Pelsall

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Pelsall
Pelsall Village - geograph.org.uk - 899226.jpg
Pelsall Village
Pelsall is located in West Midlands county
Pelsall
Pelsall
Location within the West Midlands
Population11,505 (2011 Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceSK020037
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWALSALL
Postcode districtWS3
Dialling code01922
PoliceWest Midlands
FireWest Midlands
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
West Midlands
52°37′52″N 1°58′19″W / 52.631°N 1.972°W / 52.631; -1.972Coordinates: 52°37′52″N 1°58′19″W / 52.631°N 1.972°W / 52.631; -1.972
Memorial to the Pelsall Hall Colliery mining disaster

Pelsall is a large village[2] situated in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall, West Midlands, England. Forming part of the borough’s border with Staffordshire, Pelsall is located 4 miles north of central Walsall, midway between the towns of Bloxwich and Brownhills and 3.5 miles northwest of Aldridge. The southern edge of Cannock Chase, at Prospect Village, is 5.5 miles to the north. Pelsall is also 7.5 miles southwest of the cathedral city of Lichfield and 8 miles northwest of Wolverhampton.

History[edit]

Pelsall was first mentioned in a charter of 994, when it was among various lands given to the monastery at Heantune (Wolverhampton) by Wulfrun, a Mercian noblewoman. At this time it was called Peolshalh, meaning 'a nook' or 'land between two streams belonging to Peol'. The Domesday entry of 1086 describes Pelsall as being waste, still belonging to the church.

A chapel of ease was built in about 1311. The medieval population was small and a return of 1563 lists only 14 householders. The original centre the area is now known as Old Town. In 1760 the remaining open fields were enclosed, but some holdings survived into the next century in Hall Field, High Ley, The Riddings Field and Final Field. The tithe map of about 1840 records some evidence of the medieval strip farming system.

In the second quarter of the 19th century, clusters of houses were built on the fringes of the extensive common land and at the Newlands. The greatest concentration was in what is now the village centre. This area gradually developed; a Methodist Chapel and school were opened in about 1836, in the modern day Station Road and a new St Michael's Church was built in 1844 – the old one in Paradise Lane had been considered too small for the growing population. Towards the end of the 19th century, shops became established in Norton Road and High Street. The population in 1801 was 477 and by 1901 had grown to 3,626.

Pelsall had become a mining village; in places deposits of coal were found only a few yards from the surface and by about 1800 the shallow and deep seams were 'much worked'. The cutting of the canal in about 1794 opened up the area for industrialisation, with entrepreneurs and landowners quickly exploiting the mineral wealth. Nailmaking, traditionally a cottage industry, was also carried out locally; in the census of 1841 thirty men stated this as their occupation.

On 14 November 1872, 22 miners died when the Pelsall Hall Colliery was flooded.[3][4] 21 of the 22 miners were buried underneath a polished granite obelisk in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels Church.[5]

An ironworks[6] was established on the North Common which grew into a sizeable concern under the ownership of Messrs. Davis and Bloomer. This, together with Yorks Foundry and that of Ernest Wilkes and Co. at Mouse Hill, gave Pelsall a share of the heavy iron trade during the 19th century. Ernest Wilkes and Co. survived until 1977, but the others ceased trading in the 1890s and the pits became unworkable, mainly due to continual flooding problems.

Several working farms survived in the local area until after the Second World War. Since then much land has been used for housing development but the ancient common remains.

Governance[edit]

Pelsall is part of the Aldridge-Brownhills Parliamentary constituency. At the 2015 general election, the seat was held by Wendy Morton (Conservative) with a majority of 11,723 over Labour's John Fisher.[7] The seat has been held by the Conservative Party since 3 May 1979.[8]

Pelsall Ward has three seats on Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. The three current councillors, all Conservative, are Garry Perry, former Mayor of Walsall, re-elected in 2012; Marco Longhi, elected in 2011; and Sally Neville, elected in 2018.[9]

Landmarks[edit]

The Fingerpost
Pelsall Millennium Stone

The Fingerpost, at the junction of B4154 Norton Road and A4124 Lichfield Road, is an unusual and possibly unique design, being substantially restored in the 1980s by Bert Kellitt for the local Civic Society. Pelsall Social Club is at the junction of these roads. Since the late 1990s, Pelsall has had a Millennium Stone, marking the 994–1994 millennium of the village.

Pelsall is quite 'green' with a large turf central common around which previously stood several public houses: only The Railway and The Queens (formerly The Block & Chopper) survive today, with The Old House at Home further up towards the Fingerpost. Pelsall Carnival takes place in July each year, featuring decorated floats and bric-a-brac stalls. It has run continuously since 1972 with the exception of 2020.[10]

The main shopping area serving the town is bordered by Norton Road and High Street and includes a range of shops, including a butcher, plus a variety of food outlets. On the northern edge of the village centre there is The Old House at Home public house, while the Fingerpost pub (formerly The Royal Oak) is situated just north of the Fingerpost road junction at Yorks Bridge, near to Pelsall Junction on the Wyrley and Essington Canal, and Nest Common and North Common, on the border with South Staffordshire. Pelsall has lost several pubs in recent years, including The Free Trade in Wood Lane, which, though the building remains, has been closed for several years, and The Swan on Wolverhampton Road, which in 2007 was converted to an Indian restaurant. The Red Cow public house and its car park have been converted into flats; the Old Bush stands derelict after several arson attacks and is now subject to a proposal by Aldi to build a supermarket and care home on the site.[11]

