Category Archives: History and Heritage

Gillian Walton -3rd June 1954 – 31st August 2021

Yesterday , Mary and I attended the Bushbury Crematorium for the Humanist funeral ceremony, of former Wednesfield North Councillor Gill Walton.

The rain eased in the morning and then stopped for the ceremony, It was a humanist ceremony and there was a very big turn out.

Your Councillors – Mary, Rita and I attended the ceremony to pass on our respects.

The tribute to Gill was read by friend and work colleague Julia Buckley, and a moving poem ‘Farewell My Friends’ was read by Madeleine Freewood, again a friend who worked with Gill.

Those that knew Gill well were reminded of her character, her wittiness, her loves in life, and her hates! Margaret Thatcher amongst them!

Gill was a very good Councillor for Wednesfield North, she was doughty fighter for our residents. We were very proud of what Gill did in life, and we were very ,very proud of her, as we were reminded of all her life time achievements during the service.

You will never be forgotten, for the great work you did here. The huge contribution you made to Wolverhampton society, during your time on this earth was a feature .

Your family John and daughter Alice, and your close relatives and friends admired and loved you, and they will never forget you. Our fondness and respect for you as a political colleague in the Wednesfield North Labour Party, remains undimmed.

You certainly made our World better in life, and in death we will remember you as a proud Mum, a person with a great sense of humour, fine local Councillor and a person who cared.

Rest in Peace My Friend.

Sad News – As Actor John Challis Family Announces his Death.

The news that John Challis, better known as ‘Boycie’ from the hit comedy show, ‘Only Fools and Horses’, has past away on Sunday 20,September 2021, brought back happy memories for Mary and I when we met him back in November 2005.

John Challis, who had his own spin-off television series, ‘The Green Green Grass’ was joined by Polly Parsons, from TV’s Fun Song Factory, during publicity that Mary and I were involved with at the time when we were the Mayor and Mayoress of the City.


The pair were  both appearing in the pantomime Aladdin, at the Grand Theatre. They had been tempted out to switch the City’s Christmas lights on with us.

During our time with them, we found John Challis to be amusing and charming. He told us he loved appearing in Wolverhampton and he ranked the Grand Theatre as a ‘favourite’. The big crowd loved him!

So, it was sad to hear the news on Sunday that he had passed away. He leaves behind some great memories for us.

We wish his family and friends our deepest sympathy and condolences.

Mary and I are grateful to have met him, and chatted with him in those relaxed times. Rest in Peace one of the UK’s most loved person, both he and his character will live on in Wulfrunian’s minds for a very long time…..

Rest In Peace Irene Dodd –

It is always a sad time when someone you know passes away. Life is always tough for the family they leave behind. It’s been reported on Saturday that Irene Dodd has sadly slipped away.

Irene was a community champion, she had a great feeling for our community. She held many roles across a whole range of activities. She will be remembered for her work with the Police Liaison Committee, The Tenants and Residents Association. Her affiliation with the former Danesmore Park school. Plus many other organisations and charities. Irene will also be remembered for her Jam making, and her monologues! Both Mary and I wish to send sympathy and condolences to Irene’s family and friends. She made her mark in our community and she joins a long list of other ‘Big Characters’ that Ashmore Park and Wednesfield have lost in these last few years. Rest In Peace.

PTA Bateman MBE

Sad News Today – Rest In Peace Gill Walton.

News has reached me today that my friend Gill Walton, a former Wednesfield North Councillor, sitting on Wolverhampton Council from 1986 through to 1994. Has passed away.

Gill was a strong willed person who did a lot of good here in Wednesfield North. She first won her seat in 1986, with 1,799 votes. She followed up that win, by increasing her vote in the year 1990 to a vote of 2,476. I remember her for her strong views on Women’s Right’s, which she championed widely across the City Council, and her deep love of animals.

Gill was a great person to have around, she had a quick wit and was never scared to air her views.  I was often on the back end of a strong tongue lashing if I was deviating from an agreed position, or for trying to take us in another direction!

Gill was great friends with both Mary and I though.

