Made in Oldbury

Exploring unique archive materials in Sandwell in relation to local industrial heritage.

The ‘Made in Oldbury’ project investigated unique archive materials in Sandwell in relation to our local industrial heritage, an integral part in shaping our culture. It engaged with individuals and groups in areas of Oldbury and Langley to explore the personal impact of the industrial legacies within living memory.

This industriousness over generations both forged both the local infrastructure and character of the Black Country and the economy of the nation.

The project was organised by artist group Laundry, working with Sandwell Community and History Archives Service (CHAS) and Oldbury and Langley Local History Societies.

Some useful advice from Albright & Wilson, 1968.
Made in Oldbury Souvenir brochure, 1949.


An interactive experience



Explore Oldbury's historic industry


Explore Oldbury

An interactive map of Oldbury


People's stories

Oral histories

As one entered Oldbury the smell of the tar works on the left was not unpleasant. It was said that a good cure for children with whooping cough was to hold them over the hot pitch and let them inhale the gases.

John D. Williams, Memories of the Black Country, 1981

People don't realise how much that this area contributed to the economy and the social fabric of the country, and Oldbury in particular - the breadth and depth of industry here was a great example of that. Even locally now, people don't know enough about this history.

Percy Eamus, 2017

Oldbury is attractive because it has remained sturdily of its time, the first half of the last century. Its only concession to modernity is the crimson and gilt façade of a nothing-over-sixpence store. It is dominated by the chemical industry and the manufacture of metal tubes; it claims to produce the smallest commercial tube in the world, with an outside diameter of a six-thousandth of an inch and a bore three-and-a-half thousandths of an inch.

Walter Allen, The Black Country,1946

Made in Oldbury