History of the website.

The website is now over 22 years old. It first appeared in August 1999 as a small website containing a few articles about local history. Since those days it has grown to be one of the largest local history websites in the country. I hope you will continue to enjoy your future visits to the site.
                                                                                                      Bev Parker.


The latest additions to the website over the last year:

November 21:  Dudley in the Past has been extended with the following sections: Nineteenth Century, Local Railways, Local Canals, Excerpts from Michael Billing's 1855 Directory, An 1861 List of Trades Men and Trades Women and References. A new addition to the Penn menu is Penn in 1843 with the following sections: Penn Road and Manor Road, Pinfold Lane, Warstones Road, Church Hill, Vicarage Road and Mount Road. The Muchall to Penn Road  and the Hollybush section in Upper Penn in the 19th Century, also in the Penn menu have been updated. The section about public houses in Willenhall Through the Ages has been extended, as have the following sections: Religion and Churches, The Development of Local Government, Into the 20th Century, Life in the 19th Century, The Industrial Town, and Local Personalities and Prominent Families. A Joshua Bigwood plate levelling machine has been added to the straightening machines section in the story of Joshua Bigwood & Son Limited. Darlaston Pubs and The History of the Public House in A Brief History of Darlaston have been extended.

October 21: Additions have been made to The Growth of the Town and Public Houses in The History of Wednesbury and also to The 1916 Zeppelin Raids. Dudley in the Past has been extended with the following sections: Churches and Religion and The Eighteenth Century. Additions have also been made to the story of Samuel Platt Limited in the industries section in  A Brief History of Darlaston and to The 1990s in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic. Philip Starkey of Bloxwich and Whitfield Safes of Birmingham have been added to the Gazetteer of Lock and Key MakersImages of Wolverhampton in Old Postcards in the Old Photographs and Images of Wolverhampton and the Surrounding Area menu, in the Articles, Town History and Bibliography menu, has been enlarged. Photos have been added to the story of Joshua Bigwood & Son Limited in the museum engineering hall. The story of Neptune Forge, Chain, Anchor and Engine Works in the industries section in The Annals of Tipton has been extended.  The story of the Cannon Foundry has also been added to the metalware and holloware section in the museum metalware hall.

September 21: Additions have been made to The Shops at the Southern End of Worcester Street in Lost Buildings of Wolverhampton. The section on Butler's Pubs, in the story of W. Butler & Company Limited, in the museum food hall, has been extended. Additions have been made to the following sections in The Story of Walsall: Into the 19th Century, Public Houses, Second Half of the 19th Century, Other Methodists in Churches and Religion, and Industry. The Darlaston Pubs section and Photographs of Darlaston Pubs in A Brief History of Darlaston have been updated, as has Appendix 1 in the story of Urban Dairy Farms in Darlaston Green in the Early 1900s in More Articles About Darlaston's Past. The story of the Joshua Bigwood pipe bending machine has also been updated with the addition of more and larger photos. Additions have been made to the 1980s section in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic. The following additions have been made to Dudley in the Past: The Civil War, The Castle, and The Priory. The 2021 Turner Wolverhampton Reunion has been added to the Rallies section in the museum transport hall.

August 21: Additions have been made to the following sections in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic, The National Foundry College, The Early Years, The Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College, The 1950s and 1960s, and Images of  'C Bock'. The story of Beans Industries, Triplex Foundry and Palethorpes in the industries section of The Annals of Tipton have been extended, as has The Twentieth Century with the addition of the 1912 report on the health and hygiene of the town. There are two new additions to Dudley in the Past, the 15th to the 17th century and the story of iron smelter Dud Dudley. Early Photographic Studios in Wolverhampton has a new image by Sarah Williams. Photographs of an E. Bates lock have been added to the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers. The following sections in The Story of Walsall have been extended: Recent Times, Parish Churches and Chapels of Ease, Into the 20th Century, The Leather Industry. Additions have been made to the story of the Liverpool Overhead Railway in the Electric Construction Corporation section of the story of Thomas Parker in the museum Electrical and Electronic Engineering Hall.

