A past landscape from a surprise source

Stubbers Green and Walsall Wood in 1964 from a recently discovered collection. Click for a larger version.

A quick post here with a real curiosity found by the young David Evans – an aerial image from 1964 of Stubbers Green and southern Walsall Wood showing the brickwork, tilers and marl workings that did so much to shape the current area today.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff to come from the source, which I won’t spoil yet, but for today, just marvel at the view of a very much plundered landscape, the rapacious quest for brick clay and aggregates changing the geography here forever; and and the little bits of social history that lurk in-between.

David Evans has studied the photo and had this to say:

A childhood memory from the early 1950s, of sitting by Coppice Lane  and looking down into a huge quarry, seeing the digger and dumper trucks at work..the dumper truck labouring up a slope track out of the clayhole..

You can see the road, half way down the right of the image, heading across the image,  and the quarry, below the road and at the right-hand side of the image.

Just visible above the road and at the extreme right hand side..the rectangular Vigo Pool which was a dangerous yet irresistible place for youngsters…. Cloudy waters, sheer sides, and a raft made from two scaffolding planks.

Centre left is the quarry where a big unexploded Second World War bomb was unearthed by a hapless digger operator…

Just out of shot and to the right was the Vigo brickworks with its  tall square chimney belching out smoke that drifted across the area to the distaste of the ladies whose washing hung out to dry in the back gardens of the houses in Walsall Wood.

You can also see a railway track and raised loading platform from the kilns.

I notice at the right hand edge of the image are the lines of pre-fab bungalows beside ‘Paddys Graveyard’, the Irish part of the cemetery, by the railway track in Vigo Road.

To the upper left, in shadow, are the Coppy woods with the Jockey Meadows and Bullings Heath.

This is a remarkable photo!

Kind regards

Thanks to David for finding and illuminating a remarkable thing, and I’m sure this will provoke a lot of comment – either do so here on this post directly, or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

My thanks to David for genuinely leaving me speechless. Just when you thought you’d found pretty much everything…

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2 Responses to A past landscape from a surprise source

  1. Michael Hall says:

    Brilliant playground for kids in the 50’s – clayholes, railways, pools, derelict buildings – wouldn’t be allowed nowadays. Almost drowned in Vigo pool – had to be rescued by a mate who was a better swimmer. Happy days.

  2. malcolm says:

    In 1964 I lived in Barns Lane, Rushall , I was 15 then and me and my mates used to go fishing at the Atlas pool just between the ash mounts and the canal. I think thats in the centre of the photo towards the bottom. We used to catch some big pike and perch there and the water was almost gin clear. Happy days ! ( cause I might be looking at the photo totally wrong. But thats how I remember it)

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