Rowley Regis is a town and historic parish as well as a former municipal borough, in the Black Country region of the West Midlands, England. Considered one of the six'towns' that comprise the modern-day Sandwell Metropolitan Borough, it encompasses the wards of Blackheath, Cradley Heath and Old Hill, Rowley Village. At the 2011 census, the combined population of Rowley Regis was 50,257; the history of Rowley Regis began in the 12th century, when a small village grew around the parish church of St. Giles two miles south-east of the town of Dudley. Rowley was part of the Royal hunting grounds - Regis was added to the name of Rowley in around 1140 to signify it was that part of Rowley belonging to the King, it began to develop between the two World Wars, when thousands of owned and local authority houses were built in the surrounding area. During that time Rowley Regis became a borough, incorporated the communities of Blackheath, Old Hill, Cradley Heath; these places were all within the ancient parish of Rowley Regis, in the diocese of Worcester.
The parish contained the manors of Rowley Regis and Rowley Somery, the latter being part of the barony of Dudley, but the extents of these manors and the relationship between them are not clear. The present St. Giles Church on Church Road is not the original church in Rowley Regis; the church built in 1840 to succeed the original mediaeval building, was found to be unsafe and condemned in 1900. The next church, built in 1904, was burned down in 1913, some believing the fire to have been started by Suffragettes or local striking steelworkers, its present day successor was designed by Holland W. Hobbiss and A. S. Dixon, was built in 1923. Rowley Regis railway station opened in 1867 in the south of the village, remains in use to this day. Rowley's grammar school was opened on Hawes Lane in September 1962. Well-known former pupils include Pete Williams, actress Josie Lawrence. In 1974, when comprehensive schools became universal in the new borough of Sandwell, the grammar school became Rowley Regis Sixth Form College, the last intake of grammar school pupils having been inducted the previous year.
In 2003 it became an annexe of Dudley College, but this arrangement lasted just one year before the buildings fell into disuse. It was demolished three years and the site was redeveloped as the new Rowley Learning Campus under Sandwell's Building Schools for the Future programme, comprising St Michael's Church of England High School, Westminster Special School, Whiteheath Education Centre, which opened in September 2011. In Staffordshire, the Rowley Regis Urban District was formed in 1894 to cover the villages of Rowley, Cradley Heath, Old Hill; the urban district was incorporated into a municipal borough in 1933. Following the acquisition of borough status, plans were unveiled to build new council offices in the borough to replace the existing offices in Lawrence Lane, Old Hill. A site on the corner of Halesowen Road and Barrs Road was selected, with working commencing in October 1937, the building being completed in December 1938. In 1966, the borough of Rowley Regis merged with the boroughs of Oldbury and Smethwick to form the Warley County Borough, became part of Worcestershire.
There had been plans to incorporate Rowley Regis into an expanded Dudley borough, for Halesowen to join up with Oldbury and Smethwick instead. Eight years in 1974, on the formation of the West Midlands Metropolitan county, Warley merged with West Bromwich to form the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough, it is now right in the core of the West Midlands conurbation. Following the demise of Rowley Regis as a standalone borough in 1966, the council offices in Barrs Road were retained by Warley council and by Sandwell council. However, a plan was submitted in July 2012 by Sandwell Leisure Trust to demolish the buildings to make way for an expansion to the neighbouring Haden Hill Leisure Centre, the development of a new fire station; the archives for Rowley Regis Borough are held at Sandwell Community History and Archives Service. Rowley Regis is the location of the Rowley Hills, famed for the quarrying of Rowley Rag Stone; the hills form part of the east/west watershed between the rivers Trent and Severn, contain the highest point in the West Midlands region, Turner's Hill, at 269m above sea level.
