THE Black Country Living Museum wants people to share their memories of Woodside Library.

With support from Dudley Council, the museum will carefully dismantle the library and move it to the museum, where it will become a dramatic centrepiece of the heritage attraction’s new 1940s-1960s Black Country town, opening 2022.

The translocation of the building, which currently stands on Stourbridge Road in Holly Hall, will be one of the biggest projects in the museum’s Forging Ahead development.

Simon Briercliffe, the museum’s historical researcher, said: “Woodside Library played a huge role in the lives of the local community in that part of Dudley for over a century.

“By translocating it to the museum we will be able to salvage not only the beautiful architecture that made it such a distinctive sight on Stourbridge Road, but also re-tell the story of the community it served and the people of the Woodside area.”

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “This is an important building with lots of history behind it and I am glad it is being kept in the borough for future generations to see. I’m sure local people will have many happy memories of visiting Woodside Library which will tell a fascinating story about this building.”

Woodside Free Library opened in 1894. The Earl of Dudley offered the land for the library and Woodside Park in 1890, land which was previously part of the Earl’s large Woodside Colliery.

On the day of the opening ceremony, the Earl and Countess of Dudley were escorted by the Worcestershire Hussars with a procession by carriage from Dudley Town Hall, to Netherton, and on to Woodside.

Woodside Library featured a reading room and lending library on the ground floor, and recreation and retiring rooms on the first.

The upstairs rooms were also used for a variety of local clubs and, most famously, dances led by local compere Horace Robinson.

After World War Two, the library service began to expand, with Woodside incorporating both a children’s library and gramophone record library.

It was renovated in the early 1970s to brighten it up and continued in use until 2008.

But to really capture the building’s history, the museum needs to hear from those who used it.

Did you borrow from Woodside Library in the 1960s or earlier?

Did you work, study or dance there? Do you remember the staff, or other visitors? If so, get in touch with the museum by emailing or calling 0121 557 9643.