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Walsall
Walsall
(/ˈwɔːlsɔːl/ ( listen) or /ˈwɒlsɔːl/) is an industrial town in the West Midlands of England. It is located 8 miles north-west of Birmingham
Birmingham
and 6 miles east of Wolverhampton. Historically part of Staffordshire, Walsall
Walsall
is a component area of the West Midlands conurbation. Walsall
Walsall
is the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Walsall. At the 2011 census, the town's built-up area had a population of 67,594,[1] with the wider borough having a population of 269,323.[2] Neighbouring settlements in the borough include Darlaston, Brownhills, Willenhall, Bloxwich
Bloxwich
and Aldridge.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early settlement 1.2 Industrial Revolution 1.3 First World War 1.4 20th century developments 1.5 Redevelopment and local government reorganisation

2 Geography

2.1 Suburbs and areas

3 Demography 4 Economy 5 Education 6 Religion 7 Transport 8 Culture

8.1 Arboretum
Arboretum
and illuminations 8.2 Art gallery 8.3 Museums 8.4 Public art 8.5 Literature 8.6 TV & Radio 8.7 Sports 8.8 Shopping

9 Recent changes 10 Notable residents

10.1 Politics 10.2 Acting 10.3 Writing 10.4 Music 10.5 TV & radio 10.6 Sport

11 Twin towns 12 References 13 External links

History[edit] Early settlement[edit]

Walsall
Walsall
in Medieval Times, 15th Century Watercolour by Henry Somerfield, The New Art Gallery Walsall
The New Art Gallery Walsall
permanent collection, 1976.278.P

View of Walsall
Walsall
in 1795, Engraving after Shaw, The New Art Gallery Walsall
Walsall
Permanent Collection 1976.102.P

The name Walsall
Walsall
is thought to have derived from the words "Walh halh", meaning "valley of the Welsh speakers" (referring to the Brythons). Walsall
Walsall
is first referenced as 'Walesho' in a document dated 1002. Possibly as a result of a clerical error,[citation needed] it is not referred to in the Domesday Book, while the settlements of Aldridge, Bescot, Shelfield, Pelsall, Bloxwich, Great Barr
Great Barr
and Rushall within the Metropolitan Borough are.[3] However, it is believed that a manor was held here by William FitzAnsculf, who held numerous manors in the Midlands.[4] By the first part of the 13th century, Walsall
Walsall
was a small market town, with the weekly market being introduced in 1220 and held on Tuesdays.[5] The mayor of Walsall
Walsall
was created as a political position in the 14th century. Queen Mary's Grammar School
Queen Mary's Grammar School
was founded in 1554, and the school carries the queen's personal badge as its emblem: the Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose
and the sheaf of arrows of Mary's mother Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
tied with a Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Knot.[6] The town was visited by Queen Elizabeth I, when it was known as 'Walshale'.[5] It was also visited by Henrietta Maria in 1643. She stayed in the town for one night at a building named the 'White Hart' in the area of Caldmore.[7] Industrial Revolution[edit] The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
changed Walsall
Walsall
from a village of 2,000 people in the 16th century to a town of over 86,000 in approximately 200 years. The town manufactured a wide range of products including saddles, chains, buckles and plated ware. Nearby, limestone quarrying provided the town with much prosperity.[8] In 1824, the Walsall
Walsall
Corporation received an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
to improve the town by providing lighting and a gasworks. The gasworks was built in 1826 at a cost of £4,000. In 1825, the corporation built eleven tiled, brick almshouses for poor women. They were known to the area as 'Molesley's Almshouses'.[9] The ' Walsall
Walsall
Improvement and Market Act' was passed in 1848 and amended in 1850. The Act provided facilities for the poor, improving and extending the sewerage system and giving the commissioners the powers to construct a new gas works.[10] On 10 October 1847, a gas explosion killed one person and destroyed the west window of St Matthew's Church.[11] Walsall
Walsall
finally received a railway line in 1847, 48 years after canals reached the town, Bescot having been served since 1838 by the Grand Junction Railway. In 1855, Walsall's first newspaper, the Walsall Courier and South Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Gazette, was published. The Whittimere Street drill hall was completed in 1866.[12]

19th-century painting of the racecourse, Bradford Street, Walsall, now in the collection of The New Art Gallery Walsall

