One of the last standing

Here’s the final blast of pictures from the mystery archive found by local historian Clive Roberts back at the beginning of November – these images are remarkable as the show the Grove Colliery on the Cannock Extension Canal at Lime Lane in 1958 and 1959, and I know of few extant images of the time – perhaps the only good representation being in the 1963 cinefilm of Brownhills, donated by Brian Stringer.

I think the Grove closed in 1967, but I could well be wrong there. Corrections invited.

You may remember that before Christmas, I also featured similar archive images of the lost Lichfield Canal.

I will now tell you that they come from: The Canal and River Trust photo archive, which can be found here and contains a stunning and fascinating range of images. It doesn’t seem to be indexed on Google, and the search keys are opaque to say the least – but if you pop over, try names of places – I found Ogley Locks by typing in ‘Lichfield’. These are indexed under ‘Birmingham Canal Navigations at Brownhills’ – go figure.

All of these images can be obtained (for a fee of course) printed in much better quality by contacting the Canal & River Trust here.

These are images I never knew existed, and I’m so pleased Clive found them; it’s sad, however, that the indexing and Google representation fall a bit short.

Now go on – fill your boots.

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13 Responses to One of the last standing

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    Fascinating images!

    I tried the link and found an intriguing picture “BCN W&E Anglesey /60” by searching “Anglesey”. Somebody might recognise the man.

  2. Oh joy! This archive is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Pedro says:

      I agree amazing. Thanks to Clive and Bob.

      I have over 250 photos of Canals in the Midlands, and can now refer to a collection of bygone pictures.

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    Did that in a bit of a rush. Does the boat indicate that the weir is more recent? I suggest it must be; would the original be of metal?

    • Yes, I think the weir was fairly recent. No idea why it’s there, to be honest, unless it’s just moderate the power of the water flow into the basin from destroying the puddling.

      It was originally a piece or iron angle with a V notch cut in; it’s since had a concrete jacket poured around.

      I think you’re right about the square house at the dam foot, I’ll have a look next time I’m out there.

      Interesting, cheers!


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  6. Incredible, I would have never guessed such images still exist. In my view these are very important photographs locally. This is a popular stretch of canal, but I bet most people don’t realise what used to be along this stretch.

  7. Here’s a couple of shots of this stretch of canal today, the night one shows the arm which I believe was used to access the pit:

    Also a couple of some of the old mine buildings which remain at the site:

  8. Hi bob,
    I live at Grove Cottage, Lime Lane – the cottage neighbouring the last standing offices of the Grove Colliery.

    I’ve been into the derelict building once before (I was searching for my cat) and unfortunately everything inside has now been completely stripped due to vandals / squatters.

    Anyway, I am here to ask for any background info on my house (the white one) and if you have and pictures? I am very interested in the history of my home and next door. I believe my house could have been the day/ night office or house – to be honest I am not completely sure.


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