This blog is getting quite large. At over 1,050 posts and over 5,000 comments, there’s an awful lot of material, and my mind, addled by caffeine, work junk and bicycle gear ratios isn’t all it could be. This leads occasionally to stuff we’ve already touched on being covered afresh, or questions being fretted over that already have some information available here. It’s thanks to the genius and positively pachiderm-like predisposition of top local history boffin [Howmuch?] that I can shed some light on and earlier subject currently being by discussed by the Walsall Wood contingent.
Davids Evans and Oakley have been continuing their chat and have expanded to talk about the chapel that once existed in Beechtree Road and King Street in Walsall Wood. I was a bit lost with this, as is my wont. Walsall Wood – particularly the backstreets, aren’t my natural territory and that area isn’t the place I went much as a child. [Howmuch?], on the other hand, is a true Walsall Wood Mon™ and, over a pint last night, he recalled the post in which Graham Harrison sent an image – perhaps of said chapel – in it’s latter days as a shop. It’s worth clicking through to that post, as there’s some great stuff in the comments from The Edditer and Roger ‘Ziksby’ Jones, amongst others.
Interestingly, it’s not a tin tabernacle, it predates that technique. Here’s the text and image from the original post in January, 2010:
My grandfather Henry Harrison was a miner living in Walsall Wood (the old school house on Beech Tree Road, see picture attached). His father was William Harrison, who is described in the 1911 Census as a “night rail foreman” with the U.D.C., living at Salters Road. He was born in Dodderhill, Droitwich–if I’m reading the original entry correctly. I haven’t been able to trace his move from Droitwich to Walsall Wood so far. I imagine that perhaps the majority of residents of Walsall Wood were newcomers to the area, for the coal mines. Most of my relations on both sides of the family were miners.
Is there any way in which I can get in touch with the U.D.C. About possible employment records for this William Harrison (born about 1850)?
All the best,
What’s making me think this is the chapel is that it’s the right shape (see below map) and it bears the street sign for Beechtree Road – suggesting it was at the junction as the chapel on the map is.
A further map for 1902 can be found in and earlier post, and that doesn’t label the chapel as such, neither does any subsequent map of this scale (1:10,0000 drafts show it later, but that’s clearly artefacts from earlier surveys not being revised to the 1:2,500 plans).
The 1919 issue, for instance, shows a growing wood and lots of name changes. Something very civic seems to have been done between 1884 and 1919.
In addition to the mapping record and the great Harrison photo, David Evans has collected some great information by his own means.
Beech Tree King Street Chapel
Source: David Oakley
First mentioned by David Oakley in quiz 1:
On the corner of Beechtree Road and Queen Street, on the right hand corner, tin tabernacle type building, later converted into shop owned by Collins family whose son Alan played for Walsall Wood FC in important 1951 match.
Mentioned dates that chapel functioned: 1878 to 1883
This certainly ties in with the mapping record.
In private e-mail [David Oakley] also mentioned that Mormon Church had registered a building near the Horse and Jockey pub for worship.
And gave dates 1855 to 1878 when it ceased to be used
This would fit in with Sue Lote and Andy Dennis’s work on the Derry history.
1901 OS map England Staffordshire SEOS 1;10,560 Epoch 1 18887 ( 1887 ?)
I need to look that one up, but mapping of that epoch at that scale is pretty lousy, to be honest.
Source: Marjorie H
Has asked at S. Johns for information. Known that there had been a chapel there… not known what demonination. Map show this on the wall of St Johns Medical Centre.
I’m fairly sure the St. Johns hand-tinted wall maps were produced from the 1884 epoch, so should match the 1884 above, but if you’re in there, can you ask them to do something about the bloody muzak they play? Repetitive, or what?
Source: Jenny Langford
Is related to the Collins family
Remembers the Collins shop from very early childhood. Did not know the building had once been a chapel. She mentioned that a building or room by old Horse and Jockey was used by non C of E denominations, and pre-dates St Johns construction of 1837. She has read Irish Question article and had seen David Oakley’s note on the quiz re-little chapel, but she did not know that the building had been a chapel, and it wasn’t mentioned by her parents.
The room at the Horse & Jockey was used for all sorts of things, including inquests I think. It’s use is mentioned by the wonderful Paul Ford when discussing the Bullings Heath mortuary.
She wondered if the chapel was connected to Irish cemetery and was it a Catholic chapel for the navvies who built the railway circa 1880?
Walsall Wood line opened 1876, so if this is the case the chapel must predate this by some margin. The station didn’t come until 1884. The construction style seems to suggest this.
Source: Roy C.
Grew up in Coppice Road, near to Camden Street, but moved to Brownhills some years ago, when he married. He is in his 80s.
Knew the building as a grocers shop circa 1950-60. Described location as ‘…leave Beechtree Road to enter King Street (called Queen Street by David Oakley) and the shop was on the right, on the corner. It was a funny-shaped building. Part had been coverted from a house to the small shop he delivered to.
Did not know about it having been a chapel.
Shop was owned by Harrison… married Ruby Allsop from Burntwood.
So, that neatly brings us full circle to the Harrison link at the start of the post. As ever, comments, criticisms, clarifications and catcalls, please do comment, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!