First World War[edit] Over 2000 men from Walsall
Walsall
were killed in fighting during the First World War. They are commemorated by the town's cenotaph: which is located on the site of a bomb which was dropped by Zeppelin 'L 21' – killing the town's mayoress, and two others. Damage from the Zeppelin can still be seen on what is now a club on the corner of the main road, just opposite a furniture shop. A plaque commemorates the incident. The town also has a memorial to two local VC recipients, John Henry Carless[3] and Frederick Gibbs.[13] 20th century developments[edit] Walsall's first cinema opened in the town centre in 1908; however, the post World War II
World War II
decline in cinema attendances brought on by the rise in television ownership resulted in that and all of Walsall's other cinemas eventually being closed. The first Wurlitzer theatre organ in Great Britain was installed in the New Picture House [14] cinema in Lower Bridge Street in the town centre. It was later renamed the Gaumont then Odeon. Slum clearances began after the end of World War I, with thousands of 19th-century buildings around the town centre being demolished as the 20th century wore on, with new estates being built away from the town centre during the 1920s and 1930s. These were concentrated in areas to the north of the town centre such as Coal Pool, Blakenall Heath
Blakenall Heath
(where Walsall's first council houses were built in 1920), Goscote and Harden.[15] after the end of World War II, Beechdale.[16] Significant developments also took place nearer to the town centre, particularly during the 1960s when a host of tower blocks were built around the town centre; however, most of these had been demolished by 2010. The Memorial Gardens opened in 1952 in honour of the town's fallen combatants of the two world wars. The Old Square Shopping Centre, a modern indoor shopping complex featuring many big retail names, opened in 1969. The Old Square shopping centre is currently laying derelict, with shops set to open in the centre soon. Primark
Primark
and The Co-operative have opened in the former Tesco
Tesco
store, after the supermarket chained moved to Littleton Street by the college. A row of derelict shops were demolished in 2016, and rebuilt as a Poundland, which opened on Saturday 15 July 2017, and B & M, which opened on 17 August 2017. The Entertainer (Amersham) Ltd.
The Entertainer (Amersham) Ltd.
also opened a store on 21 October 2017. The County Borough of Walsall, which originally consisted of Walsall and Bloxwich, was expanded in 1966 to incorporate most of Darlaston and Willenhall, as well as small parts of Bilston
Bilston
and Wednesbury. The current Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
was formed in 1974 when Aldridge- Brownhills
Brownhills
Urban District was incorporated into Walsall. At the same time, Walsall
Walsall
was transferred from the historic county of Staffordshire
Staffordshire
to become part of the new West Midlands county. The Saddlers
The Saddlers
Centre, a modern shopping mall, opened in 1980, being refurbished within a decade. The Jerome K. Jerome
Jerome K. Jerome
museum, dedicated to the locally born author (1859–1927), was opened in 1984. The town's prolific leather industry was recognised in 1988 when the Princess Royal opened Walsall
Walsall
Leather Museum.[17] Redevelopment and local government reorganisation[edit] Walsall
Walsall
underwent modernisation in the 1970s with a new town centre being built at the expense of some medieval properties. In 1974, Walsall
Walsall
was transferred from the county of Staffordshire
Staffordshire
to form the metropolitan county of the West Midlands. Walsall
Walsall
is currently undergoing a new era of urban regeneration with many brownfield sites being replaced with modern houses, flats and offices. The Saddlers' Centre, a modern shopping complex, was opened in the town centre in 1980. This included a new Marks & Spencer department store.[18] Early 2000 saw the opening of The New Art Gallery Walsall
The New Art Gallery Walsall
in the north-west of the town centre near Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
Street, along with the new Crown Wharf Retail Park shortly afterwards.[17] Part of Park Street, the town's main shopping area, was redeveloped around the same time. The centrepiece of this redevelopment was the new British Home Stores department store, which relocated from St Paul's Street at the end of the 1990s.[19] Construction is[when?] ongoing in St Matthew's Quarters. A new Asda store opened in 2007 and when completed St Matthew's Quarters will also include brand shops and modern flats. Walsall College has moved to a new site within the town centre whilst on the old site Tesco
Tesco
has recently opened a new 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) shopping complex. The Savoy Cinema was a landmark on Park Street for more than half a century after its opening on 3 October 1938. It was refurbished in 1973 and became the Cannon Cinema after a takeover in 1986, but closed on 18 November 1993 after operating as a cinema for 55 years. It was demolished some 18 months later and the town's new Woolworth's store was built on its site.[20] The store closed down at the end of 2008 when the retailer went into liquidation,[21] and the building was re-occupied by a new T J Hughes
T J Hughes
department store which opened on 9 October 2009.[22] However, the building became vacant again on 14 August 2011 when financial difficulties led to T.J. Hughes pulling out of the town after less than two years of trading.[23] It was re-occupied two months later with the opening of a Poundland
Poundland
store in the building on 22 October that year.[24] Geography[edit]

Skip Lane looking east – parts of Walsall
Walsall
are semi-rural. Barr Beacon is on the horizon.

