Tag Archives

Central and Eastern European communities pop up Cafe in West Bromwich

There is a pop up Cafe in West Bromwich for Central and Eastern European communities which is up and running. The Café is from 3 pm to 5 pm every Wednesday at The Library, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8DZ.

The aim is to find out about issues and concerns in their neighbourhoods and how they could be supported by local organisations.

The Police are leading on this and are keen to get as much community engagement as possible.

Just pop in. No need to book.

Thimblemill Socialise Book Club

A friend of mine and I had the idea of starting up the Book Club around three years ago as there was nothing in the area like it and he already was a storyteller for children, so we thought why not do the same but for adults. Since we’ve started our Book Club has gone from strength to strength and continues to develop as our membership numbers increase.

We are a volunteer led Book Club based in Thimblemill Library that is open to anyone who struggles accessing literature for whatever reason such as a visual impairment. The feedback I get from members and our lovely volunteer readers alike is always promising and positive. Since featuring in the talking newspaper we’ve attracted some new member but there’s always room for more.

We meet on Tuesday afternoons from 2.15pm at Thimblemill Library, Thimblemill Road, Smethwick, B67 5RJ. We provide refreshments and there is always a large bowl of water and a biscuits for the dogs.

Our Book Club brings like-minded individuals together in a warm and friendly space to chat with our readers and socialise with others, as new friendships are made in a nurturing and supportive environment.

So why not pop in to see us and have a chat to see what we are all about. Starting your journey of discovery into the world of books and all the different reading genres just waiting for you to explore and share your insights with other members.

For more information about our club please contact via email Dan Letchford at or have a look at our Facebook page at @ThimblemillSocialisebookclub

Celebrating Black History Month at Sandwell Libraries

 An exhibition celebrating the pioneering Windrush generation who came to Britain from the Caribbean has opened at Central Library, West Bromwich as part of Black History Month programme in Sandwell.

The Windrush70 exhibition was opened by Councillor Jackie Taylor, equality and diversity champion at the library on West Bromwich High Street.

Councillor Taylor said she was delighted to officially open the exhibition and celebrate the work of the people who came to Britain between 1948-1972.

She said the display celebrated the pioneering generation and explored the impact the Windrush veterans had on Britain.

Councillor Taylor said she and Annette Robinson of the Kingsway Project, who worked on the exhibition, will be revisiting the library to talk to schoolchildren about it.

They include workshops, films and talks, including one with Vernon Hodges, who played alongside Cyrille Regis at West Bromwich Albion in the 1970s.

Councillor Syeda Khatun, deputy leader, said: “Library staff have come up with a varied programme with some very interesting events, including items involving the Great War, local football stars and poetry.
“I would urge people to get along to some of these interesting diversity events to get an insight into the lives and fascinating histories of local families.”

They include workshops, films and talks, including one with Vernon Hodges, who played alongside Cyrille Regis at West Bromwich Albion in the 1970s.

There will also a Black Voices Poetry event with Roy Mcfarlane, a well-known poet and writer at Bleakhouse Library, Smethwick.

At Smethwick Library there is a month-long exhibition highlighting the work of the Lions of the Great War which will lead to the unveiling of the new statue in November. There are film events at Wednesbury library , a drumming workshop at West Bromwich and events across the borough.

Other event details are available at:

Workshop for Muslim Couples

The Yemeni Community Association is delighted to be hosting this workshop on Sunday, 9 September 2018, from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.

The speaker, Dr Suzy Ismail, renowned author and international speaker, is visiting the UK and the West Midlands for the first time. Dr Ismail works therapeutically and compassionately with Muslim couples.

The workshop is for counsellors, psychotherapists, family support workers or any professional interested in the subject.

The cost of the workshop is £95 per person (CPD certificate of attendance and light lunch included).

The venue is Greets Green Access Centre, Tildasley Street, West Bromwich B70 9SJ. For further details please contact the YCA on 0121 525 3909 or email

Register via Eventbrite

Spotlight on West Bromwich Operatic Society

West Bromwich Operatic Society (founded in 1938) is a theatre company that has built a reputation of producing the best in Musical Theatre to the highest of standards. They produce two full-scale productions each year, and pride themselves on taking on challenges and exceeding expectations.

Find out more by viewing our ‘Spotlight Video’ below:

If you would like to contact WBOS or you require any further information about them, then please feel free to drop them a line by simply contacting the company secretary Hilary Matty:-

Tel: 0121 550 3667 or by email:

Interested in becoming a member?

Whether you want to perform in one of their productions, work backstage or just get involved, please make contact with the company secretary.

Prospective ‘Acting’ members will be required to pass an entrance audition before becoming a member.

mARTch – Celebrating Art, Culture and Creativity

A month-long roadshow of workshops and sessions to get artists of all ages being creative and talking about the future of the arts is coming to Sandwell.

‘mARTch’ – art in March – will give artists, dancers, photographers, poets and writers the chance to tell the council what more can be done to help them.

They will also be able to add their own creativity to a piece of community art, which will go on display later this year.

Family-friendly workshops and consultation events are planned for all six towns throughout March.

Councillor Richard Marshall, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “mARTch is a great opportunity for local artists – whatever their talent – to get involved in shaping the future of arts in Sandwell.

“We want to know what more we can do as a council to help creative people and groups.

“As well as giving their views, artists can help us create a really special piece of community art, building on the success of the Ceramic Garden project last year.

“I would encourage all local artists – and anyone who’s interested in getting creative – to join one of our upcoming, family-friendly workshops.”

During the workshops, artists can decorate a white tile (6×6 inches) which will be mounted alongside other tiles from their town.
They’ll also have chance to glaze a ceramic flower for the Ceramic Garden, which is going on display at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Malvern Show in May.

