I’ve just been very kindly sent this extraordinary and fascinating image by Brian Stringer, top chap and author of the excellent book ‘The Clayhanger Kid’. There is little I can actually say about this extraordinary, captivating image except click on it, zoom in and study. I’ll produce an annotated version later, but for now, just marvel at this beautiful record of a previous time. Clayhanger and Brownhills, before everything changed.
Brian had this to say:
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had come across an old ariel pic of Clayhanger. I’ve took it to Stuart at Esssex St and asked him to send you a copy but in case he forgets I’m sending this one although it may not be as clear. I reckon it dates between 1952 and 55.
The pylon can be seen on the batters and that was erected when I was at the Central circa 52. Singh’s shop on the corner of High St and Church St looks quite new but it appears that behind it, (from where we look) Howdles butchers has not yet been built. I’m informed that that was built in 55. The gasometer can be seen in Brownhills High st, and if you look closely you can see the pumphouse over the ‘spot’. Clayhanger Church and old infants is quite clear so you can see that there is plenty for a historian to get their teeth into. My guess? 1953, Coronation year, just a hunch.
Readers finding material like this, which can be shared through this blog, is why I do what I do. This is a terrific find for which I thank Brian and Stuart from the bottom of my heart. Cheers, lads.