A local landmark is Barr Beacon, which is reportedly the highest point following its latitude eastwards until the Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
in Russia. The soil of Walsall
Walsall
consists mainly of clay with areas of limestone, which were quarried during the Industrial Revolution.[25] Suburbs and areas[edit] See also: List of areas in Walsall

Alumwell Beechdale Bentley Bescot Birchills Blakenall Heath Butts Caldmore Chuckery Coalpool Darlaston The Delves Fullbrook Forest Estate Goscote Great Barr Harden Highgate Leamore North Walsall Palfrey Park Hall Pelsall Pheasey Pleck Reedswood Rushall Ryecroft Shelfield Tamebridge

Demography[edit]

Walsall
Walsall
Compared

2001 UK Census Walsall Walsall
Walsall
MB West Midlands conurbation England

Total population 170,994 253,499 2,284,093 49,138,831

White 81.6% 86.4% 79.6% 90.9%

Asian 14.6% 10.5% 13.5% 4.6%

Black 1.7% 1.4% 3.9% 2.3%

Source: Office for National Statistics[26][27]

Population according to a Park Place Shopping Centre mural

The 2001 Census gives the Walsall
Walsall
Urban Subdivision as the fourth most populous in the West Midlands conurbation, with a total resident population of 170,994. The religious distribution of Walsall
Walsall
Metropolitan Borough can be said to be roughly 80% Christian, 10% Muslim, 6% Sikh, 3% Hindu 1% Other. Within the Walsall
Walsall
urban area the distribution can said to be roughly, 60% Christian, 25% Muslim, 12% Sikh, 6% Hindu and 2% other. However the 2008 British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) shows, in Britain, those who profess no-religion have risen from 31% to 43% between 1983 and 2008. In 2009, this was found to have further risen to 51%. Conversely, in 1983 66% identified as Christian, in 2008 the number was 50%. In 2009, this further declined to 43%.[citation needed] The Walsall
Walsall
dialect is often referred to as "Yam-Yam". The accent is often incorrectly referred to as a Brummie
Brummie
accent by people from outside the West Midlands. Economy[edit] Walsall
Walsall
has had many industries, from coal mining to metal working. In the late 19th century, the coal mines ran dry, and Walsall
Walsall
became internationally famous for its leather trade. Walsall
Walsall
still manufactures the Queen's handbags, saddles for the Royal family and leathergoods for the Prince of Wales. Walsall
Walsall
is the traditional home of the English saddle manufacturing industry, hence the nickname of Walsall
Walsall
Football Club, "the Saddlers". Apart from leather goods, other industries in Walsall
Walsall
include iron and brass founding, limestone quarrying, small hardware, plastics, electronics, chemicals and aircraft parts. Walsall's location in Central England
England
and the fact that the M6 runs through the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
has increased its investment appeal. The main RAC control centre is located in Walsall close by J9 of the M6 and there are now plans to redevelop derelict land in nearby Darlaston
Darlaston
and turn it into a state-of-the-art regional centre. Between Bloxwich
Bloxwich
and Walsall
Walsall
there is a business corridor where TK Maxx
TK Maxx
has recently opened a regional depot. Currently established businesses include Homeserve plc
Homeserve plc
and South Staffordshire Water. Education[edit] See also: List of schools in Walsall Walsall
Walsall
is home to the University of Wolverhampton's Sports and Art Campus and School of Education, all part of the Walsall
Walsall
Campus in Gorway Road, which includes a student village. Walsall
Walsall
College provides further education, and is based around three sites across Walsall. There are ten secular junior schools and two religious junior schools in the town of Walsall. Walsall
Walsall
also houses many secondary schools, including comprehensives, academies, private and grammar schools (Namely Queen Mary's Grammar School
Queen Mary's Grammar School
for Boys and Queen Mary's High School For Girls). The age of transfer to secondary school throughout the borough is 11 years, although the Aldridge- Brownhills
Brownhills
area of the borough had a system of 5–9 first, 9–13 middle and 13–18 secondary schools until 1986, as the former urban district council of this area had adopted the three-tier system in 1972. Schools within the borough are administered by Walsall
Walsall
MBC.SERCO. Religion[edit]

