History of Black Country Zeppelin Raid in Sedgley

abandoned-boy-by-toni-frissell

The air raids of the First World War left a trail of destruction across the UK. Photo by Toni Frissell.

During the First World War, about 50 Zeppelin raids were made on Britain, killing more than 500 civilians and injuring more than 1,300. And, at the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society, local residents can hear all about the deadly raid on the Black Country in January 1916.

Derek Nicholls, a local historian from Tipton, has spent 18 months researching the deadly raid on Tipton, Bradley, Wednesbury and Walsall inflicted by a Zeppelin that had lost its way. In around half an hour, the L21 had destroyed homes and buildings, killing about thirty five and injuring twenty.

With stalemate on the Western Front Zeppelin raids started in January 1915 with bombs dropped on King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth. Three unsuccessful attempts to bomb central Birmingham resulted in only minor damage on the outskirts. The city was saved by applying a stringent blackout policy.

The next meeting of the Society takes place on Thursday, 13th November, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley.

As usual, visitors are invited to come along – admission £1. Annual membership of the Society costs £5 and gives free access to the programme of talks.

All About The Gornals With Ned Williams

‘The Gornals’ is the latest book by hugely popular local historian, Ned Williams.

This is Ned’s 50th book and, for many members of Sedgley Local History Society, he couldn’t have chosen a better subject. He covers Upper & Lower Gornal, Ruiton, Gornal Wood and The Straits in 200 pages of text and photographs.

The book will be launched on Friday, 14th November, at 2.30 pm at Zoar Methodist Church and later the same day at 7.30 pm at Upper Gornal Methodist Church. A Grand Book Launch with special guests and a presentation of ‘Gornal on Film’.

At both events, the paperback edition costs £10 and a limited hardback edition costs £15. (Later in bookshops the prices will be £13.50 & £18 respectively.)

Sunshine And Song In Sedgley This Weekend

family-enjoying-our-big-gig

There is something for all the family in Sedgley this weekend with the Our Big Gig event at Baggeridge

Music lovers in Sedgley are spoilt for choice this weekend, with two superb events which are sure to make the glorious sunshine even more enjoyable.

girls-wearing-our-big-gig-t-shirts

Our Big Gig is coming to Baggeridge Country Park near Sedgley this weekend

On Saturday, July 13th,  Baggeridge Country Park is the venue for Our Big Gig – a series of community music celebrations taking place across the country.

The Sedgley event, organised by South Staffordshire Council, features live music from 1pm until 5pm, with performances from Stolen Comfort, Ellowes Hall School Funk Band, Matt Gallis and My Girlfriend’s Last Boyfriend.

Visitors will also be able  to enjoy music played on the new giant outdoor xylophone and hopefully be able to help construct it!

Throughout the afternoon, there will be a variety on musical performances on offer, including folk, jazz and rock.  Music lovers can also enjoy open mic sessions, junk instrument making workshops and musical masterclasses.

Our Big Gig has been made possible thanks to funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government, Arts Council England and the National Lottery. Organised by local volunteers with assistance from not-for-profit arts organisation, Superact, the events are part of the government’s Olympics legacy commitment to reconnect communities and ensure the benefits of the Games are spread across the country long after the sporting events have ended.

dudley-canal-trust-old-time-music-hall

Enjoy the golden age of Music Hall at Dudley Canal Trust this weekend

Old-time Music Hall in The Cavern

This Sunday, lovers of the golden era of Music Hall can enjoy a canal boat cruise through the incredible caverns beneath Dudley while basking in the sounds of a much-loved bygone era. The Old Time Music Hall event is organised by Dudley Canal Trust Trips and promises to be a great way to round off a scorching weekend in Sedgley and the Black Country.

Sing along with classics from yesteryear, as the team from Funtime Theatre takes you back in time to a rich age of music, when songs such as ‘Teenager In Love’ and ‘Rhythm Of The Rain’ were staple tunes on Wurlitzer jukeboxes in coffee shops up and down the country.

