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Help Creative Black Country Find Our Funny Roots

Did you ever see Black Country comedy legends Tommy Mundon, Aynuk and Ayli or Dolly Allen on the famous Black Country Night Out?

Did you get the giggles watching Lenny Henry or Frank Skinner?

As part of Creative Black Country’s National Lottery Heritage Funded project ‘Finding Our Funny Roots’, they’re looking for people to share their stories and memorabilia of seeing comedians in an effort to find out just what is so unique about Black Country humour.

With your help they’ll unearth stories of comedians and comedy from 1950 to 2000 and produce a new set of performances.

They’re open to ideas; from collections of old ticket stubs; to photos from events or people at comedy clubs; people’s favourite jokes from the comedians; or stories of meeting them. All of the stories will go towards a new piece of work written, produced and performed by Dave Pitt, Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse – Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists.

This month we’re holding drop-in sessions in libraries across the Black Country:

  • Tuesday 20 August, 1.30pm–3.30pm at Dudley Library, DY1 1HR
  • Wednesday 21 August, 2pm–4pm at Wolverhampton Central Library, WV1 3AX
  • Thursday 22 August, 10.30am–12.30pm at Central Library West Bromwich, B70 8DZ
  • Friday 23 August, 12.30pm–2.30pm at Lichfield Street Hub, Walsall, WS1 1TR

For more information either call Creative Black Country on 0121 525 1127 or visit their website at https://www.creativeblackcountry.co.uk/blog/2019/8/10/come-and-share-your-stories-of-comedy-in-the-black-country-with-us

 


Stories from the Hop Yards Film Premier

A special event hosted by the Living Memory Project and Tipton library is being premiered at Tipton Library – the Stories from the Hop Yards film, the first screening of this film in the Black Country.

Also showing our Blue Bricks to Blue Plaques, made about the Princes End Heritage Trail with Joseph Turner school and one other Living Memory film about Will King photos.

Start at 6.30pm and finish at 9pm with time for refreshments and Q&A with the filmmakers from Catcher Media.

Entrance £3.00 and tickets available from Tipton Library.

Places can be reserved on 0121 569 4944 or by email at tipton_library@sandwell.gov.uk

Herefordshire Life Through A Lens: Stories from the Hop Yards (2018)

Inspired by the rediscovered Derek Evans photographic collection this film from Catcher Media brims with archive photos and films alongside newly recorded interviews. In the glory days of hand-picking, thousands would go ‘hopping’ from the Black Country, South Wales and the Romany community arriving by train, cattle lorry or charabanc. Enjoy listening to stories of days past and present from pickers, farmers, hauliers and brewers. (90 mins)

“Beautifully captured and crafted” Audience member.

Followed by a Q+A with the film makers.

Hosted by the Living Memory Project who will also be screening two new short films:
– Blue Plaques to Blue Bricks made with pupils of the Joseph Turner School, Tipton 2019 (5mins)
– The Will King Photo Collection 2019 (6 mins)

Light refreshments included


An Introduction to the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new five-year Funding Framework and Grants Programme

We are pleased to invite you to an event that will tell you about the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new funding framework and National Lottery Grants for Heritage.

Over the last six years, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formally known as the Heritage Lottery Fund) has supported 50 new projects in Sandwell, totalling over £6.33 million.

If you are interested in applying or considering applying for funding for a heritage related project, this is your opportunity to find out more about what’s involved, check your eligibility to apply and find out about this new funding programme.

Jackie Lee, part of the development team at the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Birmingham office will lead the event. She will explain how the new funding framework provides a simpler and more flexible funding offer.  She will introduce the audience to the new single open grants programme, which is for all types of heritage project, and which includes new resources and digital guidance on the website to support applicants.

This event will help you recognise the range of heritage and activities National Lottery Heritage Fund supports and explain how you can access guidance and advice that will help your develop your heritage project idea.

The event will take place on Thursday 11th April 2019, 10am until 1pm in SCVO’s Board Room, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER. Registration opens from 9.45am for a prompt 10am start for those booked onto the event.  This event is targeted primarily at those groups from Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector and groups whose main beneficiaries live in Sandwell.  Groups from outside the borough may attend but priority will be given to Sandwell groups as above.

There is a maximum of 25 places available for this workshop. Please book two tickets only per organisation. All places must be booked through Eventbrite by clicking here.

**PLEASE NOTE** – a cancellation policy applies to the workshop bookings – details will be provided at the time of booking.  There is NO public car parking available at Landchard House.  However, there is plenty of on street and pay-and-display parking in the immediate vicinity,  We are (more or less) opposite the Lodge Road Metro stop, and within 5 mins walk of West Bromwich central bus station.


Sandwell in the Spotlight Thanks to National Lottery Players

Parks, nature reserves, local history and community memories are among the many features of Sandwell life that have been boosted since the area was given special status by the National Lottery.

