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‘My Home’ — in Ancient Dagger Lane

By gavin jones  |  Posted: May 19, 2011

The house in Dagger Lane.

The house in Dagger Lane.

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 ONCE the home of Trafalgar hero Captain James Eaton, Dagger Lane is at the centre of the oldest district of West Bromwich, and still to this day has the benefit of several ancient abodes. One, near to the Dagger Lane entrance to Dartmouth Park, has been the home for sixty years of Frances Roberts, who wrote to us recently about her interesting cottage property which is thought to be alomst three centuries old (shown in a recent photograph on the right).Frances sent us this brief history of the ancient abode...

“My Home. The Queen Anne's cottage in Dagger Lane was, I believe, built in 1719. Originally belonging to the Earl of Dartmouth's estate, the cottages provided homes for the estate workers.

The 1881 British Census shows a family of 7 living here. At a very tight squeeze I would think.

The cottages were modernised, in spite of many members of the council favouring demolition of No. 7 in 1969. Central heating and a bathroom! When we came to live in this cottage, 60 years ago, it was like going back in time. In the kitchen, a large black range, a big boiler and stone floors. The toilet was in the yard and, of course, no bathroom, we had to use a tin bath.

The rooms were decorated with wood panelling half way and a tiny open fireplace. Money was tight in those days so we had to do a little every year to get it how we wanted it.

There were boats on the boating pool. At holiday time and Sundays there was a larger family boat to row adults and children around the pool and the band would play lively music from the bandstand. The visiting fair would always ask to plug their cables into our electricity supply (until we found out we had to pay for it). We had some hard winters and the ice was thick enough to skate on the pool. We had no big holidays, just a picnic in the park.

A special treat was a day at the seaside.

At Christmas we would have a roaring log fire, thanks to living in the park, and make our own trimmings. Friends and neighbours would come to celebrate with us. We didn't have much but between us we could fill our long table with food. We sang songs ‘My Home’ — in Ancient Dagger Lane ONCE the home of Trafalgar hero Captain James Eaton, Dagger Lane is at the centre of the oldest district of West Bromwich, and still to this day has the benefit of several ancient abodes. One, near to the Dagger Lane entrance to Dartmouth Park, has been the home for sixty years of Frances Roberts, who wrote to us recently about her interesting cottage property which is thought to be alomst three centuries old (shown in a recent photograph on the right).

accompanied by our own music makers.

Looking back I can't realise where the years have gone but they have been very happy.

Frances Roberts”.

**** (Dagger Lane is shown on old maps as running roughly north to south through old West Bromwich, from Hill House Farm to Woodward Street, with the Earl of Dartmouth’s estate lying immediately to the east.

It gets its name from Dagger Hall/Farm, which is shown on the map below, as is Hill House Farm In 1851, White’s Directory listed Benjamin Hall as the farmer at Dagger Hall and Charles Cotterill the farmer at Hill House, which was also then listed as the residence of Captain Eaton, 1785-1857).

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