In 1997 the Donna Cooper Memorial Garden was created in the village in memory of thirteen-year-old Donna Cooper, who died after being knocked over by a stolen car outside her home in Pelsall Lane, Rushall on 6 January 1993. The driver and his accomplice were both on bail at the time, after being arrested in connection with a hit-and-run incident in which two men had been injured weeks before Cooper's death.[12] The garden was commissioned by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, who also maintain it. The entrance consists of an arched gateway that contains an owl motif, taken from a design drawn by Cooper shortly before her death. The garden is 200 metres (656 ft) long and 25 metres (82 ft) wide.[5]

Transport[edit]

Pelsall Junction on Wyrley and Essington Canal

Pelsall once had a comprehensive bus network which included bus 89, which connected it to Wolverhampton, Bloxwich, Wednesfield and New Cross Hospital. This allowed passengers to interchange at both Bloxwich station on the Chase Line and at Wolverhampton station for further travel to Shropshire, Staffordshire and Manchester. The bus was axed in a 28 April 2019 bus timetable change by National Express West Midlands. It was cut back to Bloxwich instead of Walsall and to Wolverhampton. This means passengers have to change at Bloxwich for further travel although bus service is half-hourly.

There is a rapid connection to the nearby towns of Brownhills, Cannock, and Walsall but the nearest rail connections are Walsall, Landywood, Cannock, Penkridge, Shenstone, and Lichfield. There is also a six-journey off-peak service to Kingstanding via Aldridge and Pheasey, as well as a direct Brownhills to Bloxwich service, however this only runs from 8am-4pm from Monday to Saturday.

Former site of Pelsall railway station, now a greenway

Pelsall previously had a railway station on the South Staffordshire Line that ran east of the village: this closed to passengers in the 1960s and to freight in the 1980s. Only the main road bridges survive as evidence. The line and station have been mooted for reopening since the early 2000s, but low demand has kept the line and station from being reopened. A study carried out in 2009 by the Department for Transport suggested a new station at each of Pelsall and Brownhills. In 2000, the track bed from Walsall to Pelsall was made into part of the SUSTRANS National Cycle Route 5. The line through Pelsall has been identified as a disused rail corridor and this means that it is a long term ambition to reopen the line in the near future.[13]

Ethnicity and religion[edit]

Pelsall is predominately White British with the remainder comprising 1.2% Asian and 2.8% other, making the ward of Pelsall 96% white and 4% non-white minorities.[14] Christianity is the largest religion in the borough at 75% of the population, followed by no religion at 18%.

Places of worship[edit]

St Michael's church
Pelsall Evangelical Church, Pelsall

The parish church of Pelsall is St Michael and All Angels Church. Other places of worship are Pelsall Evangelical Church and Pelsall Methodist Church.

Education[edit]

Pelsall is home to three primary schools: St Michael's C of E Primary,[15] Pelsall Village School[16] and Ryders Hayes School[17][18] (now an Academy). Additionally, First Friends Day Nursery is located at the Pelsall Education Development Centre.[19]

Pelsall was previously served by Pelsall Comprehensive School, although this was technically over the border in neighbouring Rushall. It opened in the autumn of 1963 as an 11–15 secondary modern school before adopting 13–18 comprehensive status in September 1972. The transfer age was reduced to 11 in September 1986 under Walsall's reorganisation of education in the former Aldridge-Brownhills area, but falling pupil numbers led to its closure in July 1994.[20] The old Pelsall Comprehensive buildings are now home to Rushall JMI School, Education Walsall offices, and a teacher training centre.

Sport[edit]

Pelsall's main football team was Pelsall Villa, formed in 1961, which played in the Midland Football League until 2018 when it disbanded. The club's former ground on Walsall Road neighbours Pelsall Cricket Club and the derelict Old Bush pub.

References[edit]

  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Pelsall Ward (as of 2011) (E05001312)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  2. ^ https://go.walsall.gov.uk/pelsall_in_history. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Pelsall Hall 1872". www.ccmhs.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  4. ^ "pelsall-history.co.uk". www.pelsall-history.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b George Thomas Noszlopy; Fiona Waterhouse (2005). Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-999-1.
  6. ^ "pelsall-history.co.uk". www.pelsall-history.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  7. ^ "2015 general election results". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Politics". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008.
  9. ^ "Councillors". Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  10. ^ "pelsall-history.co.uk". www.pelsall-history.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Proposals". Aldi. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Seven-year sentence for joyrider who killed girl: Judge attacks 'folly' of giving repeated bail to youths who ignore conditions". The Independent. London. 8 October 1993.
  13. ^ https://www.tfwm.org.uk/media/2525/annex-1-corridors.pdf[page needed]
  14. ^ (PDF) https://www.walsallintelligence.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2019/02/09-Ward-Walks-2018-PELSALL.pdf. Retrieved 17 August 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Inspection report". www.ofsted.gov.uk. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Inspection report". www.ofsted.gov.uk. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  17. ^ http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/104205
  18. ^ "Inspection report". www.ofsted.gov.uk. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Inspection report". www.ofsted.gov.uk. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Pelsall Community School, Rushall, Walsall: Schools in Walsall". schooletc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.

External links[edit]