Tracks into the past…

Recently… I had a little bit of spare time and clicked on the my Number 1 bookmark in Favourites –  the famous Brownhills Blog of Brownhills Bob. I was reading his article titled Miles of steel over wood and suddenly remembered I had visited the area recently and had taken a few photo’s for my own personal collection. I thought I would share with you some of the photo’s from my exploration and hopefully inspire some of you to do the same because history is an amazing thing and photographing modern day subjects will provide the window into history for future generations to view. Capturing a moment in time for all to see is wonderful and should be shared for all to enjoy. The photo’s are from Engine Lane, Wyrley Common, Lime Lane area. I’ve included a highlighted area on a OS map at the bottom of this post to show the exact area that was explored by myself.

This slope is steeper than it looks… prepare to be out of breath if attempting to climb it!

View looking in the direction of the old Slough. Notice the white roof of the Walsall Council grit/salt storage in the distance. I was indeed out of breath after climbing the slope to reach the top of this slag heap.

Recognise these??? They appear to be fairly fresh imprints of the Cannock Chase deer who regularly take a wander south, down to this area.

Pretty erie wasteland! It was pretty muddy or should I say “clayey” too! You definitely need your Wellington Boots if visiting when the weather is wet.

If any of you follow my fellow Brownhillian Blogger… the Bobster, you may recognise the above location as the one featured in one of Bob’s previous post – Police target brownhills offroaders. From the images you can see the tread marks from the wheels of vehicles and also the deep water holes that the 4×4 vehicles challenge themselves to travel through. This of course damages the environment and is illegal. From a recent journey along Lime Lane, I noticed a few 4×4 vehicles had driven straight off the road and right through wild scrubland heading in the direction of this location. Obviously there are still a few offenders who are participating in this activity.

Tracks into the past! These old sleepers appear to be the original wooden sleepers that used to form the base of old mining railway track as shown on the OS Map below.

View looking back towards the pretty high slag heap on the left and the old track bed with a few broken sleepers showing through in the foreground.

Closer view of the old wooden sleepers. Amazing that these appear to date back to a period in time before 1900’s.

Further down the line… near to Lime Line.
More evidence of the old track and direction of the line through the modern day woodland.

Widescreen view of the old line near to Lime Lane. There are still bricks and other items scattered and buried in the ground from a time long gone but definitily not forgotten.

Brownhills colliery lines as shown on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 sheet SK00 from 1948.
The red dotted circled area and arrows are the location of my exploration and where some of the photo’s were captured. Map is courtesy of Brownhills Bob’s Brownhills Blog.

When you visit and explore a location and discover evidence of a time long gone, you feel a connection to history and to the people who came here on a daily basis to work and live their lives in a different world to what we have now. It is remarkable how you can wander about at this location and not see a soul for hours if at all and you can discover pieces of evidence to remind you that before mother nature recaptured the land, this was a busy, noisy and bustling place with buildings, railways, mines and now its all gone and the only thing left to remind you that anything occurred at all… are a few wooden railway sleepers rotting away and broken bricks partially swallowed by the ground!!!

Until next time the next encounter…

Barry.