Memories of Lockdown by Malcolm Podmore
This is a personal, light-hearted look at recent events, and in no way seeks to ignore the terrible loss caused by each and every death caused by Covid 19. Stay safe. Malcolm Podmore
Walking around the village during this time of lockdown, you can’t help but notice the different ways in which things have changed dramatically in the last few weeks. Traffic levels initially were so reduced it reminded me of the early 60s when us kids would play football in the street outside our cottage in Low St, and not see a car for half an hour at a time. The cars have been replaced by walkers and cyclists, sometimes whole families out for their designated 1-hour escape from the house. Is it just me or has every household on the Bonk suddenly acquired 3 bikes and a dog? Although strange at first, we seem to have got used to people hurriedly crossing the road as they see others heading towards them. At least now, most people either give a nod of acknowledgement or say ‘Good morning’ as they pass. The ever-present litter is still there, but even that has changed with the now absent (unfortunately only temporarily) fast food cartons, being replaced by discarded rubber gloves and the occasional face-mask, added to the normal beer cans and fag packets.
The makers of Red Bull (other caffeine laden, heart attack -inducing drinks are available) will be pleased to hear that their shiny silver and blue cans are lying on the paths and gutters of the village in industrial quantities. Red Bull gives you wings, so the makers say. They’ve certainly flown out of the windows of passing cars in Cheslyn Hay. The tables and chairs outside the Colliers and the Dog would normally be full, especially in this lovely spring weather, but they are locked up inside, and look likely to remain so for the next few months. As do the customers. Queueing at the front door of local shops whilst maintaining the obligatory 2 metre gap between customers, is now what’s universally called the ‘new normal’.
We would love to hear what your thoughts on how life has changed during these strange times. The Society could gather them together on your behalf (anonymously if you’d prefer) and add them as a chapter in our local history.
What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher
Cannock Advertiser 21st May 1970 Story of the newly renovated Salem church hall for the first time.
21st May 1970 From The advertiser May 19 1945 Full details of the Cheslyn Hay Red Cross and Comforts Fund Committee.
21st May 1970 Story of a horse escaped unhurt after being trapped up to its neck in slime for over an hour at Bridgtown.
21st May 1970 Details of the recent renovation work on Cheslyn Hay Methodist Church rooms, which have now been completed to spark off ideas for improving the village’s social amenities.
Cannock Chase Courier issue missing for this week 1920
Vikings by Peter Cadman…. continued
Requests We have had an email from Alison Beaumont asking if anyone remembers Phyllis and Leonard Chater and their family who lived at “Eureka” Wolverhampton Road, Cheslyn Hay. Phyllis was an only child and had lived with her parents Lawrence James Hood and Elsie May (nee Ewers) at 55 Station St Cheslyn Hay for many years, moving to Eureka in Wolverhampton Road in about 1938. The Hood family were well known at the local Methodist Church, Mount Zion, from the 1930’s where they took part in events such as pantomimes and where Phyllis was a member of the Tennis team. Her mother died in the December Quarter of 1939 aged just 44. Phyllis continued to live with her father until he died aged 76 in 1968. Leonard Chater married Phyllis Mary Hood at Featherstone Methodist Church in 1969 when he was 52 and she was 45. Phyllis died at their home, Eureka in 2005 aged 80. Leonard moved to a nursing home near Stourbridge where he died aged 94 in 2011