Who are we

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.

Facilities

Wedding Layout

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.

More

The Lamp Arts Centre

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

More...

Activities

The Wall Garden

We have activities for everyone including: indoor short mat bowls; photography; gardening club; arts and crafts; Tae-Kwon-Do, performing arts; and many more. 

The History

The Community Centre

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

Brownhills Minor

1760
Tollgate established at Cashill

1765
Oglay Hay sold to Richard Gildart who stocked it as a rabbit warren (hence The Warreners Arms)
 
1777
Signpost erected at Rising Sun
 
1784
Another stagecoach robbery at Brownhills
 
1811
Population of Brownhills – 8
 
1816
Building of congregation chapel
 
1821
Population of Brownhills – 23
 
1840
Primitive Methodist church at Watling Street built
 
1841
Population of Brownhills – 221
 
1849
Brownhills railway station opened on Walsall to Lichfield LMS line
 
1851
St. James church opened
 
1856
Cannock Chase Colliery opened
 
1859
10 trains a day in each direction through Brownhills station
 
1861
Population of Brownhills – 1,357. Main occupation, mining
 
1871
Population of Brownhills – 1,824
 
1872
Pelsall Hall colliery disaster –  22 killed
 
1874
Walsall Wood pit sunk
 
1876
Walsall Wood colliery opened
 
1878
Watling Street school opened
 
1880
Brownhills Gas Works supply lighting to town
 
1882
Council building, top of Brownhills, opened
 
1884
Brownhills to Aldridge passenger service started
 
1894
Brownhills Urban District formed comprising: Ogley Hay; Shire Oak; Walsall Wood; and Norton Canes
 
1896
Wyrley No. 3 pit opened
Population of Brownhills – 12,500
 
1906
21 trains a day in each direction through Brownhills station
 
1913
Brownhills, Chasetown, Chase Terrace, Hednesford bus service opened
 
1915
Population of Brownhills – 16,852
 
1926
Brownhills to Walsall via Pelsall bus service opened
 
1928
Last tram from Walsall Wood ran (March 31st)
 
1930
Midland railway line closes to passengers
Grove pit disaster – 14 killed
 
1937
Over 1000 council houses and flats in existence in Brownhills Urban District
 
1954
Brownhills to Huddlesford canal closed
First permanent library in Brownhills opened
 
1962
Brownhills to Aldridge railway line closed to good traffic
 
1964
Walsall Wood pit closed (October) Last three men up: Jack Cantrill, Jack Crawley, Jeff Crawford
 
1965
Brownhills to Lichfield railway passenger service closed
 
1966
Brownhills joined with Aldridge to form Aldridge and Brownhills Urban District
 
1974
Aldridge and Brownhills incorporated into Walsall Metrpolitan Borough
 

GO 4 GOLD - Business of the Month

Go for Gold trophy

We are very proud to receive the 'Go 4 Gold' 'Business of the Month' award for May.

This is the second time we have won this prestigous award and it acknowledges the great community work that we do here at Brownhills Community Centre.

Community work is not undertaken to win awards but it is nice to receive recognition from Go 4 Gold of all the good that is done on behalf of the Brownhills community.