An intriguing enquiry reaches me from local historian and blog dynamo the young David Evans, who’s after a rather specific bit of history relating to a lost courtyard of dwellings in Brownhills High Street Called ‘The Metz’.
Oh boy, is this a cracker – this wonderful enquiry came in yesterday from Derek Broadhurst, who’s found a very curious postcard which may shed light on the derivation of the name ‘Barracks Lane’, which is the road that funs from the A461 Lichfield Road at Sandhills, right over to the A5 Watling Street, east of Newtown.
Old friend of the blog Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove has been at it again – and this time, he’s written a fabulous piece on his early working days as an electricity supply engineer for the Chasetown Electricity Board, in the very earliest days of domestic supply.
The Clayhanger subsidence and pumping station thread seems to have provoked much interest in the past week – there has been a great deal of reader comment, and I have further bits to add to the story in coming days.
The Ogley Square slum was indeed cleared – and as can be seen today – the area of Catshill and Ogley Hay around it became the site of huge social housing development – however, the site of the Square itself became the location of a new pub..
This week, we’ve got the follow up article regarding Ogley Square from the Lichfield Mercury of Friday, 8th February 1935 – this is a great summation of what’s happened, and also points out that Brownhills was one of the first towns to act on slum clearance legislation.
It is with great pleasure that I can now continue the story of the slum clearance of Ogley Square in 1935, thanks to the efforts of an anonymous reader and top friend of the blog Richard Burnell.
A great spot here yesterday from top Walsall Wood Mon, history wonk and local author Clive Roberts, who’s been as intrigued over the years as I have by the history of Crestacre, the former ‘lost’ isolation hospital in Barracks Lane, Brownhills.
Readers will no doubt recall that one of my earliest obsessions on the blog four years ago was the ‘lost’ isolation hospital, owned by Brownhills Urban District Council, and marked on early maps in Barracks Lane, just atop Springhill, on the Brownhills/Ogley Hay border.
It’s a curious fact of local history that little St. Anne’s Church, in Church Street, Chasetown, was the first church in Britain lit by electric light. The history of this installation, and of electricity coming to Chasewtown and Brownhills is inextricably tied up with the history of mining in the area.
Thanks to reader David Oakley and the ever-diligent [Howmuch?], I’ve since found out that my speculation that Moss Pits was the location of Clayhanger Pumping Station to be utter twaddle. I’d heard the name before, yet couldn’t locate it. Since many of the reports mentioning the place were in connection with sewage, I assumed it…
Paul Ford, researcher at Walsall Local History Centre and top blog contributor has once again excelled himself and ferreted out a top piece of local history from Walsall’s extensive archives. Paul has kindly offered to make this a reasonably frequent occurrence as he notices things we might be interested in. This is a fantastic thing…