Well, that’s a few parish notices sorted out, so we can get on with a bit of history – and a great enquiry has come in from well-respected community elder Doug Birch MBE who has posed a number of really interesting questions about Holland Park, the Black Path and The Parade.
Without further ado, here’s the mail I had from David:
A plea for help from a very respected member of the community.
I have had a wonderful telephone conversation with Mr Douglas Birch MBE this morning in which the following queries have been raised. Please can your readers and researchers help to answer them
1. When was the Parade ( the road that runs from Chester Road to Watling Street in Brownhills) built and opened? Who built the Parade?
2. When were the lines of magnificent trees planted along the Parade, near to the Chester Road?
3. When was the Black Path in its present form laid out? ( This path runs from near the library, crosses the common and leads to the Watling Street, near the Comprehensive School, I think….Is this an old way or a new path?
4. Half way along the Parade was the cricket field. Mr Birch recalls there being an old cottage near the entrance to the cricket field..by some sort of a track?
5. What was this track?
6. When was the Band stand built… and demolished?
With my sincere thanks and kind regards
These are corkers and thanks to Doug for asking, and to David too for typing them up – where to start?
Well, we covered the early days of Holland Park in the Old Holland article here, and the bandstand itself has always been a fascination of mine, I’d love to know more about that.
It has been said (and I’m hoping for help here) that The Parade followed the line of an early coal tramway. Is there any proof of that? There certainly wasn’t evidence of much of a road there on early mapping.
The trees – that fine avenue – I remember being saplings as a child; I remember when we had the cold winters in the 1970s the council used to erect a length of willow fencing on that grass as a snow-break.
I think the bandstand went in the 1990s but a remnant of it still remains, visible in the back wall of the toilets in Holland Park.
If you can help with any of these questions, it would make Doug a very happy man indeed – so please contribute if you know anything. Comment on this post, mail me or hit me up on social media.