St James's Church at Eve Hill had a church school from the mid-19th century, but this was closed during the 1970s and was used as a community centre for several years before being transferred to the Black Country Museum in 1989. The site of the school remained undeveloped until 2008, when work began on a new health centre.

The nearest international airport is Birmingham Airport, around 19 miles to the east. The nearest local airport is Wolverhampton Airport, which is about 10 miles to the west of the town.

The ride opened for business on Monday, opposite Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, and will run from 9am to 5pm seven days a week.

Lorikeet Lookout is the last project to complete in our lower zoo site redevelopment plan which we unveiled at the end of last year.

But Twitter users and some national newspapers have poured scorn on the attraction.

"There's a million and one things that needs looking at in the town without money being spent on a giant ferris wheel. It has got to be the worst tourist attraction in Britain."

Dudley covers an area of the South Staffordshire Coalfield, which contributed heavily to its growth and industrialisation during the 18th century Industrial Revolution.[55]

A detached part of the Anglican Diocese of Worcester, Dudley has its own Archdeaconry and suffragan bishop. The town is served by numerous parish churches, including the Church of St. Edmund, Church of St. James, and Church of St. Thomas within the town centre. In the Kate's Hill area of Dudley, one can find St John's church, whose graveyard contains the burial place of William Perry a 19th-century Prizefighter, known as the Tipton Slasher.

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Midland Red used to operate bus services in the town, mostly from its own bus depot, which opened in 1929. This depot was located on Birmingham Road and passed to West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive in 1973, along with operation of all bus services in Dudley. The depot was closed in 1993 and demolished a year later to make way for the Castle Gate roundabout, at the eastern end of the town's new southern by-pass. The island was built in 1997 and the by-pass opened on 15 October 1999.

As well as The Dudley School, Sir Gilbert Claughton School and The Blue Coat School, which merged to form Castle High School, other defunct schools in the town include Rosland Secondary School, which became part of The Blue Coat School in 1970, and Park Secondary School. The Mons Hill School also shut down as a result of falling pupil numbers; it had originally opened in 1965 to replace the Wolverhampton Street School.

Barney Fletcher, 55, a lorry driver from nearby Coseley, West Midlands, said: "There's nothing to see in Dudley. Its got a zoo and a castle and that's it.

The Bean Cars factory was opened in the first years of the twentieth century and remained in use until the 1930s, but survives to this day for other industrial use.

Catholics in the town are served by a church dedicated to Our Blessed Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury situated in St Joseph Street near the bus station.[90] The church, designed by architect Augustus Pugin, dates from 1842 and has been Grade II listed since 1949.[91]

Dudley Priory was a Cluniac priory founded circa 1160 by the Lord of Dudley, Gervase de Paganel, and controlled several churches in the surrounding area. After its initial dissolution in 1395, it reopened as a denizen priory, and remained in use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[89] Today the ruins form part of the surrounding Priory Park.

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The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend. How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?

The nearest motorway is the M5, with the closest junction situated in Oldbury, 3 miles south-east of the town.

The zoo which opened in May 1937, covers an area of approximately 40 acres. This unique site includes two scheduled monuments – an 11th century castle and limestone caverns – and 12 Grade 2 listed Tecton buildings (four Grade 2*).

Social media users also took to Twitter to mock the Dudley wheel - which has also been nicknamed the "Dudl-Eye" - which is how the town is pronounced in a West Midlands accent.

Dudley also has places of worship for other religious groups and Christian denominations, including a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, two Sikh gurdwaras, and a Hindu temple. The old St Edmund's Church School, which closed in 1970 on a merger with St John's Church School, was converted into a mosque for the town's growing Islamic community, with an additional mosque also opening in the Queen's Cross area of the town.

Dudley town centre has been served by a bus station at the junction of Birmingham Street and Fisher Street since 1952. The original bus station was cleared in 1984 and replaced by the current bus station, which became fully operational in 1987.

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Stuart Booth, a 44-year-old butcher, said: "I love the place, I'm Dudley born and bred, but even I have to admit it's an absolute dive.

Following a merger with the Coseley Volleyball Club, Wombourne V.C. play at the Evolve campus of Dudley College, in the town centre. They compete in the West Midlands Volleyball Association.[117]

Lorikeet Lookout has included a new heating system and pool filtration system for the building's ponds which now house koi carp, goldfish and terrapins.  The walkthrough is also home to Monty, the white-throated monitor lizard and free-roaming roul roul partridges and plans are already afoot to increase the lorikeet numbers in the coming months.

Andy Mullaney, Dudley's first "business connector" from the Business in the Community charity, said: "If this wheel was in Brixton it would have been branded as "community inclusive".

Dudley

The borough's final single sex state schools, Walton Girls School and Richmond Boys School in Halesowen, merged in September 1985 to form Windsor High School.

Dudley is served by main roads which give a direct route to neighbouring towns. The longest of these roads are the B4176 (which runs to Wombourne, Bridgnorth and Telford) and the A461 (which passes through Wednesbury and Walsall, finally reaching Lichfield).

But Dudley Council leader Pete Lowe branded the claims "absolute nonsense".

Dudley has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times,[5] its name deriving from the Old English Duddan Leah, meaning Dudda's clearing, and one of its churches being named in honour of the Anglo-Saxon King and Saint, Edmund.

Primary schools that no longer exist include St James' School (erected in 1842), St John's Primary School and St Edmund's Primary School, which merged to form St Edmund's and St John's Church of England Primary School in the 1970s. The St Edmund's building still exists on the corner of Castle Hill and Birmingham Street, and is now used as a mosque.

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In October 2006, Dudley Beacon and Castle Primary Care Trust and Dudley South Primary Care Trust merged to become Dudley Primary Care Trust.[82] As of January 2012, it is chaired by Gill Cooper.

Following the Reform Act of 1832, Dudley returned one Member of Parliament, a privilege first enacted in the Parliament of 1295.[6][9] The town was re-incorporated as a Municipal Borough in 1865, later becoming a County Borough in 1889.[22]

Dud Dudley's discovery, together with improvements to the local road network and the construction of the Dudley Canal, made Dudley into an important industrial and commercial centre.[9] The first Newcomen steam engine, used to pump water from the mines of the Lord Dudley's estates, was installed at the Conygree coal works a mile east of Dudley Castle in 1712,[18] though this is challenged by Wolverhampton, which also claims to have been the location of the first working Newcomen engine.[19]

Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries. As we approach a vote on the UK's membership of the European Union, we look at what 50 writers, actors, historians, artists and comedians have said about Europe and its nations.

Sycamore Green Primary School shut down in July 2006 as a result of falling pupil numbers. Staff and pupils were transferred to the nearby Wrens Nest Primary School, and the school buildings are now used as a Pupil Referral Unit for students studying at Key Stage 3.

A proposed extension of the Midland Metro line, which would run from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill via Dudley, would re-instate a tram service through the town centre, and is awaiting approval.[54]

Russells Hall Hospital was constructed in 1976 but financial problems meant that it could not open until 1983. A major expansion of the hospital was completed in 2005 when it incorporated all of the borough's inpatient services, following the closure of Wordsley Hospital and the downgrading of Dudley Guest Hospital and Stourbridge Corbett Hospital to outpatient services only.