Here’s one I’ve been sitting on for a couple of weeks now, but it’s about time I shared this wonderful enquiry from the startlingly prolific Andy Dennis, who’s running a great local/genealogy/history blog that’s quite frankly, showing me a clean pair of heels at the moment.
Anyway, on with the issue at hand: an interesting canal photo taken by Andy’s father, which I think we could do with knowing more about – and I’m sure there are folk amongst the readers who can help with it.
I was looking for something in my ‘treasure box’, in which the treasures are memories rather than anything of pecuniary value, and I found this small photographic print (3 x 2.5 inches or 78 x 57 mm).
On the reverse, in my father’s hand, is written:
‘THE NORMAN CHAMBERLAIN’
WINFORD VAUGHAN THOMAS
OF THE BBC
BRIDGE BY B’HILLS SMELTERS
The original print is none too sharp – safe to say Dad was no Lichfield or Liebowitz!
I recall vaguely seeing a TV documentary about the campaign to rescue the canal network which, in the 1950s, was disintegrating rapidly and I think Wynford-Vaughan Thomas and fellow commentator Audrey Russell took to the canals to play their part. That is all I have been able to find out.
Hopefully, someone out there will know more.
Norman ‘Wilt’ Chamberlain was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and one of the greatest of all time.
This is a very interesting image. I’m fairly sure that ‘Brownhills Smelters’ was Superalloys, the war scrap specialist beloved of local kinds for their remarkable collection of junk, and the bridge looks like Middleton Bridge under the Lichfield Road as viewed from the northern side. Here it is on Bing! Maps.
Note the stepped parapet wall and white staining. It’s a very interesting angle as there’s no footpath that side and it would have been a hard spot to get to. I feel there’s a story there in itself.
Thanks to Andy for a wonderful enquiry – so what do you know? Any contributions welcome. Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.