Category Archives: Events

Bloxwich Wakes 2018 – in pictures

Several distinctive Pat Collins trucks
Several distinctive Pat Collins trucks

With the absence of Bloxwich Carnival this year, Pat Collins Funfair, long associated with both the carnival and Bloxwich itself, stepped in to fill the gap with a new (but actually old) event, the Bloxwich Wakes Festival, on Friday – Sunday 3rd-5th August 2018. And although the event didn’t draw the crowds that the carnival usually does, especially on Sunday, charity stallholders have reported a worthwhile turnout.

Stuart Williams of The Bloxwich Telegraph visited the wakes in brilliant sunshine on the Sunday to meet participants and take pictures for this photo feature.

Pat Collins Bloxwich Fete & Gala, Wakes Ground, 1965
Pat Collins Bloxwich Fete & Gala, Wakes Ground, 1965

The tradition of Bloxwich wakes goes back centuries, but from the late 1800s-early 1900s, Pat Collins, ‘King of Showmen’ and proprietor of the original Pat Collins Funfair, used to hold the Bloxwich Wakes, later officially known as Pat Collins Fete & Gala, here in the village every August, and it was a much-anticipated local tradition  until the Collins family left in the early 1970s.

Pat Collins Funfair is no Mickey Mouse operation!
Pat Collins Funfair is no Mickey Mouse operation!

The ‘wakes ground’ site is now the ASDA supermarket car park, but in modern times, Pat Collins Funfair has traditionally been held in the King George V Memorial Playing Fields, near to the entrance in Bealey’s Lane, Bloxwich.

Revellers were guaranteed a super welcome
Revellers were guaranteed a super welcome

The ‘new’ Bloxwich Wakes Festival was organised by the modern proprietors of the current Pat Collins Funfair, Mr Anthony Harris and family, and in the spirit of the old Bloxwich Wakes offered not only their traditional giant funfair, but also arena events on the Saturday and Sunday with live music, plus live wrestling, charity stalls and more.  Naturally, though, the real star was all the fun of the fair, as it always was with Bloxwich Wakes!

Traditional wrestling, 1970s style!
Traditional wrestling, 1970s style!

To view a larger image, just click on any of the pictures shown here.

Owen Allen and Demi Woods of Thespian Arts were amongst the performers
Owen Allen and Demi Woods of Thespian Arts were amongst the performers

Janet Cook, a fundraiser for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Janet Cook, a fundraiser for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

For info on the Bloxwich Branch of the Royal British Legion, follow this link, or the RBL and the Poppy Appeal in general, via this link.

Becky Weeks, Suzanne Williams and Cheryl Jones of Walsall RSPCA
Becky Weeks, Suzanne Williams and Cheryl Jones of Walsall RSPCA

For more info on the Walsall Branch of the RSPCA, follow this link.

Bryan Tilt, fundraiser for St Giles Hospice Walsall
Bryan Tilt, fundraiser for St Giles Hospice Walsall

For more info on St Giles Hospice, follow this link.

Shelby Hillback, Sadie Allen and Owen Allen of Thespian Arts
Shelby Hillback, Sadie Allen and Owen Allen of Thespian Arts

For more info on Thespian Arts, who are based in Clayhanger, follow this link.

Donkey rides - seaside style!
Donkey rides – seaside style!

The ever-popular Alfonso Urso serves from his classic BMC ice cream van
The ever-popular Alfonso Urso serves from his classic BMC ice cream van

For more info on Alfonso & Son’s Icecream, follow this link.

Riding high on the Super Star!
Riding high on the Super Star!

Crash-bang-wallop on the Dodgems!
Crash-bang-wallop on the Dodgems!

Scream - you know you want to!
Scream – you know you want to!

Shooting Gallery and Hook a Duck
Shooting Gallery and Hook a Duck

Flash dancing on the Tagada
Flash dancing on the Tagada

The Ghost Train and bungee jumping
The Ghost Train and bungee jumping

Going for a spin on The Sizzler
Going for a spin on The Sizzler

Your chance to fly Super Star!
Your chance to fly Super Star!

Definitely a Sunday Smackdown in progress
Definitely a Sunday Smackdown in progress

All pictures copyright Stuart Williams. Persons pictured may post these images on their Facebook pages, but no other publication or commercial use is allowed without permission.

For information on future events, be sure to keep an eye on the Pat Collins Funfair Facebook page and the company website.

 

Bloxwich Wakes return as new Festival

Bloxwich Wakes Poster 2018

With the absence of Bloxwich Carnival this year, Pat Collins Funfair, long associated with both the carnival and Bloxwich itself, has stepped in to fill the gap with a new (but actually old) event, the Bloxwich Wakes Festival, on Friday – Sunday 3rd-5th August 2018.

