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Victorian factory building bites the dust

By rob taylor  |  Posted: December 01, 2012

The former Connops works, now gone.

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YET another characterful building has been lost forever after being demolished, presumably in favour of a modern, prefabricated construction that wont be a patch on the bricks and mortar, the stylish windows and the home from home demeanour of a former Victorian factory.

Only a couple of stone-throws away from Bugle House stood until recently a factory building, strung along Station Street and sandwiched in between the road and the rail link to Birmingham.

In recent times it belonged to Connop Brothers Ltd., (Warley Galvanizers), and when walking by you were often able to peer into the yard and see some of the work going on.

Connop Brothers Ltd. was established in 1881, and their business address was The Great Western Works.

But now there's just a gap where it once stood, and unfortunately another slice of Cradley Heath's industrial history has been consigned to photographic records.

It probably registered as a very unremarkable building; taken for granted; it had always been there; a blur on the memory.

But now its gone,and just like the former Rowley Regis Municipal Buildings at Old Hill, it will be sorely missed.

Our Victorian ancestors were responsible for building more factories, warehouses, offices and shops than anyone had done before, and many factory owners encouraged landmark making architecture, well aware that a factory that stood out from the crowd could also act as an advertisement.

Sadly, an appreciation of architecture is no longer called for in the modern age of cheap, streamline, serviceable, boring and easy to construct industrial units!

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