The Locksmith’s House 2015 Events

Once again The Black Country Living Museum are putting on events for the whole family to join in!

If still have never been, no better time than now to make a note of whats happening this year!!

Spring Open Day – Saturday 28th March
Summer Open Day – Saturday 25th July
Heritage Open Weekend – Sat 12th & Sun 13th September
Horrible Willenhall Histories Day – Saturday 24th October
Fancy Evergreens – Thursday 26th November
Christmas Open Day – 28th November
Christmas at Home with the Edwardians – Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th December

See poster!

Events for the year – PDF File

More information will be available per event on our calender or check out
Black Country Living Museum Wesbite

The Mayor recently wrote to our twinned town Drancy

Many thanks to the Mayor, Councillor Peter Smith who recently wrote to our twinned town Drancy sending messages on condolences with the recent attacks in Paris.

The Mayor was kind enough to also write on our behalf.

Please see attached replies the Mayor of Mulhouse aswell Jean-Christopher Largarde.

We are very please to have made a connection with Drancy last year when our town flag was presented to them to take back to Drancy.

We hope to bring you news of a visit to Drancy which will be open to all.

Replies to The Mayors recent letters of condolence

Replies to The Mayors recent letters of condolence


We invite you all – Willenhall Town Flag & Plaque Unveiling

We invite all of Willenhall to witness the flag launch and unveiling of the plaque outside Willenhall Library, Walsall Street. Invites you all! Invites you all!

The event will see our towns flag fly high on its permanent flag pole and a plaque, donated by Brett Quinton Funeral Servces, erected as a permanent reminder of the official flag launch on 14th June 2014.

We have come a long way with promoting our hometown and finally Willenhall can fly its flag high – #FlyingtheflagforWillenhall

Full details here

Official Flag launch & unveiling of plaque outside Willenhall Library with A Flag Presentation to our visitors from Drancy FRANCE, our twinned town. Sat 8th November 2014

We will be officially flying the flag high outside Willenhall Library which is home to the towns permanent flag pole after having been granted permission from Walsall Council along with our plaque which has been donated by Brett Quinton Funerals and made by Lasting Memorials based in Willenhall, both which will be a permanent reminder of Flying the Flag for Willenhall and putting Willenhall back on the map!

This has been tied in with our overseas visitors from Drancy, FRANCE (via The Willenhall/ Drancy Twinning Association) who will officially receive our town flag on behalf of Drancy.

We are honoured to have amongst the guests, Mr Arthur Utley who is an ex-serviceman who took part in Normandy Landings who has represented Willenhall in Drancy for the 8th May Commemorations, who will raise the flag for Willenhall which will also be a mark of our remembrance for WW1 Commemorations.
Councillor Peter Smith, Mayor of Walsall on behalf of will unveil the plaque outside the library before presenting our town flag to our visitors.

The presentation will take place above the library where the Willenhall Council Chambers still exist today with our guests and those of The Willenhall/Drancy Twinning Association along with the French Delegation which consist of Mr LASTAPIS Michel (A deputy mayor with responsibility for housing and health, Mme BOUTHORS Jacqueline (A councillor with special interest in the Food Market
Mr BOUTHORS Stéphane (Chairman of the Drancy Twinning Committee)
Mme SERVAIS Michèle ( Treasurer of the Drancy Twinning Committee)

We will have Glyn Marston; flag design winner Adam Leonard and other key guests who have supported us all the way right upto where we find ourselves today! Our very own permanent flagpole to fly the flag for Willenhall.

For our guests a buffet will be provided, which has been kindly provided by The County Pub, fantastic support from local business ‘ as always including AFB Community who has supported us with all our events and on this occasion helping with providing a photographer to mark this auspicious occasion.

We look forward to seeing you all outside Willenhall Library on Saturday Nov 8th at 11.30am.

The Willenhall/Drancy Twinning Association

Willenhall first became twinned with Drancy in 1959 when Willenhall had
its own council. When it became part of Walsall (as Walsall already had
a twinning with Mulhouse) some of the committee members decided to
continue the twinning and received a small grant from Walsall Council
which ceased several years ago. The Mayor of Drancy, Maurice Niles,
understood the problem and was happy to continue the twinning even
though Willenhall no longer had its own separate council.
Since 1959 many different types of exchanges have taken place including
children’s exchanges, various sports exchanges, art exchanges, music
exchanges, trades unions, ex servicemen and women and old people.
During the current year there has been an art exchange, a running club
exchange and an ex serviceman’s exchange. A delegation from the Drancy
Twinning Committee is present in Willenhall from 7th – 10th November
this year in order to receive the new Willenhall flag on behalf of
Drancy, to take part in the walk to Lane Head Cenotaph on Remembrance
Sunday and to attend a Protocol Meeting with the Willenhall Twinning
Committee in order to plan future exchange visits.
James Mills (Chairman)
Sandra Buckley (Vice Chairman)
Brian Bucklely ( Treasurer)
Norma Mills (Secretary)

Willenhall Drancy Exchange Association

Willenhall Drancy Exchange Association

Willenhall History Society – Est Since 1990

Did you know there is a Willenhall History Society?

Bob Rushton with Paul Kidson at the WW1 Town Event!

Bob Rushton with Paul Kidson at the WW1 Town Event!

A few words from current Chairman – Bob Rushton

“We were formed in 1990 when the then Willenhall Librarian, John Shercliff, who incidentally is not from these parts, realized what a little gem this town was and so set about gathering like minded locals to form the Society. Meetings were originally held in the library, but in 2002 we moved to the CHART Centre in Gomer Street, meetings being held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month 7.30 – 9.0pm.
For the full story and to find out what we’ve been up to over all these years you can find it all on our web-site at Willenhall History Society, a few bits of which need updating but don’t worry, we’re getting round to that.

