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.
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.