Category Archives: History and Heritage

Wednesfield MagazinejuneJuly2019 IMG_0050 (002)

Wednesfield Magazine – June & July 2019 Edition Out!

The Wednesfield Magazine is an independent Local Magazine.

The Magazine is written in Wednesfield, and it serves the people of Wednesfield and the local businesses. Its a great little read and it is free .

In Wednesfield North you can pick the Magazine up at the Hub, The Library, and at numerous Local shops. In this Month’s edition it carries a real nice obituary in a tribute to Jean Shinton.

Jean was one of Wednesfields ‘Movers and Shakers’ she loved her community. It’s a nice read. Well done Editor Simon for writing this very nice tribute.  Rest In Peace Jean.

tram 20th AnniversarySNSYXD3NBZFWZLLZL2H2BA42ZY

20th Anniversary of the Metro!

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/transport/2019/05/30/all-board-west-midlands-metro-celebrates-20th-anniversary/?fbclid=IwAR1pKhoiTutMksbYpIXEcYu21hTWdYBIRMveAFzQQk8CPhlg-RXGAmTlNJc

Last year more than seven million people used the 12.5 mile route, which now runs through to Grand Central in Birmingham  – the highest figure since its inception and a million more than in 2017.

And that figure is set to grow year-on-year as the Midland Metro Alliance opens up a series of new extensions.

“Its a great transport project, and I am delighted its made its 20TH anniversary. 
Not only is it a transport project that we need, it is also a very good economic tool. All the housing and the industrial development now clustering around the metro on Line One is a testimony to that. When it was first designed and constructed the line was running through derelict land,empty space and industrial ruin. That changed and is still changing when metro started to operate.

My big hope is that Wolverhampton can get two more extensions. One that reaches to Wednesfield, and points towards Walsall, and one that it serves the new Molineux from the transport Hub in Wolverhampton and stretches out towards the housing estates and industrial developments around Jaguar and the M54 corridor.I am hopeful that the Wolverhampton City Council will recognise that these two schemes would be the right sort of transportation planning for the next 20-30 years

Vote bateman 1981

Elected to West Midlands County Council – Still a Highlight 38 Years On!

Thirty-Eight Years Ago-I Was Elected for Wednesfield!

It was a friend Dr John Fletcher himself a former West Midlands County Councillor, that contacted me recently to point out that 38 years ago, I stood for election to the now abolished West Midlands Metropolitan County Council. The election took place on 7th May 1981

I was the Labour candidate and standing in the Ward of Wednesfield North & South. Wolverhampton Number 10 Ward.

My election agent was my friend and workmate on the railway Mr Joe King. Joe was a Labour Party stalwart. We both served in the National Union of Railwaymen, and then when the Union changed its name, The Rail Maritime and Transport Union.Joe lived in Darlaston at the time he became my agent, because he was such a Labour Party veteran all we did when we met in the mornings before we started our work as Rail Parcels drivers was talk Labour politics. Looking back, it was the best thing I could have done at that point. There were no takers for being agent in the two Wednesfield Labour Party’s. I am not sure if it was me? Or the job that they didn’t want!

But I had already got my agent in my head, and Joe didn’t need to be cajoled too much before he agreed to do the job. Joe had a young family, he lived in the Borough of Walsall he had family commitments. But he was a tremendous guy, sadly no longer with us. I owe such a lot to Joe he was a great inspiration.

I set about the campaign with Joe in great gusto. What wasn’t on the public information about the candidate at that time ,was that I was still recovering from testicular cancer. In honesty I thought that I would have a short life! It was an immense strain on our family and on Mary in particular when the disease was first diagnosed. That was in 1977, in fact I went to the 1977 Labour Party conference still having treatment. But I spoke three times at conference, once on Vietnam and on Nuclear Free Zones.

This election for the West Midlands County Council was a hard-fought affair.

Transport was a key platform, and the County Labour Party prepared a vote winning manifesto. The Labour Party delegates from Wolverhampton played a central role in its development. I was proud to stand by it. In my Union role I was always talking up the need for good and modern public transport. Take a look at the personal address it majors heavily on bus services rail links and good roads!

