A lost travel ticket… and an unknown location. Can you help?


Spotted this afternoon on eBay, everyone’s favourite tat bazaar, a train season ticket. This is clearly for a schoolgirl, as it runs from September, 1949 to July, 1950. Miss Eva K. Richardson, where are you now?

Whilst searching eBay, me and Howmuch? have come across some interesting local finds, which raise a couple of local history conundra for you to ponder.

The above season ticket, valid between Brownhills and Lichfield City covering the school term from 6th September 1949 to 28th July 1950, is currently for sale on eBay. The ticket itself doesn’t particularly interest me, but the named carrier does. It was issued to Miss Eva K Richardson, and was half rate, suggesting she was a school or college pupil. Is Miss Richardson still about? Do we know what became of her?

Moreover, that was quite a price, five pounds ten shillings and thruppence. One supposes that Eva must have had a scholarship or similar placement to go to study in Lichfield from Brownhills. Can anyone shed any light on that at all, please?

Secondly, me and the lad [Howmuch?] have been discussing an image he found in recent weeks, also on eBay. It’s of the Wyrley and Essington canal near Lichfield (now known at the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal). This is the section that ran from Ogley Junction, Brownhills to Huddlesford, near Lichfield, that was drained in the post-war period and is currently under restoration.

This one really is puzzling. In my researches, I found two copies of it, with a significant difference. What we’re really after, is where the image – if it’s photographic – was taken from, or otherwise, the viewpoint it was painted from.

The Cathedral seems to be off left, and that’s maybe the brewery chimney over to the right, with various spires and towers in-between. But I can’t place the pool next to the canal within the mapping record.

Just above the pool is an outline that suggests the Fosseway level crossing signal box, but I may just be imagining that. If this is from the Pipe Hill area, where’s Sandfields pumping station?

Why did they remove the horse and some background detail in the coloured version (which seems hand coloured to me, but I’m no expert)? The towpath adjacent to the lock has also changed shape.

As a guide, the coloured card’s auction description says it was ‘postally used in 1909’.

Any ideas or speculation, please do comment, or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


eBay item no: 170984989574 – listed for £4, and it didn’t sell. Wish I’d noticed. Posted in 1909, but where is it? Click to go to the listing on eBay – sorry, no higher resolution version available.


eBay item no: 310549822358 – it went for £4.99. Note the horse and more complex background. I think this may actually be a photo. Click to go to the listing on eBay – sorry, no higher resolution version available.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to A lost travel ticket… and an unknown location. Can you help?

  1. tony Martin says:

    On the canal picture, the boat looks very wrong for the sort of narrow boat used on Midland canals, whist the lock looks wrong too. The boat looks like a broad barge as used in the North, but not sure about this,
    Tony Martin

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    Mother’s cousin Ethel, who lived on Watling St, Brownhills, had a scholarship to The Friary School (in the 1920s). I don’t know if she travelled by train or bicycle, but maybe that was the destination for Miss Richardson?

  3. Pedro says:

    Interesting conundrum. As Valentines produced postcards, did they doctor them?

    Why is the black and white marked “Lichfield. The Locks, Canal” and the other strangely “The Locks Canal. Lichfield”?

    The sky seems different, and maybe added on the colour version with the wipe out of the rail signal.

  4. Clive says:

    I agree with Tony Martin, the boat is`nt a narrow boat, which would have been used on the canals around here!

  5. morturn says:

    Nice find, objects and photographs, the pillars of public history.

    I agree, train ticket looks to me like its for the school year September to July, so as you say its most likely for school or college. What tails could Eva K Richardson tell us now?

    I think the boat and the horse have been added in the first photo to make it more artistic. The horse does not look quite right, almost floating.

    I also agree with Tony about the barge, it looks like a wide beam boat, and there seems to be a difference in the water texture around the boat.

    Hand tinting of photographs was quite a common practice, and could be very effective. I consider my self to be quite able with Photoshop; I did start out developing and printing with chemicals and paper, but was always impressed with some of the manipulative skills some of the darkroom technicians had.

  6. ziksby says:

    As a postcard collector of 25 years or more I can confirm that the doctoring of postcards was quite commonplace, and Valentines were no exception to the practice. I have similar cards with horse drawn carriages replaced by cars, people and animals removed from images etc. It was generally the case that b/w or sepia cards would soon be followed by a coloured version, and often the originals taken between 1900-1910 would not be doctored till the 1920s/30s.

  7. Pedro says:

    With a bit of artistic licence it may be that the artist was somewhere near Wall Lane with the smokey and rat infested residence of Aldershawe just to the right?

    Hope that this leads to the 1888 OS Map…


    And a higher resolution…


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