Friday, 30 December 2011


The Bears family originate from Birchinlee.

Birchinlee, otherwise known as 'Tin Town' was a temporary village built of corrugated iron in the early 1900's for a workforce brought in from Wales to build the Ladybower Dam.

It had everything a village would need. A pub, a company shop, homes and a post office. The outline of some the homes and streets can still be seen, though most of it is under 61,000,000,000 gallons of water.

It's documented in a number of books published in 1983 and 2001 by a chap called Brian Robinson.

Conditions were harsh, and death was frequent because it was hard, dangerous work.

To us, that time line is very well documented (scrap books, photos, news reports)

It's kind of nice to know that my kids and missus have a historic link to the survivors of a period when people worked hard.

Or Died.

I was astonished to find that though you can pick up a used copy in the UK on Amazon for a tenner, that UK hardback copies are going for £50-£70, and someone in Florida, US of A is asking nearly £98 - and their all used!

I'm very proud to be associated (indirectly) with that history.


Josie said...

good post,
there's more info on this website :-)

Josie x

Wheelie said...

Yup, that's the one :)

I've spent over 25 years learning about Birchinlee, it's residents and characters.

Those 'characters' and physical resemblance have passed down their traits through the generations, lol :)

A lot of it is verbal history.

Just love the stories Bear and father in law have told had me, from the train driver twins, to what happened in Birchinlee at chucking out time, the hard, dangerous and often fatal work...

Cheers Josie. Appreciated.