St Martins Church

In 1821, St. Matthew's Church was demolished with exception of the tower and chancel and replaced at a cost of £20,000[8] to a design by Francis Goodwin.[28] St Martin's Church was consecrated in 1960 to serve the suburban housing estates of Orchard Hills, Brookhouse and Park Hall. Mellish Road Methodist Chapel, built 1910, had to be demolished in 2011, due to subsidence.[29] There are numerous Islamic centres and organizations in Walsall: the main mosque in Walsall
Walsall
is Ghausia Mosque. There are also Aisha Mosque,[30], Masjid
Masjid
Usman and its two sister mosques Shahjalal[31] and Jalalia. There is also a mosque called Ghausia Mosque [32]. There is an Islamic deobandi school and nursery called Abu Bakr Trust. Most of these mosques are within 10 minutes walk of each other, located in the adjoining areas of Caldmore
Caldmore
and Palfrey, just south of the town centre. The Birchills
Birchills
neighbourhood is home to Jamia Masjid. There is also an Islamic Centre Known as Central Mosque which is in the Chuckery
Chuckery
situated within the south east of Walsall. Transport[edit] Walsall Bus Station
Walsall Bus Station
is made up of two smaller bus stations, Bradford Place Bus Station and St Paul's Bus Station, one being larger than the other and providing more services. Over 90 bus routes operated by eleven bus operators serve Walsall. Services from St Paul's Bus Station leave Walsall
Walsall
in many directions; there are services south-east to Birmingham; west to Wolverhampton, Willenhall, north to Bloxwich, Cannock
Cannock
and Brownhills; and east to Sutton Coldfield and Aldridge, with many to the latter. In addition, more infrequent services run to Lichfield. St Paul's is also home to the Walsall Information Centre. Bradford Place mainly operates buses to the south and south-west, to West Bromwich, Oldbury, Dudley
Dudley
and Stourbridge. There are also numerous shorter bus routes leaving from both stations which give the town centre a link to housing estates including Alumwell, Beechdale, Chuckery, Park Hall and the Mossley Estate. Walsall railway station
Walsall railway station
is situated on Station Street in the town centre and is also accessible from the Saddlers shopping centre. There are typically four trains per hour from the station to Birmingham
Birmingham
and one train per hour to Rugeley with fewer trains in the evenings and on Sundays. There is also a suburban station at Bescot. Walsall
Walsall
is extremely well connected within the UK road network as it is served by the M6 which connects the M1 motorway
M1 motorway
towards London
London
and M74 motorway
M74 motorway
towards Glasgow. There are three nearby junctions which serve Walsall
Walsall
on the M6 motorway: J7, J9 and J10. The stretch between these junctions is one of the busiest in Europe. The town is also served by A34 road
A34 road
which connects Manchester
Manchester
and the M42 motorway towards London, and is connected regionally by the A454 Black Country route. A tram service was erected in the town towards the end of the 19th century and ran until 2 October 1933.[33] Walsall Aerodrome
Walsall Aerodrome
operated from the 1930s until 1956.[34][35] The nearest airport to Walsall
Walsall
is Birmingham
Birmingham
Airport, which is located within 30 minutes drive. The Midland Metro
Midland Metro
have currently got services that run from Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
St George's tram stop to Grand Central tram stop
Grand Central tram stop
and soon the metro will run and operate a tram extension from north of the former Wednesbury
Wednesbury
Town railway station across Potter Lane to a stop near Brierley Hill
Brierley Hill
which will see the metro line use the corridor from Wednesbury
Wednesbury
Town to Dudley
Dudley
before running street level and back onto the track at Canal Street before branching off to Merry Hill and a tram stop at Brierley Hill. The corridor section from Walsall
Walsall
to Wednesbury
Wednesbury
Town has been preserved for freight traffic to use to Round Oak Steelworks
Round Oak Steelworks
in the near future. It is possible that the metro extension will look to run an extension to Walsall
Walsall
via Bescot but will utilize the line with either people carriers or tram-trains. Walsall
Walsall
was also to be part of the former '5' Ws scheme which would have connected it to Wolverhampton, Wednesfield, Willenhall
Willenhall
and Wednesbury. Walsall
Walsall
Council decided to pull Walsall
Walsall
and Willenhall
Willenhall
out of the scheme in favor of reopening the line to Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
to passengers via Darlaston
Darlaston
and Willenhall
Willenhall
but the plans have since to rebuild new stations have been shelved indefinelty. Culture[edit]

White Hart, Caldmore
Caldmore
Oil painting by an unknown artist, The New Art Gallery Walsall
Walsall
permanent collection, 1976.088.P

Arboretum
Arboretum
and illuminations[edit] Walsall Arboretum
Walsall Arboretum
was officially opened on 4 May 1874 by the wealthy Hatherton family. It was hoped that the park would provide "a healthy change from dogfights, bull-baiting and cockfights", however the 2d (old pence) admission was not popular with the public and within seven years the council took over ownership to provide free admission. Among the attractions available were two boating lakes on the sites of former quarries, tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, and later – in the extension – a children's play area and paddling pool.[36] Over the years the Arboretum
Arboretum
has seen many events and changes, including the beginnings of the Walsall Arboretum
Walsall Arboretum
Illuminations as an annual event in 1951.[37] Originally white bulbs in trees for courting couples in the autumn, in the 1960s and 1970s, the lights were purchased secondhand from Blackpool Illuminations, but over the years they were increasingly made "in house" and now all are. The Illuminations had up to sixty thousand bulbs and took year-round planning.[38] Although the event had attracted an estimated 250,000 people in 1995, lack of growth beyond this figure has raised the prospect of major redevelopment as the light shows have been exactly the same for a number of years.[39] In February 2009, Walsall
Walsall
council announced that the Illuminations would not take place in 2009, 2010 and 2011.[40]

Walsall's new art gallery

In January 2010, it was announced that the Illuminations had been permanently scrapped and would be replaced by other events such as concerts and laser shows throughout the year.[41] The existing lights would be sold off where possible to interested parties. Art gallery[edit] The New Art Gallery Walsall
The New Art Gallery Walsall
opened in 2000. Named, as was its predecessor, the E M Flint Gallery in memory of Ethel Mary Flint, head of art at Queen Mary's Grammar School, an exhibitor at the Royal Academy, and a former mayor of Walsall, it contains a large number of works by Jacob Epstein
Jacob Epstein
as well as works by Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, Renoir and Constable. The large gallery space is host to temporary exhibitions. Museums[edit] Walsall
Walsall
has two museums, Walsall Museum and Walsall
Walsall
Leather Museum. Walsall Museum features local history objects primarily from the manufacturing trades and also has a space for temporary exhibitions, while the leather museum displays a mixture of leather goods and has recreations of leatherworkers workshops. Public art[edit]

