Dark Lane - YouTube reminder of lost village

Fascinating colour footage of one of Telford's "lost villages" filmed shortly before the close-knit community was wiped off the map forever has been showcased to the public for the first time ever.

Fascinating colour footage of one of Telford's "lost villages" filmed shortly before the close-knit community was wiped off the map forever has been showcased to the public for the first time ever.

Cine film showing people and scenes in Dark Lane in the 1960s, which until now has only been seen by a handful of people, has become available to a mass audience after being put on YouTube by Graham Woolrich.

"These films were sitting in boxes not being used. I thought that was a shame," said Graham, 63, who is from Lichfield but who has strong family links with Dark Lane.

He had the film digitised, which opened up new opportunities.

"Putting it on to YouTube means that it is available for everybody to see."

And Graham has given permission for the footage to be featured on the Shropshire Star website.

Dark Lane was destroyed in about 1970 by the development of Telford town centre. Today the site is mainly under the Hollinswood housing estate.

Read the full story in today's Shropshire Star

Comments for: "Dark Lane - YouTube reminder of lost village"

roadrunner

Brilliant footage, it shows to all the outsiders just how much "wasteland" and "Eyesore" ground was used in the development of Telford. Di anyone notice all those "spoil tips" in the footage?...No, nor me...

Bill

Just shows how tragic it was to vandalise and remove productive countryside to create the social disaster of Telford!

roadrunner

Yep the likes of Grey who like to bleat on about what a mess this place was in the sixties, should watch that and learn the truth.

Peter

Here we go - the usual anti-Telford throwbacks are coming out of their burrows.

Where is the 'social disaster' you refer to Bill? I see much affluence, much quality housing, many skilled and well-paid jobs and a great deal of wealth that has been brought to a neglected part of East Shropsihre. Yes, there are some areas of poverty and neglect - but take a look around Shrewsbury or any other town and you'll find just the same - I presume you wouldn't refer to Shrewsbury as a 'social disaster', but levels of crime and social deprivation in the two areas are similar.

Even a glance around much of what is now Telford will show that much of the land is reclaimed from mining spoil and other industry - the suggestion that it was some sort of rural paradise is just nonsense.

Given the cost of cine film at the time these pictures were taken, it may well have been that the cameraman was somewhat selective in his imagery - quite reasonably he may not have foreseen much demand for looking at mining waste or the remnants of part of the Lilleshall Company in other parts of Telford. Even so - there are points in the film where evidence of decaying industrialisation can be seen, albeit distantly.

The town has been here for decades, it has generally speaking been a success, bringing many jobs and new industries to the area. Time to move on chaps!

Rob, Telford

roadrunner said:

"anyone notice all those “spoil tips” in the footage?"

The scrub-covered banks in the background during the first couple of minutes of the film are old spoil heaps - reclaimed by nature.

.....and very nice they look too!!

I can remember this area and what is now the Town Park and it was like a paradise for us kids, with its landscape of little farms and smallholdings, quiet lanes and old pitbanks.

Still, I expect people will look back nostalgically at the Hollinswood estate and the Town Centre in 40 or 50 years time....thought not!

roadrunner

You are spot on there Rob, many of the mounts we played on as kids were "reclaimed spoil tips" but you wouldn't have know it, being covered in heather and grass. Just like the now desecrated paddock mount, they were much nicer to look at than Peter's version of "the new dream".

John

It is really hard to imagine that the wasteland of today's Telford was once this little village.

Rob, Telford

Peter @ 4

You seem to think that anyone who regards Telford as anything other than a complete success is an "anti-Telford throwback".

Can I suggest that like the cameraman you too are somewhat selective in your imagery?

The fact is that the vast majority of development in Telford was on agricultural land, starting with the first new town estate, Sutton Hill, then Brookside, Stirchley, Randlay, Leegomery, Shawbirch, and most of the Halesfield, Stafford Park and Hortonwood industrial estates.

I certainly don't regard the town as a complete failure (I wouldn't live and work here otherwise), but equally recognise that there have been many failed attempts at social engineering for which we are still paying the price.

eva land

I remember the lovely white spoil heaps in Snailbeach, Fortunately I kept away from them.

People love sentimentalising the past. Wearing rose tinted specs is almost as popular as the internet which we have only really had since 2000.

My word, wasn't life boring before the millennium? :)

Melville Rogers

My Husband made the film so that my family and myself could look back on our early days also to remember the village that we lived in. Although Telford have made a very good job of the new town we thought by putting it on UTube it would give old residents an opportunately to reminisce and new residents to see the village that was buried for the new town.

The film shows people coming away from the Chapel after the anniversary which was always attended very well in fact people came from far and wide and it was nearly always standing room. I remember playing on the mounts, fishing in the brook and having a lot of freedom every body was honest and I don't think anyone locked their doors it was like a big happy family

twisting my melon

@2,Your completely right Bill, i think i might move to Shrewsbury so i can sit in traffic, learn to play a Banjo and wink at my sister in a suggestive manner..

Patrick Berkshire

As the population spirals up to 70 million a lot more countryside is going to go this way. Best enjoy it while it's still here.

Rob, Telford

twisting my melon said:

"i think i might move to Shrewsbury so i can sit in traffic, learn to play a Banjo and wink at my sister in a suggestive manner.."

Isn't Broseley nearer to where you live......?