The tradition of Bloxwich wakes goes back centuries, but from the late 1800s-early 1900s, Pat Collins, ‘King of Showmen’ and proprietor of the original Pat Collins Funfair, used to hold the Bloxwich Wakes, later officially known as Pat Collins Fete & Gala, here in the village every August, and it was a much-anticipated local tradition  until the Collins family left in the early 1970s.

The ‘wakes ground’ site is now the ASDA supermarket car park, but in modern times, Pat Collins Funfair has traditionally been held in the King George V Memorial Playing Fields, near to the entrance in Bealey’s Lane, Bloxwich.

The ‘new’ Bloxwich Wakes Festival has been organised by the modern proprietors of the current Pat Collins Funfair, Mr Anthony Harris and family, and in the spirit of the old Bloxwich Wakes will offer not only their traditional giant funfair, but also arena events on the Saturday and Sunday with live music, plus live wrestling, charity stalls and more.

Opening hours are:

  • Friday 3rd August 2018  5pm-9pm
  • Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August 2018 11am-6pm.

Admission is free, but rides etc cost extra.

For more information, be sure to check out the Pat Collins Funfair Facebook page and the company website.

 

Bloxwich Model Railway Club exhibition this Saturday

Part of the 2014 Bloxwich exhibition
Part of the 2014 Bloxwich exhibition

This Saturday 21st May sees the seventh annual exhibition of the  popular Bloxwich (St. Johns) Model Railway Club, which is based at St John’s Methodist Church in Victoria Avenue, Bloxwich,  WS3 3HS.

Every element of a layout is painstakingly built up
Every element of a layout is painstakingly built up

The exhibition offers fun and fascination for young and old alike, showcasing a variety of layouts by invited guests with demonstrations and trade support, and most of the exhibits are appearing at Bloxwich (St John’s) for the first time.

The modellers' attention to detail can be amazing
The modellers’ attention to detail can be amazing

The exhibition is always well attended by exhibitors and modelling fans alike, and is a popular event on the Bloxwich calendar for all ages.

The exhibition, which is taking over the church and hall for the day, opens 10.00am – 4.30pm and admission costs £4 for adults, with concessions £3.50 and children  just £1.50.

Railway fun for all ages
Railway fun for all ages

List of Traders Attending : List of Layouts Attending :
Keith’s Model Railways
J & J Sales
Hobbyrail
12 Volts DC
Elaine’s Trains
Buffers Books
Minimum Gauge Models
Derby Trees
Kevin’s Trains
Shirley Harper Crafts
Deesle Park (00)
Pemberton (N)
Birchills (New) Junction (00)
Heath Green (00)
Bewdley (N)
Wansbeck Road (N)
Llantwy (009)
Nearleigh Works (0-16.5)
Motley Sub Shed (0)
Bettws Road (N)
Greenacre Yard
Journeys End (009)
Birkberg (H0e)
Fowlers Lane (0n30)
Brandeight (009)
Vigo Junction (00)
Board Street Sidings (00)
Franwood TMG (00)
List of Demonstrations : List of Other Displays :
Severn Models
Stuart Brasier
David Griffin
Ron Peach
Bloxwich (ST John’s)m.R.C. Club Stand
009 Society (Midlands)

For further information, contact the organisers on  07970 390258.

Pictures of past exhibitions shown here were taken by Stuart Williams of The Bloxwich Telegraph

Events at Forest Arts Centre

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Forthcoming events at Forest Arts Centre, Hawbush Road, Leamore, WS3 1AG.

LIVE MUSIC 

Thursday 3 September at 2pm and Thursday 1 October at 2pm
Senior Citizens Orchestra Concert

The Orchestra perform monthly concerts at Forest Arts Centre. Their programmes offer fabulous music and feature a whole range of classical favourites. Many concerts also include invited guests and performers.

Tickets: £1 Please note tickets can only be purchased 30 minutes before the start of the concert.

LIVE MUSIC

Wednesday 9 September at 1.30pm
The Carpenters Tribute Show

Popular vocalist and Forest Arts Centre favourite Nicky Moran, returns with her amazing Carpenters Tribute Show. The show offers a fabulous and nostalgic afternoon of entertainment with authentic costumes and musical arrangements. Reliving classic hits and household favourites such as Top of the World, Jambalaya and We’ve Only Just Begun, Nicky and her band perform wonderfully the beautiful music of The Carpenters.
Tickets: £6

FILM

Friday 11 September at 7.30pm
Evening Cinema “Birdman” (18)

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.

Tickets: £3 / £2 (concession) – Please note can only be purchased 30 minutes before the start of the film.

LIVE MUSIC

Thursday 17 – Saturday 19 September
7.30pm & 2.30pm Saturday matinee.