Statue of Sister Dora

The refurbished Sister Dora
Sister Dora
statue stands at the crossroads of Park Street and Bridge Street. Opposite this stood a locally famous concrete hippopotamus,[42] which has since been moved to a corner of the square and replaced by a fountain. The hippo was designed by local architect and sculptor John Wood. Literature[edit] Though the novelist and essayist Jerome K. Jerome
Jerome K. Jerome
was born in the town, he never wrote about it. Some writers have, including the Walsall
Walsall
born John Petty (1919–1973) who set a number of his books in Walsall, most famously Five Fags a Day (1956). More recently the comic novelist Paul McDonald has used Walsall
Walsall
as a location for Surviving Sting (2001) and Kiss Me Softly, Amy Turtle (2004).[43][44] TV & Radio[edit] Big Centre TV, the local television channel covering Birmingham
Birmingham
and the Black Country, is based in Walsall
Walsall
town centre. Sports[edit] Walsall's football club, Walsall
Walsall
F.C., the Saddlers, was founded in 1888 when Walsall Town F.C.
Walsall Town F.C.
and Walsall Swifts F.C.
Walsall Swifts F.C.
merged. They won their first game against Aston Villa. The club currently play in Football League One. There are also a number of non-league football clubs based within the borough. Walsall
Walsall
has a cricket club, Walsall Cricket Club who won Birmingham League Premier Division in 2006. Walsall
Walsall
RUFC is Walsall's rugby union team which is currently competing in Midlands 1 West. Aldridge
Aldridge
and Walsall
Walsall
Hockey Club currently plays in the West Midlands Premier League and is managed by Sir Mark Grundy. Walsall
Walsall
was also once home to Formula 1
Formula 1
constructor Ensign Racing, in Walsall
Walsall
Wood from 1973 to 1980, before moving to Chasetown. Walsall
Walsall
was home to a horse racing course. The grandstand was constructed in 1809 at a cost of £1,300 on a piece of land donated by the Earl of Bradford
Earl of Bradford
on a lease of 99 years. Soon after completion, one of the lower compartments was converted into a billiards room, which contained a table donated by Lord Chichester Spencer of Fisherwick Park. Throughout the 19th century, races were held annually at the racecourse at Michaelmas.[45] Shopping[edit] In 1809, a market house was constructed at the end of High Street, on the site of the market cross, for the sale of poultry, eggs, butter and dairy produce. The building was demolished in 1852 along with other buildings that had fallen into disrepair.[46] A pig market was constructed in the town in 1815 on High Street. At its peak, the market would handle the sale of 2,000 pigs per day.[47] In 1847, the corporation tried to construct a new market hall on the 'Bowling Green', to the rear of the Dragon Inn. The scheme proposed to use a large amount of public money to construct the hall. Shopkeepers feared that their businesses would be affected and demonstrations were held across the town against the proposals. The demonstrations forced the plans to be shelved.[10] Walsall
Walsall
town centre is fast becoming the most popular shopping destination in the Black Country. This is due to the ample supply of free or extremely cheap parking available within the town centre. This is primarily due to two large 24 Hour supermarkets; Tesco
Tesco
and Asda, located on opposite sides of the town centre, not charging for parking all day. Crown Wharf Retail Park remains the most popular area of shopping. It houses the first non-food Asda
Asda
store named Asda
Asda
Living as well as popular shops and restaurants such as Outfit, Smyths Toys, Bank, T.K. Maxx, River Island, Next, Peacocks, Starbucks
Starbucks
and Nando's. Park Street remains Walsall's main shopping high street. Well-known retailers such as New Look, Marks & Spencer, Deichmann, USC and Primark
Primark
are all located on this fully pedestrianized high street. There is one main shopping mall 'Bradford Mall' formerly known as the 'Saddlers Centre' and two smaller malls located in the town centre. 'The Old Square' shopping mall houses Debenhams
Debenhams
and other smaller retailers while 'Quasar Centre' now known as 'Park Place Shopping Centre' houses Wilko's and the other smaller retailers. Other shopping destinations include Broadwalk Retail Park and Reedswood Retail Park. The area around Walsall Art Gallery
Walsall Art Gallery
is under redevelopment. A new Premier Inn
Premier Inn
hotel has opened and soon to open a new cinema as well as popular restaurants. There is also a second cinema to be opened across the road opposite Tesco
Tesco
which will also house popular restaurants. Recent changes[edit] Projects due for completion in 2009 and 2010 include Walsall
Walsall
Manor Hospital redevelopment worth £174 million, the new Walsall
Walsall
College worth £65 million, the Waterfront South development worth £60 million and the St. Matthew's Quarter worth more than £25 million. Other projects with approval include £500 million Walsall
Walsall
Gigaport which is a high-speed fibre optic internet environment for national and international businesses, Waterfront North development worth £65 million and the Waterfront Lex development.[48][49] Walsall
Walsall
Transport Package worth £17 million was also due for completion in 2009 but was actually completed earlier, allowing the early opening of a £55 million supermarket development to create scores of extra jobs. This is an overall development of roads in and out of Walsall
Walsall
town centre as well as those towards Walsall Arboretum.[50] [51] Notable residents[edit]

