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Locations.

1930s Domestic Rooms

Behind Preedy’s and Griptons, visitors can explore the kitchen, bedrooms and living rooms of a 1930s family. The 5 rooms have been decorated with up-to-the minute thirties wall paper and furniture and also in a more conservative ‘cottage’ style.

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A. Harthill Motorcycles

In the late 1930s this shop formed part of the Humphrey brothers’ business (now recreated next door). At the Museum it has been fitted out as Hartills motor cycle shop, which was located in Mount Pleasant, Bilston. Abraham Hartill opened the shop in 1937, having moved from a smaller unit in the same block....

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A. Preedy & Sons Tobacconists

In the thirties this shop at 16 Birmingham Street, Oldbury, was occupied in succession by two independent tobacconists. At the Museum, the shop has been recreated as a branch of Alfred Preedy and Sons, the chain of tobacconists founded in Dudley in 1868. The brands of cigarette and pipe tobacco on display give...

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Anchor Forge

The open-sided shed standing in the middle of the ironworks is the anchor forge which was rescued from Isiah Preston's in Cradley Heath. The steam-hammer was installed second hand in the 1920s to forge parts for ships' anchors and the other equipment including furnace and boiler also came from Prestons. The...

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Anchor Maker's House

The Anchor Maker's house used to be one of a pair originally situated alongside Gregory’s Stores in Lawrence Lane, Old Hill. It was the first house to be reconstructed at the Museum and is a typical example of late Victorian worker’s housing. Built in 1886 with a washhouse (known locally as the...

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Bottle and Glass Inn

A warm welcome awaits you at the Bottle and Glass with traditional food and drinks, including Black Country Real Ale. The Inn originally stood on Brierley Hill Road, Brockmore, backing onto the canal at the Stourbridge Flight of 16 locks. It was probably built shortly after the canal was cut. A map of 1822 shows...

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Brass Foundry

This working brass foundry and polishing workshop is from Shaw Street, Walsall and was originally built in 1869. Two men, known as Casters, would have operated the foundry or ‘tub casting shop’ reproducing brass items from lead patterns. The patterns were used to create a mould in a box of sand. Brass...

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Brook Shaft

Brook Shaft Pit is situated to the south of Racecourse Colliery.  It is build over an original shaft and is typical of the small pits found in the 1930s when mining in the Black Country was in decline.

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Bus and Trolley Bus Collection

The bus shed was built in 2009 to house the Museum's bus and trolley bus collection.

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Canal Street

At the heart of the Museum lies Canal Street, this exhibits a typical high street where you can learn first hand what it was like to live, work and shop in the 1900s

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Canal Street Bridge

This bridge was one of the first structures to be rebuilt on the site.  It was originally sited over the Birmingham canal in Wolverhampton and was dismantled in 1976. Canal Street Bridge under construction at the Museum

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Carter’s Yard

Horses provided the key to transport in the Black Country well into the twentieth century. They were used as draught animals to haul narrow boats loaded with goods on the canals, drag heavy coal carts and pull trams, carriages, milk floats, delivery wagons and fire engines. Heavy horses, usually shires,  were...

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Cast Iron Houses & Print Shop

Built in 1925 and listed as buildings of architectural and historical interest this pair of semi-detached council houses were built as part of a major housing development in Dudley. Due to a shortage of traditional building materials a variety of innovative construction methods were tried at this time and about...

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Chain Making Shop

From the eighteenth century chain making was a major industry in the Black Country, particularly in the villages of Netherton, Old Hill and Cradley Heath. The trade developed due to the ready supply of raw materials in this area: fuel, locally produced high quality wrought iron and a highly skilled workforce of...

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Cobbled Stone Street

Leading from the  Bottle and Glass Inn  to the  Canal Boat Dock  and lined with the cinema and back-to-back houses , this is a traditional cobbled street where you can enjoy street games.