July 21: The story of F. H. Lloyds of James Bridge Steel WorksEarly 1930s part 1, the Early 1930s part 2 and The Later Years and also The Steel Nut and Joseph Hampton Limited in the industries section of A Brief History of Darlaston have been extended as has F. H. Lloyds of James Bridge Steel Works in the industries section in The History of Wednesbury along with the story of William Sanders & Company. Additions have been made to the story of Reade Brothers in the museum other trades hall and to the history of Davies Brothers & Company Limited at Crown Works in part 7 of Industries Alongside the BCN. A new addition to Dudley in the Past is the 12th to the 14th century. A Yale advert for padlocks, from 1929, has been added to the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers as has a A photograph of a fine example of a  George Cheadle door lock, Chas. P. Mathews, and an extension to the section about James Butler & Company and the section about Enoch Tonks. The commemoration section in the story of Thomas Parker in the museum electrical and electronic engineering hall has been updated.

June 21: The industries section and the Lee Howl story in The Annals of Tipton have been extended, as has Notable 19th Century Darlastonians in A Brief History of Darlaston. The following sections in  Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic have also been extended: Beginnings, The Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College, The 1980s and The 1990s. A new section, People in the News has been added to The 1990s. The history of the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company and the history of tube making in the industries section in The History of Wednesbury have been extended, as has the businesses in the early 20th century section, The Growth of the Town, and The Borough Council and its Works. The story of the Great Western pub in the pubs menu has been updated. The following sections in the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers have been extended: Arthur Shaw & Company Limited and Humphrey & J. Fox, Century Locks Limited. Additions have been made to Recent Times, The Early Twentieth Century, The George Hotel, and the Second Half of the 19th Century in The Story of Walsall. Several photos have been added to the history of the Efandem Company Limited in the museum Electrical and Electronic Engineering Hall.

May 21: Additions have been made to the story of John Harper & Company Limited, Enoch Tonks & Sons Limited, Job Tarbuck, Cyrus Price, Josiah Pedley, George Anslow and Enoch Hadley in the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers. Additions have also been made to the story of The Steel Nut & Joseph Hampton Limited and the story of the Bentley Hall Brick Company Limited in the Rubery Owen section, in the industries section of A Brief History of Darlaston and to the industries section in Coseley Through the Ages and to Into the 21st Century in The History of Wednesbury. Into the 19th Century in The Story of Walsall and Into the 20th Century in Willenhall Through the Ages have also been extended. Photographs have been added to the story of Turner sports cars in the cars section in the museum transport hall and DMW motorcycles. The history of Joseph Evans & Sons has been extended as has the section on surviving pumps. The sections on the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College, 1950s and 1960s, The 1970s, and 'C Block' in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic have also been extended and the first Students' Union magazine has been added.

April 21: Additions have been made to the story of the 1902 Wolverhampton Art and Industrial Exhibition  in the museum entrance hallThe 1980s and The 1990s in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic and to the story of John Harper & Company Limited in the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers. The story of the Wulfrun Centre in the late 1960s has been added to the Bantock Arcade in the exhibition shopping building, and the articles menu. The history of Bescot Hall has been added to Notable 19th Century Darlastonians in A Brief History of Darlaston and also Into the 20th Century and Zeppelin Raids in The First World War in The Story of Walsall. Additions have also been made to  Into the 21st Century in The History of Wednesbury and the following sections in Coseley Through The Ages: Into the 20th Century and Recent Times. Also to the story of T. & C. Clark, Shakespeare Foundry and the products section in Part 5 of Industries Alongside the BCN. Canal Wharves in Part 4 in Industries Alongside the BCN and the Canals, Roads and Railways section in Willenhall Through the Ages.

