Black Country news and blogs Thursday 2 August 2018
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Event 334 – 28 July 2018 

1 Aug

The full results and a complete event history can be found on the Walsall parkrun Results Page.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 28 July 2018 

1 Aug

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Karl John AGG 26:19 John MORGAN 34:44 Shavinder KAUR 27:21 Tim YOUNGMAN 35:42 Wesley FLEET 28:24 Mari FANTOCCHI 36:00 Georgina BRADBURY 29:32 Manisha KATAKIA 40:25 Harvey ...

Going Loco – Indietracks 2018 

31 Jul

On Friday morning at just after 8am we set off to Indietracks, the festival which combines indie music with vintage steam trains and is held at the Midland Railway Museum in Derbyshire.

Tyntesfield House & Gardens Visit 

31 Jul

We had a weekend away in Brean, Somerset and as we are National Trust members look at what was around the area, We decided to go to Tyntesfield House which is more near Bristol...

The Me and Mine Project // July 2018 

31 Jul

The end of July is here, I can’t believe how quickly this year is going.

Lego stormtrooper about to fill up Tie-fighter 

31 Jul

Lego stormtrooper on a visit to the Black Country Living Museum he needed to fill up his Tie Fighter so at Broome’s garage which is a replica of the Conway Garage in Sedgley Road...

Mothman: The Most Controversial Theory Of All 

30 Jul

Over at Mysterious Universe , I take a look at the most controversial theory for what the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia was...

Life’s chapters end 

Come the Revolution 30 Jul

I graduated back in 1982 and in those days we didn’t make a big deal out of it although we did get a “ceremony” where we did wear the gap and gown and were “presented” to some dignitary from Oxford Uni as we were a supervised Poly and lower...

5Litre Portable Camping Toilet Review 

30 Jul

Now lets get down to basics when camping going to the toilet can be a bit of a pain.

Home away from home at Roomzzz in Stratford, London // Review 

29 Jul

Last weekend we headed into London for the Muller Anniversary Games at the London Stadium in Stratford.

Paranormal Books To Review 

28 Jul

Having been back in the UK for 2 weeks and then having to deal with an infected tooth this week that spread, I've got behind on a few new book reviews I have to write.

Andy Cook New Forward for 2018-19 

27 Jul

Cook To Join Walsall Published by     Tranmere Rovers FC   at     22nd May 2018     Striker to join League One club Striker Andy Cook has joined EFL League One side Walsall on a two-year deal.

The Essential One Tiny Bear Dungaree Set Review // & Giveaway 

27 Jul

It’s no secret that we are big fans of The Essential One clothing.

The Reykjavik Assignment by Adam Lebor 

Come the Revolution 26 Jul

This is a very hipster book written by a hipster journalist based around some hard experiences but a work of fiction.

An afternoon of family fun at the fifth Müller Anniversary Games 

25 Jul

*Post in association with Mumsnet and British Athletics  After what has been a very swift countdown since I met British...

Last session tonight! 

sing2gether 24 Jul

Hoping to see lots of our members tonight for our last session of the term...

Songs for Saturday 28th July 

sing2gether 24 Jul

Boldmere Court Performance Sat 28th July @ 1pm: California Dreamin Castle On The Hill Hit The Road Jack I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) Hold My Hand Like a Prayer Dancing On My Own Saw Her Standing There Wonderwall You’ve got the love...

Character breakfasts at Cadbury World // Review 

24 Jul

Last weekend we were invited to enjoy breakfast with a spot of chocolate at Cadbury World in Birmingham.

Two Go Wild in Dorset – The Larmer Tree Festival, 2018 

24 Jul

After a day at home, at 5am on Wednesday morning we climbed back into the van and made our way through the counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, arriving four and a half hours later in the heart of rural Dorset.

Bright Minds Daycare for Birmingham’s little learners 

23 Jul

*A collaborative post When it comes to being a working parent, leaving your children in the care of others can...

