Murder Inquiry Launched Following Death Of Young Walsall Man

A murder inquiry has been launched following the death of Ryan David Harvey from Walsall.

Ryan Harvey has died following an assault in Blackpool.

The 22-year-old was in Blackpool over the weekend with friends when police were called to Central Drive at 5.33pm on Saturday (25 June) following reports of a fight.

Ryan, a huge fan of Walsall FC, was taken to hospital and didn’t recover from his injuries. A post mortem examination confirms that the cause of death was a “blunt head trauma”.

Blackpool police released CCTV images of a man and woman they wanted to question in connection with the incident over the weekend.

As a result of the appeal, two men have been arrested and remanded into custody, while the woman is said to be unconnected. 

Fans of Walsall FC have come together to send messages of condolences to the family and friends of Ryan, while a GoFundMe page has already raised over £3,000 for the family with some players from the club contributing, including Sam Perry and Connor Wilkinson.

A bike ride from the Spotted Cow in Bloxwich has also been arranged to 10am on the 9 July to help to raise money.

In a statement released by the family of Ryan, they said: A family has lost their little boy due to an incident that happened in Blackpool. Our little Ryan was a bubbly lad who would do anything for anyone. Ryan was a lifelong Walsall FC fan who lived and breathed football. We are absolutely heartbroken and would appreciate some privacy at this time to grieve for our loss.”

Anyone who has any further information about the incidicent is encouraged to contact Lancashire police via email: or phone 101, quoting log number 1127.

Walsall Gardens Needed For Hive Project

With the number of bees declining, it’s never been more important to attract pollinators into our gardens and open spaces. It’s why a Walsall beekeeping hobbyist is looking for new sites to house hives. He tells Jayne Howarth about his hopes.

Richard Collins is a man on a mission: a hobby beekeeper for the past six years, he is doing what he can to help increase the number of bees across Walsall.

A bee collecting pollen.

He started off with just one hive in his Short Heath garden after his wife, Lisa, bought him a course on beekeeping for his birthday, and the number has gradually increased over the years. Now, he looks after 10 hives across Walsall – including in other people’s allotments and gardens – and he is now on the lookout for more gardens, roof spaces of factories, or on farmland to house hives.

“A lot of people connected with us through word of mouth,” said Richard, who runs The Bees Knees Honey Bees with his wife. “I got my second when someone down my road said they had a swarm of bees in their garden and asked if I could do something.

“I want to expand, not just for the honey but because bees are in decline everywhere and it’s important we get them in as many places as we can, so I’m looking for new places for new hives.”

A jar of honey.

Richard, aged 43, buys Buckfast queens when he is trying to establish new hives because Buckfast is a docile species and is extremely productive for pollinating plants and collecting nectar.

Developed by Brother Adam, a monk who lived at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, in the early 1900s, the Buckfast bee is now one of the most popular bees in the country for keepers.

Not only are they good foragers, they tend not to swarm and do not have a tendency to sting. They are also hardy and overwinter well. 

However, if they naturally requeen – breed a new queen – the second generation can be aggressive, which is why Richard buys queens because they do not have aggressive tendencies.

He stresses that anyone interested in siting a hive on their property does not have to be involved with looking after the bees, although he has spare bee suits if anyone is interested in learning more about how to look after them.

Richard Collins, of the bees knees honey bees.

He also said a huge garden is not necessary, but he stressed he needs to access the hive at least once a week so that he can check on the insects’ health and to see how they are breeding.

“Hives don’t tend to cause problems in gardens or for neighbours because the Buckfast breed, if managed correctly, is less likely swarm, so it’s a good one to have,” said Richard, who is a member of the British Beekeepers Association. “A good-sized garden works well, as does roofs on factories or empty land, but as long as the site is secure and I can get to it easily, I’ll be happy to look at placing one there.”

