The mystery picture of a Clent lane that bamfoozled us a few weeks ago, continues to be elusive both in its location and the lack of people who might have an inkling where it is.
Most recently Steve Robinson stepped up to the plate and got in touch via e-mail. He thought the lane might be the one that wends its way from the crossroads at Holy Cross towards the centre of Clent and onwards to Walton Hill, passing the Vine Inn along the way. He reckoned one of the residences in a row of cottages that appear just before the pub was where the old tea room used to be. If his supposition was correct the mystery was solved, but we are not totally convinced.
There are plenty of leafy lanes in this picturesque part of North Worcestershire with stunning views, but unfortunately we don't think Steve Robinson's suggestion is correct.
However, a beautiful sunny September morning deserved recognition and a photograph was taken of the houses that constitute "Church Cottages".
There are definitely similarities in the two views, but not enough for us to be convinced, so the search for the location of the original Clent Road goes on.
In the meantime Graham Hodgson has being doing some research into the identity of Miss C. Hannibal, the recipient of the picture postcard view of Clent Lane, sent in 1907, which included a poem from Jack, and these are his findings: "Checking the 1911 census I discovered 71 females with the name Hannibal, but only two listed with the first name initial "C", both called Charlotte.
“The first was aged 51 and married to Walter, living with her four sons at 58 Mallin Street, West Smethwick. But being married it is unlikely she was the recipient of the post card poem.
“However, a 28 year old single women named Charlotte Hannibal, daughter of Frederick and Ann, may well be the mystery person. Her family at the time of the census lived at 55 Cranford Street, West Smethwick, which as the crow flies is very near Oldbury Road, the address on the reverse of the postcard. Frederick (head) was aged 51 and a labourer born in Smethwick.
Ann his wife of thirty years aged 50 was born in Willenhall. The couple had ten children, all of whom were still alive, but only six lived at the family home:- Frederick aged 14 (grocer's assistant b. Birmingham), Charlotte aged 28 (at home b. West Bromwich), Nellie aged 17 (press worker in a button factory b. Birmingham), and Percy (12), Bernard (9), George (6), all at school and all born in Birmingham.
“I have been unable to locate the Hannibal family in the 1901 census, but I believe eight year old Charlotte was staying with her grandparents, Patrick and Bridget Welch on the night of the 1891 census.
“The couple, presumably her maternal grandparents were both born in County Mayo, Ireland, but lived at 6 Stone Street, Willenhall.
“Assuming that this is the same Miss C. Hannibal referred to on the postcard, she is likely to be Charlotte Agnes Hannibal whose birth was registered at West Bromwich in 1882 and whose death occurred in 1941, which implies she remained unmarried.
“I could well be wrong in my assumptions, and my research into the Hannibal family could have taken a wrong turning, but hopefully my findings will be of interest to other Bugle readers."
On the back of the original postcard the first line of the poem written by Jack to Miss C.
Hannibal read, "To Walton Hill I've been today," and during our visit to the Clent Hills in search of that elusive postcard view of Clent Road, we couldn't help but take a picture of Walton Hill in tribute to the words which were penned over a century ago by a chap enjoying a holiday away from the Black Country, in a place that had become a favourite destination for many folk from the Dark Region.