The Rattlechain smell buried in Rowley Regis

 

Another explosive revelatory newspaper article has come to light from Tuesday 1st April 1958 Birmingham Daily Post. The headline

“Tividale ‘Up in Arms’ over smell from tip” is certainly no April fool, but just further confirmation that this site was on the radar of both local people and the then Rowley Regis council. The council themselves  had already raised the concern about phosphorus at the site being “a peril to children” just five months earlier.

The “obnoxious smell” coming from the named “Rattlechain marl hole” is clearly connected to the waste that Albright and Wilson were dumping there. Connected by the people, the newspaper and by the councillors. At this point in history there was no licence required or waste permit and no inspections. We also know that British Waterways were also using it as a free for all tip from the canal side at this time.

It is also incredible that Albright and Wilson had the major “Oldbury Smell” issue at this very same time, and had claimed via their political spokesman, that they were going to dispose of it into the sea. It appears beyond possible coincidence that these smell issues are unconnected.

“It was claimed that Messrs Albright and Wilson Manufacturing Ltd had written to the council claiming that planning permission to use the marl hole for tipping was not required.”

This of course is hotly debateable and it would have been interesting as to how Albright and Wilson had come to this conclusion in the letter to the committee.

“Ald D. Gilbert suggested that the smell was injurious to health. Food became contaminated”

“When tipping took place the residue which fell from the lorries set alight and gave off a smell. Blue vapour came off the tip. In one factory the smell had made a number of workers sick.”

He is of course absolutely correct in stating this, though appears to not see the linkage of why the firm should not be tipping in the open air.

The described situation at this site is clearly stating that

  • Deliveries of waste were being made by road haulage to the site- as was also stated in the article about the white phosphorus being a “peril to children”
  • White phosphorus is the waste being described here- and it was falling off the lorry and catching fire!
  • The associated smell was phosphine gas- and no doubt the blue vapour further proof of this!
  • Of course it made workers sick FFS! It is a highly toxic gas, and the owners of this site appear, and still appear to have a problem with their same gas.

“Alderman Gilbert considered that the firm should make alternative arrangements to dispose of waste material.”

Absolutely correct, but this was a firm with a family linkage to every facet of high society and friends in high places- like the councillors running the rotten Oldbury borough at this time.

“Councillor K. Wakeman said that while the firm had a right to use the marl hole for tipping, it had no right to create a nuisance that was detrimental to health. The matter is to be discussed at the next meeting of the planning committee.”

It is again the case that Albright and Wilson’s “right” is not particularly certain at all, either legally and certainly not morally.

Obviously this article asks further questions as to what happened next with this story and what was actually discussed and recorded at the next planning committee of the Rowley Regis council? As I  currently cannot find any further story in connection with this, the only course was to see what remains of planning records for this borough.

Rowley Regis Borough Council.

Very little evidence remains of the existence of this authority- like this canal bridge plate in Tividale.

This authority ceased to exist in 1966 when it merged with the rotten borough of Oldbury and Smethwick and became “Warley”. A further eight years later would see it become part of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough council. It is this authority which holds all existing known records of the former Rowley Regis Borough in its archives.

According to the archivist at Sandwell I spoke to, the story goes that on Rowley Regis ceasing to exist, the town hall and the Town Clerks office was sealed up for around 30 years. It was only on demolition of the building, (I believe to extend Haden Hill Leisure centre) that the room and the one inch thick dust that had accumulated revealed some of the treasures left there. Unfortunately a broken window in the room suggested a possible break in had occurred at some point, but with much of what was there going in skips, someone thought to save at least some of it. And so below the three surviving volumes related to matters planning in Rowley Regis that someone had thought to preserve are all that appears to be left. These are

Planning Committee – Minute Book 2 (03/03/1950 -01/12/1954)

Planning Committee – Minute Book 3 (05/01/1955 – 25/07/1956)

Plans, Road and Works Committee – Minute Book 2 (03/01/1947 – 30/07/1951)

Unfortunately and also rather conveniently of course, no minutes exist for the year in question that would record what was said about this article and the rattlechain marl hole smell, as well as if the council concluded that Albright and Wilson did not need planning permission to deposit waste there and also why if this was the case?

There are a few interesting observations within the books and some of the councillors mentioned in the article appear, but the only reference to the area concerns the Brickworks.

This refers to the interim development order in 1947 to which there is also a great mystery. The mystery is that no planning permission was ever given to Albright and Wilson to tip waste at the site when they were alleged to have “acquired” the site in 1948.

Albright and Wilson’s claim that they did not need planning permission in the article is highly dubious as this was a clear change of use for the site- but as we know when they acquired the licence in 1978, it was then stated that the site had been “operational since 1942”- indicating that they were using it then at a time when they were still a British Government Ministry of Supply contractor in World War Two, as well as being on a care and maintenance basis at their Langley factory.

Another source from a planning file comes from the development of the adjacent former London works steel factory, now the Autobase site. This is entitled “Note for file :tipping at rear of London Works Steel premises Tipton Road Tividale.

Part d of this confirms the fact that Barnett’s brickworks had a planning application never determined and which I have looked at HERE in the 1940’s planning history for this site.

“The plans on microfilm appear to include the site of what is now the Albright and Wilson pool in the application site at the rear of the sewage works but not land west of John’s Lane, therefore , not including any part of the London works steel site.”

Unfortunately it appears that the councillors at Rowley Regis, though playing to the gallery of public concern were behind closed doors very poor at determining the facts of the case, though if they did , this was a time when money in envelopes changed hands, and “the society of friends” could influence their way into getting their filthy way.

None of this history of public ill health connected to this site was ever discussed by The Health protection agency in the so called Human health risk assessment– the history supplied by the liars at Trinity Street was simply air brushed out or made vague. Liars of works managers like Peter Bloore made up stories about “toothpaste” to hide what real waste had been dumped  there and its clear dangers, dangers that were being felt here.

It is also worth mentioning the Chemical Hazards and Identification Risk Surveillance group’s take on the fact that the site was clearly causing deaths of birds by systemic phosphorus poisoning.

chairs1

When the ill judged housing on the adjacent former sewage works was approved under appeal, none of this information had come to light and even the chairman (person) at SMBC of the planning committee at that time, (a GP herself no less),  didn’t appear to have a clue as to what was dumped in there, or offer any opinion on the public health issues surrounding it.

Rattlechain lagoon and its contents remain a threat to public health whatever anyone claims to the contrary. It just now has better “labelling” than it did when the stench of Albright and Wilson used to tip their toxic waste there.

Hazardous waste

 

 

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Rattlechain lagoon 1957- phosphorus “a peril to children”

THE NOTORIOUS RATTLECHAIN LAGOON

For many years I had heard the stories from many unconnected people- and they couldn’t all have been mistaken in remembering daydreams from childhood or early adulthood. Rattlechain lagoon the former marlhole that had once served the adjoining brickworks was a dangerous playground for children and skimming stones across the pool produced “sparks” when the phosphorus in the low water levelled pit reacted.

I subsequently met local old boy Malcom Edge who agreed to let me reproduce an excellent piece about his recollections of the era that had earlier appeared online. 

“Oh such fun it was to heave large bricks and rocks from the neighbouring Rattlechain Brickworks, into this sludge and watch in delight as the resulting splash would erupt into flames.”