Hives can house anything up to 60,000 bees at peak summer season, although not all leave the confines of their home because some are worker bees, while others are guard bees and nurses. Only the foragers leave to collect nectar and pollen. In the winter, their number can reduce to as few as 10,000.

While Richard does sell jars of honey – a hive can produce between 50lbs and 60lbs in a good year, although not all is taken as the bees need it to maintain their health – he says this is secondary to ensuring the bee population can thrive.

Hives in Richard’s Short Heath Garden.

“I tend to sell to people locally but it’s not my main reason for keeping bees,” he said. “In fact, I can be out of pocket after buying new jars and labels because you’re not allowed to reuse jars for health and hygiene reasons. The hives themselves are also expensive to set up and maintain.

“For me, it’s more important to get the bees out there and pollinating the plants – they are essential for us to produce our food – the honey is just a bonus.”

If anyone has a piece of land, garden or allotment that Richard could site at least one hive, contact him at: 

How can you attract more pollinators into your garden?

Here are five simple things you can do help attract pollinators, including bees, into your garden:

  • Have a wild area – even a small area is valuable
  • Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees
  • Don’t cut your grass so often
  • Try not to use pesticides
  • Do not disturb insect nest and hibernation areas

Written by Jayne Howarth

Walsall Street Carnival Brings Together 14 Schools

An on-street carnival is taking place this Friday 1 July outside Walsall Art Gallery.

Students from 14 Walsall schools will be entertaining the public with visual art pieces and music and dance performances.

Two performances will take place outside the New Art Gallery between 11am and noon and 1.30-2.30pm before the students head down Park Street with a samba band complete with carnival costumes and props.

The performances are part of the Walsall Arts for All Programme, which uses arts and culture as a way to share and celebrate Walsall’s many different communities and cultures.

Programme Manager Baz Chapman said: ‘it’s been a challenging few years for these schools, but despite the ever-shifting sands of Covid, they’ve stuck with Walsall Arts for All and created some extraordinary artworks which celebrate what a vibrant and exciting place Walsall is. Arts & culture play a unique role in developing creativity, building aspiration and celebrating and improving communities. If these students’ creativity is anything to go by, Walsall has a bright future!’

Walsall’s Lakeside Live Event Gets New Attraction For 2022

The popular Lakeside Live event, which takes place at the Walsall Arboretum Bandstand is back this August bank holiday.

Photo from Lakeside Live 21

Taking place on Monday 29 August between 12.30pm-5.30pm, the free live music event is hosted by Hunkypunk Promotions in partnership with Walsall Council and features live music across a variety of genres.

Alongside a licensed bar and food being available, there’s also something brand new for 22 with the Visitor Centre playing host to live acoustic acts and poetry.

Though the full line-up of acts has yet to be confirmed, last year’s event played host to numerous local musicians, including indie band Dinky, Martian Social Club and the soulful sounds of Kiana.

No need to book, just turn up and enjoy some great live music against the stunning backdrop off the Arboretum lake!

Walsall Arboretum Carnival Opens Its Doors For Free This July

The annual Walsall Arboretum Carnival is back for 2022 with a host of free entertainment.

Alongside live bands, wrestling and the Pat Collins Funfair, carnival goers can expect plenty of new acts.

Creating caveman chaos, the Pree Hee Men will be pulling some prehistoric pranks to entertain the audience, while the main stage will play host to the worlds’ first cookery and DJ show – a mixture of healthy cooking lessons and classic beats from DJ Ernie Cartwright.

Children will have the opportunity to meet some creepy crawlies, while local artist Tess Radcliffe will be running some unique fairground workshops.

Alongside other acts, The Brightsides will also be taking to the main stage on Saturday and Sunday, giving you the chance to bop along to tunes from the 90s and noughties.

The Walsall Arboretum Carnival takes place between Friday 15 July at 3pm-10pm and Sunday 17 July, 12pm-10pm.

Though the carnival is free to enter, you can buy fairground tokens in advance from Ticket Source.