Travel Our Way 1981IMG_6348

The Chairs of both Wednesfield North and South are and were, prominent Local people. Clarice Nicholls in Wednesfield south was a former Wednesfield South and Wolverhampton Councillor . As was Margaret Benton. Margaret was a former school teacher of mine at Wards Bridge, and she later became Mayor of Wolverhampton. Looking back what doyens of socialist politics these two icons were!

At the time of my election I was still involved in sporting activities with Local Football and Angling with Wednesfield Social angling Club.

The election came on the 7th May 1981 – I remember the days in the run up to the election. They were hectic days, trying to control some Maltese Labour Party visitors, who in Malta painted the streets literally! Trying to persuade me that we should do it on Ashmore Park…scared me to death! I had one of the Maltese Labour Party members stay at my house for a few days. I remember taking a call at home in the week before the election and it was Dom Mintoff the Prime Minister of Malta trying to connect with his Education spokesman Joe Grech who was in our spare bedroom at Bargery Road. Great memories, great experiences.

The election was a truly memorable occasion for me. It was the first time I was elected into a seat, and 4,544 Wednesfield folks turned out and voted for me, which equated to a massive 62.1% of the vote.

That election day returned 10 Councillors that went to Birmingham to represent Wolverhampton …Eight were Labour Councillors and just two were Conservatives.

If there is more interest in this bit of Wednesfield social history I will write a little more. However please read the information here and let me know or ask questions…happy to help If I can….

In the First Week of May 1981 – Thirty-Eight Years Ago-I Was First Elected for Wednesfield!

It was a friend Dr John Fletcher himself a former West Midlands County Councillor, that contacted me recently to point out that 38 years ago, I stood for election to the now abolished West Midlands Metropolitan County Council. The election took place on 7th May 1981

I was the Labour candidate and standing in the Ward of Wednesfield North & South. Wolverhampton Number 10 Ward.

My election agent was my friend and workmate on the railway Mr Joe King. Joe was a Labour Party stalwart. We both served in the National Union of Railwaymen, and then when the Union changed its name, The Rail Maritime and Transport Union.

Joe lived in Darlaston at the time he became my agent, because he was such a Labour Party veteran all we did when we met in the mornings before we started our work as Rail Parcels drivers was talk Labour politics. Looking back, it was the best thing I could have done at that point. There were no takers for being agent in the two Wednesfield Labour Party’s. I am not sure if it was me? Or the job that they didn’t want!

But I had already got my agent in my head, and Joe didn’t need to be cajoled too much before he agreed to do the job. Joe had a young family, he lived in the Borough of Walsall he had family commitments. But he was a tremendous guy, sadly no longer with us. I owe such a lot to Joe he was a great inspiration.

I set about the campaign with Joe in great gusto. What wasn’t on the public information about the candidate at that time ,was that I was still recovering from testicular cancer. In honesty I thought that I would have a short life! It was an immense strain on our family and on Mary in particular when the disease was first diagnosed. That was in 1977, in fact I went to the 1977 Labour Party conference still having treatment. But I spoke three times at conference, once on Vietnam and on Nuclear Free Zones.

This election for the West Midlands County Council was a hard-fought affair.

Transport was a key platform, and the County Labour Party prepared a vote winning manifesto. The Labour Party delegates from Wolverhampton played a central role in its development. I was proud to stand by it. In my Union role I was always talking up the need for good and modern public transport. Take a look at the personal address it majors heavily on bus services rail links and good roads!

Travel Our Way 1981IMG_6348

The Chairs of both Wednesfield North and South are and were, prominent local people. Clarice Nicholls in Wednesfield south was a former Wolverhampton Councillor and Mayoress. As was Margaret Benton. Margaret was a former school teacher of mine at Wards Bridge, and she later became Mayor of Wolverhampton. Looking back what doyens of socialist politics these two icons were!

At the time of my election I was still involved in sporting activities with Local Football and Angling with Wednesfield Social angling Club.

