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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Small Heath and Sparkbrook Station: gwrsh3156

An Edwardian view of Small Heath Bridge which opened in 1904 to span both the railway and the Warwick & Birmingham Canal

An Edwardian view of Small Heath Bridge, first known as New Bridge, which opened in 1904 to span both the railway and the Warwick & Birmingham Canal. It was opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Sir Hallewell Rogers, and had a span of two hundred metres to join Jenkins Street and Kendal Road. There has previously been no access from Small Heath to Sparkbrook between Sandy Lane and Golden Hillock Road.

In this view overlooking the busy Bordesley Goods Yard, the brick arch over the canal can be seen at the far end. The photograph shows a variety of stock, with a five compartment coach in the foreground. This is a diagram S3 third class coach which were introduced in 1872 and built over sixteen lots, becoming the most numerous of all the Great Western Railway’s short coach designs. The S3 diagram coaches were twenty-eight feet long with six wheels, having nine feet, six inches between each pair. Some of these coaches had their central wheels removed to become a four wheel coach with a nineteen foot wheelbase and these were given coach diagram S4. Others were converted in to Brake Thirds. Richard Spratt, who has been researching Great Western Railway short coaches (see www.penrhos.me.uk), has confirmed that the Diagram S3 coach with running number 1415 was built in May 1882 as part of lot 265 and remained unconverted until scrapped in week ending 22nd November 1930.