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Dudley Central Civic Restaurant

We are looking for memories from the 1940s to the 1950s of Dudley Civic Restaurant that once stood on the corner of Fisher Street and Birmingham Street in Dudley from 1948 until the 1980s.

As part of our BCLM: Forging Ahead development project, we will recreate the restaurant which will be situated  within our new 1940s-60s town which is due to open in 2022.

Do you have memories of dining or attending a function in the restaurant in the 1940s to 1950s? Did you or anyone in your family eat, join in a celebration or work in the Civic restaurant? Can you remember the food, the decoration or even the mural?

How to contact us

  • Tel: 0121 557 9643
  • email:
  • Post address: Collections Team, Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4SQ

About the Dudley Central Civic Restaurant

Purpose built in 1948 the Civic Restaurant in Dudley was part of a government led initiative to change the popular wartime British restaurants into civic restaurants. These aimed to provide affordable and nutritious food without diners needing to use their precious personal rations and was particularly important in the Black Country as many companies were too small to run canteens for their workers. The Civic Restaurant was designed for mass dining, serving midday dinners, coffees, teas and evening meals for to up to 200 people at a time. In later years it was also hired out for private functions, dances and wedding receptions. Unusually for a civic restaurant it was purpose built, most were converted buildings, with an open plan kitchen, a mural designed by local students from Dudley Technical College, coffee room and terrace.

Despite menus becoming more adventurous, a rebrand in 1954 with a new name The Ednam and the introduction of jukeboxes numbers fell as diners went elsewhere leading to closure of the civic in 1956. The building was then used for council purposes including the home of the Black Country Museum Development Office from 1975 to 1984 and was eventually demolished to make way for Dudley’s new bus station. Many fixtures and fittings were sold at public auction.

Why the Dudley Central Civic Restaurant

We are seeking memories of Dudley Central Civic Restaurant in the 1940s and 1950s, to inform our recreation of it in BCLM: Forging Ahead. Upon completion in 2022, visitors will be able to taste life in the post-war Black Country, including National Bread and steamed jam puddings, and hearty British dinners highlighting the shortages and challenges of life in the 1940s. 


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