Walsall Operatic Society present “Something Old, Something New”

Following last year’s sell out performances, Walsall Operatic Society invites you to join in the celebration of its 60th anniversary concert.
This musical theatre extravaganza will span a wide variety of shows ranging from Easter Parade to Kinky Boots and from Chicago to Matilda. There promises to be something for everyone in this wonderful musical spectacular.

For further information regarding the show please contact 01922 477001 or email wostickets@walsalloperatic.com

Tickets: £10 & £5 (concession) – concession only applies for 2.30pm Saturday matinee performance. Continue reading Events at Forest Arts Centre

It’s Carnival Day in Bloxwich TODAY!

New Bloxwich Carnival Royalty for 2015
New Bloxwich Carnival Royalty for 2015

One of the most important days in the village calendar, indeed one of the most important in the district, takes place today, Saturday 1st August 2015.

The Bloxwich Carnival tradition dates right back to the Great War Peace Celebrations of 1919 when local men dressed in fancy dress and played football to raise funds for the soldiers who returned, and the widows and orphans of those who did not, as well as for local hospitals, and for local old folk – the latter being a tradition still carried on today by the current carnival committee with the time-honoured annual Senior Citizens Party which this year took place in the Stan Ball Centre due to the demolition of the traditional venue, the historic Bloxwich Baths Function Hall.

Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace)
Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace)

196 Squadron help out at Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace).jpg
196 Squadron help out at Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace).jpg

As in recent years, the 2015 Bloxwich Carnival is taking place entirely in King George V Playing Fields, and there will be no parade – but there will be a whole lot of fun for all the family!

The event is organised by just 8 volunteers – this year’s Bloxwich Carnival Committee – with the support of Walsall Council and local organisations including Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix and 196 (Walsall) Squadron Air Training Corps.

How much is it?

Amazingly, admission to Bloxwich Carnival this year, thanks to the generous financial support of whg (Walsal Housing Group) is the ultimate bargain in family entertainment – FREE FOR ALL!

You can, if you wish, make a donation on the gate.

When does it start?

Gates open TODAY at 12 noon at the Bealey’s Lane/Bell Lane corner entrance and at the Stafford Road entrance. There is no on-site parking, so you are recommended to arrive on foot.

What’s On?

The arena programme (see links to the main attractions below) runs till 4pm with the whole shebang concluding at 4.30pm, apart from Pat Collins’ Fun Fair, an essential part of the Bloxwich Carnival tradition, which will be close to the Bealey’s Lane/Bell Lane entrance as usual.

Flyin Ryan (pic courtesy Flyin Ryan)
Flyin Ryan (pic courtesy Flyin Ryan)

Rockwood Dog Display Team (pic Stuart WIlliams)
Rockwood Dog Display Team (pic Stuart WIlliams)

This year’s main attractions in the arena and around the field include:

The Flyin Ryan Motorcycle Stunt Show

Rockwood Dog Display Team

Mad Dom, stiltwalker and entertainer

Armitage Bird of Prey Centre

The main events will be happening in the central arena, with stalls and other attractions surrounding.  The timetable for the day is as follows:

Bloxwich Carnival 2015 Timetable
Bloxwich Carnival 2015 Timetable

The Bloxwich Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud (see below for details) will be crowned around 12.20pm   at the mobile stage adjacent to the event arena.

Bloxwich Carnival Royalty (from Bostin Bloxwich) - click to enlarge
Bloxwich Carnival Royalty (from Bostin Bloxwich) – click to enlarge

Watch out for our Bloxwich Carnival report and massive Flickr photo album a few days after the event in the Bloxwich Telegraph on WordPress.org – we’ll be giving the new link on this site and via Facebook and Twitter when we launch!

SEE YOU THERE!

Bloxwich Summer Fun Day next month

A ton of fun with rides, inflatables and bungee bouncing! (Attractions may differ. Past event pic Stuart Williams)
A ton of fun with rides, inflatables and bungee bouncing! (Attractions may differ. Past event pic Stuart Williams)

Families in Bloxwich and district can look forward to some fun in the sun in Bloxwich Park towards the end of next month – weather permitting!

Walsall Council has organised a series of Fun Days (see handbill below for details) around the borough, and the Bloxwich event is all set for Wednesday 26th August, 2015.

Summer revellers will be treated to a range of inflatable attractions, charity stalls, children’s rides, storytelling and face painting.  Free children’s entertainment will be provided.

There will also be refreshments stands and live music as in past years.

There may be age restrictions on some rides and some attractions will be chargeable.

As always, though, entry will be free between 10.30am – 4pm!

Fun Days

Visit Blakenall-on-the-Beach this Saturday!