The election came on the 7th May 1981 – I remember the days in the run up to the election. They were hectic days, trying to control some Maltese Labour Party visitors, who in Malta painted the streets literally! Trying to persuade me that we should do it on Ashmore Park, that scared me to death! I had one of the Maltese Labour Party members stay at my house for a few days. I remember taking a call at home in the week before the election and it was Dom Mintoff the Prime Minister of Malta trying to connect with his Education spokesman Joe Grech who was in our spare bedroom at Bargery Road. Great memories, great experiences.

The election was a truly memorable occasion for me. It was the first time I was elected into a seat, and 4,544 Wednesfield folks turned out and voted for me, which equated to a massive 62.1% of the vote.

That election day returned 10 Councillors that went to Birmingham to represent Wolverhampton …Eight were Labour Councillors and just two were Conservatives.

If there is more interest in this bit of Wednesfield social history I will write a little more. However please read the information here and let me know or ask questions…happy to help If I can….

WM County Council 1981

Thirty Eight Years Ago- I Was Elected for Wednesfield!

It was a friend Dr John Fletcher himself a former West Midlands County Councillor, that contacted me tonight to point out that 38 years ago, I stood for election to the now abolished West Midlands Metropolitan County Council.
 
I was the Labour candidate and standing in the Ward of Wednesfield North & South.
 
Thirty Eight long years ago!
 
Can you believe it!
 
It was the first time I was elected into a seat, and 4,544 Wednesfield folks turned out and voted for me, which equated to a massive 62.1% of the vote.
 
That day out of 10 Councillors that went to Birmingham to represent Wolverhampton …Eight were Labour Councillors and just two were Conservatives.
I enjoyed working on the West Midlands County Council it was a very active Council, and the Prime Minister at the time Margaret Thatcher hated them.
IMG_5161 Wednesfield Canal Fest 2018

2019 – Our Coming Action Packed Summer !

An Action Packed Summer of 2019 Is stretching out before you Wednesfield! I do hope that you will join with our Volunteers and help us where and when you can.

Now how about this for an action-packed Summer here in Wednesfield North and Wednesfield. All of this program is aimed at making our community a better place to live and work and take fun. It is designed to improve our Local Economy. Increasing footfall in the local businesses across our community. Making the place look good, and enhancing our environment.

Please place these dates in your Diary! If you can help, or want to take a part  in any of these events please contact me on  Email@philbateman.com

Wednesfield in Bloom-  In 2018 Wednesfield was Gold Award winners and a winner in the Community Awards. We want to do the same if not get better recognition above last year’s success.

This year Ashmore Park will be part of the integral arrangements for judging by the Heart of England Inspectors. We do not know the date of the Inspection yet. But it is likely to be taking place in the first week of July.

If you are a keen gardener, love flowers and feel you want to help and contribute to the volunteers in making our part of the entry up here a winning one, please let me know. We had a meeting yesterday at the Ashma Café and I want to thank those volunteers that came along and offered to volunteer their services.

It was good to hear that the Pet Shop and The Ashmore Hardware Store, are keen to be involved again, as is L&A Lettings.

We will be encouraging all our shops to become involved in a small way. Placing flowers in their shop windows. Hanging baskets if appropriate, window dressing etc.

I am currently looking for additional flower containers to be placed around the Shopping Parade. The Hub at Ashmore Park is in! and they will be looking at the way they can improve their front and back gardens. I want to see if the Ashmore Park Nursery School will do some work with flowers on their school frontage. I am also going to talk with the Medical Centre and hope that the Doctors will also come on board.

Our brilliant Community interest Public House the Ashmore Inn always has a magnificent display of hanging baskets. Again, I am hopeful that the Gaffer Kevin, will allow his Public House to play a key role in the Ashmore Park entry. 

 

#Stuff4Steph! – Ashmore Park Fun Day Saturday 6th July 2019- This is a date for your diary! On the 6th of July we will be holding a #Stuff4Steph Funday here on Ashmore Park outside and including the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade. It is aimed at family fun and entertainment. It will be this event that will open a week of other community events and actions, and I and the volunteers from the Hub that are putting the programme together plan to have a #Stuff4Steph event taking place on everyday of this week.

It should be good for all the shops and trading outlets on the Parade, it should be good for Families, and it will be good for our whole community. Please put the #Stuff4Steph date in your diary now!

