Tag Archives: Derelict

You don’t have to be puddled to help restore a lost, local canal… but puddling helps!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the progress they’re making at Fosseway Heath, south Lichfield, and to send out an appeal for volunteers to help push the restoration forward. … Continue reading

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Taking the strain in Walsall Wood – could you be a champion too?

Over the years on the blog we’ve covered the great, and often surprisingly diverse sporting history of Brownhills and Walsall Wood – from the notable local teams like Walsall Wood Football Club, Cricket, Bowls – to more esoteric stuff like … Continue reading

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Do the walk this weekend!

Find out how far they’ve come at Summerhill in just two years in this informative film for the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to remind us that … Continue reading

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A Chemical Romance

I’ve been asked the question by reader Norman Taylor as to what I know about Brownhills Chemical Works – otherwise known as The Chemical or The Chemy, later the site of a notorious war scrapyard local kids were all attracted … Continue reading

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A great chance for tea and cake in a great country canalside garden this Saturday!

There’s a great event going on in Whittington this acoming Saturday (31st March 2018) in aid of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust ‘Tunnel Vision’ appeal – Eric and Doreen’s All Day Easter Coffee Morning.

lhcrt easter coffee morning 2017 Continue reading

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A feast of wire

Local rail buff Simon Swain has been busy of late covering the momentous and important Chase Line Electrification Project, which is seeing the rail line between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley electrified for hopefully faster and more reliable services.

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Two great events coming up from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about a couple of events the local canal restoration project are holding in the coming weeks, a quiz night on Saturday 17th March 2018 and a guided walk of the Summerhill section on Saturday 21st April 2018.

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Could you help restore a lost, local canal?

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the progress they’re making, and to send out an appeal for volunteers to help push the restoration forward.
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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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Carols by the canal – and memories of great friends

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are holding a carol evening at their Fosseway Nature Reserve site, just off Falkland Road, Lichfield on Saturday 16 December 2017 from 7-9pm and all are welcome.

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Pictures from the 2017 Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

Yesterday (Saturday 23rd September 2017) I got chance to go to the first day of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust’s Heritage Gathering at Huddlesford, near Whittington.
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Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering is this weekend!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is running on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (23-24th September 2017), and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.
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Less than two weeks to go until Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is coming up over the weekend of 23-24th September 2017, and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.

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Restoring a lost canal – and creating a new haven for wildlife

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are keen to share the news that they’re now creating a new nature reserve along the line of the soon to be restored canal between Wall and Lichfield.

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Up the Ryecroft Junction

Local rail buff Simon Swain has once again been busy with the camera and maps, tracing out the history of the South Staffordshire railway line that used to run from Wychnor near Alrewas to Dudley, but called at Lichfield, Brownhills and Walsall on the way.

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Lichfield and Hatherton’s huge canal Heritage Gathering coming soon!

Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are busy preparing for their Heritage Gathering call and vintage festival which is coming up over the weekend of 23-24th September 2017, and takes place at their Huddlesford base, near Lichfield.

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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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The death throes of the local line

Local rail buff Simon Swain last week sent in the above image of one of the last freight workings on the South Staffordshire Line through central Brownhills – and there was a large amount of interest in this remarkably evocative photo.
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One of the final few

Local rail buff Simon Swain has been in touch with a remarkable image of Brownhills recording the very last days of the railway here – just before construction of the Miner Island in 1984.

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Memories of the Station Hotel: A great couple of hours with lovely people

One lost local pub that always generates warm memories and lively conversations is the Station Hotel, which was a somewhat notorious pub that stood about where Aldi is today at the Miner end of Brownhills High Street.
station hotel Continue reading

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Find out about the restoration of our lost canal next Friday!

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are holding their Annual General Meeting next Friday nevening (Friday, 9th June 2017) in Brownhills, at the Parkview Centre (the old Council House on the Miner Island), and all are welcome to attend.

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BRD Sports and Social club newsletter, 1954 – what do you remember?

A lovely period piece reaches me from reader David Hughes, who’s been kind enough to scan a complete November 1954 copy of ‘The Omtitis’ magazine, which was the BRD Sports and Social Club newsletter.

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A great chance for tea and cake in a great country canalside garden this afternoon!

I know it’s late on but there’s a great even going on in Whittington this afternoon (Saturday, 15th April 2017) in aid of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust ‘Tunnel Vision’ appeal – Eric and Doreen’s All Day Easter Coffee Morning.

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Have a great night out – and support a great local canal project!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about their annual Spring show, taking place at Whittington Village Hall on Friday, April 7th 2017.

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Get tunnel vision and help with a great local history preservation project!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the launch of their Tunnel Vision appeal, which has been established to raise funds in order to construct a canal tunnel under the railway near Lichfield.
lhcrt-cross-city-canal-tunnel Continue reading

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A found connection

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.

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Demolition of derelict Oak Park Leisure Centre imminent

Yesterday, roving Walsall Wood current affairs correspondent Stephen Hill sent me the above collection of images and the following observations about what is currently happening at Oak Park.

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Serious fire ongoing at derelict former Oak Park Recreation Centre Walsall Wood

There’s currently a serious fire occurring at the the derelict former Oak Park Recreation Centre in Walsall Wood.

