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Tag Archives: Pedro
One enduring subject of very much debate here that continues to receive a lot of attention is the thorny subject of the Marklew family, Marklew’s pond off Coppice Lane, William Roberts and the claim that the farm was one of the last Tommy Shops operating.
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.
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.
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.
I keep returning to the subject of the man I consider to be the father of modern Brownhills, the one and only William Roberts – railway plate layer, ganger, publican, entrepreneur, civic stalwart, JP and philanthropist.
Incisive and tenacious historian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been quietly continuing his investigations into the Old Hednesford Colliery Disaster, the 1911 accident that was brought to our attention when Reg ‘Are Reg’ Fullelove donated a poem he’d come to have in his collection to the blog.
I must say there hasn’t been enough local history stuff here of late and it has also been too long since I last featured a research article by the incisive and tenacious historian Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler.
I had an interesting email from reader and top local history technician Andy Dennis a couple of weeks ago that expands on a recent topic beautifully: that of William Roberts and his empire.
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.
This is an important one, and I think there may well be more to follow, as top local history wonk Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler is not one to let sleeping dogs – or local history matters that are niggling him – lie.
The interesting history of William Roberts – the father of modern Brownhills – continues, and this time, Peter ‘pedro’ Cutler has taken issue with some other, intersecting local history, and just when exactly William Roberts came to Brownhills as a lad, and where he lived when his family moved here.
Back to William Roberts, then – railway plate layer, ganger, publican, entrepreneur, civic stalwart, JP and philanthropist – a very rare man in his time, he appears to have been generous, considerate, imbued with a real sense of social justice, and was undoubtedly a sharp-dealing rogue too.
There’s something I’ve been needing to get off my chest for a good while, and it won’t go away – however, recent finds and articles on the blog have brought it to the fore in my mind, and this is as good a juncture as any to brooch the subject: William Roberts is not recognised enough in our collective history.
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.
I’m pleased to say that, somewhat like rust, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler never sleeps, and his tireless and somewhat relentless pursuit of the evidential history behind some of the commonly accepted ‘authoritative sources’ of local mining history continues unabated.
It’s interesting to note that Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler is coming over all iconoclastic again – and I, for one, welcome it, as Peter has a fine record of kicking over the statues of the local mining history – particularly in regard the the Harrison colliery dynasty.
The really fascinating thing about curating this blog is the way it inspires people to look into not just history, but the retelling of it; I have been banging on for years that we need to be careful not just of our own accounts and beliefs, but also of those accounts we hold as truths from authoritative sources.
Last weekend, I revisited for the first time in ages the subject that was once so prominent here – Chasewater dam – but not in reference to the recent renovations, but to the creation of the reservoir and the failure of the earthwork dam in 1799.
Mindful of the day and occasion, regular contributor and blog stalwart Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler wrote to me with an interesting couple of things to check out relating to the Second World War and Birmingham – I wasn’t aware of either, and they’ve been eye-openers, to be quite honest. Continue reading
I had this one in a couple of days ago from Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who continues his dogged research into local mining history, and the relationship between those above ground and those whose labours they depended upon beneath them.
Now here’s a wonderful thing from local history Rapscallion Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler, who in his usual inimitable style, has been rootling trough the newspaper archives for references to the air raids alluded to in the St John’s School log book I featured at the weekend.
Back in May, 2013, Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler turned up the intriguing story of Cecil Poynton, a footballer of some note from Brownhills, and at the time, we could find little about the chap, and it seemed that in the annals of local sporting history, Cecil was somewhat overshadowed by the seemingly more well-know Dickie Dorsett, whose career has been covered here previously.
Continuing the Carnival theme (can there be a better one for such a summery spell?) Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has been weaving his rapscallion magic and dredging the newspaper archive, finding two pieces in the Lichfield Mercury of 12th July 1935 and 25th July of the same year.
What I really enjoy about doing this blog is those times when we get a historical snippet, then explore it through various avenues, take it and run with it. Often, this not only reveals the story to be different to that originally stated, but also a fascinating journey through what would otherwise be lost local history.
We all know the three-faced liar in Brownhills. The Council House Clock – stopped, restored, restarted, stopped, restored, restarted. I lie in bed on warm summer nights and hear it chime the hour over a sleeping, somnambulant town, usually incorrectly. It’s a thing of pride, embarrassment and hilarity in the community.
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.
Regular reader, commentarian and contributor extraordinaire Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler sent me this article some weeks ago now, and I’ve been waiting to finish the Pelsall Boiler Explosion series, so it has a clear deck. This is a continuation in Peter’s … Continue reading