I now have the documented proof which confirms this, that others would like to forget and pass off as “urban legend” . The article below is vindication of everything that Malcolm and others from the local area remember and it is proof that this lagoon was known to be “a peril to children” back in the 1950’s. It is also proof that the council at this time – Rowley Regis, were concerned about what was going on there, concerned enough to be questioning if it should be occurring there at all. The only question one can ask from this is why the bloody hell did it continue for so long after this- in fact for almost another 50 years concerning depositing the highly dangerous and toxic waste there?

This newspaper article “Glowing water ‘peril to children’ from the 4th November 1957 Birmingham Post and Gazette confirms that Rowley Regis council were aware of this danger and expressed it as such in the public domain.

“Rowley Regis council foresees danger and is trying to stop an Oldbury firm depositing phosphorus there. “

 

Here we have a councillor E.N Thorne stating in public that

“This is a menace to the youngsters of the area.”

The article states that “It is also alleged that the phosphorus gives off a nasty smell.”

There is of course no “alleged” about this fact, as what is described here would be phosphine gas and the smell of rotten eggs/garlic. Of course the adjacent sewage works at this time may have helped to mask this smell- but there is no doubt that it would have been there.

Further revelations are provided in the ending statement.

“It is brought to the marlhole by canal barge. Sometimes it is brought by lorry and dumped on the side of the marlhole where it burns itself out.”

 

The picture above from 1950 appears to confirm that a form of service road was being used for offloading of waste from this area by road haulage. The remains of this are still present at the site today. Here’s what it looked like in 1955. The subsidiary smaller lagoon (created around 1961) from within the main single pool that was laughably known as “the clean side lagoon” by The Environment agency as well as the liars of Albright and Wilson and latterly Rhodia, is not of course in this picture as it did not exist at this point.

We are aware of the phosphorus canal traffic legacy from excellent first hand primary sources from David Wilson and more latterly Roy Martin, but the revelation that it was also brought by lorry at this time indicates far more than was previously admitted by the liars of Trinity Street. This would significantly increase the amount of waste that they were dumping there- particularly barrelled wastes where they conveniently have always claimed no records existed before 1974 with site licensing.

one polluted lagoon – there is no “clean side”

It shows no health and safety whatsoever and also shows total disregard for the safety of the public. Let’s be clear here that this material and its breakdown products are dangerous to human health.  The “glowing” phossy water, though obviously poisonous is less of a concern than the sediment under the water that it was hiding. I’m not sure if the councillors really got this point- and I’m certain that few have ever since! I do however note that just 5 years after this local concern of white phosphorus being dumped in an open pit in Tividale , the substance was banned for use in rat poison by Government legislation for being “cruel in it’s effect”. WHY THEN NO BAN ON DUMPING IT IN THE OPEN AIR?

That it was dumped to burn itself out means that particles of white phosphorus would remain within the area. Not all phosphorus  disappears when left to “burn itself out”. The staining on the bank would appear to show what was occurring at this time.

Let’s also be aware that at this time Albright and Wilson had a considerable “smell” problem in Oldbury and had talked of dumping it into the North Sea. I doubt very much it ever left Rowley Regis and this marlhole.

Only some 40 odd years later would systemic poisoning by white phosphorus in the unfortunate wildfowl landing in this swamp be proven , after the long denials of the company that had dumped it there- they knew full well what was to blame all along.

The white/yellow phosphorus peril is still all there ,  it’s what lies beneath rattlechain lagoon.

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Albright’s toxic archive links #5- Sleepless in Handsworth

Hot on the heels of how the continuing “Oldbury smell” had tainted chocolate in Birmingham come yet more newspaper articles from the brilliant British newspaper archive. In the report below from the Birmingham Post of 4th December 1957.

This appears to tie in several threads-

  • The confederacy of apologist Alderman Melsom
  • The old “new equipment” line used before
  • The tainting of the chocolate
  • Trying to claim that the waste chemicals of the process would be “dumped at sea”.

Dump it under water in barrels

A subsequent letter however from the following year in the same paper suggests that this plan did not appear to work. The Handsworth correspondent in the 13th May 1958 article wrote;

 

Sleepless from Handsworth makes some interesting points about the “vile fumes” and potential links to lung cancer and public health. Perhaps he or she should have tried to count cats instead of sheep.

But with people like Melsom in charge of health in the rotten borough of Oldbury, what chance of any real investigation into that? Melsom and co would just be looking to get the problem out of their borough, and I have absolutely no doubt that Rowley Regis provided that opportunity.

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Former Tividale sewage works- Where there’s muck…..

The former Tividale sewage works area off John’s Lane has a long and murky history, almost as filthy as the solids that once passed through it. This post looks at some of the developments that occurred up to its eventual demise and offloading in around 1988.

It was for many years the immediate southern neighbour to the former rattlechain brickworks pit (rattlechain lagoon), and over time had some changes made to the site layout.

The picture above is from 1950 and shows the now water and phosphorus contaminated former clay pit (rattlechain lagoon). Note that it is one single pool and not the current subdivided two lagoon setup. Waste was being dumped into this one single pool by Albright and Wilson, the division of the pool by causeway path occurred around 1961 with the raising of the water levels- to cover the increasing level of phosphorus waste and to ensure that it did not catch fire.

John’s Lane runs along the top of the shot, and just out of shot, this lane would later be diverted in the 1970’s.

Settling tanks and filter beds are clearly visible on the land now encompassing Callaghan and Wilson Drives.

There appear to be some outhouse buildings near to John’s Lane and 6 main “crap circle” formations. These were an engineers cottage and an office and engine house.

For modern day reference, here is an overlay map of where these tanks would have been located on the current two streets.

Just two years after these pictures, a planning application to Staffordshire county council sought permission for the construction of new filter beds.

This was numbered 1082. A plan of the proposals is shown below.

It is perhaps better to look at this plan side on showing John’s Lane on the left and the lagoon boundary at the top.

The application was submitted by The Upper stour valley main sewerage board, then located in Cradley Heath.

The application was recommended for approval

The following notice appeared in The Warley News Telephone. At this point in time the area had few houses in the vicinity and so was unlikely to receive any objections regarding smells- Oldbury produced enough of its own at this point in history!

A file note in the application gives an interesting insight into the infrastructure in Tividale at the time.

This claims that there were 3620 houses, with a population of 11,800 people. A surface mineral working area of 80 acres and an industrial area of 175 acres.

The application was approved on 1st October 1952.

 

This image from 1955 shows the changes to the site following the application.

This image from 1961 shows the site as it stood 6 years later.

W01941 Approved with conditions (outline) 27/06/68 Construction of sludge drying beds

Sidney Sheldon the dodgy brickworks owner who did little with the site to make bricks had sold part of the land next to the Sewage works to The Upper Main Drainage Authority so that they could use the land for “sludge drying purposes” by 27th June 1968 when this permission was granted.

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It is clear that a deal between Warley Borough Council and Sheldon was at this point in the offing when the Drainage Authority entered the fray. The council recommended  a seven year period of the dumping of excrement on this land.

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A letter from Arthur Wright of The Upper Main Drainage Authority to the town clerk of the council once again evidences how the Chelmarsh conman was always at the centre of obtaining the best price for land which he had absolutely no intention of using for brickmaking purposes- as granted in application 216.

Sheldon was approached by the authority in February 1967, yet it was obviously known to him that the council were also intent of buying the land also. Was he just trying to hold out to get  the best price?

