Brownhills Community Association
We are a self-supporting enterprise providing a range of services for the local area. We work with partners to provide support, education, recreation and leisure facilities for the general community.
We are located in the lovely old Central Schools building opposite the Brownhills Miner statue and have a cafe and other resources. You are welcome to pop in to say hello.
We have ample free parking, accessed via the Pelsall Road entrance, and easy access and facilities for people with disabilities. Our venue is ideal for a variety of events including: concerts; theatre productions; film shows; wedding receptions; conferences and lectures; meetings and parties.
Our newly refurbished arts venue boasts modern computerised lighting and sound systems with full creative and technical support. It has a very good and tuneable acoustics and a flexible raised stage area with seating for up to 100.
We have an exciting programe of events from numerous genres with something for everyone
We have activities for everyone including: indoor short mat bowls; photography; gardening club; arts and crafts; Tae-Kwon-Do, performing arts; and many more.
Originally known as the CENTRAL SCHOOLS, BROWNHILLS BRIDGE, BROWNHILLS. Built 1893, architect G H Cox, for Norton-under-Cannock School Board. First building: (Queen Ann style in orange brick with orange terracotta and stone dressings. Painted timber windows. Corner gable flanked by canted pavilions with hipped roofs). Extension: more modern brickwork (date unknown), with centre extension to join the two buildings together in 1955.
A plaque bearing the names of board members when the school opened is inside front porch. It was a mixed school until 1932 when the girls were moved to new premises in Great Charles Street and again from 1972 when the building became a comprehensive school. This remained in use until 1980.
It is interesting to note that the first ‘day’ school in Brownhills was situated in what was later to become the Sunday schoolroom circa 1868 adjoining the Congregational Church in Coppice Side, subsequently a new school building now known as the Activity Centre was to cater for increasing pupil numbers and a wider age range.
The next major development came when the junior boys and junior girls church schools were built in Church Road adjoining St James Church closely followed by the infants school in Church Road and the Senior Girls school in Great Charles Street.
The Central school was also known as the Annex and now the Activity Centre The Activity Centre building became a senior boys school with a substantial extension (date unknown) and then in November 1955 an additional building was added in-between the old school and the extension on Pelsall Road side to join it all together adding extra rooms to accommodate an extra 60 pupils, this is as we see it today.
In the 1980s Brownhills Local Committee were informed that the site had been put on the market by the council with an asking price of £600,000 with the intention of clearing the side and building three story apartments.
The Committee immediately objected on the grounds of local historic and heritage factors and we were advised by council officers to write to the council stating our case for retaining the building and specifically requesting that the building be declared a locally listed building.
Thankfully the council listened to our pleas and in due course Local Listed Status was granted and in consequence previously unavailable funding sources became available for much needed refurbishment work to be carried out.
Important dates in the development of Brownhills
Tollgate established at Cashill
Oglay Hay sold to Richard Gildart who stocked it as a rabbit warren (hence The Warreners Arms)
Signpost erected at Rising Sun
Another stagecoach robbery at Brownhills
Population of Brownhills – 8
Building of congregation chapel
Population of Brownhills – 23
Primitive Methodist church at Watling Street built
Population of Brownhills – 221
Brownhills railway station opened on Walsall to Lichfield LMS line
St. James church opened
Cannock Chase Colliery opened
10 trains a day in each direction through Brownhills station
Population of Brownhills – 1,357. Main occupation, mining
Population of Brownhills – 1,824
Pelsall Hall colliery disaster – 22 killed
Walsall Wood pit sunk
Walsall Wood colliery opened
Watling Street school opened
Brownhills Gas Works supply lighting to town
Council building, top of Brownhills, opened
Brownhills to Aldridge passenger service started
Brownhills Urban District formed comprising: Ogley Hay; Shire Oak; Walsall Wood; and Norton Canes
Wyrley No. 3 pit opened
Population of Brownhills – 12,500
21 trains a day in each direction through Brownhills station
Brownhills, Chasetown, Chase Terrace, Hednesford bus service opened
Population of Brownhills – 16,852
Brownhills to Walsall via Pelsall bus service opened
Last tram from Walsall Wood ran (March 31st)
Midland railway line closes to passengers
Grove pit disaster – 14 killed
Over 1000 council houses and flats in existence in Brownhills Urban District
Brownhills to Huddlesford canal closed
First permanent library in Brownhills opened
Brownhills to Aldridge railway line closed to good traffic
Walsall Wood pit closed (October) Last three men up: Jack Cantrill, Jack Crawley, Jeff Crawford
Brownhills to Lichfield railway passenger service closed
Brownhills joined with Aldridge to form Aldridge and Brownhills Urban District
Aldridge and Brownhills incorporated into Walsall Metrpolitan Borough