Prior to 2013, Sandwell had not benefitted from HLF support as greatly as other parts of the West Midlands. It was decided to make the borough, one of three priority development areas in the region.

Between April 2013 and October 2018 HLF has awarded no fewer than 46 new grants totalling more than £6million thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

In addition to this new investment into the area, a further £4.19million National Lottery funding was confirmed in 2013 for the delivery of two major projects in Sandwell.

Sandwell’s flagship award saw £3.8m to support the restoration of Lightwoods Park and House. Rescued from serious decay, the Grade II listed House dating back to 1791, has been restored to its former glory. It is now a popular high-quality venue for a wide range of community activities as well as public and private events.

Meanwhile the surrounding park has seen numerous historical elements brought back to life, including drinking fountains, the 19th century bandstand and the unusual Shakespeare Garden, featuring plants and shrubs from the Bard’s plays.  The restoration was carried out by Sandwell Borough Council and was boosted by a further £1.5m from the Big Lottery.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was given £630,000 to improve its Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve, a site teeming with more than 200 bird species and many more hundreds of plants and butterflies. The grant meant that a larger, better visitor centre could be built, replacing an earlier building that had been devastated in an arson attack in 2010.

The project has also enabled the RSPB to attract volunteers and publicise more widely the much loved 10-hectare site that provides a vital ecological habitat just outside Birmingham.

Sandwell Citizens Advocacy received just over £85,000 for its Living Memory project to share the unique photography collections and life stories from the diverse communities across the Black Country.

The work, which is well underway, is busy documenting different aspects of everyday life that have been captured through people’s own photographs.  The images hidden in family albums, stored away in shoeboxes, and treasured in the collections of local enthusiasts can all offer rich perspectives on a rapidly changing society. A special website has been created, more than 50 workshops hosted, 60 personal stories shared, more than 900 historic photographs are been professionally archived, and a travelling exhibition put together.

A much more modest but no less important HLF-supported project was Within Walking Distance – Landmarks of Langley, which help the local community celebrate the unique heritage of their area. Centred on Langley Library, where the Friends group was given a £9,800 grant, the project mapped out twenty-four historical landmarks within a square mile, revealing the story of this living and working environment over the past 170 years.

Local people explored different aspects of heritage through workshops, presentations and displays.  A travelling exhibition will have visited several venues by January when elements of it go on permanent display at Langley Library. An animated film with poetry composed by Black Country poet Emma Purshouse is available on YouTube and local primary school children went on guided walks led by older members of the community sharing information across the generations.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “Our focus on Sandwell as a priority area for funding over the past six years has resulted in a fantastic range of projects that have transformed so many aspects of local history and heritage. And we have the generosity of National Lottery players to thank for making this possible.”

The National Lottery has awarded a total of £23.25m to 162 projects in Sandwell between November 1994 and March 2018.

Source: Heritage Lottery Fund


Heritage Lottery Funding – Large Projects

Whether you want to rescue a historic building, breathe new life into a collection or record people’s stories, Heritage Grants can help with awards over £100,000.

Not-for-profit organisations; and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations have until the 16th August 2018 to apply for grants of up to £100,000 to support larger heritage project. This can include for example archaeological sites; collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives; cultural traditions such as stories, festivals, crafts, music, dance and costumes; historic buildings; histories of people and communities; and histories of places and events; etc.

Applications go through a two-round process. This is so you can apply at an early stage of planning your project and get an idea of whether it’s likely to be funded. Then you can send us your detailed proposals. At the first round you can also ask for funding to develop your project.

Projects supported in the past include a grant of £730,000 to the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust Limited to transform Richmond Station in North Yorkshire into a self-sustaining heritage and leisure attraction for the local community.

For more information or an application form click here.


Heritage Lottery Fund – Funding to Restore Neglected Historic Buildings

The next deadline for the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Heritage Enterprise programme is the 31st August 2017.

The Heritage Enterprise programme supports enterprising heritage organisations in rescuing neglected historic buildings and restoring them to viable productive use. The cost of repairing a neglected historic building is often so high that restoration simply isn’t commercially viable. Heritage Enterprise makes such schemes possible by funding some of the repair costs with grants.

Grants of between £100,000 and £5million will be awarded to meet conservation deficits i.e. where the existing value of the historic asset plus the cost of bringing it back into use is greater than the end value of the asset following development completion. Not for profit organisations, or partnerships led by such organisations can apply via a two stage process with Start-up grants also available for pre-application viability appraisals.

HLF says, “Historic buildings can attract thriving businesses and boost economic growth. And yet many lie vacant and derelict because of the high costs involved in rescuing them.

Heritage Enterprise can help communities repair derelict historic places, giving them productive new uses. By funding the repair costs and making these buildings commercially viable, we hope to breathe new life into vacant sites. Not-for-profit organisations work with private partners to generate economic growth, and create jobs and opportunities in those places that need it the most.”