Blackheath Cradley Heath Haden Hill Old Hill Rowley Village Whiteheath Josie Lawrence – British actress, was educated at Rowley Regis Grammar School. Pete Williams – bass player with Dexys Midnight Runners between 1978 and 1981, was educated at Rowley Regis Grammar School. John Haden Badley – centenarian and founder of Bedales School grew up spending time at his family's country home "Foxcote" and visiting his uncle and cousins at Haden Hill. Carlton Palmer – former footballer who played for the England team as well as clubs including West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United. George Smith 1805–1874 – executioner. George Smith was born in Rowley Regis in 1805 and was a prisoner himself at Stafford when he entered the "trade" as an assistant to William Calcraft, his first job was assisting at the double hanging of James Owen and George Thomas outside Stafford Gaol on 11 April 1840. He was able to perform executions himself, principally in the Midlands. Smith's most famous solo execution was that of the Rugeley poisoner, Dr William Palmer for the murder of J
Metropolitan Borough of Dudley
The Metropolitan Borough of Dudley is a metropolitan borough of West Midlands in England. It was created in 1974 following the Local Government Act 1972, through a merger of the existing Dudley County Borough with the municipal boroughs of Stourbridge and Halesowen; the borough borders Sandwell to the east, the city of Birmingham to the south east, Bromsgrove to the south in Worcestershire, South Staffordshire District to the west, the city of Wolverhampton to the north. Being a metropolitan borough Dudley is a unitary authority, with the exceptions of Transport for West Midlands and police services, the local government pension fund, which are jointly run by the seven metropolitan boroughs of the West Midlands county. For Eurostat purposes, Dudley is a NUTS 3 region, is one of seven boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region; the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley was created in 1974 from the existing boroughs of Dudley and Halesowen. This followed an earlier reorganization in 1966, as per the provisions of the Local Government Act 1958, which saw an expansion of the three boroughs from the abolition of the surrounding urban districts of Amblecote, Brierley Hill and Sedgley.
The borough had a two-tier system of local government, with the borough council sharing power with the West Midlands County Council. In 1986 metropolitan county councils were abolished under the Local Government Act 1985, Dudley became a unitary authority. Dudley Council has its main offices in Dudley town centre, along with additional smaller offices throughout the borough; the council is made up of 72 councillors representing 24 wards, as of the 2016 local government elections, has no party with overall control. The political make-up is as follows: The 2018 election left Labour and the Conservatives tied on 35 seats each, but the Tories re-took control of the council when the last remaining UKIP member defected to the Conservatives. In the time since, one Conservative councillor in the Norton ward has defected to the Labour Party, which means control of the council could quite change yet again. On its formation in 1974, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley was controlled by the Labour Party, who lost control to the Conservatives in 1976.
From 1980 to 1982 and again from 1984 to 1986, there was no overall control of the council, with the Conservatives regaining their majority in 1982 before losing it again in 1984. Labour won overall control of the council in 1986 and held it until 1992, when the Conservatives controlled the council with a majority of one, before losing control back to Labour the following September. Came a nine-year run of Labour overall control which ended in 2003, when no party had overall control and the Conservatives led a minority administration. In 2004, the Conservatives gained control of Dudley MBC and held it for eight years before losing control to Labour. In 2016, Labour lost control of the council, formed a minority administration - supported by UKIP, which lasted until 2017 when the Conservatives, again supported by Ukip, took over the leadership of the authority; the 2018 local elections left the Conservatives and Labour tied on 35 seats, but the Conservatives regained control shortly after when the authority's only remaining UKIP councillor defected to the Tories.
The 24 wards of the Dudley Borough are each represented by 3 councillors: At the 2011 Census, the total population of the Dudley Metropolitan Borough was 312,925, an increase of 7,770 from the last census. The population density was 31.9 people per hectare. 90.4% of Dudley's population identified as White, with 88.7% identifying as White British, 0.5% as White Irish, 1.2% as Other White. The second largest ethnic group was British Asian, making up 5.6 % of the population. Black and Black British people comprised 1.7% of the population of the borough. Statistics on religious beliefs show that 65.3% of the population identify as Christian, with the second largest religious group being Muslim, at 4.1%. 22 % identified as having no religion. Unemployment in the borough stood at 5.3% higher than the national average of 4.4%. Of those in the population considered economically active, 38.2% were in full-time employment, 15% were in part-time employment, 7.5% were self-employed, 2.5% were in full-time education.
Of those economically inactive, 16.2% were retired, 4.6% were looking after homes or family, 4.4% were long-term sick or disabled, 4.3% were full-time students without employment. A part of the Black Country, Dudley traditionally has been an industrial centre of manufacturing and mining, although this has declined in more recent years, with a shift in focus towards the service sector and tourism. Despite this, there are still numerous large industrial sites around the borough, such as the Pensnett Trading Estate, with the manufacturing industries making up 15.3% of employment. Tourism is of increasing importance to the local economy, with 6,600 people employed within the sector. Attractions such as the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Zoo bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year; the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Brierley Hill is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK and is the main retail centre of the borough, with an average of 23.5 million visitors a year, houses branches of several large retailers including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next.
