WEST BROMWICH /wɛst ˈbrɒmɪtʃ/ ( listen ) is a town in Sandwell
, West Midlands , England. Historically part of
Staffordshire , it is
located to the northwest of
Birmingham , and had a population of
75,405 at the 2011 census.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Origin and etymology
* 1.2 Development
* 2 Governance
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Climate
* 4 Features
* 5 Religion
* 6 Transport
* 7 Education
* 8 Sport
* 9 Notable people
* 10 Quotes
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 13 Sources
* 14 External links
ORIGIN AND ETYMOLOGY
West Bromwich was first mentioned as _Bromwic_ ('broom village') in
Domesday Book of 1086. It is believed that it may have originally
been part of the Handsworth parish. A
Benedictine priory existed in
West Bromwich from the 12th century around which the settlement of
_Broomwich Heath_ grew. In 1727, the town became a stop on the
coaching road between
London and Shrewsbury and its growth began. The
prefix 'West' serves to distinguish it from the village of Castle
Bromwich , also in the West Midlands but the other side of Birmingham.
In the 19th century, coal deposits were discovered, ensuring that the
town grew rapidly as an industrial centre, with industries such as
spring, gun and nail making developing. Well before the end of the
West Bromwich had established itself as a prominent area
to match older neighbouring towns including
West Bromwich became a county borough , incorporating the
Great Barr . It was expanded in 1966, acquiring most of the
Wednesbury urban district as well as a small
Coseley urban district, before joining with the
neighbouring county borough of Warley (which contained the towns of
Rowley Regis , Oldbury and
Smethwick ) in 1974 to form the
Charlemont Hall, built during the 1750s, stood on the west side of
the present Charlemont Crescent, in the Charlemont and Grove Vale
district of the town. Charlemont Hall was described c. 1800 as 'a
lofty neat-looking house of brick, faced with stone, with iron
palisades etc. in front'. An east wing was added in 1855. The last
occupant was the widow of Thomas Jones, town clerk of Wednesbury
1897–1921. The house was demolished in 1948, and is now covered by a
number of smaller detached homes. Much of the surrounding area was
developed during the 1960s as the Charlemont Farm housing estate,
which is a mix of private and council housing.
West Bromwich suffered heavily in the
Cholera epidemic of 1831 which
spread northwards into the town. A temporary board of health was set
up and a hospital opened in the former Revivalist chapel in Spon Lane.
The natural gradual slope of the land provided drainage within the
soil, however, urbanisation made this increasingly difficult and
drainage along the streets was described as inadequate. The West
Bromwich Town Improvement Commissioners was established in 1854, and
they tackled the drainage problem in the town. They appointed members
to new titles and in the 1880s bought land in Friar Park for a
Reform Act 1832 ,
West Bromwich became part of the new
southern division of
Staffordshire , and under the
Reform Act 1867 it
was transferred to the parliamentary borough of Wednesbury. Under the
Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 , the borough of West Bromwich
became a parliamentary borough returning one member. In 1885, it was
held by the Liberal Party but from 1886 to 1906 it was held by the
Conservative Party before being held by the Liberal Party again until
1910 when the Conservative Party regained the area which they held
until 1918 under the representation of
Viscount Lewisham . In 1918,
it was won by Labour who have held it since, except for between 1931
and 1935 when it held by the National Unionists . Central
By the outbreak of World War I in 1914, many of the older houses that
had been built to house workers during the
Industrial Revolution were
becoming unfit for human habitation Sanitation was inadequate, decay
was rife, and the homes were becoming a danger to the health and
safety of their inhabitants. After the end of the war, the local
council started building new homes to rehouse people from the rundown
town centre. However, there are still many late 19th century and early
20th century buildings around the centre of
West Bromwich today.
