Now and then

This was my objective yesterday.  I wanted to take a “now” shot to compare with an image reproduced in an excellent book by Ray Shill, Wyrley & Essington Canal Through Time.  I acquired this from Alibris, which I use as an online bookshop, especially for out-of-print and second-hand volumes.  Several of Ray Shill’s books are available, including Wyrley & Essington from £3.99 plus p&p (just search by author).

The same image was featured by Brownhills Bob in The scent of jasmine.

I found it difficult to find the correct angle and I am still not sure what sort of lens the photographer was using.  The two main common landmarks, in addition to the angles in the near canal bank, are the black chutes and the tree that grew in front of Wharf Cottages.

Anglesey Wharf, from Wyrley & Essington Canal Through Time by Ray Shill (page 66).
Anglesey Wharf, 2017.

The two chutes that remain are those nearest to the cottages, not the larger apparatus in the upper image.

All that remains of the coal wharf today.

Dad used to say that in his childhood, from about the mid-1930s, they were already disused and that other structures, like the one in the top picture were used instead, as well as the screens that could fill boats more quickly, see for example Brownhills Bob’s Screen Stars.

Perhaps grandfather Sam Dennis, and certainly his father, uncles and grandfather, would have passed in front of the cottages on their way to and from work and probably exchanged greetings with the folk who lived there.

Ordnance Survey 1938 (published 1946), reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.


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