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Recalling changes in our landscape 30 years ago

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 18, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Baggeridge pit undergoing redevlopment in the '80s

  • The houses of Withymoor Village were yet to be in built in 1983

  • The view from Barrow Hill, 1982, toward Round Oak

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PERHAPS the decade that saw the greatest changes in the Black Country was the 1980s, when great swathes of our industrial landscapes, the old foundries, pit bonks and marl holes, were swept away by new developments.

These three pictures, taken in the early '80s, come from Clive Corbett of Kingswinford and they were taken by his father Reg, who then lived in Broad Street, Pensnett, and was postmaster of Brierley Hill.

They show some of the changes to the area at that time. The first was taken at Baggeridge colliery in January 1983 when the site was being redeveloped into a country park. The colliery opened in 1899 but it closed on March 2, 1968, when it was the last coal mine in the Black Country. Revelopment began in 1981 and Baggeridge Country Park was officially opened by Princess Anne on June 17, 1983.

Our middle picture was taken in October 1983 and it shows what had been two open cast mines, the Plants Hollow and Gayfield Colleries. The site was being redeveloped into Withymoor Village and in the centre of the picture you can make out the newly completed Sainsbury store.

Our picture on the right shows the view from Barrow Hill in October 1982, with the smoke-covered Round Oak steelworks in the middle distance. The works closed two months later.

Share your historical Black County pictures, contact dshaw@blackcountrybugle.co.uk or write to our editorial address.

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