Council housing in
West Bromwich was built in 1920 on the
Tantany Estate to the north of the town centre. Within 20 years,
several thousand council houses had been built by
West Bromwich County
Borough Council. The largest developments were mostly in the north of
the town, including the Charlemont Farm Estate around
and the Friar Park Estate near the border with Wednesbury. World
War II fund-raising badge, sold during "War Weapons Week", 15–22
The town suffered significant air raid damage in
World War II
World War II , with
58 civilian deaths, most of them in the raids of 19 November 1940 in
the area around Oak Road and Lombard Street to the west of the town
centre. There were a few other less severe raids in the war on parts
West Bromwich including
Stone Cross and Tantany, with no
fatalities. This occurred on the same night as the
Birmingham Blitz ,
which resulted in thousands of casualties, as well as the less severe
raids on nearby
The first major postwar council housing development was the Harvills
Hawthorn Estate near Hill Top, which was completed in 1948.
Mass immigration from the
Commonwealth took place in West Bromwich
during the 1950s and 1960s, with most of these hailing from the Indian
subcontinent , although a significant number of Afro-Caribbean
immigrants also settled in West Bromwich. The majority of these
immigrants settled in the older parts of the town that were mostly
made up of Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses.
The local road network was also massively improved during the 1960s
West Bromwich is located at the extreme northern end of the
M5 motorway , and has had direct access to it since the early 1960s.
This gave the town an immediate fast road link to faraway places
Gloucester , Bristol and
Exeter . Traffic
West Bromwich on the main route from
Birmingham was diverted along the new dual carriageway, the _Northern
Loop Road_ (also known as _The Expressway_), after its opening in
1972, with another dual carriageway being built to link The Expressway
with neighbouring Oldbury .
West Bromwich County
Borough was expanded in 1966 to include the bulk
Wednesbury , while a small part of the south-eastern
section of the town was absorbed into the new Warley County Borough
which was centered on neighbouring Oldbury ,
Smethwick and Rowley
Regis . The actual town boundaries of
West Bromwich were also altered
at this time, placing the Friar Park estate in Wednesbury, while the
Hateley Heath area of
Wednesbury was now within the borders of West
As with many other parts of the Midlands ,
West Bromwich was hit
badly by the recessions of the mid-1970s and early 1980s, resulting in
mass unemployment across the town, exceeding 20% in some districts.
Queen's Square shopping centre opened in the town centre in 1971,
providing shoppers with a 60-unit indoor shopping centre and an
850-space multi-storey car park . It cost £3million to build. The
smaller King's Square shopping centre also opened in the town in 1971.
On 8 December 2011, 40 years after the opening of Queen's Square,
Sandwell Council announced that Queen's Square would be refurbished at
a cost of £5million. By this stage, the centre was falling into
disrepair and a mere 33 of the 61 available units were occupied. Once
West Bromwich had been hit hard by another recession , with
high unemployment throughout the town, as well as a high vacancy rate
for commercial and industrial units.
Many local towns, particularly Dudley, lost many of their major
stores around the time that the
Merry Hill Shopping Centre which was
Brierley Hill during the second half of the 1980s as
businesses looked to take advantage of the
Enterprise Zone incentives
that the centre offered. West Bromwich's fortunes as a retail centre
were affected by the Merry Hill development. This contributed to the
closure of its
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer store on 25 August 1990, along with
Dudley store, to be replaced by a new store at Merry Hill, with
most of the staff at the new store being transferred from either West
Bromwich or Dudley.
British Home Stores also pulled out of the town
around the same time, and a new store at Merry Hill which opened in
November 1989 and also spelled the end of the
Dudley store. The town
lost another big retail name in 2005 when the
Littlewoods store closed
as part of the retailer's decision to switch wholly to online
shopping; the unit has since been taken over by New Look . Retail
developments around Oldbury, beginning with the
in 1980, have also affected trade in West Bromwich. The recession
beginning in 2008 has pushed the town centre further into decline, a
notable casualty being the Woolworths store which closed on 30
December 2008 as a result of the retailer going into liquidation; the
building was not re-occupied until
Home Bargains took it over in 2012.
