Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine – a Tasty History of Dining Out in Wolverhampton

Tandoori chicken is now an essential dish of the menus of many local restaurants

Sedgley residents can get their teeth into a fascinating talk on how eating out locally has changed over the years at the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society.

The talk, Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine, will take place on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley after a brief Annual General Meeting.

Samantha Badger, winner of the 2012 Wolverhampton Local History Symposium, aims to tickle the tastebuds with her presentation tracing the history of eating out and takeaways in Wolverhampton. Her diligent research has unearthed great stories from 1800 to 1970, so on the way, expect to hear about Black Country favourites such as pies, fish and chips and the advent of more exotic foods.

During the talk, Sam will be serving up a feast of historical titbits (sorry no food!) in what promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

As usual visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1.

St John’s Church, Kates Hill, Dudley

Sedgley Local History Society June Visit

Thursday, June 13 will see Sedgley Local History Society embark on an  evening visit to St. John’s Church in Kates Hill, guided by this historic landmark’s  preservation group.

As previously mentioned on this site, St John’s is a building of huge historical significance which dates back to 1840. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, is patron of the preservation group, which works hard to raise awareness and generate support for this worthy local campaign.

This event will be starting at 7pm from the adjacent car park in St. John’s Road, access from Waddam’s Pool.  Coffee/tea and biscuits will be provided.

Anyone wishing to visit St. John’s should contact Sedgley Local History Society’s George Blackham via email as this will help them organise the evening.


Sedgley Local History Society pays tribute to community figures

Sedgley Local History announced sad news this week when it revealed the recent deaths of two stalwarts of the local community.
George Cox, who was a keen member of 1st Sedgley Scouts

George Cox died on Friday, 15th February, aged 89. He was a trustee of the now closed Sedgley Local History Museum and a past president of Sedgley Local History Society with a membership dating back to the 1980s.

Having worked for renowned Wolverhampton-based paint and printing ink company, Mander Brothers Limited, for 41 years, George regularly gave entertaining and fascinating talks on this prosperous period in local history. He was also a popular member of the local community, being active with 1st Sedgley Scouts from around 1960, before writing a book on their history in 1994. A devoted Wolverhampton Wanderers fan,  he amassed  an impressive collection of football-related memorabilia and was also a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for more than 20 years.
George had a strong interest in local heritage, providing the late chairman of Sedgley Local History Society, Trevor Genge, with photos and information for countless books. From 2001, he was involved in the Imperial War Museum project to record all war memorials, where he collected details and visited more than 60 sites.

At Dudley’s first annual civic awards in 2004, he was awarded the Frank Foley award for community service for his work in scouting, and in June 2009 the MBE for services to the community.

A tribute from 1st Sedgley Scouts can be viewed here –

The funeral service for George Cox will take place at All Saints Church, Sedgley, on Friday, 1st March 2013 at 3 pm.

Remembering local pioneer, Jack Wilson

Another sad loss announced by Sedgley Local History is that of Jack Wilson, who died on Saturday, 16th February, aged 94.

Jack was a Labour councillor with unbroken service from 1949 until retirement in 2002. He represented his home town of Coseley on Coseley UDC (1949 to 1966, Chairman in 1959), Staffordshire CC and Dudley MBC (1966 to 2002, Mayor 1975/76).
Jack masterminded the Coseley Baths project and led pioneering changes to the Staffordshire fire service and was involved in opening 14 new stations.

In Dudley, as Chairman of Education, he oversaw the introduction of comprehensive education.

He became a Freeman of the Borough in 1989 and was awarded an MBE in 1989.

The funeral service for Jack Wilson will take place at Providence Baptist Chapel, Coseley , on Wednesday, 6th March 2013, at 2 pm.

Sedgley stylists cutting it for charity

Senior stylist at Christopher Hair, Laura-Jayne Porter, is raising funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Care

This Saturday, September 24, stylists at a leading Sedgley hair salon will be tickled pink in support of charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer Care, as each member of staff will be wearing the colour all day while collecting donations from customers.

But for Mark Pugh, owner of  Christopher Hair in High Street, raising money for this popular charity will be a little more strenuous than wearing a pink T-shirt for a day. Instead, he’ll begin a gruelling 100-mile cycle ride from Wolverhampton to Aberdovey, Wales, to help raise funds.

The journey, which begins at  The Westacres pub in Finchfield, promises to be an arduous one. However, with plenty of support from staff, customers, friends and family, it’s one which he’s determined to complete.

“We’re all 100 per cent behind Mark as he prepares for Saturday’s challenge,” says senior stylist Laura-Jayne Porter. “And, although wearing something pink for the day is nowhere near as tiring, we’re happy to be able to support him and Breakthrough Breast Cancer Care as much as possible.”

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a pioneering charity dedicated to the prevention, treatment and ultimate eradication of breast cancer. The charity believes passionately that this disease can be beaten. By fighting on three fronts – research, campaigning and education – it is determined to save and change lives by removing the fear of breast cancer for good.

