Tipton lies in the heart of the Black Country. Although one of the smaller Black Country towns, it had a great impact on the local area due to large-scale coal mining, iron works, and the many industries that followed. Like its neighbours, Tipton began life as a small Saxon farming community, before exploiting its underground wealth, in the form of large coal, iron and clay deposits. Large scale industrial development came with the opening of the many canals, which ran for over twenty miles within the parish boundaries, earning it the nickname ‘The Venice of the Black Country’. The area became well known for its heavy industries, including ironworks, foundries, brick making, and structural steelwork. There were also lighter industries producing a wide range of products from vehicles to electrical equipment. Another well-known firm was Palethorpes which claimed to be the world’s largest producer of pork sausages.

Like its neighbours, Tipton was greatly affected by the closure of most of the factories in the latter part of the last century, which led to large areas of dereliction. Redevelopment on a grand scale has given the area a new lease of life, once again making it a desirable place to live and work for its many locals, who are justifiably proud of their town's many achievements.

Owen Street and the Fountain Inn's once magnificent facade.

The story of the town is told in the following parts:

To be continued.


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