Festive Greetings from Sedgley Manor's Nine Villages

2017/18 – Autumn / Winter Teaser

Now found in museum settings hundreds of these were commonplace for over seventy years. Take up the challenge – email your findings.

Take up the challenge – email your findings.

2017 Autumn/Winter Teaser

Happy Birthday to Zoo

In the 1930s the Third Earl of Dudley proposed a novel use for his castle grounds by adding a modern menagerie. On May 15th 1937 he opened a zoo to the public complete with some Modernist structures to house animals. It was an outstanding success and became the Black Country’s premier day-out.

The venture struggled in the 1970s until effectively saved with Dudley Council money and the formation of a charity – Dudley and West Midlands Zoological Society (1978). In the last two decades substantial investment in the infrastructures for both animals and visitors has taken place.

This year’s 80th birthday celebrations have seen even more animal enclosure improvements and the opening of a new entrance and extensive car parking. However, the original iconic wave entrance (see photograph) can still be used and is a fitting gateway to the attraction.

All age favourites include penguins, meerkats, giraffes, tigers, and chimpanzees, but alas no elephants. More familiar animals can be found in the popular revamped farmyard setting.

Last year 300,000 people marvelled at the 900 year old castle surrounded by over 1,500 animals. Plan your visit to Dudley Zoo now.

Zoo entrance

2017 Summer Teaser - Answer

Not the prettiest building sitting on the Sedgley Manor boundary yet a famous hall of memories. We asked you to name the venue.

The Hippodrome, next to the zoo entrance on Castle Hill, was opened in December 1938. Life as a variety theatre lasted until 1964 then it was converted to a bingo hall. In 2009 the lights went out and the owners, Dudley MBC, threatened to demolish the building. A bitter battle raged with campaigners intent on reopening the doors for entertainment. Eventually Friends of the Hippodrome prevailed and a five year lease was signed in 2016. The long haul to raise finance stalled in the autumn of 2017. A request to extend the lease to 25 years in order to attract long term investment was made.

2017 Summer Teaser

The SLHS 2017 / 2018 Programme

The 2017/2018 Programme promises another set of informative and stimulating talks from local experts. Returning favourites such as Ian Bott, Ned Williams and Mary Bodfish will be talking on subjects as diverse as shops, Smethwick and graveyards!

Meetings take place at St. Andrew's Church on Bilston Street in Sedgely, and are scheduled for Sept/Oct/Nov 2017 and Jan/Feb/ Mar/May/Jun 2018. The society is very friendly and, as always, visitors will be very welcome.

Sedgley Local History Society [SLHS]

Sedgley Local History Society [SLHS] is a Black Country group based in the village of Sedgley, which is situated at the northern tip of Dudley Metropolitan Borough and just 3 miles south of the centre of Wolverhampton.

Here, the heritage of the Manor of Sedgley, in south Staffordshire, is focused through its nine villages - Sedgley, Gospel End, Cotwall End, Upper Gornal, Lower Gornal, Woodsetton, Coseley, Ettingshall and Brierley. A history of people, places and events.

Please contact us if you have any comments, suggestions, contributions or questions.

Please note that genealogy isn't a prime interest of SLHS - it's a huge specialist area in its own right. We provide a list of useful sites on our genealogy links page that will help you to begin your research, however if you have a specific query drop us a line!