When Carl Chinn Came to Pelsall

Monday 1st March 2004 was a very special day for Pelsall village thanks to Mark and Steve of Geo.Turner and Sons, High Street, Pelsall.  Early in 2003 they had invited Carl Chinn to Pelsall's Victorian Christmas, unfortunately however he would not be available on that day.

At the end of February, Carl got back in touch with Mark and Steve to tell them that he would be coming to visit Pelsall and a date was set.

When he came to the village Carl had a number of interviews lined up.

The radio show broadcast on BBC WM was present in the village from 1.15pm until after 4.00pm where he met a number of people and his presence caused great interest as many locals were regular listeners to his radio show which was broadcast from 2pm until 4pm weekdays.

One of the regular contributors to Pelsall Times, poetess Mrs Celia Parkin read some of her work on the show some time ago.

Whilst he was in the village, Carl was able to discover a lot about the history of Pelsall and our  forthcoming events.  The interviews he held covered a wide range of interests in our village.

Appearing on the show was Garry Perry, Author Ken Wayman, Mark and Steve of Geo. Turner and Sons, Steve Swain of T R Swain, Mr Cowley, Vikram from Opticare Opticians, Brian Fellows and Myself representing Pelsall Times.

On his arrival, it wasn't long before Carl was recognised and swamped by passers by. To their delight he had copies of 'Brummagem' with him and eagerly signed and gave away copies.

Mark and Steve of Geo Turner & Sons with Dr Carl Chinn MBE

Carl Chinn's arrival in the village seen above together with many residents he met that day including author Ken Wayman seen top left.

To make him feel at home in the village, Mark and Steve of Geo. Turner and Sons handed out sausage and pork pie to Carl and the surrounding crowds which grew throughout the day.

Many villagers had lots to say to Carl, sharing their personal memories of Pelsall and some even bought with them old photographs and memorabilia.

There were six pre arranged interviews and in between Carl found time to chat to passers by.

The first person to be interviewed was Cllr Garry Perry, who talked about what goes on in Pelsall today.  He went on to tell Carl about the forthcoming Victorian Christmas events.

Shortly after interviewing Cllr Garry Perry, Carl made his way over to T R Swain where he interviewed Steve Swain.  Steve spoke to Carl about how much the village had changed since his father bought the shop back in 1947.

Carl went on to ask Steve about Pelsall Carnival which that year had approached its 32nd year.

Pelsall Carnival was founded by Ray Swain and three other members in 1972.

Ken Wayman was invited to talk about his new book 'The True and Faithful Men'. The inspiration behind this fascinating book came from the plaque set in stone beside the war memorial that commemorates the names of those who lost their lives in the service of their country during the Great War and the Second World War.

Brian Fellows was invited to recall his memories of Pelsall when he was a youngster, which gave listeners an interesting insight into what life in Pelsall used to be like.

My Cowley was keen to share with Carl some of the old photographs and other items he had in his private collection which Carl viewed with great interest.

With regards to care in the community Carl spoke to Vikram of Opticare who had been in the village for about two years.  Vikram told Carl that Pelsall is a unique village and a great place to live.

After speaking to Vikram, Carl made his way back to Geo. Turner & Sons, however before getting there he was surrounded by yet more people keen to meet him.

Carl's final interview was with Steve and Mark who talked about their shop and the part they play in the community.

Despite having been in Pelsall for about three hours or so and having spoken to many people through both interviews and off the cuff chats, it seemed that in no time at all it was time for our guest to leave.

Carl Chinn made a great impression on all of the people he met that day, one which will not be soon forgotten.