Developing drivers for the future

Willenhall-based Blakemore Logistics has opened the door to a career in LGV driving for several young people by hosting a driver apprenticeship scheme.

Willenhall-based Blakemore Logistics has opened the door to a career in LGV driving for several young people by hosting a driver apprenticeship scheme.

Working in partnership with the Logistics Apprenticeship Training Academy (LATA), Blakemore Logistics has provided a series of work placements that have helped apprentices to gain the qualifications and experience required for a career in professional LGV driving.

In August the company celebrated its first apprenticeship success when one of the candidates on its programme, 22-year-old Ben Hilton, gained full-time employment at AF Blakemore & Son Ltd after qualifying as an LGV Class 2 driver.

Blakemore Logistics’ transport manager, Dave Higgs, said: “The driver apprenticeship scheme provides trainees with the opportunity to earn while they learn as well as acquire vital experience in the logistics sector, hands-on training and nationally recognised qualifications. Meanwhile the company is developing potential future employees who have been provided with training tailored to suit the individual needs of the business.”

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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.

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Down memory lane: Hidden meaning of what’s in a name

If we are nameless then who are we? Without our names we have no individuality, no distinct identity.
At best we become an indistinguishable part of a huge and monolithic gathering such as the Anglo Saxons or Victorians, the peasantry or the working class; at worst we are lost from history and become as nothing.

The desire to be known and remembered for who we are as separate entities with a unique character is a powerful human emotion. That is why our ancestors, no matter how poor, strove to avoid the indignity of a pauper’s funeral after their death.

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Then there were those places which may once have been called after a feature in the landscape but which were renamed after a man who was given overlordship of a manor.

Darlaston and Tipton fall into this latter category. The ‘tun’ element means a manor and experts have placed its common use to the period between 750 and 950. Thus Darlaston signifies the manor of Deorlaf. The second earliest recording of it in 1262 spelled it as Derlaveston, although by 1316 its modern form had emerged when it was given as Derlaston. As for Tipton, it was first noted in the Domesday Book of 1086 and was put down as Tibintone, meaning the estate of Tibba.

Willenhall is mentioned much earlier and it is one of the earliest Black Country place names cited in a document. In 732 it was given as Willenhalch and as such was the ‘halh, small valley, of Willa. Sedgley and Dudley are two other places that remember a person. Both signify a ‘leah’ or ley, a clearing – the one of someone called of Secg and the other of a fellow named Dudda.