Stonnall History Group
Our next meeting will take place at the Swan Inn, Stonnall, on Saturday, 21 March, 2015, at 12 noon. Everyone is welcome. Be sure to browse our ever-expanding historical collection of photos, graphics and other documents.
It is very sad to report the passing of Gordon Mycock, who died on February 2, 2015 at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Gordon was a leading light in Stonnall History Group and his love for all things Stonnall is exemplified by the story of his early life in the village, Memories of Old Stonnall.
Pictured above, we see him on his treasured BSA Gold Star outside Elm Cottage in 1950.
Jean Bower, the ten-year-old Carnival Queen of Stonnall in 1936 returned to the village to attend our group meeting at the Swan on December 20. Here she is with her daughter, Isobel, who said: "We both enjoyed the meeting and Jean was delighted to meet folk she she knew and to chat to those who knew of her through other friends and family".
Our next social meeting will take place at the Swan on Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 12 noon. Come along for a chat and a discussion of some plans for next year. Everyone welcome.
Test your knowledge against this multiple-choice quiz of 20 questions. Take the quiz.
During our journey to Belgium this week, the most important visit on our list was on Wednesday, 29/10/2014, to Ypres. We have visited the grave of Nick's great half uncle, Sapper Stephen Judson, buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery. Stephen's name is on the WW1 war memorial in Stonnall Church, along with that of his half-brother James C Glover.
Stephen was conscripted into the Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, due to him being a miner at the time. However on the 31st July 1917, the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele, aged 40, he was tragically killed in action.
We believe he was fetched from the tunnelling and used as "cannon fodder", to make up numbers for this battle, that being the reason there was a body to bury.
James has the only WW1 military war grave in Stonnall churchyard.
If there are any relatives of Stephen or James, we would love to get in touch.
It was a very emotional visit to Sapper Stephen Judson's grave. He is buried in Menin Road South, a short walk from the Menin Gate. A truly moving experience.
Words and pictures by Linda and Nick Higgs.
Many readers might remember the drawing of the old school by the church, which was the work of Alan Heywood and which is featured in The Stonnall Mysteries. Well, here is another one by the same artist, entitled The Avenue, Cockheath Wood.
Many Stonnall people will remember Jeff Williams, churchwarden, churchyard sidesman, farmer and all-round good bloke of Cartersfield Farm. Jeff's parents came from Wales in the 19th century and occupied Shepherds Farm in Lynn. Jeff's mother could not speak English at the time. The family then moved to Cartersfield Farm, where Jeff remained and brought up his own family, with five children, Margaret, John, Dennis, Alan and Sylvia. I am grateful to Alan for letting me have a copy of this photo.
Jeff and his wife, Florie, kept a stall at the market in Wednesbury for 60 years. Florie was the sister of Harry Hastilow, who kept the petrol station and chicken farm at the end of Main Street for many years.
I am grateful to Debbie Platt, Robert Hastilow and Gill Hyde for passing on some of this information.