The north eastern corner of Bentley was one of the last parts to be developed. In the early 1960s only the southern end of Lime Avenue had been built, Poplar Avenue only extended from Monmouth Road to just beyond Attlee Road, and Rowlands Avenue was about half of its final length. The north eastern corner still consisted of spoil heaps, hollows and pools, all reminders of the intense coal mining that once dominated the landscape.

Today the view has changed beyond recognition. The photos were taken from what is now the top of Lime Avenue, which was built in the early 1970s. The view to the north east and the east is looking across what is now a large playing field, surrounded by modern houses.

I have to thank Christine and John Ashmore for kindly allowing me to use the photographs below, which were taken by their father, W. J. Ashmore.


The view from the north east to the east.


The view from the east to the south.

Close up views of the panorama:


Looking north eastwards towards Bloxwich and Leamore.


Looking towards Leamore and Leamore flats.


Looking east towards Birchills Power Station and Bentley Hall brick works.


Looking south eastwards towards the eastern end of Edinburgh Avenue.


Looking to the south into Everest Road, with Emmanuel Church to the right.


A final view to the south, and the original part of Lime Avenue. In the distance is Bradley and Foster's furnace, Ocker Hill power station, and St. Lawrence's Church.


A view across Bentley Common from a little further north, near to the old railway, looking towards Bloxwich and Leamore. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.


Another view from the same part of the common. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.


Another view looking towards Bloxwich and Leamore. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.


A final view of the northern part of the common. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.



A view looking towards the Bentley flats and Darlaston, from the early 1960s. It was taken on an area of open land on the western side of Monmouth Road, where the playing fields are today. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.


A second view from the same area, looking towards Bilston. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.


A once well known pub in Churchill Road, The Old Hall. The building was demolished in 2007 after an arson attack, and replaced by Parsons House flats, which opened in December 2010. The photo was taken by W. J. Ashmore. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.

A view of Churchill Road and the top of Queen Elizabeth Avenue which has hardly changed, except that Bentley Library on the left, has now gone. The photo was taken by W. J. Ashmore. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.


Emmanuel Church in 1963.


The Emmanuel Church in 1972 with Bentley Library on the left. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.


Bentley Library, which closed in 2006 and was demolished a few years later.

A closer view of the library.


Another view of the library. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.

Two adverts from 1954. Courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.


Queen Elizabeth Avenue in 1963.


Birchills Power Station dominated much of the local landscape. A view from Edinburgh Avenue, Bentley, in the 1970s, looking towards Kent Road. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John & Christine Ashmore.
In the early 1970s a lot of building work took place around Western Avenue and Overdale Drive. Also at this time the old and long disused Bentley Canal was culverted and turned into the lovely footpath that is still there today.


Houses being built in Poplar Avenue in 1972 or early 1973. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.


Tenbury Close in 1972 or early 1973. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.


Looking southwards along Western Avenue in 1972 or early 1973 towards the old Bentley flats. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.


The shops in Farmbridge Road in 1972 or early 1973. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.


The culvert being built on the site of Bentley Canal, looking towards Clarkes Lane. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.
Graham Bosworth, who lived at Willenhall in the early 1970s remembers the closure of the canal, which his garden overlooked. He describes the end of the canal as follows:

"Eventually, the canal bed was excavated from a few hundred metres to the west of Fibbersley (possibly the boundary between the boroughs of Wolverhampton and Walsall) off to the east, possibly as far as the Anson Branch Canal in Bentley."

"Large prefabricated concrete sections were lowered into the trench by a crane on caterpillar tracks. I recall using the site as a playground, running along inside or above the concrete sections. The sections were joined together along the length of the former canal to form a culvert, and the water that had previously drained into the canal subsequently drained into the culvert. Walking along the route later, it was possible to see occasional "man hole" inspection covers. Some bridges were removed or altered after the canal had gone, including Fibbersley and Monmer Lane."


A close-up view of the culvert. The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.

Another view of the newly culverted canal, looking towards Wolverhampton Road West.

In the distance is the cemetery with the old flats on the left.

The photograph was taken by Richard Ashmore.


This photo, taken during the building of the M6 Motorway, includes the once familiar view of the Bentley Hall Brickworks, that overshadowed the motorway.
In 2007, Bentley's two tower blocks, Fairview Court and Grange Court were demolished, after several years of dereliction. The four photos below were taken just before, and during demolition.


The site is prepared for demolition. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.


The heavy machinery arrives. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.


Demolition gets underway. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.


A final view of the demolition, as seen from the nearby footpath. Courtesy of Doug Cherrington.


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