The final lot

The demolition is by now nearly complete – after  155 years extant, and about 40 of those derelict, the former St. John’s School in Walsall Wood has now largely reduced to pallets of bricks and oddments of scrap. David Evans, local historian and blog contributor extraordinaire was there yesterday – Monday, 18th March 2014 – to record the death throes in preparation for a new housing development to be commenced. 

No doubt made up the road in Aldridge, these bullnoses are spiffing bricks. Image courtesy of David Evans.

We caught the beginning of the operation a couple of weeks ago, and then revisited when the task was well underway. A third visit covered some of the interior fabric exposed, and this final set of photos records some of the careful, but surprisingly speedy work of the team from Cawarden Brick and Tile in Rugeley who are undertaking the job.

At this point, both David and I would like to express our immense respect, admiration and thanks to James Marshall the site manager, and to his colleagues James Morris, Steve Lester, Steve Marsden, Ian Theobold, Rob Collins, Chad Walker and Carl White. They are a fine team who were patient and understanding, and their generosity in allowing David to record the passing of this landmark will not be forgotten. They did not have to allow access – it was an act of pure felicity that they did so.

They are fine chaps and a credit to Cawarden.

For those interested, I wrote an article recently about the planning history of the site, and David transcribed the log books of the school over several wonderful articles

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2 Responses to The final lot

  1. Clive says:

    Big thank you to Dave, and the chaps from Cawarden Brick & Tile for allowing are Dave into the old St Johns School.

  2. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a follow-up which may be of interest to your readers. This afternoon I visited Cawarden’s wonderful site. I wanted to learn what may have become of the bricks. I was welcomed by a very kind gentleman there who explained that the bricks had literally gone to good homes!
    The bricks had been cut into split bricks to become the facing brickworks for fireplaces. I was delighted to hear this.
    It also appears that the Cawarden website also links to a specialist brick enthusiast who researches the history that each named brick reveals. The bricks from Walsall Wood had no name, but were all hand-made.
    I would like to thank Cawarden for affording me the time today and to bring a happy completion to this story.
    kind regards

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