Home for Willenhall Flag Launch

Many thanks to everybody who turned up to see Mr Arthur Utley raise Willenhalls Flag outside its home, Willenhall Library on sat 8th November

The weather was awful but a good turnout for our guests The Mayor,Councillor Peter Smith who unveiled a plaque as a permanent reminder of the day the Willenhall Flag was launched which was donated by Brett Quinton Funeral Services Willenhall

Also our guests from our twinned town Drancy who was presented with a  flag from the Mayor to take back to Drancy.  Special thanks to the Willenhall/Drancy exchange for arranging our French guests to be present.

A few photos from the day courtesy of Darron Palmer Photography

Many thanks to The County Pub for laying on a buffet for us.

Flying the Flag for Willenhall – We got a flagpole!

Finally, after todays meeting we can now confirm that Willenhall will be flying its flag high with a permanent flag pole which will be situated outside Willenhall Library.

Flag Pole to be erected within a week, with the launch of the flag to coincide with our final event to promote Willenhall and its flag!!

Further information to follow soon!!

We raised a massive £199.15 for Help for Heroes – WW1 Charity Raffle

Charity Raffle for Help for Heroes - WW1 Town Event WilenhallAyWe.co.uk

Charity Raffle for Help for Heroes – WW1 Town Event

We can confirm we raised a massive £199.15 on our charity raffle/ Help for Heroes Tin/Bucket at the WW1 Town Event back in September supporting Willenhall Traders and Community Support Group!

We raised £199.15 for Help for Heroes

We raised £199.15 for Help for Heroes

Many thanks to all our members and the good folk of Willenhall for coming out in wet weather conditions but still supported the town event!! These events are only made successful by the folks who attend!!

Many thanks to all those that donated raffle prizes –
Imperial Cakes
Evelynes Traditional Sweets
Debbie Rudd

Raffle Prize Winners – Congratulations!

Raffle Prize Winners WW1

Raffle Prize Winners WW1

Simon Hall – Milk Tray
A Rhodes – Gateaux Celebration Cake
Croot – Wine
Pete Cattell – Champagne
Dec & Sue Oulton – Wine
Sandra – Large Milk Tray
Dave – Rose
Mrs Groom – Rose Iced Cake
Carol Hannon- Celebrations Box
Ray/Tina Jones – Pizza Sweets
Garth Greene – Tray of Cup Cakes
Ralph Jackson – Whisky
Shaz Smith – H4H Cake


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.

Willenhall Town Commemorates WW1 Photos & Clips

Photos from the town event – 20th September

Willenhall Traders and Community Support Group ‘s Willenhall Town commemorates WW1 with a little help –
The Black Country Living Museum Actors
Salvation Army
Willenhall Heritage Trust with their tombola for The British Legion
Willenhall History Society with their fantastic display
and of course we was their with our raffle for Help for Heroes!!

A great effort all round despite the weather 🙂

Few clips too –

Clip 1 – YOUTUBE

Clip 2 – YOUTUBE

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!!

History Repeats Itself as 1916 Greengrocers Brought to Life

The great grandson of an early 20th century greengrocer was pleasantly surprised to find out that his Grandmother’s shop will have a place in history, as the building is restored to its former glory, complete with costumed characters at a Living Museum.

The original two up two down building, once occupying 39 Lower Lichfield Street in Willenhall has long since been demolished, but a brick-by-original-brick replica has been at Black Country Living Museum for over 20 years. After extensive research by the Museum’s curators it was discovered that the home actually served as a greengrocers and was run and lived in by a Gertrude and William Adey and their two children from 1916 until at least 1932.

A public appeal for more information culminated in a very surprising call for Gertrude’s great grandson Andrew Adey, who had no knowledge of the building at the museum or its restoration into a 1916 greengrocer shop.

“I’ve been researching my family tree on and off for thirty or so years,” comments Andrew, now living in Wolverhampton and working as a dentist, “to learn that theBlack CountryLivingMuseumis going to recreate a part of it is very exciting.”

The shop will be restored to its original state as of 1916, during the midst of World War One. A costumed character will be teaching visitors about the life of Gertrude Adey while her husband was away at war. Only fruit and vegetables that were available during this period of history, and in season, will be sold. To be truly historically accurate, the museum will look at using leftovers to make pickles, preserves and chutneys which visitors will be able to purchase.

Mark Reeves, General Manager for Food & Drink comments, “for the Museum this is an opportunity to do something really special – not only will we be selling seasonal, locally-sourced fruit and vegetables to visitors, but the shop will also be supplying the multiple cafes and eateries across the site. This is a waste-not-want-not exercise, just like how it would have been in 1916.”

The shop officially opens on Saturday 26 July.

BCLM Link here

Willenhall In Bloom makes a start

Stage one of the trees completed in Willenhall on Tuesday, ready for the new soil and primary school planting on Tuesday.

Diane Mansell – Regeneration Officer for Aldridge, Darlaston and Willenhall Town Centres, said ‘We have removed rubbish soil and bricks from the base of the trees today. New soil will be delivered shortly and on Tuesday five local primary schools each sponsored by a local willenhall business will be planted up by the children ready for the towns Willenhall in bloom judging – Thanks to Nova Training and Morrisons for their help’.

Follow all the news, progress etv here – Willenhall Traders & Community Support Group

Last year Willenhall received SILVER in the Urban Community category – If you would like to volunteer for this year’s In Bloom campaign, contact Diane Mansell on manselld@walsall.gov.uk

Armed Forces Day – Willenhall Royal British Legion march

Willenhall Royal British Legion march through town, starting from the Wakes ground to Cenotaph and finishing at the HQ.

Members included Sam Langston, Bill Butler, Des Birch, Ken Parry, and Phil Beech who came from Welshpool to support the Willenhall branch.

Sam Langston who is 83 years young and has put 63 years service to the Royal British pictured here holding the standard.

A selection of photos courtesy of Irene Butler and Will Morgan.

Delays to work on historic Willenhall pub

Work on the first phase of a £300,000 project to transform one of the oldest pubs in the Black Country into a café and community centre has hit delays.

The Grade II listed Bell Inn, in Market Place, Willenhall, is being made wind and water-tight and a flat is being created to deal with security issues  under the first phase of the scheme, which was expected to finish this month.

But developers behind the plans have revealed that the work has been delayed by at least two months due to manufacturing and structural issues.

The iconic building, which has been a pub since 1660, includes oak beams in a former hay loft which date back to the 1580s. The building survived a huge blaze known as the Great Fire of Willenhall in 1659, when 60 other buildings in the town were destroyed.

Read full story here – Express and Star

Short video clip of recent work carried out