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Cobbler’s Shop

This exhibit reproduces the shop run by Mr Lawrence Davies in Bristol Street, Wolverhampton and is typical of the many shoe repairers’ shops that thrived, 'one in every street', in the Black Country in the 1930s. The bench and hand tools belonged to Mr Davies, as did the posters and advertisements displayed...

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Dudley Canal Tunnel and the Birmingham Canal Navigations

Canals were the lifeline of Black Country industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here the canal boats show how cargoes would have been carried to and from ironworks in the area. The canal tunnels under the limestone hills in the area are some of the longest in the country. The horses that drew the narrow...

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Emile Doo’s Chemist Shop

The shop is a replica of Mr Harold Emile Doo’s shop in Halesowen Road, Netherton. The shop front is original, acquired when the premises were modernised in 1979, as are the fittings and early 1920's stock, donated by the Doo family. It was common in those days for a chemist to make his own remedies and Mr...

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Folkes’s Park

Folkes’s Park is a typical 1930’s public park. Complete with authentic planting schemes, rose bushes, mature trees and formal beds, the park takes back into use the last remaining piece of derelict land on the Museum’s 26-acre site which was once sewerage works!

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Glass Cutter’s Workshop

Please Note: the Glass Cutter's Workshop is currently closed to visitors. Small glasscutter’s workshops such as this based on one in Bridge Street, Wordsley were found in back yard locations throughout Wordsley and Stourbridge. The stationary engine at the workshop entrance powers the line shafting...

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Gregory’s General Store

This shop was originally built as a pair of houses in 1883 at Lawrence Lane, Oldhill by Charles Gregory, an ironworker. Mrs Gregory ran a shop from the front room of the house they occupied but as trade expanded they converted both houses into a double fronted shop downstairs with living accommodation for the...

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Gripton’s Radio Stores

There was a Gripton’s radio shop in Birmingham Street, Oldbury, from the early 1920s until the late 1940s (although it was at no. 4, not no.18). It was a branch of a substantial and well-known business based in West Bromwich. Like many radio shop proprietors, James Gripton had started out in a different trade,...

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H. Morrall's Gentlemens’ Outfitters

Harry Morrall’s shop was originally a familiar sight in Hall Street, Dudley, where he traded from 1928 to 1935. The shop is set in 1935, when it would have stocked men’s clothing such as shirts, collars, cufflinks, collar studs, hats, ties, socks and possibly underwear. It is also possible that Harry...

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Hobbs and Sons Fish & Chip Shop

The Museum’s award-winning fish and chips are cooked in beef dripping for an authentic taste of the past. Hobbs Fish and Chip Shop has dished up the nation's favourite food to countless Black Country folk. Originally situated at 41-42 Hall Street, Dudley the landmark building was moved and rebuilt, brick by...

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Humphrey Brothers Builders' Merchants

This builders’ merchants can be traced back to 1921, when brothers Joseph and William first traded at no 12 Birmingham Street, Oldbury. By the early 1930s the business had grown to include no. 14 and eventually, by the late 1940s, the brothers were operating out of no. 16 as well. The shop looks as it might...

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Interpretive Exhibitions

The Museum’s main exhibition area is housed in what is known as the Rolfe Street Building. This impressive new complex also provides educational and conference facilities, visitor amenities, specialist museum stores, and a library and archive resource centre (open by appointment). The exhibition galleries sit...

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Ironmonger’s Shop

Nash’s ironmongery was established in 1860 in Oldbury supplying both domestic ironmongery and works trade. The shop has been recreated, as it would have been in the 1930s, within part of the Pipers Row premises. They sold every conceivable commodity needed by householders and businesses in the area from...

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Ironworker's Office

The Black Country was world famous for its production of iron and steel goods, including chain of all sizes, nails, tubes, forgings, rolled products and castings. Visitors can discover more about the many ironworking processes of the area in the Castlefields Ironworks which occupies the corner of the village site...

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Jerushah (Tilted Cottage)

This cottage, constructed around 1840, was originally located at Cooper’s Bank, Gornal Wood. Its crooked appearance is a characteristic feature of the Black Country landscape and was caused by subsidence as coal was dug from the mines beneath. In 1987 the house was carefully dismantled and reconstructed...