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In the application referred to, Wright appears oblivious to the multiple applications previously submitted, which is difficult to believe given the authorities presence in the area for some years. Sheldon would have course known all about previous granted applications- granted under false purposes.

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The form B submitted shows the lucky recipient of the cash sale for allowing human waste to be dumped.

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It is extremely doubtful that condition 3 regards “reinstatement of the land” was carried out, except that is covering it over with foundry sand.

This is how the site looked in 1971

It should be noted that the approved sludge drying beds lie outside the area of the current Wilson Drive on land abandoned by subsequent so called “reclamation”. That is another story of how money followed muck as well as houses built on shit land.

callaghan waste

2006 Barratt Homes building their houses on the former sewage works.

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The Albright and Wilson’s hunt

 

main picture- LACS

Albright and Wilson as a company and as two families engaged in chemical production making profit from an industry which poisoned animals and birds with their industrial pollution effluent. What is less well known about the founder families was their love of blood sports and active participation in shooting birds and fox hunting.

Today (Boxing day) is a day associated with vile animal murdering scum gathering to hunt animals , and so it is the case that in this post I aim to burst the bubble of this companies avid followers who in history have tried to present them as “peace loving Quakers” with moral values and selfless humanitarianism. Nothing could be further from the truth in the way in which they cruelly participated in the destruction of sentient creatures.

It is crystal clear to those who attempt to stop the vile activities of those participating in what they call “sport” but to most is senseless slaughter, that these parasites usually have  strong links with the judiciary and political life. This can be seen too with the Albright and Wilson  families, but it should be stated that none appear to have been associated as Tories.

The clues are there in the company history of AW in “100 years of phosphorus making.” Far from being poor downtrodden pacifists or working class heroes who “made in Oldbury”, this pack of inter cousin marrying weirdos revelled in animal extermination for fun and sport with the country set aristocracy. They also lived far more comfortable  and longer lives than those who served them in terrible conditions at their phosphorus factory in Langley.

Let’s look at what information can be gleaned about the descendants of Arthur Albright and John Edward Wilson, who had started their phosphorus making enterprise using the imported bones of dead animals. These are undoubtedly some of the biggest and most important names in the history of this vile company and can be seen to be big players also in hunting circles.

 

John William Wilson   1858-1932

Eldest Son of founder John Edward Wilson

  • A magistrate at Oldbury for 43 years
  • An MP for 27 years

“All his life he was a keen rider to hounds….”

Wilson notably pursued his business interests and his position as Chairman of this company for a time was no doubt helped by his role in legislature and as a magistrate. He “represented” ,(ahem cough cough) Langley on the Worcestershire County council.

At one General election he was unopposed, such is the rotten borough status of the area where the Trinity Street factory stands. Most notably one of his opponents at another election was Mary Anderson better known as Mary Macarthur of the chain makers  strike fame whom he narrowly beat in 1918 for the Stourbridge seat. It is interesting to note that as a Labour anti war candidate where women at this election were allowed to stand for parliament for the first time , she was defeated by a man whose company  benefitted from The Great war financially and would have killed thousands with the phosphorus that they produced. Stick that in your phosphorus retort Quaker pipe and smoke it!

George Stacey Albright – 1855-1945

The second son of founder Arthur Albright pottered around at the Oldbury factory, though not much appears to be recorded of what he actually did there. From the company history however we learn of G.S Albright:

“A lover of the country and of country pursuits he brought , as a natural right, a grand but at the same time unostentious style to his home life and avocations, whether at Bromesberrow Place, in the foothills of the Malverns, to which he moved from Edgbaston in 1903, or at the Scottish lodges, Drumochter and afterwards Kildermorie, which, with their grouse moors- and he was a first-rate game shot- he leased over forty years.”

This sets the sights of this particular individual, who obviously enjoyed the pomposity of the hunting life. A picture and caption from The Tatler  24 November 1937  shows the arse dressed up in full regalia.

The caption at the foot of this article about a ball that they were having- (how they appear to love those)  states that “the grand old man” (sic) had just returned from grouse shooting in Scotland and that Albright as Chairman of The Ledbury Hunt committee was “in good heart” when they set off for a days jolly killing animals.

It should come as no surprise to those who engage in sabotaging this vile pursuit that G.S Albright was a major player in The Ledbury Hunt and the location of Bromesberrow place (his former home which he bought the freehold of in 1929) has the nearby kennels off “Albright Lane” to the present day.

“When, in December , 1925 he arranged for the board to meet for a pheasant shoot at Bromesberrow, item nine of the agenda was ‘to consider the complaint from the gamebirds insurance company that G.S.A had disregarded the mortality tables.’ He was for a time Joint Master of the Ledbury Hounds and hunted with them until he was over eighty.”

From 100 years of phosphorus making

His son Martin Albright (Toby), who rare for these families actually served in the army is also noted to have been “a bold and skillfull rider to hounds” but was killed in 1917.  No loss there.

It should also come as no surprise that “sporting” George was also a long time player in the local judiciary and therefore control of “the law”- or at least that which he and his kind believed to be so.

George Albright finally popped his clogs in 1945 just after boxing day, and his will records that he had not forgotten his followers and fellow parasites.

Will to the hunt

Dinah Albright   ? –1990

The main beneficiary of Albright’s will was his niece Dinah who lived at Bromesberrow Place till her death in 1990. One can see that she left over £3 million in her will, a major part of which was supposedly given to The National Trust. Astute readers will know that this organisation has a rather chequered history with fox hunting activity on its land, and more recently the controversy of so called “trail hunting” which is really still hunting by pretence. One internet account of Ms Albright is that she was a miser who did not treat her staff very well at all.

George Edward Wilson 1882-1927

Son of John Edward and younger brother of John William.

“He too was never happier than when he could relax in countryside interests and sport, especially shooting, at Park Hall, near Kidderminster, to which he moved in 1890.”

The Surprise surprise, he also served on the Worcester county council for 21 years succeeding his brother as an alderman.

Kenneth Henry Wilson    1885 -1970

Son of George Edward Wilson.

Reference is made in 100 years of phosphorus making to an anecdote about a 1933 business trip to Birmingham Alabama hosted by a phosphoric acid manufacturer Theodore Swann.

“Swann entertained his guests for two days in his camp in the woods, a large and comfortable log house from which they rode out to hunt quail and turkey with the help of a small pack of hounds. He also introduced them to ‘possum’ hunt by night, the hounds ranging the woods to tree any ‘possom’ they might come across.

Kenneth Wilson was a long time chairman of this company, and when the company history was published he sent out signed notes to certain individuals with a copy of the book.

A company not concerned with murdering animals for profit

More concerned with “men than with chemicals” claims Wilson, yet obviously not concerned about other species.

Wilson was another business/ politician and part time law caretaker. If by now you are starting to get a little concerned as to how members of these two families appear to have sewn up this particular niche locally then you are not alone. Another of his collected titles appears to have been “High Sheriff of Worcestershire”.

Perhaps the most telling quote from this man came during his speech given at the centenary dinner in 1951 in respect of their workforce

“They all pulled their weight and set us an example of service and love of their masters and the firm, if I may use this term.”

William Beaumont Albright     1907-1989

Grandson of Arthur Albright.

The war dodger Albright spent most of his time milking the benefits of his forebears, and obviously inherited the hunting genes by all accounts.

