A lost institution

Walsall Wood Institute on the corner of Coppice Road at it’s junction with Brownhills and Lindon Roads, I’d say 1950s or 60s. Walsall Wood Colliery in the background. Image very kindly shared by Bill Mayo.

A quick one for a Sunday from respected local historian Bill Mayo – something I didn’t know existed: A photo of Walsall Wood Miner’s Institute which stood at the junction of Coppice Lane and the Brownhills/Lindon Roads, just where the leisure centre is today.

In the background can be seen the twin pitheads of Walsall Wood Colliery, where Brownhills Business Park now is, and the old Colliery Offices which I believe survived until the 1980s when they were, if I recall correctly,  destroyed by a fire.

The institute was a social club, not just for miners but the local community as a whole. I’m not sure when it was lost, but probably after the mine closed in 1964.

I’d like to thank Bill for his generosity in sharing this image via the young David Evans who spotted it on display at Brownhills Community Centre last weekend.

I believe from the concrete lamp-post the photo would be from the 1950s or 60s.

If you have any more information or memories of the institute, please do get in touch – you can comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my sleeve on social media.

Ordnance Survey 1:1,250 scale mapping overlaid onto Google Earth imagery showing Walsall Wood Colliery and the Institute (Highlighted) showing just how much has changed – including the alignment of the whole junction. Imagery from the National Library of Scotland Archive. Click for a larger version. 
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13 Responses to A lost institution

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    A wartime minute of Walsall Wood Methodist Church mentions their own “Institute”..the wooden hut that stood behind the Sunday School at that time; a hut that had been bought from Brocton WW! Army camp in the 1920s. From memory, the minutes recorded the income from selling tobacco, and also the Snooker and Darts, and other details refer to ARP in that hut… Perhaps 1940, but will revisit the History Centre in Walsall to double check.

  2. Ray Share says:

    I delivered news papers to the house in 1948 for frank Higgs I think their name was bewick mr bewick was manager at the copy pit

  3. Brian says:

    Worked there till the mine closed and I always thought it was the house where our undermanager Mr Bewick lived.

  4. Rob Bird says:

    Hi Bob – would you have a copy of this map with a bit more at the top. I was born in 90 Lindon Road in the early 60’s and I would love to see the house on a map. All my family worked at the colliery here. My parents then moved to Brownhills Road when the house was demolished for road widening (just by Cunnington’s). You have a couple of great photographs of Cunnington’s on your web site.

  5. Carole Petryk says:

    Thank you for sharing.I love looking at old photo’s and maps Was Brownhills Road originally called Ingles Road ? Remember as a child walking past the slack heaps in Coppice Road,but can’t remember the Institute. Mind you i must have walked past my own house many times on the way to play in Coppice woods and i don’t remember that either.

  6. David Evans says:

    Hi Carole
    Ingles Row was the row of house immediately by the side of the school in Brownhills Road..The Ingle family..a lare family..lived there and are shown in one of the censuses…but, tten years later not only had this family of canal boatmen left, but the name did not appera in subsequent censuses anywhere in England..very odd. I think that before being called Ingles Road it was called Birmingham Road
    Andy Dennis, over in Bobs blog raises the possibility of the road existing for many years before that, even., as he traces the medieval Blake Street….worth checking his superb article.
    Again, in Bobs blog, in Tony Portmans school photos you can make out the Ingles Row..but it seems to have lost that name when my grandparents moved here to live across the road from that row in Brownhills Road..c 1902.
    Why would a whole family change their name in subsequent census, if they were still in England, that is.
    kind regards

    • Rob Bird says:

      Superb Bob. The old house is there clearly marked on the corner of the road up to Clayhanger bridge and adjoining the showman site. Me and my sister spent a lot of time on the showman site watching them paint the rides. They even gave us each a horse off the merry go round. Anyway – that is the house I was born in. Never seen it on a map before – much appreciated Bob.

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