buy pharmaceuticals online

Community photography

10 things you didn’t know about Sandwell

OK, I’m not a great fan of Sandwell, the name now symbolizes centralisation because it was chosen for the name of the Metropolitan borough that absorbed the 6 towns. It appears that ‘Sandwell’ took its name from ‘Sancta Fons’ or The Holy Well about a mile S.E. of the church, and situated in a beautiful and secluded valley, well suited to the religious purposes of a hermitage or priory. “William, sone of Guy de Ophene, in the latter end of the reign of King Henry the Second, founded a Benedictine priory in the hermitage of West Bromwich near the well called ‘Sandwell,’ and endowed it with several lands lying about the same.”

This is Sandwell College, it sort of symbolizes the modern era to me.

Sandwell College by Phil Grayston


Sandwell is an area steeped in history. The manufacturing hub of the UK, it was at the heart of the country’s industrial revolution.

A recently launched consortium of business leaders – the Sandwell Business Ambassadors – is aiming to re-ignite passion in the area by representing business interests, increasing knowledge and skills and putting Sandwell back on the map.

And what’s not to love about Sandwell? Check out the Ambassadors’ ‘Top 10 things you didn’t know about Sandwell,’ for some little known local trivia:

1. Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery is famous for its Ruskin Pottery collection, which was made in Sandwell and is sought by collectors globally.

2. Pete Williams, bass player with Dexys Midnight Runners, was educated at Rowley Regis Grammar School (1971 – 1976).

3. In 1918 Christabel Pankhurst – daughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst – narrowly missed out on becoming Britain’s first woman MP, being defeated by Labour by 775 votes in a straight fight for the Smethwick election.

4. James Watt built his first steam engine in (or very near to) Tipton in the 1770s, which was used to pump water from the mines. His Watt steam engine was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century – of which Tipton was one of the key towns.

5. In response to the booming shipping industry, Chance Brothers Glassworks in Smethwick (founded in 1824) created optic lenses for lighthouses that were distributed globally, illuminating coasts and saving countless lives.

6. Sandwell is home to many historic buildings – some dating back as far as the 1600s – including Bishop Asbury Cottage, West Bromwich Manor House and Oak House.

7. Voestalpine Metsec plc has been operating at its Broadwell Road site in Oldbury for more than 85 years. So, it’s not surprising that it is commonly believed to have a ghost – which has been spotted by many generations of Metsec workers wandering around the factory at night!

8. It’s no secret that Sandwell is home to West Bromwich Albion Football Club. But, did you know that Albion was one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and has played at the Hawthorns since 1900?!

9. Rowley Regis made national headlines this month, with residents of ‘Bell End’ calling on the council to rename the street, which has become so infamous that tourists flock from afar to have a photo taken with the sign.

10. And finally, let’s not forget that Smethwick is, of course, home to national treasure Julie Walters, while West Bromwich is the birthplace of comedian Frank Skinner, who grew up in a council house in Oldbury!

For more information about the Sandwell Business Ambassadors, please visit or for regular updates, follow them on social media, , .

This post was on behalf of Sandwell Business Ambassadors.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: