Black Country Echoes Blog

So long, farewell …

So long, farewell …

Well this is my last day here at Black Country Echoes HQ, I’m heading off to start something new. I feel really privileged to have been able to work with so many talented people, the museum staff and volunteers across the Black Country and the…

Object of the Week - Bilston Steel Works Continued

Object of the Week – Bilston Steel Works Continued

To continue the story of Bilston Steel Works from last week, the whole site entered a programme of modernisation from 1951 until 1964. One of the developments during this time was the building of the Elisabeth Blast Furnace which was lit in 1954 by a…

Object of the Week - Bilston Steel Works Commemorative Plaque

Object of the Week – Bilston Steel Works Commemorative Plaque

Bilston Steel Works, Spring Vale, Stewart and Lloyds, Alfred Hickman, whatever you call it this metal manufacturing site had a long history in Bilston and is still an emotive subject for a lot Black Country folk to this day. This plaque commemorates the closure of…

The Oakleaf from Round Oak

The Oakleaf from Round Oak

One of our excellent volunteers at Bantock House Museum in Wolverhampton brought in this copy of The Oakleaf to share with us. This is the company newspaper of Round Oak Steel Works, in Brierley Hill Dudley, there is a copy of this magazine in Dudley…

Object of the Week - Bilston Foundry Bath Mould

Object of the Week – Bilston Foundry Bath Mould

This is one of my favourite objects from the collection at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. It is a scale model of a bath mould which was used by a foundry engineer at Bilston Foundries as a teaching aid to help new recruits to learn the cast…

A Festival to Remember

A Festival to Remember

As we approach the end of an amazing year, we just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has made our festival a success. We set out to celebrate the Black Country’s unrivalled manufacturing tradition, but the scale and breadth of the Festival has…

Object of the Week - Jabez Cliff Football

Object of the Week – Jabez Cliff Football

This beautiful hand sewn football was made in Walsall at the Globe Works by Jabez Cliff a very famous name in the leather industry but probably better known for equestrian equipment. Jabez Cliff was established in 1873 producing bridles, Barnsby Saddles was based just down…

Happy Christmas from Everyone's Favourite Car

Happy Christmas from Everyone’s Favourite Car

Keith Peckmore the prototype engineer for the Meadows Frisky bought in this fantastic Christmas advert for the Frisky to show me and I just had to share it. The advert is from 1957 and, in case you can’t read it, states: “In this special Christmas…

Object of the Week - Walsall Lithographic Christmas Items

Object of the Week – Walsall Lithographic Christmas Items

I’ve been trawling our records looking for something Christmassy to share for our object this week and came up with these Christmas labels and packaging from the Walsall Lithographic Company. This company produced packaging for iconic brands such as HP Sauce, Blue Bird Toffees and…

Christmas 1970s Style

Christmas 1970s Style

Last Saturday, 13 December, Black Country Echoes hosted a Christmas party at Bantock House. It was based on the christmas parties that were held in the large factories in the Black Country for the children of all the workers. Throughout the project we have heard…

Object of the Week Update -  J Green Bicycle

Object of the Week Update – J Green Bicycle

Following last weeks object Richard Hoddinott kindly got in touch to share photographs of his own J Green bicycle. Richard writes: “I just stumbled over your post about Jack Green cycles……I don’t have anymore info to give you but thought you might be interested to…

Object of the Week - F. H. Lloyd Production Awards

Object of the Week – F. H. Lloyd Production Awards

This week’s objects are awards from the F H Lloyd Mini Mill which was established in West Bromwich in 1972. This mill was used to make steel billets and was setup in cooperation with Cooper Industries but by 1980 Cooper Industries had sold all the…

Behind the Hammer

Behind the Hammer

The last Community engagement project and BCE exhibition is now installed. Behind The Hammer by Artist Luke Perry portrays workers from Solid Swivel, which is a drop forge company in Cradley Heath. The beautiful photographs show employees at work and at leisure and are framed…

Whose Story? Black Country Manufacturing in Living Memory

Whose Story? Black Country Manufacturing in Living Memory

Who will be the custodians of the vast post-war industrial heritage of the Black Country? Could manufacturing be represented better in the art and literature of the area? How can we make sure that this amazing culture of industry is celebrated and preserved? Next Friday…

