Looking back on the tracks – what’s my line?


Brownhills Railway Station post closure in 1967 – note the weeds from the platforms and run down appearance. Image kindly donated to Chasewater Railway Museum by Peter Stamper.

In the recent rush of news posts, things have been slipping a bit, and in the melee that resulted, I’ve not had chance to alert readers interested in local railway history to a great collection of images posted recently on the fascinating Chasewater Railway Museum blog.

The images, posted a couple of weeks ago, feature shots of local railways, and I’ve never seen them before – the come via the collections of Ian Pell and Peter Stamper, who have generously donated them for use by the museum.

Above, Brownhills Railway Station from the bridge, showing more detail of the building than I’ve seen before. Note the infamous Superalloys chimney on the skyline. Below, the disused Walsall Wood Station from the rail bridge on High Street, as a train passes. Those are the spoil heaps of Walsall Wood Colliery in the distance. But what are the vehicles in the yard?


Walsall Wood Station, I’d say mid 1960s. Image kindly donated to Chasewater Railway Museum by Peter Stamper.

The images raise some interesting questions, like where exactly was the one below taken? And for more of that, click through to the wonderful post featuring the full collection of images here.

Thanks to Chasewater Railway for sharing the photos, but most of all, thanks to Ian and Peter for donating them; these are wonderful and sure to be of interest to all local history enthusiasts.

Anything to add? Please feel free – either comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


This photo is a bit of a mystery, and Ian’s comments on it are fascinating. Anyone recognise it? Image kindly donated to Chasewater Railway Museum by Peter Stamper.

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11 Responses to Looking back on the tracks – what’s my line?

  1. stymaster says:

    The van is a Bedord (Vauxhall) HA, I reckon. Don’t know about the others.

    • David Evans says:

      And possibly a Steyr Puch moped in front of the Walsall Wood station, and a Ford Pop car, VW van and a Ford Corsair behind the station?

  2. Mick Bullock says:

    The area where the machines are on the left was used by a plant hire company,can’t recall name.

    • David Evans says:

      HI Mick
      I think the firm was Southgate..I used them in an adventure playground scheme…a bulldozer with driver..to form the playground on Barr Beacon…
      The presence of wagons suggests c1964 perhaps
      Super article
      Kind regards

  3. andydennis59@btinternet.com says:

    Hello Bob.

    Interesting post. The 1915 OS revision, published 1921, shows Bridge Cottage, Norton Canes with attendant features. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.


  4. FB. Lycett says:

    Looks like a little Onions scraper and several parker mixers, the plant company just might be the early start of Reliant Plant, who ended up in Hall Lane, anybody remember Faircliffe buildings and Tommy Blakemore, I recall him having a couple of Austin Sheerlines, and he acquired a few old Leyland Cubs & Lyx’s ex Bulmers Cyder

  5. Ian Pell says:

    Just to correct any misunderstanding. The photos shown above do not come from myself. All I have done is comment upon them as indicated on the Chasewater post and added a photo kindly suppled from Norton Canes History Soc. for Norton Crossing, and the details and photo for Ryders Hayes Crossing. I would be very interested if anyone can confirm “Bridge cottage” as the location is completely different today. All I can say is that the electricity power cables still appear to exist (seen from Hednesford Road near Five Ways).
    I believe that Messrs. Southgate Engineering were tenants of the yard and buildings at Walsall Wood on a licence from the District Estate Surveyor, BR. This is recorded in the asset assessment of 10th April 1968. Afterwards, I think that the site was taken over by the local authority and used as a works site by them.
    The Aldridge Brixancole to Walsall Wood section of the line was officially closed on 5th July 1965. However, the line remained in-situ well into 1968-69 as a Mr. Day (acting on behalf of some company – you can guess!) was talking about it’s use for importing “materials” to the former mine site. Nothing actually happened, although such “materials” were brought from Norton Junction Sidings by road in the early 1970’s.
    Returning to the cottage. If I had a wish it would be that someone wes able to blow up the name on the cottage, this would probably confirm its name; if it were readable, it may say “Bridge Cottage, 1901”. It is shown on the OS maps from around 1902 to the 1970s. it was then demolished and the current house erected in a similar position.
    Kind regards

  6. aerreg says:

    hi bob if its of any help on bridge cottage on the the horizan to the left i that could be JEROMES pit mount and to the right horizon faintly i think is that familier stack of the the GREEN pit also it looks like a colliery branch line so my thoughts gt wyrley district just a thought could be wrong

  7. Ian Pell says:

    The slag heap on the left would be that of Leacroft & Cannock colliery. In the distance to the right is probably the remains of Coppice Colliery at Five Ways, The line is the L&NWR Norton Banch Extension looking north. The line has telegraph poles which would be unusual for a colliery line. The photograph is believed to have been taken 1966-6, some time after the line closed but was still in-situ.
    Kind regard

  8. Steven Jolly says:

    Wonder who the to lads are at far end of platform brownhills station

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