Search Results for: grove pit

90 years ago today: The Grove Pit Disaster

Ninety years ago today, the 1st October 1930, an underground blast killed 14 men working in a coal mine, The Grove Colliery, underneath Brownhills Common. Ten of those lost souls are buried in the Churchyard of St James, Brownhills, in … Continue reading

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The Grove Colliery – remembering a lost pit

Last year I featured a very popular set of images from a place I genuinely didn’t realise still existed: The Grove Colliery, the remnants of which – the house and offices situated just off Lime Lane, between Pelsall, Brownhills, Norton and Great Wyrley – were documented by old pal off the blog Simon Swain and posted here as a gallery I include below.

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Was the investigation into the Grove Pit Disaster a whitewash?

The 1st October 2016 was the 86th anniversary of the worst modern-day pit disaster in our area, the Grove Pit Disaster, in which fourteen miners perished following an explosion a mile and a half below Brownhills Common, beneath the Ring Sun Inn.

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The Bells of Brownhills

I get asked some unusual questions here on the blog and I was asked in the last week on Facebook what I knew of the poem The Bells of Brownhills, and what they in fact were; this was actually quite … Continue reading

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Lamping it

For those who missed it, I had an interesting question commented to an old post in the week, and I thought I’d make a post out of it as it deserves a wider audience – this certainly sounds like a remarkable family history, which someone out there must be able to help with.

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Living next door to the Grove – what do you know?

Last year I featured a very popular set of images from a place I genuinely didn’t realise still existed: The Grove Colliery, the remnants of which – the house and offices situated just off Lime Lane, between Pelsall, Brownhills, Norton and Great Wyrley – were documented by old pal of the blog Simon Swain and drone wizard Steve Martin also captured the site from the air.

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Some late vows…

For Black Country Day which was on July 14th, friend of the blog and long time supporter Lisa Ashby created a lovely photomontage video of Brownhills and other images and posted it on YouTube – I’ve been meaning to post it here for ages, as it’s a lovely thing.


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All that remains of the last one standing

Following my feature yesterday on perhaps the last passenger train to ever traverse the line from Aldridge to the Conduit Colliery in Norton Canes, Simon Swain has sent me a great gallery of images of the Grove Colliery site as it is today.
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A town united in mourning

The Grove Pit Disaster that took the lives of fourteen men on October 1st, 1930 left deep scars on the Brownhills and Norton communities – and the funeral and memorial service for the men taken was a huge public event that drew massive crowds.
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The Grove Disaster – the human cost

I mentioned earlier today that I had a second article relating to the Grove Pit Disaster to come; well, here it is – Great War expert and longtime blog reader Richard Pursehouse has asked me to run the above photo, featuring his maternal Great Grandfather John Pattison, manager of the Grove Colliery, Lime Lane.

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A mine of information

In my last article, I pointed out that I’d received extra information on a couple of posts over the weekend – both on the Anglesey/sea question, and also on the Mine Rescue Team image shared by John Sale and Bill Mayo.

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Rescue me

The great Bill Mayo, local historian and photo collector, has recently been digging in his files and found a few mystery images, like the one above of a local mines rescue team.

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Posted in Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, News, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

…And the birds in the trees sang their requiem to the Coppice Pit

A great quick post here from the ever-resourceful Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler who’s found some absolute (black?) gold in the British Newspaper Archive. This article, published in the Birmingham Post in 1964, records the end of the last production shift at … Continue reading

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A local mining accident – more information available

A couple of days ago I asked for information about a local mining accident, suffered by the Grandfather of reader Gill Joesbury, but the request it was a bit of a mission impossible, as we didn’t have a name to go on – since then, Gill has now been in touch with more information.

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When it was all different

After a frighteningly busy few weeks which have left me tired and unable to do as much as I’d like on the blog, it’s nice to get back onto a bit of local history, which let’s not forget, is the … Continue reading

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A local mining accident – can you help?

Here’s a quick one to get the researchers scratching their heads – and it’s a very long shot, but please do what you can, I’ve asked for more information from Gill, and I’m hoping she’ll comment here.

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Pelsall Hall Colliery disaster – where’s the mystery?

