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‘I'd always find my way back to Spring Gardens’

By rob taylor  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

The Gas Works by night.

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THE evocative photograph of Dudley's old gas works taken at night, that was first published in Bugle 1042, has prompted Jean Evans of Laurel Road, Dudley, to remember some great times at her gran and granddads home in Spring Gardens ...

"To see the picture of the old gas works at night, and the gas lamps lighting the way along Spring Gardens and Red Hill, sent a shiver down my spine and transported me back to far off days of long ago.

“I was born at No.1 Spring Gardens, my gran and granddads home, a large house with a big wall and garden in front. An entry ran to the back door of the house and me and my cousin used to sit on the front doorstep a lot, and I remember the view we had of this huge building, as it was to us small kids, with the various movements of the men at the works, walking along corridors and gang planks at the front of this skyscraper like building, and sometimes they appeared as high as two or three floors up.

“I lived with my grandparents until I was about five years old, when I had to be reunited with my mom and dad who lived in a house on Heather Road on the Priory Estate, so I could attend Priory Infants School. At the time I hated being removed from my home at Spring Gardens and my gran and granddads, and every time I had the chance I would find my way back.

“To me it was heaven, the place I loved. Yes the air was pungent with the smell of gas (something you tended to get used to anyway), but it was where I always wanted to be. And yes they were small back-to-back houses, crammed into a relatively small space, full of families, old ‘uns and young ‘uns alike, but it was a neighbourhood second to none.

Then around the early ‘50s the inevitable happened and the council began to demolish the area and rehouse the families, a lot of whom moved to the Priory Estate.

“My grandparents moved in 1954 to a brand new house on the Sledmere Estate, and the final link I had with Spring Gardens and the old gas works was broken. They were great times, and I've enjoyed this wonderful journey down memory lane.”

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