Guest Book

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166 thoughts on “Guest Book

  1. I originally researched the history of 1/2nd North Midland (later 466th) Field Company, Royal Engineers (Territorial Force) back in 1993/1994, but I am currently updating and expanding my research with a view of publishing it. A previous self-published booklet on the Company was produced in 1994 (and has been made available by Cannock Chase District Council on their website here: https://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/custom/WW1/norton-canes-royal-engineers.html ), but since then a lot more documentation regarding the history of the unit and the men who served in it has been released to the public. I would very much like any relatives of men from Cheslyn Hay who served with the Company to contact me if they have any information that they may wish to share, and I am sure that I have some details regarding their relatives in my notes that I could share with them also. I have been posting biographies and photographs on a dedicated page on Facebook: The Norton Terriers: 1/2nd North Midland Field Company during the Great War – and several men from Cheslyn Hay feature on there.

  2. Hello,
    I’m looking for any information, maps, photographs or reference which might illustrate and / or discuss the extent of open cast mining works that took place, in the past, at or about the Quinton Estate Great Wyrley.
    Your help and any guidance that you could provide would be most appreciated.
    John Burns

  3. Geoffrey Norman Farnell son of Horace Norman Farnell son of William Farnell son of John Farnell born on the BONK in C/hay can you tell me anymore about the family as due to family problems never spent time with G/dad william who was Gassed on the Somme Southstaffs reg 6970 i have his medals

  4. Hello everyone,

    First of all congratulations on a wonderful and very informative web site.

    I am a direct descendent of William Crutchley (b. abt. 1780) who was married to Sarah Poyner (b.abt. 1779) and who was involved in the early days of Salem Church. I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who has any stories or information about my family.

    Best regards,

    Gary

  5. Hello I am looking for some information on Hugh Sutherland MacLeod I found this on your website and suspect this is the Hugh we are looking for…we have just moved to Staffordshire and discovered my Uncle (Hugh MacLeod) was a miner here. Any info you have would be helpful. “Nancy was a very popular character in and around Cheslyn Hay and we’ve had many emails confirming this and subsequently we have been able to pass on photographs of Nancy and newspaper cuttings which include the tragic death of her husband Hugh at the Hilton Lane Opencast site in 1956 and the photographs include their wedding and some when she worked at the Woodman. Unfortunately Nancy died on 20th November 1987 aged 65”.

    • It certainly sounds as if it is the same Hugh that you are looking for Andrew.
      I’ll look into our records and see what we have and I’ll be contacting you directly.
      Many thanks for your interest
      Trevor

  6. I’m looking for a John Devy who attended great wyrley school late fifties early sixties,he was the best friend of Kenneth butcher who lived then in Hamelin street pie green road Cannock.Ken was tragically taken from us in 1965 in November due to a car accident.his parents are now passed, and I would love to hear if anyone knows John

    • Thanks Shirley for your request, and it was easy to solve. John is a
      good friend of our society and he will be emailing you shortly.
      I believe that you are visiting the area some time next month so a
      meeting with John will certainly be a good possibility.
      Best wishes
      Trevor

  7. Does any of your team have any information or know anything about books being presented at the Salem chapel Sunday school. I have some of my late father’s dated around 1929 to 1933. One is a black Bible.

    • Yes Mike, we have many Sunday School book prizes given away at the Salem dating back to the late 1800s.
      But they are priceless to the family …. as you obviously appreciate.
      All the best
      Trevor

      • Good Evening,
        I am trying to find a relative of my husband’s – I am hoping that you can help me out with a phone number or and email address. I am looking for Alan and Pauline Martin of 16 Mount Close, Cheslyn Hay. They are my Father-in-Law’s brother and his wife. My Father-in-law, Gord Martin moved to Canada with his wife Mary in the 50’s and they have both since passed. If anyone has a phone number for them or an email – I would be ever so grateful. I can’t seem to find them on the internet.
        Thanks Very Much and Kindest Regards,

        Chris & Catharine Martin

        St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

          • My name is Wilfred ‘Wiffy’ Barker. I formally live at 29 Littlewood Lane, Cheslyn Hay. I immigrated to Aussie in 1963…Then lived in New Zealand for 19 years before coming back to the UK. I would desperately like to see and contact my old mate Ernie ‘Cutty’ Smitherman. I have been told he still plays the piano some place. If I can get his phone number or address I would be highly chuffed!

