Grange rover

Further to the discussion about The Grange in Leighswood, Aldridge, in the wee small hours I had a play with overlaying the relevant maps on Google Earth imagery to find out exactly where the property stood.

I overlaid the 1961 1:2,500 map on current, 2012 imagery, which shows how much the area has altered in the intervening 50 years or so. The main addition is, of course, Northgate, effectively built as a Leighswood bypass, relieving traffic on Walsall Wood Road. Interestingly, most of the housing had been built in the area by 1961, it was the industrial units to the west that came later. From the overlay, it can be seen The Grange was roughly where the filling station is today on Northgate, just west of Brookfield Close, as Warsawpact said it did.

I then overlaid the 1956 1:10,000 map on the Google Earth 1945 imagery. This was more difficult, as the old photos are not planar and are severely distorted (as I suspect the map is a little, too). It does however line up pretty well, even showing the verge in the driveway. Interesting that Walton Road in those days led only to The Grange, and wonder if the name Walton is significant in it’s history?

You can download overlays to play with in Google Earth from the links below the images. Please note that the 1945 one doesn’t remotely line up with modern imagery and vice versa. To find out how to use the overlays, see the instructions in this post.

The Grange, as shown on the 1961 1:2,500 scale map, overlaid on current Google Earth imagery. Form this we can see that Northgate came right through the building – about where the filling station is today, and in the region of Brookfield Close, as reader Warsaw Pact asserted. Click for a larger version.

The Grange – now overlay – hosted at Google Docs

(Click the above link, and from the file menu above left of the map, click download)

And here’s The Grange on shown on the 1956 1:10,000 scale map, overlaid on the 1945 Google Earth imagery which shows it. This is a remarkable thing, if you think about it. Click for a larger version.

The Grange – 1945 overlay – hosted at Google docs

(Click the above link, and from the file menu above left of the map, click download)

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10 Responses to Grange rover

  1. David Oakley says:

    Hi Bob,
    Grange Farm was first mentioned on the blog last December under “High Roller” when
    discussing the Ferrie family who farmed Grange farm in the 1940’s. I spent many autumn
    mornings in the farmyard, waiting for the tractor and trailer to take us to to the potato fields.
    Pennard House was an elegant looking house, not too large, with a general stores adjoining.
    It was known as “Feltons” and if I remember correctly, the shop also carried an off-license.
    Woolpack Cottages, a little lower down, stood about six feet below road level, needing iron
    railings to prevent pedestrians falling into the area, below. steps led down to the properties.
    Poor housing stock, even then, with simple ledge and brace, unpainted doors to each cottage

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    Another great piece of work, Bob.

    Among other things it brings into relief Jobern’s Tip, vexed of planners for decades!

    • Hi Andy

      Thanks. Is there a post in that, I wonder…?


      • Andy Dennis says:

        I’m not sure I have enough material for a separate post.

        I don’t recall the tip as a tip, only a scarred area of derelict land. Until this post I had not realised (though it’s obvious) just how big a hole it was. The view across this area, with the scrapyard and various symptoms of past industry, was an eyesore. Set against this was the prospect that it could be developed for industry – I think I recall it being allocated as such in the Aldridge-Brownhills Local Plan (how not to do planning!) – in the only part of Walsall borough that was consistently in demand. Developments around Brickyard Road, Empire Close and, more recently, Anchor Brook provided, for many years, the only significant industrial development in the borough.

        Other tip sites have been developed, for example Rawlins Tip (off Aldridge Road, Streetly for houses), but Jobern’s Tip and adjoining land always seemed like a missed opportunity. I guess the current permitted use for vehicle storage on a hardstanding is probably the best use that can be achieved. At least it is tidier. Looking ahead, and in the context of a period of relative growth in industry, further expansion of industry in this area can only be at the expense of demolition or green fields. Industry must go elsewhere. Some may say this would be a good thing, but without employment and new business oppurtunities the fragile economy of Aldridge could collapse very quickly.

        • peter says:

          Hi Andy, Regular reader of the blog (and a very occasional contributor) Where is / was Jobbern’s Tip? Thanks. Peter.

          • Andy Dennis says:

            Hello Peter.

            If you scroll up to the 1961 map / overlay about half way up on the left hand side is a roundish feature indicating a hole left over from clay extraction. It is west of the junction of Northgate and Walton Road. On Google Earth today there is an area of black top in the same place.

            Hope this helps

        • David Oakley says:

          Hi Andy,
          The Google maps by Bob of the Joberns site, evoked many pre-war and wartime memories, the “tip” area was a collection of pools (still shown on the maps) each one having a different use. “First pool” nearest Coppice Lane was a fishing pool, where perch, roach and gudgeon could be caught. “Second pool” was not much good as damaged tiles had been tipped around the pool for some years, making a fishing position rather precarious. “Third pool” was the favourite as it was used used entirely for swimming, with a sand and clay surround without a steep incline to reach the water. Summer days it would be thronged by youngsters. There was also a pool at the bottom af the deep clayhole.featured on the map, where pike could be caught by the more daring, prepared to negotiate the steep incline. From the top could be seen the working clayhole, so deep that the workers looked like ants, with Lister trucks and Dumper trucks carrying the raw clay, up the zig-zags, to the surface. School-leaving age was Fourteen, then, and many of our schoomates worked at Joberns. Driving a Lister truck at the age of sixteen was the pinnacle of success, but until then youngsters worked at “Wheeling away” the unfired bricks to the kilns and the fired bricks, still very hot, after the kiln process. Barrows where wide, flat wooden things but perfectly balanced to carry a large load. There was also the process of “Purrin’ down” the bricks into the kilns and “tekin’ up” after the firing. A division of labour quite essential as each job required its own expertise which the youngsters soon mastered. One could be on the same job for months or even years. Joberns was completely “Open plan” I can’t remember a gate anywhere. You could wonder in among the various piles of bricks, looking for a mate that you knew worked there. The pools were all on private property and in retrospect, I wonder why we were never challenged, but yes, Joberns’s formed an important part of our childhood, both recreational and economic, and I would certainly like to see better use made of the space which provided so much joy, all those years ago’

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