Several more factories have closed in more recent years as
manufacturers look to countries where the labour is cheaper, but West
Bromwich remains a relatively busy industrial area despite the decline
of the last 35 years.
West Bromwich's road links were further enhanced in 1995 on the
completion of the
Black Country Spine Road which also by-passes
Wednesbury and the east of
Bilston . The completion of this new road
opened up several square miles of previously inaccessible land, and
has allowed several major businesses to set up along the route. This
has helped relieve some of the unemployment problems in West Bromwich,
although most parts of the town still have the highest unemployment
rates in the West Midlands.
West Bromwich was among the many towns and cities in
by the widespread rioting in August 2011. On 9 August, shops closed
their doors early to combat looting and vandalism; this was followed
by widespread acts of vandalism and violence followed. Police closed
the main roads leading into the town until the following morning.
The town has enjoyed something of an economic revival since 11 July
2013, when the New Square shopping and entertainment complex opened in
the town centre on land adjoining the existing Queen's Square shopping
centre. Hundreds of jobs have been created and the town has attracted
retailers including Next, JD Sports,
Primark and Bank Fashion , as
well as an Odeon cinema , several food and drink outlets, and a Tesco
The archives for
Borough are held at
History and Archives Service .
The coat of arms of West Bromwich.
The town is divided into two constituencies;
West Bromwich East and
West Bromwich West .
West Bromwich East is served by Tom Watson of
Labour who was initially elected in 2001. Tom has been re-elected
twice since, despite having a reduced majority at the 2010 general
election. Preceding him was
Peter Snape , also of Labour, who had been
MP since the 1974 general election.
West Bromwich West is served by
Adrian Bailey of Labour who won a
54.3% share in the 2005 general election. He has been MP for the seat
since the 2000 by-election . Preceding him, the MP for the seat was
Betty Boothroyd , who for eight years served as the first female
Speaker of the British House of Commons .
West Bromwich is the largest town in the
United Kingdom without its
own Royal Mail postcode.
Below is a list of localities:
* Carters Green
* Charlemont Farm
* Grove Vale
* Hill Top
* Yew Tree Estate
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and
there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate
Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb ". (Marine West Coast
Oceanic climate ).
CLIMATE DATA FOR WEST BROMWICH
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
The Farley Clock Tower in memory of
Reuben Farley first Mayor of
The town is famous for its football club,
West Bromwich Albion . The
club was founded in 1878 and in 1888 it became one of the twelve
founder members of the
Football League . It won the league
championship in 1920 and has won the
FA Cup five times, most recently
in 1968 . The club were
Football League Champions in 2008, winning
automatic promotion to the Premier League. Albion were based in and
around the centre of
West Bromwich during their formative years, but
moved further out of the town in 1900 when they switched to their
The Hawthorns .
The Hawthorns is the highest football
ground (above sea level) in the country.
Engineering and chemicals are important to the town's economy, as it
played a crucial part in the
Industrial Revolution during the 19th
century and still retains many manufacturing jobs to this day, despite
a steady nationwide decline in this sector since the 1970s.
Sandwell General Hospital (On the site of the former Hallam Hospital)
is located near the town centre. It is currently part of the Sandwell
Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust , one of the largest NHS
teaching trusts in the United Kingdom.
William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth had his seat at
Legge was unusual as an aristocrat of this period by being a Methodist
and attending the
Methodist meetings, where fellow
Methodists – many of them colliers and drovers – knew him as
West Bromwich Town Hall , situated in the centre of the High Street,
is a Grade II listed building. It was built between 1874 and 1875 in
brick and stone to an Italian Gothic design, and its interior reflects
the Victorian interest in Gothic and Medieval architecture. Its Grand
Organ, built in 1862, is considered to be of historic importance for
its musical and technical qualities.
