The Black Country Society has members with specialist interest in the area. Our Industrial Archaeology Group have a particular interest in the buildings and sites of historical interest. The IAG plan a programme of Talks and activities annually and members of BCS are welcome to attend and take part.

Please note the new venue this year; the Olde Swan, (Mrs Pardoe`s), Halesowen Road,  Netherton.


Access to the room is by a staircase at the back of the pub lounge. The Olde Swan has its own car park off Northfield Road at the rear the pub, from which the lounge can be entered directly. Please note there is no lift to the first floor, so stairs are the only option.

This year we are once again meeting in the upstairs room at the Old Swan (Mrs Pardoe`s), Halesowen Road, Netherton.  Access to the room is by a staircase at the back of the pub lounge. The Old Swan has its own car park off Northfield Road at the rear the pub, from which the lounge can be entered directly. Please note there is no lift to the first floor, so stairs are the only option.

Wednesday 6th May.7.30pm.                                                                                                                  A BLACK COUNTRY FAMILY OF IRONMAKERS by Keith Robinson.                                                          

Keith`s ancestors, the Rose family, owned ironworks in Moxley in the 19th century. The talk traces the development of the works through alternating periods of growth and recession, together with an examination of the working conditions and social lives of the employees.   


Wednesday 13th May. 7.15pm.                                                                                                         

IA GROUP EVENING WALK: EXPLORING MONMORE GREEN.                                                                

Led by Pete Glews and Keith Hodgkins.                                                                                                           Meet on the car park at the junction of Lower Walsall Street & Lower Horseley Fields. Wolverhampton.                This area, to the immediate south east of Wolverhampton town centre, saw some of the earliest coal and iron ore mining and iron making in the Black Country. It was also the point of convergence of three major transport routes; the Birmingham Canal and the main lines of the Great Western and London and North Western Railways, both of which developed interchange facilities with the canal. The walk will explore all three routes together with the sites of lost industries and the Black Country`s last complete (though derelict) canal-rail interchange basin.                                                                                                                       

Wednesday 3rd June. 7.30pm.                                                                                                                      THE SOHO FOUNDRY by Alan Hill.                                                                                                                      A history of the Soho Foundry in Smethwick, which was opened in 1796 by Matthew Boulton to build the steam engines designed by his partner James Watt. It was the first factory in the world built for the manufacture of complete steam engines, a status now recognised by the grade II* listing of the buildings and the scheduling of the whole site as an Ancient Monument.

Wednesday 1st July. 7.30pm.                                                                                                                        THE BLACK COUNTRY LANDSCAPE THROUGH ARTISTS` EYES by Keith Hodgkins.                                                   From JMW Turner in the 1830s to Wolverhampton-born Edwin Butler Bayliss in the 1930s we look at how the Black Country landscape has been portrayed by artists down the years. The depictions are sometimes surprisingly rural, but more usually show a land ravaged and blackened by generations of mining and ironworking.                                                                                                              

Wednesday 2nd September. 7.30pm.                                                                                                                  BLACK COUNTRY RAILWAYS IN THE DAYS OF STEAM by Alan Davies.                                                                  Alan, who was a loco fireman on the Severn Valley Railway for many years, has built up an extensive photographic archive of local railways as they were before steam disappeared from Black Country rails in 1967. He will take us on a journey around the system before the dreaded Beeching cuts deprived the area of many of its railway routes. 


Wednesday 7th October. 7.30pm.                                                                                                        INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY ON FILM.                                                                                                        Another varied collection of archive film dealing with local history, industry and transport.                                                                                                                                 

Wednesday 4th November. 7.30pm.                                                                                                            EARLY BRICKMAKING IN THE BLACK COUNTRY by Elizabeth Thompson.                                                    Brickmaking was one of the Black Country`s prime industries in the 19th and early 20th centuries with scores of woks across the area, but little is known about the production of bricks prior to 1800.  Elizabeth has been researching the subject for a PhD in West Midlands Studies and looks at local brick from its earliest appearance around 1550 in Dudley Castle, though to the building of the first canals in the late 18th century.                                                                                                      



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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