            I am living in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
            Thank you so much.

            • Thanks for the enquiry from Wilfred ‘Wiffy’ Barker and now he and Cutty are delighted to be in contact with each other again and the chance to meet up and relive old times’

              Thanks
              Trevor

  8. I am a military medal collector and have today received a “death plaque” to capt clarence hawkins who is commemorated on the local war memorial.
    Can anyone help with information relating to him and his family

    • Thanks for contacting us Cliff, we have plenty of information on
      Clarence and the Hawkins family. Too much to itemise here so I will be
      contacting you directly to find out how much that you might require!
      Trevor

  9. Can anyone help with pictures or information regarding the Turner family please? Constance was my mom’s sister and we used to visit often when I was a child and play with my cousin John. I have lost touch with the family and would like to know what happened to John. Most of Aunt Connies’ siblings have passed away the only one I know still alive is our Aunt Kath. She is 85 and is in poor health. Any help to trace John would be appreciated.

  10. I don’t know if you are able to help, but I am trying to trace any information about the Witcutt and Holland family from the Pelsall / Walsall area. Martha Witcutt married to James Holland in 1871 they had children Emily 1892 Annie 1874 William 1876 Ethel 1974 John 1880 Horace 1881, Frances 1883 and several more siblings, my grandmother was Frances Holland. My mother was born to the unmarried Frances in 1918 in Hallam Street (the workhouse) hospital.

    I would really appreciate it if you find any information or know if there are still family in the area if you could let me know.

  11. Hi,
    I was born and lived in Bloxwich until 1959.One of my aunties(Ethel Brown) lived in Fern Cottage Upper Landywood with her family.I remember it as being a large house with a very large garden.This would be in the late forties/early fifties and by the early sixties I had lost contact with the family.I recently visited Bloxwich and tried to find Fern Cottage but could not.I had no problem with Holly Lane and remembered the railway bridge but could not locate the house which I recall as being on a corner at the end of the lane.Anyone any information as to what happened to the house.For reference Ethel was my dad’s(Alfred Saunders) elder sister.

    • Yes Terence, Fern Cottage is still standing and I knew your aunt quite well. We have many photographs of your Saunders family as well as the Browns and I will forward you a list of these via a separate email directly to yourself.
      Please let me know next time you are in the area and I will be only too pleased to show you around Fern Cottage and the area.
      Best wishes
      Trevor

      • This is really interesting Trevor . my aunt Edna Brown lived at fern cottage until she died in 2011. She lived there with her husband my uncle Fred brown and son Fred brown junior.I don’t recall a Terrence Saunders or a Saunders family .I wonder if you could enlighten me on this. Fern cottage was a lovely house with a wonderful orchard garden. I have great memories of playing there when I was a boy.

        Regards
        Michael Birch.

        • Yes you’re right Michael – Fern Cottage is still a lovely house with the orchard garden.
          When Edna died we have obtained dozens of Edna’s photographs which include the Saunders family but they lived in Broad Lane Essington.
          Glad you still remember those bygone times around Landywood though
          Best wishes
          Trevor

  12. I am researching my family tree and and a lot of my relatives lived in cheslyn hay. I am now drawing a blank and would appreciate any information you may have. My great grandparents are Alice Pee who married Thomas Lockett. i have gone back to their parents, George Pee and Hannah Hitchens and Job Lockett and Lydia Elwell but cannot find any further information. I know they had links with St Marks and my grandmother Ina Roberts, nee Lockett spent time at Salem. My great nans cousin was Elsie and her Husband Joe, but were bought up as sisters. They lived in cross street and always had Lassie dogs!! From what i can see the Locketts and Pee’s lived in Hatherton Road. I would appreciate any info/facts/memories. thank you

