I’ve been a bit busy elsewhere with work this weekend, but I have had time to dig out this wonderful map of Shire Oak, Catshill and Clayhanger in 1884 – I’ve featured fragments of this mapping before, but never a whole sheet.
This is a map of a community just about to undergo explosive growth, and huge change. Walsall Wood colliery has just started – the shaft has been sunk and it’s producing, but has yet to get into it’s stride. Soon, the community will need to expand hugely to provide houses and support for the workforce which will rocket offer the next couple of decades.
Note in relation to recent events; there’s a brickworks at Clayhaneger where the new pond is now, but the void is tiny; the canal overflows drain into a channel that feeds through the railway embankment to the Ford Brook, over the spot; by the straightness and lack of buildings, the southern end of Freizland Lane and New Road (latterly Pauls Coppice) both look just built. Note Lindale House, by Anchor Bridge, Rose Villa in Clayhanger and the footbridge over the long-gone Sandhills Arm. Wonder what that looked like?
Anyway, fill your boots. I shall do a Google Earth overlay when I get five minutes, too.