Memory Map

Thanks to the two readers who kindly pointed out that the Linley Wood camp – occupied post World War Two by homeless families under the then remarkable and widespread ‘squatting’ movement – is actually shown on the archive 1945 Google Earth imagery.

I did, of course, feature a map drawn by Malcolm Clarke here a few days ago, drafted from memory. His map is startlingly accurate.

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From the Google Earth 1945 imagery – the camp and Linley Woods (camp on right lower, woods central lower).

Both the young David Evans and Martin Layton spotted this, thanks to them both.

Martin said:

I was intrigued by this map [The one Malcolm drew of the camp from memory] , and couldn’t place it, but I think I’ve cracked it now, the sketch is south up.

If you use Google Earth, 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.

No need to whizz off to Google Earth, I have the screenshots. I’ve flipped Malcolm’s map so it’s now north up, and as you can see, it’s very accurate considering the 70 or so years between then and now.

You can compare the two side-by-side below:

Of course, today no trace remains, but the Wood has tenaciously hung on, and has it’s own mythology and legend.

If Glynis Edwards is reading, I’ll be in touch in the next day or so. Cheers.

Comments or clarifications? brownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or throw your hat in the ring with a comment here, you’re always welcome. Thanks.

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Linley Wood as seen today on Apple Maps. Note the camp has been completely obliterated by industrial development.

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5 Responses to Memory Map

  1. tkevcro says:

    Hi Bob,
    I remember going to the woods on me bike to take on the runs, devils drop comes to mind.
    Looking on Google north of the railway line and parking bays between a white van and what seems to be a container there could be remains there?

  2. Gordon Hopkinson. says:

    HI there, I used to be a fireman on the railway at Saltley and can remember working through Brownhills a few times, but I just cannot place this. What is the road in the foreground of the Apple map please, so I can locate this? I now live in Alberta and love to see stuff like this. Many thanks for any help you feel you can offer me. Gordon Hopkinson.

    • David Beckett says:

      Road at the front is bosty lane. The road to the right heading up is middlemore industrial estate.

      I have been down at night. It’s cold, damp but the water is filtered through the limestone and is crystal clear.

      • Gordon Hopkinson. says:

        Ah, yes. Excellent, thank you very much David. I’ve even fired steam engines under those bridges more times than passing through Brownhills, the Sutton Park line was a regular route for us Saltley men. Thank you again.

  3. malcolm clarke says:

    Thank you martin for the photo of the camp, I am glad that I almost got it right as I said in my notes I thought there were 12 huts but in trying to put names to who lived there I thought I must have been mistaken.I thought that the masons bungalow near the bridge would be number 1 and the blockhouse opposite would be number 2 making the first hut number 3.I have read all the comments that kind people have made but one thing puzzles me,having grown up there and playing in the woods and caves a I and the other kids never found anything to do with ammunition or ordinance of any kind.We were once taken inside the big sliding doors that were off to the left of the cement works but it was totally empty.That is where things would have been stored as it was big enough to drive trucks in.I am still hoping for replies from people that actually lived there so that I can meet up with them when I visit England in june and july.

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