West Bromwich Manor House , Hall Green Road B71 2EA. Built by the de
Marnham family in the late 13th century as the centre of their
agricultural estate in
West Bromwich only the Great Hall survives of
the original complex of living quarters, agricultural barns, sheds and
ponds. Successive occupants modernised and extended the Manor House
until it was described in 1790 as "a large pile of irregular
half-timbered buildings, black and white, and surrounded with numerous
out-houses and lofty walls." The Manor House was saved from demolition
in the 1950s by
West Bromwich Corporation which carried out an
extensive and sympathetic restoration of this nationally important
The Oak House is an historic building in the
Greets Green area. Its
exact date of origin is uncertain, but in 1634 it was owned by the
John Wesley preached there twice in the late 1700s. Reuben
Farley gave it to the town as a museum, with the formal opening on 25
July 1898. In 1949 it was protected as a Grade II* Listed Building.
The Public, by Will Alsop
In August 2009, The Public arts centre designed by architect Will
Alsop fully opened. By 2013, the venue was attracting nearly 400,000
visitors a year and was bringing leading national and international
artists to the town. Originally beset by problems before opening, in
May 2013, it was revealed that
Sandwell Council were considering
borrowing a substantial amount of money to repurpose the £70 million
building and lease it to
Sandwell College to provide a new sixth form
centre to complement the recently opened Central Campus in the town.
A large portion of the town centre has been procured by
Tesco for the
development of a
Tesco Extra Store and shopping centre called New
West Bromwich which has been built on top of the old hospital.
Since the early 2000s the tenants of homes and businesses have slowly
moved out of the site to make way for the development. Cronehills
Primary School (staff and pupils) relocated to the newly built Eaton
Valley Primary School, which opened in September 2009. The police
station relocated to a brand new building the other site of the ring
road. Major works started on the site during October 2011 and the
development should be complete by late Spring 2013.
West Bromwich is a culturally diverse area with many places of
worship for several different religions.
The Church of
England provides the most places of worship across the
West Bromwich Deanery (taking in West Bromwich,
Hill Top, Stone Cross, Carter's Green, Holy Trinity, All Saint's, St
Andrew's, St Francis, Friar Park and others) which contains nine
Anglican churches. Other Christian denominations are present,
including Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist ,
Methodist , Baptist
Assemblies of God and other independent churches
including Jehovah\'s Witnesses . The deanery of
West Bromwich is under
Diocese of Lichfield .
West Bromwich has three main mosques, two on Dartmouth Street. The
Main mosque of
West Bromwich is the Jami Masjid and Islamic Centre
based at 67 Dartmouth Street which currently is being reconstructed to
accommodate hundreds of people. All different colours and ethnicities
attend the peaceful prayers. Also there is the Jami Masjid and Islamic
Centre which accommodates up to 400 worshippers during busy periods
like Friday Prayers and Eid Prayers . Jami Masjid and Islamic Centre
was the first mosque in the area, of Bangladeshi origin: it holds many
programs and events. It will be shortly moved to a larger location.
There is also another mosque, Madinatul Uloom Al-Islamiyah. It is
situated at 1a-1b Moor street. The transformation begin in 2001 and it
now has Islamic evening classes and a big prayer facility. This mosque
is also managed by
Sunni Bangladeshi, attracting citizens from all
backgrounds. The building is also used for National Curriculum
English, Maths and science tuition by members of the wider community,
including people of other faiths. The tuition centre is run by local
teachers and is called Cohort Tuition.
There is also a very large number of Sikhs in the area. There are
many Gurudwaras . Sikhs have settled in the area since 1950, when the
first influx of immigrants came. The oldest Gurdwara in West Bromwich
is the Gurdwara Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji on High Street. Other Gurdwara's
include Guru Nanak Gurdwara on Edward Street and Gurdwara Sachkhand
Ishar Darbar on Vicarage Road.
Hindus have had a formal place of worship in
West Bromwich since the
opening of the Shree Krishna Mandir in 1974, in a converted church
once called Ebenezer
Congregational Chapel, which had closed in 1971.
It was damaged by fire on 8 December 1992, the same date that a Mandir
Birmingham and another in
Coventry were damaged in arson attacks.
