The Made in Oldbury project has been completed, with the launch of the new website, along with a final publication, at Sandwell Council Chambers in November. Copies of the book (A4, 104pp, hardback) can be obtained from Sandwell Community History and Archives Service (for £10 plus p&p). It’s also available on loan from all Sandwell Libraries. Well done to the whole team of people who made this 18-month project a reality.
The website is: www.madeinoldbury.co.uk
Percy Eamus, whose oral history can be found on the website, presented us with a surprise poem at the launch. Here it is. (Thanks, Percy).
In Oldbury it was made
Industrially the heart of the Nation,
From corn plasters to hypodermic tube,
From boilers to home detergents,
From sweets to crafted gin.
The home of the warlike sten gun,
The maltings for Banks’s brew,
On canal-side Thomas Clayton and foundries quite a few,
But also homespun people as varied as the view.
Brades’s tool and products,
And Chances glass to view,
And Chance & Hunts for chemicals to add to this great brew,
And malt as in the vinegar (or alegar to be true).
No end to its list of products,
Nothing that can’t be made,
The true wealth of our Nation,
Here were on parade.
Furniture from finest tubing,
And caps for nuclear fuel,
Plastic fixing chemicals
And tar distillery too.
This mix it called for talent,
And that’s what we should view,
The native wit and wisdom that made this witch’s brew,
It stood great stead in history and will in future too.
Pen Knibs and sporting products,
The clothing for our kids,
I’m sure there’s much that’s missing,
In this great working list.
And at a personal level,
Much more was created here,
For love was made in Oldbury,
I miss my late Pauline.
Turned, drilled, welded, brazed, stamped, extruded, drawn, fabricated, cut, stitched, distilled, cooked, born, imagined, dreid, retorted, annealed, passivated, printed, administered, innovated, extrapolated. Made in Oldbury? If not, it was not made. (OK, I exaggerate – just a little.)