Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter 24th May 2020

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 The cars have been replaced by walkers and cyclists, sometimes whole families out for their designated 1-hour escape from the house.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

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter 17th May 2020

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  14th May 1970   Hawkins Sports C.C. 88 for 4, Thompsons 85.  Full report of match.

Cannock Chase Courier
Newspaper is missing for this week in 1920

Newspapers researched by Dave Washington

Staffordshire Advertiser  15th May 1920  Report of the Housing Committee’s list of recommendations.

Lichfield Mercury  14th May 1920  Report of the Walsall Charity Cup Semi Final between Rushall Olympic and Shareshill Villa.

Vikings by Peter Cadman…. continued

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter – 10th May 2020

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser 7th May 1970  Story of the Landywood Residents Association Queen for 1970 is Miss. Angela Horsley chosen for their annual “May Ball” on Saturday.
7th May 1970  Full report of Hawkins Colliery Sports Club’s good year with names of all the new committee and officers.

7th May 1970   Full story of the Ceilidh reforming as the ‘Blue Jade” with its local connections.

7th May 1970  The Landywood Residents Association are appealing for more letters to include  in their magazine.

Cannock Chase Courier  8th May 1920  Chat from Cheslyn Hay  A very successful Smoking Concert was held on Tuesday evening, at the Red Lion Hotel, for the benefit of Mr. Charles Preece.  A full and comprehensive covering of the meeting and concert.

On Saturday evening a large company assembled on the bowling green of the Working Men’s Club to greet Mr. A. W. Adamson, the Prospective Labour Candidate.

A fairly good company assembled at the Barn Flat Grounds, on Thursday evening when Cannock Town F.C. paid a visit to play the local United in a friendly encounter. Full report of the match.

Vikings by Peter Cadman…. continued

General News  One of our own WW11 Veterans Mr. Ron Mattison has sadly passed away aged  94.  He will be greatly  missed by the History Society, he gave so much of this time to the community sharing his wartime memories and experiences.  A true hero and solider.     

Cheslyn Hay History Society Newsletter – 3rd May 2020

Events    As you are aware, we are unable at the moment, to offer our normal events on Tuesdays at the Salem, or our Chat N Char and Speakers Evenings, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for  their continuing support during this exceptional situation.

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  30th April 1970  Details of a coffee evening and whist drive held last week at the Salem.

30th April 1970  Full report of the Hawkins versus Red White and Blue  mach in the Cannock Chase League Premier Division game on Sunday.
30th April 1970   Story of Great Wyrley secondary School pupils being taught fencing.

Cannock Courier  May 1st  1920 no Cheslyn Hay reports

Vikings by Peter Cadman…. continued with further information

South Staffordshire COVID-19 Helpline

Helpline telephone number  01902 696499
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
If you are over 70 or under 70 with underlying health conditions, self-isolating but have no friends, family or neighbours to help, you’re not alone. Help and support is available so please contact us if you need help with: • Collecting prescriptions. • Shopping. • Topping up gas or electricity meters. • Dog walking. • Or if you’re feeling anxious or lonely and need to talk to someone.

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter – 26th April 2020

Events  We are pleased to confirm that we have been able to rebook Lesley Smith for 2021.  She will now be appearing as Katharine of Aragon on Thursday 24th June 2021.

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  23rd April 1970  Story of Edward Chattoe of Cheslyn Hay who achieved a notable award for his Bob-a-Job week contribution.
 23rd April 1970   A belated Christmas party for the children of Cheslyn Hay Salem Sunday School.  Full story with prize winners of the Fancy Dress competition.
23rd April 1970  Details of the funeral of Mr. William Harold Moorcroft of 113, Station Street, Cheslyn Hay.

23rd April 1970  Story of the retirement of Councillors Dennis Brough and Ralph Edmunds.
Cannock Courier  This Weeks Edition in 1920 is Missing from the Archives

Newspapers researched by Dave Washington

Birmingham Daily Post  22nd April 1970     Details of meeting of the Birmingham Emergency Locums Ltd. after a complaint from a residents association at Landywood near Cannock of delays when weekend and doctors answer some emergency calls. The executive council has authorized the service for another three months, and a final decision will be made then. 

Vikings by Peter Cadman   Continued from last week.

General News   We would like to wish Hazel a resident of Pinfold House, Cheslyn Hay a very Happy Birthday, 100 years young today (25th April). Best wishes from all the village.    

