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Willenhall memories of the potted meat factory

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 08, 2014

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FOLLOWING the letter from Paul J Dickens in The Bugle (May 15 edition) we moved into Clement Road in 1950 from a poor two up, two down house in New Street, Ettingshall.

Stowlawn estate was in its early build at the time so our house had been completed only recently. I was going to the Tin School in Hall Park Street, but my older brother and sister had been given places in the new Stowheath school in Hill Street, Portabello.

That was when I discovered the potted dog as we then called the potted meat factory.

During lessons in the spring and summer the windows would be open and when the wind was in the right direction we would be choked by the pungent stink and windows would be quickly closed. The Thomas family, who lived in Fairway Green, were employed there.

I remember one day our dog Roger pulled up with great difficulty a whole cow's leg with its hoof still attached and the subsequent screams of my mother.

We spent many days jumping the rusty brook which ran all along the back of Stowlawn estate and circling the rear of the potted dog and under Moseley Road .

Its colour apparently was due to industrial effluent.

It varied in width and the dare was to jump along the whole length reaching its tunnel under Moseley Road.

The wider parts took its toll and we would have to try and wash our brown stained socks before going home.

We would get maggots to go fishing from the meat 'plaerce' and knowing Jack Thomas he would let you help yourself from the huge pile of ground bones which was surrounded by the constant march of millions of maggots encircled above by the same amount of flies.

Then off we would go fishing on Bilston golf course.

I have some wonderful memories of growing up on Stowlawn and the amazing end to this is I live on the grounds of the potted meat 'plaerce' or should I say the Butcher's Hide Skin and Wool works and have done for the last 44 years.

Mel Jones Willenhall.

melvynjones7@gmail.com

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