Category Archives: History and Heritage

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Wednesfield History Society Moves to Lift Our Knowledge!

As we move to the start of the new year I thought it would be a good thing to inform residents that in this years Wolverhampton Literature Festival which will take place in February 2019. Wednesfield History Society will be playing its part in the Festival. The Society will be giving a talk on ‘The Evolution of Wednesfield from the 1950’s to the modern day. This will be held at Wednesfield Library.

The History Society are also involved in a particularly interesting piece of work around the recording of the oral history of Wednesfield. After it won funding from a National Lottery grant of £8,800 for this exciting oral history project – Preserving and Sharing Wednesfield’s Heritage.  The project will explore the life experiences of people who have lived in Wednesfield over the whole, or part of, the past 80 to 90 years The oral histories will be recorded and kept and stored for many years for future generations in Wednesfield Library.

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Pride and Passion As Wolverhampton Unveils New First World War Memorial.

As  Wednesfield North Councillor’s – We  know that this initiative will be very popular  with families that live in Wednesfield and Wolverhampton.

Councillors Rita Potter, Mary Bateman,  and Phil Bateman were  delighted to read on the City of Wolverhampton’s Managing Director’s Councillors Briefing Note. It detailed,  this very important and historic project.

Managing Director Mr Tim Johnson said  “A new roll of honour featuring the names of 4,272 men and women from the City of Wolverhampton who died during the First World War has gone on public display in the foyer of the Civic Centre.

The memorial has been created as part of our programme of activities to mark the centenary of the end of the conflict.

Many of the names of the fallen have never been recognised before on any official record and the updated roll is therefore the most accurate and comprehensive memorial to the city’s war dead ever produced.”

Well I for one am very happy that this project has been undertaken.

I am sure it will bring  much pride  to many Wolverhampton families who will now be able to cast their eyes on a friend or family member, that had previously gone through the decades  without any public recognition.

Well done Wolverhampton, a great project and well done the people behind the incredible research and hard work it must have taken to deliver a memorial of this nature.


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165 New Jobs Coming to Wednesfield.

There is continued good news for Wednesfield as we approach the end of 2018.

It looks like the investment and the subsequent development of six new industrial units at Steelpark Trading Estate, at Steelpark Way and Bearing Drive, in Wednesfield will be very successful for its owners.

The news now  is that the development is close to being completed.

All six of the new units are either sold, let or under offer.

They have been developed by commercial property company Goold Estates and provide around 70,000 sq ft of industrial and warehouse space.

CS Labels has already re-located from Willenhall to its new home on the estate and businesses set to move into the new units include Kinetrol Powerite.

I understand from a recent conference held in Wednesfield  that it will deliver around 165 jobs locally when it is completed. It means that the £7m invested into Wednesfield to ensure this project went ahead will be seen as an investment success.

So it is yet another good news story for our Village district, and a great piece of economic news also for the City of Wolverhampton!

Councillor Phil Bateman.  Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Ashmore Park Walk of Stars – New Entrant To Be Unveiled Soon!

Councillor Phil Bateman said “I am close to announcing yet another very worthy and talented International and National  Musician to our Ashmore Park ‘Walk of Stars’ . He will be the very first Rock Musician to be included in the list.

I am very excited about this particular individual. I am hoping to unveil the name and a little about his history and the contribution he makes to this music genre in a few days  time! “

The Ashmore Park Walk of Stars is all about inspiring young people and others to cast their ambitions wide!

Talented individuals really do exist and my job here is to expose them so that we can all admire their great talents, and hopefully they will inspire others to strive to produce and deliver the extraordinary talents that we all have.

Here on this very ordinary housing estate in Wednesfield we are always uncovering individuals that make it to the top of their particular profession.

Those that make it onto our Ashmore Park Walk of Stars have very strong links either through living here, or working on the estate, or attending school.


“Always interested in what Labour was doing on public transport”

Looking back in time- Here I think we were at Perry Barr we had Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock MP visit.

Neil was always interested in what Labour was doing on public transport here in the West Midlands County. We had frequent high powered visitors.

Peter Snape MP for West Bromwich East was also present with the Chief Officers of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive.

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Looking Back at Transport History- Leader Neil Takes the Wheel!

Here we see Neil Kinnock MP – Leader of the Labour Party. Neil was always very supportive of what we were doing here in the West Midlands he was a frequent visitor. I enjoyed his company and I had a really interesting time talking to him about transport policy.

Here he looks like he could take the bus into service! Sadly he never quite made it to Prime Minister….


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Looking Back at Transport History- The Metro Bus!

The Metro Bus was a bus that got me into trouble!

When we took office in the West Midlands County Council. It was during one of the worst recessions the UK had seen. Jobs were being haemorrhaged as Thatcher closed pits and steel works right across the West midlands.

The Labour Group on the West Midlands County Council, vowed to do all we could to protect jobs and service.

We made a conscious decision to buy locally made buses being manufactured in Birmingham by Metro Camel l Weymann. Instead of Leyland’s that was the biggest fleet name at the time.

This caused up roar and I received a legal document delivered to my home by a chauffeur in a Rolls Royce. The document was addressed to me, and was delivered to my home in what was then Bargery Road by Leyland’s.

I was flabbergasted at the time….But we didn’t collapse indeed we bought Metro buses, and they became the great work horse of the WMPTE fleet for decades.

The photo records the day we went to MCW met the chairman who was speaking from the front entrance of the bus.

Even though I looked disinterested in this photograph. The fact is that the MCW bus was a great buy for the West Midlands, and we helped them survive a little bit longer, providing local jobs for local people.

In the photo is Eric Jenkins-Engineer Mr Sutton Director of Operations Next comes Phil Bateman Cllr Malcolm Speake, Cllr Eric Hirons, Director General James Isaac, and Gordon Morgan, Leader of the WMCC standing alongside the Chairman of MCW.

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Looking Back In Transport History – Working With Phil Cool!

In the 1990’s I became the Chairman of the transport body that took over from the Passenger Transport Committee of the old County Council, after Prime Minister Thatcher abolished the County Councils.

The West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive became Centro and it came with funky new colourful image. Here I am working with comedian Phil Cool to promote the new Centro Card!

Phil was a brilliant laugh, great mimic and could create some fab faces!

I well remember this day for the fun that came with working with him.

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Looking Back In History – The Leadership of the WMCC

The West Midlands County was a Metropolitan County Council. Not much has been written about it. I had the pleasure and the experience of serving on the WMCC as the County Councillor for Wednesfield North & South, from 1981 until its abolition by Margaret Thatcher.

Here is picture of Councillor Gordon Morgan Leader of the WMCC and Chief Executive – Mr Derrick Hender.


Right of Way! Walsall to Brum on the half hour!

Looking Back at Rail History -Walsall to Birmingham

Phil Bateman Chair of the West Midlands County Councils- Passenger Transport Committee on the 20th November 1984 gave the ‘Right of Way’ to the very new half hourly service between Walsall and Birmingham.

This was an important development  and was part of the County Labour Party’s great efforts to modernise Public Transport in the West Midlands County. It was a great decision at the time.

The rail line has gone from strength to strength. I was very proud of our County Council manifesto.