What happened on the A5 Watling Street in October, 1963?

June 1963 - Run 15 5994_000

This 1963 Aerial photo from June 1963 shows the A5 quite well, and it doesn’t seem to be a dual carriageway yet. Image courtesy Lichfield District Council – click for a larger version.

Hi folks, I have an enquiry in that I need help with, but I can’t be specific I’m afraid, as is sometimes the case – I’m asking to see what’s known about an apparently severe traffic accident that took place on the A5 Watling Street in 1963.

I’m not certain, but I think this is about the time much of the A5 through Brownhills was converted to dual carriageway.

The accident may have been anywhere from the Turf to Muckley Corner, but very probably at a junction, and is believed to have occurred in late October 1963. I believe the crash to have been quite serious in nature.

Sorry I can’t be more specific, and I’d ask that if anyone knows anything at all, please do get in touch: if you have any specifics I’d prefer you mailed me rather commented, but if you do comment, I may not publish what you have to say for reasons of sensitivity, but it will be most appreciated and if you leave a valid email address I’ll be in touch.

Thanks for your help.

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10 Responses to What happened on the A5 Watling Street in October, 1963?

  1. Matt Chalke says:

    I’m pretty sure the A5 did not became a Duel carriageway between Newtown and The Rising Sun until early 1970’s. Picture shows clear photos of Brownhills West & Chasewater prior to Brownhills West Estate as well as all the old houses on both Hednesford Road and Wilkin Road. Not sure about crash, but always recall an accident near The Chase Inn, ??? B,Hills – B,Wood Junction ??

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    As Matt says, way to early for dualling, which only happened in earnest when the M6 displaced some of the traffic. When they repaired the section east of Whitehore Road they actually diverted HCVs along that way and Howdles Lane!

    Can’t help with a major accident, though. Sometime back then I saw an artic up against a telegraph pole outside Doody’s Club. The telegraph pole behind was snapped clean through and hanging from the wires.

  3. I am afraid that I cannot help on this apart from this was around the time and I worked at Brownhills Motor Sales and we attended many accidents along the A5. But one morning there was one down by Muckley corner which involved a Lichfield Laundry vehicle. During the accident the van was ripped of the chassis and the near back wheel was right up almost to the front offside. When the scrap was bought into the yard everyone said that no-one could have got out of that alive, but as we found out later both girls got out with just a few minor injuries. on the same day we bought in a Lorry which was loaded with pickle’s but cannot remember where this one occured maybe by the farm at the Turf. I know that the Laundry van accident featured in the local press, who had a photo of the wreckage in the field, and it was really foggy.
    Someone may still be around who remembers this!

  4. lynne sweet says:

    I think it was further down, where the island is now, the turning to the left, if my memory is right a family were killed and it was an horrific accident.-

  5. Martin Littler says:

    I can remember hearing about the accident and sticking my neck out i’m sure it was by Watling Street School, junction of The Parade and Whitehorse Road, this was before the Duel carriageway, and before Traffic Lights were installed at that junction, as been pointed out it was a bad accident and i believe it was not long after that traffic Lights were installed there, not before time.

  6. I remember being at the Central Shool when this accident happened, we were told not to go to watch so I suppose it must have been pretty bad. I don’t remember any other details but a lorry full of Mars products was involved as boxes of Spangles and Mars bars salvaged (stolen) from the wreck mysteriously showed up at school that day. Word got around the driver had died so the sweets were unfit to eat, no idea if that was true or just a ploy to stop us kids having them.

  7. peter tonks says:

    There was a really bad oil tanker crash at what was the charringtons oil refinery crossroads traffic lights, it was single carriageway then. The tanker caused a multiple vehicle pile up ploughing into waiting traffic, not sure of fatalities and pretty sure it was around that time i would have been around 10 yr old and living in ogley road .

  8. Michael John Bullock says:

    I was driving for a firm called Marbello and Durus,a manufacturer of terrazzo tiles based in Sadler Road in 1963.there was a fatal accident at junction of Lichfield Road where it used to join the A5 at the bottom of the hill coming from Muckley Corner.I am a little vague on what actually happened but i do know that a lorry was coming from Muckley Corner and a vehicle pulled out and there was a horrendous collision resulting in the vehicles catching fire.I do know that the lorry driver lost his life but not sure how many more.
    I might add that a few weeks later another lorry driver also died in a fire at the crossroads of the A5 and Pelsall Road opposite the Turf pub.The canal bridge was still there at this time and drivers risked their lives crossing over the A5 as the bridge blocked the view of oncoming traffic.

  9. Phil Jones says:

    I shared this on the Staffs police retired page. Had one response who said there was an accident at Turf crossroads, involving several vehicles which caught fire. As a result there was a loss of life.

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