CUSTODIANS of Halesowen’s ancient abbey ruins are promoting the sale of a much-loved history of the town.

The Halesowen Story, written in 1955, was revived last year and 250 copies were sold through word of mouth.

Now the Hales Owen Abbey Trust is hoping to boost sales again and get more copies printed.

Trust secretary Mick Freer said the book “small in size but large in impact, captured the imagination of Halesowen people”.

It was written by Lena Schwarz, daughter of Frank Jones, a carpenter and undertaker in the town, and illustrated by her husband Hans, an Austrian refugee, who had escaped Nazi oppression to continue his education and career in art in Birmingham.

Mr Freer said: “A short reprint was done in 1956 but the supply did not match the demand and the distinctive book became a treasured possession.”

Last year he contacted the couple’s children and their eldest son, Stephen, a printer, was instrumental in setting out the book for a facsimile print run using modern methods.

Mrs Schwarz, who died later in the year, aged 87, was delighted that to know the book was being made available to a new generation of readers.

Copies, costing £5.50. plus £2.20 postage, can be ordered from Mr Freer on 0121 550 5440, or by emailing him on