Ooh, Betty!

I know nothing about Betty, and even less of the Yates family. A great photo from Clarice Mayo and Geof Harrington’s book ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’.

So, back to some history – this is one I’ve been wanting to explore for ages, and never come up with a conclusive answer, but flicking through an old book, a caption popped on a lightbulb in my head.

Betty’s Lane in Norton Canes runs between Red Lion Road and Walsall Road, broadly parallel to Allbutts Road, which before the motorway came though, also joined the Walsall Road.

The roads crossed an area of heath and former mining land called Commonside – now partially host to the service area on the M6 Toll, but otherwise, mostly still scrub and farmland.

Commonside is broadly the area of no man’s land between Brownhills West, Little Wyrley and Norton Canes. Imagery from Apple Maps. Click for a larger version.

What interests me is Bettys Lane – who was Betty? I’ve never found a definitive answer.

Now whilst flicking through ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geof Harrington, I noticed a photo, featured above of the Yates family who ‘Lived at the top of Allbutts Lane, on the way to Betty’s Well’.

Whoa. What and where was Betty’s Well?

There is still a farm at the truncated end of Allbutts Road, which existed on the 1902 map overlay below, which had a well. Was the Yates Farm Bettys? Was there a Betty Yates, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

If you have a view, please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

1902 1:1250 sale map from the NLS archive – Commonside overlaid on modern Google Earth imagery. No clue to Betty here. Click for a larger version.

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13 Responses to Ooh, Betty!

  1. Sometimes people can’t answer the question asked so answer a different question that they do the answer to – a bit odd?
    So – Allbutts Road is the most “historic” road in Brownhills. (It has more houses with date plaques of 1914 or earlier than anywhere else in Brownhills – not many people know that.)

  2. Pedro says:

    1901…state of the roads…BUDC

    The footpaths below the Horse and Jockey, Walsall Wood, near the old Workhouse, Norton Canes, and the Brook at Betty’s Well, were in very bad conditions, and most danger to children…..

    Betty’s Well is mentioned several times, but as yet it is not clear whether it is landmark.

  3. Pedro says:

    The picture says Allbut Lane, although since at least 1885 all reference is to Allbutts Road.

  4. Pedro says:

    References to Betty’s Well…

    1903….water supply to be extended along the road by the Green Colliery and BW

    1904…PMG says no to post box at BW, Norton Canes

    1912…water main laid from the brook course near the Malt Shovel to the junction of the drain near BW …..also recommended an extension of 330 yards of SSW mains from BW to the Holy Bush Inn.

    (A few to go on….is the time before 1914 termed pre-historic in Brownhills?)

  5. Tony Thacker says:

    Hi, in reply to Brownhills Daves post about the oldest houses. I lived in Hope Cottages (next to The Waterside pub) in Wilkin Road with the date of 1898 on the front.

  6. I used to collect train numbers and stamps and now date plaques- so I have got that in my collection!

  7. aerreg says:

    another memory jurker albuts road was part of my child hood i had an aunt who lived at 39 and spent many happy hours up there heres a bit of gobbly goo on the wright hand side oposite yates was a large rock we were always told it was a bit of metiorite some said it was fantacy but years later before the norton relief was thought of i had a strange request from a company of its oragine and its where abouts i often wonder was it just a legend and what happend to it

    • Tony Thacker says:

      I remember that rock, there was also one in Wilkin Road by Hewits cottages. we were told that they were left from the ice age.

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