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Find out about a great local canal restoration with a guided walk this Saturday!

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the organised walk of the SUmmerhill section that’s taking place this Saturday, 3rd December 2016.

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Firefighters tackle second fire in Brownhills this week

I note that there’s been another fire in Brownhills this evening, following the one earlier in the week that occurred at the former Terrace Restaurant in Newtown, on the A5 – this evening (Thursday 27th October 2016) a fire seems to have taken place in a stable near the old trotting track off Whitehorse Road, Brownhills.

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Fire incident at the former Terrace Restaurant, Brownhills

Sadly, it appears there’s a fire incident ongoing at the former Terrace Restaurant, in Newton, on the A5 Watling Street in Brownhills – West Midlands Fire Service crews are in attendance from Aldridge, Bloxwich, Walsall and Staffordshire.

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Huge progress being made on local canal restoration

Tom Reid from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been in touch to let us know about the progress they’re making in opening up the former canal towpath as a walking route between Barracks Lane and Summerhill, aided by corporate volunteers.

BT volunteers laying the timber edging and hardcore of the Heritage Towpath Trail at Summerhill Continue reading

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Caught short on the Pelsall Road

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.

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HSBC branch in Brownhills to close in November

I’m sad to report that the last High Street Bank bank in Brownhills, HSBC will close for good on Friday, 25th November 2016 – this comes amidst the slump in the use of High Street branches caused by online and telephone banking, and the general woes of the bank in general – HSBC has closed over 100 branches already this year.

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More Costa jobs up for grabs in Brownhills

There’s been lots of talk here about the new Costa Coffee outlet due to open in Brownhills – and a couple of weeks ago I spotted a job advert for the new store – sadly, this was oversubscribed quickly and many were left disappointed.
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A case of the trots!

A great image has come in from friend of the blog and long time contributor Andy Dennis, who’s dug out this fascinating picture of a once prominent local sport that used to take place in Brownhills.
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Costa Coffee franchise advertising jobs in Brownhills

Some months ago it became evident that a franchise for Costa Coffee was planning on opening a branch in Brownhills – following mentions on Twitter by a design house and a subsequent planning application, which was approved last March, things went quiet.
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Your chance to get involved with the restoration of our lost canal – this Friday!

Just a quick note to point out that the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust are holding their Annual General Meeting this Friday, 10th June 2016) in Brownhills, at the Parkview Centre (the old Council House on the Miner Island), and all are welcome to attend.
Lichfield Canal, Whitsun 1958. Continue reading

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Remembering Chasewater Stadium

Following my recent request for memories of Chasewater Stadium, I had a great contribution from long time friend of the blog Fred Butler, who has a rather interesting contribution. I’m after any ephemera or memorabilia anyone can supply, as there’s … Continue reading

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Chasewater Stadium – what do you recall?

Thanks to a curious sale on eBay, I can now share exactly when Chasewater Trotting Track opened – it was Monday 16th August, 1971.
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Looking for traces

The wonderful Simon Swain has been in touch with an interesting article Continue reading

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A Coppice, lots of timber and a little backtracking

The SLS rail tour that took place in 1959 has proven to be a rich seam of material, and has provoked much debate amongst blog readers about the locations of some photos, and just how and where the Diesel Multiple Unit pictured managed to reverse.

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Up around the bend

More here today that goes to show the Venn diagram of history forever curiously overlaps – Ian pell has waded in once more on the subject of the notorious May 1959 rail tour up the Walsall Wood line to the Conduit Colliery – from which a few pictures have emerged over the years and was raised here again last week by Simon Swain with a great new picture.

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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.
Image kindly supplied by Simon Swain Continue reading

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It’s the rail thing

A great one for the train enthusiasts comes in from new Brownhills resident Simon Swain, who’s been doing some great railway history stuff in the South Staffordshire Railway group on Facebook – it seems that the notorious May 1959 rail tour up the Walsall Wood line to the Conduit Colliery – from which a few pictures have emerged over the years – continues to fascinate and unearth new images.

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Is it our fault?

Reader John Blanchard has been in touch all the way from Aukland in New Zealand with some interesting and hopefully debate-provoking memories of subsidence effects in Walsall Wood from the 1960s onwards.

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Planning application submitted for new Costa Coffee branch in Brownhills

As speculated in this post earlier this year, a franchise for Costa Coffee has applied for planning permission enabling conversion of the former Blockbuster store at 51, High Street, Brownhills into a Costa branch – the property has been empty since the video rental chain crashed in 2013.
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Bang tidy!

I note from the informative blog of Brownhills Councillor Steve Wade that there will be a Big Tidy Up day in Brownhills this Thursday, 3rd March 2016 organised by Walsall Council, the Town Centre and Area Partnerships.
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Costa Coffee coming to Brownhills?

I’ve been aware of rumours of the well-known coffee chain Costa opening a branch in Brownhills for a few weeks, but up to now have been unable to nail them down – but thanks to a couple of tweets by an architectural agency I spotted yesterday, it seems like the froth-mongers are indeed looking to establish in the town.

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The Lichfield & Hatherton need your vote!

Christine Howles from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has contacted me to tell me she’s after your vote – no, she’s not standing for election, but the Trust is applying for a community grant and could really do with readers voting for them in the next week or so.

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