Station mastery

It’s come to my attention that several ‘new’ old photographs of Brownhills Stations have appeared online in recent months. These are remarkable, and here I’m featuring them for both the enjoyment of readers, and to publicise the sites they feature on.

The first three images are featured on the remarkable, jaw-dropping site that is Photos by D J Norton, which is a tremendous archive of midlands images, created by a remarkable photographic talent who died tragically young. Please browse the site and wallow in the quality and breath of images.

The Brownhills Stations page is just brilliant.

The picture of the remnants of Brownhills Watling Street Station is the only one I’ve ever seen looking south, and that would be the yard of Ralph Ferrie on the left. That is a truly incredible picture. I featured a walk around that site a few years ago.

I have donated, as requested, to Asthma UK. If you appreciate the photos as much as I do, please do the same.

The last image was found by top bloke David Evans last week using Google Chrome’s image search function, and used in my post about the Surge Stack yesterday. After some detective work, I found out where it came from, and this kind of highlights why image searches are a blessing and a curse. Because of the way the image search works, David would have had no idea where the source was, or that there was descriptive information there, so was left guessing as to the origin and time period.

I now have discovered the image is a super-high quality, high resolution scan from 1962, posted in the Flickr photo stream of Geoff7918, a remarkable collection of railway images. It seems it was part of a collection created by one Peter Shoesmith, which Geoff is hosting. Please do check out the discussion of the Rover 80 parked nearby in the original photo description. There’s some outstanding photography and history in Geoffs stream.

I include the original image descriptions. Please don’t lift these images without credit, and please do support the sites they came from. It’s only by the diligent, careful work of others that we have such a fine historical record. Please respect that.


This is a nice view of Class 8F, 48514 from Bescot Shed pulling a mineral train. This site is now surrounded by a large roundabout that forms the junction of Pelsall Road, Chester Road North, Lichfield Road and High Street.
To put the scene in context today, to the far left can be seen the clock and chimney of the old Council House that now forms part of the Park View Centre.


This view of the old L&NWR station was taken from High Street, a suffix applied to it’s name between 1924 and 1930. It is looking north-east. The station would continue to operate until 1965.


As explained on Wikipedia, Brownhills (Watling Street) had closed to passengers way back in 1930 so it’s not suprising that there was little to be seen when my father visited in 1955. This picture is looking south from Watling Street towards the site of the station that lay north of the Chester Road.
It’s not all bad news, however, as part of the old Midland line to the north of the station site now forms part of the Chasewater Railway.

Seychelles in Brownhills

It was a dull and damp 2nd December in 1962 when Peter paid a visit to Brownhills in Staffordshire. He was in time to see Jubilee 45626 Seychelles, at the time a Burton based engine, working a mixed freight. The loco is blowing steam from her safety valve which would suggest it has been stopped. 45626 lasted until November 1965 a life of 31 years. The sidings to the left are being used to stable coaching stock but a short raft of wagons occupy the goods yard. The road down to the yard has a fine Rover 80 parked in it, as it is opposite to the signal box maybe it is the signalman’s Pride and Joy.

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8 Responses to Station mastery

  1. stymaster says:

    The D J Norton site is a treasure trove. Great photos, a real step back.

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  4. Sheila Lewis says:

    I always remember Brownhills station with fond memories, catching train to go Walsall also going on day trips to the seaside. When I was much younger remember crossing Pelsall Road to run up to the bridge so I could watch the trains go under, steam engines to diesel engines.

  5. Brian Rogers says:


  6. Shirley Ashley says:

    I can remember being on Brownhills station and the view over Brownhills bridge Marvellous pictures.

  7. Ken Turner says:

    I have lived in Brownhills most of my life..used to go over the bridge every day to the Central School and we would train spot from the upper classrooms at the risk of detentsion..My aunt Mrs Daisey Rowlands was a porter for a time there does anyone remember her?

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