Breaking News

An Email

When we received an email from Dr Rui at Queen Mary’s Grammar School telling us about the Near Space Project his school is undertaking, we decided to take a closer look. 

About Project Horizon

In February 2012, Project Horizon was started with the intent of developing a reusable launch platform that could make regular trips 30-40km above the earths surface into the Stratosphere. Once in the Stratosphere the probe would carry out scientific experiments, take film and pictures and come back down to earth for the pupils to analyse the results etc.

The project was designed to provide the pupils with more focused exposure to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and inspire the students into taking an early interest in the UK Space industry.

The 2015 Mission

This years task is called “Sun Chaser” and it’s mission is to capture footage of the sun’s rise over the horizon of the Earth from the vantage point of the Stratosphere.

We thought this would be easy enough until we read that the students will be building mathematical models in order to predict the time of sunrise from altitude!!

The Launch

Launching in the early hours of the morning and deep into the Welsh countryside to help minimise light pollution the team will have two attempts at launching. This means that two probes will have to be developed and prepared for launch.

  • The first probe launches on Saturday 27th June with a reserve launch date of Saturday 4th July.
  • The second probe launches on Sunday 28th June with a reserve launch date of Sunday 5th July.


As part of the project the pupils of QMGS will be trialling an outreach programme to local primary schools to teach three science lessons based on ‘the Earth and the Sun’, ‘Our Solar System’ and ‘Horizon – Our atmosphere’.

It is hoped that these outreach programmes will become a regular event aimed at inspiring primary aged pupils to take more of an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

To find out more about this project you can visit the schools project Horizon website here.

Watch the schools trailer below and we look forward to showing you their film on this blog soon.


Planning chiefs have given the green light for a new, permanent location for Walsall's historic market at The Bridge in the town centre.

The decision at last night's planning committee cements the future of the 800-year old market, along with a number of public realm improvements in the town.

The Market will comprise of 70 pitches housed in a back-to-back layout so traders face pedestrian routes and two dedicated catering vehicle spaces focused around The Bridge.

Stalls can also be de-mountable, so when the market is not operating it can act as a public open space.

Changes to the market layout will be carried out in two main phases to minimise disruption to traders during the ongoing regeneration activity in the town centre.


Walsall Council bosses approved changes to the council tax reduction scheme at Full Council on 12 January 2015 whereby all working age residents will have to pay at least 25% of their council tax bill.

 Councillor Sean Coughlan, Walsall Council Leader, said: “In April 2013 central government replaced the national council tax benefit scheme with a new scheme administered by the council.

 “Since then the government funding to support the new scheme has reduced year on year and the council has been able to protect all residents from the impact of these changes until now.

“From April 2015 this will no longer be possible as the council is faced with the challenge of having to save £86 million over the next four years.

With a shorter course for novices and a number of free places to encourage those who are totally new to exercise, organisers of Walsall's 2015 Triathlon are urging residents of all abilities to "Tri-It."

Last year's event was a runaway success with entrants of all ages declaring it "a great experience, a fantastic event and a good atmosphere." Places were snapped up within just a couple of weeks.

This year's triathlon, will take place on Sunday 12 July and is being organised by Walsall Council's Sport & Leisure Services with funding from Public Health Walsall. The event will once again be held at Oak Park Leisure Centre in Walsall Wood.

A fitting tribute to Walsall born Victoria Cross recipient, John Henry Carless VC, was unveiled this week by the Mayor, Councillor Pete Smith, at St Mary’s The Mount RC Primary School.

The family of John Carless VC organised a commemorative service with the school on 11 November 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War with the paving stone donated by the Department for Communities and Local Government.  Also in attendance were Walsall Council members and officers including the Leader, Councillor Sean Coughlan, and fellow alumni of St Mary’s The Mount, Councillor Marco Longhi.

The Mayor addressed the school assembly and said, “We are all here today to remember a very special man.”