Francis Asbury

John Henry Carless, VC

Francis Asbury
Francis Asbury
(1745 Hamstead Bridge – 1816) joint founder [52] of the Methodist movement in the United States, brought up in Gt Barr, emigrated 1771 Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison, better known as Sister Dora
Sister Dora
(1832 - 1878) Anglican nun [53] and a nurse in Walsall. She is honoured for her compassion and her medical work by a statue in the centre of town Rev Harry Moore Dauncey (1863 in Walsall
Walsall
- 1932) missionary [54] in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
1888 - 1928 Tom Major-Ball (1879 in Bloxwich
Bloxwich
– 1962) music hall and circus performer [55] and father of John Major, former Prime Minister John Henry Carless
John Henry Carless
VC (1896 in Walsall
Walsall
– 1917) recipient of the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
[56] during the First World War. Frederick Gibbs MC (born 1899 in Walsall) World War I
World War I
Flying Ace
Flying Ace
[57] Air Vice-Marshal Sidney Webster CBE AFC (1900 in Walsall
Walsall
– 1984) aviator [58] and senior officer in the RAF, he flew the winning aircraft in the 1927 Schneider Trophy
Schneider Trophy
seaplane race Sir Harry Hinsley
Harry Hinsley
OBE (1918 in Birchills
Birchills
– 1998) historian and cryptanalyst, [59] worked at Bletchley Park Sir Terence Beckett KBE (1923 in Walsall
Walsall
– 2013) businessman, [60] chairman of Ford and later became director-general of the Confederation of British Industry. Raymond Morris (1929 in Walsall
Walsall
- 2014) convicted of the Cannock
Cannock
Chase murders in the late 1960s, served 45 years in prison Sir Len Peach (1932 in Walsall
Walsall
– 2016) Chief Executive [61] of the National Health Service
National Health Service
1986 - 1989. Michael L. Fitzgerald (born Walsall
Walsall
in 1937) Roman Catholic prelate, [62] an expert on Muslim-Christian relations, holds the rank of archbishop, he was the papal nuncio to Egypt in 2012 when he retired, attended Queen Mary's Grammar School Martin Fowler
Martin Fowler
(born 1963 in Walsall) software developer, [63] educated at Queen Mary's Grammar School
Queen Mary's Grammar School
emigrated to USA in 1994 Nick Redfern (born 1964 in Pelsall) best-selling author, [64] and active advocate of official government disclosure of UFO information, attended Pelsall
Pelsall
Comprehensive School 1976 - 1981, now lives in Dallas, Texas,

Politics[edit]

Valerie Vaz
Valerie Vaz
MP, 2017

Sir Harmar Nicholls (1912 in Walsall
Walsall
– 2000) Conservative Party politician, [65] MP for Peterborough 1950 - 1974 David Ennals, Baron Ennals
David Ennals, Baron Ennals
PC (1922 in Walsall
Walsall
– 1995) Labour Party politician, [66] educated at Queen Mary's Grammar School, MP for Dover 1964 - 1970 and Norwich North 1974 - 1983; he served as Secretary of State for Social Services 1976 - 1979 John Stonehouse
John Stonehouse
(1925 – 1988) Labour Party politician, [67] MP for Walsall
Walsall
North 1974 - 1976, notable for his unsuccessful attempt to fake his own death in 1974. Also an agent for the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic military intelligence David Winnick (born 1933) Labour Party politician, [68] MP for Walsall North 1979 - 2017 Jenny Tonge, Baroness Tonge
Jenny Tonge, Baroness Tonge
MD (born 1941 in Walsall) politician, [69] Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park in London
London
1997 - 2005, made a life peer in June 2005 Bruce George
Bruce George
(born 1942) Labour Party politician, [70] MP for Walsall South 1974 - 2010 Valerie Vaz
Valerie Vaz
(born 1954) Labour politician [71] and solicitor MP for Walsall
Walsall
South 2010 to date Eddie Hughes (born 1968) Conservative Party politician, [72] MP for Walsall
Walsall
North 2017 to date

Acting[edit]