His  personal chauffer who was apparently kitted out with a grey uniform,  recalled in an addition of Albright World the company magazine for employees ” ‘I well remember when he bought his first Rolls Royce Silver Cloud….. We always used to go to Scotland for a fortnight’s  grouse shooting in August each year and on two occasions I drove him on holiday.’ “

An newspaper article appearing in The Birmingham Post on 2nd April 1957 describes a theft from this gentleman’s house where a £1,000 mink coat and jewellery was stolen. (Perhaps it was a couple of badgers) 😆

 

One only hopes that the old hag wearing the dead animal was never reunited with the unfortunate creatures fur.

Albright died in 1989 leaving nearly £2 million.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AND THE FOLLOWERS OF ALBRIGHT AND WILSON

It is strange that cognitive dissonance applies to those who today claim to be against blood sports, yet somehow also blow the horn of praise for the legacy of this bloodthirsty bunch of wankers.

In business for profit they made poison which killed animals, in waste pollution they poisoned animals and birds in the environment and in recreation they murdered animals in cold blood for fun and “sport”. They also participated in animal vivisection to further the aims of their company products at the forerunner to Huntingdon Life Sciences.

But it wasn’t just the family members of this crazed cult who killed these animals and birds , it was the daft showers of piss “servants” who worked for them and made them money so that their “masters” could pursue a comfortable leisurely life of hunting whilst they toiled. Whilst the Albright and Wilson’s were chauffeured around the countryside, in Oldbury men were burned and jaws rotted with phosphorus necrosis.

It is odd that such townies show duality towards loathing blood sports in the countryside, whilst also being proud of working for people who were hard nosed capitalist country pursuit enthusiasts. One is reminded of that rather sad spectacle of the “hunt follower” who is not on horseback but adores seeing those men in red coats towering above them like gods with the homoerotic salivation at the spectacle of spilt blood.

It is somewhat ironic that the followers of Quaker founder George Fox were at their happiest in persecuting the animal of the same name. For this reason The Albright and Wilson’s  are hereby dually presented with  a white feather of cowardice.

To Messrs Albright and Wilson Ltd, Cowards of Park Lane and Trinity Street For murdering and poisoning animals for your personal gain and selfish primitive self gratification.

“Kiss mine”

 

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In the shite garden

So to the inevitable Sandwell cabinet head nod to their planning officers ludicrous “garden city” proposals, part of which includes building more houses next to rattlechain lagoon on  land still heavily contaminated itself as part of a housing allocation scheme.

Back in August,  a petition signed and in the large part directed by people living in the surrounding streets of the site in question was handed in at Sandwell council house. For a focussed petition, this was a large one. BE IN NO DOUBT THAT THERE IS NEAR UNIVERSAL LOCAL OPPOSITION TO BUILDING HOUSES ON THIS SITE.

“The Garden city” is a con, and I have gone into the reasons why before, but in this post I want to look at some of the claims made in the SMBC joke consultation which were presented to the cabinet on Wednesday.

“Proposals to encourage a more sustainable living environment have been developed by using Garden City Principles, which focus on quality of life and society living harmoniously with nature….”

Thus is Hayley Insley’s claim – “senior planning regeneration officer” responsible for this report, and also the officer supposedly tasked with dealing with our petition. Just to add that I was not informed of this cabinet meeting and when this long standing consultation report would be delivered and where it would also  be “discussed” and even “considered” by Sandwell’s executive.

“This will increase usage of the natural open spaces by walking and cycling therefore assisting in improving the health of residents and visitors.”

Yes I am sure that residents in this area will have their health improved, such as those who raised health concerns when the tipping of foundry sand was occurring during the 1990’s and who were totally ignored by Sandwell council’s arrogant environmental health and planning officers.

“we were told we would have 100 lorries a day for two years to clear the land. 9 years on it still is not finished….

One may therefore ask the question- how long will it take to remove the overtipped foundry sand to create “the garden city” ?

THE “CON”-SULTATION

It is revealed in Insley’s report that just 13 representations were received to the “Dudley Port” plan, possibly because many people on the estate where the controversial developments are situated live in Oldbury B69. This process as I have stated before was never a consultation as it was not disseminated in such a manner.

Take for example Insley who attended the Victoria park open day on a stall (half way through the “consultation” process) – organised by the so called “Deputy leader” of Sandwell council for which she and her closed self benefitting separatist group receive public donations.  TIPTON IS NOT THE AREA WHERE THE PEOPLE OF TEMPLE WAY LIVE, AND SO IS IT ANY WONDER THAT THIS EVENT ATTRACTED SUCH LITTLE IMPUT?

“Officers attended the Victoria Park Open Day in Tipton on 23 July 2017 to engage with residents and promote the aims of the Dudley Port Supplementary Planning Document.”

“Engage” with local residents who lived over a mile away!

The use of social media and comments  do not reflect wide consultation, and the fact that 385 people signed this petition- the vast majority who live in streets like Gladstone Drive, Law Close, Eden Close,  Callaghan Drive and Wilson Drive appears to have gone unnoticed in the officer report. The 385 are 385 comments rejecting Insley’s report and the Garden City- that is a fact ignored and one which this authority does at its own peril.

“There were also a number of comments received via Facebook which reached 21,082 people, had 34 shares and 38 likes. “

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY “LIKE” THE PROPOSALS FOR FUCKS SAKE!

As it is, the comments received apart from the grotesque non local “Natural England”- an organisation of animal serial killers chaired by a Tory party donor and former housing developer, no one appears to want this nonsense. Despite the concerns of local residents who will bear the brunt of any of this fairy dust rubbish , Insley and co simply bat away any negative comments.

Take for example this one-

“Objects to the development of 250 homes at 

Rattlechain due to current congestion on the  local roads and the potential to increase this.  There has already been a loss of open space with the development of Palmerston Drive.  The Rattlechain lagoon still presents a hazard despite the remedial work being carried out.  Object to the loss of open space alongside the canal and feel the proposals will not improve the access to Sheepwash for residents of Temple Way, will destroy a wildlife corridor  and harm Sheepwash Nature Reserve. “

“The Rattlechain site is not a proposal of this SPD.  It is already an allocated site in  the Site Allocations and Delivery DPD  (SAD DPD) which was adopted in 2012 and therefore objections to potential development are not relevant.  The SAD DPD will commence its revision in 2018 and residents will be able to object to its  allocation during that process.” 

Relevant comments by local resident Ignored

You can certainly bet that this opportunity will be embraced!

It is also bizarre to note that Sandwell’s planers appear to have not consulted with Sandwell’s own landscape architects in this report, or taken any comments into consideration!

My own comments, on behalf of the Friends of Sheepwash are largely also side stepped about sheepwash and are also troubling, and in some instances downright knowing dishonest lies.

I have been involved with The Friends of Sheepwash as a founder member for twenty years and am the Secretary of this group. I have noted the anti social behaviour and problems that greater development have brought this site, as I have also noted the total lack of interest from Sandwell council and the local Tipton neighbourhood police, particularly its sergeant, in combating such occurrences.

“Meetings were held with relevant bodies  prior to preparing the draft SPD.  It was  not felt that Friends of Sheepwash or any  other community groups were required  given the extent of experience already  present. “

Laugh out loud about the “extent of experience” of those who know fuck all about this site , the area and its contamination history!

It is concerning to The Friends of Sheepwash that the council’s planning department appear to be taking over this site on a daily basis, a fact which was also expressed with concern at a meeting where Parks and countryside officers said basically the same thing- in that they had not been consulted about things going on at sheepwash, and would have done and suggested things more in keeping with the site and more sympathetic to its objectives if they had been.

