In the frame?

Reader Peter contacted me a few days ago with an interesting inquiry about a strange structure behind the Brickmaker’s Arms in Salters Road, Walsall Wood. I suggested Peter write up the item himself, and he’s kindly obliged. All I can think of is this is a barrel lift, but it seems way to tall for that.

It would appear to be a 1940s or later construction from the style of girder work, but I honestly have no idea.

If anyone knows, or has any theories, please do comment or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks due to peter for a great article and intriguing puzzle.Cheers!

Looks like a gantry of some sort… Picture kindly sent in by reader Peter.

Certainly a tall structure… those girders look 1940’s in origin. Picture supplied by Peter.


At the far end of the car park of the The Brickmakers Arms in Salters Road stands a rusting an clearly unused metalwork structure that looks as though it belonged to a bygone age.

It is approx 20 foot high and clearly formed what was part of a mechanism to transport something around, the obvious one being barrels. However there is a mystery!

Until quite recently there were wooden rails in the ground leading away from the structure, however they didn’t go anywhere near the pub itself, it seems strange as there is plenty of room around the pub for trucks / wagons to deliver the goods, looking at old photos it seems there has always been plenty of room.

At the bottom of the structure in amongst the undergrowth is what appears to be some wheels and a counterbalance arrangement.

I can say with reasonable certainty that the item on top of the ‘barrel’ is a motor pulley. Picture kindly supplied by Peter.

Clearly the whole arrangement was to lift, carry and move something, what it was designed for we could probably make a good guess at but to where seems mysterious. The sandy coloured track you can see in one of the photos is newly laid but follows exactly where the old wooden rails were?

I enclose some photos (Taken using only a mobile phone though!) for reference I didn’t ask permission to take them and I was on the car park at the time, however the car park is a cut through and seems to be used by all and sundry whether they’re visiting the pub or not. I can send larger file size photos if you wish.

If you have any doubts maybe you could pop in next time you’re passing.

Keep up the good work Bob, what you stimulate is fascinating and often essential.


I’ve seen this kind of girder in wartime buildings with large span roofs, like factories and hangars. Picture taken and poster by Peter.

this looks like a path to me – it’s constructed in a similar way to canal towpaths. How odd. Picture supplied by Peter.

This entry was posted in Bad Science, Environment, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to In the frame?

  1. How about a tug-of-war training tower?

    I used one many years ago. The rope went via a pulley at the bottom of the tower to another at the top and back down to a large weight.

    Large weight = concrete filled beer barrel?
    “Rails” = for the team to dig their heels into?

    • Peter says:

      David, Thanks for your interest. I’m not familiar with Tug-o-war training methods personally, but everything you say would make sense. Was Tug-o-War a popular sport / pastime say 30 / 40 years ago? Could it be there were pub teams? much like today’s pub football teams.

      • The frame that I used was built in the mid-1970s out of substantial “H” section girders and made to last a thousand years as I remember it.
        As training also consisted of running around the rugby pitches it was based at I soon lost interest. Moving a few yards backwards I could cope with – but running?

        A current tower was spotted by Captain Ahab last year ……
        “The sun made a welcome return so we set off at 11.30, plodding slowly down the shallow Leek Arm to Hazelhurst and as we crossed the aqueduct I heard a rhythmic roaring from down below. Peering over the balustrade I saw a long chain of beefy blokes pulling a rope which was connected to a telegraph post with wheels at the top and a tub of cement on the other side. Either this is a local sport or its a tug of war team in training.”

        The story and a photo are here

  2. Pedro says:

    Found this that mentions the team in the 70’s!

  3. Pingback: Where you go, Vigo too… « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  4. Pingback: Tug of love « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  5. My boyfriends family are the current owners of the pub, and I can confirm it is used for the tug of war, who still use it today!

  6. It is definitely a tug of war contraption. They use it for training on a Tuesday.

  7. Pingback: Lose, and you’re in the drink! | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

Leave a Reply to imabiigriffithsCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.