Memory Map

Thanks to the two readers who kindly pointed out that the Linley Wood camp – occupied post World War Two by homeless families under the then remarkable and widespread ‘squatting’ movement – is actually shown on the archive 1945 Google Earth imagery.

Untitled 10

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Encamped

Here’s one I’ve been trying to feature for a couple of weeks now but lack of time has prevented me from doing so – you’ll remember a few weeks ago, we uncovered the fascinating story of homeless families taking vacant possession of an ex-army camp at Linley Woods, part of a much larger movement of ‘Squatters’ across the UK in the immediate aftermath of World War 2.

camp_pt

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Squatters rights?

Sometimes I get emails or contacts out of the blue with subjects that just knock me flat – and overnight I received a lovely, kind email from Malcolm Clarke, an ex-local now residing in New Zealand – Malcolm has an interesting bit of history I had no idea had occurred locally.

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I walk the line

This Sunday morning (15th June 2014 at 11:00am), there’s going to be a rather excellent event put on by Lichfield Discovered, a side project of Kate Cardigan from the wonderful Lichfield Lore – a walk along the line of the great, legendary and hotly debated Hanch Tunnel.

tunnelplan4

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Going Back

I’ve noticed over the five years that this blog has been running that it brings out often hidden sides to readers, and uncovers talents folk didn’t know they had – the young David Evans of late has been discovering a new talent for a genteel, polite form of Urban Exploration.
The former school stands at the foot of the playground of the current one. Image courtesy David Evans.

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BBC Midlands Today report on arson

I was contacted late on Tuesday afternoon by BBC journo Ben Sidwell, who was compiling a report for local news TV magazine show ‘Midlands Today’, and was enquiring if he could use one of my images of the BOAK Ravenscraig building in Walsall, taken a week before it was tragically lost to a huge fire….

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Urban Exploration at Linley Caverns, in 1957

Hat tip here to the ongoing and excellent research being carried out by top local history ferret [Howmuch?], who’s located this smashing article from the August 16th, 1957 edition of the Walsall Observer. You’ll have to make do with my word-for-word transcript, as the original scan isn’t of decent enough quality to post here. I…

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On borrowed time…

Since there’s been a welcome focus on the treatment of our local architectural heritage in the days since the Jabez Cliff fire in Walsall, I thought I’d once again delve into the urban exploration community and their activities in Walsall. To this end I visited the excellent 28dayslater forum, and found a couple of great…

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Hide and seek

This week, we lost another historic building to a fire in Walsall. I covered the event here. on my 365daysofbiking Tumblr and one of the side effects on YouTube. The Stymaster lamented it, as did the Hippo. Today, there’s a report in the Express and Star that it wasn’t arson, but the report is so…

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A duty to the derelict

I thought we’d have a change for this week’s pictures from the past feature. I’ve long had an interest in urbex, or urban exploration – there are links to some of my favourite urbex sites in the sidebar – but don’t really have time to keep up with it as I should. The general idea…

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