Round Oak

1983 poem by A. Billingham on the closure of Round Oak #NationalPoetryDay

This poem, by A. Billingham, published in the Black Country Bugle in January 1983, is really moving. The late seventies and early eighties were terrible times for local industry. Factories that had been providing employment for over 100 years disappeared, seemingly overnight. With them went the sports and clubs which provided social networks for local communities. The town has never recovered.

Memories of Round Oak – fantastic video

This is a fantastic video of Round Oak steelworks, taken in 1984, not long before it was demolished to make way for the Waterfront Business Park.
The video is embedded from The Only Way Is Dudley Facebook site, and may take a second or two to load. It is worth the wait.
The video appears to be taken from a vehicle travelling along Dudley Road and then turning into Level Street.
It has already had over 50,000 views on The Only Way Is Dudley Facebook page and there’s lots of comments reminiscing about the works underneath.

Lost Cricket and Football Clubs and Grounds in the south of the Black Country – Terry Church Book Launch

Terry Church’s new book recalls over 100 clubs now lost to the area, including many in Brierley Hill. Stuart Crystal, Brierley Hill Alliance, Round Oak, Richard Thomas and Baldwin’s, and Marsh and Baxter. Those last three sports ground belonged to massive industries which at one time employed over five thousand people. The book reminds us that the collapse of industry locally had implications reaching beyond the work place and into the social fabric of our community.