Sue Nicholls, 2010

Frank Windsor (born 1927 in Walsall) actor, [73] mainly on TV. Attended Queen Mary's Grammar School. Played DS John Watt in Z-Cars from 1962 to 1965, Matthew Marsden (born 1973 in West Bromwich) stage and film actor, [74] brought up on the Yew Tree Estate in Walsall
Walsall
and schooled in Wednesbury
Wednesbury
and Great Barr. Peter McEnery (born 1940 in Walsall) stage TV and film actor [75]. Gave Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
her first "grown-up" screen kiss in the 1964 film The Moon-Spinners Sue Nicholls
Sue Nicholls
(born 1943 in Walsall) actress, [76] played Audrey Roberts in Coronation Street Jeffrey Holland
Jeffrey Holland
(born Jeffrey Michael Parkes, 1946 in Walsall) actor, [77] roles in TV sitcoms and in Hi-de-Hi!, attended Queen Mary's Grammar School. Meera Syal CBE (born 1961 in Wolverhampton) comedian, [78] writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress. Brought up Essington and attended Queen Mary's High School. Portrayed Sanjeev's grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No. 42 Don Gilet (born 1967 in Caldmore) actor, [79] roles in BBC productions Babyfather, EastEnders
EastEnders
and 55 Degrees North Erin O'Connor
Erin O'Connor
MBE (born 1978 in Brownhills) model and TV actress, [80] attended Brownhills
Brownhills
Community School. In 2001 she appeared as herself in the "Paris" episode of Absolutely Fabulous Zoe Dawson (born 1979 in Walsall) actress, [81] minor roles in the BBC soap opera Doctors

Writing[edit]

Jerome K. Jerome, 1890

Jerome K. Jerome
Jerome K. Jerome
(1859 in Caldmore
Caldmore
– 1927) writer [82] and humourist, [83] author of comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat
Three Men in a Boat
(1889) Sir Henry Newbolt
Henry Newbolt
CH (1862 in Bilston
Bilston
– 1938) poet, novelist and historian [84] and old boy of Queen Mary's Grammar School Peter Corey (born 1946 in Walsall) author [85] of the Coping With children's book series also a TV actor. John Byrne (born 1950 in Walsall) raised in West Bromwich
West Bromwich
comic book creator, [86] grew up in Canada Paul McDonald (born 1961 in Walsall) comic novelist [87] and academic [88] Mark Oakley, author of Thieves and Kings first published in Sept 1994, [89] he is said to be born in Pleck

Music[edit]

Noddy Holder, 1981

Jorja Smith, 2017

Frank Mullings (1881 in Walsall
Walsall
– 1953) a leading English tenor [90] with Beecham Opera Company and its successor, the British National Opera Company, first to sing Parsifal
Parsifal
in English Dave Walker
Dave Walker
(born 1945 in Walsall) singer and guitarist, [91] front-man for a number of bands; most notably Idle Race, Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac, and, briefly, Black Sabbath. Noddy Holder
Noddy Holder
MBE (born 1946 in Caldmore) musician and actor, [92] lead singer and guitarist in glam rock band Slade, attended T.P. Riley Comprehensive School in Bloxwich
Bloxwich
and became a Freeman of the borough of Walsall
Walsall
in 2014. Rob Halford
Rob Halford
(born 1951 in Sutton Coldfield) raised in Walsall, singer songwriter, [93] lead vocalist the heavy metal band Judas Priest Martin Degville (born 1961 in Walsall) lead singer and co-songwriter [94] of the UK pop band Sigue Sigue Sputnik Rob Collins (1963 in Rowley Regis
Rowley Regis
– 1996) musician, [95] original keyboardist of The Charlatans, said to live in Leamore Goldie
Goldie
aka Clifford Joseph Price, MBE (born 1965 in Walsall) musician, [96] DJ, graffiti artist, visual artist and actor, attended St. Francis of Assisi RC Secondary School in Aldridge Mark Rhodes (born 1981 in Darlaston) singer and TV presenter, [97] finished 2nd in the 2nd series of Pop Idol, lives Wombourne Jorja Smith
Jorja Smith
(born 1997 in Walsall) singer, [98] various genres, won the Critics' Choice (Brit Award) in 2018 Connie Talbot
Connie Talbot
(born 2000) from Streetly, teen singer [99] 2nd place in the first series of Britain's Got Talent (series 1)

TV & radio[edit]

Leila Williams (born in Walsall
Walsall
1937) Beauty Queen [100] and Blue Peter presenter from 1958 until 1962. Bob Warman (born 1946) TV presenter, [101] born at Chuckery
Chuckery
attended Chuckery
Chuckery
School Alex Lester (born 1956 in Walsall) radio broadcaster, [102] from October 2014 until January 2017, he presented the Radio 2 midnight to 3 am programme every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Andrew Peach (born in Bloxwich
Bloxwich
c. 1970) BBC Radio presenter [103] on BBC WM and BBC Radio Berkshire

Mark Lewis-Francis, 2007

Sport[edit]

