Lock, stock and barrel?

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I don’t know a great deal about the lock cottages at Ogley Junction; can you help? Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Here’s one that’s got me confused, puzzled and interested – reader Sharon Kane has contacted me from France to ask about about her partner, Steve Jolly’s life here in the 1960s and 70s, and about ‘Lock Keepers Cottage’ on the Pelsall Road in Brownhills.

There’s an obvious problem here, the canal through Brownhills near to Pelsall Road has no locks, and never did – the Wyrley and Essington is a contour canal, so I’m wondering what and where this cottage was, and how it got the name?

The only locks hereabouts were the Ogley Flight on the lost Lichfield and Hatherton, which closed in the late 1950s. They still exist, and are, I believe, owned by the Lichfield & Hatherton Restoration Trust.

I’ll let Sharon explain:


My partner Steve Jolly ( sjolly998@gmail.com) has been trying to get in touch but had no reply so I said I would try.

He grew up in Brownhills but moved to the North East of England in 1975 ish and now lives in South West France.

His Aunty Pauline lived at the lock keepers cottage at Pelsall Road and there was an article about it in the Express and Star many years ago. He wondered if you could supply any information or photos about it at all, or put him in touch with anyone who could help.

He attended Brownhills Boys School and left in 1970. If you have any contacts from those days and they would be willing to be contacted he would be pleased.

Thank you.
Sharon Kane.

The only cottage I can think of as a likely candidate is the one behind where the Jolly Collier used to be, on the corner of Pelsall Road and Coppice Side.

Can anyone help? Do you remember Setev Jolly? Please do comment here, or mail me: Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks!


This is all I can think of that could be described as a ‘Lock Keeper’s Cottage’ on the Pelsall Road. Anyone got any ideas?

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19 Responses to Lock, stock and barrel?

  1. ivor230240 says:

    I lived in Coppice Side from 1940 to about 1952. There wasn’t a lock on this stretch of canal but there were the remains of a lock on the canal arm that ran parallel with the mineral railway line which ran from High Bridge junction towards Norton Canes. There was an old house by the canal side where the railway line crossed over the canal and the “old arm” left the main line canal but it was not occupied to my knowledge in the 1940s. The kids who lived in Coppice Side used to go into the house in the dark with a few candles and frighten each other with tales of the place being haunted.

  2. Alison Bishop says:

    My husband, David Bishop remembers Steve Jolley from Brownhills Boys school. Strangely we too will be moving to SW France this year. My husband can send Steve a picture of the Staff from the school if he wants it. Dave says he can picture Steve Jolley being at the school. Dave was Head boy and left in 1971.

    • Steve Jolly says:

      Hi Dave how are you doing been going threw Brownshills blogs and found yours here it would really great to see a photo off old school teachers where about in south west France are you we live in a little village called Preixan between Carcassonne and limoux would be good to get together some time go back in time ha look forward to hearing from you Steve Jolly .

    • Steven Jolly says:

      I originally replied in 2017 but have not had a reply to that. I live in France and wonder if Dave Bishop moved to France. Any information would be welcome.

      • Alison says:

        Hi Steve, I am Dave’s wife and we do indeed live in France, in Charente. Whereabouts are you?

        Regards, Alison Bishop

      • Alison Bishop says:

        Sorry Steve, I didn’t see your teply in 2017, will pass the message to Dave.

        • Steven Jolly says:

          Hi Alison =Dave thanks for replying so quickly we live in a,small village 10 kilometre from Carcassonne city called Preixan on route to limoux you say David has some photos of school days would love to see them if possible to post or copies would be appreciated we were up in limoges last weekend visiting friends it was freezing ha glad to get back to warm climates anyway waffling on sorry our address is 34 Rue de grand tour Preixan Carcassonne 11250 thanks again for reply regards Steve Sharon

  3. Sue Lote says:

    Hi Bob, I know there used to be a cottage alongside the canal situated just off the tow path between the Pier Footbridge and the Pelsall Road as my dad’s family lived there in the 1940s! But I’m not sure if it might have been demolished before the 1960s!
    There is a small brick footbridge, still in situe, close to where the cottage once stood – my dad carved his initials into it in his youth. He and his brothers all learned to swim in the ‘cut’ there – principally by throwing each other in – it was a hard life then! They used to play in basin area where the canoe school is now – I think was some sort of prohibited area in dad’s time as he got into a bit of bother with the local constabulary about it.

    • ivor230240 says:

      Thanks for this Andy. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see these photographs. This was part of my childhood playground, I’d forgotten it was called the Slough and Slough Bridge. There were some wonderful Pike in the remains of the canal north of the bridge over Engine Lane. There used to be a Spring to the West of the canal, again North of the Bridge, but it wouldn’t provide enough water to keep the canal topped up.

  4. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    now, if only, if only….a dream…the old Slough becoming the entrance to Brownhills, possibly major, Marina. to serve the re-connected national waterways system. That would maked the miner statue smile. In my lifetime?
    many thanks, Andy…
    kind regards

  5. Pedro says:

    As I see it the lock on Captain Ahab’s map of the Slough Arm is half way between the start and Engine Lane. On the 1883 map there does not seem any buildings around this lock.

    There is a building at the entrance to the Arm near the Wharf, and also Slough Cottages further to the left. I believe Slough Cottages were connected to the Colliery.

  6. Pedro says:

    COAL FROM CANAL…(July 1921)

    Mr Frank Cooper (Walsall) prosecuted on behalf of the Birmingham Caual Company, in a case in which nine men, miners, all of Bownhills, were charged with stealing three tons of slack, value £4 10s.

    Mr. Cooper said it was an impudent case of theft. On the night of June 23rd two loaded boats of slack were left moored at Ogley Locks. One of the boats—a dredger, contained 16 tons of slack, and the other 5 tons. Soon after midnight the lock-keeper, who was in bed, heard a jangling of chains, and on going to the locks found that the two boats in question had disappeared. The police were informed, and after a search the boats were found near a wharf at Brownhills at 5.30 a.m. Mr. Cooper pointed out that although it was an offence for persons to take coal from the canal, the Company had been very lenient in recent months by allowing people to dredge the canal for coal, but the offence with which the defendants were charged was an entirely different thing.

    Evidence was given by the lock keeper Ernest Law, and PC Day. The last named spoke to finding the defendants at 2:45 on the 24th, unloading boats at Bailey’s Wharf, Brownhills….

  7. Andy Dennis says:

    The house pictured was built in the nineteen nineties?

  8. Becky says:

    This house used to belong to my Nan Pauline and my Grandad Bill 🙂 I have so many happy memories of that house. I wish i knew more about the history of off it though. I have a feeling that the cottage belonged to my Grandads family.

    • steven jolly says:

      hi Becky steve jolly here just found your blog adout pauline and bills old cottage down pelsall rd i also have fond memories off times spent there taking dogs along canal talking fishing with bill wish we coulde turnback time ha i am still intouch with pauline (aunty) she brought me up in angelsy rd off whitehorse rd ask her about the dartmatches she used to go towith jean my mom and paulines mom bet she tells you somegood yarns mention teeth ? to find out more on the cottage the express @ star done a hugespread about it the new owners built there house around partoff old one look it up well got to go now will be intouch with pauline soon by steve

  9. Martin Hopkins says:

    This house was also my Auntie Pauline and Uncle Bills house, before that it belonged to Bills mom Beatrice Hopkins. My dad is Idris Hopkins, Bills brother along with his other brother Alan. I also have childhood memories of visiting my nan there whilst my dad tended to his pigeons.

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