Category Archives: Brownhills

Chasewater Country Park Leaflet

Chasewater Country Park Leaflet

The 2017 leaflet for the Chasewater Country Park Events is now available.

Front Cover

Front Cover

First two Pages

First two Pages

Back Cover

Back Cover

Brownhills Walk 2 – First posted August 22 2009

Brownhills Walk 2

Another stroll with the dawg, this time starting from Brownhills West Station – I had some leaflets to drop off so it made the decision easy.2009_08220001I decided to walk along the Midland Railway trackbed to start with – ‘our line’ from the other side of the M6 Toll.  This first pic is taken from the bridge over the motorway.2009_08220005This bridge is where you first take the footpath along the trackbed, just over the motorway.2009_08220006Nice to know that the trackbed was put to some good use.  This pic was taken a few hundred yards from the previous one – I bet this was better than playing at Wembley when the kids were young – their very own goal-posts!2009_08220009Talking about football, this was taken in between the A5 and the Chester Road and it is the pitch where Brownhills Scouts used to play – takes some believing!2009_08220011Back to the trackbed, this is taken facing from the Chester Road back towards the A5.2009_08220014There is still some brickwork left of the old Brownhills Midland Railway station in the undergrowth.2009_08220016Walking along the Wyrley and Essington canal now, the photo looks back from High Bridge bridge.  I had taken a bit of a short cut, which didn’t do me any good.  I’d crossed the Chester Road, meaning to go down the Norton Branch trackbed but found another footpath before I reached it and took that instead.  Just a path through trees, nice pool half-way along (which the dog fell in!), otherwise muddy and boring.2009_08220021This photo was taken on the other side of the bridge and shows the area where the Norton Junction marshalling yard used to be.  From here I crossed a field and made my way onto the LNWR Lichfield to Walsall trackbed, from which you can still make out the trackbed of the branch from Walsall Wood Colliery to the LNWR line. We have the train staff for this line in the Museum.  This picture was taken by my good friend Godfrey Hucker and used with his permission (well, he would have given it if I’d asked him!!)Trackbed 3 Walsall Wood Colliery to Norton JunctionFrom here I walked along the trackbed towards Brownhills.2009_08220023A lone signal post is all that’s left and a little further along, the trackbed gets much narrower.  If you look closely at our Ellie you will see that she looks as though she has got grey wellies on.  It was foul smelling clay-type mud – if the weather had got much warmer I would probably had to chip it off!

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Back on to the Wyrley and Essington canal now, looking through the LNWR railway bridge to the Pelsall Road bridge beyond.2009_08220033I came off the canal in Brownhills at the new bridge and walked across the parade towards Chasewater.  I took this photo to illustrate my point from the first walk, about the lack of light and grass under the trees – it uses to be just grass and very pleasant.2009_08220035Back to the entrance to Chasewater Country Park and a chance for Ellie to have a paddle to get rid of the mud – not to mention a well-earned drink!2009_08220041Nearly back at the railway, and as you can see, the mud has been washed off and she has company – she ignored them to start with but had to say a quick ‘hello’ eventually.  They were completely unimpressed and it was their turn to ignore her!!

Brownhills Walk – second lap! First posted in 2009

Just browsing through some old stuff when I came across this post and thought to myself – why not post it again – it’s been 7 years!

Brownhills Walk

Although I left Brownhills in 1960, I still think of it as my home town (despite having lived in Hednesford for some 44 years!), and since I finished work about 11 years ago, I’ve tried to have a walk around at least once a year.  This has slipped a bit in the last two or three years but today I made it – complete with camera.2009_08210066I parked at Chasewater, by the Innovation Centre, instead of at the Railway – makes a change – and my trusty hound and myself went back over the bridge and turned left on to the public footpath by the old trotting track.2009_08210031The picture shows what’s left of the back straight.  We went over to cross the A5 by the White Horse, and then on to the common.2009_08210033This pic shows the common not far off the A5.  When we were kids, this area was long, tufty grass with lots of small pools in and around – almost impossible to walk across – so a great deal of work has been done to get the ground up to this standard.2009_08210036This is where the Brownhills St. James football team first started playing.  This is somewhere else where a lot of work has been done.  We never had a surface to play on anything like this – talk about jealous!!  Passing through the gate and into the park we came to another pitch we used to play on.2009_08210037In fact, we were the first team to use it, the land the pitch is on was also reclaimed from long, tufty grass – you’d never believe it now.  The only used to be a triangular path round the park leading from the entrance to some swings near the far gate, then across and along the fence by the cricket pitch to the ride called the ‘Boat’, then back to the entrance and the ‘Giant Stride’ and the ‘Witches Hat’.

