Iron master Francis Grazebrook donated the land with his brother Owen Francis Grazebrook in 1918 for housing estate, a road and a memorial garden no bigger than one acre
The memorial was built between 1922-23, unfortunately there is no clear record of when there was a public dedication, though it was mentioned in council records that a ceremony would take place .
The memorial was dedicated to Francis and his wife Isabella’s son Charles Alverey Grazebrook who died while serving in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps on March 10th 1915 during the Great War. Francis was also a local councillor and later awarded Alderman. He was known by people who knew him as a people’s person. He was well respected by his work force at M&W Grazebrook ltd and also donated the memorial to local people who had also fallen in the war.
Francis – known as Frank to the family – was handed the keys to the Netherton Ironworks in 1870s and told to “do his best”. The company had been a victim of the post-war slump following the Prussian war, but by 1893 the dynamic Frank had turned around the company’s fortunes. In 1913, with business booming once more, Frank moved into Stourton Castle near Stourbridge
The original cross was over 10 feet tall but was either vandalised or hit by freak weather .as reported in a local newspaper in 1961. The cross was replaced with a small metal cross in the 90’s which stands to this day. Recently the Friends of Buffery Park have been awarded money by the war memorial trust to restore the cross to its original design
The park itself was a play park for the vast majority who remember it in its hey day, known as the swing park. Again we are not sure if the play park was built with the original park as Buffery Park itself did have a play park in the 30/40 s. Grazebrook was expanded in the 1960s, adding the land next to the railway line which was never developed
The station was named Dudley Southside and Netherton until 1921 and then renamed Blowers Green, it served Woodside and the Netherton areas as well as connections to places like Oxford and Worcester. The line was axed in 1962,although the line was used for freight until the late 80’s.The station building is still standing today as a listed building, just behind Grazebrook Park. There is hope one day the line could reopen.
Grazebrook like Buffery Park was well maintained with its own park keeper, bushes and shrubs and remnants of pre-war fencing line the periphery of the park.
There used to be a park shed at the entrance of the park and a vast children’s play area at the bottom of the park. A bricked youth shelter with toilet facilities was also on the site. As with Buffery Parkbudget cuts took their toll. The shelter and the toilets were demolished in the 1970’s. The play park was so run down by the mid 1990’s that it was deemed a health and safety risk and was removed in 1996, leaving the area with no play facilities at all. The park was cut down to its original size with the Dudley Bypass cutting through the open land in 1999 so that you could no longer see the old Blowers Green station in the distance but the park itself has remained as Francis Grazebrook wanted it to be…a memorial park.