Event 333 – 21 July 2018 

23 Jul

The full results and a complete event history can be found on the Walsall parkrun Results Page.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 21 July 2018 

23 Jul

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Terry HALES 22:54 Laura DAVIS 35:22 James YOUNG 27:04 Avneet HARRAR 36:02 Robert YOUNG 28:06 Charlotte HENDERSON 36:17 Benjamin NICHOLLS 28:15 Sue COOKE 36:19 Daniel PHEASANT 28:...

Event 332 – 14 July 2018 

20 Jul

The full results and a complete event history can be found on the Walsall parkrun Results Page.

En France 

Come the Revolution 20 Jul

British red phone box in Bayeux I’ve been to France for a week – well Normandy really.

Results Days 2018 

20 Jul

A Level Exam Results Thursday 16 th August Results will be available from 7am Staff will be on hand to help with next steps (university, apprenticeships, etc).

Making bath time easier with Flannel Fingers // Review & Giveaway 

20 Jul

One of the things I completely forgot about with having a baby is that they’re very slippery when wet in...

Year 13 Prom 2018 

19 Jul

On Friday 29 th June, Year 13 students gathered at The Cube in the centre of Birmingham for their Leavers’ Event.

Sleeping like a baby with Leesa // Review 

18 Jul

*A collaborative post with Leesa With a young family to look after, my days are pretty busy.

May The Fourth Be With You – The Cornbury Festival 2018 

17 Jul

Have I mentioned how much we love the Cornbury Festival? Previous years have been brilliant and this year, our fourth, was phenomenal.

Paranormal Parasites… 

16 Jul

Coming in just 8 weeks from now...

Keeping my skin hydrated with Sanctuary Wet Skin Moisture Miracle // Review 

16 Jul

*A collaborative post  As a busy Mama, when I shower it’s more military operation style in and out rather than...

My Shilton Boys // July 2018 

16 Jul

Late June and early July has been a better month for my boys.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 14 July 2018 

14 Jul

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Robert BIRKETT 26:01 Devid APEL 36:49 Alfie PARSONS 26:43 Stephen LANGLEY 36:50 Lee PARSONS 26:43 Emma WHITTLE 37:14 Stephanie CARR 29:20 Catherine BOLAND 37:22 David RICH 30:16 ...

Event #331 – 7 July 2018 

14 Jul

The full results and a complete event history can be found on the Walsall parkrun Results Page.

Freddie // Six months old 

13 Jul

Earlier this week, our little Freddie turned six months old.

First Timers and Record Breakers – 7 July 2018 

12 Jul

Welcome to this week’s first time parkrunners Runner Time Runner Time Craig WADLEY 22:33 Heather BROUGHTON 39:11 James MARTIN 32:19 Martin FENNINGS 39:45 Lisa ROBERTS 32:20 Helen Marie WARD 42:31 Isabelle HADDOCK 32:52 Sukky BADESHA 43:02 Nadira ...

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A5 Live this weekend – it’s not too late to get tickets! 

2 Aug

Long term readers will remember the annual music and fun festival that’s taken place on the smallholding just off the A5 at Newtown, Brownhills – formerly called Cockfest (because it took place on a chicken farm), last year becoming A5 Live.

30 days of human comms: #47 the Mayor of Sheffield turns a cinema into a party 

2 Aug

You may have come across the Mayor of Sheffield.

The “Lottery Test” 

1 Aug

I want to be a force for good whether I'm being paid for it or not, because regardless of my personal wealth, I'm not in this life to grow richer off other people's poverty.

30 days of human comms: Day #46 Anti-littering posters in Bray, Ireland 

1 Aug

Speaking human… you can recognise it when you see it.

Police incident at Chasewater yesterday evening 

1 Aug

There’s been a lot of understandable concern on social media in the last 12 hours or so due to a large police presence at Chasewater yesterday evening (Tuesday 31st July 2018), including the dog unit, force helicopter and an armed response team...

Tensions rise at Health and Wellbeing Board meeting 

31 Jul

Tensions rose in line with the temperature outside at a steamy meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) at Walsall Council House last week.


