Who’d be a carthorse?

This is a remarkable think, and what we consider to be the Black Cock Bridge from the southwestern side, just after construction. Note the cart-tracks. Picture located by Howmuch?

Here’s another gem from [Howmuch?], who’s found this wonderful photo in the archives at Lichfield. It took us a while to work out, as it was unlabelled, but it is, of course, the western approach to the Black Cock Bridge, Bullings Heath, Walsall Wood. We’ve discussed it at some length, and we think this is the ‘new’ (i.e. current) bridge, shortly after reconstruction. Note the cart tracks and what we think is a crab apple tree on the left. [Howmuch?] reckons he remembers that tree from his youth in the sixties; do any other folks remember it?

Since the revelation that the original brick-arch bridge was widened by two feet six inches, I went and had a gander. that would have made the original crossing just passable by a cart. I can see why they were clamouring to replace the original bridges. I’m interested in the construction of the current bridge, and wonder why the lefthand wing wall in the photo is asymmetrical to the righthand. It’s not just the photo, it’s like that physically.

Tantalisingly, there’s what appears to be a gentleman atop the bridge. Wonder who he was? It’s interesting to note the rough road surface. I bet the cart horses hated that hill – both ascending and descending.

More or less the same view a century later from Google Streetview.
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  • Annie

    Is there not also a child by the fence on the left hand side, or is that just my eyes??

  • pedro

    Carthorse (useful, half-legged) Wanted, rising 6 years, 16.5 hands; must pass vet. and trams; state price.-apply by letter, Geo Ellis, Builder, Hanley.

    27 Feb 1900 Staffs Sentinel.

    (how useful is a half-legged carthorse?)

    • Peter

      Not sure how useful either, however I did have £20.00 on one either way at Royal Ascot yesterday!

  • George

    Sorry I am a year Late but How right you are about not believing everything you read. People make honest mistakes and once they are in print people take them as gospel.
    An example is in the excellent book Memories of Old Brownhills published in 2001 page 44 there is a photograph of Eddie Jones in front of a building project. The caption reads the building now occupied by Bourne tools. Bourne Tools was sited in the property next door Further away from the bridge. That was built as a Tent & Camping supply shop.
    With regards to the Black Cock Bridge it would be interesting to know when this was built and what it replaced. As when the canal was constructed it was below the level of the surrounding land. until the Miners got to work

  • David Evans

    Hi Bob
    Brownhills urban District Council minutes
    Minutes of a Special (Rate Estimate) meeting of the Finance Committe, 27 Feb 1957
    minute 837..Rate Estimate year ending 31st March 1958…section headed District Roads
    Black Cock Bridge Improvement, 1956/57 £600. anticipated expenditure 1956-57; £200, estimated expendture 57/58..£600″


  1. Don’t believe everything you read… « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  August 7, 2012

    […] history back issues he purchased at a jumble, and spotted the above familiar image. That image was featured here a few weeks ago, and is clearly of the Black Cock bridge, in Bullings Heath, Walsall W…. Here, the author asserts it is actually a picture of the old bridge (now rebuilt a couple of years […]

  2. PigBlog » Blog Archive » Night Rider  October 10, 2012

    […] the front light that I managed to somehow knock clean off while ascending the now notorious Black Cock Bridge, I’ve been out in the evening on my bike- something that, excepting one visit to The Swan […]


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