Last weekend, I received the following inquiry from Neil Taylor, who is interested in the history of the Newtown area of Brownhills, specifically Howdles Lane and Anglesey Road. Neil had this to say:
I’ve been a resident of Anglesey Road, Brownhills for the last five and a half years and I’ve been trying to find out some history of what was around the immediate area before our houses were built, i believe the two old semi’s in Howdles Lane were farm houses and the Prince of Wales was originally a house, I would be grateful if you could tell me where to look for any in depth history.
I thank Neil for his intriguing enquiry, and must admit that I know little about that area of Brownhills, and invite contributions from the readers. I had a reader recently take me to task for not covering much about the areas north of Watling Street, like Newtown and Brownhills West. There’s a very good reason for that: little in the way of photographic record seems to exist, and I don’t know these areas at all well, I’m sad to say. If any readers have information or pictures to share, please do contact me, either by commenting on the blog or mailing me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
In the meantime, I dug some maps out of the archives, which show – even at the turn of the century – that the area was quite densely built upon in comparison to the rest of Brownhills.
As for other places to look, Brownhills Library at The Parkview Centre has an excellent local history section, and there are several books there that may help, but the very best place to go for these kind of things is always The Walsall Local History Centre, where top researchers and archivists like Stuart Williams and Paul Ford are ready to help interpret their fantastic collection of historical information. Use of the centre is free, and it’s located in Essex Street in Walsall.
I’m fascinated to see what turns up.