New history book ‘Reflections of Old Walsall’ out soon!

Reflections of Old Walsall - proof cover.

Good news!  My latest book for Walsall Local History Centre – Reflections of Old Walsall – has gone to press, and it should be on sale at the beginning of December, all being well.

The illustrated A5 format softback book is a compilation of the original, uncut texts of twenty of my Local Heritage articles which were written on behalf of Walsall Local History Centre for my monthly feature in the Walsall Chronicle newspaper.  As such, the first published versions are long out of print.  The articles in the new book also have their original titles, which were often changed by the Chronicle’s editors!

Each article as published in the book comprises 3-4 pages with 3 or 4 period photographs, so the book will be ideal for dipping into, especially as the subjects focus on numerous surprising, quirky and often forgotten aspects of the area’s history and its people from ancient times to the 1970s.

The article titles are:

  • A Bridge By Any Other Name
  • Bentley’s ‘Giant’s Causeway’
  • Things that Go Bump in the Borough…
  • From the Earth to the Moon – Highgate Windmill
  • From Red Books to the Red Planet – W. H. Robinson
  • One Man and His Books (to say nothing of the dog)
  • Remembering Aldridge’s Naval VC
  • Sister Dora and the Steam Engine
  • The Battle of Walsall
  • When Sherlock Holmes came to Walsall
  • Better than Blackpool: Walsall’s Victorian Tramways
  • An Englishman’s Castle: Council housing in Walsall
  • From Dixon of Dock Green to Gene Hunt
  • Flaming brilliant: Walsall Fire Brigade
  • From Guild Hall to Civic Centre
  • Going to the ‘flicks’ in ‘Sixties Walsall
  • From Borneo Street to the Stars
  • The Hinsley Enigma – Decoded
  • From Birchills to Beijing – Sir Harry S. Parkes
  • Remembering Harold Parry – Bloxwich War Poet

I won’t tell you the exact content – that would spoil the surprises, and there are some big ones, especially if you don’t know much about Walsall’s history beyond its once-famed leather industry!  Even the Sister Dora article takes a very different track…

Not only is this a great chance for readers to enjoy some of the most fascinating tales of people, places and history in Walsall Metropolitan Borough which I’ve shed light on over the past twelve years, but fans of the newspaper series can also enjoy the missing bits which successive Chronicle editors have chopped out for editorial reasons!

The pictures are also printed in better quality than was possible in newsprint – and in some cases the original photos have been replaced with better and often unpublished images that have come to light in the years since their newspaper publication.

I hope that Reflections of Old Walsall will prove popular, certainly I feel that it offers a lot that you won’t find in other history books about the borough. 

The 72pp plus 4pp cover book will be on sale at Walsall Local History Centre (telephone 01922 721305) and at Waterstone’s book store in Park Street, Walsall, once stock has been received from the printers.  Possibly at Walsall Museum and Walsall Leather Museum as well – to be confirmed. 

The price will be just £6.99 (postage extra if by mail order).  You can also still get my previous book Billy Meikle’s Window on Walsall for a fiver!

If anyone wants a signed copy, I’m very happy to do this for you.

I hope there will be one or two promotional events as well, including a book launch which is being discussed.

More news in due course!

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