 

Wednesfield Canal Festival August 10th & 11th Bentley Bridge on the Wyrley & Essington Canal- This will be the fifth event of its kind that has been held here in Wednesfield. The program is brought to you by the Volunteers of ‘Hands on Wednesfield’. Last year even with poor weather more than 4,500 people turned out to enjoy the live music the stalls and the events. We are all aiming for it to be even better this year! 

Wednesfield North own #ShopLocal Campaign Saturday 17th August 2019-  #ShopLocal is the brand that your three Councillors – Cllr Rita Potter Cllr Mary Bateman and myself Councillor Phil Bateman here in Wednesfield North have initiated and supported. We all believe in the need for vibrant local shops and stores, and we have a track record of support. #ShopLocal has put a focus on the shops and added much needed colour and pride into our community. In the run up to the 2017 designated #ShopLocal day – Councillor Mary Bateman was able to advocate the need for the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade to be given a lick of paint. As it was looking tired and a bit unloved.

This was achieved, and with some crisp and bright painting the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade, and the shops and stores have been made to look – that bit more attractive. In 2018 the #ShopLocal campaign was about making residents more aware of the tough trading that is taking place in all the local neighbourhoods in Wednesfield North, where Local Stores exist. This time of the year when many Local Residents go on holiday is tough for Local shop keepers. As they often have to take account of less footfall. The economy is the key to peoples shopping habits, and of course people will look for bargains to match their purse. In 2018 I paid for Social Media advertising and the results show that this promotion reached 2891 persons. However, the organic reach of our #ShopLocal campaign also reached out and informed a further 1485 persons about the message and the needs of the campaign. So in total 4376 local people were made aware of what your Councillors in Wednesfield North were trying to do to support our own Wednesfield North traders.

2019 #ShopLocal will have a theme and a vision which will be announced later this year.

I hope you agree with me that all these events will make Wednesfield ‘Rock’ it all takes hard work in organising, but the Summer will be brilliant! Watch out for further information.

Rita Potter IMG_6490

The Ann Wood Book of Condolences.

 

Yesterday we laid our dear friend Ann Wood to rest.

Ann was a powerhouse behind the work that takes place at the Ashmore Park Community Association. The Community Association is based at The Hub at Ashmore Park.

Ann’s funeral at St  Thomas’s Church then The Bushbury Crematorium was a well-attended affair.There were relatives and friends and colleagues from all parts of Ann’s full life represented.

The reason for this note is that ‘The Book of Condolences’ that was opened at The Hub at Ashmore Park,  after her friends and colleagues learnt of her passing, is still open for a few more days, before it will be closed.

It is not to late yet for you to  come to the Hub  where you can still leave a message for Ann’s family in The Book of Condolences.

Here Councillor Rita Potter has added her message, to the many which already populates this book of friends and memories.

IMG_0850 Ann Wood (2)

Wednesfield Mourns!

Today Thursday 20th December 2018 –

 

Later this morning at St Thomas’s Church Wednesfield at 10.30 am Mary, Rita and I will be attending the funeral service of Patricia Ann Wood. Ann was the effervescent Chair of Ashmore Park Community Association.

We will be deep in sorrow and respect.

It will be a tough day for everyone that knew her….But friends will I am sure,have that little space in their heart for husband Derek and the loving family that will be struggling with their emotions this morning.

I am sure Wednesfield will be joining together with all of us to pray for Ann and her marvellous family.

 

Martin J Cooper IMG_6439 (002)

Welcome Martin J Cooper -Ashmore Park Walk of Stars.

 

Today we welcome and admit into the ‘Ashmore Park Walk of Stars ‘ Martin John Cooper who lived in Kitchen Lane, he attended Wednesfield Grammar School and went onto work in a Building Society. Martin was recommended for Ashmore Park Walk of Stars by Bill Parry a long time resident. I want to thank Bill for providing the supporting evidence.

Martin was an England International and played Rugby Union for Club side Moseley. He played for the school and for Wolverhampton . He won his first international cap against France in 1973. England won that game 14-6.

In total Martin won 11 caps for England between 1973 and 1977.

Please welcome Martin to the Ashmore Park Walk of Stars