Tipton lies in the heart of the Black
Country. Although one of the smaller Black Country towns, it
had a great impact on the local area due to large-scale
coal mining, iron works, and the many industries that
followed. Like its neighbours, Tipton began life as a small Saxon farming
community, before exploiting its underground wealth, in the form of large coal, iron and clay deposits.
Large scale industrial development came with the opening of the many
canals, which ran for over twenty miles within the parish
boundaries, earning it the nickname ‘The Venice of the Black
Country’. The area became well known for its heavy industries,
including ironworks, foundries, brick making, and structural steelwork.
There were also lighter industries producing a wide range of
products from vehicles to electrical equipment. Another well-known
firm was Palethorpes which claimed to be the world’s largest
producer of pork sausages.
Like its neighbours, Tipton was greatly
affected by the closure of most of the factories in the latter part
of the last century, which led to large areas of dereliction.
Redevelopment on a grand scale has given the area a new lease of
life, once again making it a desirable place to live and work for
its many locals, who are justifiably proud of their town's many