History of Oldbury, Langley and Warley
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Updated 1 November 2013
HOME > Gallery > 3: County High School



We would welcome copies of other films and videos on the Oldbury area that could be included on this site.

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Oldbury County High School in Moat Road, Langley, was opened on 26th October 1926. It was the new home and new name of Oldbury Secondary School which had been started in the Technical School buildins in Flash Road, Oldbury in 1905. and had outgrown the facilities offered by that building. The new building was situated in playing fields on farmland sold by Albright & Wilson to Oldbury Urban District Council and Worcestershire County Council for that purpose. After WW2 its name was changed to Oldbury Grammar School, until it became a comprehensive school in 1974.

"Opening of the County High School 1926"

This video has been transferred from the original film by the Media Archive for Central England, MACE. The film was made on the usual 'nitrate' stock of the time, and after nearly ninety years, this type of film has become very unstable and liable to burst into flames spontaneously. It has to be carefully handled and projected in an inert atmosphere usuing specialist equipment. We are grateful to MACE for arranging this transfer, and to Colin Jones who owned the original film, which is now being stored by MACE.

In his 'Short History of Oldbury Grammar School', A A L Pearce says of the opening ceremony "... A film was made of this ceremonyand bought by the school from the director of Langley cinema. It was shown at the speech day of 1933, which was held at the cinema and attended by over a thousand people ...".

It is not known whether this video is that film, but it is likely to be all or part of it. What seems strange today is the military nature of the pupils lining up in the large quadrangle behind the flags of the school's guide troup, and their marching in step to the front entrance and wheeling to enter it. Unfortunately, there are no interior shots of the ceremony, but the film does record the dignitaries and the 1926 staff - all that remains is to identify them all! They will include members of Worcestershire County Council, Oldbury Urban District Council and local leaders. If you can identify anyone, please contact us via this site or our facebook page.

[Silent monochrome film, 4 minutes - 270Mb file HD

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"County High School Sports Day 1938"

This film was probably produced by the County High School itself as a record of their sports day in 1938. There are shots of the boys and girls taking part in the athletic races, as well as novelty races including the sack race, the leapfrog race and the slow bicycle race. There is also a tug-of-war. The event was controlled via a loudspeaker van hired from Griptons of West Bromwich and Oldbury (4, Birmingham Street). In the background are the newly erected buildings of Moat Farm Junior School, together with the houses in Moat Road and Moore Crescent, and, on the skyline. Bristnall Hall Farm and the large houses of 'The Beeches' and 'Uplands'. There are good shots of the school itself.

A flag flying in front of the school appears in some shots, and this has three horizontal stripes. We assume these were the blue, white and green of the school colours - can anyone confirm this?

We would also like to hear from anyone appearing in the film or anyone who can identify the people shown, pupils and masters. Please contact us if you recognise anyone.

[Silent monochrome film, 7 minutes - 105Mb file


The newly-built school in Moat Road at the time of the opening


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