No matter how they try to spin or deny this, the conflict within departments of this local authority is absolutely raw, laid bare and exposed by this type of document. IT CAN NOT BE HIDDEN AND IS CLEAR.

Most concerning is the loss of nature that these proposals offer, the severance of the nature corridor and the threat of more people equalling less wildlife. More children more dogs, more anti social behaviour equals loss of the very thing that Sandwell council set out to achieve in the early 80’s with a creation of a nature site. We also see the loss of such initiatives of “the canals for communities” project which ran in the early 2000’s , now seemingly all lost in this  rebranded “Garden City” bad joke.

One comment in particular needs instant rebuttal and challenge to a fact which I reported in this consultation.

“Objects to the Sheepwash site being promoted as a “country park” as this will lead to 

more crime and vandalism and less nature.   Concerned about the lack of maintenance  throughout the area, especially with the  blocking of two Rights of Way by landowners  east of Rose Lane. “

“The Rights of Way at Rose Lane is (sic) accessible.” 

This is not the case. Two rights of way have been buried. I have been in dialogue with the rights of Way officer at Sandwell Council about this matter for around 18 years , straight after the event had happened, but this predates operations that  had already been undertaken without authority previously. The right of way to Macdonald Close was substantially buried and a cowboy zig-zag path up to the canal supposedly created to accommodate this. There was no lawful diversion of this route, it was unlawful.

For whatever reason, and I believe it to be purely litigious in trying to amend the appalling overtipped crap of foundry sand, Sandwell council have failed to act to protect their asset over this time and pursue the blocker.

This mound of sand and the material is utter shit and makes for appalling foundations. It has slid substantially because the material is crap ,and this has nothing to do with motorbikes being responsible for subsidence, which I would note the alleged owner of this private land has totally failed to stop by not securing the site over this time.

Sandwell council planers, without any consultation with parks and countryside or the friends of sheepwash decided to remove a perfectly good motorcycle barrier at Rose Lane tunnel and replace it with a crap one that facilitated motor bike access onto sheepwash.

The tunnel itself was also cleared of the foundry sand crap at tax payers expense, and not the polluter who dumped it in this area- there appears to be an emerging theme here. The local police have stated they were unable to pursue foot chases through this area before it was cleared because of the soiled nature of the mudbath/foundry sand in the structure. It also destroyed and blocked the drainage creating a massive puddle at Northern entrance onto sheepwash- which once again the council had to pay out on to clear.

But look at the evidence which speaks for itself about how this unstable foundry sand is blighting this area, as only a few months later it has slid back and covers several inches once again.

This picture above was taken on 18/3/2016. It clearly shows a new concreted pathway and the motor cycle barrier.

This picture above was taken on 7/7/2017. It demonstrates how this unstable foundry sand has slid back into the tunnel, and now occupies almost half the length of the tunnel again underfoot.

A line in the foundry sand crossed

Clearly Sandwell’s planners are creating opportunities for growth in this area, growth for those who have blighted the area over many, many years.

Dirty, dirty money of the dirtiest variety

THE CABINET MEETING.

And so to Insley’s report presented by Cabinet member Paul Moore– Tom Watson MP’s employed parliamentary assistant and councillor for Hateley Heath. I didn’t attend this meeting, and I wouldn’t even if I had been available as I pretty much knew that it would be nothing other than a head nodding affair. Given that it was held at 3.30pm in the afternoon, I’m sure that this time makes it easy for those with families on the Temple Way estate to have got to it also. 😥

As I have a real job that involves physical work, I would not have been able to get there in any case.

Moore, merely read word for word out some of the content in front of them and then asked if anyone had any questions.

It is noted that no elected member for the Oldbury area asked any, which is surprising that a large number of the 385 objectors had concerns about their area they claim to represent. Perhaps next May they may suddenly appear asking for people’s votes in this area and they will remember this fact.

The only hand that rose belonged to Councillor Peter Hughes, of Wednesbury. Hughes and his wife, another councillor were present for half the meeting when I asked questions of Andy Street a couple of weeks ago about this specific document. They stormed out of the chamber like silly little children at a point where a local blogger asked a question about widespread officer and councillor corruption in Sandwell council. It is curious to note that in his role of alleged “scrutiny” ,that Hughes did not use this opportunity to question anything which I had said or factual points I made at the Mayor event , but instead appears to do so at this particular meeting, no doubt emboldened by the fact that he was surrounded by his Labour party colleagues- where no one appears to have any right to ask any questions.

Spitting his dummy

It appears that I am now in “The Voldermort” club, that is I am a name which must not be mentioned. I consider this to be a badge of honour and I am in esteemed and incorruptible company.

Hughes stated in his outburst

This particular person repeated this type of allegation or assertion at a public meeting just over a week ago”

He makes reference to the fact that the petition which I had presented, which people living in the area affected had signed had factually stated that the area was saturated in housing. As mentioned above, people made this statement in the 13 comments noted in Insley’s report.

I take my facts from the official census for 2011, which confirms that Sandwell is the most densely populated black country borough with 36 people per hectare compared with the West Midlands and national average of just 4.

Statistical facts

He also questions why I thought that houses should be being built in green belt land – where there are fewer people, and who enjoy a greater quality of life, improved services etc without overcrowding.

But this is I am afraid what Labour councillors like Hughes fail to ever see. They are happy for people living in their areas to live in shit because they themselves can then set up their front austerity “poverty” campaign groups, their fake food bank dependency , and claim it is all somehow the fault of the big bad Government cutting their ever expanding needs and ever cash strapped funds. Like all unions they operate a hierarchy pyramidal system of power kept in check by outsider fear.

Never once does anyone appear to question why this local abomination of a labour controlled authority is unable to live within its means yet seeks to impoverish its citizens with more house building and reduced open space. Reduced open space never creates health opportunities and it certainly does not create wildlife habitat.

The sum total of Hughes “scrutiny” concern appears to be centred around “demand” for housing in the Tipton area. Of course, he fails to notice that the area in question is in Oldbury. This is another noticeable trait of the so called socialists. Oh how they preach about “poverty”, yet how in action they facilitate Capitalist house builder industries for profit.

Looking at the Hughes declaration of interest, it appears that their offspring works for the housing association Stonewater. Housing associations are that strange tax payer funded liability which have benefitted from the fake “housing crisis” claim of the construction lobby and their political facilitators. Any “crisis”, and with so many empty homes in private rented hands in Sandwell already is only a crisis for those seeking avarice from the private rented sector. It is their demand that wants new homes. Who in their right mind would want to demand living on contaminated land?

Stonewater have partnered with Sandwell council and have numerous links with Barratt home sites, they who built on the former shit works which are now Callaghan and Wilson Drives. Of course BARRATT homes appear to not have fully informed their house buyers of rattlechain lagoon and what lay on their doorstep, history lost of course and equally facilitated by the removal of the hazardous waste notice at the front gate when their houses were being marketed.

No doubt that Barratt homes is being courted here, and perhaps it is envisaged that a certain housing association may be facilitated so long as a devolution deal – our public money can facilitate this capitalist “regeneration corridor ” scheme.

I have yet to see any executive decisions by Sandwell labour which do not in some way seek to benefit their councillors, their offspring, their cronies, or organisations and so called “charities”  to which they have connections.

