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The West Midlands: Your Questions answered

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Media captionAsk us your questions about where you live

All week you have been using Your Questions to tell us what you have always wanted to know about the West Midlands.

From "Did the Romans make pottery in Stoke-on-Trent?" to "What happened to the memorial bench in Malvern Link?"

You asked us "Why are there black steel horses along the rail line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton?"

And "Were any bombs dropped on Stoke-on-Trent during World War Two?" Here's how we have answered your questions.


Chris from Ipstones, Staffordshire asked: "Did the Romans make pottery in Stoke?"

Stoke-on-Trent, also known as the Potteries, has been a production centre for ceramics for 300 years, but does its creative heritage stretch back to Roman times?

A kiln dated AD 43-69 was discovered in Trent Vale during excavations between 1955 and 1957. And nearby a potter's workshop and a fort was found.

Pieces of earthenware found inside the kiln are the earliest known in The Potteries.

Then, as now, potters in Stoke were making kitchenware but they also had an eye to the afterlife.

Image copyright The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
Image caption A 'face pot' used to store cremated remains was unearthed in Stoke-on-Trent and is now on display at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Karen Scanlon asked: "Is Telford part of Shropshire?"

From a purely geographical point of view, the answer is "yes", Telford sits within the historic county boundary of Shropshire.

But in 1998 Telford got its own unitary authority, separate from the rest of the county and so is no longer part of the local authority area controlled by Shropshire Council.

Image caption Is Telford in Shropshire?

A reader who wanted to be anonymous asked "Why are there black steel horses along the rail line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton?"

Here's a clip from Midlands Today back in 1987 with sculptor Kevin Atherton who created the 12 life-size steel horses.

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Media captionSculptor Kevin Atherton talks about the 12 life size steel horses that are to be placed alongside the railway line between Wolverhampton and Birmingham

Terry Dennis asked: "Is there any record of bombs being dropped on Stoke-on-Trent during World War Two?"

There are around 20 recorded bombings across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, said the city council.

Staffordshire County Council has photographs of bomb damage including this one on Old Stoke Road, in January 1941.

Image copyright Stoke-on-Trent Museums
Image caption Bomb damage on Old Stoke Road, in January 1941

Dorothy Hordell's memory of bomb raids over Hanley was recorded by Stoke-on-Trent libraries.

She describes the moment bombs were dropped on Birches Head Lane.

"It seemed the world was on fire and everybody was running for cover," she said.

For more records visit the BBC's archive of World War Two memories for Stoke & Staffordshire.


Celia Hatfield asked: "What happened to the memorial bench in Church Road, Malvern Link?"

A "missing" bench in memory of a World War One soldier will be returned in time for the centenary of his death.

The bench remembered Pte Norman Caswell Sayer, whose mother lived in adjoining Lower Hoswell Road.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Celia Hatfield used Your Questions to ask: "What happened to the memorial bench which used to be in Church Road, Malvern Link?"

Local handyman Jon Burgess said he took the bench for repair: "The aim is to have it restored and back where it belongs by April 2017."

"We've got the basics done and I've got the backing of a number of local people to supply the traditional materials and their skills to complete it," said Mr Burgess.

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