Whilst walking to the nearby Lidl this morning we realised we’d moved from Perry Barr to Hamstead. There’s also a Hamstead in Adelaide, South Australia, coincidence?
It was Jan who first noticed the unusual civic feature on the corner of Old Walsall and Hamstead Road.
So Hamstead is known for having a coal mine. After some online searching it appears Hamstead Colliery was a ’late’ mine opening in 1878, well after the Tame Valley Canal opened (1844). In order to reach the coal seam the mine had to be very deep. At 2000ft it was the deepest coal mine in the world when opened. The depth and significant water ingress posed major engineering challenges. The mine operated until 1965 and at one point was producing 260,000 tons annually. The colliery had its own internal railway which was connected to the main rail network at Hamstead station. There was also a canal basin linked to the Tame Valley Canal.
The feature in the top photo is a memorial to the 24 miners who, in 1908, were killed in the mine during an underground fire.
More information about Hamstead here.