• We are on the Black Country Society Blog

    • (0) Comments by Katie Shipley 30 July 2010

    I’ve been in touch with Mick at the Black Country Society and he has very kindly offered to post about our project on the Black Country Society Blog.


    He also mentioned that something would be in the next issue of the Black Country Society magazine (due mid-September).

    I’m really excited to see if we get a response from this.

  • Smethwick Library

    • (0) Comments by Katie Shipley 27 July 2010

    On 16th July we went to Smethwick Library armed with posters and leaflets in the hope we could chat to some people about their stories of the local industry.

    It was a quiet day at the library but I did get to speak to Sandra Carter, Chairman of the Friends of Oak House Museum. Sandra introduced me to Jonathan Farley a descendant of Rueben Farley a local businessman who donated the Oak House Museum to the people in 1894. Sandra was helping Jonathan search the archives at the library to find out about his family history and the part that Rueben had played in the history of Sandwell. Jonathan had got in touch with Sandra through an article he put in the Black Country Bugle.

    Through talking to Sandra and Jonathan we have been able to make some more plans about how to contact people in Sandwell who might have a story to tell. Sandra also suggested speaking to a local historian, Carl Chinn who might be interested in the project.

  • More preparations

    • (0) Comments by Katie Shipley 27 July 2010

    …this time for a workshop at Smethwick Library, on Friday we will be putting up a small display and trying to get people to share their experiences and knowledge about local industries with us.

    We have decided to focus on the three main ‘metal bashing’ companies in the area Accles and Pollock, GKN and Patent Shaft. There appears to be a lot more information about these companies in the archives, but if anyone we speak to on Friday thinks differently then we will see what else we can find.

  • There is so much to look at!

    • (0) Comments 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.