J. W. Naylor

Some information on J.W. Naylor of Albert Street, Oldbury

Peter Lee

Peter Lee arrives in Oldbury from Australia in 1960 to work at Accles & Pollock.

G.W. Knight & Sons

Malcom Knight remembers a family firm.

Ian Short

Memories of working at Rood End Foundry on Tat Bank Road in 1968.

Rood End Foundry

Rood End Foundry in 1968, remembered by Ian Short.

Peter Simpson

Peter Simpson recalls growing up in the area, before he left for a life on the high seas.


For the local historian or researcher, looking through business commercial directories is one route to build up a picture of trade activity in an area.

Malthouse Engineering

Malthouse Engineering began trading in 1947, with premises in Orchard Street.

Roy Taylor

Roy Taylor became the Managing Director of Malthouse Engineering in 1983.

Metsec 2017

A selection of contemporary photographs of the factory site at Metsec in 2017.

Thomas William King

Thomas William King was a toll collector for Birmingham Canal Navigations and keen photographer of the canals he worked on.

Roy & Jacqueline Forge

Roy and Jacqueline Forge met working at Myers in Langley Green.

Percy Eamus

Percy Eamus, who became a Pyrometry Technician at Accles and Pollock, recalls growing up in the industrial heart of the Black Country.

Martin Prestidge

Martin Prestidge has lived in Oldbury since he was three years old. He recalls growing up and going to work in the area.

Bill Parkes

Bill Parkes worked at Chambers and Marsh, a timber yard in the centre of Oldbury.

Angela Weston

Angela Weston recalls growing up in Langley, near to Albright and Wilson.

Terry Daniels

Dr Terry Daniels has spent all his working life in Oldbury. He is Chair of Langley Local History Society and Oldbury Local History Group.

Mark Stanford

Mark Stanford works at the Household Recycling Centre at Shidas Lane.

Chance and Hunt

The alkali works of Chance and Hunt were founded originally to make salt cake.

George Piggott

George Piggott worked at Accles & Pollock for the whole of his working life. This written material records his first day at work there in 1928.

Bryan Harris

Bryan Harris worked for Accles & Pollock in the Maintenance Department.

Arthur Guest

Arthur Guest retired in 1981 after a long career at Accles and Pollock.

Roy Jones

Roy Jones worked as pattern maker for 25 years in Oldbury.

John Hutchcocks

John Hutchcocks started work at Accles & Pollocks as an apprentice engineer and draughtsman. He eventually became a Development Engineer overseeing tube production in the sports department.

Kelvin Atkins

Kelvin Atkins worked at Holden and Hayes in Bridge Street, Oldbury.

Ruth Collins

Ruth Collins was brought up in the Toll Keeper’s House at Brades Locks, Oldbury.

M.C.L. and Repetition Limited

M.C.L. and Repetition Limited produced a range of bolts, screws, screw machine products, rivets, nuts, eye bolts, washers.

Joan Beach

Joan Beach worked at Edwin Danks and recalls her father’s time at Tube Products.

John Beach

John Beach was born near Whimsey Bridge in Oldbury. He worked for Edwin Danks.

Jackie Adams

Jackie used to live in Brades Village. Her mother worked at Parkes sweet factory, as did two or three aunts.

Dorothea Jelley

Dorothea Jelley recalls her time at Armstrong Cycles Ltd.

Dennis Lawley

Dennis Lawley first worked as an apprentice roll turner at Johnsons’ Rolls in West Bromwich. He worked at GKN, then Lucas’s, before coming to work at Metal Sections.

Pat Sealey

Pat Sealey went to work at Albright & Wilson in 1955.

Derek Palgrave

Derek Palgrave worked as a chemist at Albright & Wilson.

Langley Baths

Langley Baths opened in 1937. It was here in 1949 that the original ‘Made in Oldbury Exhibition of local Industrial Effort’ was held.