Gill had a wicked sense of humour, and she was always quick to reminded me. That there was “Always something heavy in this handbag”.

During that period, we also had as the third Councillor in this Ward the late Cllr Gwen Stafford Good.

Our Ward Party meetings were never dull, they were always enlightened and always bubbling over with the issues of the day. Mary and I want to wish our  deepest sympathy and condolences to partner John and daughter Alice, and the rest of the family and friends.

Gill as i have indicated was indeed our great friend, and Mary and I are both so very saddened to hear this news. I am sure many people here in Wednesfield North will remember Gill with fondness.

Rest In Peace Gill, knowing that you have made a great contribution to this City, our community, and everyone’s life that you have touched.

Tommy Larkin – “Bilston for Bilstonians”

Last night we had the Inauguration of Wolverhampton’s New Mayor Cllr Greg Brackenridge. Marking his term of Office as Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton.

Sadly I have found out that former Cllr Tom Larkin of Bilston passed away, that very afternoon. Tom was a very well know local historian, he was Bilston through and through. I like to think of him as a friend.

He certainly wasn’t enamoured by the then Governments changes to Local Government in 1966, which placed his beloved Bilston into Wolverhampton. Nor the following changes in 1974 which created the West Midlands County Council.

Its true to say that the ‘Bilston for Bilstonians’ – was a slogan that Tom never let die. I had many a debate over the years with Tom, about the move that took Bilston’s independence away. I liked Tom Larkin, his energy, his love of Local History, his passion and drive not to lose the past.

Now I want to wish his wife and family our deepest sympathy and condolences. Long may you live Tom in your writings, and in the memories of your friends and family.

Date for Your Diary-Commemoration Event Wednesfield – Road Closure

A Commemoration Event to facilitate the Commemoration event of the Battle of Saragarhi 1897: This will result in a closure of roads in Wednesfield while the event takes place, on the 12th of September 2021.

• Rookery Street closed its entire length in both directions.
• Well Lane close in both directions between its junctions with Rookery Street/High Street and Kenmare Way.
• High Street closed in both directions between its junctions with Rookery Street/Well Lane and Alfred Squire Road.
Vehicular Diversion Route: New Cross Avenue, Wednesfield Way, Neachells Lane, Alfred Squire Road and vice versa

Happy Birthday Ed Doolan!

Time to Remember…Today would have been Ed Doolan’s 80th Birthday.

Ed was a presenter of BBC Radio WM.

One of the big names of Local Broadcasting. Ed’s show was one of those current affairs shows that attracted lots of Local radio listeners.

Sadly Ed is no longer with us. An Aussie by nationality, and a fierce defender of Brum…take a minute to wish the big man a heavenly Happy Birthday. Plus remember just one snippet of any one of the thousands of interviews he made during his reign of the airwaves here where you live…

Me? I have so many memories where he made me mad, Made me laugh, Today we are told we will be baking in 30 degree heat, and it would not be unusual on a day like today, for Ed to phone me, Put me on the air. Ask me how the regions bus and later trams were doing in the heat. Then he would ask me what level of service we would be operating on Christmas Day and Boxing Day!. Thats my memory for today on Ed’s Birthday? What s your’s…….?

Time to Remember!

Happy Birthday Dad! Born June 28th 1913 – Today would have been your Birthday. Wonder what you would make of the World, if you were still around?

Spent sometime remembering the memories. Life is what we make it. Rest In Peace – content that those you left behind are doing all we can to make our lives, and our communities, fitting for the day and the time.

HRH – The Duke of Edinburgh

HRH – The Duke of Edinburgh
In light of the sad news about His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh the Council’s flag is flying at half mast and will be until 0800am on the day following the Funeral in line with Government Guidance. The Council has posted the following message.

“It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. On behalf of the council and the people of the city of Wolverhampton, we extend our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family as this sad time.”

We will be having an on-line books of condolence and these will be made available shortly via the following link http://condolences.wolverhampton.gov.uk/ . We are awaiting further guidance from Government on key issues over the weekend.