|Expansion continued in the 1970s
after a merger with the Teacher Training College in
Wolverhampton, and the Teacher Training College in
Dudley. The merger led to the formation of the
Faculty of Education, with sites at Compton
and Dudley. In the mid 1970s the new Robert Scott Library and student's
union building opened, as did the Arena Theatre in 1976.
The theatre was built in a disused gymnasium as part of
the Drama and Performing Arts Department.
Looking into the front yard in
the early 1970s with 'G Block' on the left.
Another view of the front yard
showing some of the buildings from 1932. On the left
is 'G Block' which was built in 1951.
Looking towards 'B Block' in
the early 1970s. 'B Block' and the buildings on the
right that run alongside Stafford Street were built
in the mid 1950s. Behind 'B Block' is 'C Block',
which was built in 1968/69.
Another view across the site
looking towards 'B Block'. The wooden huts and the brick
building on the far left were once part of St. Peter's
The view from 'C Block', looking
towards 'B Block' in the early 1970s. The buildings in
the right-hand corner were once part of St. Peter's
|In 1974 the Polytechnic's publicity office was
setup under Mrs. Mary Walkins to establish cordial
relations with the press and media and to help in
the annual recruiting campaign. In the same year the
library moved from its old cramped space above 'The
Marble' to much larger temporary accommodation on the
ground floor of 'B Block'. The new Law Library
opened in October 1974 and the Department of
Building and Civil Engineering moved to St. Peter's
Close Building, displacing Student Services which
moved to Stafford Street.
||An excellent publication produced by the
Polytechnic was the Journal of Industrial
Archaeology and Business History, produced by
West Midlands Studies.
The editions included
articles about industrial history,
industrialists, and newly formed museums. The
editorial committee consisted of N. G. Coley, J.
D. Hunter, Reg Morton, Austin Moseley, W. A.
Smith and Malcolm Wanklyn.
Committee members also contributed articles
to the journal, as did several well known
historians including Trevor Raybould, John
Roper, and Norman Tildesley.
The late Austin Moseley, who was Black
Country born and bred, and interested in all
aspects of Black Country industry, was a Senior
Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and a
brilliant artist and illustrator. He wrote three
articles for the journal: Black Country
Chainmakers; The Nailmakers; and The Horseley
Fields Canal and Railway Junction.
There were six editions of the journal
produced between 1967 and 1973.
was a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of
Artists. He died on the 2nd October, 2013 at the
age of 83.
The primitive television facilities in the
Audio Visual Aids department in 'B Block' in the early 1970s.
The Audio Visual Aids department's
television studio in 'B Block', also in the early 1970s.
A view of Wulfruna Street in
Part of the IBM 1620 computer at
the Polytechnic in about 1970.
Another view of the IBM 1620.
A final view of the IBM 1620.
The Polytechnic had a thriving
staff association offering many benefits to members,
as can be seen below. Courtesy of David Parsons.
The inside of the staff
association membership card. Courtesy of David
The School of Art and Design
alongside Ring Road St Peters in the 1970s.
The buildings from St. Peter's
School that were taken over by the Polytechnic in the
'C Block' and St. Peter's School.
Preparing the site in
readiness for the Robert Scott Library and the
students' union building. Courtesy of David Parsons.
On the left is the Robert Scott
Library that was built in 1976 on the site of St.
|The library finally moved to a new permanent
home with the opening of the Robert Scott Library in
1976. The new building also housed Audio Visual
Aids, which moved from 'B Block' and the students
union complex that moved from 'C Block'. The
building was formerly opened on the 23rd June, 1977
by the Mayor, Councillor Jessie Beddoes.
the old gymnasium, which had ceased to be used, was
converted into an arts centre under the guidance of
the late Phil Tilstone, who had been the first
lecturer in drama there, starting in 1967. A new
floor and seating arrangements and lighting were
added. Phil Tilstone collaborated with the late Dr.
Percy Young, the director of music at the
Polytechnic to give music students the opportunity
to perform at the new venue, which became the Arena
In 1977 the Geography Department moved from 'B
Block' into the ex-St. Peter's School buildings and
was replaced by the newly formed
Director, Robert Scott retired in 1977 at the end of
the academic year and was replaced by Mr. George A.
Seabrooke. Mr. C. J. M. Lee was Deputy Director.
On the 30th May, 1977 a large crane that had been
used in the construction of the Civic Centre fell
over and struck the polytechnic building. Sadly it
killed a road sweeper who had been cleaning the
pavement outside the building. Several people
including members of polytechnic staff went to his
aid, but nothing could be done.
The crane, lying on its
side. From an old newspaper cutting from an
A close-up view of the
crane. Courtesy of David Parsons.
Another view of the crane.
Courtesy of David Parsons.
Harold Starr, Geoff Knight, Bev
Parker and Graham Cole. Courtesy of David Parsons.
A view of the Carvers
buildings from 'C Block' in the early 1970s.
They would soon be taken over by the
|In 1978, Wolverhampton Teachers' College in Walsall
Street was due for demolition to make way for Ring
Road St Davids and Bilston Street Island. The
building had to be emptied by July of that year and
so the Polytechnic rapidly made arrangements for the
staff and students to be housed in adapted buildings
in Waterloo Road and on the Dudley site, in
readiness for the start of the autumn term. They
were to be part of a new Faculty of Education which
would be based at Dudley and would include the
Technical Teachers department at Compton Park. The
Compton Park site was then to be occupied by the
Department of Business Studies.
By this time,
staff rooms were seen as essential. It had not been
possible in the past to find space for many staff rooms,
but by the early 1980s the staff to student ratio
was 11 to 1. In 1973 it was 5 to 1. Staff
productivity had increased by more than 100% and
staff rooms were to be the norm. One factor in the
reduction of staff numbers was the
Employment Protection (Consolidation)
Act 1978, which gave employees a large
financial reward when accepting early
retirement. The so called Crombie
retirement compensation amounted to a
large sum and so many members of staff
scrambled to get it, while it was still