Past trucking

Shortly after compiling the last post about the great local history chronicler and raconteur Godfrey ‘Oakparkrunner’ Hucker, he kindly sent me another great contribution. I am indebted to Godfrey and as ever, cannot thank him enough for his wonderful memories, photos and anecdotes. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: it’s readers like Godfrey and the wonderful debate they spark that makes this blog worth doings. Thanks.

Godfrey, of course, curates his own fantastic blog and I note this week that he has compiled an engaging, informative wander into his childhood in Brownhills. It’s a cracking read, so please do take a look.

GGodfrey sent me the following:

Bob –  With regard to your survey on lost pubs of Brownhills. Some of my early days of frequenting Ale Houses in the 1950’s, were spent in the Anglesey Arms on the Watling Street opposite Howdles Lane. A block of flats were built on the site after the demise of the public house. These flats have recently been demolished and all that remains now is a compound of green railings. One of the regulars in the Anglesey was local business man Ralph Ferrie who owned Brownhills Motor Sales, along with some old Leyland Lorries. Son of Charles Ferrie, who started the business, their garage was situated adjacent to the railway sidings at the rear of the Station Hotel. He drove a Rolls Royce Saloon reg RF 2. Photo of the Anglesey Arms is taken from MEMORIES OF OLD BROWNHILLS by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington. The Leyland was taken in Brownhills High Street, I believe it to be going down to the start of the Carnival procession. Kind regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

This actually made me wonder: does anyone have any idea as to the provenance of the prominent local name Anglesey? We have Anglesey Wharf, Sidings, Basin and branch. Now we have the Anglesey Arms. What do you know? Is it a coincidence that  the Watling Street terminates in Anglesey? I’d be interested to hear what you have to say.

'The Anglesey Arms' from Memories of Old Brownhills by Clarice Mayo. I wish I could get a copy of that book...

Godfrey's photo of one of Ferrie's classic trucks. Note Severn House in the background - I guess the houses in the background (the terraces to the left) would be where Philip Cheetham lived, by the SNC spiritualist church.

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16 Responses to Past trucking

  1. Dave Bishop says:

    Hi Bob
    The Leyland truck is indeed almost opposite the “Temple of Light” church, but more likely adjacent to Brawns and The Warreners Arms. The ‘modern’ house seen is at the top of Lindon Drive and before Humphries House and the other ‘modern’ houses to join Lindon Drive to High Street at the Silver Court end.

    I seem to recall the terraced houses being demolished but Brawn’s was one of the last to go – I expect Mrs. Brawn was reluctant to give up her business.

  2. ‘Anglesey’ comes from the Anglesey Branch of the Wyrley and Essington Canal.

    From Wikipedia: “The Anglesey Branch from Ogley Junction, built as a feeder in 1800 to carry the main source of water for the canal from Chasewater Reservoir, was upgraded to navigable status in 1850 as new mines opened in the area. Coal continued to be transported along the branch from Anglesey Basin until 1967. The end of this branch is the furthest north it is currently possible to travel on the Birmingham Canal Navigations.”

  3. We should also remember that pubs like the Irish Harp and Welsh Harp were so-named because many of the travellers on Watling Street and Chester Road were on their way to and from Ireland, via Holyhead in Anglesey, and to and from Wales. Many people passing through Brownhills would have been Welsh and Irish. Names like the Anglesey Arms/Welsh Harp/Irish Harp would have provided a little home-from-home ambience. So it is possible that the Anglesey Branch of the canal took its name from the pub.

  4. david fellows says:

    The Marquis of Anglesey , who’s family seat was at Beaudesert, owned most of the land around Brownhills.

  5. Steve Hickman says:

    There are quite afew pubs, houses, bridges and roads named after Anglesey in Staffordshire. All named after Henry Paget, 2nd Earl of Uxbridge, Marquess of Anglesea. He was from Beadesert on Cannock Chase. His claim to fame was that he was the Duke of Wellington’s second in command at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. A grateful nation presented him with Plas Newdd on Anglesea and gave him the title Marquess of Anglesea.

  6. John Bishop says:

    My family were Birmingham overspillers and moved to Brownhills in about 1960 i would think,we moved into the maisonettes ,recently demolished,by Anchor Bridge. We were 255a as at the time the original old houses still stood in front of us on the road.We later moved across the road to Lindon Drive,on to what was the old gasworks.The ground /garden was blue fromthe gas,and smelled every time you put a spade in.Just across the land in front ,was an old derelict house ,which i remember catching fire.I would love to see any old photos,i have a couple taken with an olsd polaroid,but the quality is only reasonable. Later i worked at Forward Garage,which was owned by John Matthews, and later on High St Service Station which was used/owned ,i am not sure which but Collis Electrical for there Hillman Huskey/Imp vans.

    • That’s fascinating John. I’d be really interested if you could get digital copies of your photos, it doesn’t matter how rough they are really. Anything that contributes to the historical record.

      It is interesting too to note the issue with the contamination caused by the gasworks. I was thinking about that a few weeks ago and idly wondered if they’d decontaminated the land. It would appear not.

      All the best


  7. Thanks to all for your wonderful contributions.

    I’d often wondered about the origins of the Anglesey name but never investigated. It’s fantastic to have such knowledgable readers!

    I’m indebted to you all…

    Best wishes,


  8. Andy Dennis says:

    It is perhaps worth adding that the Cannock Chase collieries were on Anglesey’s land. Cannock Chase No. 1 pit, around Anglesey Basin, beneath Chasewater dam, was known as “The Marquis” and the employment opportunities may be the reason why many families, including my own, arrived in the Brownhills and Chasetown areas in the early 1850s.

  9. Keith says:

    Reference copy available as follows

    Memories of old Brownhills: pictures of the area around the last century

    * Ref No: 006998
    * Repository: Walsall Local History Centre
    * Author: Harrington Geoff
    * Author: Mayo Clarice
    * Class: P942.492BRO
    * Tags:
    * For more information contact: Walsall Archives / Local History Centre
    * Catalogue
    o Memories of old Brownhills: pictures of the area around the last century 006998

    • Thanks, Kieth, I’ll check it out. I’m after a copy to buy really, because I break the spines when I scan them. I’m after several local history books and the only way to find them is to scour eBay and Amazon marketplace, sadly.


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