That Young David Evans has been at it again. I pointed out ages ago that he was researching the history of Streets Corner in Walsall Wood, and through months of diligent and patient research, David has written what must be the definitive account of the history of this place.
I thank David for his wonderful contribution, and welcome anything else folk may have on the matter. Streets Corner is one of those names that if we’re not careful, may slip into history, like Bullings Heath and Holly Bank, so it’s good to see the matter nailed in such an effective and illuminating way.
As ever, cheers old chap.
The poor quality photocopy below, of an article which appeared in the Cannock Advertiser newspaper in 1967 was recently given to me by a member of the Walsall Wood Jackson family’s descendants who was doing research in to the family tree. The original thatched cottage was replaced by a (then) modern bungalow which was built in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and which has also now been demolished.
I was intrigued by the details given in this article, as well as the image of the thatched cottage. A reverse time-line through the local census returns helped to trace the Street family in that cottage back as far as 1841. The 1801 census and 1801 Molseley dole records that are shown by Sue Lote at Walsall Foreign Family History helped me to place three cottages at that site, and to name the occupants in 1801. One name was common to these three sources – that being Rowe/Roe.
Fortunately I have been able to view the 1750 Tithe map for this part of Walsall Wood, the relevant section included below.
The Lichfield Road runs from Walsall (to the left of this map) towards Lichfield (to the right). The Shire Oak tree is shown – this stood just to the north of the Streets Corner, and is where a footpath now leads to Holly Lane, which used to join the Lichfield Road there. This is an important reference marker, as nearby we can see three dwellings.
The 1841 census for this part of Walsall Wood, the Turnpike Road (Staffordshire – Walsall – Aldridge – district 5 – image 7) shows these three families; John Street aged 60, who is described as a ‘nailer’, and his wife Elizabeth, aged 60; Lewis Nutting aged 66 , bricklayer and family; Hannah Rowe aged 27, pauper, with children Jabez aged 5, Mary Rowe aged 4 and Richard Rowe aged 2.
The newspaper article suggests that the thatched cottage was ‘…probably over two centuries old (in 1967).’ Certainly, we can see that it was there in 1750. But when could it have been built? Quite recently a descendant of the Jackson-Street family contacted me. I was told that an oil painting copy of the thatched cottage in 1736 has existed at one time. I understand that the nailer’s anvil may still exist and be in the family’s possession.
I was shown this remarkable original and unpublished photo of Maria Street, the old lady who lived the cottage with her husband, George Street. This seems to be the same lady in the other notable photographs of the Streets Corner cottage.
David Evans, July 2013