Lost ur­ban dis­trict mapped out

Black Country Bugle - - NEWS - By DAN SHAW

BRI­ER­LEY Hill Ur­ban Dis­trict Coun­cil ceased to ex­ist on April 1, 1966, wiped out by the stroke of a bu­reau­crat’s pen.

The dis­trict was ab­sorbed into neigh­bour­ing Dud­ley Bor­ough Coun­cil but there are many who still lament those changes of more than half a cen­tury ago and the loss of lo­cal iden­tity.

Thanks to Bu­gle reader David Cook­son, of Am­ble­cote, Stour­bridge, we have a re­minder of the old days with this 1960s map that shows the for­mer au­thor­ity’s bound­aries.

David’s fa­ther Nor­man Cook­son was a coun­cil of­fi­cial all his work­ing life, join­ing Stour­bridge Coun­cil in 1931. After ser­vice in In­dia in the Sec­ond World War, Nor­man re­turned to Stour­bridge but later went to work for Bri­er­ley Hill UDC and re­mained when it was ab­sorbed into Dud­ley.

Bri­er­ley Hill Ur­ban Dis­trict Coun­cil was cre­ated in 1894 but it was orig­i­nally much smaller than the ex­tent shown on this map. Its fi­nal bor­ders were es­tab­lished in 1934, when Bri­er­ley ab­sorbed its neigh­bours, Quarry Bank Ur­ban Dis­trict and Kingswin­ford Ru­ral Dis­trict.

Bound­aries

The bound­aries then stretched from the River Stour in the south to Daffy­d­in­gle Pool, near Him­ley, in the north; Cop­pice Lane in the east, to Swin­don Road in the west.

Com­par­ing this map with the street plan of to­day it be­comes ap­par­ent how much de­vel­op­ment there has been in the area over the last 50 years. In the 1960s, the open spa­ces north and south of Brom­ley Lane stand out, as do the un­de­vel­oped ar­eas of Wall Heath, Mount Pleas­ant and Lawnswood.

An­other in­ter­est­ing fea­ture of the map is the ex­tent of the Earl of Dud­ley’s Min­eral Rail­way. The first line was laid in 1829 and it grew into a com­pre­hen­sive net­work link­ing the earl’s busi­ness in­ter­ests of coal mines, iron­works and the canals in the area. The sys­tem was grad­u­ally wound up in the 1950s and ’60s, as the mines closed. The last sur­viv­ing sec­tion of line served the Round Oak steel­works un­til they closed down.

•What are your mem­o­ries of the old Bri­er­ley Hill Ur­ban Dis­trict Coun­cil? Have you any me­men­toes? Please con­tact us at the Black Coun­try Bu­gle, Dud­ley Ar­chives Cen­tre, Tip­ton Road, Dud­ley, DY1 4SQ, call 01384 889000 or email [email protected] coun­try­bu­gle.co.uk

Map of Bri­er­ley Hill Ur­ban Dis­trict Coun­cil

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