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Virtual Heritage Group 2023

Recordings of meetings


An Ecclesiastical Affair - Chris Baker                                        

Wednesday February 8th 2023 

This presentation tells the story of events in the Black Country village of Pensnett in the 1860s and 1870s -  about the relationship of the vicar of Pensnett in 1870 with a teenage pupil teacher at the church school, an illicit trip to the circus in Birmingham,  a clergy discipline trial, a series of anonymous and scurrilous pamphlets and letters circulating in Pensnett about the incident, and a nationally reported libel trial. And what happened afterwards.

Amongst other things the presentation describes a series of anonymous letters and pamphlets that were circulating around the village. Copies of these can be accessed using the button below.

Mary Macarthur and the Cradley Heath Lockout by Andrew Homer

Wednesday March 8th 2023


In 1910, the chainmaking women of Cradley Heath downed their tools and went on strike under the leadership of Mary Macarthur and the National Federation of Women Workers. Although the strike or ‘lockout’ was about local wages, it was to have national repercussions. The authority of the newly formed trade boards to address the plight of workers in the sweated industries, and enforce minimum wages, was about to be tested right here in the Black Country.

The file on the right contains details of some of the sources used in the talk and suggestions for further reading

A Miscellany of Black Country Memories

19th April 2023

Alan Graham - The music of Jon and Mike Raven 1  - The Dudley Canal Tunnel song

Geoff Taylor - Bert Wood’s canal memories

Jennifer Walker - A charabanc outing

Jennifer and Emma Pursehouse – The Family shop in Upper Gornal

Susan Roxburgh - Poem - 1957 Corbett Hospital, Stourbridge Summer Fete

Keith Bracey - Poem – Black Country lungs

Emma Pursehouse - Poem – That day (Video)

Chris Baker - Furnace and foundry – a picture by J L Petit and a poem by J William Jones

Brendan Clifford - A Black Country painting by Turner

Andrew Homer – Kidnapped – the extraordinary story of Black Country chain makers lured to Germany and kidnapped in 1906

Alan Graham - The music of Jon and Mike Raven 2  - The Navigators

Francis Brett Young 

10th May 2023

Black Country History Quiz

14th June 2023

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