This is the story of a typical Black Country town that developed and prospered thanks to the growth of industry. Extensive beds of coal and iron ore were worked, and large iron and steel works operated by the 19th century. Although originally famous for the manufacture of gun locks and nails, many other industries soon followed and large factories were built. Large numbers of people moved into the area to find work and the population rapidly grew.

Darlaston was one of the largest villages in Staffordshire until it became part of Walsall in 1966. Its fortunes have since waned due to the demise of local industry, much of which has disappeared. The town centre, once a vibrant shopping area also declined and its future was uncertain until the building of the modern ASDA store. Many of the industrial areas fell into dereliction with the result that post-industrial desolation was commonplace. Over the last few years things have greatly improved thanks to investment in the area. Most of the large derelict factory sites have been replaced by housing or smaller industrial units and Darlaston can look forward to a bright future.

Although part of Walsall, many Darlastonian's are fiercely independent, as are most of the local communities in the Black Country. There is much interest in the town's past and hopefully what follows will be enjoyed by Darlastonian's and non-Darlastonian's alike.

The Bull Stake in the early 1970s.

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