Moore stated in reply to Hughes question

“I don’t concur with that petition”.

Well it is what local people have said, and if you want to overrule them and create a “local plan” which ignores them then so be it.

Never at any time are decisions made in Sandwell to benefit local people, and in this case, this proposal appears to benefit an individual whom I believe currently resides in  Shelsley Beauchamp in Malvern Worcestershire. No doubt demand for housing is desirable there, but powers that be prevent themselves from releasing land. I’m sure there are plenty of places and open space in this area where foundry sand could be tipped in numerous quantities to facilitate house building growth- I just wonder why it hasn’t happened in this particular area to date?

Be in no doubt that at any opportunity which arises, this scheme will be opposed locally, even if Sandwell Labour are intent of reintroducing urban sprawl which destroys the historic boundaries of Tipton and Oldbury to create opportunities for the house builders and their allies.

“To date no scheme has been submitted to overcome the viability and remediation issues and the site remains an allocated residential site until the SAD DPD is reviewed and the site is assessed.

Of course, myself and others will continue to remind developers about the weaknesses of this site, and those which Insley and Co omit in the Garden City rubbish gloss.

A “wet tip” which systemically poisons birds with a banned rat poison- present in tens of tonnes.

Land which contains unsanctioned waste of industrial polluters of the local chemical industry, asbestos and materials hazardous to human health.

It should finally be remembered that when the sewage works at Callaghan and Wilson drives was cleared, the waste was simply layered into this site that is now being touted for residential development. Now buried further with rubble and foundry sand.

Finally perhaps the last word should be left to a former resident unlucky enough to have bought a house overlooking the rattlechain lagoon. I think this says things better than I can express, and perhaps underlines better why people like Hughes and Moore are completely out of touch concerning “demand”.

Welcome to Mr Jobby’s shite garden

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An audience with Tonka- Carry on up the Sandwell jungle

 

A great man visited Sandwell  last Tuesday, The West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

The free event at the now festively decorated Oldbury Kremlin offered

“A chance for residents of Sandwell and the wider West Midlands, to come and ask Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, about the issues that matter to them in a relaxed Q & A format.”

I attended this event to ask Mr Street (aka Tonka the great), about the ludicrous Dudley port Supplementary planning document, to be discussed by Sandwell’s cabinet later this week.

Not only is this document a fraudulent land scam attempting to con potential developers/investors and other  people that the housing allocation sites (not in Dudley Port) are wonderful, but that rattlechain lagoon and all its associated still toxic history can be condensed into one single bucket known as “the wet tip”.

Tonka’s little helpers

I have not met Mr Street before but his friendly school teacherish demeanour was in stark contrast to many of the local elected in Sandwell.

A disappointing turn out was noted in that around just two dozen people filed into the empty council chamber for the meet and greet. Most notable was the lack of representation from Sandwell’s elected members. Where were they, or do they just boycott such events because their man didn’t win in the election that nobody wanted?

The Mayor was cordial and greeted almost everyone with a shake of the hand and accommodating smile. This was he stated a chance to demonstrate ” politics in the raw”, and so it would prove with a few bruising questions ranging from controversially allocating monies towards younger people instead of  middle aged ladies in relation to concessionary travel passes and what he was doing to reduce homelessness.

My question concerned the land around rattlechain being promoted in “the garden city” nonsense by Sandwell council.

Would your administration and the WMCA be comfortable giving grant aid money to this dodgy land scheme prospectus- the Dudley port so called “garden city” , when one of the site allocation sites that no one locally wants to see developed is registered to an off shore company based in Jersey?

Isn’t it a bit embarrassing that when one local MP is saying “end tax havens now”, that Sandwell council is actively promoting a dodgy land prospectus that would benefit a company registered in a tax haven?” Would you give money to benefit that company registered in Jersey,that’s the first part of my question?

Whose blot JR?

By way of cutting a long story short, and one that I will go into in due course, the former brickworks area and Duport’s tip, as well as other surrounding land registry titles (which needs to be separated from rattlechain lagoon as it is not connected in any way), is “owned” 😆 by a company called “DENVER LIMITED” registered in Jersey.

The reference to the MP – Tom Watson was revealed recently when he unfurled a banner in West Bromwich in the presence of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn proclaiming “END TAX HAVENS NOW.”

picture Express and Star

It was also stated that Gordon Brown when also visiting the borough recently invited by Mr Watson stated that tax havens were “one of the greatest scandals of our times.” Quite!

So why then are Labour Sandwell promoting development opportunities for “Denver”?

This was Andy Street’s reply:

“Well, definitely polluted land is perhaps the important part of this. It’s my assumption of what you’re talking about here is the land remediation fund- which is designed specifically to deal with heavily polluted land, and again that is something that I am a strong believer in , that we have to bring that land back into use so that’s my guess what that is about.

Now any allocation of funding from that fund, we’ve been very clear; we’ve set the criteria for how it will be judged so no-one can say afterwards about the combined authority “you’ve inappropriately spent this.”

..and so any application would have to be measured against all of those criteria to find suitable value for money, and actually to know that the developer is of reputable quality.”

I then further elucidated on the central issue surrounding this site and asked about why Sandwell should have to accommodate more density of population, when it already has the highest number of people living in any of the Black country boroughs and the highest density per hectare. This is demonstrated by the 2011 census figures shown below- i.e Sandwell has 36 people per hectare compared with the West Midlands and National figure of just 4.

Source: office of national statistics

Source: office of national statistics

2011 census figures

I provide relevant highlighted links to these claims as citations.

“This site, the one next to it is one of the most contaminated in Europe. It contains tens of tonnes of white phosphorus that has poisoned birds; systemically poisoned birds. There’s a long history associated with it, a long history of cover ups. But specifically in Sandwell, this is just a figure for you if you are not aware, it already has a density of population ; this is from the last census- 36 people per hectare of land. That compares nationally with 4 people per hectare in the West Midlands and nationally.

Can I ask therefore- why as a representative , our representative , our champion are you not going to the likes of Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire and telling those people they have got to give up their green belt land for housing, and that is where the new towns have got to be situated?”

Mr Street replied that “The answer is we are doing both.” He cited and example of the fund being used recently in Telford.

I note however that the population of Telford and Wrekin according to their council’s website was in 2016 just 169,400 – nearly half that of Sandwell .

I’ll leave people with the two graphics below showing a comparison of area size of Sandwell and Telford and Wrekin, and question if building just 500 new homes in the latter yet expecting more to be built in the former in just one tiny area- i.e “Dudley Port” is in any way “fair”.

Mr Street continued;

“Despite what you’ve said about density, I do believe that actually we have to tackle these brownfield contaminated sites. If we don’t, the bext generation will face exactly the same issues , and again I think it is a good thing that the combined authority and the devolution deal which I was a part of negotiating, got cash to do exactly that. Its hard, it’s difficult, but it’s the right thing to do.

You made a quote where it sounds dreadfully contaminated and it should be examined and it’s not right that it should just sit there for another ten years.”

I then raised the issue that The Black Country Development Coporation had made similar platitudes during its lifetime back in the 1990’s yet had failed but Mr Street retorted that he couldn’t be held accountable for that but on this new devolution deal.

 

Stick em up

Julian Saunders (aka the Sandwell skidder who has been instrumental in uncovering gross corruption by councillors and officers within the rotten borough of Sandwell then pressed on the tax haven funding issue which the Mayor had not dealt with.

