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Forum Home > Memorabilia From the past. > "Monkey Island". Wolverhampton.

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Now there's a strange name to start with. It refers to a small area in Heath Town, about midway between Wolverhampton and Wednesfield. The area in question, was situated around the Old Heath Road, and how it came by that name is a mystery lost in time. The place was virtually surrounded by Iron Works, and Collieries, and bisected, by first the Canal, and then later by two railway lines. Like most of the Black Country, the inhabitants were sometimes a rough lot. Arguments were often settled between two sides with a bout of fisticuffs, in a makeshift ring on some waste land, and with plenty of betting and drinking involved. The place had at least two Public houses during the 1840s, " The Brittania House ", and the " Jolly Collier ", although the former was converted into a small holding in the late 1880s. In the 1850s, it aquired a place of worship as well, Holy Trinity Church, which went on to become home to one of the longest serving vicars in the region, the Rev James William Morrison. He and his wife arrived in 1882, and in 1928, he ended his time here in his beloved churchyard. His wife Fanny followed him in 1934. It's still a strange name, and if anyone has the answer as to why, please let me know. As a sign of just how superstitious the old native's were, sometime before the Great War, a young lad fell into the Canal. Unable to quickly locate the body, someone suggested putting a small quantity of " Qucksilver " ( Mercury ) inside a loaf of Bread, and float it on the water until it came to a standstill. This was then supposed to be the spot where the body had sunk. I don't think it worked, for the body was later retrieved with several men and a drag chain. It's an interesting tale, for this method was fairly widespread in places that still had a bit of belief in the old ways. Even in America, as Mark Twain mentions in one of his books.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

September 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Now it's been some time since I posted the article about the above location. While I have had several enquiries about any progress, I haven't actually had any communication about how the area got it's strange name. Maybe the story is indeed lost, in the thick mists of times past, unless someone knows differently.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

February 19, 2015 at 4:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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