On Lindon Road, just in the no man’s land between Brownhills and Walsall Wood, there’s a close of newbuild housing between Catshill canal junction and the road, called Chandlers Keep – I believe this to have been built around 1990-1992.
Reader Matthew Godridge contacted me at the weekend to ask if I had any photos of what existed on the site of Chandlers Keep before the housing was built. I hadn’t any of my own, but that wonderful treasury of images posted by Brownhills George contained a fair few, so I’ve made a gallery out of them for Matthew – see the foot of this post.
You can go and have a look at George’s remarkable collection here.
What existed on the site of Chandlers Keep was actually a collection of businesses in a variety of rambling units and outbuildings; Raden Engineering was there for a good few years, and accident repair business Autocraft was in the large 1930s unit. There was an earthmoving equipment hire company there in the 1980s; and also a boatbuilders called Don Marine.
The 1884 Ordnance Survey mapping records a house here called Lindale Hose, but it’s not clear if any remnant of that survived into living memory; in later editions, a smithy and foundry were marked on the same spot.
By the canal where the narrows are was a small brick hut called a Tonnage House where boats were gauged and tolled for weight.
If anyone has anything to add to this, I’d be glad to hear it; I’m sure there’s some history I’ve missed. Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
Lichfield Mercury 10 Sep 1937
The wedding … of Mr Arthur Ernest Woodward, eldest son of Mr and Mrs S A Woodward, of Lindale House, Brownhills.
And perhaps rather oddly
Lichfield Mercury 3 Nov 1933
Lyndale House, adjoining Catshill Foundry, Brownhills, sale of surplus furniture (100 lots) for Mr S A Woodward who is leaving.
Lyndale House, adjoining Catshill Foundry was still there, and inhabited, during the war years, 1939/1945. A family named Derry, lived there, the daughter, Dorothy, went to Walsall Wood Senior School, in Brownhills Road. It was always assumed by us kids, that her father was manager of the foundry. The property seemed in very attractive condition, even then, and was situated alongside the foundry, just above the Commonside junction.
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Our house was on the other side of the canal in Lindon Close and we would put a plank over the lock to play in the old cars that were on the site, this was in the 1970’s, We spent most of our time by the canal, in a canoe. on a tarzan swing by the Anchor bridge, on the rubbish tip or up by the pig farm. Lots of happy memories.
Where the canoe is there was a man killed welding a small tanker between those buildings when it exploded- I think the rear of the tank blew off.
Would have been about 30 years ago I guess, I remember the tanker parked in that gap facing the road on the evening that it was in the Express & Star.
I can’t find anything on line about it though.
I remember that explosion but i guess it was more like in mid 1970’s rather than 80’s
The boat builder at Don Marine was Barry Richard’s. He was recognised as one of the leading boat builders in the country, he built Enterprise and GP dinghies. How he achieved the glass like finish on his boats never ceased to amaze me consider the state of the building, bricks missing and gaps all over the place.