by Katie Shipley 7 July 2010
Preparations for the Forging Links project have started with a visit to the Community History and Archives Service at Smethwick Library, where I had a chance to meet Sarah and have a quick tour of the archives.
The archives are stored in the basement at the Library and also spread across to another venue. Rows and rows of books and documents fill the rabbit warren like basement, draws full of photographs, plans, maps and posters, almost too much to think about. The archive also has a searchable database, including thousands of photographs. So the next task is to search through the system and find out what documents are going to be most relevant to the project.
We also popped over to the Galton Valley Canal Heritage Centre, which is just over the road from the library. It’s a quiet little place, quite apt for a canal museum, with lots of models explaining how locks work. There was a room was full crammed of memorabilia, including references to industry. There was also an art room at the centre with satisfyingly messy table cloths, lots of table easels and walls covered in paintings.