|Memories of Fazeley, written by Joseph T. Hunter in August 2008 when he was 88 years old.
The Listed Houses of BonehillAs one approaches Bonehill village from the old A5 and slightly to the right, is the Slack Walk. I have no idea where the name came from as in my time there has never been any sign of slack. There stands on the left three old listed cottages which in pre-war times were straw thatched. These are numbered 19, 21 and 23. 19,21 and 23, Park Lane.
The field contained race horses when I was a child. The adjoining footpath goes over the Spinney canal bridge and leads to Ventura Park. The next two cottages that we come to are 27 and 29, the oldest cottages the in the area, both built in the 17 century of daub and wattle and later bricked in. The road alongside is one of two leading to Bonehill House. Over the way is the Dower House, lived in for many years by Dr Clegg.
At the end of Park Lane is Bonehill House, adjoining in pre war times was Bonehill Park and a nine hole golf course. The house and stables have now been splendidly refurbished. Bonehill House On the left side of Park Lane is Bonehill Lodge, which is now a retirement home. It was formerly owned and lived in by F.G. Allton, who also owned Bonehill Pools, the flour mill and a shop and cafe in Market Street Tamworth. Alongside the Lodge are several listed buildings, the Stud Farm, one of three racing establishments in the area and the Stud Cottages.
As the road branches off to the left from The Green there are several old cottages and then we come to the Red House, one of the other racing establishments. After the demise of the Peels, the stables were used as quarantine buildings for dogs, by Mr Michael Steele Bodger, the veterinary surgeon. In recent years the stables have been converted into mews cottages. The walls are very thick and some of the rooms are of irregular shape, but they were very popular and were soon sold and occupied.
A few hundred yards along the road is the Robert Peel hospital, which was sorely needed in the area and a few yards ahead is the A5 bypass which cuts off the previous road to Plantation Lane and the Bodnets.
On the old A5 on the outskirts of Mile Oak stands the Lichfield Road Lodge, right opposite the turn off to Plantation Lane and the entrance to the hospital. It was one of the main entrances to Drayton Manor and Queen Victoria took this route when she visited the Peels. History has it that she was not brought through Fazeley as it was an ugly industrial village.
In the twenties there were no more buildings from Lichfield Road Lodge until one came to Mile Oak crossroads, where there were a few cottages and along the Sutton Road stood the Beacon House, now transformed in the Spanish style.
Mile Oak was one huge stony field, usually sown with wheat and the main road had many oak trees growing on both sides.
I believe that George Avenue ( the Linacre Estate ) built around 1928 was the first housing estate, followed by many council houses, the streets being named after Tamworth councillors Allton, Affleck, French etc.
Some of the condemned cottages in Atherstone Street Fazeley were demolished and the estate at Mile Oak gave people the chance of better housing with an indoor toilet and bathroom.