The single largest development in our history
taking our story into the 1940s - 60s
Find out more about our plans
BCLM: Forging Ahead will see the creation of a new historic development focusing on the 1940s-60s, the construction of a new Visitor Centre and car park, and the creation of a new Learning Centre.
We are going to create a new historic development set in the 1940s-1960s, telling the story of social, cultural, commercial and industrial life in the Black Country during this period. This will allow us to tell the story of the Black Country up to the closure of the Baggeridge Coal Mine in 1968 – which brought about the end of a unique era for the Black Country.
We will also be able to demonstrate industries that led to the worldwide export of Black Country products, such as brick-making and aluminium founding.
“Whilst the Forging Ahead project will recreate and translocate a number of buildings of historical significance to the Black Country, heritage is not just about bricks and mortar, but the stories that are created within them. We are delighted that National Lottery funding will not only preserve these fascinating buildings, such as the Gas Showroom, the Elephant & Castle pub and the Library, but also the memories that they hold, and ensure that they will not be lost but shared and built upon by future generations.”
Ros Kerslake, CEO of the Heritage Lottery Fund
“heritage is not just about bricks and mortar, but the stories that are created within them. ”
Ros Kerslake, CEO of the Heritage Lottery Fund
We’ve identified a few buildings across the region that we want to translocate, recreate or replicate here at the Museum (listed below). They will include a pub, shops, a hairdressers and an NHS clinic.
The building we are recreating was knocked down in the late 1950s and replaced with a modern flagship store. Right now, we are looking for memories of Stanton’s old home prior to 1960.
We are looking for memories of the Cape Hill branch of the West Bromwich Building Society in the 1940s-60s so that we can recreate it in our new historic town.
We are looking for memories about Marsh & Baxter’s Butchers Shop that was once on the High Street in Brierley Hill so that we can recreate it in our new 1940s-60s historic town. Specifically, we are looking for memories from the 1950s as that is the period in which we’ll be setting the butchers.
The elephant we’ll never forget. We are looking for memories and objects relating to the Elephant & Castle in Wolverhampton, 1940s-60s.
Do you have any personal stories about the pub which stood on the corner of Stafford Street & Cannock Road, Wolverhampton? We are especially interested in hearing about any memories prior to 1969. Did you or your family and friends drink there? Play dominoes there? Did you ever hear any stories about the pub? Or just use it as a meeting place?
Do you have any personal stories about the place to shop for Wednesbury’s most fashionable ladies in the 1950s? Did you, your family or friends go there to keep up with the latest trends in the 50s? Did you or anyone you know work there?
The formation of the NHS will be a key story within Black Country Living Museum’s new 1940s-60s town, told via the ambitious recreation of Wolverhampton’s Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre.
Do you remember the Infant Welfare Centre on Lea Road between 1940s-1960s? We’re looking for memories and objects to help us with our ambitious recreation of this important Wolverhampton-based clinic.
We will be translocating Woodside Library, brick by brick, to form an important part of our Forging Ahead development. We are currently seeking memories about the library from the early 1960s, the period in which the building will be set.
Do you have any personal stories or family connection with the Library? Did you borrow there, study there, or dance there?
The building, with its distinctive steep pitched roof and square frontage, was designed by local architect, Stanley Beach and will be recreated as part of BCLM: Forging Ahead.
We are seeking memories of Lavender’s aluminium foundry in the 1940s to 1960s, to inform our translocation and recreation of it in BCLM: Forging Ahead.
Did you or anyone in your family work at Lavender’s in the 1940s-1960s? Do you remember the Lavender family in this period? Did you move to Britain to work in a Black Country industry in this period?
We are seeking information about the families that lived in Dudley’s only cast iron houses during the 1950s so that we can relocate these properties within our new 1940s-60s town.
We are looking for memories of Laurie Thomas Hairdressers. Were you or your parents customers of Laurie? We are looking specifically for memories of the shop from the 1950s.
We are seeking memories of Dudley Weighbridge Office in the 1950s to inform our translocation and recreation of it in our 1940s-60s historic town.
Do you remember the Dudley Weighbridge?
We are looking for memories of Spring Hill Post Office, Wolverhampton so that we can recreate it in our new 1940s-60s historic town. Specifically, we are looking for memories from the mid 1960s as that is the period in which we’ll be setting the post office.
We are looking for memories about Langer’s Army and Navy Stores which once stood on Enville Street in Stourbridge so that we can recreate it in our new 1940s-60s historic town. Specifically, we are looking for memories from the early 1960s as that is the period in which we’ll be setting this shop.
To help us to recreate this long serving newsagent, we would love to talk to anyone with memories of the shop. Did you buy your newspapers or sweets at Burgin’s newsagents? Were you a paperboy for Burgins? Can you tell us what it was like inside the shop or the home? Do you have any photographs of the shop in the post-war decades?
We need your help to raise £100,000 to reach our fundraising target and enable this exciting project to take place.