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Location of Dartmouth Park

Latest News

Victoria Cross Commemoration for Captain Robert Edwin Phillips

Dartmouth Park War Memorial was the setting for an event to mark the commemoration of the stone laid in honour of Captain Robert Edwin Phillips, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery, under fire, in going with a comrade to the assistance of his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henderson, and bringing him back behind the lines. The commemoration took place on 25 January 2017, one hundred years from the date of the actual event during WW1.

Several members of Captain Phillip's family attended the ceremony and his grandson, Howard Forti, gave a touching tribute to his grandfather in his address. Also present were the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Dr Keith Bradshaw, DL, the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Julie Webb, and several other Sandwell Councillors. The Royal British Legion and local veteran groups were well represented.

Eaton Valley Primary School Choir gave a beautiful performance of a song, 'Remember', which drew much applause from the large group of people who had come to the Park to witness the unveiling of the Commemorative Stone.

Following the service the attendees retired to the Pavilion for refreshments.

Captain Phillips was born in 1895 at Hill Top, West Bromwich, and was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School. On leaving school he worked for the Inland Revenue where he stayed throughout his working life. He died in 1968 and is buried in the churchyard of St Veep's Church near Lostwithiel in Cornwall.

The following photographs taken by Seumas Kelly tell the story of what was a very memorable occasion.

 

The unsightly mound near the Bandstand has disappeared at last!
The mound of rubble and soil left by the contractors who built the Bandstand has at last been removed thanks to the Friends of Dartmouth Park. A big thank you must go to Simply Recycling Ltd (Grab hire, Digger hire) who can be contacted on 07747682451, for responding to our plea for help. They have left just enough soil for the gardeners to repair the area. Ron, Yvonne, Annette and Selwyn stand proud admiring their achievement. Annette has ideas for planting around the Bandstand, so watch this space. Must also mention that the vandalism to the Bandstand has been repaired by the volunteer gardeners.

Our volunteer gardeners repair and paint a mystery feeder box which was used when trams ran in West Bromwich and came to rest in Dartmouth Park

On the right is an early photograph of an identical box on the corner of High Street and New Street. Our box is said to have come from Dartmouth Square, but, after searching through all the old postcards of Dartmouth Square we have in our collection, we cannot find our box. We hope that someone might be able to tell us where it was situated in Dartmouth Square.

The view of Dartmouth Square below doesn't give any clues and all our other postcards of Dartmouth Square seem to be from the same angle.

You have probably seen this strange object in the Park and wondered why and how it got there. It is a feeder box that was used to feed electricity to illuminate the War Memorial and eventually to feed electricity to the famous floral clocks that featured in the main avenue for many years.

We have had a little more information about the box after speaking to John Markham, a volunteer at the Crich Tramway Village where they have an identical box. The Crich box came from Smethwick and Mr Markham said all the boxes around the country were made in Smethwick. He said the trams arrived in West Bromwich approximately 1900 to 1908 and were privately run until 1920 when they were taken over by Birmingham Corporation. The trams stopped running in West Bromwich in 1939.

The volunteer gardeners have done a splendid job in repairing and painting the old junction box and we would like to attach a plaque to inform visitors to the Park about it's history.

 

The first floral clock, a cuckoo clock, was planted in 1951 to celebrate the Festival of Britain. See newspaper article about this clock below which unfortunately isn't very clear.

Also two examples of the glorious floral clocks that graced the Park over the years.

This is what the article says:
'Great interest has been aroused by the floral cuckoo clock on a lawn opposite the 1914-18 War Memorial near the main entrance of Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich. The dial, which is 12' in diameter is composed of more than 10,000 plants, and took nine days to complete. The mechanism, electrically operationed, is housed in a chamber 8' high and 6' square, hidden at the back of the embankment. The cuckoo call every 15 minutes is produced by a pair of organ pipes connected to bellows. The clock, installed to celebrate the Festival of Britain, will be a permanent feature in the Park.'


 


Wildlife of Dartmouth Park Video produced by
Mike Mountford and Mike Poulton

Mike Mountford and Mike Poulton set up their website earlier this year which can be accessed on our 'The Park' page. They have now produced a video of the Park and its wildlife which you can access via the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u2l4wG-YuI&feature=youtu.be 




Contact Address: Carol Hartill
Secretary of the Friends of Dartmouth Park
c/o 2 Sandwell Road North, West Bromwich, B71 4JB
Tel: 0121 588 4747 / e-mail: carolh.fodp@btinternet.com
Tel 0121 525 5524 / e-mail: annette_welch@sky.com

Committee

Sue Slater
Chairman
Roger Stopford
Vice Chairman
Annette Welch
Treasurer
Carol Hartill
Secretary
Mandy Timms
Membership Secretary
Mark Barrett
Social Historian
Wendy Bodenham
Minute Secretary
Chris Burgess
Maggie Turner
Chris Blakesley
Yvonne Hayward
Margaret Geddes
Jenny Francis