In the course of investigating the Rattlechain lagoon story and its many historical facets, I have come across a collection of material as a collector of antiquities. Much of this has been about the vile polluters of Albright and Wilson, but the story of their facilitators in local Governance and their “society of friends” is also worthy of note . It reveals a great deal in how these circles of corruption operated and how certain businesses prospered in this web. Unfortunately, it is still ongoing today amongst the political class, with family dynasties operating out of civic society.
There is nothing more than these actors enjoy than an event, and there is also no doubt that one of the most prominent in Britain in the 20th Century was the Coronation of the Queen in 1953. In a post war Britain, this unfortunately served as some form of major “celebration.” 🙄
I will say from the offset that I despise the Royal family as a Republican, their monetary wealth and favour and their “sporting” activities which involve the mass slaughter of wildlife, both home and abroad. The coercive control that this aristocracy has, and its interwoven links with academia and the civil service make me puke.
I had no interest in buying the macGuffin item in this post for commemorative value or souvenir of the maj’s big day, but because I thought it would wield more interesting info on the political players in the former now defunct Rotten borough of Oldbury. For a tenner, I was not disappointed.
This brochure was supposedly put out to commemorate the Coronation, but as I have already alluded, the political players just love to jump on a bandwagon, and by their very nature, association with the ruling class. It was not a surprise therefore to discover that most of the booklet IS ABOUT THEM AND THEIR ROTTEN POLITICAL BOROUGH, and not the Queen herself! Of course, Oldbury and the West Midlands have fuck all to do with the London centric Windsors, but why should that stop a bunch of trumpet blowing arsehole amateur politicians? There are several familiar names which stand out from the most interesting time of when “The Oldbury smell” took place, which now give faces to those behind the story.
I will take you through this pamphlet page at a time. Click on the pictures for enlargements.
Right from the get go we get the pompous prick Samuel Melsom set out his credentials. Melsom is strongly associated with appeasing Albright and Wilson and even speaking for them in their defence in connection with the health issues and problems that they inflicted on the people of Oldbury. He was no doubt a shill of theirs, but one of several on this rotten borough.
I bet Lizzy was truly thankful that Oldbury was on hand to help out with the post war issues and “perplexing problems”- I mean this specimen was unable to fix the smell of cat piss in his own neighbourhood, so how he or others like him would be able to offer any hope or help in tackling the pressing issues of the day in the wider country, God only knows. 🙄
We are given a history lesson of this clan and its peerage.
Followed by a two page biography of the lady in question
Then another biography on Nick The Greek and his inflated military career- promotion by his missis.
And that is that about the actual event, with the next 12 pages all about the rotten borough of Oldbury. Of course, what they attempt here is an example of linkage of history, to which there is none whatsoever. It does this by the use of repetition of words- for example by suggesting that the name itself is of Anglo Saxon origin. Mind you, I never knew that about Quinton, though it does remind me of my Chaucer and The Miller’s Tale where he caught her “by the queynte”. I’m not sure if the Greek Prince may have offered a similar suit to George the stutterers eldest. 😀
“Manors” , and “Lords” , are intertwined with the desperate narrative that the borough was switched counties in the reigns of William IV and Queen Victoria by Acts of Parliament. They also throughout the booklet put the logo of Oldbury at the top of the page, with the Queen’s initials anchoring the page, and bordered by a purple regal glow. These are all political brainwashing techniques, with a white central hue of text filling the space where the Queen’s portrait appears on pages two and four. A subtle, but clever visual illusion trick to make you believe that there is some form of royal link with the tarnished town.
Of course , it isn’t long before we get the inevitable bigging up of the chemical industry in this area.
“…and in the middle of the century saw the start of the phosphorus works which have achieved international reputation……” 😕
The only reputation that this stinking polluter had locally was that of its abysmal pollution, but this airbrushing out of reality is what the scum like Melsom were all about. The birth of his rotten borough in 1935 is also linked directly with the weasel faced Wilson family of the chemical factory.
What then follows is two pages of absolute shite pr about how great the borough is run and what it has to offer. There is the subtle mention of “well known families” who have donated pieces of land for parks.
“In 1928, the corporation purchased the Brandhall Golf course which is now run municipally. it is an interesting 18- hole golf course of 6,054 yards and extends over 105 acres”– well not any more under Sandwell council 😆
The other character that I have a problem with is Andrew Carnegie and his library’s. As I have pointed out before, this do-gooder gave books that he wanted the poor to read, and thereby framing their ideas and beliefs, and omitting books which were against his own views. To this day the propaganda of “local history” in Oldbury is selective and uncritical of its industrial past and more attuned to the civic society white lives mattered most movement in terms of tradition and civic political life.
It is a sinister statement concerning planning matters that stands out in the penultimate paragraph, and one can see to this day that the same sheisters now in charge of this still rotten borough are following the same trodden path as those in the 1950’s.
