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Night drunk rescued 'Blind May' in Turner's Hill quarry

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 19, 2014

The eerie house on Turner's Hill

The eerie house on Turner's Hill

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RE the article on the Turner's Hill house with the eerie image in The Bugle (December 5 edition).

I believe this old house was my great aunt May's. She was my granddad's sister.

My granddad was Joseph Smith who lived at 89 Portway Road. He had three sisters, one of whom became May Kirby of Turner's Hill.

The house looks very grand from the sketch, but inside was very meagre with an old wooden table and chairs, which were scrubbed every day, as were the stone floors.

She kept pigs, chickens and bantams. The toilet was outside in the little outbuilding in the sketch, with a large wooden seat with a bucket in a hole. I spent much of my young childhood at this house, as my aunt's daughter, also called May, was blind from birth, and was affectionately known as 'Blind May.'

One night Blind May had a nightmare and she found her way across the road to 'The Quarry Edge' and had it not been for a young man walking home drunk to City Road from Portway Tavern she would have gone down into the quarry!

I believe the house was owned by Edwin Richards Quarry, and Aunt May's husband was his right hand man. A few men in my family worked in the quarry over the years, including my Uncle "Big Bill" Woodhouse, my Uncle Sonny Smith, Uncle Jack and Uncle Richard.

I am sure there may still be a few alive who remember other things. I am a young 70 years, so am going back 60 years plus. I could write a book about those happy and safe days.

Josephine Ashford,

(granddaughter of Joseph and

Elizabeth Smith of Portway),

4 Shepherds Fold, Rowley Regis.

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