To find out more information about Mark’s epic journey and to donate, visit the salon’s website or call Christopher Hair on 01902 884 624.

The Lines are on the right track

Sedgely's finest - The Lines

They’ve sold out the 1,134 capacity Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton, performed at the famous SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas and played to 80,000 people at Donington Park.

From performing to a handful of people when they first formed in 2006, Sedgley-based indie rockers, The Lines, have certainly come a long way.

However, lead singer, Alex Ohm and his bandmates are always happy to return to their home town and swap touring for a tipple or two in their favourite local, the Beacon Hotel.

“Our most recent gig in Sheffield was crazy,” says Alex, unwinding with a cider in the beer garden of this historic hostelry.

“The venue’s capacity was 120, but there were easily around 150 people in there. It was ridiculously hot, but the atmosphere was fantastic. Chaotic, but great.”

Like many up-and-coming bands, Alex, lead guitarist Dean Bate, Dave “Paddy” O’Connor on drums and Danny Pease on bass, find themselves playing tiny venues one night and stadium gigs the next.

“I don’t know how we got the Donington gig,” laughs Alex. “We though we were only playing for about 100 people but soon realised the crowd was way larger than that.”

“We just looked at each other and thought ‘we’d better play well tonight’ ” elaborates Dean, himself nursing a pint of the pub’s own Sedgley Surprise ale.

Playing to such a huge crowd is not the only nerve-wracking experience the band members have had to endure. During a tour of the States, the boys found themselves performing to some of the music industry’s biggest names at an event in New York, but were pleased to have the support of bands they’d met while in Texas.

Alex explains: “Performing in New York was quite a daunting experience, but it was great that some of the bands we’d met at SXSW turned up. People often say they’ll come to your gig and don’t show – but these guys did!”

Playing America was an amazing experience for the band, but it was a trip that very nearly didn’t happen due to drummer Paddy’s penchant for streaking.

“It was something that happened years ago,” laughs Dean, “but, because he received a caution for his antics, Paddy had to before the officials and explain his actions. Ironically, he had a choice at the time between paying £60 or getting a caution. After all the extra money he spent getting a Visa, he’d have been better off just paying the fine in the first place!”

Now, having signed to indie label Amboy Road Records and with a huge roster of gigs under their belts, it seems major success is just around the corner for The Lines.

Not that it’s all been plain sailing for the lads. As well as original members Ryan Edwards and Chris Titley leaving the band in 2008, Alex and Co also had to contend with their original label going bust.

“It was a turbulent time,” says Alex. “When Chris left, we knew we wanted to continue, but we weren’t sure who’d replace him. Then, we thought of Danny – the only guy we knew who could fill his shoes. We weren’t disappointed – in just one week, he’d learned more than 70 songs!”

“In fact,” jokes Dean, “I think we made more mistakes than he did!”

So, with a strong team spirit once more and a record deal which gives them all the freedom they need to make music, what does the future hold for The Lines? After all, they’ll shortly be working on the dreaded ‘difficult second album’, following on from the huge local success of their debut.

“Everyday life is up and down and I think our music should reflect that,” explains Alex. “So, on the new album, there’ll be some dancier stuff mixed in with the slower songs. We’ve got one that starts off with a piano riff then evolves into this huge, Muse-style epic.”

Exciting times ahead then, which could include the band breaking into the lucrative American market. However, Alex, Dean and the rest of the gang are determined to keep their feet firmly on the ground by enjoying their favourite beers in Sedgley and showing their support for Gornal Athletic Football Club.

“I think it’s important to support local teams,” explains Alex. “In fact, they want us to record a track for when they come out onto the pitch.”

As well as the support from local football teams, Alex and Dean both agree that the support from other local bands has been a refreshing change from the intense competition between musicians normally reported in the media.

“Sedgley, Wolverhampton, the rest of the Black Country and Birmingham – everyone’s in it together,” says Alex.

He’s right. The Lines have built a huge loyal local following thanks to their exhilarating gigs and down-to-earth attitude.

It won’t be too long before the rest of the world follows suit.

It’s competition time

Calling all fans of the flicks…

Those lovely people at Light House in Wolverhampton are giving away two tickets to see a film of your choice.

And, if you haven’t been to this highly-regarded media centre before, you’re in for a treat, with comfortable seats and state-of-the-art cinema screens showing some of the best films from around the globe.

Relax with a drink beforehand in the stylish surroundings of Lock Works cafe or take it with you to enjoy while you watch a great movie.

To enter our competition, simply answer this question:

What is the name of the brewery attached to the Beacon Hotel?

Email your answer to

Whoever sends in the first correct answer will soon be going along to see a film of their choice at one of the region’s best cinemas.

Winners will be able to collect their free tickets from the box office.

For current listings, visit

Enjoy a movie for free, courtesy of Light House, Wolverhampton