Memories of a warm welcome for a very poor family

Kieran would no doubt recognise the Ogley Road today that he remembers from his childhood. Imagery from Apple Maps.

Here’s a lovely one for Christmas that reaches me from reader Helen, who received a letter addressed to her house las week, totally out of the blue. It’s a lovely thing and I’d love readers to discuss this and share what memories that can.

The sender of the letter – Kieran Egleston is now resident in County Neath, Ireland but was born here on a snowy day in 1952, to an immigrant family who were clearly welcomed into the community.

He wrote this beautiful letter:

Please click for a larger version.

The Occupier

xx Ogley Road


I was born in your house in 1952 my mum always said she was so scared because it was snowing and her midwife would not be able to get through to here – however, she got through and I survived.

My mom and dad arrived in Brownhills about 1952 with a four year old girl, Carmel, my sister.

They had been so poor they didn’t even have enough money to cover their rations.

My dad was a civil engineer but he took a job at a local school as a maths teacher.

My dad was very sociable but The Brownhills people took this little family to it’s heart.

You know this was a pit town, his buddies brought him ‘down pit’ which I don’t think he enjoyed as they had to follow the seams which were very narrow.

The locals embarrassed this little Irish family who were very poor.

The locals used to bring my father to local football. Games between Wolves and Walsall.

I was 67 yesterday but I will never forget the kindness of the people of Brownhills. Your house seems to have been very state of the art  public housing at the time with a bath house in the rear. At the time there were no pithead showers. How a non-miner, my dad, got an occupancy of your house is a mystery to me but I can only put it down to local kindness.

If you want to share this little note with anybody/local newspaper, I agree.

Kieran Egleston.

Co. Neath,

Please folks, I’d love to assemble a bunch of memories and thoughts on this to send back to Kieran.

Do you remember this Irish family who moved into Ogley Road? Do you recall Kieren or Carmel? Did you go to the football with their dad?

If you can help, please do: Comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my coat on social media please.

My huge thanks to Helen for sharing such a beautiful thing.

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