Metal gurus

This week, I have trawled the furthest corners of the net to stir up some very particular memories. This is one of those things that I thought I’d never find pictures of, but whilst searching for something else, I came upon some that stirred recollections of a lost period.

The Superalloys foundry is now long gone – demolished in the eighties – but was situated on the Lichfield Road next to the canal, many Brownhills lads will remember the piles of war scrap that could be seen from the canal towpath opposite the yard. Old military ambulances, searchlights and extraneous metalwork rotted away unloved next to whole aircraft bodies, all being dismantled and melted down for scrap. There were regular fires here, and many of us have memories of trying to get into the yard from the canal. Daring tales exist of yound lads in canoes, rafts and braving canal ice, either to explore or scavenge metal.

I’m after more history of this factory, now long demolished. It was a grimy landmark, visible for miles due to it’s enormous brick chimney. I remember well the art deco frontage and that elegant, square clock. Come on chaps, what can you remember? I know that readers Dave Bishop and Godfrey ‘Oakparkrunner’ Hucker in particular – as a firefighter of the period – has particular recollections of this fascinating factory.

Picture taken from The Aviation Forum, as posted by user Wildcat on the 21st February 2006.

Browse the thread about aircraft scrapyards on The Aviation Forum where I found the photographs posted by user Wildcat.

Wildcat has this to say about the foundry yard:

I spent many hours ‘browsing’ around the Super Alloys yard in the mid/late 60’s. What a treasure trove, if only I had realised exactly what I was playing with.

Entry as Matt said was from the rear ( I went in round the back of the ‘egg factory’). A couple of menacing dogs kept most away, but for reasons unknown they were always friendly to me and little brother. I remember seeing a few cockpits/fuselages as well as Anson Mainplanes and a large white fuselage under a canopy.

Nuff of the memory lane waffling, hears a couple of pics from the front of the yard. The condition of the Javelins is remarkably tidy ( doubt they had been there long) What price those fuselages today!!

Listed as ‘Brownhills Scrapyard 1977-York wings’ Photo taken from the Flickr photostream of user Bobdcuk.

Browse Bobdcuk’s Flickr stream, where I found the 1977 images.

Picture taken from The Aviation Forum, as posted by user Wildcat on the 21st February 2006.

Listed as ‘Brownhills scrapyard 1977 – Typhoon’ – the remembered military vehicle scrap is piled in the background, and also note the familiar view to the rear. Beneath the soil in the middle distance lies the Staffordshire Hoard, as yet undiscovered. Photo taken from the Flickr photostream of user Bobdcuk.

Listed as ‘Brownhills Scrapyard 1977 Typhoon’ – notice the welly being used as a glove, times were hard then… Photo taken from the Flickr photostream of user Bobdcuk.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Followups, Interesting photos, Local History, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Metal gurus

  1. Nick says:

    Thanks for the pics..brilliant. I remember the yard well although I never went in. I lived up at Shelfield and only ever cycled or was driven past as a child. I remember Vulcan bomber wings propped up against a building wall like huge grey/white sails.

  2. In a tweet from this afternoon, Roger ‘Ziksby’ Jones had this to add:

    I keyed those Javelin serial nos. into Google and they are listed as having been scrapped at RAF M/U71 Bicester in 1962

    The readers of this blog sometimes leave me speechless!

    Thank you, Roger, you really are amazing!

    Best wishes

    Bob

  3. lisa says:

    Hi Bob,

    I used to love a rummage around that place on a Sunday afternoon. Me, my mum and a few local kids used to very often go down there. I still have a piece of searchlight glass that I found down there, it’s my lucky charm. I drove mum mad once because I wanted to take a spitfire propeller home with me – well I was only 8 😉

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  9. Local explorer says:

    I went in that place many a times in the 80’s with school friends, we just walked along the bank and got through the fence. I dug up a gas mask complete with hose and canister and I took it home. My mother made me throw it in the bin with all the other things I dug up like boxes of electrical equipment which didn’t seem to have been buried for that long (my dad went mad that I threw it away when I told him years later haha). There were no planes there when we were in there and everything we found we dug up. There must be still items buried.

  10. Adam says:

    Hi I’m in the Typhoon phot with a mop of ginger hair I’d love to know where it is now It’s a Cab door type Typhoon so early model Happy days The other guys are Bill Coney and Jim Howard with welly who was quite posh he had the best car! Austin Princess wedge shape

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