This is an odd little one for people interested in the history of Brownhills industry – upon the subject of which, we still have very little material, as I alluded to in my last post about Ogley Mill.
A wee bird tells me that respected author and local historian Gerald Reece has once more teamed up with the young David Evans are plotting again, and I look forward to discovering what they’re cooking up. But in the meantime, Gerald has been to see David and bought some interesting bits of history with him.
This handbell is very rare. But I’d like to find out how rare, and what the circumstances were surrounding its production and distribution.
The bell commemorates the victory in the Second World War, and features a suitable text, V for victory on the handle and the embossed heads of the Allies leaders – Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt (I assume Roosevelt – could be Truman, of course. Tricky one, that…)
The bell is described as being quite tuneless, made as it is of recycled aircraft alloy – it was cast from metal stripped from enemy aircraft ‘…shot down over Britain 1939-45’. These curious items were given away (or perhaps sold) as a promotional device by the Super Alloys Company of Brownhills, who did indeed recycle war scrap. Their factory and yard, known as The Chemical, was a magnet for kids in Brownhills for many decades, and their chimney stood as a landmark until demolition in the 1980s.
So, the question is this – do you know anything about these bells? Were there many made? Were they made in Brownhills, or elsewhere under contract from Brownhills produced metal? Are there any others? What do you remember of Superalloys?
I featured the factory in a previous post, and the memory of it memory is very strong in the local consciousness. Please, do comment here or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
Thanks to Gerald and David for helping some more great local history escape into the wild.