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Residents of Holly Hall's Low Town gather at their old haunts

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: March 29, 2007

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In Bugle 758 we told of how the former residents of Low Town, a small mining hamlet in Holly Hall, Dudley, that was demolished in a slum clearance in 1947, had worked to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of their little community. They collected together people's stories and recollections of life in Low Town, and recorded them in a book along with photographs that showed many of that last generation to live there.

The demolition order for Low Town came from the authorities on 11th March, 1947, and on the exact 60th anniversary a group of former residents and their descendants gathered at the site of their former homes to commemorate the day. Even though the houses were knocked down 60 years ago, the area has never been redeveloped and now it is part of the Fens Pool Nature Reserve. Over recent months Valerie Worwood and Michael Smith were part of the group that organised the Low Town commemoration and they have sent in these photographs and a few words about the gathering to mark the anniversary. They write:

  "What a brilliant day was had by all who turned up for the Low Town reunion, on Sunday, March 11th, 2007. The gate into the town was open for people who had lived there, or people whose parents were residents many years ago. People of all ages made their way down the steep hill into what was Low Town, some in their eighties, many trying to pick out where their houses used to be. Unfortunately, there's not much left these days, piles of bricks, the odd section of wall still intact, an old manhole cover, which would have been in the middle of the road if it was still there. You could even see brickwork on the original foundations (see photo). During the day, almost a hundred people turned up for either the town's opening or at The Lodge in Wellington Road for Sunday lunch.

  "People met old friends and neighbours from many years ago. Their faces said it all, and everyone was so pleased to meet each other once again after many, many years.

  "After the meal, a short speech was given by Val Worwood, who organised the event, and then Mr Edwards stood up and said a few words, thanking Val, Michael, and Christopher for their efforts with the book, meal, and opening of the town.

  "We should also mention Paul, the Fens pool warden, who was so obliging and helpful.

  "An excellent day which we're sure will not be forgotten, thank you to everyone who turned up."

  The book produced by the group, Low Town, Holly Hall - Last Generation, is not available for sale. The group were only able to produce enough copies so that each of the people that contributed to the project could have one. However, a copy of the book is to be given to the Dudley Archive and Local History Centre, Mount Pleasant, Coseley., and it is hoped that a further print run may be possible in the future.

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