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

We are fast approaching the last few events of the Festival with 2 festive treats: Retro Christmas Fair on Saturday 13th Dec 11am – 4pm at Walsall Leather Museum. The event tracks Walsall leather connection with high fashion through the “In The Leather Exhibition” showcasing…

Object of the Week- J Green Bicycle

Object of the Week- J Green Bicycle

This object is a true midlands alloy, made up of components from lots of different manufacturers in the area with the odd offering from further afield. The bicycle was from J Green a bicycle dealer at 8 Bilston Street, Wolverhampton. It is a woman’s bike…

Object of the Week - All things Wheway

Object of the Week – All things Wheway

This object represents the Walsall company Wheway Watson. It is yet another example of a Black Country manufacturer originating as a back yard industry and going on to great things. In this case Job Wheway built a blacksmiths forge in the brewhouse at his home…

The Industrial River Tame: The Story So Far

The Industrial River Tame: The Story So Far

‘Tame Past Present Future’  is a project to identify, promote and celebrate the industrial heritage of the River Tame, which drains the northern part of the Black Country. This event will tell the story so far and a workshop will organise our research and look…

Mod Weekend - Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery

Mod Weekend – Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery

Today’s event was packed full of fun with everything from DJs, vintage clothing, photography, Super 8 films, mod bikes and 60s party food. The Gallery was a hive of activity and the energy was electric. Vintage Vixen were on hand with their 60s and 70s…

Object of the Week - West Bromwich Typewriters

Object of the Week – West Bromwich Typewriters

Typewriters are fascinating machines. They are examples of great design, scientific achievement and reflect the development of the work place but between you and me they can be a bit of a pain for museum collections. Lots of people had them, they are lovely objects,…

What's New for Mod Mania...

What’s New for Mod Mania…

What’s new for Mod Mania… Next Saturday 29th November at  2 – 6pm @ Wednesbury Museum…. Everyone arriving before 3pm will have a chance in the competition. 6 Lucky winners will get free entry into the Vintage fair next door at 3pm accompanied by our…

The Local Landscape Still Inspires Writers

The Local Landscape Still Inspires Writers

Our exhibition The Making of Mordor draws parallels between Tolkien’s ‘Black Lands’ and the industrial landscape which created a shadow over the author’s childhood home. Whether Tolkien based his Mordor on the area or not, one thing is certain: the Black Country continues to inspire…

Object of the Week - Crabtree Switch Products

Object of the Week – Crabtree Switch Products

Our objects this week celebrate Crabtree a very important manufacturer in the Black Country which made electrical switches and switch gear. On 19th November 2014 we are screening two short films which feature Crabtree, a world premiere of the a newly narrated film featuring the…

Upcoming Events...

Upcoming Events…

  We have lots of BCE events coming up soon including:  

Object of the Week - Izons Hollowware

Object of the Week – Izons Hollowware

These objects are from the collections at Sandwell Museum Service and were made by the iron casting company Izons and Co. The firm was founded by John Izon in 1776 in Birmingham or maybe even earlier but moved to West Bromwich in 1780 and was…

Object of the Week - Revo Cooker Instruction Book

Object of the Week – Revo Cooker Instruction Book

Our object this week is an instruction booklet for a Revo Electric Cooker. This might not seem like an exciting product today but when electric cookers first appeared on the market they were quite revolutionary. A lot of work had to be done by manufacturers…

Mae govannen na amarnin; im Arwen.

Mae govannen na amarnin; im Arwen.

It’s just another regular day in the office, working on the BCE project. In support of the Making of Mordor exhibition which focuses on the impact that the Black Country landscapes and industry had on Tolkein’s Mordor, I am spending the day as Arwen. Arwen…

The Queen's Visit

The Queen’s Visit

Today Queen Elizabeth II visited the Black Country to open the new Jaguar plant in Wolverhampton. The Black Country Echoes Festival, with the help of the Crabtree Society has unearthed some vintage footage of the Queen’s visit to the Crabtree Lincoln Works in Walsall on…

Object of the Week -

Object of the Week – “Old Hall” Stainless Steel

This collection of Stainless Steel table ware was produced by J & J Wiggin, also known as “Old Hall”. This company has played a very important role in Black Country manufacturing and was a pioneer in the use of Stainless Steel for these purposes. Like…

