Way back last year, Patricia Cotton sent in the above photo of her brother Tony, family friends Dora Rathbone and her son Bob enjoying a picnic and a paddle in 1955 by the canal in Brownhills, aroundabout where the banks of the old clay pit are today.
I’ve received via Facebook from very generous reader Patricia Cotton who’s send a very interesting picture, not just because it’s a wonderful period photo, but because lurking on the skyline is an indication of something being present several people dispute.
I’m going to share here an absolutely astounding image donated by Brownhills Local History researcher in exile Gerald Reece, which is sure to create some debate – I’m going to be brief, as I feel it’s best.
Chris Pattison has been in touch. Chris, you’ll remember, is the wonderful historian charting the history of South Staffordshire Water, who has made such great moves in helping local historians like myself, Kate Cardigan, David Moore and Ian Pell to bring local water and railway history to life.
Here’s one that will be of interest to all. Railway historian Ian Pell has again submitted a beautifully written, intricately researched piece for readers to peruse. Here, Ian presents further great, solid information on the history of the water main and surge stack that ran beside the South Staffordshire Railway through Brownhills.
Local historian and top chap David Moore has been in touch again, to alert me to the fact that he’s acquired some images of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company water main undergoing maintenance in Brownhills in 1927, which he’s uploaded to his wonderful Flickr Gallery.
I should have known, really. No sooner had I delved into the fascinating world of the Brownhills surge stack, then Ian Pell, railway historian extraordinaire, had written to me with a whole bunch of new information, clarifications and even a few questions.
It seems like we’re in a period for odd historical tangents and discoveries. It all started with Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler’s classic bit of gentrified nimbyism from ‘Captain’ Harrison at Aldershaw(e). From there, we alighted at Sandfields Pumping Station at Lichfield, and found a wonderful, but neglected steam engine. We’ve found since, via Peter’s further diligent research, and that of Dave Moore, a chap clearly expert on the matter, that there was a long forgotten water tower in Brownhills.
Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been in touch with a lovely quick snippet he spotted in the excellent History of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company, which is available online for free. It really is an excellent read and deserves wider exposure.
So, the final instalment. Regular readers will recall that we’ve been discussing the fatal explosion at Pelsall Coal and Iron Company, that took place in December, 1887. The inquest into the deaths, having been adjourned, was resumed, and this is the account of the second day, published in the Birmingham Daily Post of Saturday, 7th of…
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 following remarkable plans and documentation. In short, when the South Staffordshire Railway Company proposed the…