Performances start at 7pm and 8.15pm on Sunday, July 14th. Tickets are £10 each and available from Dudley Canal Trust Trips on 0121 557 6265.

 

Race To The Greyhound in Swindon For Authentic Thai Cuisine

Head-chef-Mee-and-his-team

Head chef Mee and his team at Sommai Thai

Lovers of Thai food in Sedgley will already be familiar with the outstanding cuisine served up at the Bull’s Head in Bilston Street, where head chef Mee built up a reputation for perfectly balanced dishes bursting with authentic flavours and fresh ingredients.

 

And now, feeling the need to stay ahead of the pack, Mee has decided to branch out and bring the true flavours of Thailand to nearby Swindon, where the lounge of The Greyhound pub has been transformed into an exciting new restaurant with the same incredible tastes.

The new venture, Sommai Thai, opened its doors on Saturday, June 29th, with Mee and co-owner, Sommai Sin Pra Yakul, hoping to build on the success already achieved at their former venue.

And, having been invited to a preview evening, we at Sedgleyscene were delighted to accept.

Sommai-Thai-platter

The Sommai Thai platter includes a range of delicious authentic dishes

Authentic Thai Ingredients and a Warm Welcome

On entering this restaurant, the first thing visitors will notice is the 7ft tall statue welcoming them into a relaxed atmosphere, where the historic pub’s dark wooden beams blend effortlessly with lavish wooden sculptures flown in from Thailand. And, when ordering a drink from the bar, it’s impossible to miss the painstakingly-carved watermelons which decorate each table.

This sense of authenticity is reflected in the menu, which features a wide variety of dishes to cater for all tastes – each lovingly prepared using locally-sourced ingredients and genuine Thai flavours by Mee and his team.

We started with the Sommai Thai platter – a mouth-watering combination of Thai prawn toast, chicken and prawn spring rolls, red chicken wings and deep-fried tiger prawns, accompanied by a range of sauces and dips.

Thai-curry

One of the authentic curry dishes at Sommai Thai

Next to arrive were two of our favourite Thai dishes – a sweet green curry and a peanut curry. Both were bursting with flavour and served in authentic porcelain bowls.

These delicacies were soon joined by an amazing salad, where finely sliced beef was combined with chilli and a liberal sprinkling of coriander to create a sublimely fresh combination.

A sizzling spicy duck stir-fry completed our feast, with bowls of sticky rice and soft noodles the perfect complement to the aromatic spices, lemongrass and lime leaves which infuse each dish.

yum-neua-thai-salad

Yum Neua – a delicious Thai salad with beef, chilli and coriander

Although our meal consisted largely of meat and seafood dishes, vegetarians are well catered for, with spicy tofu stir-fry being just one of several tasty meat-free options.

We could only manage fresh slices of chilled watermelon for dessert, but diners with a sweet tooth (and larger appetites!) can enjoy Thai pancakes with ice cream, banana fritters and mor gaeng – a delicious Thai custard with a flan-like consistency.

From sampling the menu at Sommai Thai, it’s clear that chef Mee has lost none of his passion for creating amazing dishes. Visit www.sommaithai.co.uk or call 01384 380062 to discover why The Greyhound in Swindon is set to become one of the leading Thai restaurants and takeaways in the Black Country.

Staff-at-Sommai-Thai

Head chef Mee, manager Pattra and owner Sommai

friendly-staff-at-sommai-thai

Friendly staff at Sommai Thai are on hand to ensure a great dining experience

thai-wooden-sculpture

Authentic wooden sculptures at Sommai Thai help complete the experience

 

 

Black Country friends say ‘Balls to Cancer’ with 62.5 mile challenge

black-country-runners

The four friends celebrate after completing their gruelling run recently

Four friends from the Black Country have completed a once in a lifetime challenge this weekend and raised over £6,500 for a local charity in the process.