Events announced so far:
• Saturday 18 March, 10am-4pm, Oak House Museum, West Bromwich (workshop runs 11am-3pm)
• Sunday 19 March, 10am-4pm, Haden Hill House, Cradley Heath (workshop runs 11am-3pm)
• Wednesday 22 March, 4pm-8pm, Coneygre Youth Arts Centre, Tipton (workshop runs 4.30pm-7.30pm)
• Thursday 23 March, 10am-4pm, Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery (workshop runs 11am-3pm)
• Saturday 25 March, 10am-4pm, Oldbury Library (workshop runs 11am-3pm)

More venues will be confirmed soon.

For more information, contact Alex Howell the Arts and Projects Officer by email by phone on 07827 305 784.

GAP Centre Presents DIY Drive-In

The GAP Centre, West Bromwich has secured funds from Creative Black Country to present their DIY Drive-In Cinema event. This is a family friendly event where children use recycled materials and cardboard boxes to design and build their own kid-sized cars before settling down to an afternoon of short family films.

The Gap Centre would like to invite you to their family friendly event taking place on:

Saturday 25th March 2017 from 2-5pm at the GAP Centre, Hargate Lane, West Bromwich, B71 1PH.

Light refreshments will be available.

To book your tickets (priced at £10 per family – 2 x adults and 2 x children) or to find out more about this exciting opportunity please email

Music, Laughs, Films and Scares at West Bromwich Central Library

Music, comedy and tales of horror are on the agenda this month and library staff are urging everyone to visit and catch the buzz at Central Library, West Bromwich.

The programme of entertainment commenced on 3rd March 2017 with the Tom Heyes a young rising musical star who performed a selection of popular songs by Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Dean Martin.

On Saturday 18 March there will be scares aplenty when popular local historian and author Ian Bott will be telling entertaining but chilling tales of the ‘Haunted Black Country’.

Barbara Nice the Queen of Comedy, star of Phoenix Nights, will be bringing her own brand of mirth and happiness on Wednesday 22 March when she performs alongside local comedian Lovedev Barpaga who was recently crowned UK Pun Champion. A feel good night is assured so don’t miss the opportunity to see a legendary performer in an intimate library setting.

The programme concludes on Friday 24 March when you are invited to enjoy the songs and silliness of the Victorian and Edwardian Music Hall with an appearance by the Daring Young Men, Andy Casserley and Chris Lowe.

Councillor Richard Marshall, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “There really is something for everyone this month at West Bromwich Central Library.

“Whether it’s songs of the popular music greats, classic Hitchcock suspense, Black Country ghost stories, Phoenix Nights-style comedy or the variety of the music-hall, we’ve got it all.

Tickets for all these events are priced at £3 and can be reserved/booked at the Central Library. Barbara Nice’s performance on Wednesday 22 March begins at 7.30pm whereas all other performances will start at 7pm.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Creative Black Country – 100 Masters Nominations

The Black Country was forged at the hands of men and women from all walks of life who had honed their skills to the highest levels. It was through their craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK.

100 Masters’ is an arts campaign to identify contemporary skilled people from the Black Country and help inspire future talent.

This year long regional campaign aims to inspire and offer local people a fresh perspective about the strengths, skills, talent and expertise surfacing from their locality and community.

Did you know that the Playstation font was designed by twins from Wolverhampton? Or that a local cactus-breeder has received gold at RHS Chelsea for the last 7 successive years? Ever heard of the person who’s book they wrote in evening class was turned into a Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman?

We successfully recognise the great industrial heritage of the region and repeatedly celebrate historic achievements through education, publications, heritage projects, and journalism. Whilst it is important to commemorate the past, we believe that people in the present-day who have been making tremendous strides have been underrepresented.

The rest of the world is taking notice of the work being made by the people of the Black Country and it’s time we started to recognise the rich talent from the area. Meanwhile, Rihanna continues to be a big fan of the jackets made by a Dudley fashion student, a local nurse has won an unprecedented international accolade for their pioneering research into the medical uses of sugar and last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, a care worker from Sandwell beat 14 professional comedians to win the ‘Joke of the year 2016’.

We know there are more stories out there of local people receiving attention and accolades for their work and we want to find and promote these individuals. There is no achievement too great or small. You may know someone from Caldmore who makes the best cheese cobs in town or someone from Tipton attempting to break the land speed record.

A master is a noteworthy person who has forged their own path and displayed outstanding ability that has influenced others in their field. A master can be from any walk of life and there are no restrictions in specialism but they must have either been born, educated, lived or worked in the Black Country for a significant period of time.

Do you know someone that deserves to be recognised for their passion and commitment? Then you can nominate them here.

Sandwell Celebrates Heritage Open Days


Amazing historic buildings in Sandwell will be sharing some of their secrets and stories when they open their doors to the public as part of national Heritage Open Days.

From September 8 to 11 lots of events and activities are lined up showcase the borough’s fascinating past including the childhood home of one of the most famous historical characters in American history.

Visitors can learn what West Bromwich was like in the 1650s, enjoy live music, talks, walks, open days, food tasting, canal heritage and much more.

“It is a great opportunity to tell the stories of the people and places around us and for visitors to get a glimpse behind the scenes at buildings or areas not usually open to the public or even just enjoy a great family day out with some of the events on offer’ said  Councillor Richard Marshall, cabinet member for leisure.

“‘It is fantastic for Sandwell’s Heritage to be showcased alongside the heritage of other areas around the county – we have some amazing places to be proud of which are as fascinating and as important as historic buildings and sites anywhere in the country and we really want people to appreciate their own inheritance and the importance of these sites, what is great about all these activities is it’s free to explore.”

You can find out where you can discover or what activities you can enjoy across the Sandwell by clicking here

Page 1 of 212