Other large employers in the borough i
Brierley Hill Urban District
Brierley Hill Urban District was a former Urban District in Staffordshire, comprising the areas of Brierley Hill, Quarry Bank, Pensnett, now within the modern-day Dudley Metropolitan Borough in the West Midlands county. Brierley Hill became an urban district in 1894 under the Local Government Act, it had been an urban sanitary authority within the parish of Kingswinford. It was expanded in 1934, when it took in the Quarry Bank and Kingswinford districts, it remained an independent urban district until 1966, when it was merged into the Dudley County Borough under the advice of the Local Government Commission for England
Newcastle-under-Lyme, is a market town in Staffordshire, England. It had a population of 128,264 in 2016, up from 123,800 in the 2011 Census; the "Newcastle" part of the name derives from being the location of a new castle in the 12th century. The "Lyme" section could refer to the Lyme Brook or the extensive Forest of Lyme that covered the area with lime trees in the Middle Ages. Newcastle is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, as it grew up around the 12th-century castle, but it must have become a place of importance, because a charter, known only through a reference in another charter to Preston, was given to the town by Henry II in 1173; the new castle was built to supersede an older fortress at Chesterton about 2 miles to the north, the ruins of which were visible up to the end of the 16th century. In 1235 Henry III constituted granting a guild merchant and other privileges. In 1251 he leased it under a fee farm grant to the burgesses. In 1265 Newcastle was granted by the Crown to Simon de Montfort, subsequently to Edmund Crouchback, through whom it passed to Henry IV.
In John Leland's time the castle had disappeared "save one great Toure". Newcastle did not feature much in the English Civil War, except for a Royalist plundering. However, it was the home town of Major General Thomas Harrison, a Cromwellian army officer and leader of the Fifth Monarchy Men; the governing charter in 1835, which created the Newcastle-under-Lyme Municipal Borough, absorbed the previous borough created through the charters of 1590 and 1664, under which the title of the corporation, was the "mayor and burgesses of Newcastle-under-Lyme". Newcastle sent two members to Parliament from 1355 to 1885; when Stoke-on-Trent was formed by the 1910 amalgamation of the "six towns", Newcastle remained separate. Despite its close proximity, it was not directly involved in the pottery industry, it opposed attempts to join the amalgamation in 1930, with a postcard poll showing residents opposing the Stoke-on-Trent Extension Bill by a majority of 97.4%. Although passed by the House of Commons, the Bill was rejected by the House of Lords.
Following the Local Government Act 1972, it became the principal settlement of the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Like neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle's early economy was based around the hatting trade and cotton mills. Coal mining, brick manufacture, iron casting and engineering rose to prominence. Fine red earthenware and soft-paste porcelain tableware was produced in Newcastle at Samuel Bell's factory in Lower Street between 1724 and 1754, when production ceased. With the exception of a failed enterprise between 1790 and 1797, which switched to brewing, there was no further commercial production of pottery within the town of Newcastle. Production of earthenware tiles, continued at several locations within the borough. Manufacture of fine bone china was re-established in the borough in 1963 by Mayfair Pottery at Chesterton; the manufacture in the borough of clay tobacco-smoking pipes started about 1637 and grew until it was second only to hatting as an industry. Nationally, the town ranked with Chester and Hull as the four major pipe producers.
The industry continued until the mid-19th century, when decline set in so that by 1881 there was only one tobacco-pipe maker left. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the town had a flourishing felt hat manufacturing industry, at its peak locally in the 1820s, when a third of the town's population were involved in over 20 factories, but by 1892 there was only one manufacturer still in production. In 1944, the Rolls-Royce Derwent engine for the Gloster Meteor fighter was made in the borough. Newcastle's 20th-century industries include: iron-working, construction materials, computers, electric motors and machinery. Near the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the town received major redevelopment to incorporate a new street into the town centre, providing Newcastle with a new bus station and bringing in more companies. Various business centres in the town provide offices for companies that operate in the service sector. A number of pubs and bars provide Newcastle with a strong night life, with students' night being on Thursdays.