Gas Explosion Completely Destroys House In Kingstanding

A huge gas explosion has destroyed a house and left a woman dead and a man suffering life-threatening injuries in Kingstanding, Birmingham on Sunday evening.

House destroyed from gas explosion

The bang from the explosion could be heard around the area with concerned neighbours taking to social media to try and find more information.

West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed that the explosion happened at approximately 8.40pm on Sunday night in Dulwich Road, Kingstanding.

Three ambulances, five paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic, West Midlands CARE team, and an emergency planner were sent to the scene.

West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that one woman was found dead at the scene, while a man was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with serious injuries.

Four other men are reported to have suffered minor injuries from the blast.

The property was completely destroyed and three other properties nearby also suffered damaged as surrounding roads were closed.

A statement from the WMAS reads:

“A man was helped from the property by people at the scene but had suffered very serious injuries.  After assessment and treatment at the scene, he was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with the MERIT team travelling with the ambulance.  His condition on arrival at hospital was described as life threatening.

“Four further men have been assessed by ambulance crews for minor conditions but have been discharged at the scene.

“Members of the Hazardous Area Response Team continue to work with specialist firefighters at the scene.”

Walsall FC Ready To Tackle New Season With Renewed Hope

After a disappointing few years, which saw The Saddlers drop out of League One and make little impression in League Two over the last three seasons, renewed hope has arrived at Bescot Stadium.

walsall fc

Alongside new Head Coach Michael Flynn, who took over the reigns in February 2022, numerous changes have been implemented this year.

In addition to new owners in the form of the Trivela Group, a board re-shuffling and new commercial partners, including stadium sponsor Poundland, it’s been a busy summer for the club with a raft of new signings aiming to reinvigorate the Bescot boys for the new season.

Even the club’s social media has received an overhaul with fans enjoying fresh and creative content that has teased each of this summer’s new signings.

Though there’s still plenty of time for more signings before the 2022/23 season starts on July 30, 13 new players have joined the club.

Walsall’s Summer Signings – 2022

Name Position Age Contract length Previous Club
Owen Evans Goalkeeper 25 2 years Cheltenham
Adam Przybek Goalkeeper 22 1 year Wycombe Wanderers
Peter Clarke Defender 40 1 year Tranmere Rovers
Oisin McEntee Defender 21 2 years Newcastle Utd
Liam Gordon Defender 23 2 years Bolton Wanderers
Liam Bennett Defender 20 Season loan Cambridge Utd
Joe Riley Defender 25 2 years Carlisle Utd
Brandon Comley Midfielder 26 2 years Dagenham
Isaac Hutchinson Midfielder 22 1 year Derby
Flynn Clarke Midfielder 19 Season loan Norwich City
Taylor Allen Midfielder 21 1 year Forest Green
Andy Williams Striker 35 1 year Cheltenham
Douglas James Taylor Striker 20 Season loan Stoke City

While fans wait patiently in the hope of one or two more new strikers, it shows a firm intent by Michael Flynn, the board and the new owners that they’re committed to change and to shift the momentum in a club that has been on a downhill slide for a number of years.

Expectation is growing around the club for the new season and there appears to be plenty of reason for Walsall fans to be excited about the future.

Michael Flynn contracted as Head Coach until 2024

Ultimately, it will be on the pitch where fans will want to see results and The Saddlers will be hoping for a strong start to the new season. With the new fixtures for 2022/23 now released, the team has the perfect opportunity to continue the momentum of the summer with a strong performance at the Poundland Bescot Stadium against Hartlepool United on July 30.

