Before the motorway came through…

Way out west… Brownhills West. The Hednesford Road is as straight as a die, but do you have any images of the Pear Tree Inn/Cottage when it was open, or any images of the general area before the M6 Toll was built? Imagery by Bing! Maps. Click for a larger version.

I’ve been contacted by blog reader Stuart Jakeman, who’s appealing for images of Brownhills West before the toll road came through. He’s also after any images we may have of the Pear Tree when it was still open. Can anybody help?

While we’re on the subject, I’m after materials relating to the planning process for the M6 Toll – the BNRR Birmingham Northern Relief Road as it was known back then – any route or protest leaflets, newspaper adverts etc. I’ve not covered that bit of our history at all and it could do with a bit of attention.

If anyone still has one, I’m also after a copy of the 1980s ‘Blue Book’ – the Aldridge Brownhills Local Plan. It was legendary at the time, and I’d love to scan a copy and get it online.

If you can help with any of these, please do comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

Hi Bob

I have been following your blog for a number of months now and wondered if you can help?

I have lived in Brownhills West for the majority of my life. I grew up on Hednesford Road next door but one to what was Bakers West Garage (Now Chase Auto Repairs), and as a teenager our house was purchased to build the M6 Toll (BNNR). What I need help with is obtaining pictures or photographs of what Hednedford Road was like before the houses were knocked down (early 90’s or before), looking from Bakers Garage up towards Princes Knob or vise versa. Also pictures looking towards The Pear Tree Cottage.

I do have some pictures of the Pear Tree Cottage shortley before it was knocked down but is was in a poor state of repair and I would like pictures when is was a public house. I did find some aerial photographs of the Brownhills West area at Walsall Heritage Center but was unable to get a copy due to copyright, any type of pictures would be great and I dont mind paying for the pictures I am looking for or a copy if on a computer.

I Have already approached Bill Mayo.

Hope you can help

Thanking you in advance

Stuart Jakeman

Locals will note that although this Post Office closed a while back, the shopfront hasn’t changed much – last time I passed it was still pretty much as it is in this picture. If I recall correctly, there used to be a small sorting office at the back. I’m sure I can remember going there in the mid-90’s to collect a parcel. Taken from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington.

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18 Responses to Before the motorway came through…

  1. Hi, We have a variety of Aerial imagery available if this helps. Just drop me a line at and we can sort something out…

  2. Ps Bob, I will see what is held in our records relating to the BNRR and get back in touch

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    The Aldridge-Brownhills Local Plan is a rare beast these days. When I left the planning service had only two complete copies and they were jealously guarded. Of course, it has no force today, but is of historical interest. It was prepared by the West Midlands County Council in line with the County Structure Plan, which Walsall Council considered imposed too many new houses on the area and Clayhanger in particular. Most were to be in the Green Belt. The Council objected at the public inquiry, but to little avail. The ABLP was superseded by the Walsall Unitary Development Plan in 1995.

  4. Andy says:

    I have a collection of photographs of every pub in Walsall, Pelsall, Brownhills, Aldridge, Walsall Wood, Bloxwich, Darlaston, Willenhall, Rushall, Leamore etc from a project in 2000. This naturally includes the Pear Tree Cottage. It’s quite a collection, I’ve not looked at it for four or five years, and it’s very sad to see how many have gone. I’m happy to donate these on a disc if anyone has more time than I do to upload them somewhere so that everyone can see them. They are good big images, there’s one of each place, and there are 266 of them, and they need to be seen.

  5. Rob says:

    Images for Brownhills West would be even better if taken before the instant hovel that is Shannon Drive and its environs were imposed upon it.
    Prior to this it was a bit of colliery spoil surrounded by agricultural land when Yates’ had the farm.
    Much nicer to look at and no slum-clearance Brummie overspill polluting it.

    • See the happy pills are wearing off again.

      Thanks for that


    • Andy Dennis says:

      It may not be at the apogee of architectural endeavour, but some of the houses replaced, slum clearance in Brownhills, were cold and damp and had no electricity or even running water. Of course, if you prefer that sort of lifestyle, there are plenty of places available …

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  8. sandra walker says:

    what is Shannon drive like to live there cos I was thinking of buying a house there … be most grateful for any info ???

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  10. Michael Keen says:

    I used to live at 156 which I belive is now the hard shoulder, unfortunately I don’t possess any photos.
    Would be nice to some pics again

  11. Jarrod wood says:

    I have the videos of the houses being demolished for the bnrr on hedmesford road, the protesters climbing trees, the pear tree, the chasewater angle of the area, the gulf garage, roughly two hours of road and chasewater footage from the demolition week.

  12. David Whiting says:

    I remember when I was ten going to the post office putting my pocket money away. It was to old ladies behind the counter . Some time I get sweet from there nefor I wen to school on the bus

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