Dave Bytheway, Ian Bytheway, Nick Cockburn and Nigel Bolton ran 62.5 miles from Richmond Park in London to Brighton Racecourse in under 15 hours.

 

The intrepid quartet, who came up with the fundraising idea over a few pints in the local, smashed their fundraising target by over £1500 and will now buy Balls to Cancer its first pop-up screening clinic.

This investment will be taken to events across the UK to provide a discreet place for men to be checked out for all forms of cancer in the hope that early detection will save lives.

“When we dreamed up this challenge none of us thought we’d actually hit the 15 hour mark, let alone beat it by nearly 15 minutes…it’s a great feeling, especially when we saw how much we had eventually raised,” explained Dave, who is a director at Bytheway Accountants in Sedgley.

“Running 62.5 miles or 100km was hard work, especially in the heat and up some big hills, including the famous South Downs as you come into Brighton.”

He continued: “We all stayed together as a team and to see so many of our friends and family at the finishing line made it all worthwhile. The fact we managed to raise so much money and can now help Balls to Cancer buy the pop-up screening clinic was the icing on the cake.”

London to Brighton Challenge

Team Running on Empty spent six months getting ready for the London to Brighton Challenge.

This involved a 500-mile training programme, which included two ultra races, 4 marathons, 2 half marathons and the infamous Groundhog Marathon – 105 laps of Telford Athletic Stadium.

The hard work paid off, with the Black Country runners finishing in the top 150, out of a total of 1900 runners, joggers and walkers.

Nigel Bolton, a firefighter at Walsall Fire Station, picked up the story: “All of this has only been made possible thanks to the backing of some great local companies that have helped us buy training equipment and got our fundraising efforts off to a flying start.

“With this in mind, a big thank you to Bytheway Accountants, Conveyor Units, J Hartill Installations, Danks Cockburn Communications and Jacks Café and Bar in Wolverhampton.”

Team Running on Empty is planning its next big challenge, with early talks focusing on a 100-mile run next year.

Donations to Balls to Cancer are still welcome by visiting www.justgiving.com/londonbrighton2013.

Find us on Google+

No Ugly Ducklings at Swan Inn Ladies’ Fayre

lady-relaxing

Feel pampered at the forthcoming Ladies’ Fayre in Sedgley

Sedgley ladies can feel pampered and preened in time for summer with a packed programme of fun and retail therapy coming soon to the Swan Inn.

The Ladies’ Fayre event will be held on Thursday, May 30, at the popular pub in Gospel End Street, Sedgley, from 6.30-9.30pm.

Entry is free, children are welcome and there is also a beer garden and outside play area should the sun be shining! Mickey and Minnie Mouse will also be popping in to put a smile on youngsters’ faces from 6.30-7.30pm.

Organiser, Shelley Simpson, has put together a superb range of stalls for visitors to enjoy, including:

Belle’s Baby Boutique: Belle specialises in personalised baby gifts and hampers. She will be there on the night with a large selection of clothes, gifts and accessories just for baby! Personalised orders can be ordered with her for collection on the night of the fayre.

LB Jewellery: Beautiful costume jewellery at fantastic prices, handbags, purses, scarves and lots more.

Charlie’s mom’s chocolate factory: Home-made chocolates, hot chocolate spoons and personalised chocolate pizzas!

Auntie Mary’s: Home-made soaps and bath bombs.

Molly’s Buttons: Handmade button brooches and wine charms, stunning items.

Enchanted Dove Release: A wonderful business providing a service for weddings/christenings/funerals with beautiful doves

Mrs Bouquet: Beautiful floral arrangements, sweet trees, balloons and lots more

Bodyshop at Home: Bodyshop products

Partylite: A chance to view Partylite products and also purchase on the night

Cute as a Button: Beautiful keepsake bears made from your babys own grows and vests

SpareLetters: Wooden names, plaques and more decorated to your own colour schemes

Forever Living products

This event promises to be a huge success and fun for all the family, with Shelly adding: “Parking is available on the night, but if the car park is full please use the car park at the back of Monty’s wine bar.”