Art from Cutlery! - Ed Cartwright

Art from Cutlery! – Ed Cartwright

Animals and figures made entirely from re-cycled cutlery go on display at new Stourbridge Art and Music venue. Black Country based artist Edward Cartwright will be displaying steel sculptures at a new exhibition in Stourbridge. The show will be taking place between 23-25th October 12-4pm…

Art and Soul of Gritty Past

Art and Soul of Gritty Past

Last Thursday we were lucky enough to witness an In Conversation evening with John Bulmer, Nick Hedges, Arthur Lockwood and Brendan Jackson from Jubilee Archives. The discussion hosted by Historian Chris Upton was a fascinating insight about documentary photography in the time span the photographs…

Object of the Week - Salter Railway Parcel Balance

Object of the Week – Salter Railway Parcel Balance

This Salter Improved Railway Parcel Balance can be found in the collection at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery. This object represents a very important manufacturer in the Black Country which remains a part of many kitchens and bathrooms to this day. Salter Housewares started up…

Object of the Week - Viking

Object of the Week – Viking “Severn Valley” Road Bike

This bicycle is from the WAVE collection and was made by the Viking Cycle company. This company was founded in 1908 by Alfred Davies in Heath Town, but the company grew rapidly and within a few years moved to larger premises in Princess Street Wolverhampton.…

Object of the Week - Tarantella Jacket

Object of the Week – Tarantella Jacket

Our object this week is a splendid 1969 jacket made by Walsall leather company, Tarantella. This company has really interesting history. Like so many Black Country industries it started out in a factory at the back of a house on Tantarra Street, Walsall. It was…

Motorbike Day - Red House Glass Cone

Motorbike Day – Red House Glass Cone

On Sunday 28th October the Black Country Echoes Festival celebrated Black Country manufactured motorbikes. It was a fantastic sunny day in great surroundings at the beautiful Red House Glass Cone and we were accompanied by the mightily impressive Sandwell Foghorn. Several of the motorbikes and…

Vehicle Day and Simon Engineering Memorial Celebration

Vehicle Day and Simon Engineering Memorial Celebration

On Saturday the 27th September the Black Country Echoes Festival celebrated Black Country made cars and buses. We all had a fantastic day admiring the beautiful machines in Stone Square Dudley. We were even joined by West Midlands Fire Service Appliance fitted with a Dudley…

Pictures from the Past

Pictures from the Past

Pictures from the Past Friday, October 17th, 10.30 am -1 pm Rounds Green Library, Martley Road, Oldbury, B69 1DZ You are invited to attend the opening of this exhibition of photographs from the local area with Rounds Green Reminiscence Group. The group have been participating in sessions…

Billy Dosanjh - Year Zero: Black Country

Billy Dosanjh – Year Zero: Black Country

Extracts from Billy Dosanjh article in our new Publication Black Country Echoes: People Landscape Industry Art Award winning Black Country-born artist and film-maker Billy Dosanjh describes how he uses cross-cultural experiences and the art documentary form to foster change in societal outlooks My film Year Zero: Black…

Mission and Industry

Mission and Industry

Black Country Echoes continues to explore the link with mission and industry in partnership with Black Country Urban Industrial Mission. Our first event to kick off the Festival was held at Smethwick Baptist Church in August. The successful event included speakers; Vanley Burke, Chris Upton…

BCE Celebrates Tipton

BCE Celebrates Tipton

It was a full house today at Tipton Library as residents in the area came out to celebrate everything Tipton and BCE were there to capture the day. There were films, photographs and archives supplied by Jubilee Arts who have extended their exhibition and Sandwell…

Super74's Film Project; Wednesbury 1970-2014

Super74’s Film Project; Wednesbury 1970-2014

  Celebrate 40 years of the Friar Park Estate at Wednesbury Museum and art Gallery Exhibition launch! Commissioned by Black Country Museum Partnership, the Super 74’s Film Project is an imaginative and narrative led documentary of life growing up on the Friar Park Estate, Wednesbury…

The Launch!

The Launch!

