The Strange Numbers of Stoney Lane

The Strange Numbers of Stoney Lane …

Those heralding from the fine hamlet of Birmingham might understandably assume our humble record label moniker hails from the balti-lined street in Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath with which we share an esteemed title. Those with a deeper philosophical understanding, however, will know that even the mighty biryani wasn’t gracing the palette in 1885, when West Bromwich Albion, founded some seven years earlier, moved from their home shared with the West Bromwich Dartmouth cricket club to play at a new ground on Stoney Lane, eight miles north west of its Birmingham namesake. Rather appropriately, the lease was acquired from a local undertaker. Some fifteen years later, with two FA Cup wins and three further cup final appearances to their name, the club moved on to their current home, The Hawthorns, and have never been quite as good ever since.

Still, not to be deterred by the last 120 years, or the modern footballing apocalypse known as the Premier League, we offer further subtle homage to the finer days of the Albion’s existence with the shapely spine of our catalogue numbers.  You will of course have spotted that each of our releases is marked with the year of a key glory from the shining Baggie past – league championships, promotions, cup wins … the list is almost endless.


It has reluctantly been noted that perhaps this inventory may, in fact, be finite after all; that some dozen or so albums later, Stoney Lane Records will come to as miserable-an-end as a Saturday afternoon at Villa Park.  Yet, fear not, for our will is strong, and our imaginations deep.  Who would have thought that the future lucky custodian of release #SLR1996 would proudly be marking the March ’96 arrival in God’s Country of Sir Richard Sneekes?  Or that destined-to-be-famous album #SLR1999 would give a nod to a year when the chronologically challenged striker Fabian de Freitas forgot to turn up for kick-off?  Glorious days a plenty, immortalised in record-making history.

If, for some unfathomable reason, you don’t immediately recognise such illustrious histories by mere glance at our catalogue numbers, then we have generously listed those momentous days of triumph below to refresh your memory …

With thanks to the upstanding and ingenious Dave Bowler for the photo above, and for the feature at the Home of Football.

Opening of Stoney Lane Ground, West Bromwich, 1885  


#SLR1878  (Various Artists – Live At The Spotted Dog) – The West Bromwich Strollers are born

#SLR1883  (stillefelt – stillefelt) – First trophy – The Staffordshire Cup

#SLR1888  (TG Collective – Release The Penguins) FA Cup Winners – 2-1 vs Preston North End

#SLR1892  (Ben Lee Quintet – In The Tree) FA Cup Winners – 3-0 vs Aston Villa

#SLR1920  (Hans Koller – Retrospection) First Division League Champions

#SLR1931  (Mike Fletcher Trio – Vuelta) FA Cup Winners – 2-1 vs Birmingham City

#SLR1954  (Mark Pringle – A Moveable Feast) FA Cup Winners – 3-2 vs Preston North End

#SLR1966  (Gonimoblast Live with Arve Henriksen & Maja SK Ratkje) League Cup Winners – 5-3 vs West Ham
(Double-album / the last two-legged League Cup Final!)

#SLR1968  (Sara Colman – What We’re Made Of)FA Cup Winners – 1-0 vs Everton

#SLR1976  (Young Pilgrims – We’re Young Pilgrims) – FA Youth Cup Winners

#SLR1977  (Jonathan Silk – Fragment) – The Caledonian Cup winners

#SLR1978  (Xhosa Cole – Ibeji) – The Three Degrees

#SLR1981 (Steve Banks – Emboldened) –

#SLR1988  (Sara Colman – Ink On A Pin) – Baptism at The Shrine

#SLR1989 (Trish Clowes & Ross Stanley – Journey to Where) – Founding of WBA Women

#SLR1993  (Alex Woods Quartet – Highline) – Ossie’s Play-Off victory

#SLR2005  (Young Pilgrims – Little Things) – The Great Escape

#SLR2011  (Paul Dunmall Quintet with the Birmingham Conservatoire Big Band) – The Arrival of Lord Hodgson

#SLR2020  (Xhosa Cole – K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us) – Slaven’s Promotion


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