Streets ahead

Untitled 8

Video stills don’t work very well from cinefilm, but this is clearly Brownhills Flats under construction, with the Walsall Wood pit mound in the foreground. I believe that’s Bayley House on the right, and Humphries house on the right. Image from the Charles Street film.

Things have been a bit lax this week, due to my atrocious working schedule which has meant that so far, I have been unable to share a remarkable bit of video from reader Charles Street, who’s a big fan of the blog.

Charles runs a lovely photography and nature blog, which I’ve also been meaning to plug for some time. Charles is a wonderfully talented photographer, and a great example of the kind of creative spirit that’s popping up so much online lately – and I’ll be plugging more great local blogs in the coming weeks.

The video features a surprise at the end, which appears to be a couple of pans around from the slag heap at the rear of Walsall Wood Colliery, showing the Jones House, Clayhanger Bridge and the Brownhills Flats under construction.

I believe this film to be contemporaneous with this image from Marion Jones, of a grassfire on The Spot, which is now Clayhanger Common.

I’m sure people will find this astounding. I know the South Staffordshire Rail Group, Ian Pell and Dave Moore will be intrigued, too.

Charles wrote:

Hi Bob,

I’m a regular follower of your blog – it’s generally more interesting than the daily papers!

Anyway I have some film footage taken by my dad of shunting etc. going on at the High Bridges yard in Pelsall. This would have been taken around 1965/66. I’ve edited the clip to around 7 minutes.

The quality isn’t great. It was shot on 8mm film, transferred to VHS about 40 years later and then finally copied to DVD in the last couple of weeks. Anyway have a peep and let me know if it’s usable.

I also have some footage of the go kart track at Chasewater and a motorbike scramble at Wharf lane – all taken in the mid 60’s if your blog readers show any interest then I’ll happily sort out some more.

My own nature blog still only has a very small following and if possible I’d like to get it across to a wider audience.

Look forward to hearing from you


I’d like to thank Charles for his generosity in supplying such a remarkable bit of footage (and also for his very kind words), as well as for sharing his beautiful wildlife photography. I implore him to post more, as it’s a joy to behold and so many folk don’t realise the amount of remarkable wildlife we have here in the UK.

May apologies are due to the gentleman for not getting around to this sooner. Sorry old chap, it can be a bit difficult fitting everything in sometimes.

Charles, just one further question if I may; any relation to the Street family of Walsall Wood, perchance?

Please, if you have anything to add, comment here, of mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


A remarkable shot of a Jay – one of the UK’s most gorgeous birds, as taken by Charles Street and posted on his blog. Click the image to visit this wonderful site.

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Streets ahead

  1. Clive says:

    Great video Charles, would love to see some more if i may. Many thanks to you and to Bob too.

  2. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a big thankyou to Charles and to yourself..a very interesting film. What does the white diagonal tripe on the wagons signify? I wonder if the film was shot after the Coalmine at Walsall Wood had closed down ( c 1964 )? The wharf is a feature I had forgotten…as is the Spot Corporation rubbish tip !
    kind regards

  3. mickysix says:

    Great video, really enjoyed, PLease PLEASE submit the other vids if Bob’s got the time to do. I would really like to see if I am on the Karting stuff or if it brings back memories.,

  4. david Oakley says:

    Hi Bob,
    Lovely little video by Charles. Highbridges used to fascinate me, as a youngster, so many lines…
    More like Crewe Junction , in my imagination. I was meditating this bygone age, in company with the video, when arrested by David Evans query regarding the diagonal lines on trucks, and my memory instantly fled to ‘Co-op Coal’, a fleeting employer in my misspent youth and early working life . In the 1950’s, ‘Co-op Coal Department’ in Walsall had a position in the Bradford Place coal wharf, long since gone, in which coal was unloaded manually from the trucks, weighed and distributed in one hundred weight bags, by lorry. The Co-op usually used trucks which had a central door which dropped down and provided a bridge to the wagon , other trucks, and this is in response to David Evans query, had end doors, for loading and unloading, with the diagonal stripe indicating the position of the door, without close inspection.
    The Co-p coalman had to fill his 1 cwt coalbags, manually from the truck, assisted by his shovel, drag the loaded bag to the scale, then place the bag among sixty more , for his first delivery . This delivery was made, in dribs and drabs, amongst local customers, two cwt was often the maximum order. Then another trip was made to the wharf, and another sixty cwt was manually loaded up and distributed, before the day’s work was completed. You knew you’d done a day’s work by the time you reached home. Happy days ??

  5. I used to go to the scrambles in Wharf Lane when I was a kid – would love to see any footage! John (CWS)

  6. Pingback: Streets ahead – Including shunting at Norton Junction | Chasewaterstuff's Railway & Canal Blog

  7. Pedro says:

    Thanks to Charles and Bob. Nice to see that Bob puts a good word in for people starting thier own Blogs.

    All the best Pedro

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.