Wow what a launch, and a big thank you to everyone who came and who helped make it happen. A quick resume of the day: The volunteers did a cracking job of engaging with 100’s of people on Queen Square with the help of a…

'In The Leather Exhibition' @ Walsall Leather Museum Open Now

‘In The Leather Exhibition’ @ Walsall Leather Museum Open Now

See the exhibition listing here  

'Diamonds In The Rough' Claire Cotterill

‘Diamonds In The Rough’ Claire Cotterill

‘Diamonds In The Rough’ is a Public Arts project commissioned by Bromford Housing Group for a new social housing development in Rough Hills Tavern, Wolverhampton. It consists of four mosaic panels and their theme draws upon research into the local heritage of Rough Hills Tavern…

Blue Plaques App Launch

Blue Plaques App Launch

The Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society visited Wolverhampton Art Gallery help promote the launch of the Blue Plaques App for Wolverhampton and the installation of the 100th blue plaque in the city for John Wilkinson. Claire Darke, the Secretary of the society and Barry Hodgson…

It's almost time for our launch event...

It’s almost time for our launch event…

BCE Launch Event Invitation (Opens as PDF)

Collecting & Working the ‘Echoes of Glass’ Exhibition - Plowden & Thompson and Tudor Crystal

Collecting & Working the ‘Echoes of Glass’ Exhibition – Plowden & Thompson and Tudor Crystal

I’ve been living in the Black Country for 6 years now and have loved learning about the rich industrial heritage of the region.  After meeting Frank Sharman, local historian and collector, I began to collect small pieces of brass and copper art metal-ware made by…

Heritage Open Days are here!

Heritage Open Days are here!

Heritage Open Days are here! Black Country Echoes Heritage Open Days ‘Unlocking Manufacturing History in the Black Country’ Celebrating England’s fantastic architecture & culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or charge for admission. Click on each listing below for…

Congratulations!

Congratulations!

Congratulations are in order for four of the artists exhibiting work for Black Country Echoes who graduated from the University of Wolverhampton yesterday. Jonathon Will, Tony Blood, Laura Moseley and Angelika Molek have used the photography and artistic skills developed during the course of their…

Industry and Worship

Industry and Worship

Industry & Worship kicked off our festival today and was an outstanding success. Smethwick Baptist Church opened up its doors to celebrate the area’s contribution to industry across the world. Featured companies included Avery, Birmid Foundries, Chance Glass and Ruskin Pottery. Speakers included Reverend Bill…

Digbeth Echoes

Digbeth Echoes

Digbeth Echoes explored the heritage of the two neighbourhoods Digbeth and Highgate in inner city Birmingham. Friction Arts, whose studio is on the edge of Digbeth and Highgate, spent two years interviewing the residents and workers of the area to create an archive of oral…

Memories of the Blue Bird

Memories of the Blue Bird

Today was the culmination of a project that has been a labour of passion! Blue Bird conjures up, for me, childhood images of rolling hills, the smell and taste of toffee and of course the Blue Bird fluttering through the air (for those of you…

Object of the Week – Stuart Crystal Wine Glass

Broadfield House Glass museum in Stourbridge has one of the finest collections of Glass in the World including this wine glass from the local company Stuart Crystal. Made in 1940, this glass is engraved with a stag leaping across the landscape. The catalogue describes the…

Miss Jean Vincent announced @ Vintage Vehicles & Views

Miss Jean Vincent announced @ Vintage Vehicles & Views

Miss Jean Vincent has been rockin’n’rollin for nearly 30 years all over the UK, Europe and Scandinavia. She’s toured with some of the original greats from the ’50s including Bill Haley’s Comets, Marty Wilde and Charlie Gracie, and played to hundreds of thousands of jivers…

Film Programme featuring Ken Loach & Billy Dosanjh

Film Programme featuring Ken Loach & Billy Dosanjh

We are thrilled to have Ken Loach’s “Spirit of ‘45” film shown at The Light House Media Centre on November 18 @ 8:00 pm & “Year Zero” by director and cinematographer Billy Dosanjh shown at Smethwick Library on October 11th during our festival! About the films… Year Zero,…

Black Country Touring Participation in the BCE Festival!

Black Country Touring Participation in the BCE Festival!