March 21: A new addition to Old Photos and Images of Wolverhampton and the Surrounding Area is Images of Cleveland Road with sections on The Bus Depot, The Newmarket, The Dixons Building, The Royal Hospital and Bakers Shoe Factory. The health services menu in the exhibition services hall has been improved and Images of the Royal Hospital has been added. The story of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Thorneycroft of Tettenhall Towers, in Lives of Local People, has been extended. Further additions have been made to the section on the 1950s and 1960s and The 1990s in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic. A new addition to the articles menu is The Northern End of the Old Market Place. The following sections in A Brief History of Darlaston have been extended: The 1970s Rebuild, Darlaston in 2001 and 2002 and Guest, Keen and Nattlefolds. Additions have been made to the section about the products made by Jones Brothers & Company in the Jones Brothers & Company section in the museum metalware hall and to the story of John Harper & Company Limited in the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers.

February 21: The story of Wolverhampton School of Art and Crafts has been extended and also added to Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic. The section on the polytechnic in the 1980s has also been extended. A grey iron castings book from 1928 has been added to the story of John Harper & Company Limited in Willenhall Industries and the Gazetteer of lock and key makers. A new addition to the articles menu and lives of local people is The Clark Family and Their Business. More additions have been made to the following sections in A Brief History of Darlaston: Twentieth Century and Recent Times. Into the 21st Century in The History of Wednesbury has been extended along with the following sections in the industries section, both in the history of the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company: Old Park Works and Takeover. The industries section in The Annals of Tipton has also been extended. The story of Clyno motorcycles in the motorcycles section in the museum transport hall has been extended with an improved version of the company's 1912 catalogue.

January 21: A new addition to the religion menu in the community section is the story of St. Patrick's Church, Westbury Street, which has also been added to the lost buildings section. Further additions have been made to the following sections in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic: The National Foundry College, the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the 1970s and  'C Block' . A lovely old photo has been added to the story of Star cars in the museum transport hall and several photos have been added to the story of the Central Arcade and the Wholesale Market in the lost buildings section. Photos have also been added to A Stroll Along Old Bilston Street and Images from the 1970s, both in Old Photographs and Images of Wolverhampton and the Surrounding Area. Photos have added to the following sections in Industries Alongside the BCN: Corn Hill to Wednesfield Road part 2 and Broad Street Basin part 3. Additions have also been made to Takeover in the story of W. Butler & Company Limited. More additions have been made to Into the 20th Century and the industries section in Willenhall Through the Ages.

December 20: Additions have been made to the following sections in A Brief History of Darlaston: Early Historical References, New Roads and a Canal, St. George's Church, Iron and Steel Making, The Post-War Years, Industries, Wilkins and Mitchell, Easiclene in Rubery Owen & Company Limited, Into the 20th Century and Trams. The story of Charles Clarke and Shakespeare Foundry in industries alongside the BCN and Metalware and Hollowware in the museum, has been extended. The following sections in Willenhall Through the Ages have been extended: Into the 20th Century and The Development of Local Government. Additions have also been made to the story of John Harper & Company Limited in the Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers, the section on the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the 1970s and The 1990s in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the story of Joseph Evans and the surviving pumps. The story of Cannon Foundry in the industry section of Coseley Through the Ages has been updated and the story of Bean cars in the museum transport hall has been extended.

November 20: The 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, references and the Old Post Office in Images of Wolverhampton Polytechnic in the education menu in the exhibition services hall and the articles menu, have been extended. A new addition to the Black Country Towns menu is Dudley In The Past, in the following sections: Beginnings, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans. A new addition to the People and Genealogy menu is Lily Jones' excellent article on Genealogy Resources. Recent Times in Aldridge in the Past has also been extended, as has the following sections in The History of Wednesbury: Some shops and businesses in the early 20th century and Into the 21st century where a 1961 trade directory has been added. The electrical manufacturers section in industries has also been extended. The following additions have been made to The Story of Walsall: Walsall Arboretum in Recent Times, Recent Times itself, Walsall Manor Hospital in Hospitals, Into the 19th Century, The Early Twentieth Century, Second Half of the 19th Century, The Inter-War Years, Industry, and the story of Sister Dora. A Bilston menu has been added to the local areas menu.