I’m pleased to feature here today a fascinating research article into the infamous Pelsall Hall Colliery disaster, wonderfully written by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler – this will be the first of two articles relating to mining accidents today – and this is a great precursor to the following one, which will ask for help with the Grove Pit Disaster.

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On the beach – the web that’s woven

Here’s a great example of me getting things wrong, and of how local oral history works with the community correcting me – last week I featured the great picture above from Julie Le Moine of herself as a baby with her mum, and ‘uncle’ Paddy (Walker) and ‘auntie’ Clarice’ on a beach in Blackpool in September 1966.10808042_10152631470838778_1749097147_n Continue reading

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Life’s a beach

Here’s a lovely quick one from friend of the blog Julie Le Moine – and it’s a good opportunity to point out to those who’ve supplied images lately that I’m hoping to catch up with that at the weekend, nothing is forgotten.

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One of the last standing

Here’s the final blast of pictures from the mystery archive found by local historian Clive Roberts back at the beginning of November – these images are remarkable as the show the Grove Colliery on the Cannock Extension Canal at Lime Lane in 1958 and 1959, and I know of few extant images of the time – perhaps the only good representation being in the 1963 cinefilm of Brownhills, donated by Brian Stringer.
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Les Fleurs

Some time ago, reader and Bon Viveur David Evans found this image for sale at a church fayre in Brownhills, at I believe at St James – he didn’t purchase it, but he did take a crafty snapshot.
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Private investigations

David Evans has had access in recent weeks to lots of material from the Norton Canes Historical Society – one of the things he found was a wonderful 1975 report into the Grove Pit Disaster.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Underground investigations – The Grove Pit Disaster remembered

The 1st October 2012 – a couple of hours away from when I post this – will mark 82 years since the Grove Pit Disaster that killed fourteen local men in the mine that stood just off Lime Lane, on … Continue reading

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For the want of timber

Last week I featured an article by local history Rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler about a text, available for free via Google Books called ‘Black Diamonds or the Gospel in a Colliery District’ written around 1860 by mystery author HHB.
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Posted in Cannock Chase, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

In pursuit of the truth

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, one of several readers and contributors without whom this blog would be nothing at all, has something to say, and I think we need to listen. Carefully. There’s something disturbing him, and me, in the way some … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Environment, Events, Followups, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Well, that was unfortunate…

Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler continues his patient, thorough research into the Harrison empire. This was, of course, the local industrialist family that owned mines in South Staffordshire, and particularly the Grove Pit and others locally.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

A quick correction from Andy Dennis

I had a brief note from top chap and blog research stalwart Andy Dennis the other day – I kept meaning to reply, but as regular contributors know only to well, I’m not too good with mail. If it’s a … Continue reading

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Don’t believe everything you read…

I’ve been droning on now for some months about the need for accuracy and careful research in local history. It’s because I know that I’m as fallible as the next man that I, like you readers, worry so much about … Continue reading

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After the gold rush

I thought that today, I’d dig some interesting mapping out of the archive. In the light of Gerald Reece’s talk on Brownhills and it’s colliery history, I thought this 1884 1:2,500 scale plan of Wyrley Common was due an outing. It shows – in some clarity – the extent of mining in the Engine Lane area at the height of the Victorian period.
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On yer bike…

Here’s an interesting one from loyal reader and contributor Andy Dennis. This has genuinely touched me, and it dovetails nicely with yesterday’s post featuring Ulead123’s tribute to local miners film. This is a neat progression, and it’s just the kind … Continue reading

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How do you solve a problem like Eliza?

Here’s a bit of original research sent in for readers to peruse from the wonderful Andy Dennis. This is a further, almost forensic investigation of the Harrison family, local mine-owners and industrialists. This is an exemplary bit of research, and … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

William Victor Whittaker, Miner: what do you know?