The town has been the birthplace of activists. Fanny Deakin was a campaigner for better nourishment for babies and young children and better maternity care for mothers; the former chairwoman of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Janet Bloomfield is a peace and disarmament campaigner. Vera Brittain writer, feminist was born in the town. There have been two notable Members of Parliament. Josiah Wedgwood IV was a Liberal and Labour Party MP, who served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the cabinet of Ramsay MacDonald, in the first Labour government, he was an MP from 1909 to 1942. John Golding was elected a Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme at a by-election in 1969, he served in the governments of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan, as PPS to Eric Varley as Minister of Technology, a Labour whip in opposition, Minister for Employment, stepping down in 1986. The current MP is Paul Farrelly; the town was once served by the North Staffordshire Railway, its station being on a branch line from Stoke-on-Trent via Newcastle and Keele, to Mar
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they remain in existence but have been renamed cities under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2001; the Local Government Act 1994 re-introduced the term for certain "principal areas" in Wales. Scotland did not have county boroughs but instead counties of cities; these were abolished on 16 May 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time — Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow — were included in this category. There was an additional category of large burgh in the Scottish system, which were responsible for all services apart from police and fire; when county councils were first created in 1889, it was decided that to let them have authority over large towns or cities would be impractical, so any large incorporated place would have the right to be a county borough, thus independent from the administrative county it would otherwise come under.
Some cities and towns were independent counties corporate, most were to become county boroughs. Ten county boroughs were proposed; the Local Government Act 1888 as passed required a population of over 50,000 except in the case of existing counties corporate. This resulted in 61 county boroughs in two in Wales. Several exceptions were allowed for historic towns: Bath and Oxford were all under the 50,000 limit in the 1901 census; some of the smaller counties corporate—Berwick upon Tweed, Lincoln, Poole and Haverfordwest—did not become county boroughs, although Canterbury, with a population under 25,000, did. Various new county boroughs were constituted in the following decades as more boroughs reached the 50,000 minimum and promoted Acts to constitute them county boroughs; the granting of county borough status was the subject of much disagreement between the large municipal boroughs and the county councils. The population limit provided county councils with a disincentive to allow mergers or boundary amendments to districts that would create authorities with large populations, as this would allow them to seek county borough status and remove the tax base from the administrative county.
County boroughs to be constituted in this era were a mixed bag, including some towns that would continue to expand such as Bournemouth and Southend-on-Sea. Other towns such as Burton upon Trent and Dewsbury were not to increase in population much past 50,000. 1913 saw the attempts of Luton and Cambridge to gain county borough status defeated in the House of Commons, despite the approval of the Local Government Board — the removal of Cambridge from Cambridgeshire would have reduced the income of Cambridgeshire County Council by over half. Upon recommendation of a commission chaired by the Earl of Onslow, the population threshold was raised to 75,000 in 1926, by the Local Government Act 1926, which made it much harder to expand boundaries; the threshold was raised to 100,000 by the Local Government Act 1958. The viability of the county borough of Merthyr Tydfil came into question in the 1930s. Due to a decline in the heavy industries of the town, by 1932 more than half the male population was unemployed, resulting in high municipal rates in order to make public assistance payments.
At the same time the population of the borough was lower than when it had been created in 1908. A royal commission was appointed in May 1935 to "investigate whether the existing status of Merthyr Tydfil as a county borough should be continued, if not, what other arrangements should be made"; the commission reported the following November, recommended that Merthyr should revert to the status of a non-county borough, that public assistance should be taken over by central government. In the event county borough status was retained by the town, with the chairman of the Welsh Board of Health appointed as administrative adviser in 1936. After the Second World War the creation of new county boroughs in England and Wales was suspended, pending a local government review. A government white paper published in 1945 stated that "it is expected that there will be a number of Bills for extending or creating county boroughs" and proposed the creation of a boundary commission to bring coordination to local government reform.