For more information on this grant click here.


Maker-Centric Taster Session

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

Want to find out more? Then why not come along to the taster session being held on:

Monday 19th June 2017, 2-4pm at University of Wolverhampton, Room MK204, George Wallis (MK) Building, Molineux Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DT.

Alternatively for more details on the taster sessions or to confirm your attendance at the session please contact Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com.

You can also visit their website at http://www.maker-centric.comto find out more information on this exciting new opportunity.


Maker-Centric Project – Participants Needed!

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

The University is working in collaboration with Craftspace (a charity that initiates artistic programmes which stimulate creative excellence and understanding of contemporary crafts in the widest social and cultural contexts) on the project and there will be an opportunity to network with other groups and discover what else is happening in the area.

Participants are being sought by The University who will be running a series of workshops in June 2017, in which people from the Black Country will be invited to create an object that responds to the unique industrial and social heritage of their area.

All workshops are entirely free for participants and include:

  • materials and travel,
  • free access to state of the art fabrication technology at FabLab, Sandwell,
  • guided tour of the Wolverhampton Art School exhibition,
  • specialist artist talks,
  • artist led walks,
  • photography sessions and much more.

You will also have the chance to showcase your creation at an event to be held in London.

Not sure if this is for you? Then why not come along to a taster session to find out more and see what will be involved. You’ll need to get in touch with Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com for more details on the taster sessions or alternatively the University can come out to your organisation to explore and explain the project in more detail.

You can also visit their website at www.maker-centric.com for more details on this exciting new opportunity.


Creative Black Country Desi Pub Crawl: Sunday 28th May 2017

Hop onto the Creative Black Country’s Desi Pub bus for a tour around the Black Country’s best kept secret; its Indian pubs.

Tours start at 3pm on Thursday 28th May 2017 from The Red Cow (296 High Street, Smethwick, B66 3NL ) where you can meet the landlords, see some Desi Pub art, enjoy your complimentary pint and order some seriously tasty Desi Pub food, before you set off for the tour.

Tickets are £10 and includes transport to various Desi Pubs, complimentary pint on arrival at The Red Cow, Desi Pub coasters and map of Desi Pub trail.

Pubs on the crawls include: The Red Cow (Smethwick), The Ivy Bush (Smethwick), The Fourways (Rowley Regis), The Red Lion (West Bromwich), The Prince of Wales (West Bromwich), The Sportsman (West Bromwich), The Island Inn (West Bromwich).

The tour starts at The Red Cow and finishes at The Prince of Wales in West Bromwich with two other Desi Pubs being visited along the way.

For more information about the tour email info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk

The event is part of Southbank Centre’s Alchemy – a contemporary festival exploring the cultural links between the UK and South Asia – through live performance, talks, film, exhibitions, workshops and music.

#AlchemyBC


Poles In Birmingham-West Bromwich Are Celebrating Their Heritage and Culture

Join Polish Expats Association and Creative Black Country for a Polish Heritage Day on 06 May 2017 at West Bromwich Town Hall and celebrate openness, appreciation and better understanding between our communities in Birmingham.

The project is part of the Polish Heritage Day initiative by the Polish Embassy in London along with over 40 events planned across the UK and supported by the Polish Consulates in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh.

Programme include:
-Presentation of ‘From Exile to Freedom’- exhibition presenting stories of different generations of Polish Migrants
– Traditional folk papercuts workshop
– Craft stalls
– Polish food
– Live music and more!

Taking place on 6-7 May 2017 and intended as an annual festival, Polish Heritage Day is planned for the weekend after the symbolic date of 3 May, when in 1791 Poland proclaimed its modern codified constitution as the first country in Europe and the second in the world after the United States – a symbol of freedom and equality. 2 May is also celebrated in Poland and in Polish communities around the world as the Polish Diaspora Day and Polish Flag Day.

A number of city councils across the country have already expressed their support for the project by offering patronage and raising the white-and-red flags on town halls during the festival as a gesture of openness and symbol of friendship. A virtual map of planned events can be discovered at Polish Embassy’s website.

Project’s logo is based on the design of the white-and-red chequerboard – a symbol painted on the Polish airplanes during the Battle of Britain 1940, in which Polish pilots constituted the second largest Allied contingent after the British. During World War II and later in the time of communism, the United Kingdom was the refuge of the Polish Government-in-Exile and free Poles. The Polish community is a mixture of the descendants of those wartime and anti-communist exiles and those who decided to move to Britain after Poland joined the EU in 2004.

Polish nationals are now the largest minority in the UK, estimated at 984,000. Poles have opened 30,000 businesses in the UK , and pride themselves in the highest rate of individuals in employment or higher education among all ethnic groups in Britain – at 92 per cent.

For more information about the event, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1882562412002704/  or follow #PLHeritageDay on social media.


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