This is a brief enquiry on behalf of reader Iris Taylor, who contacted me some time ago for information about her father, William Victor Whittaker who worked the Aldridge pits. Iris asked the following: Hello, Thank you for replying so quickly! … Continue reading

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Echoes… lets think for a minute

I want to be serious for a moment. Please, if you’re interested or involved in local history at all, please read this article and offer your point of view. There’s something troubling me that we need to be aware of … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Holding on for a hero

Top bloke and contributor Stevie378 recently commented that a relative was in a local mine rescue team. With that in mind, and especially for his mum, whom I know to be a keen reader of this blog, I’ve dredged the … Continue reading

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The Grove Pit Disaster Mining Memorial, Brownhills Cemetery

I’ve had an enquiry from Janet Whittaker, granddaughter of John Whittaker, who died in the Grove Pit Disaster in 1930. Janet had this to say: I came accross your website whilst looking for a site for Walsall Wood Cemertary as … Continue reading

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Remembrance

I was pleased to see today that there were loads of flowers on the Grove Pit Memorial in Brownhills Cemetery. It’s nice to see so many people remember those lost men, and marked their passing so lovingly. We shall never … Continue reading

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Grove Colliery Disaster Memorial Service: This Saturday.

My most grateful thanks go out to Janet Whittaker, who kindly answered my plea for details of the memorial service for the Grove Pit Disaster memorial service, which will be taking place at St. James Church, Church Road, Brownhills on … Continue reading

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John Bernard Whittaker, rest in peace.

Further to yesterday’s enquiry from Janet Whittaker, and my subsequent blog post, this evening I went to see if I could find the resting place of John Whittaker, Janet’s grandfather, tragically lost along with 13 other miners in the Grove … Continue reading

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Working in a coal mine…

Since covering the anniversary of The Grove Pit Disaster – the worst such event in our area’s mining history – I’ve only peripherally touched on the subject of the local mines. After some prompting by readers, I’ve decided this week … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

The Grove Colliery Disaster – details of memorial event, anyone?

I’ve been aware for a few weeks now that there is to be a memorial service for the victims of the Grove Colliery Disaster shortly. Unfortunately, what I don’t know, and can’t seem to find out, is where and when … Continue reading

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The men below

Eighty years ago today, on the 1st October, 1930, fourteen men died underground, as a result of a gas explosion at the Grove, or Brownhills Colliery. It is thought that the men perished when a naked light was struck in … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Environment, Events, Followups, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Footage of Grove Pit Disaster, 1st October, 1930

A tip of the hat yet again to local history wonder [Howmuch], who in addition to spotting the Chasewater newsreel in the British Pathe archive, was busy over the weekend rooting through other video archives for the benefit of likeminded … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Local History, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Was yer ferther a miner?

I had a lovely email from Janet Whittaker, who regular readers will remember asked last week about the grave of her grandfather, John Bernard Whittaker. John died in the Grove Pit Disaster in 1930, and Janet, her family having moved … Continue reading

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Miles of steel over wood

Here’s a fantastic bit of research history from local historian and author Gerald Reece. Following our recent communications about the question of pumps and mining in general in the area of Brownhills Common and Engine Lane, Gerald sent me the … Continue reading

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Standing on the shoulders

Readers will recall that a couple of weeks ago, I was trying to contact local author, and former resident of Brownhills, Gerald Reece. Fortunately, we managed to connect up. Gerald has been very kind and has communicated extensively with me … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Who knows where the time goes?

It really doesn’t seem like five minutes since I last wished all you readers a merry Christmas and a very happy new year. This last one has been an interesting and engaging time for me with the Brownhills Blog. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, cycling, Environment, Followups, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Union and Chapel

I am fascinated and encouraged by the diligent work being undertaken by top reader, commentor and Panoramian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler into the the mining history of our area. Not just the mines, the engineering and their history, but also the … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, Environment, Events, Features, Followups, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Local History, Local media, Local politics, Panoramio photo discussions, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Coalmining in Brownhills, by Gerald Reece.

In light of the fact that there’s so much interest in the history of mining on Brownhills Common, and particularly vibrant speculation about the steam engines that gave Engine Lane it’s name, I thought I’d take an unusual step. Much … Continue reading

Posted in Features | 27 Comments

A hole in the history

If ever anything were to prove the importance of a detailed mapping record, than my post of Wednesday last, ‘Common ground’ does just that. Whilst dredging the available mapping for the area beforehand, the 1938 draftings were unavailable in the … Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments