Events to celebrate Brierley Hill heritage
Dudley Council is supporting Brierley Hill Community Forum, Brierley Hill Market, and Friends of Marsh Park with two community-led Brierley Hill events this month.
The events are part of the town’s £1.8 million government-funded High Street Heritage Action Zone programme.
On Saturday 11 September, Brierley Hill will see a full High Street road closure from 5am to 8pm for the annual Brier Fair and Heritage Open Day events.
The following Saturday (18 September), people will mark the centenary of Marsh Park with a community ‘picnic in the park’ and ‘Brierley Hill Boogie’.
Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
We’re very fortunate to be one of the high streets in Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme.
We’re using this funding to make improvements to the public realm and properties along the High Street by investing in repairs, reinstatement of architectural details and bringing vacant floor space back into use.
We’re also putting funding into local events such as the Brier Fair, Heritage Open Day and Marsh Park’s centenary picnic, all organised by fantastic local volunteers, as we want to support local communities through heritage, art and cultural projects.
The Brier Fair takes place on Saturday 11 September, is free to attend and runs from 9am to 4pm. It will include a funfair with children’s rides, market stalls, local entertainment and punch and Judy Shows with a small charge for some of the attractions.
Visitors will be able to enjoy free Heritage Open Day activities on the same day with a Peaky Blinders themed event including fancy dress, vintage cars and live entertainment being hosted at Brierley Hill Market from 8am to 4pm.
Black County Living Museum Road show will hold a stall with a Marsh and Baxter’s theme offering traditional food from 10am to 3pm in the market. Top Church Training has arranged a ‘Food from around the world’ event at Harry’s Café from 9.30am to 4pm. Both events are part of the ‘Edible England’ theme for the 2021 Heritage Open Days.
Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company is hosting a Peaky Blinders themed escape room event as part of the New Wave Programme and the Library will offer an historic exhibition of artefacts and maps, with poetry workshops, badge making and Maketon storytelling, from 12 to 3pm.
A new town trail will be launched, offering a fresh walking tour of the town’s historic buildings. Events will also feature at Hawbush Community Gardens where people can learn about growing their own food, St Mary’s Church where there will be a harp performance and organ recital from 12pm and at St Michael’s Church, with an opportunity to paint stained glass, have a go a handbell ringing, sketching and model building.
Tim Sunter, chairman of Brierley Hill Community Forum said:
This is very much a community-led event with volunteers from across the town coming together to provide a celebration of its history and to boost trade in the town. Feedback from the events two years ago were really positive and we hope that this year’s event will be even better.”
On Saturday 18 September, there will be celebrations for the Marsh Park Centenary.
The Friends of Marsh Park group will host a huge ‘picnic in the park’ marking 100 years since it first opened.
Everyone is welcome to attend the celebration, with people being encouraged to share their memories of the park and its history.
Frank Chamberlain, chairman of the Friends of Marsh Park group, said:
It will be the park’s centenary later this year and a picnic in the park is being planned for September 18 to mark the event. Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company will be joining us to host the ‘Brierley Hill Boogie’, which will be an afternoon of fitness and fun.
Families will need bring their own picnic, but we will also be feeding those who use the food bank for free.
People can find out more about the events online at http://brierleyhill.net/ and www.heritageopendays.org.uk/ (search Brierley Hill) and about the BCLM Marsh and Baxter project at https://bclm.com/marsh-baxter/
Notes to Editors:
NEW Wave is a project which is coordinated nationally by the National Trust and supported by the players of the Peoples’ Postcode Lottery. Brierley Hill Community Forum have arranged a series of innovative, dynamic, youth-led events to form part of this year’s HOD’s https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/organising/new-wave
Historic England is working with local people and partners through grant funding and sharing skills to help breathe new life into high streets that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. The High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, backed by government funding, aims to help with the recovery of local high streets from regenerating historic buildings to helping to engage local communities through art and cultural projects.
Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history and it’s all FREE. https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/about/history