    • What an interesting enquiry Sally. You name some well established
      Cheslyn Hay families and I’ll put our researchers on to them.
      We have several photographs of those you mention and I’ll contact you
      directly.
      Trevor

    • Stevenson’s Chemist is still very active in the village, so I certainly
      would appreciate where it’s not listed please Graham, and I’ll amend it.
      Thanks
      Trevor

  13. I have been researching my Great Uncle, John Ridgway, who was killed in action on 15th August 1915, 2nd Batalion South Wales Boarders. He was my maternal Grandmother’s brother. I’ve been trying to download a picture of his grave. I’ve also tried to find out where his Father, Job Ridgway, my Great grandfather, served whilst in the Headers and Tunelers Battalion. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    David Evans.

  14. I am tracing my family tree and the particular branch I am working on is mostly based in Willenhall. However I have come across a wedding between Sarah Primer of Cheslyn Hay on 5th January 1757 to Richard Bromall (my ancestor). There is no further information and I have not been able to find a birth entry in any records. Can any of your members shed any light on this? When I have managed to complete the information I need I will be happy to share that part of my family tree if it helps your project.

    Thanks

  15. I am researching William Altree. He was born in Bolton and his name appears on the new memorial for ww1.

    He migrated to Australia and joined the AIF in Australia. He was killed at Gallipoli.
    I have found a reference to “Altree and mystery ships” in a 1936 Adelaide South Australia news paper. Does anyone have information relating to this reference? I would appreciate this.

    Thankyou Susanne Risk

    • Hello Susanne,
      There was a private William Altree serial number 1452 serving with the 10th Battalion (South Australian) in Gallipoli and was killed in action on 29.5.1915. However his mothers name was Clara and he was born in Wigan. You can check all references to his army record (free of charge) on the Australian Governments Army Records site. The records include all details on 50 pages and letters from his mother requesting details of his death. Hope this is the person you are looking for as there are no other Altree’s killed on Gallipoli
      Good luck
      Peter Harley

    • Thanks Susanne. I will contact you directly as I can put you in touch with the Altree family who have details of William who was killed in Gallipoli.
      Only too pleased to be of help
      Trevor

  16. In response to your newsletters of 22 & 29 April 2012 in which you have information on the Lockley family. I am a great granddaughter of Lewis & Merab Derry who adopted Frances Lockley in 1910. I am interested in finding out why Frances was adopted by my great grandparents and would also be interested in finding out anything at all about Frances herself and also her biological family. Many thanks, Joy Mills.

    • Many thanks Joy for your enquiry of the Lockley family. It’s a fascinating story that our researchers looked into three years ago and we included the tale in our book Cheslyn Hay Lives Volume Three. I will contact you directly Joy and outline the details of the story and the outcome of a rather harsh court case.
      Trevor

  17. Admin,
    I was fascinated to read the query from Anne Davies on April 14 2014 and your reply on April 19 re: the Sayer family history and their connection to coal mining in the area.
    My mum Marjorie,now 82 is the youngest and only surviving child of Bernard Sayer(deceased around 1970 , aged 82 but recorded as having been living in the Saredon ,Essington area in 1901)
    The family story she remembers being told was that her grandfathers family had owned coalmines in this area and had been wealthy,but the money had been drunk away by the eldest son.
    My mum grew up in Bushbury and then Brewood,where Bernard and his wife Edith spent most of the last years of their life
    I’ll have to look into my family records(I found this site out of curiosity)as Edward Sayer(whose picture you have)could very probably be my ancestor.
    I did find a site where a Mr E.Sayer is named as the owner of Sling Colliery and there was also a Sayers Colliery,owned by a C Quintonin 1869(both in the Grt Wyrley area I think.)
    Thank you for the info this site has given me
    Carol

