Local and distant


The ‘New’ Anchor pub being built behind the old one. Some would tenure the older one was better. I’d have said this would be about 1986/7. Image kindly supplied by Brownhills George and posted on Panoramio.

Here’s a wonderful thing I’ve been watching grow for a couple of weeks. A new Panoramio gallery has appeared for Brownhills and surrounds, curated by Brownhills George. George has posted some excellent old pictures of Brownhills and it’s environs, and I’m keen to see what else he has in store.

I contacted the poster and had a chat via email. It seems he has a broad collection of images, and is just starting to get the hang of Panoramio, and I really think he needs lots of encouragement and support.

George said of his photography:

The Cameras that I used with 120 Film produced negatives of 21/4″ X 31/4″ and used to make contact prints. there was no way of altering the exposure or the speed and produced pretty poor prints. I did have a Roliflex Camera later 21/4″ Square but by this time 36 prints on 35 mm was a better proposition.

It seems Brownhills George has a good, broad knowledge of the area, too. He commented on my image of RKG Pressings being demolished, also posted on Panoramio.

I have a similar Photo to yours with RKG Pressings being demolished.

There were two companies on this site as well as Bourne Tools. The parent company to RKG Pressings was Timings Tools.

That had been going since the 1950s, in Lindon Road.

At one time Timings Tools was the biggest Contract toolmakers in Western Europe

RKG Pressings was a Press Shop named after the owners 3 Sons. The G being Gerald who was Manager when the Company collapsed.

The Company produced tools up to 10 ton in weight for BMC (the Mini), Ford, Vauxhall, Rolls Royce Aero Engines, Hotpoint, Bosch and others.

The RKG building was built originally by the Gentleshaw Sand & Gravel Company for servicing their Lorries and was bought by Timings Tools about 1980.

The photos George is posting capture a period from which few photos appear online, yet which many of us recall fondly.

I’d like to welcome George to the local history scene and look forward to his future contributions eagerly.

Thanks for your efforts, old chap. Most welcome.


The remarkable old wooden fingerpost, that stood on Watling Street opposite The Crown and Rising Sun, moved to Shugborough (for some reason) in the 80s. Image by Brownhills George, and posted on Panoramio.


A replica post was made and erected to replace the one removed. It still stands on the central reservation of the A5 Watling Street – this image apparently taken in 2007. Note the freshly painted Crown. Image kindly supplied by Brownhills George and posted on Panoramio.


One of several chemists shops in Brownhills in the 70s and 80s (Enterprise, Westons, Boots…) Provost had me musing on the name – I think from Providence House, which I seem to remember is the building name. Pedestrianised Pier Street dates this as post-1986ish, I’d say maybe 87-88. Image kindly up plied by Brownhills George, and posted on Panoramio.


I had initially thought this image was contemporary with the one above, yet the building has been repainted between the two. This looks closer to 1986, as the paving looks fresh in Pier Street. Note the phone box outside Marios, the side entry, and the reflection of Coppice Radio & TV in the side window. Image kindly supplied by Brownhills George and posted on Panoramio.


This is incredible – the apparently decaying coal conveyor at Anglesey Wharf, near Chasewater, subject to so much recent discussion. Note the butty under the right-hand side. Only the brick base remains. Image courtesy of Brownhills George, and posted on Panoramio.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Local and distant

  1. stymaster says:

    Great images. The Anchor was indeed rebuilt 1986/7, I remember it well, and remember driving to the new one when it had just opened as a just-passed-my-test teenager.

  2. Bill Breakwell says:

    Hi Bob
    Reference the name Provest chemist
    I worked in Stafford st Walsall during the sixties and later in the early eighties,they had a chemist shop there and got to know Mr Provest well I remember asking about the name and he told me his family was of Hugenot origination.
    Funny how a post like this can bring fact
    That’s been buried in my brain for decades.

  3. morturn says:

    Indeed thank you both!

  4. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I think the chemist was a Mark Provost, and Aldridge chap

  5. emell says:

    Hi Bob,
    Small world, my parents bought there bungalow in Brownhills from Provosts .Provost had a chemist shop in Stafford Street,Walsall and the another one in Brownhills on the high street and then moved up the high street to the corner on Pier street.Their last name is pronounced Provo

  6. TOLLMAN says:

    One of memories is my dad and me crawling cross the coal conveyer as a short cut. I must have been six or seven. Not very pc health and safety my a***, a memory forever.

  7. Rose Burnell says:

    Well it looks like I’ve been beaten to it! Just going to say it was indeed the family surname Provost and is, as emell says, pronounced Provo. Mark Provost is one of my dad’s best friends and he and his dad who is also a pharmacist owned it. Mark now lives in Canada.

    I like these pictures as I am just about old enough to remember some of them!

  8. PorkTorta says:

    These are fantastic photos – can’t thank you all enough for sharing them. I remember them building the new Anchor very well. I used to catch the bus to school from the stop just over the canal, and remember watching the construction as i was waiting for the bus to Walsall. I’m off to see what else George may have online…

  9. Pingback: By George, he’s got it! | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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