Midlands Tar Distillers

By the late 1930s, Midland Tar Distillers’ Organisation had their head office at Oldbury. The tar distillation works closed down in 1972.

Portway Road Brick Works

Sadler & Sons established a brickworks in 1847, proclaiming they were the ‘manufacturer of every description of Staffordshire brindled, red, blue and brown bricks and tiles.’

Edwin Danks

In 1868 Edwin Danks established a company making canal boats and boilers.

Langley Maltings

Langley Maltings (also known as Showell’s Maltings) finally closed in 2006. The buildings alongside Titford Canal date from 1870.

Practical Equipment Ltd 

Practical Equipment Ltd (PEL) was formed in 1932, to make steel furniture.

Cuxson & Gerrard

Cuxson and Gerrard was founded in 1878 as a manufacturer of surgical dressings. Pioneers in industrial first aid, the company is still a leader in the field today.

Hunt Brothers

Aerial view of Griffin Foundry, 1960. The factory had then been in operation over 100 years as Hunt Brothers, producing metal castings of any shape and size.

Accles & Pollock

Early 1970s view of the Paddock works. Accles & Pollock celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1949 as the largest manufacturer of cold drawn seamless precision tubes in the world.


Engineers and iron founders, Brookes made tube-making machinery, multiple punching and angle bending machines, lathes, power presses, drawbenches and nail machinery.


Metsec provide specialist cold roll-forming metal fabrications for the construction and manufacturing industries.

Brades Works

William Hunt and Sons, founded in 1782, was the oldest firm of edge tool makers in the area.

Albright & Wilson

Chlorine train approaching Albright and Wilson chemical works in 1990.

Langley Park

Langley Park was established in 1886 by local industrialist Arthur Albright. The park lodge (pictured in this Christmas card by Langley Local History Society) was the home of the park keeper.

Barnford Hill Park

Barnford Hill Park, 29 acres given to the district council by W. A. Albright in 1915.

Ham, Baker & Co Ltd

Penstock erecting shop, 1930, Ham, Baker & Co Ltd.

The Blue Billies

The Blue Billies were landmarks for decades; large mounds of mining and chemical waste blue-grey in colour from contamination, with two pools of noxious liquids.

Birchley Island, M5 Junction 2

Birchley Island sits next to junction two of the M5 motorway, with over 92,000 motorists passing each day.

British Industrial Plastics

British Industrial Plastics is the oldest polymer material manufacturer in the UK, still in operation today.

Whimsey Bridge

Whimsey Bridge, a name given when the canals were first cut, late in the 18th century, was once a hive of activity with canal barges delivering raw materials from the factories and brickyards.

Titford Pools

Rainfall from the Rowley Hills fed water into the pool, which then was culverted to feed Rotten Park Reservoir. A haven for wildlife, the pools are partly covered by an elevated section of the motorway.

Titford Canal

First constructed in 1837, the canal once served the collieries on the Rowley Hills, and Pratt’s Brickyard, as well as the factories and maltings in Langley.

Jack Judge House

Jack Judge House opened in 2011, housing a new library for the town.


In 1980, retail giant Sainsbury opened one of its first SavaCentre hypermarkets in the town centre. Originally with 65,000 square feet of shop floor, today its boasts 75,000 square feet.

London Works

First established as the Ebenezer Works in the mid-19th century, the London Works was producing 2000 tons of steel a week in 1949, a value of two million pounds a year.

Beetle Products

Beetle Products was set up in 1925 to mould resins made by British Cyanides Co Ltd, its sister company.

Tube Products

Founded in 1929 Tube Products made ‘component parts of motor cars, cycles, perambulators, steel furniture and electrical equipment.’ (Aerial view of the factory, 1935, © Historic England)

John Elwell

John Elwell of Rood End produced agricultural buildings, pillars, fencing, netting, gates and animal troughs, hurdles and shelters.

Made in Oldbury