The policy in the paper ruled out the creation of new county boroughs in Middlesex "owing to its special problems". The Local Government Boundary Commission was appointed on 26 October 1945, under the chairmanship of Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, delivering its report in 1947; the Commission recommended that towns with a population of 200,000 or more should become one-tier "new counties", with "new county boroughs" having a population of 60,000 - 200,000 being "most-purpose authorities", with the county council of the administrative county providing certain limited services. The report envisaged the creation of 47 two-tiered "new counties", 21 one-tiered "new counties" and 63 "new county boroughs"; the recommendations of the Commission extended to a review of the division of functions between different tiers of local government, thus fell outside its terms of reference, its report was not acted upon. The next attempt at reform was by the Local Government Act 1958, which established the Local Government Commission for England and the Local Government
Tividale is an area of Sandwell, West Midlands. Tividale lies in the north-west corner of the large parish of Rowley Regis; the hamlet grew up on the road between Oldbury and Dudley, on the border with the Burnt Tree district of Tipton. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, as coal mining and stone quarrying increased and canals were built across the area, Tividale became a centre for industries such as iron and brick manufacture, several terraced streets were built. Tividale Hall Park has been known as Derygate Park. Rattlechain Brickworks were opened in about 1895 on a site near Sedgley Road East, in the shadow New Main Line Canal which links Wolverhampton with Birmingham. Quarrying of land next to the brickworks led to a section of the Main Line Canal into the marlhole of the Brickworks, emptying out six miles of canal and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, although nobody was injured. Another marlhole was created in 1948 and despite the subsequent closure and demolition of the brickworks, the marlhole remained in use as a disposal site for local factories, is still known locally as Rattlechain Lagoon.
Since the late 1990s, there has been growing local concern over Rattlechain Lagoon, with numerous dead birds being found at the site. Their death was linked to poisoning from chemicals disposed of in the water, which included white phosphorus. Nearby residents, including those of a 2006 housing development by Barratt Homes, feared that the proximity of their homes to Rattlechain Lagoon could render them unsellable. Tividale began to expand during the 1930s, namely with the Tividale Hall and the Grace Mary housing estates. After the Second World War, further housing developments by the local authority, saw these two housing estates merged. Construction of the Tividale Hall Estate by private builders was halted in about 1940 due to the war effort, but continued during the 1950s when council houses were built. Tividale Tram workshops opened along the main Tividale Road in 1907, operated until 1930; the tramway closed in 1939. After the Second World War, Tividale became the first part of Rowley Regis for which a purpose-built comprehensive school was provided.
Excellent primary schools were built at Oakham and Tividale Hall to supplement the original Tividale Primary School. There were several air raids on Tividale during the Second World War, including a landmine which on 12 August 1941 destroyed a pair of built semi-detached houses on Birch Crescent, killing a six-year-old girl in a house opposite, as well as three people in the two destroyed houses; the houses were rebuilt in the same style, while several surrounding houses suffered damage from the impact of the bombing and were repaired. On 19 November 1940, a landmine was dropped in City Road, ripping into a section of built council houses. Four houses were reduced to rubble and several others suffered severe damage. A total of 10 people died, including all five members of the Roberts family. Samuel and Beatrice Millington, a married couple in their forties died at the scene; the only surviving member of the family was 17-year-old Sidney. Killed were a 17-year-old man and five-year-old boy, both from different families.
According to one source, the bodies of some of the nine people killed outright were never found and one victim's body was blown into a nearby tree. Two residents of one badly damaged house escaped injury despite standing on the doorstep of his house when it was half demolished by the landmine. Several other people survived injuries in this attack; the wrecked houses were rebuilt in the same style. The Luftwaffe are believed to have targeted these areas of Tividale due to their proximity to the "Big Bertha" anti-aircraft gun, located near City Road and had been erected at the beginning of the war in 1939 to tackle the impending threat of enemy bombers. On 21 December 1940, the Boat Inn on Dudley Road East was hit by an anti-aircraft shell from "Big Bertha", resulting the deaths of 12 people who were attending a wedding reception there. A 15-year-old boy, along with his 26-year-old brother a 36-year-old woman, 28-year-old man, a married couple and a 38-year-old man died at the scene. A 16-year-old girl died just after arriving at hospital.
A 30-year-old woman died in hospital from her injuries the next day, a 19-year-old woman died in hospital from her injuries two days as did a 20-year-old woman. A 20-year-old man in a neighbouring house was injured as a result of the explosion and died in hospital the next day; the Boat Inn was rebuilt several years afterwards but demolished in 2004. A total of 27 people died as a result of air raids at Tividale during the Second World War, dozens more were injured; the Netherton Tunnel runs under Tividale. Evidence of the tunnel is shown by the'pepperpots' that can be seen near the site of the former Hangsmans Tree site and in Aston Road, Regent Road and Packwood Road on the Tividale Hall Estate. Several quarries on the edge of the Tividale area were a source of stone known as the'Rowley Rag'. Turner's Hill is the site of the only remaining quarry. In 1966, Tividale became part of the Warley. Since 1974, it has been part of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough in the West Midlands county. On the southern and eastern slope