“The general point on that- (long pause), It’s not what one would hope for quite frankly, but I er, I don’t think we can rule it out just for that. We could set a criteria, I don’t think we’ve done it but I always hope and my record on this which I’ve made very clear- I’ve always said that companies must be domiciled here, must pay their tax here , that was the debate with amazon . So I think I’ve got good form on this but can’t actually rule something out in this of being able to apply for the fund.”

I have uploaded the full question and answer concerning this issue below. Click to listen.

VN850452

Mr Street’s one hour appearance in Sandwell certainly couldn’t be described as a fact finding mission, but I hope he finds time to find out more about Rattlechain lagoon, the issues around it and the people who live around it who do not in any way want the ridiculous “garden city”. They are fully aware of the misery that was undertaken in the 1990’s despite promises from the BCDC and others that were utter piles of crap.

Is it really a good vision of suffering years of misery and blight to then be rewarded with greater population density by those who have no intention of ever living in such a place themselves?

People in this area are not going to see cartoon animals finding out about Christmas or bouncing up and down on trampolines whilst finding a friendly monster under their beds.

Mr Street needs to understand this situation before money is transferred to any shovels in the ground. Hopefully he will not be remembered as the man who gave a blank cheque to tax avoiders on behalf of the tax payer.

ABOVE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO CONTAMINATED THE LAND, OVERTIPPED WASTE THERE SHOULD PAY IN FULL FOR ANY REMEDIATION AND STUDIES.

In that regard “DENVER LIMITED” in Jersey  is not as far removed from this as it would seem.

 

#STOP AND SMASH THE GARDEN CITY

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Albright’s toxic archive links #4- The Gunn’s of Toblerone

 

 

Another in the continuing saga of “The Oldbury smell” – you just can’t keep that kitty down!

I have previously outlined how this had all started in The Albright and Wilson Oil additives plant.

This ongoing social menace of the smell of cat piss had endured not just locally but much further afield across Birmingham. The indefatigable Councillor Gunn had led the fight against the brutal Albright puss against their apologists within her council.

Sticking to her Gunns, Madame Edith appears to have been one to not let the matter rest. I have to say I’m starting to grow rather fond of Mrs Gunn as she had more balls than anyone else in this most rotten of borough council’s , standing her ground and up to the Trinity Street terrorists, who obviously considered themselves far too important and worldly to worry about “local” issues. Prior to waiving her withered bush demonstrating the destructive powers of the Albright chemical fallout,  this article appeared on 5th May 1956 in The Birmingham Post.

Threat of legal action

“LOCAL PEOPLE ARE INCENSED”- (AND NOT WITH INCENSE)

This is quite an explosive piece, as it demonstrates a rare but clear purpose of not sucking up to local business. It also demonstrates that local people were not on the side of this company, whatever more recent history has had to claim about how important they were in the area. The post master who had endured the war years in his post claimed it was “a menace”.

It is this type of story that matters and that I want to hear more of. Unbiased, grassroots, candid and not more about people who worked for the company looking back with rose tinted glasses about how wonderful it all was.

PLAINLY IT WAS FUCKING SHOCKING TO LIVE IN LANGLEY AT THIS TIME AND ALBRIGHT AND WILSON WERE RUINING PEOPLE’S LIVES. THIS STORY NEEDS TO BE PUT MORE AND RECORDED IN LOCAL HISTORY. MAKING CHEMICALS IN OLDBURY WERE MAKING PEOPLE SICK.

Clearly Bottomley’s statement of AW is utter lies. He and this company were fully aware of this problem and had been for many years. Why else would they have previously claimed to have put a stop to it and that it “was on it’s way out”?

But a year later after this article and after the now infamous tree had been brandished in Oldbury, Albright and Wilson were at it again- this time causing havoc on Birmingham’s chocolate confectionary- in Peaky blinder’s territory in Small Heath in the centre of Birmingham! The Birmingham Post was on the case in this November 30th 1957 article.

Cat piss cremes anyone?

The claims in this article by the company that it had made “a slight emission of gas” from their factory anus is laughable. Obviously that this had travelled over seven miles and could be smelt means that the amount was obviously not “slight”.

We also have to be extremely dubious about no health concerns. Not only did this company lie to their own staff at this point in history, the fact that they had already been threatened with legal action and widespread public condemnation meant that they would never admit to anything injurious to public health. We also get the usual bullshit from the Oldbury official with a PR statement for the company- Doctor paid well no doubt.

The other statement concerning employees of the company “bursting with health” is also laughable. Not only were they still getting phossy jaw at this point in history, as will be revealed in subsequent posts, they were also contending with multiple leaks, fires and fatalities- all caused by chemicals that they were handling.

No doubt if the agent chocolate orange fumes had tainted their fellow Quaker freaks chocolate at Cadburys in Bourneville , Albright and Wilson would have shut the process down.

Choctopussy

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Barnett and his brickworks- fatal falls

There are so many layers comprised within the Rattlechain site and its history, and just when I thought I had got to the bottom of one aspect, up surprisingly pops another piece of the jigsaw which reveals a new set of research.

Samuel Barnett’s part in this sorry tale- digging the marl hole that would become the lagoon was obviously not without its dangers. We of course know quite a bit about the 1899 canal breach, but little of what happened after this at the site in the following years. The excellent British Newspaper archive has again turned up something surprising which I have not read about before, which is very odd as it involved the deaths of some of his workforce at the site. Unlike the breach, these deaths claimed the lives of two men who were erecting a new brick chimney at the works.

The following article was published in The Birmingham Daily Gazette on 23rd January 1906.

We learn here that this new structure was around 150 feet high when three workers were involved during  its collapse.

Richard Millerchip of Chapel Street , and Benjamin Astle of Peartree Street, both West Bromwich paid with their lives and died in their trade by building for Barnett. Another man Harry Hunt was also seriously injured by the falling bricks.

Another article from the Wellington Journal on 27th January 1906 states that Millerchip was descending the stack when it gave way,

A further article from the Gloucestershire Echo reveals the ages of the two men, Millerchip 28 and Astle 22. There is gruesome detail about both men’s necks being broken and Astle being buried beneath ten tonnes of masonry.

Named in this article is the contractor working for Barnett- a Mr Hadlington also of West Bromwich.

I have also now found the coroners verdict on this “accident”, with  Samuel Barnett and his endeavours appearing to conjure a myriad of them, including his own when he lost an arm. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hadlington blamed the dead. This 25th January article from the Birmingham Daily gazette blames Richard Millerchip for leaning over the edge and also frost thawing out the mortar when a fire was lit. It is unclear from this article and the first if Astle fell or was fallen upon.

Who needs Fred Dibnah?

No doubt this setback at the works was soon remedied by someone else stepping into the dead men’s shoes. We have an idea of a scale of this finished article from a picture of the stack in 1950, overlooking the now watery lagoon that Albright and Wilson would have been dumping in.

scan0010
A similar structurethe J.N Lester Bradford Iron works chimney on The Walsall Canal dated from 1882, and still surviving would perhaps show what this deadly erection would have looked like up close, and the riveted column design.
 