It's Blakenall on the Beach! (all pics from past events by Stuart Williams)
It’s Blakenall on the Beach! (all pics from past events by Stuart Williams)

This Saturday will see Blakenall Heath in party mood again as hundreds of local people come together to enjoy the annual summer holiday on their doorstep!

Families are expected to flock to the Blakenall Village Centre on Thames Road for the now-traditional afternoon of old-school seaside fun for all ages – there’ll even be real sand for the kiddies to make castles!

It's Blakenall on the Beach! (all pics from past events by Stuart Williams)
It’s Blakenall on the Beach! (all pics from past events by Stuart Williams)

A host of activities for all will be laid on between 2pm – 4.30pm  – and admission is free (with small charges for some individual activities). Continue reading Visit Blakenall-on-the-Beach this Saturday!

Holiday fun in the sun at Blakenall-on-the-Beach

It's Blakenall on the Beach

Last Saturday afternoon saw Blakenall Heath in party mood as hundreds of local people came together to enjoy a summer holiday on their doorstep!

And families flocked to the Blakenall Village Centre on Thames Road for an afternoon of traditional seaside fun for all ages – there was even real sand for the kiddies to make castles!

Crowds of young and old alike turned out for seaside fun
Crowds of young and old alike turned out for seaside fun

Continue reading Holiday fun in the sun at Blakenall-on-the-Beach

Bloxwich partied in the park!

Party Banner outside the National School

Last year’s Olympic Torch Relay through Bloxwich concluded with the wonderful Party in the Park which was organised to complement that event by Bloxwich Business Partnership working with Walsall Council and other groups.

With that party being such a massive success, organiser Nikki Rolls  put together another pulse-pounding day of live music and family fun with the same partners for this year, and although there was no torch to bring in thousands from miles around this time, last Saturday’s Bloxwich Party in the Park was still popular – and great fun for all the family, as this special photo feature will show!

Loads of stalls for all
Loads of stalls for all

There was:

  • Live music.
  • Dance arena
  • Children’s rides including inflatables and go karts.
  • Summer stalls.
  • Display arena.
  • Picnic area.
  • Puppet shows.
  • Summer donkey rides.
  • Free face painting.
  • Free balloon modelling.
  • PLUS stiltwalker ‘Jack & The Beanstalk’.

Hidey-High - what's the weather like up there? "Great!"
Hidey-High – what’s the weather like up there? “Great!”

As well as all this, there was also a great live music programme, centred on Walsall Council’s mobile stage truck, and bands on stage included: West Coast Blues, Owd Yer Hosses, Becky’s Band (folk), Grey Goose Blues Band,The Jimmy Band (acoustic folk), Scarbelly Blues Band,G Bag/Stash (Hip Hop band), Enticement (an excellent function type band), and last but not least sixties-style covers band Owamya.

Continue reading Bloxwich partied in the park!

Get ready to party in Bloxwich Park this Saturday!

Bloxwich Party in the Park 640

Visitors to last year’s Olympic Torch Relay through Bloxwich may remember the wonderful Party in the Park which was organised to complement that event by Bloxwich Business Partnership working with Walsall Council and other groups.

Well, that party was such a massive success that organiser Nikki Rolls has put together another pulse-pounding day of live music and family fun with the same partners for this year – and it’s all taking place at the 2013 Bloxwich Party in the Park in Bloxwich Park this Saturday 29 June!

There’ll be:

  • Live music.
  • Dance arena
  • Children’s rides including inflatables and go karts.
  • Summer stalls.
  • Display arena.
  • Picnic area.
  • Puppet shows.
  • Summer donkey rides.
  • Free face painting.
  • Free balloon modelling.
  • PLUS stiltwalker ‘Jack & The Beanstalk’.

The Live Music programme for Saturday’s  Bloxwich Party in the Park is as follows:

  • 10am-10.30am  West Coast Blues (Blues Solo Graham A).
  • 10.45am-11.15am  Owd Yer Hosses, Becky’s Band (folk).
  • 11.30am-12noon  Grey Goose Blues Band.
  • 1.50pm-2.20pm  The Jimmy Band (acoustic folk).
  • 12.15pm-12.45pm  Scarbelly Blues Band.
  • 1pm – 1.30pm  G Bag/Stash (Hip Hop band).
  • 1.45pm-2.30pm  Enticement (function type band).
  • 2.45pm-3.45pm  Owamya (Sixties style covers band).

The event runs between 10am – 4pm in Bloxwich Park, off High Street, and admission is FREE!

For pictures and a report of last year’s Party in the Park, check out our Olympic Torch feature!

You can get more information on what’s happening and download the event posters by checking out the Bloxwich Town Centre Facebook page, where you can also contact Nikki Rolls or you can telephone her on 01922 654324.