A couple of days ago I featured here the request by Graham Kennison to find out more information about the lost Travellers Rest pub in Walsall Wood, which stood just over the canal bridge in Walsall Wood, round about where the carpet warehouse is today between Screwfix and Brickyard Lane.
A good friend from Walsall Wood died this week and his family would appreciate some help from you and your readers.
My friend was brought up in the terrace of houses that included the Travellers Rest, near Walsall Wood Bridge. The pub, stables and canal made up much of his childhood world. His mother used to say that she always knew where he was, ‘ if he wasn’t on the cut he was in it!’. During school holidays he would hitch rides with passing boatmen & when he left school he worked on the coal boats. Although the trade was then in its dying years, so his career was short lived, John always had a great love of the canal.
His wish was that his ashes should be put into the canal by the gates from the towpath into the Travellers. The problem is that, although he said that the gate posts could still be seen, the family don’t know exactly where they are. I walked along the canal in September and couldn’t locate them. I live in Scotland at the moment so can’t easily pop back for another look!
Could any of your readers help to locate the gates?
As expected, the Walsall Wood contingent – led by the young David Evans – sprang into action, and I feature below David’s research which is stunning and complete. David has been very diligent, and this has involved a lot of calling and asking around. I know he’s worked very hard on this – and I’m indebted to David, Barry Yates and I think Brian Stringer may have helped make contact, too.
This is a fine example of the community spirit this blog can engender at it’s best and I thank everyone profusely.
We’re still looking, however, for good pictures of the Travellers Rest. If you have one you’d be kind enough to let us scan, please do get in touch. Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
The Lost Gate
Brownhills bobs blog recently received a request for help from a gentleman in Scotland, who needed to locate a precise place of the canal towpath in Walsall Wood. I am delighted to be able to help and take the opportunity to offer my sincere personal thanks to Mr Barry Yates, Walsall Wood Mon™ without whose help this would not have been possible. I also wish him and his wonderful folk group, The Staffordshire Men continued musical success (Music never leaves You) – thank you, Barry.
The Lady in the photo is Barry Yates’ aunt. He lived in the house just visible at the right hand edge of this photo.
This image shows the Travellers Rest just past the row of cottages where John Blakemore lived. Barry told me that John lived ‘two doors from the pub’.
In the above image, you can see the gate behind Trevor. There is a gentle drop in the level of the canal edge bricks, partially obscured by grass, in line with Trevor’s shoulder. This is an important feature.
This is Barry Yates, brother of Trevor Yates, standing at the same spot on the towpath, four paces from the gentle drop in the level of the newer blue bricks.
Immediately behind Barry is this modern fence, where the gate once stood. There are two drainpipes from the roof at this spot. The building is a carpet shop, and is by the car sales , opposite the junction of Hall Lane and Walsall road, Walsall Wood.
Barry began to recount some of his childhood memories as we walked along the towpath… Hopefully we will share a cup of tea after the festive season and put these in to an article for the blog.
Immense thanks to a true Walsall Wood gentleman, and renowned folk singer Mr Barry Yates.
5 Dec 2015