     
Barnett’s trials and tribulations I have looked into some detail at before, but two death notices about his own fatal fall also make an appearance some 12 years after this incident from The Birmingham Daily Post dated 9th May 1918.
This “accidental death” verdict at his inquest confirms the story about his horse and cart being startled by a traction engine.
An earlier article from the same paper dated 7th May confirms he died in hospital after being thrown , but the fact that he was being driven by his son is the new surprising information here. I had always assumed he was riding himself, but the name “Bert Barnett” also appears to have sustained serious injuries from the collision with a lamppost.
Unlike Barnett, the names of Richard Millerchip and  Benjamin Astle have been lost to history and the dusts of the brickwork demise. There are no streets named after them and they have been long forgotten with the bricks that fell on their heads which made their boss a very rich man. Of course we have history to speculate on the exact circumstances of Barnett’s own demise, but “pony and trap” is probably the best epitaph for the legacy of this man in the Tividale area.
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Albright’s toxic archive links #3 Enough to make your skin crawl

In a previous post I spoke about how one councillor had stood her ground and called out Albright and Wilson regarding their obscene pollution and smell blighting the local area of Oldbury. It’s just surprising she wasn’t replaced with a Stepford clone. There is no doubt at this time that disparity between the sexes and racial diversity in local politics was prominent.

Unfortunately the then Chairman of the Oldbury health committee- (the origin of the pollution affecting residents across the wider West Midlands), appeared impassive but linking the company with the council as though they were almost one and the same. We learn the following from this 8th May 1957 Birmingham Post article.

A follow up article appeared in The Birmingham Post on 23 August 1957“£100,000 to end smell at Oldbury.”

This piece, is I am afraid yet more typical Public relations spin, and a reaction to what had obviously taken them by surprise- a comrade (Mrs Gunn)  not on side and prepared to speak out.

Supposedly the firm would be spending a large amount of money to basically prevent ill health that they were causing and perpetuating a statutory nuisance. Of course one could ask serious questions of this Oldbury council in that it totally failed to achieve its basic function- protecting public health of its citizens. As has been evidenced in other articles– this dire health situation had been going on for over eight years under the chairmanship of one man. Did anyone call for his resignation?

Unfortunately, and as I have learned, local authorities protect business polluters and put them first, with the smell of lucre operating in unison. A “joint” statement had been arrived at stating that the smell would be dealt with and that any thereafter would be as a result of “occasional mishap”. This isn’t really anything different to what Albright and Wilson had been claiming for years- yet the smell had persisted.

This is also a typical PR ploy. Contain the current disaster, and present a pretty picture of the future and talk of “lessons learnt” etc. “The destructive power of the fumes” could not however be easily contained. Not only would the application take nearly a year to complete, but only disperse the existing pollution to a higher level- so that’s alright then.

Though no name is mentioned in this second piece, one figure mentioned in the many previous articles is that of the Health Committee Chairman- one Samuel Thomas Melsom– a former mayor (1951-3) and Alderman of Olbury Council. Melsom had a long career as a local legislator, and was a leader of the Labour controlled authority and served on the powerful planning committee and public works commitee and as mentioned in the article- the health committee. He was also a JP and served on the Worcestershire health committees outside the area. He was awarded an OBE “For public services in Oldbury, Worcestershirein 1955.

And that is where my appreciation of him ends. Let’s divert for a while away from the smell of chemicals and focus on the stench of business/political back slapping.

This was still an era where businessmen could buy their way into the legislator framework and where civic society revolved around the rolling up of trouser legs and funny hand shakes. Businessmen were awarded “freemen” status like confetti, and there was no better time than at coffin carrying ceremonies where the civic dignitaries could all gather together to pay eulogy to one of their own self important pompous cretins demise.

Such an occasion of a passing reveals more about Melsom when W. W Hackett– a much feted son of Oldbury popped his clogs  a few years later in 1964.

Here is what we learn about Melsom’s connection to his former boss, loving Walter, and the chemical industry in Oldbury.

Accles and Pollock were another Oldbury firm in the mould of Albright and Wilson. Like Albright and Wilson they left behind an old marlhole mess lake of acid in Shidas lane in Oldbury that has now been infilled by Mintworth, who have desires to do the same with Rattlechain. Small world eh?

AP  had connections with AW and it is stated in this article from The Birmingham post that amongst the many attendees at this shin dig were Ken Wilson of the founder family.

Just four years earlier (what a coincidence), Wilson, Melsom and Hackett had all been awarded “freeman” status, perhaps the letters “so” were missing. :-P. Another named Robbins– whom I believe had followed in a long line of others in the family with a man named Urban Robbins having worked for Albright and Wilson in the 19th Century, also received this honour with them. .

As thick as thieves

 

It is this pomposity and  white pride hidden behind false “industrial heritage” and civic life that really pisses me off the most about how these characters amongst others have been paraded and cemented in fake history archives throughout history. We have to endure their statues, their pictures in ceremonial robes, their busts, their blue plaques, the street names named after them and worst of all the nepotism – just about everything that puts us in a position of inferiority to those who could buy power and position. Homage to our “betters”.  No one really cares about these self appointed “community leaders” or “business leaders” in life or death,  but to these people in their circles of position this meant everything- as does that word “legacy”.

Wilson’s record

For some reason the civic firm- operating like a controlling mafia includes not just the political family dynasty facilitators and council officer lackies but businessmen ,the press, the local police and judiciary. We are being controlled by these bastards to the present day, and their ceremonies, their parades, their customs and fake history continue to control all our lives by their design in some form of debt.

Melsom, I believe in his position on health committees was one of those who ensured our water supplies are regulated with a poison that Albright and Wilson and his mate Wilson offloaded as a waste product. For some reason however he resigned as Labour leader in Oldbury at short notice for “personal reasons” in June 1964. Who knows, perhaps a Bill Thomas moment or a Brutas plot?

But not long after this resignation, we get this, and learn that Melsom turned “traitor” amongst the comrades facing possible expulsion and accepted a continued chairmanship of the two committees on the  new CON/LIB pact administration.

Blackball

 

On returning to the Oldbury smell of Albright and Wilson, it didn’t end however, unlike Melsom’s career shillery for local business and his own self preservation. This article below from December 5th 1957 sums up both his failed administration and chairmanship, and the firm of Albright and Wilson, when it is claimed that the latter’s factory pollution causing the smell will now be dumped into the North Sea! What a great environmental solution.

Another reference to new equipment

Melsom appears here as the company advocate- because I have absolutely no doubt he was their longstanding boy and fixer in the community. A man Friday servant of the Oldbury chemical industry illuminati. The “watery grave”, I believe would not be the North Sea at all- why would they transport all the crap of their operations to Scotland for dumping when they had at their disposal two local tips- one “watery” in the Tividale area?

At this particular time in history, Tividale lay in Rowley Regis (Staffordshire)- controlled by a different council– and outside of Melsom’s reach- though it would of course transfer back at a later date (1966) into “Warley”. It would however in 1957 have got it out of “Oldbury” and away out of plain site of his and Albright and Wilson’s back yard. Also of course away from Mrs Gunn’s withered bush and washing. A win-win situation for all surely?

Cat above Rattlechain toxic waste lagoon

Barrels of waste are admitted to have been dumped for many years into rattlechain lagoon, as well as The Gower Tip. I have seen them myself and some were recovered during the joke “clean up works” of 2013. I have no doubt that “the Oldbury Smell” from the oil additives plant went there, and still lies beneath the water, sunk out of sight and linked to all the other white phosphorus contaminated waste which joined it.

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People like Melsom show that politics is possibly the only dirtier business in history than Albright and Wilson, but really they are just inextricably linked.

 

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