top of page

Past events

PDFs of web pages relating to past AGMs, society talks and walks, conferences etc

Recordings of past Virtual Heritage Group meetings on the Society YouTube channel

  • YouTube

Future face to face and Zoom events

British Bhangra Music as Soundscapes of the Midlands, Rajinder Dudrah


28th February 7.30pm. Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £4 non-members)

British Bhangra is a genre of popular music that fuses Punjabi beats, music and lyrics, UK pop, RnB, reggae and other world sounds.  Its history in Britain dates back to the immediate post-war period when migrants from the Punjab, resettled their lives and homes in the UK. This presentation will offer an analysis of how this Punjabi folk music became a genre of popular music in post-war Britain, particularly in the Midlands. It will draw attention to key cities namely Birmingham and Coventry (with reference to Nottingham and Leicester too), in terms of how they have sustained the cultural production of this music and its industry. The talk will also draw on and examine the following source materials: song lyrics; a cultural analysis of how and why the different musical genres are fused together in Bhangra; and a historical overview of the club venue spaces as helping to understand this soundscape of the British Midlands. Rajinder Dudrah is Professor of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries at Birmingham City University

Dudrah NYC pic.jpg
Illustrated Police News smoothed.jpg

Black Country ghosts and hauntings. Haunted Highways by Andrew Homer 18th March 8.15pm (preceded by the Society AGM at 7.30pm) via Zoom. (No charge for members or non-members - email for Zoom log in details)


The Black Country and surrounding area has more than its fair share of haunted highways. In this talk Andrew Homer will explore the eerie area once known as Fir Tree Hill, a contemporary report of a phantom hitchhiker, the notoriously haunted Hagley Road, and other reports of locally haunted highways

Black Country and Birmingham Skies, Andrew Lound 


27th March 7.30pm. Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £4 non-members)

Andrew Lound talks of a time when Birmingham and the Black Country were at the forefront of aviation. The scientific concepts and practical application of raising into the air were experimented with and practiced over the skies of the midlands. From Andrew’s ‘Amaze & Astound’ series, comes the story of the experimenters, the flyers and the industry that took humans to the air. A fully illustrated talk, with music and SFX.


Gornal Wood - the transformation of a Black Country Village by Ward Jones 15th April 7.30pm via Zoom. (No charge for members or non-members - email for Zoom log in details)

The underlying theme of the talk will be how, especially in Victorian times, the village changed dramatically after centuries of isolation. Ward will explore the unchanging years, why and how change came, and some of the consequences. 

History of Dudley Castle, Max Keen


24th April 7.30pm. Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £4 non-members)

A talk of two halves with Max Keen.  In the first half Max will focus on the history of Dudley Castle from 1071 to around 1600.  And then in the second half the attention will turn to the two sieges of 1644 and 1646.  All of Max’s talks feature costume, weaponry, and image projection.

Dudley Castle.jpg

Wolverhampton’s Great War Memorials. Led by Quintin Watt,

Wednesday May 8th 2024. 1.45pm for a 2.00pm start. Meet at Wolverhampton Civic War Memorial, St Peter’s Square WV1 1TY

Wolverhampton City Centre is the location of several memorials, erected in the aftermath of the Great War. Some of these are inside churches or places of work, whereas others are located outside. They include stone wall plaques, bronze rolls of honour, stained glass windows, an obelisk and even rows of trees. This walking tour will highlight the stories of selected servicemen commemorated, as well as explain how and when each memorial was installed. The tour should last about two hours.


Willenhall unlocked. Walk led by Ian Bott.


Wednesday 15th May 2024. 7.15 pm for a 7.30pm start. Hall street Public Car Park, WV13 1PL

Willenhall’s fame as a lock making centre is widely known, overshadowing a more complex history dating back before its Domesday entry of “Winehala”. Join us to unlock the fascinating secrets of this still compact Black Country town, also fondly know as “Humpshire”.

(Access to Hall Street is via the B4464 Walsall Street opposite to and between The County Pub and Willenhall Library)


Black Country Memories. 

20th May 7.30pm via Zoom. (No charge for members or non-members - email for Zoom log in details)

An opportunity for those attending  to share photos, poems, stories or any other memories

The Sandfields Pumping Station – the past the present and the future , David Dimeloe, Trustee, Lichfield Waterworks Trust,

22nd May  7.30pm  . Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £4 non-members)

David will describe how the pumping station was conceived and built in 1853 and why, and will then describe what has happened to the buildings over the last 170 years and the significant part that it played in the Industrial Revolution. He will the describe the current restoration program and the plans the Lichfield Waterworks Trust has for the future of this “Cathedral to the Industrial Revolution


Virtual Heritage Group via Zoom later  in 2024

The Irish in the Victorian Black CountrSimon Briercliffe 16th September 7.30pm

(Title to follow) Rebecca Wilton 21st October 7.30pm

The Crooked House, and an introduction to some crooked survivors. Steve Roughton 18th November 7.30pm

Building Utopia in the Black Country (and beyond) - the use of brindle bricks between 1900-1939. Elizabeth Thomson, 9th December 7.30pm

Talks later  in 2024 in Bilston Town Hall    

Beasts of the Battlefield: animal imagery in the Staffordshire hoard, Charlotte Ball 26th June  7.30pm


Banner bright, Ned Williams   24th July  7.30pm             

The Stourbridge Glass Industry, Kate Round 25th September  7.30pm            

From the Punjab to the Black Country,  Narinder Singh 23rd October  7.30pm                  

bottom of page