Wild, wild horses…


The Clayhanger 2 have almost reached celebrity status over the past few weeks. They are here, there and everywhere! Notoriously good at escaping, the ponies have been spotted in all four corners of Clayhanger. Unfortunately, they were not ‘there’ when I popped up to the field in Northfields Way to see them.

Which leads me to ask… where are they?

I believe they were spotted on High Street on Sunday, but they do not seem to have made it home.

From the posts on Clayhanger Community Centre Facebook page, it seems many Clangers are concerned about the welfare of the ponies. I am too. Although, since I first tried to find out who owns them, quite a few ponies seem to have come and gone. Like many others, I have contacted the police (who will only come out if they are on the highway), the RSPCA (who will only come out if the animals are mistreated or injured) and Area One partnership (who have not been back in touch about who owns the field.)

Now this is where I wondered if madwblog could help. What if you posted your pictures to madwblog – on Facebook is probably easiest- of the happy wanderers with a date, time and location and that way a ‘log’ of their escape dates could be kept. If this could be produced to the police or RSPCA as a record of their escape frequency perhaps something more positive could be done about keeping them safe and well in the field. Additionally, has anyone managed to successfully get any authority out to them or any official body to say they will look into the welfare of the ponies? I know Stevie Ansell will come out to them if she’s asked but is it fair to keep asking her?

As a horse-lover, I’m not too concerned about them wandering, they won’t do much harm except for making dents in your lawn. If you are lucky they may leave you a gift for the roses or veg patch. However, meeting a pony when you come round a corner with your dog or having to shoo it from your drive to get the car out could be a bit nerve wracking. Like any animal you aren’t familiar with, you don’t know how they will react. Most times, horses and ponies will slope off with encouragement and it’s extremely unlikely one would ‘attack’ you. When ‘spooked’ though, a horse or pony can cause damage. They would make a mess of your car if you hit one and a swift kick to your canine friend would, at the very least, mean a large vets bill.

If you should see the Clayhanger 2, take a photo, post it to madwblog and give them a wide berth. If you have to approach them, do so from the head end (no-one likes a stranger up their rear) talk and walk calmly. Let them sniff your hand keeping your fingers flat. Raising your hand up to stroke them on the face my cause them to pull their head back which could clock you on the nose (ouch). Try not to feed them. It makes them bad tempered because then they expect food from everyone and the next person who doesn’t produce any goodies might get a nasty nip.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Clayhanger 2, I believe one pony is black and the other white. The black one has a white blaze (stripe down the nose). Please correct me if I am wrong.

Round ’em up cowboy!




Northfields Way – life after barriers? 

I can’t promise to always be this quick off the mark (I have other things to do you know – don’t laugh) but following a message I received from Elaine and reading the discussion thread on Facebook, I have penned a hasty email to Cllrs Wade and Ferguson thus:

Dear Cllrs, 

There has been a fair amount of discussion on social media and on madwblog about the barriers on Northfields Way. On the whole everyone is happy that there is to be some sort of barrier. Quite a few residents have questions though and I wonder if you would be able to take some time to answer them?

This comment is from Elaine to madwblog. 

“Love your posts, don’t stop!

however on a serious note, sorry, the barriers in Northfield…. why not landscape? build the edges up to form a bank then plant trees. wild areas, make it part of the common ground…. money…. yes I know. However, the boulders or whatever they are going to put there, will look unslightly, and I wonder how long it will take before the residents whose houses back onto that bit of road will start complaining about children skate boarding, playing football, and generally being children…. hey ho”

On the Clayhanger now has a Community Centre page, four main questions have been raised and discussed:

1. Does there need to be notice given that the barriers will be in place? A Traffic Regulation Order?

2. Where exactly will the barrier be placed?

3. What will happen to the ‘dead’ area behind the barrier? Can it be developed?

4. There are concerns that travellers and loitering will just occur in front of the barrier rather than at the end of Northfields Way potentially causing more disruption. 

In the interest of open communication, I think Clayhanger residents would really appreciate your time in responding to their concerns, as the news that the barriers are to be put in place has come out of the blue and the feeling that I get is that they would like to be included in the decision making process. 

This email will be copied to madwblog as more residents may want to comment. If you would like to follow the blog and find out what the Clayhanger electorate think and are discussing, please search madwblog.com or click like on the Facebook page. 

I look forward to hearing from you both.

I hope followers of madwblog don’t object to my boldly mailing our elected repsentatives and paraphrasing comments posted to Facebook. Madwblog isn’t about representing Clayhanger, it’s about sharing information and communicating. Please do tell me if madwblog has overstepped the mark. 

Madwblog has no special access to Cllr Wade and Cllr Ferguson. Their email addresses are freely available on the council website as is a whole host of other information relevant to Clayhanger and Walsall at large. Great cure for insomnia…