Recent Times

Coseley Council’s housing scheme continued after the Second World War, much as it did previously. By the mid 1960s there were over 5,000 council houses in the area. Recreational facilities for the residents were also considered in the form of public parks and open spaces. Silver Jubilee Park was greatly improved with the addition of embankment gardens, tennis courts, a bowling green, a bandstand and playing areas. Another recreational facility is Clayton Park, between Gough Road and Old Meeting Road. The park, which is named after Richard Clayton, the Council’s first Chairman, opened in 1935 and has been fitted out with swings and other equipment, and also Coseley Youth Centre pavilion.

The council owns part of Beacon Hill, an ideal place for a walk, with fine views across the West Midlands and Shropshire, and also the wooded area of Mons Hill, at Woodsetton, which is a nature reserve. The council also acquired the nearby Parkes Hall Pool, which is used by anglers.


A corner of Silver Jubilee Park.


Looking across Silver Jubilee Park towards Birmingham New Road.

At Laybourne Park in Union Street, which opened in 1939, there are football pitches and exercise machines. There is a play area at King George V Playing Field, Hurst Hill and a play area at Hilton Hall Community Centre, in Hilton Road, Lanesfield, and at Coseley Cricket Club in Church Road. The cricket club opened on the site in 1870 and has 3 teams playing in the Staffs Club Championship and two teams playing in the Worcester Borders Sunday League. A Youth section has also been introduced. Coseley also has a volleyball club that has been based at Coseley Leisure Centre.

Coseley once had a fine swimming pool in Pear Tree Lane, which opened on the 30th November 1963. It was extremely popular with locals and people from the surrounding area. The pool was 110 feet long by 42 feet wide, and was 3 feet 3 inches deep at the shallow end and 14 feet 3 inches deep at the deep end. It held 220,000 gallons of water, weighing about 982 tons. The pool was supported on a suspended reinforced concrete slab, which was in turn supported on reinforced concrete beams and columns. This was necessary because of the poor load bearing qualities of the ground which had once been heavily mined.


Coseley's swimming baths.

The pool had been constructed to Amateur Swimming Association requirements and the reinforced concrete diving stages, which were an integral part of the building, had a five metre firm board and a one metre and three metre spring boards. There was a spectator balcony with 213 permanent seats and additional seating to bring the seating capacity to 350.

There were normal changing rooms and cloakroom facilities, a sun terrace at pool level, a car park for 100 cars and a cafe supplying beverages, snacks and light meals. A "Supachute" slide was added in the late 1980s. The baths were a popular venue for swimming galas and County and National events. They were the headquarters of the Coseley Town Swimming Club. The building began to deteriorate in the 1980s and 1990s. It was seen as too expensive to repair, and so the baths closed in August 2009. The building was demolished in March, 2010.


The swimming pool.

Gardeners are well catered for. There are Coseley Allotments in Clifton Street, Hurst Hill, and Bayer Street Allotments, between the railway and the canal, off Bayer Street.

Education

School children have been well-catered for in Coseley, from the 19th century, to the present day. I have included the following list of some of the many schools that are, or were in the area.

Mount Pleasant Senior School was a secondary school built in 1913. It merged into the new Coseley School in 1969 and remained as the school's annex until July 1972. From March 1992 until 2013, the school housed the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley's records office and archive service. When the new archives building opened in Tipton Road, Dudley, the school closed and was converted into apartments.

Manor Secondary School, opened in 1933, on Ettingshall Road, at Woodcross. The school was a great success, but in the second half of the 1940s, the many housing schemes led to a greatly increased local population. A larger replacement school was built in Lawnswood Avenue. The school, Parkfield Secondary Modern School, opened in April 1962, although Manor Secondary School remained open until July 1969. The old buildings then housed the new Manor Primary School.


Broad Lanes School's boys football team in 1922. They were proudly displaying their trophies from the 1921-1922 season including the league cup, the Chisworth challenge cup and their medals. The school was known as 'the tin school' because many of the buildings were constructed with corrugated iron. From an old postcard.

Parkfields School came under control of Wolverhampton council as a result of boundary changes in April 1966, and became the South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy in September 2009. Three years later the school moved to a new site at Bilston. The old school then became the Orchard Centre, a special school for children from 11 years of age.


Parkfields Secondary School in the mid 1960s.

The Coseley School opened off Ivyhouse Lane in 1969. Due to a decline in pupil numbers, it closed in 2016. One of the oldest schools in the area is Christchurch Primary School, which was built in the 19th century.

Hurst Hill Primary School opened in November 1986 in Paul Street. It was formed as a result of the merger of St. Mary's Primary School and Mount Pleasant Primary School. The school was officially opened on the 2nd March, 1987 by Neil Kinnock. Wallbrook Primary School, Bradley's Lane, opened in 1954 and caters for around 275 pupils.

Highfields Primary School opened at the end of Bell Street, in September 1972, as a one-form entry primary school to serve the north-eastern part of Coseley. In July 2006 the school closed because of falling pupil numbers. In March 2008 the buildings were taken over by Rosewood Primary School, for boys with special needs.

Hurst Hill County Primary school, in Hollywell Street, catered for juniors and infants in separate classrooms. In 1964 it relocated to the Manor School and the buildings were taken over by St. Mary's C. of E. Primary School.

St. Mary's Primary School, on the corner of Hurst Road and Clifton Street, was a 19th century C. of E. school built to serve the Hurst Hill area. There was also a junior school next to St. Mary's Church, in Gorge Road. The school moved to Hurst Hill County Primary school in the early 1980s and moved again in November 1986 to Hurst Hill Primary School. St. Chad's Mixed Infant School, Portland Place, was another C. of E. school, which was close to St. Chad's Church.


Council flats in Chaucer Close, Wallbrook, in the mid 1960s.

In 1960 a new "lawn" cemetery was provided by Coseley Council at Beacon Hill.

In 1966 an important event happened, as a result of the Local Government Reform Act. Coseley lost its status as an urban district, and was divided between Dudley, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

The south of part of Coseley became part of the Dudley County Borough, and since 1974, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. The north part of Coseley, consisting of the Brierley area, Lanesfield, Woodcross and most of Ettingshall were merged into the Wolverhampton and a smaller area bordering Tipton (part of Princes End) was transferred into the expanded borough of West Bromwich, in turn becoming part of Sandwell in 1974.


New houses on the approaches to Mons Hill.

Over the years, many people have looked forward to Coseley Carnival, held annually in June. Events include a procession through many of the streets to end at Silver Jubilee Park, where many displays and competitions are usually held, along with a fun fair and the crowning of the carnival queen.


The 1975 programme.


From the 1975 programme.

Coseley’s main shopping street, Castle Street, has been rebuilt since the 1960s, only a few of the older buildings still remain. Green Street was widened to become part of a bypass for Castle Street which opened on the 23rd August, 1989. In 2011 the population was 12,357.

Coseley is now primarily a residential area, but has still retained some important industries. It is now a desirable place in which to live, thanks to the many attractive housing estates and the many amenities.


Houses and flats at Parkfields in the mid 1960s.


   
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