A gift from Brian…

Reader Brian Clenton today landed us with a surprise: some excellent photos of Brownhills and Clayhanger life, mostly in the 1950s – these beautifully scanned images are wonderfully diverse, but Brian didn’t say much about them. Hopefully, he’s tuned in and will maybe add to the story.

Of course, readers are also welcome to add their four’peth too.

While I’m here, Brian asked me on Twitter a few days ago:

Now I’m too young to remember this farm, and I don’t think it’s been mentioned here before – so what do you guys know?

Thanks to Brian for an excellent contribution, much appreciated.

Please do comment, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


Ogley Hay Juniors Football Team 1957. Image kindly supplied by Brian Clenton.

brownhills manse

The Vicarage, Vicarage Road, approximately 1960. Image kindly supplied by Brian Clenton.

jmec-ss play

Brownhills Methodist Sunday School Play approximately 1954 – Image kindly supplied by Brian Clenton.

clayhanger chapel bbq

Pig Roast at Clayhanger, possibly the Chapel barbecue. Dennis Clenton, the butcher from Lindon Road, Brownhills in centre. Image kindly supplied by Brian Clenton.

sunday school  group bcc+jmec-2

Methodist Sunday School approximately 1954 – Image kindly supplied by Brian Clenton.

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22 Responses to A gift from Brian…

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Super photos ..huge thanks to Brian. Just love the huge Nativity photo. I wonder how many of the people in the photos can be recognised and named….Let’s start the ball rolling….Lucy Dunne and her two young daughters are in the Clayhanger photo. Who are the children in the Brownhills photos…..in Mount Zion Primitive Church..or the Wesleyan Church?
    Thanks to Brian and to your good self, Bob
    Kind regards

    • aerreg says:

      hi david as an old newcommer to blog game i am enjoying looking back but feel mutch o
      lder than 84 centra school apears to have moved no harry wright dan marklew billy hazard cupsa pugh joe stockley no torture tree no doctor surgery in the first war army hut in church st no dr bradford in copice side the drift gone at poters clay no mrs dafts fish un chips no florie cox pawn shop iime loving every minute thank you for what you all do god bless from aer reg

  2. Clive says:

    Lovely photos Brian. Thanks you. There before my time so cant had any info to them.

  3. maria fitzgerald says:

    Hi bob,
    I new of hall farm I sure it was a pig farm just as go in to clayhanger from pelsall rd side.
    I am sure my dad said that army claimed the pigs in ww2 then some time later the pigs got swine flu and had to be culled.

    Maria fitzgerald

    • oakparkrunner says:

      The Pig Farm in Clayhanger Lane was Swingbridge Farm. Access was also from Pelsall Rd close to the Swan Public House. It crossed over the Walsall to Lichfield Railway line via a level crossing, then over the canal at Coopers Bridge.

  4. Grande Pablo says:

    Living on the Swingbridge Farm estate, it’s on our deeds that in 99 years time from build we need to get the ground checked for traces of disease. I won’t be handing it down to the kids.

    • The diseased animals were buried on the land between Northfields Way and the railway embankment – where there’s public open space now.

      That’s why it was never developed.


  5. maria fitzgerald says:

    I was always told that it was halls farm.

    • On maps, it’s Swingbridge farm. This map shows it as such, and I think it’s been mentioned here in auction notices. (midle top edge of map) – Cooper’s Bridge used to be a swingbridge before it was upgraded, hence the name.

      • maria fitzgerald says:

        Oh right I always thought it was halls farm. Thanks any look with photos I sent?


        • Sorry Maria, I’ve not recieved anything. Can you email them to Brownhillsbob at googlemail dot com please, or maybe upload them to Facebook? You can’t attach them to a blog comment, sadly. WordPress just dumps them.


  6. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    The map 1882 map you have kindly linked to may help to solve the mystery of the location of the Primitive Mehodust Chapel at Catshill, which is shown in the early circuit records, lodged in Lichfield archives..and named as Catshill…and which dear Pedro found in one his marvellous “finds”…and named as “Bethel”….a Mr Arblaster being a neighbour in 1861 census
    Mpunt Zion, High Street Brownhills, is known to have been built in1895, on a piece of land owned by the Primitive Methodists, and used bricks from their original chapel.
    Gerald Reece, in his book, shows a hand drawn copy of Catshill area c 1860, and has an undefined chapel there. I think your wonderful map shows the chapel, near the triangular piece of land…but oddly not listed as an active place of worship in1882. So a part of the mystery still remains.
    my thanks to you, Bob, Brian and Pedro
    Kind regards

  7. Adrian Bickley says:

    Top left of the picture of Ogley Hay Junior School football team looks like it might be Mr Horton, who was Headmaster during my time at the school, 1970 – 1974.

  8. Pat Coton (nee Hodgkins) says:

    Yes that’s Headmaster Mr Horton, he was lovely, the other teacher is Mr I T Thomas, if you were naughty you went to him for the cane, or to Mrs Ivy for the studded pump, lol. Also on the photo are Brian Clenton, Bernard Grantham and Keith Law whose parents had the electrical shop on Brownhills High Street. Happy memories at that school in the fifties.

    • Adrian Bickley says:

      The Mr Thomas I knew had no hair, as far as I remember, but I assume it’s the same man. I had one or two occasions to visit Mr Horton in his office but I remember him as being patient and never unpleasant about such things. He sometimes used to attend South Staffs Caravan Club rallies, so I would occasionally see him there.

  9. Carole ford says:

    There was 2 Mr Thomas the one you are talking about was known as music Mr Thomas

  10. Tracey clenton-smith says:

    Fab pics uncle Brian x

  11. Patrick Hall says:

    I was born in Brownhills and lived on Halls farm until 1964. It was called Meadow Farm, I lived in 234 Meadow cottage accessed down the side of Dunn & Hales garage, with my parents Harold & Beatie Hall next door 236 was Harolds Mother Sarah and Harold Hall snr known as Lal. The land was owned by Lichfield Laundry and was purchased for the flats development.

  12. Melvyn Cotterill says:

    Great photo Brian . Regarding the Football team photo I recognise some you didn’t mention they are Melvyn Cotterill (myself) John Davies, John Hall,and Terry Masters.Great memories.

  13. John Hall says:

    I can add a few more names to the football team Mr.Horton (Headmaster), Kenneth Taylor, Phillip Luke, I T Thomas (class 9 teacher)
    This photograph was NOT the school team but was the Warwick House Team of that year.
    A R Thomas (music teacher) was the bald headed teacher remembered by Adrian Bickley and he ran the school team, a photo of which I sent to the blog a couple of years ago.

    Also a number of people I remember from the Methodist chapel event ( somewhere I didn’t frequent ) are Rosemary Jones, Helen Jones, Margaret Oliver, Helen Schofield, Heather Fryer, Jennifer Bickley, Christine Portsmouth, Audrey Hill, Barbara Fisher Dennis George, Dennis Powell ,The Hadley Brothers

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