Life after the war

I still have a little of the very popular Mavis Woodhouse material to come – so far we’ve had the Foxes Row and Victor Haines articles, the Fred Shingler film of Newtown, Mavis’s recollections of the mining history, the curious disappearing cottage, and memories of Sunday School in the small community on the Watling Street.

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I’m after all the tanners!

The Mavis Woodhouse material featured here of late is a local history gift that just keeps giving, and yesterday, I had a fascinating email very kindly sent to me by Ann Grinstead, the lady who edited the initial copy of Mavis’s family history, subsequently later edited for the blog by the young David Evans.

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A huge black cauldron

Mavis Woodhouse really started something when she kindly donated her family history material to the blog – the Foxes Row article was very popular, the Victor Haines material had us all head scratching, and the film of Newtown that was so newly relevant has had a huge number of views.

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Doctor Fell

This is just a quick one, as I thought we needed to get at least a little bit of history in at long last – and this one has piqued my curiosity, as my antenna always twitch when I hear subsidence legends.
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The scars were always black

The generosity of Mavis Woodhouse in allowing David Evans, myself and you readers to share her privately produced family history book is really proving to be a rich source of discussion, debate and new local history tangents – the Foxes Row article was very popular, the Victor Haines material had us all head scratching, and the film of Newtown that was so newly relevant has had a huge number of views.

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On a clear day

The wonderfully generous and knowledgable Sir Gerald of Reece recently sent me some scans of aerial images dating from 1948-52, taken of Brownhills and and stored on transparency, which I feature here today.
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If the cap fits…

On Sunday I rode up Coppice Lane in Brownhills for the first time in a few weeks, and noticed that contractors for The Coal Authority – the body charged with monitoring and remediating historic mineworkings – had been hard at work capping the two shafts left over from the West Coppice Colliery, near the old level Crossing. 

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Finely tuned aerials

Rather than do the drip-drip-rip thing with the wonderful aerial images shared by top geographic geek Gareth Thomas and Lichfield District Council, I’m going to share the whole set of 1:5,000 aerials of Chasewater and surrounds. All were taken in December, 1976, and show some remarkable detail.
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The scale of things to come

Gareth Thomas, top geographical services officer and mapping wonk from Lichfield District Council has been dipping into the aerial photography archives, and sent me a whole truancy of new wonders.
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A Chasewater childhood

Regulars will remember that recently, I featured a post from reader Stuart Cowley, who generously recounted mhos memories of of summers spent in and around Chasewater, where his family worked at the cafe.

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Memories of Chasewater

I’ve had a great email from reader Stuart Cowley, about growing up and spending summers helping his family out at the cafe in Chasewater in the 1960s. It’s a really touching, well-written piece. I remember the Chasewater of the 70s, when it was running down, but at it’s height it seems to have been a real leisure attraction.

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The day after

Following on from the excellent response to my post of last week, featuring the fascinating 1963 aerial photo of Chasewater’s south shore, I’ve decided to post two more of the collection which should provide some interesting talking points for readers. These images are from Lichfield District Council’s archives, and have been very kindly scanned and…

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Recovered history

The aerial image of Chasewater I posted on Thursday evening really has spurred on some creative consideration of the park’s history. I’ve been surprised and delighted by the memories and theories that have emerged relating to the stunning image, taken in June, 1963. I don’t think we’re any closer to identifying a specific event that…

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Chartered flight

This is a teaser. I have been supplied with eight images from this set, and frankly, they’ve blown me away. The image shown here will interest so many people – from Chasewater Wildlife Group, to Brownhills history enthusiasts, mining wonks and canal buffs. The images are from Lichfield District Council’s archives, and have been very…

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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 archive for technical reasons. Thus, in the selections I chose, there was no evidence of…

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