Heritage Open Days returning to Brierley Hill
Brierley Hill will be a hive of exciting activities, events and tours this month, as part of the national Heritage Open Day events.
Brierley Community Forum is working with Dudley Council and other partners to open interesting and historical buildings that might not typically be open to the public, with this year’s theme ‘Astounding Inventions’ being widely promoted.
In-person tours will be available at several buildings in the town as well as virtual and online tours with people able to find out more at www.brierleyhill.net
At Brierley Hill Library there will be a Museum of Brierley Hill and Memory Bank exhibition, with the library's historic town artefacts, maps, and photos on display from Saturday 10 to Saturday 17. People are invited to bring their own artefacts to be researched and securely displayed and record their own memories of the town for future generations to hear in the Memory Bank and there be opportunity to do some badge making. The Black Country Living Museum will also be having a stall at the library, displaying artefacts from their own historic collection and will be collecting memories to inform its Forging Ahead project aimed at recreating a Marsh & Baxter shop.
Brierley Hill Market will host a 1940s day, celebrating the town’s past. On Saturday 10 September people can enjoy Vintage vehicles, best-dressed man and woman competition, vintage singer Maggie O’Hara, tap dancer Katie Lewis and George Formby tribute act Kyle Evans. On Saturday 17 the market will also have tribute acts for Laurel & Hardy and Frank Sinatra and performances from Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company.
St Michael’s Church will be hosting a number of events. On the evening of the 13, 14, 16 and 17 there will be the ‘Graves by Night’ walk, which takes people through the graveyard exploring the town’s history. In the daytime on Saturday 10 and 17 there will be the annual art exhibition by the Dudley Society of Artists. In addition, there will be the opportunity to view the emerging proposals by Dudley Council for public realm improvements in the town plus the opportunity to get involved with stained glass painting and to have a go at ringing handbells and ‘Urban Sketching’ in the graveyard.
Across the road at St Mary’s Church people can listen to St Mary’s Primary school Singers, Richard James play the organ and Helen Barley provide a harp recital on Saturday 17 between 10.15am and 1pm.
Both churches will be open to the public from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 17. St Johns Church in Brockmoor will also open its doors from 10am to 2pm on Saturday 10.
Albion Street Church will also be open on Saturday 17 from 9am to 2pm with an exhibition and tour of the historic church and family activities and crafts on offer. The Store House, also in Albion Street will be hosting family activities including a Bouncy Castle.
Tim Sunter, Chair of Brierley Hill Community Forum, said:
Heritage Open Days is a special event organised and run by volunteer community members and stakeholders who have a passion for our town. I do hope that people with a similar passion will take the opportunity to visit some of our most beautiful historic buildings and get involved with the various activities.
An online Architectural Heritage Trail is being launched by Dudley Council as part of the Brierley Hill High Street Heritage Action Zone. This will take people on a self-guided trail around the town in order to help people navigate around the various heritage sites on offer.
Virtual tours of heritage buildings in Brierley Hill are also being provided by Dudley Council as part of the event. This can be viewed at www.dudleyheritageopendays.org.uk from 16 September.
Several other activities and events are taking place in Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen. People can find full details at www.heritageopendays.org.uk where all participants register the building/event.
Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
Brierley Hill is the historic home for brick, iron and steel manufacturing in the Black Country and the incredible buildings here tell the remarkable story of how our people lived and worked. I would like to offer a huge thanks to the Brierley Hill Community Forum for their work on pulling these wonderful events and tours together, which will help people to connect with their local history and some of our most remarkable buildings. This year we will be celebrating some of the history behind our much-loved local businesses across social media and their links to the Astounding Inventions theme and I’m delighted that the Brierley Hill High Street Heritage Action Zone has been able to support this event.
Heritage Open Days is a scheme that encourages owners of historically important buildings to open them free of charge to the public. It is supported by the Brierley Hill High Street Heritage Action Zone and promotes the historic environment of the borough.
Notes to Editors
About High Streets Heritage Action Zones
Historic England is working with local people and partners through grant funding and sharing our 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 .
About Historic England
We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories these places tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.