Local history for a distant son


Darlaston has some remarkable, little-noticed architecture, and one of the most lovely war memorials I know.

I thought today I’d just do a small post highlighting a couple of sites that will be of interest to many readers, but mainly to blog stalwart David Oakley, who I sadly gather hasn’t been in the best of health lately. Hopefully, these should provide an interesting diversion for him and create a talking point.

Get well soon, old chap.

Whilst discussing my love for Darlaston on twatter the other day, my attention was drawn to two history sites covering the area, kindly suggested by Mark Wood. They are both remarkable and well worth a read if you’ve some time to kill.

The first is a traditional website – ‘A Brief History of Darlaston’ by Bev Parker, and is actually anything but brief: it’s an exhaustive history of the town, from the very beginnings to modern history. I’m sure David (and others) will find the page on Darlaston Industries especially  wonderful. The page on GKN is particularly excellent.

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A huge website that must be a true labour of love; click on the screenshot to visit Bev Parker’s truly remarkable ‘A Brief History of Darlaston’

Secondly, there’s a curious and wonderful blog style site detailing the details and backstory of those unfortunate souls whose deaths are recorded on Darlston’s War Memorial. It’s a remarkable idea, and I like it a lot.

I wonder is such a thing would be possible for Brownhills and Walsall Wood? It would take a lot of work…

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A wonderful idea that must take a lot of research: click the screenshot to visit Darlaston Remembers.

Anyway, get well soon David – we’re all thinking of you.

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3 Responses to Local history for a distant son

  1. Pedro says:

    Thanks Bob for this post, quite extraordinary for me.

    A couple of years ago I took a friend, who has the same surname as myself, to look at Darlaston where he was born. He had not been there for 60 years. One of the reasons was to look at the War Memorial where we had discovered the stories relations, Darlaston men. One we found on the Memorial, but the other was missing.

    While in Darlaston I took several pictures that can be seen here (click to enlarge)….


    All the best Pedro

  2. David Oakley says:

    Hi Bob.
    Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and for the wonderful page on the blog relating to Darlaston history and manufacturing industries. I was gobsmacked to discover that such treasures existed and will spend many enjoyable hours going through all that is being offered ,
    punctuated only by excited cries of “I remember that “ as an old pub is depicted or an old factory
    shown in the well- remembered surroundings of sixty years ago, or thereabouts
    Although creaking on towards the mid-eighties and murmuring “so far – so good” every morning on awakening, my health is pretty good apart from occasional spats, but the best medicine to me is
    local history and memories of which I feel a part. Your blog has it in spades !
    So thanks again, Bob, and thanks to Mark Wood and Bev Parker and all who contributed to the
    ‘Darlaston page”. In those immortal words, “You’ve made an old man, very happy”


  3. Mark W says:

    Thanks for the mention Bob, hope you and your readers find it of interest.

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