The Grove Colliery – remembering a lost pit

A drone shot of the last remains of the Grove Colliery off Lime Lane. Image kindly shared by Steve Martin.

Last year I featured a very popular set of images from a place I genuinely didn’t realise still existed: The Grove Colliery, the remnants of which – the house and offices situated just off Lime Lane, between Pelsall, Brownhills, Norton and Great Wyrley – were documented by old pal off the blog Simon Swain and posted here as a gallery I include below.

Since then, drone wizard Steve Martin also captured the site from the air.

The Grove was one of the last collieries around Brownhills to go, and many local people worked there and were involved with it and the Harrison empire that ran it for so many years. Memories of this colliery are always bittersweet, as it was the site of the notorious 1930 disaster in which 14 men were lost.

In 2015 I posted a gallery of images of the Grove Colliery and surrounds, taken in the late 1950s and held in the Canal and River Trust archive – so those images have a waterways slant to them.

You may wonder why I’m returning to this now: Well, I’ve been contacted by reader Julie Smith who has strong family connections to the Grove and is seeking more information and maybe access to the remaining buildings, so I’m opening this to readers to see what you know.

Julie said:

Dear Bob,

Good afternoon

I was reading your blog about the above dated 24/4/16 where Simon Swain posted some photos of my nan and grandads old house! I have recently been in touch with Norton Canes Parish Council, as my grandparents lived in the house in Lime Lane for many years. Indeed I have many very happy memories of staying there in the school holidays in the 70’s.

The NCPC have had recent meetings regarding an historic building on Lime Lane known to them as the old Harrisons Building.  I think this could be  the house where my oldies lived; the house has office buildings and a kind of another house attached to the back of the house where they lived.  Also there is the weighbridge building and some other houses further along the canal side site that remain.

It is the house where my oldies lived that interests me. I drive past every day on my way to work and would dearly love to get into the house again to take a look round.  I don’t think anyone has lived there since my grandad died in 1977 and it would be interesting to see if any of their things remain in there.

Any other information that you have about the ownership of these buildings would be so gratefully received.

Thank you
Kind Regards
Julie Smith

I’m not certain, but I think the Wallace Estate may own the site. Can anyone help with that, or a contact pease?

Thanks to Julie for a remarkable and interesting enquiry!

If you have anything to add, please feel free: comment here or mail me. You know by know – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

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16 Responses to The Grove Colliery – remembering a lost pit

  1. Pete Sutton says:

    i would love to buy this house and renovate / live in it…anyone got details of the land/building owner please?

  2. Glenys Smith says:

    I worked at Norton Canes Garages (Yates Bros) in 1960’/70’s who used one of the old buildings as a Body shop, The land is owned by Wyrley Estates, a friend of ours rents one of the old buildings as a Commercial Garage, there are several buildings around the site used by other companies. I remember the houses along Lime Lane, some are still occupied, The outbuildings are in disrepair by still sturdy and used daily..

    • Julie says:

      Hello Glenys, its Julie, the instigator of this blog. do you have any contact details of Wyrley Hall Estates?

  3. Steve says:

    I used to spend many a summer holidays at the grove grandad and nans house with Julie (my cousin) used to explore the old pit grounds spent many years around that house and in that house, my other nan and grandad used to live next door as well

    • Julie says:

      Gosh Steve, very long time….I dont remember your other nan and grandad living next door, was it the house right next dfoor or the one next to that?
      do you remember the fun we used to have? what about that owl wing…

      • steve astbury says:

        the one right next door over the garden, my dad’s mom and dad, yes the owl wing, I kept that wing for years!
        I have had a walk around the grove and it seems so small now, used to feel huge.

  4. Ian Skinner says:

    I lived in this house from about 1960-1966 with my mom and dad and brother and sister,my dad was an overman at the pit and my mom was the caretaker of the coal board offices.

  5. aerreg says:

    morning blogers you have got the grey matter working again years ago in the days of sal gripton dance classes at the memorial hall when the girls wore posh dresses and we boys wore short trousers there was a dashing young fellow

  6. aerreg says:

    His name was SAMMY LYONS as i recall the family lived in the houses by the grove colliery happy days onthe sad side i recall the night the saw mill went up on fire what a blaze it was back to fire bregade days ope this this little bit of grey matter makes sense god bless

    • Ian Skinner says:

      I lived at the grove when the sawmill went up,what year would that be?My uncle Bill worked there.

  7. steve astbury says:

    If Julie Smith would like to reconnect with me, drop me your email, if not its been way too long!!

  8. Julie says:

    am at work at the moment. but will e mail you when I get home. yes its has been way too long!

    • steve astbury says:

      I understand, been left too long, thanks for looking, the thought was there!

      • Julie Smith says:

        I have emailed you a couple times at your home email that you left for me but I haven’t had a reply. Are you ok with speaking

  9. steve astbury says:

    Will wait your email

  10. Michael Frost says:

    I appreciate that this link is five years old, and I have only done a cursory look. However is there a memorial or collective grave for the Miners. I have no familiarly interest in this matter

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