Now to the future. As always we have entertaining monthly meetings with some very interesting speakers talking on a wide range of subjects as can be seen from our web-site. Last months talk on WW1. Zeppelin raids on Walsall
quite fascinating as our speaker was Paul Ford of the Walsall Archives Dept. and his research into this came with some interesting sub-stories. This talk attracted quite a number of visitors not just from Willenhall.

Throughout our existence we have sought to obtain anything to do with Willenhall whether it be photograhs, documents or any kind of artefact, such as the Armstrong Stevens flag that was given to us by a Mr Robbotham who was the last to leave the factory before the demolition men came in an so ran it down and stored it until this year. We put much of our archive stuff on display every year and due to a cancellation of speaker at our October meeting we’ll have this on display on Tuesday,14th October,14 so come along and see our photo’s and scrap books, you may see people that you knew and if you have something we might be interested in bring it along.

Bye for now. Bob Rushton, Chairman.

A quick look at some of the meetings coming up!

Meetings take place at Willenhall Chart Centre, Gomer Street at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday each month unless otherwise notified.

14th Oct Open night – archives on display – visitors welcome
11th Nov Chris Twiggs – Sydney John Sankey, killed 1915 on the Western Front
9th Dec Christmas Party
13 January Trevor Lowbridge, Retired C.I.D. Officer. – Serious Crime Cases.
10 February Patricia Boyd. — What the Butler Saw.
10 March A.G.M.
14 April A Night at the Pictures. – The Chairman’s cut.
12 May Ian Bott. — Lost Mansions of the Black Country.
9 June Dr. David Cox — A Short History of Bigamy.
4 July Society Trip — Venue to be chosen.
14 July Willenhall Walk — Expedition leader, John Shercliff.

All are welcome to attend meetings or join the Society. The Annual Subscription is £12.00. Non members pay £2.00 to attend each meeting.

A selection of photos from 1972/1973 courtesy of Mike Batchelor

A selection of photos from 1972/1973 courtesy of Mike Batchelor. Including a rare one showing the famous Daintys Stafford Street.



If you wish to share any of your old photos of Willenhall, please contact us on our \Facebook Page, our website or email

Filming at The Locksmith’s House

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Central Youth Theatre, have performed and filmed a WW1 drama which includes scenes filmed at The Locksmith’s House, Willenhall.

The premiere of this 20 minute film can be seen at BCLM’s Limelight Cinema on Sat 30 Aug at 11.30am.

The HLF funded project explores the experiences of World War One soldiers who were executed for offences such as “cowardice”, as well as the impact on their families and their fellow soldiers.

Those of you that have visited The Locksmiths House will recognise the shots, the kitchen and the parlour in the below link –

Click here

Joseph Tonks of Willenhall – the Poor Man’s Doctor by Stuart Williams

The famous Memorial Clock in Willenhall Market Place commemorates a young man who became much-loved by the poor folk of the town to which he dedicated his short life.

And our latest article, ‘Joseph Tonks of Willenhall – the Poor Man’s Doctor’, gives an insight into why that memorial still stands proudly at the heart of Willenhall today.

A local boy and padlock maker’s son made good, Joseph Tonks graduated in 1879 as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, but did not desert his home town and was taken to the hearts of the local poor and more before, sadly, meeting a tragic fate.

TLocal History Centre – Click here to read more

Its a great little read!!

27 homes to be built on Willenhall wasteland

Homes are to be built on the site of an historic manufacturing firm after fresh regeneration plans were backed by the council.

Land which used to be the old offices of George Carter (Pressings) Ltd in Willenhall will be transformed for a mix of 27 homes and flats.

There were previous plans for just over 20 properties at the old office site of the 179 year-old firm in Clothier Street.

But they failed to get off the ground and new proposals have been approved by Walsall Council under delegated powers.

The long-standing George Carter firm shut in 2009 and the nearby main production site in Park Road was taken over by Aspray as part of its expansion.

Full Express & Star story here

Walsall to commemorate the First World War

With its Mayoress a casualty of the Black Country Zeppelin bombings and Victoria Cross awards for two borough servicemen, Walsall has plenty of memories from yesteryear to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into World War One.

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Peter Smith, will host a commemorative day which begins at 11am on Monday 4 August with a veterans’ parade featuring the 143 Plant Squadron, the Royal British Legion, the Mercian Volunteer Regimental Association, Bloxwich and Walsall branches of the Royal Artillery Association and the Staffordshire Regiment Association.

The parade starts at The Crossing at St Paul’s, passes down Lichfield Street and the Council House before finishing in Leicester Street outside the Town Hall. The Mercian Regiment mascot, Private Derby, a Swaledale ram, will also take part accompanied by his two handlers.

The Mayor and Mayoress and their invited guests will take the salute from the veterans; a bugler will play the Last Post followed by a minute’s silence in memory of the war.

 Following the parade, a free event will be held in the Town Hall from 11.30am.  A number of Walsall-related stands, pictures and information relating to World War One will be on display including John Carless VC’s Victoria Cross.

In the evening Walsall Council will mark the exact hour of the anniversary by turning off the council house lights between 10pm and 11pm, leaving a single lamp turned on in the Mayor’s Parlour.

Other council buildings taking part in the national LIGHTS OUT initiative from the Department of Communities and Local Government include Walsall Central Library, Gala Baths, Leather Museum, Forest Arts Centre, Local History Centre, Darlaston Town Hall and the Environmental Depot in Brownhills.