Archive for the ‘Social History’ Category

Mayor Slater and party, with Julian the tank bank, in Walsall, 1918. Walsall Local History Centre

Part Five: this section looks at the Walsall experience of military ephemera during the years of conflict (tank banks, crashed aircraft, captured guns and Zeppelins), with the aim of understanding what emotions were experienced by Walsall people when confronted with militaria (friendly or hostile), and whether Walsall was unusual in these emotions… https://wp.me/P4ui4e-1Fk

The Reedswood tank sometime between 1925 and 1934. W05861: Walsall Local History Centre

PART 4: opens with a review of changes in Walsall and the army between the Crimea and WWI, then Walsall’s experience of WWI in general… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/?page_id=6402&preview=true

Walsall’s Crimean cannon feature, with clock and fountain, at the Bridge, circa 1865.

Part Three covers the lengthy and messy process that Walsall undertook to obtain and then find a site for its war cannon, without ever really having a view of what they mean’t, followed by the story of their rapid demise…. https://wp.me/P4ui4e-1Fc

Wolverhampton cannon, circa 1862. An example of a local town centre cannon monument (now Queen Square), simply mounted on a plinth. The statue of Prince Albert replaced the cannon in 1866

The second part of this article looks at Walsall’s experiences and views of the Crimean War, how and why Russian cannon came to Britain, and why towns like Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Ludlow and Hereford sought to use them as features in public spaces… https://wp.me/P4ui4e-1F8

William Meikle’s painting of the Crimean feature in Walsall (1938). Meikle was born in Tipton around 1858, but moved to Walsall in the 1860s. He would remember the feature. He died, at the age of 84, in 1943.
Acc 63/6: Walsall Local History Centre


Walsall displayed and then destroyed its Crimean and Great War ordnance and the purpose of this series of articles is to understand what such things meant and why attitudes changed… https://wp.me/P4ui4e-1EK


Harrisons Club in Great Wyrley was opened in 1909, as an institute for the miners from his pit and local people. Within a few years its committee and membership faced the problems of the Great War and the government war on alcohol. This article precedes that on the war memorials in the Club and briefly examines the problems such a social club faced… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-harrisons-club-great-wyrley-war-memorial-history/harrisons-club-and-the-great-war/

9 June 1963, this aerial photo shows the Birches Sun Club within the Covert. (Staffs Record Office)


This, the final part, will focus on the naturist side: it opens with a brief look at the history of naturism – placing the Birches Club (the 1950s – 1980s) into context- before looking at what little is known about the Club itself… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/essington-laid-bare-springhill-and-the-birches-sun-club-part-3/

The Workingmen’s Insitute, for which Thomas was President in 1901. 2017.


I was asked about a man named Thomas Garratt that lived in Great Wyrley prior to 1958, as the remains of an old bench seat dedicated to him and his wife had been found that had, apparently, once stood outside the Senior Citizen’s Centre on Broadmeadow Lane. Who were they and what was the fellowship that dedicated the bench? … https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/?page_id=5819&preview=true

The terminus of the Wyrley Branch Canal at the Nook, adjacent was the old mineral railway – perhaps where James reloaded before heading off along the canal. 2017.


This story has a personal edge. It has grown out of a paragraph that was within an earlier article I wrote on the lost pubs of Great Wyrley and is the story is about a fatal shooting that took place within the Great Wyrley, Cheslyn Hay and Essington areas in 1870… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-wyrley-cannock-colliery-incident-gun-crime-1870/

Yeomanry occupying observation post (Walsall Local History Centre)


This article returns the Blog to the Cannock area and to the First World War period, but what turned out to be a straight-forward question actually, in my view, has opened the door on an interesting piece of general social history and has also offered a solution to a personal mystery on the Cannock war memorial… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/cannock/tracing-a-cannock-tommy-the-thomas-bradley-williams-story/