How mountains were moved

The change in the landscape south of Delph locks - (1960s image by Peter Donnelly, provided courtesy of

When we try to imagine how our neighbourhood might have looked say 50 years ago we might think that at least the general lie of the land—the local hills and slopes—would have been the same as they are today. 
In the Black Country at least that’s a dangerous assumption.  Here’s an example from Amblecote where a heap of colliery spoil is big enough to dominate the horizon of an image (taken from Delph locks) in the 1960s (left) but by 2008 (right) has been completely flattened and built over with housing.

Mining the South Staffordshire Coalfield is of course a defining Black Country industry.  It had ended by the 1960s but in places left a sea of shale, and spoil heaps became playgrounds to many local kids in the 20th century. 
A handful of coal waste is the fourth item in the exhibition The Black Country in Ten Objects (the third was the subject of our last post).  And those of who think coal waste is somehow not worthy of a museum or art gallery might be interested in this little news video from earlier in the year. 

> The location of the photo in Google Maps;
> Read how the other objects in the exhibition have a link to the Black Country landscape here;
> Subscribe (where it says ‘Receive Updates’ on the right of this page) and be notified of posts on the other objects;

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