Wollaston is a thriving small village on the very western edge of the West Midlands, previously Worcestershire. Apart from me growing up and going to its St. James’s (infants and junior) School, it several claims to fame:
- 1904* – Buffalo Bill and his ‘Wild West & Congress of Rough Riders of the World’ set up and played on fields leading up to where The Plough stands.
- 1926* - Wollaston Hall, a substantial and impressive half-timbered building, overlooking the River Stour, dating from 1617, following WW1 family tragedies, was demolished and sold off. The Ford family – yes, the Ford motor car family – purchased the panelling from several rooms, together with a fireplace, using them for their new family home at Grosse Point Shores, Michigan.
- Pubs – During the early 1900’s there were 15 pubs in Wollaston. 5 have since closed, two becoming excellent Indian restaurants. All are free houses serving a superb selection of local ales. The only exception is the Unicorn which is a Bathams’ house, possibly the best beer in Britain. It would be simply impossible for anyone to manage in a day one pint of every real ale on tap in Wollaston, even just from its five central pubs; over 25 different ales. No wonder coach parties arrive some evenings.
- cricketer Don Kenyon, England and captain of Worcestershire CC. Internationally known, Don and his family lived about 150 yards from us.
- Snooker Champion Rex Williams was landlord of the Rifleman’s Arms