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter – 19th April 2020

Virtual Tours by Malcolm Podmore
Although we’re all in lockdown and unable to visit our favourite historical sites, there are still ways in which we can ‘escape’ the four walls of our homes. Lots of organisations have virtual tours of their buildings or sites that we can enjoy through our pc’s, laptops, iPads and smartphones. Here are just a few.  Eyerevoloution offer 360 virtual tours of some of the Royal houses including Buckingham Palace, Holyrood House and St Georges Chapel Windsor, as well as others.  All are listed.

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  16th April 1970  Cannock Rural Council is investigating the possibility of filling in the “Old Falls” hole” a water filled pit in Rosemary Road, Cheslyn Hay.  Full story.

16th April 1970   Pupils of Great Wyrley Secondary School arrived back after the Easter holidays on Tuesday to find a hole at the back of the school hall. Full story.

16th April 1970  The standards of the old Boys Brigade have been found in a disused cupboard in the Salem.  

Cannock Courier

This Weeks Edition in 1920 is Missing from the Archives

St Georges Day 23rd April  An article by Peter Cadman on thebackground of St George has been included to commemorate our Patron Saint.

General News  More sad news this week another of one our long standing members has passed away .  Bill Lowe, aged 90 and founder of Lowe Properties Ltd based in Sutton Coldfield, regularly visited the Salem to meet up with ourselves and his local friends over the years and has provided us with copies of many photographs, personal letters, artifacts and memorabilia of the Hawkins family.  He was a direct descendant of Joseph Hawkins through his second son, Edward, whose daughter Beatrice (1869 – 1955) married Samuel Lowe.  He was a fount of knowledge concerning Cheslyn Hay’s leading family which he imparted with a wonderfully dry sense of humour.  His visits will certainly be missed.


Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter 12 April 2020

Events…..Unfortunately due to  the Covid19 outbreak we have had to cancel our trip to Ludlow .We will be refunding payments as soon as practicable, due to lockdown this will be when we can safety able to meet again.  However,should anyone need their monies sooner please let Roger know on 07928 070061 or 01785 212412 and he will put a cheque in the post.

Memberships….As you are aware, we are unable at the moment, to offer our normal events on Tuesdays at the Salem, or our Chat N Char and Speakers Evenings, we would like to take this opportunity to apologize to our members who have been affected by this exceptional situation.


Annual Membership of £5.00 (per household) for the coming year 2020/21 is now due from 1 April 2020. Following the Covid-19 Lockdown and the recent Government Advice on social distancing, it will not be possible to collect your renewals personally or at any of our usual meetings, in the normal way. Our Membership Secretary (Rob Allan) managed to see some of you at the last Chat N Char, before the lockdown arrived. However, if he did not collect your membership renewal, please consider one of the alternative methods of renewing.

Please send a cheque (made out to CH&DLHS) or cash to Rob at:

Membership Secretary CH&DLHS,

C/O – 9 Coltsfoot View,

Cheslyn Hay,



Please do not worry if you cannot get out to a Royal Mail Post Box, during these Self Isolation Restrictions. We will NOT be cancelling or suspending any membership accounts until after we have all had a chance to recover and the Covid-19 threat has receded.If you have already paid Rob or you normally pay via PayPal – you do not need to do anything – as your membership will renew automatically.We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding and your continued support of your Society and look forward to returning to normal operations as soon as this crisis is over

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  9th April 1970   Local group gets three months contract after returning from a tour of the continent.

9th April 1970     Cheslyn Hay Methodist Church’s renovated church hall was “christened” on Monday night with a fashion show given by the ladies of the “Coffee Box”.  Full story.

Cannock Courier  10th April 1920   On Good Friday a large company assembled on the Barn Flat Ground to witness two football matches between Cheslyn Hay Schools and Landywood School and between two colliery teams of Hawkins and Great Wyrley.    Full details.

10th April 1920  Organised by the ladies of the Sewing Meeting Class, the friends of Salem Church, a very successful Sale of Work was held in the Sunday Schools, on Saturday afternoon.

10th April 1920  An enjoyable Whist Drive and Dance was held in the Cheslyn Hay Council Schools, on Easter Tuesday, proceeds to Mr. S. Lawson.  Full details of the event.

Vikings by Peter Cadman…. continued

Obituary   We have some sad news to report this week one of long standing members Don Savage aged 86 years has sadly passed away.  He was  one of the most respected teachers at the Great Wyrley Secondary  School in the 1960s.  Don was born locally and educated at Rugeley Grammar School before starting his teaching career at Bridgtown.  He became Head of English at Great Wyrley before moving on to Cheshire where he accepted the post of Headmaster at Crewe, where he subsequently retired.  Together with his wife Jean and his daughter Heidi he remained in Crewe for the past forty years but all three of them paid us a welcome visit to the Salem a few years ago when he was delighted to meet up with quite a few of his old pupils who fondly recalled his passion for English