An article on the Greek concept of the war trophy and how different it is to what could be considered war trophies today

Me studying water in a pompous way.

An examination into why I write about local history and how I go about it, something for those interested in this side of things…

Birmingham University, and pastures new

Hello Everyone,

Just a little post to say that things have changed a lot for me since my last blog story around August, which is why I haven’t written anything for a while.

I have struggled with my health for a while and, with lots of changes afoot with Walsall’s archive service, it was the right time to part. I wish my brilliant former colleagues all the best. I managed to enrol on a research Master’s degree course up at Keele University – an MRes (History) – and am finding modern University life so different to 20 years ago. I have also started work at Birmingham University Archives, on a short-term project working on a charity collection. I will also be helping on the Great Wyrley Local History Society’s project to get the WWI fallen soldier’s (and hopefully some stories of those that lived) stories into print and, something important to me, to get a new marker placed in the gardens with the correct names displayed.

So, lots on. Saying that, I am hoping to get something small out soon.

All the best

Paul (Wyrleyblog)


Wyrleyblog on Twitter

Posted: August 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

Me studying water in a pompous way.

Hi Everyone (well the few who read this). Just wanted to say that I continue to struggle a bit with health and other issues, hence writing is still slow. I have though returned to Twitter! I will try to post anything there for local interest, to raise a smile, or to bore the backside off you. Cheers!


Landywood Farm, 2018.

It is impossible to know if the Walsall Road led to settlement in Wyrley or just connected it to the existing road network – this is because of the lack of physical evidence and the road joined the more ancient and larger settlements of Bloxwich and Cannock. The Walsall Road (A34), I would suggest, was already a well trampled out ‘hollow way’ by the time of the population expansions of the early medieval period – indeed, as the name Wyrley is Old English in origin, the road was possibly in existence by the Saxon period in some form…

The old Watling St, now isolated as a no through road at what was once a cross roads with Leacroft Lane and Washbrook Lane (now completely gone). 2018.

The purpose of this series of articles is to examine, if only in brief, the relationship between the settlement of Great Wyrley (alternatively, the settlement of people within Great Wyrley) and some of the roads that have defined it or, indeed, may have created it. The first part is on the M6 Toll road and Watling Street…

Wyrleyblog: Milestones

Posted: April 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

Wyrleyblog is 4-years old today

Well who would have believed it? Wyrleyblog launched its first story four years ago today and has, in that time, received just over 100,000 views. I didn’t really think about how long it may go on for, but I didn’t expect that many hits for what is really a small geographical area and no more than a collection of local history stories.

Whatever the story, writing the Blog has helped me through a pretty rough period of ill-health. I hope the stories I have pursued have been interesting, informative and sometimes, eye-opening. I am aware that some of the stories will appeal to some and not to others, but that is the nature of the beast, and many have come about as a result of the centenary of World War One.

Thanks is due to my family a few people that support Wyrleyblog through Facebook shares, likes, retweets on Twitter etc. I am very grateful for the support and I thought, after 4-years, I would start to re-post some of those first stories for a bit of re-airing and would ask if anyone who reads this and is a member of a Facebook group that may find it of interest, to share the story – it all helps as I lose track of what I shared and where.

So, back on 2 April 2014, I launched the inaugural article, which was the first part of a three-part history of the Walsall Imperial. Built in 1868 as the Agricultural Hall, it has been a corn exchange, public venue, concert hall, theatre, cinema, bingo hall and finally a Wetherspoon’s pub…

The Imperial, 1899

The Imperial, 1899

Cheslyn Hay c1926, the Red Lion is the white building dead centre of the photograph. (Britain from Above)

This part takes in the stories of Private Walton (who lies at Rugeley) and Private William Usher Parnaby (who is linked with Cheslyn Hay), two soldiers that were broken by the circumstances of a world they were caught-up in, powerless to do anything about, and a military machine that was incapable and unable to offer much in the way of sympathy or help…

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…

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? …