It was believed to have been connected to religious violence in India
that was spreading into communities in Britain.
In 1875, being locked out of a packed Evangelist meeting in
Birmingham caused John Blackham of Ebenezer
Congregational Church to
start the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Movement.
For roads, the
M5 motorway between the West Midlands and the West
Country and its junction with the
M6 motorway passes through the town,
West Bromwich at the hub of Britain's motorway network.
Improvements are underway at A41 junction by
West Bromwich town centre
after a £25 million project grant was awarded to the area to cut
congestion for commuters. The junction, which is where The Expressway
meets All saints way, currently carries over 60,000 vehicles a day,
and is close to Junction 1 of the M5 The project involves the creation
of a dual carriageway underpass, beneath an improved roundabout. This
work began in June 2010 and should hopefully be completed in Autumn
West Bromwich has its own bus station in the town centre, with
Birmingham and other major towns in the West Midlands
West Bromwich railway station was opened by the Great Western Railway
on its route between
Birmingham Snow Hill and
Wolverhampton Low Level
on 14 November 1854. The trackbed of that line is now served by the
Midland Metro light rail (tram) system giving
West Bromwich 7 tram
The Hawthorns tram stop ,
Kenrick Park tram stop , Trinity Way
tram stop ,
West Bromwich Central tram stop , Lodge Road West Bromwich
Town Hall tram stop ,
Dartmouth Street tram stop and
Guns Village tram stop . The nearest main-line railway station is now
Dudley railway station , approximately 1 mile (2 km) away
in Oldbury town centre. Though services to
Stourbridge Junction ,
Worcester Shrub Hill ,
Worcester Foregate Street , and
Birmingham Moor Street call at
The Hawthorns railway station .
The nearest airport which is approximately 16 miles (26 km) away, is
Birmingham International Airport , which can be reached by tram to
Birmingham New Street and train to
Birmingham International .
Carters Green, High Street and the beginning of
formed the original main route through
West Bromwich as part of Thomas
Holyhead route in the early 19th century. This
later formed part of the
A41 road which links
taking in the midlands,
Shropshire , Warwickshire,
Hertfordshire on the way. However, the route
West Bromwich was by-passed in 1973 on the completion
of the Expressway, a two-mile (3 km) dual carriageway beginning at
Carters Green and finishing at Junction 1 of the recently completed M5
Birmingham Road. The original
A41 road through the centre
West Bromwich was downgraded to an unclassified route.
Around this time,
West Bromwich Ringway was opened, circulating the
main shopping areas.
Further revolution came to the local road network in 1995 with the
completion of the
Black Country Spine Road which stretches from
Carters Green to
Wednesbury , forming another new section
of the A41.
West Bromwich has a large bus station managed by Transport for West
Midlands (previously Centro ) and served by a large number of routes,
both locally to places such as Oldbury ,
Stone Cross as
well as regional bus routes to places such as
Walsall . Stands are lettered a through to z. The
main bus operators serving the bus station are NXWM and
Diamond Bus .
The largest educational provider in the town is the Central Campus of
Sandwell College. This is housed in a £77 million building opened in
February 2012. The college is capable of enrolling over 5,000 students
each year across many curriculum areas. Central Sixth delivers the
college's A-Level programme covering some thirty different subject
areas. Facilities in the Central Campus include a Boeing 737 fuselage
used for training aircabin crew and a dental surgery used to train
dental nurses. Central Campus also offers a wide variety of
apprenticeships and a small number of Higher Education programmes.
The town is served by five secondary schools:
George Salter Academy ,
Health Futures UTC , the Phoenix Collegiate ,
Q3 Academy and Sandwell
The town has 21 primary schools in total. Some of which are Lodge
Primary School, St. John Bosco RC Primary School,Ryders Green Primary
School, All Saints' CofE Primary School, St Mary Magdalene, Hateley
Heath and Eaton Valley.
