IT’S SOMETHING of a disappointment that we see so few colour pictures of the old Black Country, so we were delighted when Dave Westwood of Rowley Regis loaned to us his collection of photographs of our region’s industrial heritage.
Dave took his pictures in the late 1970s and early ’80s and the majority of them are in colour. He wanted to record the Black Country’s rapidly disappearing industrial past, so he visited the sites of long lost collieries and quarries, the factories, foundries and works, the canals, railways and roads.
This was at a time when the Black Country, arguably, changed the most. Many of the industries on which the region was built were gone or on the verge of extinction and swathes of streets and housing were swept away in town centre redevelopment schemes.
Transition This week we print a selection of pictures of Rounds Green, Oldbury. They show a small town in transition. Old houses and shops have been demolished but some relics have resisted the march of progress, while in the background loom the works of some of the Black Country’s greatest industrial names – now sadly all but forgotten.
One picture was taken from the bottom of St James Road and shows the only remaining old premises on the east side of Brades Road that were on the 1880 map of the area. Price’s butchers is on the right, the middle place is unoccupied and on the left is Rounds Green post office. A picture house once stood next to the butchers, on the right hand side.
We have another view of the post office and the next-door disused shop.
Taken from the bottom of Dingle Street, it gives a clear view the post office and disused premises opposite Brades Row with the Accles and Pollock works behind on the site of the Globe brickworks which were half way between Brades Road and the canal by Edwin Danks’s.
Tramway A tramway ran at the rear of these premises to a clay pit off the left of the photo, on the site of the new industrial estate in Brades Road. In the foreground were old houses and shops that were taken down in 1977/78 which made up main part of Rounds Green on Dingle Street and Brades Road junction.
We have another shot of the frontage of post office before it was shortly repainted with name S. & M. Peyton above the door and number 85 Brades Road. It was probably built about 1850.
Next we see the main part of Dingle Street with the demolished area of Bath Row in the foreground. In middle of this block was the picture house.
Two old cast iron lamps can be seen on either side of Bath Row.
Dingle Street is on the right and far left are the houses in Bury Hill Road and St James Road in the distance. On the horizon is the mast on Massey’s Bank at the top of City Road, Oakham.
We can see these buildings from another angle, taken half way down Dingle Street with the post office at the bottom in Brades Road, the A&P works behind and, farther back, Edwin Danks’s boiler works. All of the waste ground was once terraced housing down to Brades Road and right to Bath Row.
Cottage Dave took the last picture from the Prince of Wales pub at the top of Dingle Street. The old cottage on left is pre-1880 and the view looks towards Brades Road with Oldbury in the distance.
In all, Dave has kindly let us have six albums of his pictures, taken across the Black Country with many interesting scenes and lost landmarks. We shall reprint more pictures in the coming weeks.
Have you any similar pictures of old Black Country scenes to share? Please contact dshaw@blackcountry bugle.co.uk or write to the usual address