NETHERTON was once a quiet North Worcestershire village on the ancient road from Dudley to Halesowen, but grew into a thriving Black Country industrial community with a strong sense of its own identity. Its natural landscape was remoulded by man in pursuit of coal and clay, and further refined by industrialists.
Nethertonians produced metal goods ranging from jews' harps to ships' anchors, from nails and chains to industrial boilers. Among the nineteenth-century houses, pubs and chapels vied for supremacy. But in the second half of the twentieth century the town seemed to be in decline.
Today Netherton is hoping for an imaginative regeneration. What it offers is a land of surprises: ancient woodlands, water-skiing on a reservoir, home-brewed ales, churches, chapels, an art centre, canalside walks, a proud industrial past and ever-changing vistas.