6:03pm Tuesday 1st October 2013
TWO plaques recognising historic sites in Halesowen which were thought to be lost have been restored and reinstated in the town centre.
The mystery disappearance of the Laconstoone plaque from the wall of Plaza Mall in High Street sparked clamours for its restoration from more than 100 people on a Facebook page at the start of the year.
Although initial inquiries by the News to the council in January drew a blank, it later transpired that it was in their possession and funding for its restoration was sought.
It describes the history of the now culverted Laconstoone stream and a medieval bridge that connected High Street with Hagley Street and had been found on the ground by a passer-by and taken to chamber of trade chairman Steve Fitzpatrick who handed it over to Dudley council.
The Peckingham Street plaque tells the story of the street itself, which has been a shopping thoroughfare for nearly four centuries.
The road was once known as Prickingham Street and in Victorian times it served the needs of the nailmakers in nearby Birmingham Street.
After falling off the wall, the plaque was held in safe keeping at the Halesowen Photo Centre and local history buffs Maureen Millsom and Kevin Bissell began the campaign to have them restored.
Both plaques were originally sited in 1968 when the High Street and Peckingham Street were pedestrianised.
They have been restored in imitation slate and unveiled by Dudley mayor Councillor Alan Finch.
He said: “I think it’s great that these plaques have been returned to the town centre to help local people learn more about their shared history and heritage as they go about their weekly shop.”
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