A couple of weeks ago I posted an enquiry by reader Margaret King about the location of a pub her Dad remembered from when he was evacuated to Brownhills as a small boy: he remembered the pub as ‘The Monkey Puzzle’, which had me somewhat perplexed.
Of course, readers came to my aid and pointed out the pub in question was undoubtedly The Wilkin, now a Thai restaurant. I also found that the Wilkin Pit nearby, was also colloquially known as ‘The Monkey’.
The Struggling Monkey pub on Northgate, between Walsall Wood and Aldridge, now renamed the Lime Kilns has only existed since the 1960s, as Northgate was a later construction than many people think.
Margaret King has been back in touch with a very kind message of thanks to readers for their help – this is you folks making a real difference. I love the note about ‘the lake with a railway running through it’ – Roy would have known that as Norton Pool, now Chasewater, and that still matches the description very well!
Thanks to all, and if you can help with Margaret’s further questions, please do…
Many thanks for the quick reply.
I had a look on your link below, you have lots of helpful readers who know their stuff!! My dad and I looked on googlemaps to see if he could work out which road he stayed on, and we used the street view function where you can view a road as if you are walking along it. The road my dad guessed at had a fork in the road and a thai restaurant in the middle, at the time he didn’t think this was the place as the houses were all post-war so looked so different to what he remembers, but it sounds like
that definitely was the right place!
The story of how my dad ended up there is this:
My grandad was called George King and he was a lorry driver, delivering bits and pieces all over the country. He got friendly with a family there in Brownhills and this is where my nan and dad and uncles went to stay.
My nan was called Margaret King, and my dad is Roy King, and there was also my uncle John and twin baby brothers. My dad thinks he recalls going there twice, once earlier on in the war, the family returned to London but then went back towards the end of the war. My dad remembered one trip up there, my grandad was transporting a glider somewhere which was on the back of the lorry, it was a bit of a squash in the lorry cab so my dad and his older brother sat in the glider while my grandad drove, that wouldn’t be allowed these days! He can’t remember where the glider went though, if it was dropped off in or near Brownhills or not.
My dad was born in 1940 so would have only been very young (although his memories are all correct so far! He also remembers playing at the lake that had a railway line running across the middle of it), but John is older so may have made friends with someone who still lives there, or someone may remember my grandad George or nan Margaret, or Peggy as she liked to be called? If you could throw these names around to your readers, it may ring a bell with someone who remembers that far back.
If not though not to worry, it is a bit of a long shot. And you have already been so helpful, confirming the pub so we know we are looking in the right place.
If you do happen to shed any more light then please do let me know, but if not, many many thanks for your help already.
Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thank you.