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Lench’s Oliver Shop

Originally built around 1910 by the 'odd worker' Onan Lowe, the Oliver Shop was subsequently taken over in the 1930s by TW Lench of Blackheath, the major nut and bolt manufacturer, to respond to requests for ‘specials’ from customers. Here the oliversmiths worked at the ten hearths to forge a variety...

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Limelight Cinema

The Limelight Cinema encapsulates the ethos of the Black Country: small-scale, unpretentious, rough and ready and the work of an enthusiastic, self-taught entrepreneur. The building was moved brick by brick from its original location at Harts Hill, Brierley Hill, where it had stood since 1921. The auditorium could...

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Nail Shop

Nail making was a well-established trade in the Black Country; at its peak around 1820 there were over 50,000 nailers at work in the area. Principal centres were Sedgley, Gornal, the Lye, Halesowen, Oldhill and Dudley. It was essentially a cottage industry, the nailers worked for middlemen known as...

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Newcomen Engine

In 1712 Thomas Newcomen built the first successful steam engine in the world which was used for pumping water from coal mines on Lord Dudley's estates. In 1986, after more than ten years of painstaking research, the Museum completed the construction of a full scale working replica of that 1712 engine. The 'fire...

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Old Birmingham Road

The Old Birmingham Road shows a snapshot of style during the house-building boom of the 1930s.

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Pawnbroker's Shop

The pawnbroker’s shop is housed in a pair of cottages rescued from Himley. Prior to the Second World War, before the inception of state benefits, pawnshops provided one of the only means for humbler people in society to raise capital or obtain a loan to bolster their income when work was slack. The front...

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Photographer’s Studio

Please Note: the Photographer's Studio is currently closed to visitors. Visitors can step back in time and have their photograph taken in period costume.  Sepia prints are available to purchase as a memento of your day out.

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Pitt’s Cottage

Pitt’s Cott is a single storey building originally constructed in Broad Lane, Bilston around 1890. The cott was self-built by the Pitt family using second hand bricks which accounts for the uneven brickwork, out-of-plumb walls and general homespun look. It’s owner Sam Pitt worked at a nearby quarry and...

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Providence Chapel

The Methodist chapel was built as Providence Church in 1837 at Darby Hand in Netherton, Dudley. The tiny settlement of Darby Hand grew up in the late eighteenth century as a coal mining and nail making community at the side of the Dudley Canal. It was affiliated to the Methodist New Connexion which broke away...

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Racecourse Colliery

The ground beneath the Museum site was once mined for coal, limestone, fireclay, and ironstone. More than 40 old mine shafts are shown on old plans and around one of these shafts, Racecourse Colliery has been built as a typical small Black Country coalpit. Small scale, ‘rough and ready’ pits  were...

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Rock & Fossil Shop

Dudley with its long history of limestone mining is world-famous for early marine fossils.  The Rock and Fossil Shop continues the tradition as specialist purveyors of fossil, mineral and crystal specimens, both local, UK and worldwide, together with onyx marble giftware and gem set silver jewellery.  They...

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Rolfe Street Baths

When visitors arrive at the Museum they are faced by the impressive three-storey frontage of the Rolfe Street Baths complex rescued from its original location in Smethwick where it had been erected in 1888. The building now houses the Museum’s new reception and exhibition galleries. Built to provide washing and...

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Rolling Mill

The rolling mill depicts a typical Black Country hand rolling mill in which iron and later, steel bars were reduced in size or changed in section. The iron bars are heated up in the cast iron furnace and then passed through the mill stands several times to reduce the size of the section. It was installed at...

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Sidebotham's Steel Trap Works

Sidebotham’s Trap Works, originally constructed in Wednesfield, near Wolverhampton in 1913, is a typical example of a small purpose built factory of the period. Wednesfield was a major centre for the manufacture and worldwide export of small animal traps. The stencils hanging from the Belfast Truss roof were...

