The website of the
Black Country Society
Established in 1967 to Support, Record, Preserve and Celebrate the distinct
Character and Nature of the West Midlands area known since the mid nineteenth century as 'The Black Country'
VENUE: The Court House, Dudley DY1 1LP (corner New Street - Tower Street)
The meeting is in the first-floor function room, but please note there is no lift. Large car park adjacent in Tower Street. A five-minute walk from Dudley bus station.
Details of further events will be posted here as they become available.
Pevsner`s Black Country - Andy Foster Wednesday 28th September 2022
Since their introduction in 1951, the Pevsner Guides to the buildings of England have been indispensable to anyone interested in the study and exploration our architectural heritage. The books usually encompass traditional counties, but the latest volume, covering Birmingham and the Black Country, has broken with that practice to embrace the whole West Midlands conurbation in a single publication. Its author, Andy Foster, will tell the story of his mammoth twelve-year task to update the relevant parts of the older Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire editions and describe some of his favourite local buildings and architects. He will tell us that despite many grievous losses, there is still a surprising amount of good architecture in the Black Country for us all to enjoy.
The Black Country of the Future by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
Wednesday 26th October 2022 7.30pm
Andy Street was elected as the first Mayor of the West Midlands in May 2017 and re-elected to serve a second term in May 2021. The primary function of the role is to chair the West Midlands Combined Authority and brings with it significant powers over transport, housing, skills and jobs. Before becoming Mayor, Andy combined a career with John Lewis, Britain`s most successful worker`s co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government. Starting on the John Lewis graduate scheme, Andy rose through the ranks to become managing director, overseeing one of the most successful periods in the company`s history. He was Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership between 2011 and 2016, helping to build the relationships that have underpinned the economic growth of the region. Additionally, he has been lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister`s Business Advisory Group. Outside of work, Andy is passionate about the arts, particularly in the West Midlands, having previously served as Vice-Chairman of Performance Birmingham Limited, which is responsible for running the City`s Symphony and Town Halls.
He will give a personal view of how he sees the Black Country developing in the next couple of decades and will identify both the opportunities for the future and the issues that need to be addressed.
An evening with the President - Marlene, the Black Country Wench
Friday 18th November 7.00pm
For BCS members and friends: entry by pre-booked ticket; £5 per person.
Society President Marlene Watson, the well-known Black Country comedienne and entertainer, presents another variety evening of music and Black Country humour.
Bring your friends to support the Society. Contact Keith Hodgkins to book your tickets. Telephone: 0121 520 0080 or email: email@example.com
From Kate's Hill to California - James Whale "The Father of Frankenstein" An illustrated talk by Craig Denston
Wednesday 25th January 7.30pm
How did a working class lad born in 19th century Dudley become, for his time, the highest paid director in Holywood? An extraordinary life story that goes from a factory to a war, through art to the theatre, and to the making of some of the most influential horror movies of all time. Yet ultimately to a heartbreakingly tragic end.
TALKS Programme 2022/3
(Non-members £3.00 / Members free)
The Black Country – Is that somewhere near Leeds?
Wednesday 22nd February. 7.30pm.
Emma Purshouse, writer, performer, first Poet Laureate for the City of Wolverhampton, and editor of The Blackcountryman magazine talks about making a living as a Black Country based creative. She will be sharing her experiences of writing about the region, her involvement in local arts projects, and her attempts to promote the Black Country further afield. Emma will share anecdotes and perform some of her own work as part of the talk.
Society Annual General Meeting. Wednesday 22nd March. 7.30pm followed by
The Black Country Global Geopark - an illustrated talk by Graham Worton.
Graham is the keeper of Geology at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery and was a prime mover in securing the designation of Global Geopark status for the Black Country from UNESCO in 2020. The Global Geopark designation, one of only eight in the UK, recognises and celebrates the outstanding geological heritage of the Black Country, spanning 428 million years, through a series of individual Geosites. These include landscapes and viewpoints, disused mines and quarries, canals, national and local nature reserves, museums with spectacular collections, open air visitor attractions and many historic buildings. The Geopark connects the geology under our feet with our cultural and industrial heritage.
The Work of the Chance Heritage Trust.
Wednesday 26th April. 7.30pm.
An illustrated talk by Trust Chairman, Mark Davies.
The two-hundred-year-old Chances Glassworks site in West Smethwick is of such historic importance that it has been designated as a scheduled ancient monument and its buildings listed. It`s rescue and regeneration present a massive challenge which has been boldly taken up by the Chance Heritage Trust with the vision to protect and celebrate its internationally significant industrial heritage and create a new vibrant urban community generating employment, training, learning and leisure opportunities for all.
Future Events (times and locations to be confirmed)
24th May 7.30pm Faith in the Black Country Bishop Martin Gorick, Bishop of Dudley
28th June The Portable Antiquities Scheme and local Black Country finds. Victoria Allnatt
26th July Fatal Transport Accidents in the West Midlands: Quint Watt
23rd July; Eldon Street: The history of Victorian Darlaston and the Black Country told through the lives of ordinary people. Keith Robinson
27th September; Black Country Dialect across time and space: an introduction. Esther Asprey
22nd November; The President's Entertainment Evening
13th December; A Black Country Christmas. Ian Bott
24th January; The Brunels, the Great Western and the Black Country. Felix Schmid