This morning, I received a blog comment from [Amme], who asked this:
Hi bob, I have a challenge for you.
WE live in clayhanger and my hubby was looking for a bike route when has found a map of where we live and it has a lake on it where our house is!!!!! I have tried to find an old map of the area but have failed can you help at all??? I know it used to be an old pig farm but thats all. I will gladly send you the link of the map privatley.
Never one to resist a challenge, I hurriedly prepared the following:
The pig farm will be well-remembered by the residents of both Clayhanger and Brownhills, both for the distinctive smell that used to permeate the town, and for the regular escapes of pigs who used to root and churn up the canal towpath. I think it closed in the late eighties or early nineties. It was where the area of wasteland exists beside the new estate, between the meadow and canal. The meadow was left untouched during the housing development due to its’ use as a disposal pit for the livestock culled during the 1960’s foot and mouth outbreak. There’s still some footings left from the farm, recorded in my Panoramio gallery (click the image for a larger view):
In case you’re wondering, there’s an old saying in Brownhills that Clayhanger is an Island; you can’t get in or out without crossing water. The village has improved much over the past couple of decades, and it’s a subject I shall return to in future posts. As to bike tracks, in the local area, if you can cycle there, I know the route… I hope this has been of some help, if you need and further help, please don’t hesitate to ask.