The Black Country Society has members with specialist interest and The West Midland Historic Building Trust is pleased to offerthe following:






Join us for an evening of 'Time Travel' at


Saturday 18th May 2019 at 4 pm.

Here is a chance to discover this little-known gem which is very close to Birmingham City centre. This Arts and Crafts village was founded in 1907 by John Stuart Nettlefold (1866 -1930) who was a member of the local engineering company Guest Keen & Nettlefold. He was a pioneer of town planning and the first Chairman of Birmingham City Council’s Housing Committee.

This Edwardian Garden Suburb was built on the principles of providing low density housing centred around a community hall, and with the added attractions of sporting facilities, green spaces and allotments. The sporting facilities allowed for social interaction and led to community cohesion. The estate was built in the Arts and Crafts Style and today is a designated conservation area, being an almost intact example of the estate as designed in 1907 – 1912.

We will step back in time in our tour of this historic suburb and be able to enjoy its variety of architecture and imagine how it must have been a refreshing revelation to its first tenants as they stepped from crowded inner-city housing to these Elysian Fields of Moor Pool. John Stuart Nettlefold wanted (as did the Cadbury’s of Bournville and Harry Vincent of Hunnington) to show practical care for his workers not only during the hours of working but in the most important private parts of their lives. Join us for this fascinating opportunity for a little ‘time travel’.

We will meet at Moor Pool Heritage Trust, 37, The Circle, Moor Pool Hall, Harborne. B17 9DY on Saturday 18th May, for a 4 pm guided tour of the estate. Following the tour we will return to the community hall for a buffet meal and the opportunity to try out the skittle alley.

Cost £15 per head. Please make cheques payable to WMHBT. Please include names of all persons in your party and a contact address and telephone number and email (if available) and send to Philip Adams, 36, Beauty Bank, Old Hill, Cradley Heath, B64 7 HZ. Tel. 01384 562472 Mob. 077460 52324. .

A visit to see THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY in one of the domestic architectural wonders of Britain


Visit by coach Saturday 14th September 2019 (8am Start)

Wentworth is, according to commentator Simon Jenkins, one of the most splendid houses-in-a-landscape in England and, writes Nikolaus Pevsner, it boasts, at 606 feet, the longest country house façade in England. Privately owned until 2017, it is now owned by a Preservation Trust who are seeking its conservation and sustainable future.

The original Jacobean house was rebuilt by Thomas Watson-Wentworth 1st Marquis of Rockingham (1693 – 1750) and vastly expanded by his son the 2nd Marquis who was twice prime minister. Thus the house became a Whig centre of influence. In the 18th Century the house was inherited by the Earls Fitzwilliam who owned it until 1979. Since WW2 the house has had a number of uses, one of the main ones being as a training college for teachers. The discovery of coal on the estate made a fortune for the family in the 19th century, but with 20th century nationalisation of the coal industry this led to the house being beleaguered by the surrounding open-cast mines which were developed.

The house is not one but really two. The original house – now the west front – with the garden range facing northwest is built of brick with stone details. The other part, the long East front, is so long due to a rivalry with the Stainborough branch of the Wentworth family. It is nineteen bays long with a double flight of steps in the middle rising to an entrance portico. The interior is no less spectacular with an entrance Pillared Hall off which are the Painted Drawing Room and the Low Drawing Room with a corridor leading to the Chapel. The principal room of the house is the Marble Saloon which is 60ft square by 40ft high and has an upper gallery exactly on the pattern of Inigo Jones’s Queen’s House, Greenwich. The house, because of the grandeur of its interior has been used many times for TV and film locations.

During our visit we will have opportunity to explore not only the grand public face of Wentworth but the sadder areas which are awaiting the rejuvenating hand of the restorer. We will be guided in this by David Trevis-Smith who is working hard to make all this happen! We might also be treated to some of Wentworth’s many ghost stories.

Free parking at the point of our embarkation for Wentworth will be at Holy Trinity Church, Lawrence Lane, Old Hill, B64 6JA. Coach departure at 8am Saturday 14th September. Expected time of arrival 11am for coffee. Our tour of the house will be prior to a buffet lunch with some free time to follow. Return from Wentworth at 4pm.


Cost £52 per head. Please make cheques payable to WMHBT. Please include names of all persons in your party and also contact address and telephone number and send to Philip Adams, 36, Beauty Bank, Old Hill, Cradley Heath. B64 7HZ. Tel. 01384 562472. Mob. 077460 52324. 

Groups & Links


Industrial Archaeology Group
The IA Group hold evening lectures at

the Olde Swan, (Mrs Pardoe`s), Halesowen Road, Netherton.on the first Wednesday of each month.
For details contact

Black Country Society Main Programme
Unless stated otherwise meetings are held

at The Dudley Canal Trust Portal DY1 4SB.

Meetings held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm. Visitors welcome.
For details contact

The West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust is a registered charity.

They aim to safeguard buildings of historical and/or architectural importance, within the West Midlands and Worcestershire, which are at risk of being lost.

As well as projects to protect and rescue historic buildings, the Trusts organise a range of activities to encourage and involve both new and existing members.

Visit -

Walks are restricted to members only to enable participants to hear the leader's commentary and maintain safety. Sensible footwear is advised. Every effort is made to ensure that the distance can be covered within a maximum of 2 hours, but every

walk is different and each leader has

his/her style of walking and talking.
David Galley  Walks Coordinator
01384 832157

Black Country Geological Society
The BCGS run a programme of monthly lectures and talks from September to April , meeting in ​ Dudley Museum & Art Gallery, St. James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HU, followed by a series of Field Trips to geological sites all over the Midlands. No qualifications are necessary to join - just a genuine interest. See the BCGS website for details.


Mushroom Green Chainshop
See the Industrial Heritage Stronghold website for details.

Mushroom Green Chain Shop is opened by Industrial Heritage Stronghold on the second Sunday of the month from April to October 2:30 – 5pm. Admission is free.

Click for WM Historic Building Trust

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