When Brownhills went off the rails

Since it’s Saturday and I’m very busy with work matters, I thought I’d feature the next gallery from the wonderful Gerald Reece collection, kindly supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

This montage features images mostly from 1986 of the removal of the South Staffordshire Railway line through Brownhills (the old Walsall – Lichfield line that ran under the Miner Island) which is now being beautifully reclaimed as a cycling and walking route by Brian Stringer and his pals at Back the Track, who I know will love these photos.

There are also images of the construction of Brownhills Bridge, when it was doubled and turned into an island, which would, I think, be 1985, as well as some of the Anglesey Branch aqueduct and Anglesey Sidings, by the Charringtons Oil Terminal (now Quattro Plant).

One bridge that interests me here is the one that existed behind Taylor’s Cafe and led into the Pelsall Road meadow, where the Watermead Estate is today. The bridge is long gone but its abutments can still be seen on the old line and now form part of a private garden.

I’m fairly sure this bridge crossed the railway from Taylor’s Cafe car park to the field behind. Not sure when it was lost.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – it really is most excellent and for me personally has stirred many memories, as they always do. Gerald, you are a very wonderful and generous gentleman.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to When Brownhills went off the rails

  1. Reg Fullelove says:

    that bridge you refer to by taylors cafe led to a farm correct me if ime wrong but the name swingbridge farm comes to mind and again i may be wrong but the name bob anderson is in my grey matter those phtographs bring back so many memories god bless

  2. Wendy Elkin says:

    The estate we live on by the Co op in Clayhanger is called Swingebridge Farm

  3. BrianStringer says:

    Your right about a farm but Swingbridge referred to the old pig farm opposite Clayhanger chapel

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  5. Bob says:

    Thanks, the article and photos are brilliant.

  6. Ian says:

    Hi All
    The bridge in question was No. 72. It was an occupation overbridge bridge from next to Vernon Lodge leading to fields between the railway and the canal. Swingbridge Farm was actually to the south of the canal, west of the Midland railway and next to Copper’s bridge on the canal. From here a track lead northwards over a level crossing on the South Staffs line to the Pelsall Road.

    Kind regards

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  21. Tim Spiers says:

    It will be 56 years this month since passenger services were removed from the line. At the time it was probably the right decision. By the late 1970’s traffic congestion and populations were rising so the fact that reintroduction of passenger services was not considered seems quite bizarre.

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