The boys on the corner


An interesting card I’ve not seen before. A very kind donation from Susan Austin.

Here’s a great one that reaches me from Australia, and it’s really, really interesting – I’m hoping some of the genealogy focused regulars might be able to contribute to.

Susan Austin has sent me images of the front and rear of a postcard she’s found, and it’s rather wonderful. If I have this right, this is the Wesleyan Chapel on the right (further up than the more widely know Mount Zion), and we’re looking towards Anchor Bridge. Pier Street would be off to the right just where the group are standing. I believe the Chapel stood on what is now waste ground on the corner here:

I’ll let Susan explain:

Hi Bob

I am going through old family letters, post cards and photos. My great grandmother, Maryann Leake (nee Bampton) who was born in Lilleshall on 26 AUgust 1826 arrived in Australia in November 1887.

Upon arrival she married her ‘sweetheart’ David Leake (born in Staffordshire on 25 December 1824). Amongst the old family papers there was the post card attached, sent to David and Maryann Leake from family in the Walsall area. I thought this photo of High Street in Brownhills might be of interest to you.

The photo would have been taken after 1887 because the correspondent referrs to the Wesley Chapel having been built since my ancestors left the area. Has it changed much in modern times?

Regards from DownUnder

Susan Austin
Moss Vale
NSW Australia

Brownhills has changed massively, some for the better, some for the worst. But hey, you can’t stop progress…

Thanks Susan for a lovely, fascinating contribution – it’s stuff like this that really makes the Brownhills Blog what it is. Best wishes to you from Brownhills all the way to sunny Moss Vale in New South Wales.


One for the handwriting experts. Click for a larger version. Image courtesy Susan Austin.

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17 Responses to The boys on the corner

  1. Isobel Dams says:

    I lived in the house at the back of the chapel, 4 Pier Street, also known as Goodall House, built in the early 1900s. The house was the victim of compulsory purchase in the mid 1960s as a relief road was to be built. It was demolished some years later but I guess the road was never built? I believe that a bit of the garden wall marking the boundary with the chapel is still there.
    I was thrilled to see my father, Barney (Bernard) White in the Brownhills Gazette Jan 1992 archive photo of the Central School in the early 1930s.
    Thank you for your blog – I love it!

  2. Sue Woodward says:

    It IS the Wesleyan Chapel. This Church and Mount Zion (where I was at Sunday School) joined up to build the “new” church in Silver St in the early/mid 1960s. Mount Zion went first and, for a while, we met at the Wesleyan Church. The meeting room there was also used by Ogley Hay Primary School for “Music & Movement”, I recall!

  3. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    the name Bampton is well known to me..from Shelfield and Walsall Wood(thats Walsall area, Susan). Perhaps if Susan is able, via your good offices, to email me I may be able to give her some pleasant family history which may be of interest.

    kind regards

  4. aerreg says:

    the wesley chapel oh what memories i was brougth up with it the fulleloves were christend married buried there the foundation of choral music in brownhill was born there names i remeber well organist sam seedhouse the male voice and mixed choirs portsmouth fryers yardley reedhouse purchases all choresters under uncle georges leadership rhylis booker and dough birch wonder ful voice grew from these foundations as did the brownhills musical festivals i spent many houres as a lad travelling to the musical festivals and in my mind i can still hear the rousing anthem comrades in arms bein sung by the male vouice as they home ward bound me i carnt sing i talk a lot there is a memorial plaque to uncle george in silver street chapel the family ones were destroy ed when the old chapel was nocked down gold bless you thanks for the memories

  5. aerreg says:

    sorry again about the spelling again ime not a duffer just a learner with a big finger and a little key board if ipas my test i might get a one i been reading about marklews farm my thoughts down pelsall road turn left over the cut bridge on the left was marklews farm daughter ivy marklew lovley girl my wife whent to school with her bug row not a nice name for the cottages because lovley people lived in them chandlers again iris whent to school with brenda and i remember the lads then there was the stokes you have photo i know in your wonderful arkive world later on in years opposite the factories was roses the name ivor marklew was his name god bless

  6. aerreg says:

    hi pedro ime 85 this year as ive said several times born and reared in brownhils my mother was born in clanger island the junchion of bridge street un high street now dates i also tell folks ime a storerion not a historian ime afraid dates and ages and statistics are not my world but two answere your query the times i was relating to shall i say iwas about 12 years old as i was finger writing some one called the marklew i refered to by roses was ivor it was a pig farm i have found a new passtime with this modern contraption and have becom obsest some folk comment reg yome a know all i laugh its only because all my working life was spent in and around brownhills in the homes and places ie chasetown electricity company pearl insurance and hoover ltd so you see i remember the penny meter days the sad berievement day and the washing days and yes the days of prayer and thank god for the gift of memories and and friends to share them

  7. Andy Dennis says:

    As far as I can work out, there was only one Bampton family in the Brownhills area.
    1861 census Mary Ann Bampton, daughter, 3, b. Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire. Parents William, 39, blacksmith, b. Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire and Emma, 40, b. Birmingham, Warwickshire. At Webb’s Row, Watling Street, Cannock Chase – this was where Castle Street is now, but the houses were demolished in about 1967.
    1871. Family at Fox’s Row, Watling Street – this was on the south side of Watling Street to the west of Deakin Avenue. This site has been redeveloped twice, but there is a picture of the Anglesey Arms, which stood at the western end of the row – – William was a coal miner and Mary Ann a scholar.
    In 1851 they were at Little Sutton (part of Sutton Coldfield). William a blacksmith.
    In 1881 William and Emma were at Fox’s Row, next door to Joseph, their son, and his family, 5 and four doors respectively from the Anglesey Arms. These houses can be located at –
    In 1871 David Leake was at Wolverhampton Road (now Pelsall Road), the first house going from the miner island – demolished lon since. He was with his mother, Mary, born Lilleshall. So it was David’s mother who was born at Lilleshall. David was born at Bloxwich in about 1856 and was a miner.
    In 1861 David was with parents John and Mary, both born Wrockwardine, Salop – Lilleshall fits. From the addresses I think this was probably in what is now Paviors Road, Chasetown. Again, all of the houses from back then disappeared long ago.

  8. aerreg says:

    re marklews farm should read turn right by horse un jockey then over cnal bridge on left was farm i think we called it high house farm

  9. Clive says:

    Love the old postcard of Brownhills High Street, thank you Susan, nice one.

  10. Pedro says:

    The Wesleyan Chapel is shown on the 1883 OS Map

    • Andy Dennis says:

      I thought that, too. There is a message on Ancestry that says Mary Ann arrived in Australia in 1880 and David Leake in 1877.

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  13. Beryl says:

    I’m intrigued, I have both Bampton’s and a
    sustains in my family tree who seemed to originate in Sutton but moved to Birmingham in the 1790’s, wonder if there is a link?

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