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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


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 £5 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 £5 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

The Original Quarry Bank Walk in 2001.png

The Quarry Bank - Revisited. Walk led by Dave Galley


Wednesday 5th June 2024. 7.15 pm for a 7.30pm start. The carpark at the junction of Park Rd and High Street, DY5 2JR

This Classic BCS walk is dedicated to the memory of John James who surveyed this walk with Ned Williams in 2001. This walk will follow the route of the original walk which looked at how Quarry Bank had changed from the features of ‘Old Quarry Bank’ recorded in local post card views. Come along and see what has changed again over the last 23 years.

Exploring the Canals of Dudley Port and Tividale. Wal led by Keith Hodgkins


Wednesday 12th June 2024.6.45 pm for a 7.00pm start. Dudley Port Railway Station Car Park, Station Drive, off A461 Dudley Port, Tipton

Starting with a view of the new Dudley to Wednesbury Metro Line, currently under construction, we will access the canal at the delightfully named Puppy Green Aqueduct and walk along Thomas Telford’s New Main Line Canal opened in 1835, to Dudley Port Junction and then past the site of the disastrous canal burst of1899 to Albion junction. Here we turn right onto the Gower Branch, passing the BCN’s only staircase lock to join James Brindley’s old main line opened in 1772 at Brades Hall Junction. Turning right we continue to Tividale aqueduct where we will descend to the Black Country’s newest canal, the Netherton Tunnel branch, opened in1858 to return to Dudley Port Junction. A left turn will take us to Ryland Aqueduct where we can drop down to the main road and back to Dudley Port rail station.

This is a long walk of just over three miles but it is almost all on level towpaths, parts of which may be muddy if the weather has been wet.


Beasts of the Battlefield: animal imagery in the Staffordshire hoard, Charlotte Ball

26th June  7.30pm. Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £5 non-members)

The talk will explore the animal imagery of the Staffordshire Hoard, looking at the find from a symbolic perspective. Depictions of animals were important in early medieval art and belief. We will look at the way that this art intersects with the functionality of the objects in the Hoard, creating meaning for the wearer that is sometimes obvious and sometimes not!”


A look at Amblecote. Walk led by Adrian & Kathyrn Skelson-Reece


Wednesday 19th June 2024. 7.15 pm for a 7.30pm start. The carpark in School Drive, Amblecote, DY8 4DQ

Join us for a Walk around the best-preserved part of Amblecote Township, in the heart of the glass mile. Focusing on the locations and remains of some of the 39 glass works, including the people and watering holes that existed in the 400 years of the Glass Quarter.


Banner bright, Ned Williams  

24th July  7.30pm, Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £5 non-members)

A colourful survey of banners - trade union banners, Sunday School banners and Co-op banners, including scenes at Warrington Walking Day and Durham Miners Gala.'

Beer, bets and bull baiting by Mary Bodfish 

28th August  7.30pm. Bilston Town Hall, (Free for member and £5 non-members)

Our forebears revelled in bull-baitings, cockfighting, boxing matches and abominable drunkenness; especially in the Birmingham and Black Country area. The boozy, bloody amusements of the working classes rose and fell in the 19th century – and something remains of them today


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    

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

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

A Black Country Christmas,  Ian Bott 27th November  7.30pm  

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