“This scheme, which came into operation in 1936, enabled the growth of those parts of the borough covered by the scheme to be controlled and to follow an ordered pattern.” The Worcestershire County Council is now the local planning Authority, but by a delegation agreement with the county, Oldbury continues to exercise control over development in the borough. “
Worcestershire County Council, is of course heavily associated with the Wilson family and Ken Wilson in particular, whose Uncle, John William Wilson was also an MP in the pocket borough for many years; at one election unopposed. So what we see from this “order” and “control” is the role out of the Quaker Garden City approach, with Worcestershire of course enjoying “control” and “order” from the centre, and the shite of Oldbury being the development playground where the local wing bitches like Samuel Melsom’s get to swagger as though in control for the Daddies running the prison from the centre.
The events planned for the borough are like some desperate Butlins tie in. They even allowed “public dancing” in the baths car park after dark! 😮
We also get unashamed propaganda gifts given out to children in the shape of mugs. Women over 65 and men over 70 got a tea caddy and half a pound of tea. Don’t drink it all at once dears. There was also a coronation day lottery of births being given a savings account.
“Let its ancient glory flourish” 😆 😆 😆
Further on, another heraldry lesson showing once again the rotten boroughs links to the chemical industry controllers of the town- this is revealed that the civic tools of office, pointless devices like the mace and mayoral chains made of Silver and Gold were engraved with the names of those who wanted to stamp their control over the people. Written on these are the marks of Accles and pollock and of course Albright and Wilson. The Mayoral chain even bears the coat of arms of the Wilson family.
Such decadence and wealth are of course tied in with these scumbags earnings as councillors in the days when business could buy you a place as a legislator. Park donating and other such gifts were the way of ingratiating such characters into prominence in the community. They literally “ran Oldbury”. Pictures of these tribal embossed boasts are shown further on towards the end of the booklet. See below.
And this has what to do with the Queen’s coronation?
The one interesting thing about this book are the old photos of what used to be. The cenotaph is still there in Oldbury, but the flower beds have gone to be replaced by the occasional scruffy market, and the Sainsbury’s behind it. The large row of shops in the background have also now of course gone, to be replaced with the new rotten borough of Sandwell’s council house.
And then perhaps the money shot and gamble as to why I bought the book, a picture of the councillors and Aldermen wh0 made up the rotten borough. This Picture contains an over-tracing with positional names written over for identification. I have not scanned this, but instead numbered each person and recorded their names below the picture. All councillors unless otherwise stated.
1 A.E Lee 2 O Arkinstall 3 Mrs E.M.J Gunn 4B.H Tarr 5Mrs R Starkie 6 Alderman J.W Bright 7 E. Harold Chief sanitary inspector 8 A J R Blackman Borough Librarian 9 W Hayes 10 Mrs M. E Garratt 11 J.H.C Marsh Education officer 12 Alderman J W Holland 13 B I Taylor Housing Estates Manager 14 Alderman J F Goode 15 W R Wilkes Deputy Town Clerk 16 H Jonson Mace Bearer 17 Kenneth Pearce Town Clerk 18 Mayor Alderman S Melsom 19 Alderman G W Rose 20 W H Hunter 21 L W Carter 22 J Mitchell Borough treasurer 23 Alderman Ken Wilson 24 Dr H Tabbush Medical officer 25 DD C McGibbon 26 Alderman B T Robbins 27 A Gunn 28 J D Beard 29 C. B Beck Borough surveyor 30 Mrs E Pine 31 R Hobley Deputy Surveyor 32 F Cooper 33 A E Roberts 34 J W Jones 35 T Swallow 36 H Barrada 37 W Hollyoake 38 F W Thompson 39 W Carter 40 Mrs D.M Hollyoake
Of course there are instant observations to be made. All of senior years, all white, and only four women. There are also obviously two councillor couples of the same name. The incomparable Mrs Gunn who rarely for a councillor actually spoke out about “the Oldbury Smell” caused by Albright and Wilson is present, in this the very chamber where she would waive her withered bush in anger at the fall out of the Trinity Street operation .
We love you Mrs Gunn!
The pompous Melsom sits in the centre in his robes with the list of mayors behind him on the plaque. Nearby the rat faced Ken Wilson, perhaps the real organ grinder of this rotten borough still has influence via his “alderman” position. With his hands on the table, it is almost as if he wants to grab back the mace inches from them. What a c77t.
On page 25, The pompous arse Melsom revels in his Mayoral regalia once again wearing his chain with a bunch of other assembled self important idiots. I’m not sure what the connection is to the other picture of a new housing development?
They also appear to be proud of their Langley baths
And Barnford Park.
Three further pages show off the previously mentioned civic regalia, just to rub it in for the hard pressed working class luddites.
The Carnegie Library is also linked to the Oldbury Grammar School.
The booklet is rounded off with the Mayoral board, showing the list of these scumbags starting with rattie Wilson and up to the then present incumbent Melsom, who subsequently appeared to have a spectacular fall from grace when he fell out with members of his own party. Seems a very modern day scenario that repeats itself that one in this most “socialist” of areas. 😆
The Queen and Phillip would themselves visit the area some 4 years later, and be received by Mrs Gunn’s husband Alf, who was now the mayor. I’m just glad that Melsom didn’t get his moment in the spotlight, and at least a fairly decent man did instead.
The rotten borough of Oldbury would have a further 13 years after the Coronation event before being merged with Smethwick and Rowley Regis, (similar), into the “Warley Borough”, and then of course in 1974 with the merger of West Bromwich, “Sandwell” was born, and it’s still as rotten as ever!