Sandwell Academy serves the whole of
West Bromwich (along with the
rest of Sandwell), Phoenix Collegiate Academy serves the area around
Hateley Heath ,
Charlemont and Grove Vale and Stone Cross,
West Midlands .
George Salter Academy serves the west of the town near
the border with
Q3 Academy serves the north-eastern part of
the town around
Great Barr .
The area was also served by Churchfields High School, approximately 1
mile (2 km) to the north of the town centre. Due to constant closure
rumours, less and less pupils began enrolling to attend the school and
it was closed in July 2001. The site has since been redeveloped for
The town's sport scene is dominated by
West Bromwich Albion F.C. ,
who were founded in the town in 1878 and played at a stadium near the
town centre until they moved to their current home,
The Hawthorns on
Birmingham Road (on the borders of
Smethwick and Handsworth ) in 1900.
Although they are now in their 115th year at the stadium, all traces
of the original structures are long gone; the oldest stand is the
Halfords Lane Stand that was built in 1979 and the other three stands
were built between 1991 and 2001. During the summer of 2008 the
Halfords Lane Stand was refurbished and is now called the West Stand.
Fans spill onto the Hawthorns pitch following West Bromwich
Albion's escape from relegation in 2005.
Albion were among the 12 founder members of the
Football League in
1888, along with their two fiercest local rivals – Aston Villa and
Wolverhampton Wanderers .
The club has won seven major trophies; five FA Cups , one Football
League title and one
Football League Cup . Their most recent major
trophy came in 1968 when they won the
FA Cup with a 1–0 win over
Everton at Wembley Stadium . They enjoyed further success in the late
1970s and early 1980s, when they finished in the top five league
positions three times in four seasons as well as reaching a UEFA Cup
quarter-final. They currently play in the
Premier League , the top
tier of English football.
Notable former players of
West Bromwich Albion include Ronnie Allen
(who later had 2 spells as the club's manager),
Bryan Robson (who was
also later the club's manager),
Laurie Cunningham (the first black
player to play for the full
England national football team , but who
died in a car crash in 1989 aged only 33), Tony Brown (the club's
all-time leading goalscorer) and
Jeff Astle (who scored the club's
winning goal in the 1968
FA Cup Final and remained a cult figure among
The local cricket team is
West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club and is
based in the town, very near to
West Bromwich Albion's ground, the
Robert Plant – singer with
Led Zeppelin , born in West Bromwich
Francis Asbury –
Anne Aston – Born Anne Lloyd, TV presenter and actress, lived in
Old Meeting Street
Al Atkins - Founder member of
Judas Priest , and still lives in
* Arjan Bahia - Internet personality and professional Overwatch
* John Bainbridge – Author and countryside access campaigner, born
in West Bromwich, raised in Great Barr.
Jana Bellin – chess grandmaster
Alan Birch – footballer
* Paul Birch – footballer
Gary Bull – footballer
* John Byrne – comic book artist (Moved to Canada when 8)
Madeleine Carroll – actor
* Mike Collins – Comic book artist, attended Churchfields High
Stewart Donaldson – Author, psychologist, evaluation
K.K. Downing –
Judas Priest guitarist
Reuben Farley – First Mayor of West Bromwich
Ian Hill –
Judas Priest bassist
Cindy Kent – former singer with The Settlers and currently a
Denise Lewis – heptathlete
Steve Lynex – footballer
Phil Lynott –
Thin Lizzy singer and bassist, born in Hallam
Matthew Marsden – actor
Major Nichols – lightweight
Racing bicycle manufacturer
* Phil Parkes – footballer
* Fred Perry - From Tipton, Awarded an MBE for his services to the
community in surrounding area.
Karl Shuker – zoologist , cryptozoologist and author
Frank Skinner – comedian
Peter Griffiths - Member of Parliament, born in West Bromwich
Brian Walden – Member of Parliament, journalist and broadcaster
Steve Webb – Member of Parliament, and Liberal Democrat
Lee Woodley – boxer
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Charlemont and Grove Vale
West Bromwich Mountaineering Club
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