31 Jul

Dropped into The Hive (former New Invention Library) to check out the school uniform recycling project.

Ladies beware: Several indecent exposures in Brownhills 

31 Jul

It’s my duty to share with you all the concerning news that there seems to be a man exposing himself to women around the canal towpaths and other parts of Brownhills, particularly in the areas of Clayhanger Common and Silver Street.

Mobile Library off the road 

30 Jul

The Mobile Library is off the road this week due to its MOT and service.

Long suffering Chase – Line commuters… 

30 Jul

As commuters into Birmingham from Bromsgrove today began enjoying three extra trains an hour thanks to the recently completed electrification, commuters using the popular Rugeley to Birmingham Chase-Line service via Walsall ask when will the ...

Beware: Nasty dog attack in Holland Park leaves pet injured 

29 Jul

Images posted on Facebook by Lisa Joanne Sherwood This is a warning to dog walkers in Brownhills – there was a very worrying incident in Holland Park today (Sunday, 29th July 2018), when a local lady was horrified to witness her beloved pet Jack ...

The McClean Way: A beautiful new greenway 

29 Jul

Yesterday evening, I took a stroll out before dusk to check out something I’ve been meaning to do for a while – the newly accessible trail between Smithy’s Forage along the old railway line under he Miner Island in Brownhills to the rear of the...

Prims and proper! 

29 Jul

Right then, as things get a little bit back to normal here at Bob towers (and the welcome opportunity of a rainy day to get things sorted) I have some very early Walsall Wood football material kindly shared by the Woodward family with the young David...

Mabel’s Vintage Fair at Chasewater Railway today! 

29 Jul

I notice that today Sunday, 29th July 2018, there’s a rather fun looking vintage event being staged at Chasewater Railway by Mabel’s Vintage.

Muttfest 2018 – a great Brownhills music festival on TODAY! 

28 Jul

I’ve just been alerted to the fact that there’s a great charity music festival on right now, Saturday 28th July 2018 at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Church Road, Brownhills running until late tonight.

Weather dull? A great sing along showing of Beauty and the Beast starts at 6pm in Brownhills! 

28 Jul

Very late notice of something starting in an hour at Brownhills Community Centre on the Miner Island in Brownhills – a sing-along version of the Bauty and the Beast film in a relaxed environment which kids and adults will love.

Fly – tippers strike again 

27 Jul

This lot of fly – tpping ended up on the walkway between the Lichfield Rd and Essington in New Invention this afternoon Reports in from witnesses said it was dumped off the back of a respectable looking white flat – backed truck, however the ...

VIRAL COMMUNITY: How the viral parking warden video started in a Facebook group… and what we can all learn 

26 Jul

If you’re not thinking about Facebook groups you’re missing a huge chunk of how the population is consuming the media.

Acceptable in the 70s – a new local book you’ll love! 

26 Jul

You all know that I like to champion local writers and creatives here on the Brownhills Blog – well there’s a great new book available that I’m eagerly waiting to read that’s getting rave reviews – and people of a certain age – like me...


25 Jul

Without milking the complements or taking the mick, I'm hoping to do some more here in the near future.

Meet your local police drone team at Brownhills this morning! 

24 Jul

There’s a local police pop-up event this morning (Wednesday 25th July 2018) with a bit of a difference – near the rear of the Tesco store in Brownhills, our local policing team will be demonstrating the drone capability provided by @Droneswmp.

Valerie chairs Q&A at the EEF in Birmingham 

24 Jul

I was delighted to be able to join Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP in Birmingham on 24 July where I chaired a QA session at the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF).

Business premises targeted by masked gang 

24 Jul

Yesterday, (Monday 23rd July 2018) Staffordshire Police released the following statement about an armed robbery that took place at Midland Safe Load Indicators on the A5 Watling Street, between the Rising Sun and Turf islands in the early hours of ...