    ,

    • Yes, we have plenty of information on the Sayers family, including their
      family tree.
      They provided a very colourful part of our Cheslyn Hay history and I’ll
      be happy to provide with with fuller information if you would let me
      know what aspects of the family you are interested in.
      Kindest regards
      Trevor

  18. My Family Tree research has led me to your fascinating web site. I am distantly related to the Winfers of Cheslyn Hay. William Edward Winfer (1898-1973) is my 6th cousin once removed. There appear to be two possible marriages for him. 1. William E. Winfer to Jennie (or maybe Jane E) Preece in 1918 or 2.William Winfer to Frances Reeves in 1920. The middle initial E. is pointing me in the direction of Jennie . . .
    Any assistance that you can offer would be appreciated.
    Cheers
    Ted Broadhurst

    • Thanks for your enquiry Ted. I have passed it over to our researchers and I’ll reply within the week. However in the meantime
      I’ve checked our Photograph Archive and we have 2 photographs of William Winfer (not surprising really as we have over 8,500 in our archives) – one in the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 1937, and one on a walk over Cannock Chase with St Marks Church church group in 1947.
      So please let me know if you want copies.
      Best wishes
      Trevor

      • Many thanks for the confirmation. I currently have 63 Winfers in my tree and will now start to check out William and Jennie to see if there are even more!
        It is great to know that you hold a good library of photos – maybe at some time in the future I will contact you again. I already hold in excess of 7,000 photos myself – none of them Winfers!
        Thanks again
        Ted

  19. Would anyone kindly be able to tell me if a Mr Rowley was a methodist minister in Cheslyn Hay in the early 20th C. His children would be Eunice, Phyllis, William and Thomas that I know of. If I’m not off track. William Rowley was my grandfather. Any information gratefully received. Thanks.

    Peter

    • Thanks Peter for your enquiry and I am very pleased to confirm that an R. T. Rowley was a Methodist Mininster here at the Salem from 1916 – 1918.
      I am particularly interested in this gentleman because we know very little about him and would like your help in researching his background. Plus we have many, many photographs of the ministers around this time but without names – and we do not have one photograph of your grandfather with a name to him.
      If you live locally perhaps you would like to drop in at our Base and I will be only too pleased to show you what we have in our archives.
      Also Rowley is not a common Cheslyn Hay name – but we have a Reginald Rowley as one of the 57 names on our War Memorial all from WWI – and he is the only one we do not have any information for.
      Trevor

  20. A family tree I’m putting together contains a Simeon Tuft 1813-1892 who seems to have spent all/most of his life in Cheslyn Hay. Googling him led to your site, and searching on your site gives 6 results for him on your weekly news pages. Going backwards in time I’ve found his 1892 DeathIndex record, 1851-1891 census entries (but not 1841), 1837 marriage to Lucy Brough, and 1836 conviction for poaching. Is there more information about him available via yourselves ?

    • Dear Mike
      No problem with Simeon Tuft as we can find information on him – but might I suggest that the best way forward is for us to put you in touch with the three members who are researching the same tree. We also have Simeon Tuft on the Stokes family tree in our archives.
      We can also pass on the details of his poaching conviction and look up any local records for you without charge.
      Tuft isn’t a common Cheslyn Hay name though and there are no Tufts in the local cemetery but there are 5 entries of them in the 1810-1833 Poor Records.
      Best wishes
      Trevor

      • Sounds good. As well as his 1936 poaching conviction (sentenced to jail for 6 months) I’ve now found an 1864 conviction for assaulting a policeman (fined 40 shillings) – subject to there being only the one Simeon Tuft in the area.
        Regards
        Mike

  21. Hi does anyone remember the cheslyn hay gingham girls dancing groups of which I was,an active member approx 1970 ish the troupe was run by a Mr cliff Hooper who lived in rosemary road is Mr Hooper still alive does any one have any photos any info would be greatly appreciated

    • Many thanks for your enquiry Sheila.
      We certainly do remember the Gingham Girls. They were a big part of our more recent village history – and a part that we are very proud of.
      We have two volumes of photographs of our Carnivals and there are many, many photographs of this troupe. Many are named but sadly there are more not named and we would appreciate it if you could spare us an hour to scour through our photographs in our archives to add names.
      Our Base at the Salem is open every Tuesday morning from 9am – 2pm. and we’ll have the coffee pot on for you.
      Hope you can visit us sometime.
      Very best wishes
      Trevor.
      Also Cliff Hooper is still about but unfortunately not in the best of health.

