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Oldbury, West Midlands facts for kids

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Warley - Sandwell Council House.jpg
Sandwell Council House in Oldbury
Oldbury is located in West Midlands county
Population 25,488 (Built-up area subdivision)
13,606 (Ward)
OS grid reference SO989897
Metropolitan borough
  • Sandwell
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town OLDBURY
Postcode district B68, B69
Dialling code 0121
Police West Midlands
Fire West Midlands
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Warley
  • West Bromwich West
List of places
West Midlands
52°30′18″N 2°00′57″W / 52.505°N 2.0159°W / 52.505; -2.0159

Oldbury is a market town and administrative centre in Sandwell, West Midlands, England. It is the administrative centre of the borough of Sandwell.

At the 2011 census, the ward of Oldbury had a population of 13,606, while the wider built-up area subdivision has a population of 25,488 according to a 2017 census. However, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council give the population figure of Oldbury as 50,641.

The old Homebase building was taken over by Mecca Bingo.


The place name Oldbury, comes from the Old English 'Ealdenbyrig', - signifying that Oldbury was old even in early English times over 1000 years ago. Eald being Old English for 'old', Byrig is the plural of 'burh' in Old English - a burh being a fortification or fortified town.


Oldbury Municipal Borough Coat of Arms
Coat of arms of the former Municipal Borough of Oldbury

Oldbury was part of the ancient parish of Halesowen, a detached part of Shropshire surrounded by Worcestershire and Staffordshire, until the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844, when it was incorporated back into Worcestershire after an absence of nine-hundred years. It became an Urban District in 1894, receiving Municipal Borough status in 1935.

In 1966, Oldbury was merged with the County Borough of Smethwick and the Municipal Borough of Rowley Regis to form the County Borough of Warley, which also included most of the Tividale area of Tipton and the eastern section of Oakham in Dudley. The geographical county boundaries were also changed to include the whole of Warley as part of Worcestershire; formerly both Rowley Regis and Smethwick had been in Staffordshire.

Oldbury council built several thousand houses, flats and bungalows for some 40 years until its disbandment, the 1,000th of which was completed in 1933 at Wallace Road near the border with Rowley Regis.

In 1974, Oldbury became part of the new Sandwell Metropolitan Borough (a merger between the county boroughs of West Bromwich and Warley), and was transferred into the West Midlands Metropolitan County. Since 1986, after the abolition of the West Midlands County Council, Sandwell effectively became a unitary authority. Sandwell Council's headquarters are situated in Oldbury Town Centre.

Oldbury comes within the B68 and B69 postal districts, the latter of which also covers part of Tipton. The postal town is Oldbury, although it previously came under the Warley post town, along with Smethwick, Rowley Regis, and Cradley Heath.

Notable people

The Sadlers rose to become an eminent family in Oldbury during the nineteenth century. Notable figures included John Sadler (1820-1910) ('the Grand Old Man of Oldbury') and Sir Samuel Alexander Sadler.

Joseph Willott, Jr., member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, was born in Oldbury in 1855.

Writers and academics

Mick Aston, archaeologist and star of the TV programme Time Team, was born in Oldbury and attended Oldbury Grammar School.

Tony Freeth, author of Sons of Albion book, attended Albright High School.

Visual arts

Martin Elliott (1946–2010), the photographer best known for the iconic poster "Tennis Girl", was born in Oldbury and attended Oldbury Grammar School.

Performing arts

Oldbury is the birthplace of Sir John Frederick Bridge, who was a famous organist, composer and author. He was known as "Westminster Bridge" because of his long stint as organist at Westminster Abbey (1882–1919). He composed special music for Queen Victoria's Jubilee and King Edward VII's coronation, in addition to other choral, instrumental and organ music. His brother Joseph Cox Bridge was also an organist, composer and author, becoming well known for his recorder compositions.

Jack Judge (1872–1938), the songwriter and music-hall entertainer best remembered for writing the song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary", was born in Oldbury. The new library building in the town is named after him.

In his early years, the comedian Frank Skinner lived in Oldbury at 181 Bristnall Hall Road. He attended Moat Farm Infants School, St Hubert's Roman Catholic Junior School and Oldbury Technical School, and has been a TV comedian since the late 1980s.

Sports and games

Jodie Stimpson,the British triathlete, was born in Oldbury in 1989, and won Gold in the Individual and Team Relay Triathlon at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The boxer Pat Cowdell, who achieved stardom during the 1970s and 1980s, was born in nearby Smethwick and lives in Oldbury.

Dr Frank Barney Gorton Stableford, the inventor of the world famous eponymous golf scoring system was born in Oldbury in 1870.

Transport links

For over thirty years, there were three railway stations in the parish named Oldbury; only one is still open, but under a new name. The oldest surviving one is on the Stour Valley Line at Bromford Road. It has been there since the 1850s. It was originally called Oldbury & Bromford Lane, then Oldbury, and since 1984, Sandwell & Dudley.

The second nearest railway station to the centre of Oldbury is at Langley Green, at Western Road, on the Stourbridge Extension Line, now the Birmingham to Worcester via Kidderminster Line. It opened in April 1867 and was originally called Langley Green & Rood End. However, a short half-mile long branch line, the Oldbury Railway, was linked to the station with its own (third) platform. It opened in November 1884; and Langley Green & Rood End was renamed Langley Green. The Oldbury Railway, which also linked to Albright and Wilson, had both a passenger station, named Oldbury, on Halesowen Road; and a goods station, at the Birmingham Canal Navigations wharf in Oldbury. Passenger services ran to Oldbury station until March 1915; and the line closed completely other than as a freight line for Albright and Wilson. All traces of its viaduct and embankment beyond Tat Bank Road were destroyed when the M5 motorway was built. However until recently a short stub of the line to Oldbury remained in situ, out of use.

The M5 has served Oldbury since 1964 and passes the town on an elevated section built on reinforced concrete pillars. Access is from junction 2. This is also the closest junction to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. A major concrete repair and waterproofing scheme began on the M5 viaduct in April 2017. This was expected to be completed by autumn 2018, however due to unforeseen repairs the works have been delayed until the following year.

The majority of bus services serving Oldbury are operated by National Express West Midlands and Diamond Bus providing links to Birmingham and the Black Country district.


  • Langley Green - an established residential area to the south of the town centre.
  • Warley - an area of mostly private housing in the extreme south of Oldbury near the border with Birmingham.
  • Brandhall - first developed with private housing in the 1930s and then in the 1950s and 1960s with council housing.
  • Londonderry - in the south-east of the town, straddling the border with Smethwick.
  • Rood End - an Edwardian and late Victorian residential area in the east of the town, near the border with Smethwick.
  • Brades Village - an area of established housing and industry near the border with Tipton.
  • Lion Farm - a large council housing estate built in the early to mid 1960s in the south-west of the town, near the border with Rowley Regis. The estate originally included nine tower blocks, but only three of these remain.

Oldbury Borough archives collection

The archives for the Borough of Oldbury are held at Sandwell Community History and Archives Service

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Oldbury para niños

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