The young David Evans has of late been having one of his periodic rumination on the physical geography of Walsall Wood, that have previously proved so popular here on the blog – previously he’s looked for long-forgotten watercourses, the legendary Walsall Wood fault and recalled the commons and heaths before the housing was built here.
David has been mentioning in emails to me a lost pool in Walsall that would today lie under the area of the small row of shops just off Salters Road, between Streets Corner and the Vigo Road Junction. True to form, he’s been taking a look at the mapping and come up with another wonderfully thought-provoking article.
Just one note – the historic landfill record (which is fascinating to peruse on the Environment Agency website) has nothing on this, although it’s hardly surprising if no records were kept. Have a poke around and see what you can find.
Thanks to David, and if you have anything to add, please do – either comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
David Evans wrote:
Salters Road had new council houses built along it in the 1930s and we have seen that the brook was culverted at around that time, when Oak Road and Coronation Roads were constructed.
Along the bottom of the back gardens of some of the houses in Coronation Road, which adjoined those houses in Salters Road, there was a dry ditch, which was a wonderful place for the local children like me to explore.
The old cottage, with the wooden shed and shops, where Mr Jones Butcher’s stood, is where the newer row of shops is today on Salters Road.
But, certainly in post war years, there was no pool, as marked on the maps above – just an empty ditch that led seemingly to nowhere. Like the brook which ‘disappeared down a drain on must have gone to Australia‘, we children could not fathom this mystery .
Perhaps Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler or David Oakley have a likely answer to its demise!
Interestingly, since the Vigo is a former landfill, it’s intriguing to note the following from the Friday, 13th September 1901 copy of The Lichfield Mercury, spotted by Environmental correspondent Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler:
AN AWKWARD MATTER – The Clerk read a letter from Messrs. Shelton, Walker and Taylor, complaining that the Council had been depositing rubbish on King’s Hayes Farm, Walsall Wood, close to the road, and giving the Council 7 days notice to remove the rubbish and not to trespass on the land again.
The Surveyor reported that he had visited the spot and found that some hundreds of loads of rubbish there. It would be a big job to move it. The night soil foreman (Mr. Harrison) was called upon to explain, and said the rubbish had been tipped there for the last ten years. A complaint was recently made and none had since been deposited there. The Clerk was directed to reply that the work of removal was proceeding.
So the question kind of remains, what on earth did they do with all that rubbish?