A great map, hand drawn from memory, kindly supplied by Malcolm Clarke. Click for a larger version.

Here’s one I’ve been trying to feature for a couple of weeks now but lack of time has prevented me from doing so – you’ll remember a few weeks ago, we uncovered the fascinating story of homeless families taking vacant possession of an ex-army camp at Linley Woods, part of a much larger movement of ‘Squatters’ across the UK in the immediate aftermath of World War 2.

That story provoked much interest and some material I’ve yet to got through – but in the meantime, Malcolm Clarke who set the ball rolling sent me the above map to feature here and see if it jogged any memories.

The map may not be dimensionally accurate as it was originally photographed at an angle, and I’ve flattened the image to make it more legible.

Malcolm said:

Dear Bob

Thank you for your help – I am not that good on the computer but I will persevere.

I think I have managed to attach the map of linley camp, if you can put it on your page then I will write an article about it.

Best wishes
Malcolm Clarke

Malcolm, that’s a wonderful thing – you did just fine. Sorry for the delay, but your contribution is very much appreciated. This is a fascinating bit of hitherto undiscussed history which I feel deserves – and will reward – further exploration.

Does Malcolm’s map jog your memory at all? Feel free to contribute what you know: comment here or mail me… BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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5 Responses to Encamped

  1. Glynis Edwards (nee Parkes) says:

    Indeed this camp did exist . My Dad Ron Parkes and Mum (and me) lived there for a winter and a summer I believe – it was more of a plan to live in Aldridge while the new houses were being built on the Redhouse Estate. In fact my Dad took it upon himself to lobby the local MP – I believe was Julian Snow (not 100% sure it was him but remember my Dad talking about him) anyway talks took place between my Dad and this local MP who got permission for the families to ‘squat’ in these ex RAF huts until such time they could be housed. My Dad was in the Navy and transferred to the Royal Engineers (Army), was on landing craft in North Africa – came home to very little hope of a home for his new wife and daughter (me)….they lived with parents for a while but knowing new homes were being built – thus the camp emerged. Most of the families I recognise – almost all of them went to live in Westbrook Avenue I think c… 1952. I have photos of the camp ( I call them my Stately Home photos lol ) Not sure how to get them onto here … if there is a download button I will look for it ….

  2. Martin Layton says:

    I was intrigued by this map, and couldn’t place it, but I think I’ve cracked it now, the sketch is south up. If you use googleEarth, find where Middlemore Lane West crosses the railway line, and then use the timeline imagery to go back to 1945 the camp is visible, the entrance is at 52° 36.091’N 1° 56.593’W.

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