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Wombourne is reputedly the largest village in England and has a rich heritage that goes back to the days of the Domesday Book of 1086. Initially an important agricultural area, the Industrial Revolution saw Wombourne become a key centre for nail-making before in the 20th century being transformed into a dormitory area for the wider Black Country region.

Despite the relatively recent construction of a large supermarket on the outskirts of the village, the main shopping area has weathered the recession rather well and it is still a vibrant retail centre with very few empty units blighting it. The shops are - of course - clustered around the traditional village cricket ground.  

Sadly that is not the same down the road in Kinver where a number of long-term empty retail outlets are in the process of being converted into residential properties. Kinver was once a major tourist centre and every year hundreds of thousands of passengers would use the Kinver Light Railway to journey to the village from Stourbridge, Dudley and much further afield. At this time (around the turn of the 20th century) the guest houses, tea-rooms and pubs in Kinver boomed and the famous Rock Houses on Kinver Edge were one of the major tourist attractions in the Midlands.

Between Wombourne and Kinver lies the small village of Swindon which is probably best known for the E.P. & W. Baldwin ironworks which dominated the area until closed and was demolished some 30 years ago. At one time it was suggested that almost six out of ten males of working age in the village were employed at the works and during the Second World War may locals were excused national service as their work was classified as vital to the war effort.

On the other side of Wombourne is Penn, now part of Wolverhampton but still fiercely independent - and with good reason. It is one of the most historic areas of the city. From the beautiful church of St Bartholomew to Penn Common and from its connections with Lady Godiva to its large housing estates, some dating back to Edwardian times.

In addition to distributing to households throughout the area, each month copies of VILLAGE VOICE are left at the libraries and health centres in Sedgley, Gornal, Coseley and Tipton plus many of our regular advertisers also have copies available.

We are always interested in receiving suggestions for editorial features - just drop us a line, give us a call or send us an email. Similarly if you have any old interesting photographs of the area please get in touch.    

Wombourne / Swindon / Kinver / Penn

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