The Swan Inn is situated in Gospel End Street, Sedgley, DY3 3LP.

Email Shelley at shelleybabybaskets@yahoo.co.uk for more information

 

Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine – a Tasty History of Dining Out in Wolverhampton

tandoori-chicken-wolverhampton

Tandoori chicken is now an essential dish of the menus of many local restaurants

Sedgley residents can get their teeth into a fascinating talk on how eating out locally has changed over the years at the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society.

The talk, Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine, will take place on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley after a brief Annual General Meeting.

Samantha Badger, winner of the 2012 Wolverhampton Local History Symposium, aims to tickle the tastebuds with her presentation tracing the history of eating out and takeaways in Wolverhampton. Her diligent research has unearthed great stories from 1800 to 1970, so on the way, expect to hear about Black Country favourites such as pies, fish and chips and the advent of more exotic foods.

During the talk, Sam will be serving up a feast of historical titbits (sorry no food!) in what promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

As usual visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1.

st-johns-kates-hill-dudley

St John’s Church, Kates Hill, Dudley

Sedgley Local History Society June Visit

Thursday, June 13 will see Sedgley Local History Society embark on an  evening visit to St. John’s Church in Kates Hill, guided by this historic landmark’s  preservation group.

As previously mentioned on this site, St John’s is a building of huge historical significance which dates back to 1840. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, is patron of the preservation group, which works hard to raise awareness and generate support for this worthy local campaign.

This event will be starting at 7pm from the adjacent car park in St. John’s Road, access from Waddam’s Pool.  Coffee/tea and biscuits will be provided.

Anyone wishing to visit St. John’s should contact Sedgley Local History Society’s George Blackham via email as this will help them organise the evening.

Discover why females and real ale are a beautiful combination

marverine-cole-beer-beauty

TV presenter Marverine Cole will be inviting local ladies to sample the best regional real ales

Sarah Hughes, Ma Pardoe, Sally Perry. Throughout Sedgley and the rest of the Black Country, women have always played an integral part in the history of real ale. And, with the numbers of women drinking real ale on the increase, local ladies who’d like to learn more about the region’s fine brewing heritage can put their taste buds to the test this week.

An evening of ale and fun is guaranteed at The Jolly Crispin this Thursday, 18th April, as part of CAMRA’s Community Pubs Month, hosted by Sedgley’s newest purveyors of fine crafted ales, Fownes Brewing Company.

For the ladies, the fun begins at 6pm in the lounge, with an ale tasting session hosted by Marverine Cole (Beer Beauty). Tickets are £10 in advance, purchased either from The Jolly Crispin or directly from the brewery by emailing info@fownesbrewing.co.uk. Ticket holders will have great fun trying a range of Fownes ales, learning about foods that match well with particular beer styles and get a Fownes Brewery bag. Marverine is an accredited beer sommelier who appears regularly on TV and will ensure all the ladies come away having enjoyed themselves and being more knowledgeable about beer. So, why not get a group of friends together and come along for a great evening out?

From 8pm gents will be able to rejoin the ladies in the lounge and listen to Ali Capper from the British Hop Association talk about the UK hop industry and the essential ingredient British farmers produce for traditional English beers. Also, John Edgar will be performing the latest instalment in the tale of Korvak to celebrate the launch of Korvak’s Triumph: Honey Porter.

Those loyal customers who’ve finished collecting all 8 ales on their card and returned them by the 31st March will receive their Fownes Brewing Co. T-shirts.

On the bar will be three new Fownes ales: Korvak’s Triumph: 5.2% Honey Porter, Storyteller: 4.7%  Bitter and Best of British Hops: 4.3% Cascade. Guests can also enjoy a range of food made with Fownes’ ales, including Frost Hammer beer biscuits and Korvak’s beer cake as well as a large cake shaped like a hop cone.

The bearded drinking fraternity can also take part in the brewery’s  Beard of the Year competition by having their photo taken and submitted to the website.