Old Dudley Police Station
The foundation stone of Dudley’s ‘new’ police station, to replace the original 100 year old one in Priory Street, was laid on 19 May 1939 by Viscount Cobham, John Lyttelton of Hagley. The architects were Webb & Gray of High Street, Dudley and the Borough Engineer was FH Gibbons.
The building, along with the attached new fire station, was formally opened on 22 October 1941 by Viscount Cobham. The buildings cost £50,000 (equivalent to £2.5m today).
According to The Herald newspaper article on the formal opening “The buildings comprise the only local public scheme on which work was permitted to proceed during war-time…”. In the vote of thanks to Lord Cobham the long delays to the start, and the inevitable difficulties of completing such a project during war-time, were acknowledged. Officers in the Home Office were thanked for “their constant and willing assistance at all times.”
A handsome building, its corner location facilitates a stylish concave quarter-circle entrance area frontage. The overall design follows the typical police station architecture of the time, being built of brick and stone and decorated with police-related statues, a coat of arms and carved wooden doors.
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The large oak doors are carved with 20 scenes representing police activities including: mounted police; on a bicycle and on the beat; helping the injured; chasing suspects; directing traffic; taking statements from witnesses; and fingerprinting. The carvings were designed by architect GF Webb and executed by Charles Upton.
POLICEMEN AND LION STATUES
The two stone statues above the entrance represent the origin of the police and their continuity. On the left is a 17th century nightwatchman holding a lantern and on the right is a 1940s policeman holding a truncheon and a pair of handcuffs. On plinths on either side of the entrance are stone crouching lions with cubs, representing the protective power of the police. The statues were designed by architect GF Webb and executed by Alan Bridgwater (policemen) and Charles Upton (lions).
COAT OF ARMS
Above the stone statues is a large Dudley coat of arms which includes the castle keep, a ‘Dudley Bug’ fossil plus an anchor and Davy Lamp representing some of the borough’s past industries.