Sadly, I’ve been neglecting poor old David Evans recently. He’s working tirelessly in the background, collecting memories, working on a couple of special projects and continually generating new content for readers here on the Brownhills Blog. Of late, things have been a bit manic and I’ve not had time to squeeze in enough of David’s contributions, for which I heartily apologise. David, all your work is very popular and immensely appreciated. It takes a lot to keep this show on the road, and sometimes I have to just drop things in when I can.
Thanks for your understanding on this.
Meanwhile, David has posed a really interesting question. I don’t know the first thing about this, so I’m hoping for a bit of illumination from the old Woodians out there. Not being aWalsall Wood lad myself, the mysteries of the village continue to enthral and delight. Just a thought (and I know nothing, so don’t shoot) it wasn’t a catholic cemetery, was it?
Marion Fadelle’s local quiz comment about an Irish Cemetery in Walsall Wood raises the question, why was this cemetery called ‘Irish’? This quiet backwater of Walsall Wood has seen some dramatic changes in the last century. The nearby Vigo farm has gone, its land was ‘dug out’ and for many years a huge claypit, one of several, and the adjacent brickworks and chimney stacks were the dominant feature in a spoiled landscape, and what now remains is a landfill site, now completed, and a large mound and methane capture plant which have replaced the once green fields with their crops and cows.
A small post-war emergency estate of pre-fab bungalows stood nearby, in Vigo Terrace. These, too have been demolished and replaced by modern houses.
The above photo, which appears in one of Oakparkunner’s glorious blog articles, shows the view from VIgo Road towards Brookland Road , with the main cemetery to the right. The piece of land there has another cul de sac and retirement bungalows. This was where the Irish Cemetery was. The close is named after one of the Wood’s most respected doctors who lived in nearby Beech Tree Road.
The firelighter’s yard, Powells, which was just down this road, closed down many years ago. People were using gas to heat their homes… Easier and cleaner than coal, I suppose.
But questions still remain. Why was this part of the main cemetery called the ‘Irish’ cemetery? Was it ever used as a cemetery?