That there Clive Roberts – documenter of the history of the Shire Oak Inn and collector of local postcards – has been at it again. He’s picked up another postcard of Brownhills at a fair, and mailed me scans of the front and back to post here on the blog.
Clive, you’ll remember, supplied the two fascinating cards earlier in the year, which seemed to keep the researches busy for a while.
This one was postally used on the 18th August, 1967, and is a well known image that’s featured in a couple of local history books. The card was published by A.W. Bourne of Leicester. It’s a picture of St. James Parish Church in Brownhills, from the top of Church Road. To the right, is Ogley Hay School. To the left, the houses that would be replaced by the later school building. Immediately in front, the entrance to the church, before it was desecrated like so many local churches with a hideous extension.
What’s great about this image is that although familiar, the scan is very high quality and detailed, and detail can now be discerned that hasn’t been possible from the book versions. Note the car behind the railings – could auto buffs use this as a guide to the date?
The other thing interesting me here is the white memorial in the churchyard. That’s a big old chunk of stone, and it’s not there now. What was it, what happened to it, and why was such a striking monument removed? It looks like the current War Memorial, which sits central in the churchyard to the right of this picture, but the proportions don’t look right. If it was relocated, was it moved after the Second World War? What’s the story?
The card was sent from Bill to Derek Porter of Bramford, Ipswich, Suffolk, I think. As far as I can tell (and I’m no good with handwriting, please feel free to correct me if you can), it says:
Cannock Chase today seen your old camp and rlwy(? Railway) halt. Quite nice little change. More when I see you.
Thanks to Clive for donating such a wonderful card. Anything we can find out about this image or the two correspondents would be wonderful.