The scale of things to come


Chasewater South shore, 1976, 1:5,000 scale. Remarkable. Click for a larger version. Very large, so may take a while. Courtesy Gareth Thomas and Lichfield District Council.


Brownhills central, 1963, 1:10,000 scale. Click for a larger version. Very large, so may take a while. Courtesy Gareth Thomas and Lichfield District Council.

This is a teaser. Gareth Thomas, top geographical services officer and mapping wonk from Lichfield District Council has been dipping into the aerial photography archives, and sent me a whole truanche of new wonders. Mostly these are at a larger scale, and date from 1976, meaning they show far more detail. They will interest so many people – from Chasewater Wildlife Group, to Brownhills history enthusiasts, mining geeks and canal buffs.

I can’t thank Gareth enough for his wonderful act enough. All the images in the set are fascinating, and there will be more to come at the weekend. Gareth’s actions to share material that would otherwise stay hidden are a groundbreaking thing and hugely appreciated. I know of no other council working with the local history community in this way.

Comments are invited. More to come at the weekend. Isn’t this just wonderful?

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11 Responses to The scale of things to come

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    many thanks to Gareth for these fascinating photos. So many points of interest!

  2. Peter says:

    Can only echo what David has already said to Gareth.
    I notice the Pier Inn (Fortunes of War) had already gone from Pike Helve by the time of this image. When did it disappear?
    Thanks again Gareth

  3. Clive says:

    Nice one Gareth and Bob.

  4. m4rkmyword says:

    Thanks for posting these. On the first the old trotting track is clearly visible, is this still there?

    On the second I can see the house on Sadler Rd where I grew up and where my parents still live but the block of flats where I spent my earlier years hasn’t yet been built, and today has been long demolished.

  5. emell says:

    The trotting track became the Comps playing fields in the mid 70’s.The photo of the town looks as if it is pre 1976,as there were house built in Narrow Lane that aren’t on this photo.The photo of Chasewater shows the other smaller cafe opposite the old car park past the cart track.It was demolished at some point.

    • Hi Emell

      One thing I can guarantee is the date of the picture, even the time. Look at the top edge; 9th December 1976, 17:10pm. That will be absolutely correct; many of these images were used for time critical applications (although not at LDC) and the date and time recording were essential.


    • Sorry, for clarity, the Brownhills one is 9th June 1963, Chasewater image 1976.

    • Andy Dennis says:

      Not the same track? The one near Chasewater has been disused for yonks. You can still tell there was something there, but I suspect would be hard pressed to say exactly what. The stand and other buildings disappeared long ago.

  6. emell says:

    Looking at the photo of the Chasewater section again,just past the cafe mentioned above,you can make out the trampoline pits (?) 9 rectangular shapes to the left of the cafe.

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