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Civic pride as Rowley Regis celebrates Queen’s Coronation

By john workman  |  Posted: November 26, 2012

The Rowley Regis council staff of 1953.

The Rowley Regis council staff of 1953.

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When the Municipal Buildings in Old Hill were finally demolished a few weeks ago, it created a great deal of interest from readers, with the receipt of several comments and lots of photographs to mark its passing into the annals of history.

And still the responses keep coming in, in particular a Borough of Rowley Regis Coronation 1953 Souvenir Brochure which was handed to us by a resident of Cradley Heath who told us her late mother never threw away anything that was historically important, including the beautifully preserved souvenir.

The Mayor at the time was Councillor Albert Westwood and he wrote the following words in the foreword: "On her twenty-first birthday our young Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, dedicated herself to our service, and this pledge was renewed in her broadcast last Christmas. The response in Rowley Regis to this high resolve and to the spirit of the Coronation of Her Majesty is, I know, as warm-hearted as anywhere in the land; indeed, the citizens of the Borough have, in all sorts of ingenious ways, formed street committees and raised considerable sums of money so as to set in motion the

machinery which will bring happiness in various ways to old and young during Coronation week."

The 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation is of course next year, 2013, and the contents of the Souvenir Brochure will be re-examined in six months’ time to discover just how the folk of Rowley Regis celebrated Coronation week.

Following on from the photographs we published in last week's Bugle of the interior of the Municipal Buildings around the time they opened in 1938, courtesy of Mrs Pat Perry of Stourbridge, we are able to show another view of the Council Chamber, but this time with at least 26 councillors in attendance for a meeting, including the Mayor, the aforementioned Councillor Albert Westwood J.P., C.C. — to give him his full title.

Another photograph shows the rest of the council staff team including typists, receptionists, clerks and managers, brought together outside the main door.

There are no names, just faces, but perhaps eagle-eyed Bugle readers will be able to identify someone in the group. If you come across a familiar face, please let us know here at Bugle House.

The third picture is another of the Municipal Buildings themselves, still in pristine condition after 15 years of occupation. On top of the brick gate posts there appear to be Art-Deco lamps.

Finally the man of the moment Albert Westwood, Mayor of Rowley Regis, who was fortunate to have his time in the hot seat on the occasion of the Queen's Coronation.

jworkman@blackcountrybugle.co.uk

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