many years at the now-demolished Bloxwich Baths).
This year’s carnival was also a very special occasion for The Bloxwich Telegraph, marking as it did the 10th birthday of The Bloxidge Tallygraph and the Telegraph, which it evolved into. One of the main purposes of this website has always been to support Bloxwich Carnival (and the local community) with publicity and by taking the official photographs, all free of charge, and our editor and publisher Stuart Williams has always been delighted to do so, this year as every year. Paying it back and paying it forward is what we do.
Gates opened on 6th August at 12 noon. After an introduction by Chair Shaun Fitzpatrick, in which he thanked 2015 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Charlotte Locke for all her work in the past year, the Carnival was formally opened by our own Bloxwich East councillor and Mayor of Walsall Kath Phillips, who was there throughout the day with her consort Mr Maurice Phillips. MP for Walsall North, Mr David Winnick, also attended in support of the event as usual.
Shortly afterwards, the 2016 Bloxwich Carnival Queen Amber Rolls, Princess Libby Robbins and Rosebud Tayla Parker were crowned at around 12.20pm, looking radiant as the Mayor presented them with their ceremonial tiaras and flowers. They then went on to tour the many stalls on the field before enjoying a well-deserved break and their own fun-in-the-sun on the Pat Collins Fun Fair!
Saturday’s Carnival was free to public admission, which is great, and it’s wonderful that the event is now so well supported locally that this was possible. As usual, the event not only included a huge number of stalls (almost fifty!) and displays by local groups, charities and businesses, but also a range of entertainments including new arena events, and the ever-popular Pat Collins Fun Fair, which really is an essential partner to Bloxwich Carnival, going back to the days of Pat Collins himself.
Fun in the sun in Bloxwich
Apart from the fair, which presented a range of thrilling rides and fun for all the family, there was much more to see, do and enjoy all day in and around the arena, including:
Ridgeside Lurchers & Hunting Dogs Falconry and bird of prey display
Alternative Wrestling World’s exciting contests
Satori Freestyle Martial Arts demonstrations
The always amazing birds of the Armitage Bird of Prey Centre
A display of unusual animals including snakes!
Clive Chandler’s Punch & Judy – popular with all the family
The Fizzogs Dancing Grannies – who we sadly missed due to covering the Carnival Royalty and hope to catch up with another time.
Mad Dominic, clown and entertainer. Dom is a regular in Bloxwich and always raises a laugh with his madcap antics.
A big thank you to all involved
With the fantastic weather, great organisation and tons of hard work as well as new and varied attractions in and out of the arena, plus Pat Collins’ Fair, this year’s carnival, the sixteenth since it was revived for the millennium, was a real treat for everyone who attended, and a credit to all concerned. Well done, everyone, and thank you!
The Bloxwich Telegraph is already looking forward to next year’s event – and the next decade of serving Bloxwich folk!
Meanwhile, why not check out our full Flickr album of 170 photos taken on Saturday? Click on the image link below to view and download:
The year’s top event for Bloxwich and district, Bloxwich Carnival, takes place in just a few days!
And admission to the hugely popular event is FREE OF CHARGE!
Gates open at 12 noon at the King George V Playing Fields (recommended entrance off Bell Lane, Bloxwich) this Saturday 6th August, and the event not only includes a huge number of stalls and displays, but also a range of entertainments including arena events, and the ever-popular Pat Collins Fun Fair (rides are payable at the fair)!
The Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud will be crowned approx. 12-12.30pm.
Lurchers and Hunting Dogs/Falconry displays
Alternative Wrestling World
Satori Freestyle Martial Arts Demosntration
Armitage Bird of Prey Centre
Clive Chandler Punch & Judy
Fizzogs Dancing Grannies
Mad Dominic, clown and entertainer
Please note that there is no parking on-site.
Bloxwich Carnival is organised by Bloxwich Carnival Committee on a voluntary basis with the help of local groups and the support of Walsall Council.
The Committee also organises the traditional annual Senior Citizens’ Party at the Stan Ball Centre in Bloxwich.
Experts from the Royal Horticultural Society continued their tour of Walsall’s five district centres last Wednesday as part of this year’s ‘Heart of England in Bloom’ competition.
This time, Bloxwich and Brownhills were put under the horticultural spotlight, to see if they will go forward to the next stages of the national event.
Before the official walkabout started, judges Graham Redfern and Trish Willetts were joined in the Promenade Gardens, at the northern end of Bloxwich High Street, Walsall’s Mayor, Councillor Kath Phillips and Councillor Julie Fitzpatrick, portfolio holder for community, leisure and culture. Both councillors represent Bloxwich East. Local volunteers also joined them on their inspection tour, as well as the youngest gardener of them all – Councillor Fitzpatrick’s
Local volunteers from groups including the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix, St Giles Walsall Hospice and the new Bloxwich Carnival Queen plus Council staff also joined them on their inspection tour, as well as the youngest gardener of them all – Councillor Fitzpatrick’s one-year-old grandson.
Ready to rock!
Bloxwich and Brownhills were well prepared though, and with the help of local volunteers, businesses and school children – did their towns proud.
The earlier and dedicated planting, pruning and watering schedule meant that the judges were greeted and treated to a truly groomed and colour splashed landscape, which has been the subject of much comment locally. All five of this year’s entries are competing in the Urban Community Category and were co-ordinated by Walsall Council’s district centre management team.
Councillor Julie Fitzpatrick said “The Mayor and I were very proud to escort the Royal Horticultural Society judges. All the hard work that went into the tour was very much in evidence as Bloxwich and Brownhills were absolutely blooming and brilliant.
“Results like this don’t happen overnight – it takes real community planning, commitment and structure and underlines the importance we place on raising the profile of the five district centres. I’m sure the Royal Horticultural Society was impressed by the large scale planting projects that we have in place and the infectious team spirit that was out yesterday in spades!”
The Heart of England in Bloom competition annually attracts over 1,350 entries from small villages to large cities. If successful the five district centres could go forward into the national Britain in Bloom event.
This year’s Judges will be looking at three main categories which are
The Heart of England Regional Awards Ceremony will take place in Aldridge on 15 September 2016 at the Church Rooms Aldridge Green.
The proprietors of a popular Walsall bookshop have been given a very special gift by a group of local authors in thanks for the shop’s enthusiastic support of writing in the town over the past two years.
Scott Southey and Amy Carter, of Southcart Books in Lower Hall Lane, are in the process of moving to larger premises in the same street, and several of their friends in the writing community decided to write and publish a unique multi-genre anthology of short stories dedicated to the shop, to help defray some of the costs of the relocation.
The 136 page paperback book is entitled ‘Southcart Tales’.
The nine stories – which offer the reader everything from literary fiction through science fiction, sword & sorcery and psychological horror – come from the pens of ‘The Southcart Storytellers’, James Josiah, Dan Oram, Neil Sehmbhy, Rob Grimes, Kerry Hadley-Pryce, Bekki Pate, Ken Preston (publishing on behalf of the group), Lucy Onions and A. Stuart Williams. Cover photography is by Craig Beas.
A special foreword by noted fantasy author Stan Nicholls is also included.
Southcart Books, which is the only independent bookshop in the Walsall area, is expected to re-open in August 2016 and it is planned to hold a launch and signing of the new book at the shop, which has already been gifted a number of paperback copies for stock, as soon as convenient.
Southcart Tales is also available now on Amazon at just £4.99 for paperback (plus postage) or £1.99 in Kindle ebook format.
Telephone Southcart Books on 07528 144837 for details of the shop and opening. Further information about the book may be found on the shop’s Facebook page and on Amazon (search for Southcart Tales on Amazon).