We are delighted to announce participation in Black Country Echoes from Black Country Touring who will appear at two events. Firstly their Miniature Victorian Theatre Caravan will feature at Aldridge event Vintage Vehicles and Views 6 September 12 – 5pm “Ladies & gentlemen, peel back your ears, open up…

Object of the Week: Patent Shaft Brochure

Object of the Week: Patent Shaft Brochure

While I was working in Wednesbury Museum last week scanning boxes of ephemera to upload to the collections database I came across this fantastic brochure for Patent Shaft Steel Works. It dates from sometime in the 1970s and has sections on all the different departments…

Leather industry captured with line and colour

Leather industry captured with line and colour

At the heart of Walsall and its history is its world famous leather trade. Walsall Leather Museum is working with Urban Sketchers to showcase images and artefacts from Walsall’s post-war leather trade. Their fascinating images will be exhibited in the Leather Museum as part of…

Tame bridges the generations

Tame bridges the generations

The catchment of the river Tame covers most of the Black Country and the river itself has nurtured some of the area’s oldest industrial sites. Wednesbury Forge, for example, was the location of 500 years of continuous manufacturing. We’re pleased to say that Black Country…

Object of the Week - Joseph Sankey and Sons Stainless Steel

Object of the Week – Joseph Sankey and Sons Stainless Steel

Our objects this week are a pin tray and two pie dishes which were all manufactured right here in Wolverhampton. They were made in the 1950s by Joseph Sankey and Sons Ltd. probably in Bilston. The pin tray is a small, pretty, decorative item in…

Object of the Week: 'Presto' Pressure Cooker

Object of the Week: ‘Presto’ Pressure Cooker

Our object this week is a ‘Presto’ Pressure Cooker. From the outside it might not seem much to look at but I can just imagine all the delicious meals that were made in it before it made its way to the Wolverhampton Arts and Museums…

Vintage Tea Party for BCE Volunteers

Vintage Tea Party for BCE Volunteers

Last Thursday Black Country Echoes hosted a vintage tea party for all our volunteers at Bantock House, there was a great presentation of the project by Deb Slade sparking lots of enthusiasm and a whole lot of tea and cake. The event was attended by…

Photography with Dee Patel

Photography with Dee Patel

Participants at Tipton Library made use of the canal to practice their photography skills. Dee Patel was on-hand to offer techniques in framing, composition and the use of natural lighting. Using skills gained as part of the workshop the group created artistic and poetic images…

Arthur Lockwood to be part of the festival

Arthur Lockwood to be part of the festival

Among the early supporters of the Black Country Echoes Festival was Arthur Lockwood and we are very excited to be able to say that, with his permission, a selection of his fantastic watercolours will now feature in it. Arthur has been widely acknowledged for the…

Walk and Talk on the Tipton Canal

Walk and Talk on the Tipton Canal

As an introduction to the Black Country Echoes community engagement programme working in collaboration with Tipton Library, participants were treated to a walk and talk with historian Keith Hodgkins. The group were able to gain insight into past manufacturing in the area, such as companies…

The fires of the forges shine from Cradley Heath

The fires of the forges shine from Cradley Heath

                                                                                                                                                                                                               The fires of the forges shine from Cradley Heath, from Cradley, from Quarry Bank, from Lye and Stourbridge, and from the rest of the surrounding towns. The wind carries to the ear the sound of quick-striking hammers. You will hear the dull hammer-thud as…

Peter Donnelly to be part of the festival

Peter Donnelly to be part of the festival

We are thrilled to announce that the beautiful, atmospheric images taken by the photographer Peter Donnelly will be part of the BCE Festival this autumn. Peter’s photos were taken in the early 1960s at a time when much of the ‘old’ Black Country was still…

Bikes at the Cone - 28th September 2014

Bikes at the Cone – 28th September 2014

If bikers are conventional enough to have diaries then I have a date for yours. On the 28th September there will be a motorbike day at the Red House Glass Cone in Dudley. We are amassing a collection of Black Country made motorcycles owned by…

Birmid Reminiscence Day with the Indian Workers Association

Birmid Reminiscence Day with the Indian Workers Association

  On Saturday, 31st May, a group of men and one woman gathered to discuss the potential social impact of the recent change of government in their native India. The Indian Workers Association’s commitment to social justice is a hallmark of that organisation since its…

Made in Metal: Cutlery Creatures

Made in Metal: Cutlery Creatures

  Upcoming show by metal Artist Ed Cartwright is coming together, with surreal steel creations made entirely from recycled Cutlery! The show will be appearing at Scary Canary in Stourbridge this autumn (exact dates TBC) and builds on the rich metalworking heritage of the Black Country. www.artbyedward.co.uk

Object of the Week - Melamine Cup and Saucer

Object of the Week – Melamine Cup and Saucer

Our object this week is from the collections at Walsall Museum. It is a cup and saucer made by British Industrial Plastics in Streetly Walsall. It is made from Melamine Formaldehyde a type of plastic which is low in cost and made by compression moulding.…

The Collections Team - A cross between Sherlock Holmes and a terrier

The Collections Team – A cross between Sherlock Holmes and a terrier

Hello, I’m Sharron, one of the Black Country Echoes collections volunteers. I’m part of a small team of volunteers – so far there’s me, Jonathan, Matthew and James – who meet regularly at Wolverhampton Art Gallery to work on objects in the collection for the…

The BCE Team!

