Coppice a load of this

The postcard found last week on eBay showing ‘The Coppice, Brownhills’ had much more interest than I expected. Although there was some speculation to the contrary, I’m sure it showed Birch Coppice long before most of it was destroyed by the clay pit.

Well, in the huge amount of material donated by Sir Gerald of Reece to David Evans last week, there is a post and of ‘The Coppice, Brownhills’ from a more familiar angle: The canal just up from the Pelsall Road Bridge, between there and the Jolly Collier.

The card is labelled ‘T. Jayne, Brownhills’ whom I’ve never heard of. Have you?

It still looks a lot like that today, with birch woods on the canal bank leading up to the clay works.

A brilliant 1955 photo from Patricia Cotton, showing Dora Rathbone, nee Hemming, her son Bob and Patricia Cotton’s brother, Tony, paddling in the canal near the Jolly Collier. On the horizon is an rather interesting structure… Image very kindly supplied by Patricia Cotton.

We have, of course, seen a photo from around this location before: Kindly supplied by Patricia Cotton. We can identify this wonderful 1955 image as being on the coppice side of the canal on the Jolly Collier side of the Pelsall Road bridge, as the truncated remainder of the South Staffordshire Waterworks surge stack by the railway is clearly visible on the horizon.

I’m thinking that before the clay pit, and until it grew in size, this part of Brownhills may have been considered a bit of a beauty spot. Was it? What do you know? Do you remember it?

The Coppice, Brownhills, probably pre-Great War. Image from an eBay sale posted by Captain Oaty. Clcik for a larger version.

Come on folks, what do you know? Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com – or tug my coat on social media.

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2 Responses to Coppice a load of this

  1. in the days dr bradford and the congregatiional it was a picnic sunday night walk beauty spot in those days cross the line in engine lane you could pop in the turf vimto for the kids half a pint for mom un dad of course after evening chapel or turn left pass the row of cottages on the right to pesall rd to the swan happy days by the name on the post card there was a MR SWAYNE a very respected insurance man god bless

  2. Ivor 2302 says:

    It really was lovely on that side of the canal. It was possible to walk from the railway line to Coppice Side. There was a short arm of the canal that was choked with bullrushes, in my childhood. I lived in Coppice Side at number 79 most of my childhood until my grandmother died about 1951/52. They started to rip up the Coppice shortly after WW2 when some machines that seemed to me to be converted military tanks appeared with huge scrapers to expose the clay. There was also quite a bit of coal but I don’t remember that being of any interest to Potters Clay and Coal. The hole was always flooding because of the level of the water table. My sister and I picked coal to keep the fire going in Grannies grate.
    One of the kids who lived in Bug Row was playing on a bulldozer and somehow got very badly burned. I remember all the neighbours contributing cotton wool for his hospital treatment. When they were extracting clay that hole became a great adventure playground for us after the men left work at the end of the shift. We were lucky that no one else was hurt bearing in mind the things we did and the potential for harm.

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