Classical Gas


The town Gas Works and the High Street, Brownhills, 1938

I noted the other day that the National Library of Scotland mapping archive was growing, as is the National Newspaper archive. Another service that’s quietly gaining content is  the Aerofilms archive of aerial photography of Britain from 1919-1953. Aerofilms, as the leader in such imagery for years, jealously guarded their work and getting hold of it has always been difficult and expensive – they did, after all, make commercial hay with the coffee table books of Britain from the Air for the last four decades.

I posted a couple of years ago that the archive was becoming partially available online. The creators said that more images would be added over time, and they’ve been good to their word. Friend of the blog Commander Foxy noted yesterday that great new images of Brownhills Gasworks from 1938 had been added, and I found some interesting 1946 ones of the Conduit Colliery No. 3 slag heap in Norton Canes.

David Evans wand others will be pleased to note the photograph captures Pike Helve by the old Iron Bridge, where the Fortune of War or Pier Inn was; also note the existence of New Street. For those having difficult orienting the Brownhills pictures, the gasometer is almost on exactly the same spot that Humphries House stands on today.

These images are used in accordance with the service license, which, like the NLS mapping service, are eminently sensible. Why not visit the Britain from the Air site and check them out yourselves – you can do so by clicking on any image.


The waste tip at Conduit Colliery (No. 3), Norton Canes, 1946.


The town Gas Works, Brownhills, 1938.


The town Gas Works and the High Street, Brownhills, 1938.


The town Gas Works and the High Street, Brownhills, 1938.


The waste tip at Conduit Colliery (No. 3), Norton Canes, 1946


The town Gas Works alongside the Wyrley and Essington Canal, Brownhills, 1938


The waste tip at Conduit Colliery (No. 3), Norton Canes, 1946.

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5 Responses to Classical Gas

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    thank you for posting these super photos….(.I wonder if the gas works may just be seen in the 1934 Brownhills Carnival film?) In the photos you can clearly see George Fullelove’s house, opposite the Salvation Army Citadel in the HIgh Street. I wonder when the wooden footbridge was replaced by the metal one ? I wonder what we can learn about Leamore House, that stood on its own, half way down Pier Street and close to Silver Street. When was the Co-op dairy opened in Silver Street?
    Thanks again, Bob.
    kind regards

  2. Phil Burton ( ex Harpers Driver) says:

    Hi Bob,
    Great posting of Norton Colliery photos. They bring back many happy memories for me as I was born in Norton Canes and lived 53 years in Norton Canes and Cannock. My Mothers Father and one brother worked in the pit and my Granddad was at The Conduit Colliery most of his working life. After the pit closed in the early 60’s as kids we used to love to climb the spoil mound. I remember very well when they demolished the big chimney stack with great accuracy. I love your posts with anything to do with the local areas. Keep up the good work Bob it is very much appreciated by one and all. Thanks for all your dedicated work keeping our local History alive.
    Highest regards

  3. Pingback: What’s the plan? | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  4. Great stuff Bob.
    I have a small downer regarding the National Newspaper Archive….their customer service stinks! I will not go into detail but they are not interested if you encounter problems with their service. It costs an awful lot and I expected better. I have now given up on my subscription due to access problems. I now access through FMP. It’s not as good as the more recent additions etc are not available but at least I can view what I want and need to see. Sad. Only flagging this problem for people who value what they are getting for their money

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