History: Telford, A Marvellous Way of Life

The year is 1976, and Telford Development Corporation (TDC) need to get businesses on the ground employing people that are filling up estates such as Brookside, Stirchley, Woodside and Sutton Hill over the past few years.

Part of the plan to sell Telford was taking out adverts in the press that would appeal to businesses to move here.  The advert below is from The Times, and ran in March of 1976.

Telford Appearing in The Times Newspaper.  Click to make it bigger.
Telford Appearing in The Times Newspaper. Click to make it bigger.

In this next scan, there is some hard-hitting editorial, which is insightful and brings home what the area sacrificed for the Industrial Revolution.  From Typical Shropshire green pastureland, meadows and farming, to a wasteland of pit spoils and iron scars in 200 years.  The place was a mess, “To be asked to move to Dawley, was like being invited to bathe in someone elses dirty water” writes the author John Young about the area prior to the work & investment controlled by the Telford Development Corporation.

Look at the two photos in this piece. The top picture looks very much like Sutton Hill, and you can see why people living in high-rise flats in Birmingham would want to move to the bright, spacious estates with no traffic and schools on hand.  In the bottom picture (actually an advert for the construction company) you see a bright and fresh Malinslee House, which earlier this year was sold to developers to demolish and build a new Asda supermarket.  Telford Shopping Centre is on the right, noticeable by the white pyramid which is still there today.  The car park in front of the shopping centre is where House of Fraser was built.

Telford editorial in The Times Newspaper. Click pic to enlarge.
Telford editorial in The Times Newspaper. Click pic to enlarge.

The next page has a couple of articles, one discussing the many sporting activities available in Telford.  It mentions at length Madeley Court, which has been vacated and is now ready for demolition.  The photos show a new Brookside with a few Mums pushing prams and no traffic in sight.

The advert for Frank Galliers Ltd building homes at Park View, Stirchley must be referring to what we now call Stirchley Park.  A small private housing estate between Brookside, Stirchley, and Stirchley Playing Fields.

Photos of Brookside.  Click to make this page readable.
Photos of Brookside. Click to make this page readable.

In the final page, the narrative talks about the transport problems faced by the area and the future building of the M54 which would join the M6 north of Hilton (it actually ended up joining south).  The monumental traffic jams that afflicted the town every bank holiday in Wellington with Midlanders driving to Wales along the A5 getting snarled up by the Bucks Head and the Cock Hotel are also referred to.  In a nod to the rich industrialists, a mention of helicopter landing pads being available but to my knowledge, there are no private helipads in Telford.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

Finding willing labour is no problem in Telford New Town. A list is maintained of skilled workers is made available to incoming businesses, a house to rent will be offered to skilled workers moving into the area.

The photos are of the China Works at Coalport, Top right will most likely be of one of the Clifford Williams factories and the main shot is of the Museum.

The advert for house builders Second City Homes, would be for the Sutton Heights development, rather than the 1989 Punta Verde development shown here

1976: Telford in The Times.  Click pic to read the paper.
Telford in The Times. Click pic to read the paper.

These scans were from a Telford Scrapbook put together charting the rise of Telford by John Steele of Oakengates, and contributed by Michelle Jones.

One thought on “History: Telford, A Marvellous Way of Life

  • December 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm
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    A few years ago I think in the early 90’s they had plans for houses out by Apley which would there own air strips and hangers but locals were not happy and one councillor had a one man campaign against it. So it never got off the ground, so to speak

    Reply

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