A Pocketful of Memories: Coseley (An Unofficial History) – Raymond Smout
"Hannah Johnson Cox... astounded the Officer on duty, PC Bailey, by confessing to him that she had just pushed her two infant daughters into the canal, at the tunnel." From The Coseley Tunnel Tragedy. In A Pocketful of Memories - Coseley, RAYMOND SMOUT indeed describes the Coseley of his youth. But first he takes the reader through his ‘unofficial history’; he charts its beginnings in the ancient Manor of Sedgley, the immense changes brought about by the industrial revolution, its heyday when it was governed by its own Urban District Council, and its eventual demise as Coseley was lost in urban reconfiguration to three different towns. Raymond’s great grandfather was a founding member of Coseley UDC and it is a story he tells with pride, interspersing the history with anecdotes of people and events. Read about the wakes and of byegone pubs, of Dr Baker the local philanthropist, of Hannah Johnson Cox and the tragic Coseley Tunnel murder, of the 1912 coal strike and the building of the Brummagem New Road.…across which Coseley still stands. A POCKETFUL OF MEMORIES - COSELEY reminds how it got there. Royalties from this book are being donated to Rowans Hospice, Waterlooville.
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A Pocketful of Memories: Roseville (Wartime and the Fifties) – Raymond Smout
Raymond Smout, follows on where he left off in his book about Coseley and describes his childhood in the district of Roseville. From his early years when there was a war on to the 1950s he portrays school and leisure, transport, health and local charaters.  It is a very different world from today not only in amenities but also in attitudes.  Raymond contrasts these with pithy humour to add another valuable title to the series and paint a picture of where we have come from. Royalties from this book are being donated to Rowans Hospice, Waterlooville.
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A Pocketful of Memories: Blackheath – Tossie Patrick
"If you'm a gooin hoppin, doa forget to bring me back hop pickin opple." Old Black Country saying in Blackheath TOSSIE PATRICK describes how she revisited the streets of her childhood just before the bulldozers erased them from the landscape. She was moved to record what were, for her, happier times; the school, Christmas, hop-picking.... Recalling characters from the community, as well as from her own family, the Blackheath of the 1930s is brought back to life. Illustrations by Ron Slack
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A Pocketful of Memories: Rowley (Milestones of Memory) – Irene M Davies
"Once, houses, cottages, villas, all nesting cheek by jowl with one another in disorderly array and reaching out from the Church down the hill to the Sir Robert Peel pub was officially Rowley Village" IRENE M DAVIES describes her childhood and youth in the village of Rowley. Written originally for her family as “Milestones of Memory” she set out to record a place and lifestyle that would otherwise be lost forever. In so doing, a vivid picture emerges of people and pass times; through Christmas and bonfire night, Rowley Wake and the chapel the Rowley of the 1920s is brought back to life.
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A Pocketful of Memories: Acock’s Green (One of Eleven) – Julia Wareing
JULIA WAREING describes her childhood and youth in the back to backs of Acock’s Green. It has far less reference to place than its predecessors for while the Blackheath and Rowley titles were quite specific in geographic and historical location, Acock’s Green could, almost, be anywhere. But where the former paint a picture of happy childhoods against a backcloth of frugality, Julia Wareing’s book tells a story of abuse and deprivation. Written in an almost youthful style the book describes her survival of a traumatic childhood. There is no quota system to how much ill fortune individuals suffer in a lifetime. Given fair distribution, Julia’s childhood should have been her lot, but in later years she has seen three of her sisters struck with Alzheimer’s Disease. She uses the second part of the book to not only describe her experiences of the condition, but also the importance of making herself available for research. This is a remarkable book of survival, understanding and ultimately of giving.
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A Pocketful of Memories: War Memories (Recollections and Stories) – Greg Stokes
"This 'Fifth Column' apparently consisted of Nazi sympathizers who infiltrated anywhere where information could be gathered, hence the slogans that were invented, 'Careless talk costs lives' and 'Walls have ears.' From My War Memories by Sylvia Thomas SYLVIA THOMAS was born and brought up in the west end of Dudley. She originally wrote her war memories for younger members of her own family in attempt to show them what it was like to live through the conflict. However, she went on to present the piece in schools. My War Memories has been on the Kates Hill Press website for a few years now and is one of the most frequently visited items. TOSSIE PATRICK, author of A Pocketful of Memories - Blackheath, continues bringing the past to life with her recollections of the war as it affected the town, and a young women in work. EDNA MITCHELL lived out in Wilnecote near Tamworth, very much a rural setting on the fringes of the west midlands conurbation. Much has been written about evacuees from their viewpoint. Edna recalls the evacuees coming to her community. GREG STOKES has written two stories to accompany these recollections. Greg spent many hours round at author CLARICE HACKETT’s house. Her husband Wilf used to tell a tale of the time he had to work all weekend in the war. THE LONG SHIFT is based on that tale. In May 2006 Greg took IRENE M DAVIES, author of A Pocketful of Memories Rowley, to Birmingham to appear on the Carl Chinn Show. On the way back she told him of her time at the Button during the war. The story is reproduced here as LOCK OUT.
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