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Smethwick is a town adjacent to Birmingham and West Bromwich, and, since 1974 has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, in the West Midlands county. Historically, it was in Staffordshire.

Smethwick is served by trains on both the LMS and GWR lines from Birmingham New Street station and Birmingham Snow Hill station respectively, serving Wolverhampton and Worcester, with onward connections. A new station replaced two older facilities, one on each line, in the 1990s.


Smethwick means "The settlement on the smooth land". Until the end of the 18th century it was an outlying hamlet of the south Staffordshire village of Harborne.

From the 18th century, three generations of canal were built through Smethwick, carrying coal and goods between the nearby Black Country and Birmingham.

Grade I listed Galton Bridge spands the canal and railway. When built, it was the longest single-span bridge in the world. Its name commemorates Samuel Galton.

Boulton and Watt opened their Soho Foundry. William Murdoch's cottage there was the fiorst domestic residence in the world to have lighting. The foundry was later home to weighing scale makers W & T Avery.

The world's oldest working Boulton and Watt engine, at Millennium Point, in Birmingham, originally stood near Bridge Street, Smethwick.

Other former industry included railway rolling stock manufacture, at the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company factory; screws and other fastenings from Guest Keen and Nettlefold, engines and from Tangye, and various products from Chances Glasswork, incuding lighthouse lenses and the glazing for the Crystal Palace.

The Ruskin Pottery Studio, named in honour of the artist John Ruskin, was in Oldbury Road. Many English churches have stained glass windows made at Hardman Studios in Lightwoods House, or, before that, buy the Camm family.

Former Prime Minster John Major's parents married there while they were on tour with a music hall variety act. Actor Julie Walters and comedian Frank Skinner are both from Smethwick.

In 1966, Smethwick ceased to be a single County Borough and was was absorbed into the new County Borough of Warley in Worcestershire.

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