Valerie responds to Urgent Question 

24 Jul

As Shadow Leader of the House, I responded to the following urgent question asked on 23 July 2018: “to ask Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) if he will make a statement in relation to Government policy and practice with regard to...

Valerie responds to Urgent Question 

23 Jul

As Shadow Leader of the House, I responded to the following urgent question asked on 23 July 2018: “to ask Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) if he will make a statement in relation to Government policy and practice with regard to...

The way of the Sons of Waetla 

22 Jul

As I’m still catching up, I thought today might be a good time to feature the writings of an old pal of the blog, Gerald Reece, and his musings on the A5 Watling Street, Newtown, Knaves Castle and the pubs thereabouts.

Gaining traction 

22 Jul

As I posted yesterday, there’s a great steam fair on today at Barton Gate between Yoxall and Burton until 4pm today (Sunday 22md July 2018) and you can still make it if you’re quick.

The secret portal 

21 Jul

Here’s a lovely thing from local teacher and top chap Eryl Powell, that he sent me last week: A hand drawn map of Brownhills Common in the Parade/Watling Street/Chester Road triangle – designed specifically to make the Common magical for kids.

DODGING HIPPOS: How to say ‘no’ to the highest paid person in the room without saying ‘no’ 

21 Jul

Its been a busy few months.

A5 Live just two weeks away – band lineup released! 

21 Jul

Long term readers will remember the annual music and fun festival that’s taken place on the smallholding just off the A5 at Newtown, Brownhills – formerly called Cockfest (because it took place on a chicken farm), last year becoming A5 Live.

Keep your hair on – Brownhills Wilkinson are getting wiggy with it! 

21 Jul

Toria Amy has been in touch – she’s just one of the great community minded folk who work at the Wilkinson store in Brownhills, and they’ve informed me that they have organised an event as part of the ‘Get Wiggy With It’ fundraising ...

Events in our area over the summer hols… 

20 Jul

Summer Holiday Provision Summer 2018 Professional Booklet This is the direct link to the booklet which is located on the Early Help website Click    http://www.

My BTL Deal Of The Day Is A 3 Bed Semi In Rushall, Walsall, WS4 Yielding 5.57%. 

20 Jul

This 3 bed semi detached home is situated on Burton Avenue, Rushall, Walsall, WS4.

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Unity’s Staging Packages 

garry's blofg 16 Apr

Ya’ll know what Unity’s Package Manager is right? It’s an awesome way Unity is making itself more modular, being able to add functionality and update that feature in an isolated way instead of the whole editor.

I suck at Game Design 

garry's blofg 6 Apr

I’ve been enjoying working on Tub.

New Forums are Live 

garry's blofg 17 Mar

I finally did it.

Playtest Recording 

garry's blofg 23 Feb

Every Friday we try to get something ready to test out.

‘Big changes’ ahead as Plough and Harrow pub in Sutton Coldfield closes for 28 days 

22 Feb

The Plough and Harrow, on Slade Road, will close on Sunday...

Birmingham chef moves to world renowned restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham 

22 Feb

MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis has left The Wilderness...

Did you know these Birmingham chain restaurants are halal? 

22 Feb

The branches of Nando's, KFC, Pizza Express and more which serve halal in the city...

An IMAX Film Fest is coming to Birmingham – these are the films you can see and where 

22 Feb

Cineworld in Broad Street and at Resorts World showing five top films as part of celebration of big-screen format...

Mum shares worrying Creme Egg picture as warning to other parents about what’s inside 

22 Feb

Get ready for the upcoming sugar-fest that can come in the Easter holidays...

When is Greek Easter in 2018? Why is it different and how is it celebrated? 

21 Feb

What is the date of Greek Orthodox Easter 2018 and where do the celebrations take place in Birmingham...

Top 5 things to do in Birmingham this weekend including X Factor Live 2018 

21 Feb

Not far away in Solihull and Walsall, there are also special family friendly activities going on this weekend...

Boohoo launches seven days of deals with items as little as £1 

21 Feb

From dresses, skirts, winter essentials and prep for the summer- bag a bargain...