On and out of the park and onto the Parade – an area that I don’t think too much of!2009_08210040Again, when we were kids, we used to have a kick-about along this area.  If I remember correctly, there was a well spaced row of trees on either side of the parade but the grass area was just that – open grass.  Now there doesn’t seem to be any light along there, the grass struggles to grow and when the leaves fall it becomes something of a mess (just my opinion but I much preferred the open space).2008_0708Miners0053Through Brownhills next, past the ‘Miner’ down the High Street and up Church Hill.  Through the Church Yard and down Vicarage Road to Ogley Road.  Turned left and went towards Newtown Bridge, getting on the canal side to walk back to Chasewater (I’ve got used to the name now, but when thinking back to Sunday afternoons of our youth, we still went for a walk ‘over the pool’ – a reference to the old name of  ‘Norton Pool’).2009_08210042Walking along the tow-path, it’s nice to see that some of the residents on the far bank have made a very neat job of running their gardens down to the canal-side.2009_08210044Just putting my railway head on for a while, on the other side of this bridge, the railway and canal came together.  It seems a shame that they both couldn’t have passed under the M6 Toll together, too.   That bridge looks very wide just for a canal!2009_08210046That’s the direction the railway used to take.  A level crossing across the road and on to Anglesey Sidings.  The next picture faces the other direction.2009_08210047The track used to be here and a building which housed the old stables from way back.  There’s plenty of room for a small station building and a run around loop, if only we could get there!2009_08210052The old track bed is still there for a lot of the way, but as you can see in top right of this photo, the road runs on some of it before running down to the island at the access to the M6 Toll.  Shame.  Not far to go to Chasewater now, so back along the canal. passing what is left of the loading gantry and the overflow from Chasewater.2009_082100572009_08210056If the canal also gets full to overflowing, the water can run through the grating at the front of the picture and on to the low lying ground behind.  Towards the basin and the start of the canal – where the water comes in from the reservoir.2009_08210061It would be nice to think that, sometime in the future, if the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust succeed in reopening the canal as far as Lichfield, and we at Chasewater Railway, should succeed in reaching the wharf, the basin would again be a hive of activity, this time for tourists.  Well, we can but dream!

Chasewater Railway’s Brewery Day 2016

Chasewater Railway

Some video clips and stills taken at the Chasewater Railway Brewery Day, 2016

A brief visit to Brownhills Canalside Festival

Brownhills Canalside Festival

I paid a very brief visit to my old home town Canalside Festival this morning.  I saw a few old friends there, not too many but it was only just after the start.

I took a few photographs before departing to my usual Sunday haunt – Chasewater Railway Museum.

 

 

There was a good number of attractions, including one of my favourites, the Armitage Birds of Prey.  And Keith, having a Sunday away from the railway with his other interest, the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust.

Brownhills Canal Festival

Brownhills Canal Festival

Sunday June 26 2016

This year’s Brownhills Canalside Festival is on Sunday 26th June 2016 and runs from 10 am till 4pm.

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Sadly, no dog any more, but she enjoyed the 2011 event!

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Chasewater Railway 2016 March Industrial Gala

Chasewater Railway 2016 March Industrial Gala

Chasewater Railway Gala March 5th & 6th

The new season starts here!

Brownhills Community Association – Standard bearers for our town!

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Brownhills Community Association – Standard bearers for our town!.

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Shire Oak just reopened with new landlord!

Shire Oak just reopened with new landlord!.