County Borough of Dudley

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Dudley
Population
 - 1911 51,079
 - 1931 59,583
 - 1961 62,965
History
 - Origin Ancient borough
 - Created 1865
 - Abolished 1974
 - Succeeded by Metropolitan Borough of Dudley
Status Municipal borough (1865-1889)
County borough (1889-1974)
 - HQ Dudley
 - Motto Sapiens qui prospicit  (Latin)
"He is wise that looks ahead"[1]
Arms of Dudley County Council
Arms of Dudley County Council

The County Borough of Dudley was a local government district in the English Midlands from 1865 to 1974.[2] Originally a municipal borough, it became a county borough in 1889, centred on the main town centre of Dudley, along with the suburbs of Netherton and Woodside. Although surrounded by Staffordshire, the borough was associated with Worcestershire for non-administrative purposes, forming an exclave of the county until 1966, when it was transferred to Staffordshire after an expansion of the borough boundaries. Following local government reorganization in 1974, Dudley took in the boroughs of Halesowen and Stourbridge to form the present-day Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the newly formed West Midlands county.

History[edit]

Originally an ancient borough,[3] Dudley had been a municipal borough since 1865. However, in 1889 it was granted county borough status under the Local Government Act 1888.[4]

Due to the slum conditions of many houses across the borough, by 1915 the borough council had decided to start building new houses to let to tenants to ease the local housing problem. This began with the purchase of land at Kates Hill known as the Brewery Fields Estate in 1915, where the borough's first council houses were completed by 1918, centred on streets including Corporation Road, Bunns Lane and Highfield Road, where more than 300 houses were built. However, the war effort meant that there were no more council housing developments in Dudley until after the end of the war in November 1918.

By the end of the 1920s, more than 1,000 "Homes for Heroes" had been built by the borough council. These included further developments at Kates Hill as well as Netherton, Woodside and Bowling Green. However, thousands of families in the borough still lived in unfit housing, and in 1926 the boundary of Dudley and the neighbouring Sedgley district had been altered to include the land which would form the Priory Estate, where the first families were housed in 1930. By the outbreak of World War II, the borough council had built more than 3,000 homes in the space of 20 years, and 1,269 of these were on the Priory Estate. The nearby Wren's Nest Estate was also built around the same time. Other 1930s developments around Dudley included the Rosland Estate at Kates Hill and the Grace Mary Estate at Oakham.

After the end of World War II in 1945, mass council house building in Dudley continued for another quarter of a century. The largest developments of this era were the Sledmere Estate near Oakham in the mid-1950s and the Russells Hall Estate near Himley Road from the late 1950s to mid-1960s. The council also built eleven blocks of multi-storey flats in the borough between 1963 and 1969; three at Eve Hill, two at Grange Park, two at Queen's Cross and four at Netherton.

In 1966, under recommendations of the Local Government Commission for England,[5] the county borough was expanded to include the vast majority of the area which had formed the Brierley Hill Urban District, as well as the bulk of Sedgley and the southern section of Coseley, and a small section of Tipton. This area also included the buildings on Sedgley Road West previously occupied by Tipton borough council.

The plans for an expansion of the Dudley borough had at one stage included the incorporation of Rowley Regis into Dudley, but this area was instead incorporated into the new County Borough of Warley.[6]

As all of these areas were within Staffordshire, Dudley was transferred from Worcestershire to the county of Staffordshire.[7][8]

Areas transferred[edit]

Existing local authority Area (acres) Notes
Amblecote UD, Staffordshire 111 Urban District was abolished; remainder of district was merged into Stourbridge MB (158 acres)[9]
Brierley Hill UD, Staffordshire 2,317 Urban District was abolished; remainder of district was divided between Seisdon RD (45 acres), Stourbridge MB (5 acres), and Warley CB (1 acre)[10]
Coseley UD, Staffordshire 585 Urban District was abolished, with approximately half of the district merged into Dudley; remainder was divided between Walsall MB (2 acres), West Bromwich CB (152 acres), and Wolverhampton CB (542 acres)[11]
Rowley Regis MB, Staffordshire 6 Borough was abolished to form part of Warley CB (1483 acres), with the remainder divided between Halesowen MB (2 acres), and West Bromwich CB (44 acres)[12]
Sedgley UD, Staffordshire 987 Urban District was abolished; remainder of district was divided between Seisdon RD (399 acres), and Wolverhampton CB (161 acres)[13]
Seisdon RD, Staffordshire 6 Parts of Himley transferred (6 acres)[14]
Stourbridge MB, Worcestershire 1
Tipton MB, Staffordshire 42 Borough was abolished, with the majority merged into West Bromwich CB (834 acres). Remainder formed part of Warley CB (1 acre)[15]
Source: A vision of Britain through Time[2]

Additionally, the section of Oakham and Tividale which was within Dudley was at this time transferred to the newly created County Borough of Warley, which in turn remained in Worcestershire.[16]

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the county borough was abolished, and along with the former Halesowen and Stourbridge municipal boroughs, was formed into the present Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, which became a part of the metropolitan county of the West Midlands.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ cbc "Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Worcestershire". Civic Heraldry. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Great Britain Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Dudley MB/CB. Retrieved on 23 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Dudley Borough through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  4. ^ HM Government Legislation Local Government Act 1888 - Retrieved 6 April 2015
  5. ^ Local Government Act 1958 c.55
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ M. of H. Provisional Orders Confirmation (Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire) Act, 1931
  8. ^ A Vision of Britain through time Dudley CB/MB - Retrieved 06 April 2015
  9. ^ "Amblecote UD through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Brierley Hill UD through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Coseley UD through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Rowley Regis UD/MB through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Sedgley UD through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Seisdon RD through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Tipton MB/UD through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Warley County Borough". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  17. ^ H.M. Government Local Government Act 1972 - Retrieved 6 April 2015
  • Black Country Bugle - 2 June 2005

Coordinates: 52°30′32″N 2°05′13″W / 52.509°N 2.087°W / 52.509; -2.087