Don’t believe everything you read…

From mid-1990s local history magazine ‘Pelsall past and present’, a familiar image, wrongly identified. Cheers to Howmuch? for the spot. Click for a larger version.

I’ve been droning on now for some months about the need for accuracy and careful research in local history. It’s because I know that I’m as fallible as the next man that I, like you readers, worry so much about it. When researching stuff, you really want things to confirm what you already think or know, and sometimes allow this desire to cloud your judgement.

A shining example of this is shown above. Recently [Howmuch?] was perusing some bargain old 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 Wood. Here, the author asserts it is actually a picture of the old bridge (now rebuilt a couple of years ago), on Lime Lane between Norton and Pelsall, despite there being no resemblance whatsoever between the two images featured in his own article.

Readers familiar with the old bridge will remember that not only was it built at a rather sharp and unpleasant dog leg angle, but that the approaches were not straight or remarkably steep. Quite how the author (whom I shall not name) came to this conclusion is anyone’s guess.

An interesting cautionary point – be careful of your assertions, and just because something is in print, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily correct.

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4 Responses to Don’t believe everything you read…

  1. stymaster says:

    sharp and unpleasant dog leg angle

    Fun, in my book :-), but difficult to cross when the towpath underneath was closed….

    The picture clearly isn’t Lime Lane, and does indeed look very much like Blackcock.

    Talking of Blackcock bridge, have you seen the state of the non-existent planking, corroded iron supports, and plastic netting on it at the moment?

    • Caz says:

      Hi Stymaster, some of the planks from the bridge are floating along in the canal. I saw two men working on the bridge, and assumed they were repairing the damaged planks, then later saw the orange netting. Surely the obvious and simple thing would be to replace them at the same time as you take the old ones off.

  2. tony Martin says:

    At least two books, by the same author, state that Bentley Hall was demolised to make way for the M6, when it was pulled down around 1930 and was not on the route of the motorway. Don’t believe everything you read indeed!

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