The BCE Team!

Here we are in our Black Country Echoes T-Shirts, luckily the sunshine decided to come out & play that day! (From L-R) Deb Slade, Carol Thompson, Rachel Lambourne, Paul Quigley, Stuart Williams, Jose Forrest-Tennant, Stephanie Smith, Lucy Bullock Photography by  Simon Stanyer  

Call for Papers – Black Country Echoes Symposium

Call for Papers – Black Country Echoes Symposium

Wolverhampton Art Gallery is inviting academic researchers and students to submit proposals for papers to be delivered at our Black Country Echoes symposium, which will take place on 6 November 2014. The symposium is part of the Black Country Echoes festival and explores how the…

Object of the Week - Webb Corbett Goblet

Object of the Week – Webb Corbett Goblet

Our object this week is a commemorative Goblet made by Webb Corbett Ltd in 1979 but through this object we can discover two different stories of Black Country manufacturing. The goblet was manufactured by Webb Corbett a glass making firm based in Amblecoat near Stourbridge,…

Jubilee Archive to take part in Black Country Echoes Festival

Jubilee Archive to take part in Black Country Echoes Festival

BCE is really happy to announce that images from the Jubilee Archive will be appearing alongside the work of John Bulmer and Nick Hedges at the Lighthouse Media Centre in Wolverhampton from September 2014. The Jubilee Archive is a rich resource from the Jubilee Theatre…

Object of the Week - Paxton's Ballot Box

Object of the Week – Paxton’s Ballot Box

In honor of the recent election our object this week is a ballot box manufactured right here in the Black Country by Paxton McKechnie. This company was based in Green Lane, Walsall until 2001 when it was bought out by a company based in West…

John Bulmer & Nick Hedges to take part in Black Country Echoes Festival

John Bulmer & Nick Hedges to take part in Black Country Echoes Festival

This week BCE has had some exciting news. The documentary photographers John Bulmer and Nick Hedges have come on board for a digital projection exhibition at the Lighthouse Media Centre in Wolverhampton. Both of these photographers have documented life in the Black Country and captured…

Frisky: Small Car, Big Story

Frisky: Small Car, Big Story

In my job as a Collections Assistant for Black Country Echoes I have made loads of really interesting discoveries through my research but one of my favourite finds came straight to me with no hunting required. One morning in my inbox I had an email…

Walsall History Day

Walsall History Day

I was not a great success at school! In fact my performance could be regarded as pretty abysmal, so when the time came to leave I had some ideas about what I would like to do, but despite them being generally quite modest and achievable,…

Object of the Week - 'Veesharp' knife sharpener

Object of the Week – ‘Veesharp’ knife sharpener

After a short break while the website was updated to our lovely new design Object of the Week is back. This week we have a knife sharpener made in Wolverhampton. The object is branded ‘Veesharp’ however no record of a company operating under this name…

Exploring Wolverhampton City Archives

Exploring Wolverhampton City Archives

As trainee curators based at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, we have been doing lots of research on local companies from the area for the Black Country Echoes project, and have found the collection at Wolverhampton City Archives a useful resource for our exploration. Therefore, we were…

History and Reminiscence Day Tomorrow!

History and Reminiscence Day Tomorrow!

Swallow Doretti Sports Cars

Swallow Doretti Sports Cars

Rare Swallow Doretti sports cars will be coming back to the factory site where they were made in Aldridge Airport for a Black Country Echoes 1950’s themed event on Saturday Sept 6th. They will also be joining our display at Himley Hall Classic Car and…

BCE @ Sandwell May Day Festival

BCE @ Sandwell May Day Festival

  Black Country Echoes made an appearance at the Sandwell May Day Festival in West Bromwich last weekend. Curator Paul Quigley highlighted the tradition of local manufacturing by showing a Staffordshire Blue brick made by Hamblets at a brickworks only yards from the Festival venue.