      • Will definitely come over would love to see the photos as I don’t have any of th ok as days don’t know if I will remember any one but will certainly try

        • Hi Sheila, myself and my sister were Gingham Girls ~ Karen & Sarah Bond. I was in the Shantelles and my sister was in the Sherelles. Xx Would be lovely to hearfrom anyone ~ Saturdays were amazing carnival days and my mom.Joan, actuwlly took part in Bilston Carnival yo make up numbers in the parade, so we could dance! Xx
          Are there any photos? Xx

          • Thanks for your interest Karen and you must drop in to our Base in the Main Hall at the Salem any Tuesday from 9am – 2pm where we have 347 Carnival photographs where most of the Dancing Troupes are unnamed. We would certainly welcome your input in naming those in the Shantelles, Sherelles and the Gingham Girls. Incidentally we have 5 photographs where your sister Sarah is named. Please drop in!
            Thanks
            Trevor

    • I remember a The Gingham Girls really well, I once went on an outing with them but had to carry the placard as I couldn’t quite manage the dance sequence!

  22. my grandad lived as a boy in a company house at 14 saredon road in cheslyn hay his father was a miner in late 1800s does anyone have any data regarding this area of cheslyn hay

    • Hi Malcolm ,
      My name is Janet smith (leach).we used live down saredon rd .
      My mom name was ruby leach ,dad name was victor aronald Bolton leach.there was 3sister,3brothers.
      My grandad used live there in the olden days .then we moved to mitre rd cheslyn hay .i hope this helps a bit .we are doing our family tree

      • Thanks Janet for your comments. I will also contact you directly as you are researching your family tree to see if we can help as well.
        Warmest regards
        Trevor

    • Yes Malcolm. 14 Saredon Road used to be known as Company Buildings and they were built by Joseph Hawkins for his miners working at his pit (Hawkins Colliery also known as the Coppice Colliery). They were demolished in the 1960s, but we have plenty of information on them and the occupants and also photographs.
      I’ll contact you directly to see if I can help you further.
      Best wishes
      Trevor

      • Hi Trevor have you got a. Photo of. The row or road of saredon rd.plus you know the tin houses in bloxwich have you got a photo of them or do you know where I can get them from .plus can you get photo of my old school great wyrley 1966/1967 any of the classes from that school .i used to do a lot of running for school .i used to run at running club in Cannock .any photos of the houses in holly bush .

        • Thanks Janet for your enquiry – and yes we have photographs of Saredon Road (Company Buildings) and of Holly Bush plus photographs of yourself.
          Plus several photographs of Great Wyrley School Sports Days – some without names.
          I will forward you a list of photographs of the Leach family on a separate email.
          But if you live locally why not pop in to look at the photographs at the Base on any Tuesday.
          Look forward to meeting you
          Very best wishes
          Trevor
          PS I don’t know about the ‘tin houses’ of Bloxwich – do you mean the prefabs?

  23. A station totem sign for the old Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay station is up for auction on the 18th of October atcrewe heritage centre – the auctioneers Is David Lewis 01948665570 or email daverelics@hotmail.co.uk. This is the first station sign I have seen so is a rarity – I would buy it but I have just ordered a new coal fired loco kit

      • As a railway enthusiast Trevor ,what was the outcome of the sale. Wasn’t one side of the bridge known as cheslyn hay .and the other side known as great wyrley.

        • Yes Mike. The sale was at Crewe and I put in a maximum bid of £50 for the Cheslyn Hay sign .. but it went for £140 !!
          Too much for us I’m afraid.
          Thanks for your interest though
          Trevor

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