Horse of the Year Show 2018 in Birmingham for 70th anniversary – how to get tickets 

21 Feb

Horse show will be at Genting Arena in October 2018 with some major changes following customer feedback...

Get an exclusive £20 discount on Moonpig, eFlorist and Hotel Chocolat for Mother’s Day 2018 

21 Feb

Chocolates, flowers and a card/wine combo are all women need to make them happy...

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Thursday 2nd August 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 2 Aug

0900 - 1200 fairly sunny, to 25c : Garganey 3, Green Sandpiper, Shoveler, Teal 5, Tufted 8, Mute Swan pair + 6, Cormorant 4, Little Grebe 2, Heron 5, Coot 61, Moorhen 12, Lapwing 44, Bh Gull 150, LBb Gull 30, Pied Wagtail 3, Kingfisher seen 3 times, ...

My autumn begins with a bang (all-beit muted)! 

Clayhanger Marsh Log 2 Aug

Best bird of the summer was present today - and what was it? Yep, a Garganey ! Always a noteworthy and less than annual visitor on the Marsh and at any other time it might have brought in a few birders but given that three were at Stubbers a couple ...

Wednesday 1st August 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 1 Aug

1030 - 1130 fairly sunny, 22c : Cormorant 5, Heron 2, GC Grebe, Coot 42, Lapwing 44, Buzzard, Jay 2, Swallow 2, Sand Martin 6, Blackcap, etc.

At last something local worth going for! 

Clayhanger Marsh Log 31 Jul

Well it didn't take dynamite to get me out of the house but a visit from Bernard Smith ! He was in the area and had a half hour to waste so dropped in for a cup of tea and for a change I got some local birding information before it was a week out of ...

Monday 30th July 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 30 Jul

0915 - 1230 fairly cloudy 20c : Garganey 3, Teal 5, Little Grebe 2, GC Grebe, Cormorant 3, Heron 5, LBb Gull 11, Herring Gull, Lapwing 34, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Collared Dove 4, Swift 12, Swallow 2, House Martin 4, Sand Martin 8, etc...

Invasion of giant Robins! 

Clayhanger Marsh Log 27 Jul

During my youngest's recent visit we paid a visit to Nottingham and found the town besieged by giant Robins! OK - the pun was obviously intended - Nottingham ( sheriff of ) - famous Robin? But following on from Owls and Bears in Birmingham, Horses in...

Thursday 26th July 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 26 Jul

Willow Tit at Rushall this morning.

Wednesday 25th July 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 25 Jul

0900 - 1000 hazy, 19c : Little Grebe 5 (2 sum.

The Infamous five 

Clayhanger Marsh Log 24 Jul

Just correcting a correction! ( yep - we are still talking Grebes ) there ARE two pairs of Great Crested Grebe and BOTH have successfully bred on the Mere.

Monday 23rd July 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 23 Jul

0950 - 1120 Brook Meadow, sunny 25c : Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, Holly Blue 2, Ringlet 2, Hedge Brown 30+, Meadow Brown 6, Speckled Wood 4, Small Skipper 2, Essex Skipper, Common Darter, Brown Hawker.

And you thought your kids were confusing! 

Clayhanger Marsh Log 23 Jul

Photo: Bob Kemp Right, it seems a bit sad to me that ( despite it still being wonderful news ) that all we have to talk about at the moment are baby grebes.

Sunday 22nd July 2018 

Stubbers Green Bird Log 22 Jul

0900 - 1030 cloudy, breezy 20c : Mute Swan pair + 6, Cormorant, Heron 2, Tufted 10, Teal 3f, Little Grebe 4 (1 sum.

Go to Stand-by – Siesta almost over 

Clayhanger Marsh Log 21 Jul

It seems to have been a long siesta this year but I currently have my son from Canada over so I am not yet ready to seriously recommence the blog but there are good numbers of Green Sandpiper and Godwit going through the midlands so it looks as if ...

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