BCE @ Weston Park 27th Midland Festival of Transport

BCE @ Weston Park 27th Midland Festival of Transport

  We packed up the car with our fabulous red gazebo, BCE t-shirts, leaflets & balloons on the morning of Easter Monday and hit the road to Weston Park. The park started to fill up with a wide variety of classic cars, commercial vehicles, buses…

Guy Motors group visit to Aston Manor Road Transport Museum

Guy Motors group visit to Aston Manor Road Transport Museum

I had been looking forward to our visit to A.M.R.T.M. for two weeks. I caught the bus from Wolverhampton to Walsall. With the help of a friendly bus driver, who dropped me off in the centre of Aldridge and gave me clear instructions of the…

Volunteer workshop: Photographs that tell a story

Volunteer workshop: Photographs that tell a story

A photography workshop held on the 21 March 2014 brought forth the realisation that I knew less about photography than I had imagined. Even so, our wonderful tutor Dee made sure the day was both informative and practical. I left feeling excited and ready to…

Object of the Week - Kingfisher Furniture Paperweight

Object of the Week – Kingfisher Furniture Paperweight

This is a promotional paperweight from the Kingfisher Furniture Company based in West Bromwich.  The company was in operation from 1907 to 1977 and were most famous for making wooden and steel furniture for school classrooms but also produced items for churches, laboratories and public…

Talking of Phoenix Glass…

On Tuesday 11th March 2014 I interviewed three people at Bilston Craft Gallery for the forthcoming exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery, ‘Phoenix: The story of the British Heat Resisting Glass Company’ from 28 June – 30 August 2014. I had been to a training day…

‘My Chubb Years 1966 – 2001’ A talk by Sid Hobbs

‘My Chubb Years 1966 – 2001’ A talk by Sid Hobbs

On Monday 3rd March, Black Country Echoes organised a talk for former employees who worked at Chubb from around 1950 onwards. Ex-employee Sid Hobbs delivered a thoroughly engaging and entertaining talk about his personal career at Chubb. The talk became more of reminiscence session for…

Object of the Week - Periflex 2 Camera

Object of the Week – Periflex 2 Camera

This is a Periflex 2 camera designed and manufactured in Wolverhampton in the 1950s by K. G. Corfield, a company based at the Meridale Works previously occupied by the metal manufacturers Henry Loverage and Company. This model of the camera was produced in 1958 and…

Object of the Week - Chance Brothers Handkerchief Vase

Object of the Week – Chance Brothers Handkerchief Vase

The objects of focus this week are the handkerchief vases made by Chance Brothers in Smethwick. Vases of this shape were first popularised by the Italian designer Paolo Venini, but were very expensive to buy. Chance Brothers made a version that could be more widely…

Object of the Week - Bilston and Battersea Enamel

Object of the Week – Bilston and Battersea Enamel

This is an enamelled box made in Bilston during the 20th Century revival of the manufacture of small, decorative, enamelled objects in the town. Bilston had been a centre of the enamelling since the Georgian Period but the process had sadly died out by the…

Object of the Week - Goodyear Advertising Sign

Object of the Week – Goodyear Advertising Sign

This is an enamelled sign advertising Goodyear tyres. Goodyear has had a long history in the Black Country with Wolverhampton being home to their first manufacturing site in Europe which opened in 1927. Goodyear still has a presence in the city today. The Goodyear Company…

Object of the Week - Phoenix Glass Gravy Boat

Object of the Week – Phoenix Glass Gravy Boat

This is an object from the collection at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. It is a Gravy Boat, in a vivid yellow colour made by the British Heat Resisting Glass Company Limited which was based in Bilston Wolverhampton from 1938. Glass produced by the company was known…

Introducing Object of the Week

Introducing Object of the Week

Hello my name is Steph and I am the Collections Assistant for Black Country Echoes. It’s my job to pull my gloves on and get to grips with the objects in the Black Country that are related to post war industry. Our research has shown…

Volunteer Talk - 14 January 2014

Volunteer Talk – 14 January 2014

Yesterday the BCE team had a fantastic morning in the Bantock House Tractor Shed where we invited people to come along to hear about all the different volunteering opportunities that Black Country Echoes has to offer. During the talk we heard about volunteer roles in…