The wonderful Simon Swain has been in touch with an interesting article and gallery of images of the site of the former Brownhills Railway Station, which was adjacent to the Council House (now the Parkview Centre) behind where Smithy’s Forge stands today; on the other side of the bridge, a signal box and goods sidings existed – in it’s day, it was a busy place.
I’m glad to feature this lovely piece of physical history investigation here, and it really is a fine thing indeed – so thanks to Simon for his hard work and wet feet!
It’s worth noting that Councillor Steve Wade and community activist Brian Stringer have both been trying to get the cutting cleared of the years of rubbish is contains, but the main obstacle is sadly the people who own it. Stay tuned for more on that one.
I thought that I would share with readers just a small selection of my own images of the site of Brownhills LNWR station and the surrounding area. As you are probably aware the site is quite difficult to access and after the very wet weather we have had over winter the going was quite tough. In fact it was my intention to walk from the access point just off Silver Street and underneath the roundabout to the site of the station. I got to a point just short of the roundabout and the mud was to the top of wellington boot height. If this were not enough the vast amount of rubbish that has been thrown onto the trackbed would have prevented further progress.
The first images shows that the original blue brick arch bridge which carried the road over the railway still survives. It is pleasing to see that when the area was remodelled in the 80’s the decision was made not to remove the original bridge. The second image shows the remains of the Walsall bound platform.
It may only be a short section of a few rows of bricks but it’s the platform nevertheless and a remarkable survivor given the full scale clearance of the site. The third image has to be the most remarkable survivor a post which still retains its signal wire pulley. I found this as I walked away from the station site towards Anglesea.
I did have a search to see if there were anymore but this was the only one visible to the naked eye. Images 4 and 5 are of the remains of the blue brick retaining walls to the goods yard area and are probably the most tangible remains of the railway at Brownhills.
Upon closer inspection the brickwork is in remarkably good condition and the more observant of readers will notice that rails remain at the top of the wall. I can only assume that the rails were there to prevent any road traffic, which would have accessed the yard off Pelsall Road, from running over the edge and onto the railway. You have previously posted a picture of the yard dating from December 1962 and you can see that the signalman parked his car in this area. I have included the 1962 image (copyright Geoff Dowling and Peter Whitehouse) as a point of reference. I did have a good rummage around in the undergrowth to see if I could find any remains of the signal box. With it being demolished nearly 50 years ago I was not expecting to find anything and was not disappointed when my search revealed no traces. Neither were there any remains of the junction for the short branch to Brownhills Wharf with Silver Street and the surrounding developments having obliterated any traces.
My final image shows the trackbed heading towards the site of the station yard and is included for the purpose of completing the set.
I profess that I am not an expert and merely an amateur historian and I will not take offence if anyone wishes to correct any of the above information. I just thought that readers would be interested to see what remained of the towns principal station. From road level it would appear that absolutely everything has been swept away but getting down to the track level bits and pieces do remain and whilst I would not discourage anyone from going to have a look for themselves please do be aware that the going is very tough and to be prepared for rubbish and mud in great measure.
Please feel free to add any thoughts you may have – either here as a comment, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.