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Do you remember the West Bromwich Building Society in Cape Hill?

Pic of West Bromwich Building Society

05 March 2018

We are currently on the look out for memories of the West Bromwich Building Society in Cape Hill, Smethwick during the 1940s-60s.

Once occupying 31 Cape Hill in Smethwick, we plan to recreate the building society as part of its £21.7m Forging Ahead project.

The building being recreated was built in the late nineteenth-century as part of the Post Office on the corner of Windmill Lane, and was taken over by the Building Society in 1931. They moved their Smethwick Branch from Waterloo Road to this more prominent site and refaced the building with a new stone façade. It remained open until around 1970, when the branch moved across the road to its present position.

Once recreated at the Museum, the building will be set in the Society’s centenary year (1949) – a time when housing was a political, economic and cultural issue and finding somewhere to live was often challenging. The Society, which was formed to enable the working classes to afford home ownership, had over 1.5 million depositors at this time – helping people to save to afford their own home.

Simon Briercliffe, Historical Research Assistant, comments: “Telling the story of the West Bromwich Building Society during such a key point in time will enable us to show the importance of mutual help and savings to the ordinary residents of the Black Country, and how central to everyday life the idea of home was. We’ll be using relevant memories and objects to shape the story of ‘the West Brom’ so please do get in touch if you or anyone you know remembers the Cape Hill branch.”

We urge anyone who remembers the Cape Hill branch of the West Bromwich Building Society during this period to get in touch via 0121 557 9643, email: or address: Collections Team, Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4SQ. As well as memories, we are also looking for old passbooks, paperwork, photos, money boxes or any other equipment that may have been used in the branch.

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