Ellie Simmonds, 2008

Fred Bakewell (1908 in Walsall
Walsall
- 1983) was a Northamptonshire and England
England
opening batsman, [104] renowned largely because of his unorthodox methods David Brown (born 1942 in Walsall) former English cricketer, [105] attended Queen Mary's Grammar School
Queen Mary's Grammar School
played in twenty six Tests from 1965 to 1969 Terry Holbrook (born 1945 in Walsall) football referee formerly in the Football League and Premier League David Platt (born Walsall
Walsall
1966) English-born [106] Australian darts player Nick Gillingham MBE (born 1967 in Walsall) swimmer, [107] competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics
1988 Summer Olympics
in Seoul and the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
in Barcelona Colin Charvis
Colin Charvis
(born 1972 in Sutton Coldfield) attended Queen Mary's Grammar School in Walsall, [108] a former captain of the Wales national rugby union team and also played for the British and Irish lions. Now owns a carpet shop in Swansea. Mark Lewis-Francis
Mark Lewis-Francis
MBE (born Darlason 1982) 100 metres sprinter, [109] member of the gold medal winning 4x100 metres relay team at the 2004 summer Olympics Rachel Unitt (born 1982 in Bentley) England
England
Women's footballer [110] Eleanor Simmonds
Eleanor Simmonds
OBE (born Walsall
Walsall
1994) paralympian swimmer, [111] lived in Aldridge
Aldridge
and attended Hydesville Tower School. Won gold the Beijing 2008 Summer Paralympics
2008 Summer Paralympics
games and in the London
London
2012 Summer Paralympics Vaughan Lee Harvey (Born 1982) Mixed Martial Artist formerly competing in UFC

Twin towns[edit]

Le Blanc-Mesnil, France
France
(since 1953) Mulhouse, France
France
(since 1962)[112] Amritsar, India Kobar, West Bank, Palestine[113]

References[edit]

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Walsall
Timeline" (PDF). Walsall: Walsall
Walsall
Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.  ^ Edward Lees Glew (1856). History of the Borough and Foreign of Walsall. J.R. Robinson. p. 3.  ^ a b Arthur Freeling (1838). Freeling's Grand Junction Railway Companion to Liverpool, Manchester
Manchester
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Manchester
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Walsall
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MBC.  ^ " Walsall
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Walsall
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Brownhills
near Walsall
Walsall
West Midlands". Members.madasafish.com. Retrieved 18 May 2014.  ^ "Laurahird.com". Laurahird.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2014.  ^ Edward Lees Glew (1856). History of the Borough and Foreign of Walsall. J.R. Robinson. pp. 30–31.  ^ Edward Lees Glew (1856). History of the Borough and Foreign of Walsall. J.R. Robinson. p. 16.  ^ Edward Lees Glew (1856). History of the Borough and Foreign of Walsall. J.R. Robinson. p. 17.  ^ " Walsall
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London
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London
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Walsall
Council archive, History of Walsall's Sister Dora
Sister Dora
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John Henry Carless
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John Stonehouse
retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ TheyWorkForYou.com – David Winnick Former MP retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ TheyWorkForYou.com – Baroness Tonge retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ TheyWorkForYou.com – Bruce George
Bruce George
MP retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ TheyWorkForYou.com – Valerie Vaz
Valerie Vaz
MP retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ TheyWorkForYou.com – Eddie Hughes MP retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15, Jerome, Jerome Klapka retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ Jeromekjerome.com website retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 19, Newbolt, Henry John retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 16 February 2018 ^ "Comic creator: John Byrne" URL retrieved 25 July 2006 ^ " Black Country
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Walsall
- Kobar
Kobar
Friendship Group

External links[edit]

 "Walsall". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). 1911.  Walsall
Walsall
community forum and message board Walsall
Walsall
Daily News (theyamyam) BBC Black Country Walsall
Walsall
Metropolitan Borough Council St Matthew's Church New Art Gallery Walsall Walsall
Walsall
Leather Museum Born in Walsall
Walsall
– photos of large mural Voices Through Corridors – Heritage of Walsall
Walsall
Manor Hospital Pictures of Fellows Park football ground – old home of Walsall
Walsall
FC Walsallfans.co.uk – Walsall
Walsall
FC supporters site Black Country
Black Country
subsection of the Birmingham
Birmingham
Mail History of Walsall's Theatres Walsall
Walsall
People and Events Portal

v t e

Ceremonial county of West Midlands

Metropolitan districts

City of Birmingham City of Coventry City of Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough of Dudley Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough of Solihull Metropolitan Borough of Walsall

Major settlements

Aldridge Bilston Birmingham Blackheath Bloxwich Brierley Hill Brownhills Coventry Cradley Heath Darlaston Dudley Fordbridge Halesowen Oldbury Rowley Regis Smethwick Solihull Stourbridge Sutton Coldfield Tipton Walsall Wednesbury West Bromwich Willenhall Wolverhampton See also: West Midlands

Rivers

River Blythe River Cole River Penk River Rea Smestow Brook River Sherbourne River Sow River Sowe River Stour River Tame

Canals

Birmingham
Birmingham
Canal Navigations Shropshire Union Canal Staffordshire
Staffordshire
& Worcestershire Worcester & Birmingham

Topics

Places Population of major settlements Parliamentary constituencies SSSIs Country houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Conservation areas History Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs Museums

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Birmingham
Airport Coventry/Bedworth Urban Area Transport for West Midlands West Midlands conurbation West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor of the West Midlands

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 136074767 LCCN: n82273

.