Timeline of Significant Changes at Walsall – 2022

  • 15 February – Michael Flynn appointed Head Coach
  • 22 February – Wayne Hatsell appointed Assistant Head Coach
  • 22 March – Rob Williams appointed as Academy Manager
  • 30 March – New food offerings appear at Bescot in the form of the Punjabi Grill
  • 30 March – Walsall team up with The Fan Experience Company to increase fan engagement
  • 14 April – Jamie Fullerton steps down as Technical Director
  • 27 April – Poundland announced as new principal partner
  • 23 May – New online store launches
  • 25 May – Walsall sign Liam Gordon
  • 27 May – Walsall sign Oisin McEntee
  • 30 May – Walsall team up with new pouring partner, Molson Coors
  • 6 June – New owners announced as Trivela Group
  • 9 June – The Saddlers partner with Phoenix Consortium
  • 10 June – Walsall re-launch season ticket Early Bird campaign following demand
  • 13 June – Walsall sign Joe Riley
  • 15 June – Walsall sign Andy Williams
  • 15 June – Walsall sign Liam Bennett on loan
  • 20 June – Walsall sign Taylor Allen
  • 20 June – Walsall sign Brandon Comley
  • 21 June – Walsall sigh Adam Przbek
  • 21 June – Walsall sign Owen Evans
  • 21 June – Kaleidoscope Plus Group become official charity partner
  • 22 June – Restructing of board of directors confirmed
  • 22 June – Walsall sign Isaac Hutchinson
  • 30 June – Walsall announce  number of season tickets sold is best for 18 years – 3,000
  • 30 June – New Head of Coaching and Goalkeeping announced for the Academy – Lee Rostron and Thomas James
  • 1 July – Walsall sign Douglas James Taylor
  • 6 July – Black Country Lifeline become official charity partner
  • 11 July – Walsall sign Flynn Clarke

Former Walsall Nightclub To Be Renovated

A former Walsall nightclub and listed building, which has been left in a poor state since being empty over the last four years, is getting renovated.

The building on Lichfield Street has played host to the Equator Nightclub, Chicago Rock Café and a number of buffet restaurants, including Fiesta Buffet.

The Grade II listed building has fell into disrepair since the nightclub closed with a heritage condition report by Node stating it is deteriorating after vandalism, rot and water damage.

Inside the derelict nightclub on Lichfield Street, Walsall. Credit: Node

The report stated that “132 Lichfield Street is in a parlous condition. The building is derelict and is not watertight. Traditional structural elements and fittings are deteriorating rapidly, principally through extensive water ingress, brown rot, and vandalism.

Without urgent investment, the designated heritage asset will be at risk of further, substantial loss of fabric, leading to considerable adverse impacts to both its individual, significance, and its contributions to the conservation area. There are three distinct structural elements within the site. Of these, only the early-to-mid eighteenth century building that fronts Lichfield Street contains features of heritage interest.”

In a Walsall Council meeting on June 20, plans were approved for K5unner Properties to convert the building into 28 apartments, providing that show an “evidence-led approach to intervention and repair” and preserve some of its most prominent features.

Flag Raised In Walsall For Armed Forces Day

A flag-raising ceremony has taken place outside the Walsall Council House this morning in advance of Armed Forces Day on Sunday, 25 June.

The ceremony took place at 10.15am to celebrate and recognise the contribution of those who server or have served in the Armed Forces.

The procession included a military fanfare, the raising of the Armed Forces flag and a minute’s silence, and was attended by the public and special guests, including Deputy Lieutenant David Frost CBE DL.

Councillor Rose Martin, the Mayor of Walsall, said: “It’s important to show our continued support and gratitude for those men and women who serve, or have served, in the armed forces. This event is a way to show our respect for those who fight for our country and will be a truly moving ceremony, which I am honoured to be hosting.”

Chickaros Restaurant Opens In Bloxwich

A new restaurant has opened in Bloxwich this week offering gourmet burgers, steaks, grills and milkshakes.

The Bloxwich branch of Chikaros is the fourth restaurant to open in West Midlands with branches already located in Aldridge, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

You’ll find Chickaros next to Wilkinson’s in the Market Pace on Elmore Row.

The restaturant is available for dine-in or takeaway and opens from 4pm-11pm daily.

A selection of the Chickaros’ menu can be found below: