HERE is a loose assortment of steam age memorabilia from the days when – as befits a town of its size – Dudley had its own railway station.
They were all collected by Laurence Brownhill of Netherton, and stand as interesting documents of a bygone age. Dudley station both brought in sightseers to the town (and especially the zoo) and allowed its own citizens to access the seaside and the countryside, and both aspects are highlighted here. At left is a pamphlet advertising the West Midlands Holiday Express, probably dating from the early 1960s. Laid on during one of the main summer holiday weeks, the Holiday Express took passengers to a different resort each day, for an all-in cost of 65 shillings for the week. It left Wolverhampton (Low Level), Dudley and Stourbridge and headed for Llangollen on Monday, Chester and Rhyl on Tuesday, Barry Island on Wednesday, Weston on Thursday and Windsor on Friday.
Each customer would be allocated the same seat on the train for each journey, but could specify on booking whether they wanted 'facing the engine' or 'back to the engine' seats.
At the bottom of the page are a couple of 'Specials' posters from the same day in 1961, which would have been taped to the windows of the relevant trains, and also on blackboards on the relevant platform when the train returned. One was from an excursion to Dudley from north Staffordshire and Derbyshire, including Burton-on-Trent, Swadlincote and Ashby-de-la-Zouche.
The second poster is for a Special bringing visitors to Dudley from Warwickshire, including parts of Birmingham, Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton.
We're always keen to share railway memorabilia and photographs with our readers. Bring them to Bugle House, give us a call, post them to us, or email gjones@blackcountry bugle.co.uk. See page 2 for our address and phone number.