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Turning the clock back on Brierley Hill High Street

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Brierley Hill Town Hall

  • Brierley Hill High Street in the 1950s

  • Turning the clock back to the 1930s in Brierley Hill

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THESE three old postcards of Brierley Hill have been loaned to us by John Taylor of Kidderminster. One dates from the early 20th century, one from the 1930s and the last is from the '50s.

The oldest postcard is a coloured print of the Town Hall. This is a lost landmark of the Black Country and during its life the building was put to many uses.

The Town Hall was built in 1874 and as well as the public hall it housed the offices of the local board of health and a free library. When local government was reorganised in 1894 it became the office of the new Brierley Hill Urban District Council.

Ned Williams, in his book Black Country Cinemas, tells us that films may have been shown in the public hall before 1900. In fact, a number of people held leases to show films there before Pooles Perfect Pictures took over in 1912. They named their cinema the Queen's Hall, possibly because they already had the King's Hall in Stourbridge.

The lease changed hands but the name Queen's Hall remained and sound equipment was installed in 1930. However, the cinema did not see the decade out and it closed sometime before the outbreak of the Second World War.

At some point after it became a cinema but before screenings ceased, half the ground floor of the Town Hall was converted to a fire station, as can be seen in our picture.

During the war a British Restaurant was established at the Town Hall and this later became a civic restaurant.

The Town Hall closed in 1963 and in 1966 Brierley Hill UDC was absorbed into Dudley County Borough. The redundant building was demolished in 1968 and a new library was built on the site.

Our other postcards show general views of the High Street. Do they revive any memories for you?

Have you any old pictures or postcards of your particular part of the Black Country? Please share they with us, contact dshaw@blackcountrybugle.co.uk, send them to or call in at 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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