TALKS 2020 - BCS welcomes all Members and friends to our annual programme of informal and informative evening presentations! (Entrance: £2.00 / Friends £3.00)

All Talks will take place from 7.30pm at The Dudley Canal Trust Portal, Birmingham Road, Dudley DY1 4SB


 NEW VENUE: Quality Hotel, Birmingham Road, Dudley DY1 4RN 

 Black Country Society AGM 2020       

 Venue: The Quality Hotel, Birmingham Road, Dudley DY1 4RN 

Meeting starts at 7.30pm. BCS welcomes all members able to attend.


The AGM will be followed by A Tribute to Ron Moss; an illustrated talk by Keith Hodgkins.


Ron Moss was one of the great stalwarts of the Black Country Society. His passing in April 2019 deprived the Black Country of one of its most significant local historians and researchers of the past 50 years. Ron became an early member of the Society in the late 1960s, chaired the Industrial Archaeology Group from 1978 to 2006 and served as President in 1996-97. The IA Group gave Ron a platform from which he could explore, record and expound on all aspects of the industrial Black Country, in particular the chain and anchor trades of his home district. Alongside his writings, his lectures and his photographs, Ron will be forever associated with the rescue, refurbishment and running of Mushroom Green Chainshop on behalf of the Society. To honour his memory the Society is planning to unveil a commemorative plaque on the Chainshop in the near future.


Keith Hodgkins, Society President 2016-18, joined the BCS in 1973 and straightaway became involved with the Industrial Archaeology Group where he became firm friends with Ron Moss. Since 2012, when Ron`s mobility became restricted due to a stroke, they worked together on digitising and cataloging Ron`s extensive photographic archive. A selection of these images, mostly of Black Country content and portraying Ron`s interests and passions, will form the basis of the presentation.

The AGM will be rescheduled by the committee and all members will be notified of the date.


David Eveliegh's Book with joint editors, 

Dr Malcolm Dick MBE, and Janet Sullivan

This book was to be launched at the

BC Museum in April 2020.

It is available for purchase online

and will be reviewed in the Summer

edition of the Blackcountryman magazine.

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

The Black Country V Zeppelins


Speaker: Ian Bott

Talk starts at 7.30pm  

  VENUE: The Quality Hotel, Birmingham Road, Dudley DY1 4RN    


Ian Bott is a well known Black Countryman and has been involved in the promotion of the area for many years. He has a great breadth of knowledge about everything Black Country and in this capacity has appeared on television.

Ian, on this occasion, will talk about the true story of two stray German Zeppelins that found their way into the skies of the Black Country one a dark night in 1916.

Ian has written and published seven books about various aspects of the Black Country and is a visitor guide at Walsall’s Leather Museum. Ian's book will be on sale at the event and available through the Black Country Society Library thereafter.


This talk will be rescheduled to a later date.

Wednesday 23 September 2020


James Keir (1735-1820):  Innovation, Industry and the Black Country

Speaker: Dr Malcolm Dick MBE

Talk starts at 7.30pm  

  VENUE: The Quality Hotel, Birmingham Road, Dudley DY1 4RN 


The chemist, inventor and industrialist, James Keir died 200 years ago on 11 October 1820.  Less famous than other members of the Lunar Society such as Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley and Josiah Wedgwood, Keir nevertheless contributed significantly to science and technology and made a considerable impact on the Black Country’s economy and landscape during the region’s rapid industrialisation. He ran a glass house near Stourbridge, owned coalmines in Tividale and created a huge chemical factory at Tipton, which produced soap for industrial and domestic purposes. He lived for much of his life at Hill Top, West Bromwich. His Mineralogy of South Staffordshire (1798) provided the first systematic description of the topography and geology of the Black Country. Keir was a more modest figure than his Lunar colleagues and his personal papers were destroyed on in two major fires. Given the anniversary of his death this year, Keir’s importance and reputation deserves reinvestigation.


Dr Malcolm Dick OBE, is Director of the Centre for West Midlands History at the University of Birmingham and Chair of the Black Country Society. He has written extensively and broadcast on the history of the West Midlands

Groups & Links

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 -

Industrial Archaeology Group Programme


NETHERTON (7pm for 7.30pm start)

The IA Group hold evening lectures and meetings on the first Wednesday of each month .
For details contact .

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.