Green grew the rushes

You can just see the track over the canal footbridge at the left. Thanks to Robert Selvey for this wonderful picture, taken on the 2nd April 1979.

There’s been some fascinating discussion recently about the Veolia hazardous waste plant (formerly Effluent Disposal/Polymeric Treatments/Leigh Environmental/Sarp) in Stubbers Green. In the comment section of my post about the redevelopment of Brownhills Business Park, ‘The Effluent Society‘, regular and clueful commenter The Stymaster points out that a footpath runs through the site, which I must confess I’d never noticed before.

In relation to that, reader and local photographer Robert Selvey kindly sent me the above picture of the area in 1979, showing the former railway embankment and brickworks, now long gone. Robert had this to say about his picture:

The story is that I have always been interested in the railways and this shot was taken when I worked for the Walsall Observer selling advertising. My patch was Aldridge so I passed this site many times every week. I know it is a little off Brownhills but I thought you may like to see it in relation to the waste blog you have started. If you look to the left of the shot you can clearly see the path going up to the overbridge on the canal.
I have several shots of transport taken around Brownhills and immediate area, and still continue to snap away at anything and everything. Latest series have featured the maisonettes coming down, the market in its death throes, relics on the disused railway lines, Chasewater drained etc. A great excuse to get out and about.

The footpath and site can clearly be seen on google earth:

It can clearly be seen from Ordnance Survey mapping that this is a public footpath:

From Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Pathfinder mapping, sheet 220. The green dotted line represents the footpath winding between the marl pit and adjacent waste site.

I’d like to thank Robert for his interesting and valuable contribution, and I welcome anything further either he, or any other reader may be able to contribute. I love the way that just by posting this stuff, we all learn a bit more about our shared history. If you have anything at all – it doesn’t matter how dull, obscure or irrelevant you may consider it to be – please do contact me. There must be a huge wealth of stuff out there to share.

That’s BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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  • stymaster

    I’ve known and used that path since the late seventies, and that area and the spoil heaps just up Stubbers Green Road were an area to explore as a child: I grew up just up the road, and my Mom still lives nearby, so the path forms a decent shortcut from here in Walsall Wood to that part of the world that I still use regularly. I rarely see anyone else on it, but it does get regular use- the grass doesn’t grow over it.

    The path has been subtly rerouted over the years to accomodate the works around it- and the fencing has grown.At one point they did try to close some of it, and at one time some of it led out onto the driveway down to the waste site. I strongly suspect it was originally a miners or brickworkers path to or from work, rather like much of the Timberland Trail around Pelsall/Great Wyrley.

    If Robert has more photos of the area (especially late 70s onwards) I’d love to see them.

  • Simon

    Coincidentally I went running along that footpath earlier today. It always feels a bit eyrie going along it, as it’s deserted, and you’re fenced in on both sides with a whopping great hole in the ground next to the path.

    I remember going to a protest (‘Get out of Walsall Leigh!’) when growing up where the path emerges next to Stubbers Green, around the time of sealasafe.

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