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St. James’s School

"Pay attention you!" A lesson in St James's School will bring memories flooding back for some. Can you remember your tables or recite the alphabet backwards. What about doing sums in pounds, shillings and pence?! The original school was built in 1842, in Salop Street in Dudley, near St James Church and was...

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Station Road Cottages

These two cottages are replicas of a pair that still stand on Station Road, Oldhill, probably built in 1848, and are typical of workers' housing of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in the Black Country. Originally, each house consisted of a single room and pantry downstairs with a single bedroom...

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T. Cook’s Sweet Shop

Like the baker’s shop next door, the sweet shop is a replica of one from Birmingham Street, Oldbury. The exhibit takes the name of Thomas Cook who ran a small confectionary business at 21 Bond Street, Dudley between 1871 and 1901. As was usual in the Black Country at this time, the business was run on a...

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The Albion Depot & Tram Collection

The Albion Depot is based on Handsworth Tram Depot, built in the 1880s near the West Bromwich Albion football ground. The depot was raised in height when electric trams were introduced and the change is still evident in the brickwork. The Museum’s trams are housed in the depot and include the Dudley &...

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The Back-to-backs

The three Brook Street houses were originally built in Sedgley in the early 1850s, they comprise two ‘back-to-back’ cottages and a ‘two up two down’ cottage in one unit. These types of houses would have been found in abundance in the Black Country. These examples at the Museum are believed to...

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The Bakery

The bakery was rescued by the Museum from the rear of the shop that still stands in Birmingham Road Oldbury. The bakery yard was entered from the towpath, exactly as it is at the Museum, and the building when first found was completely derelict with the roof having been burnt. The bakery includes two direct...

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The Boat Dock & Boat Collection

The thousands of boats that used to work the Black Country canals all needed constant maintenance. In this area there were many working boat yards, or docks, like this one, where boats were built and repaired. They were busy, cluttered places not unlike a modern scrap yard as it was common practice to break wooden...

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The Builders Yard & Office

This display represents a traditional small builder’s merchants yard of the mid-1920s comprising a brick office, a stone hovel and an open yard. The stone cutter’s hovel originally stood at the entrance to Bilston Quarry, Wolverhampton. Black Country people were loath to waste anything and this...

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The Conway Garage

Broome’s Garage depicts a 1930’s garage and is a replica of the Conway Garage in Sedgley Road, owned by the late Wolverhampton garage mechanic Alex Broome. Alex Broome worked for Sunbeam as a racing mechanic and when the company closed he started his own garage in 1936 which he ran into his eighties. ...

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The Fairground

Fairgrounds were as much a part of Black Country life as rolling mills, mines and trams. The collection of rides and amusements at the Museum accurately portray the Black Country travelling fairs of the first decades of the last century. The small traditional fairground might have been operated by one of the...

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The Hardware & Ironmonger's Shop

The original building came from Piper's Row in Wolverhampton and was built in the first half of the nineteenth century. The hardware shop sold everything for the home, particularly products like tin baths, enamel-ware and lamps made in the area and in traditional Black Country style the exterior of the shop is...

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The Limekilns

Quarried extensively in Sedgley, Dudley and Walsall, limestone was one of the great wealth of raw materials that contributed to the successful industrial development of the Black Country. It was used in iron making as a flux in the furnaces but could also be converted to lime by burning. ‘Quicklime’...

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The Locksmith's House

The Locksmith's House celebrates the efforts of the small family run lock making businesses which thrived over a century ago. Working from the back yards of their own houses, hundreds of small family businesses evolved. A visit to the Locksmith's House will demonstrate how such a business operated alongside...

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The Village Fried Fish Shop

This fish and chip shop – which would have been called a fried fish shop in the 1920s and ‘30s - is a replica of a shop still standing in Lower Lichfield Street, Willenhall.  Originally built as a house, like many others it was converted to a front room shop around 1900. The outbuilding in the...

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The Workers' Institute

The Workers’ Institute, originally from Cradley Heath, stands as a landmark to one of the most significant yet hidden achievements of British labour history.  The Workers' Institute was awarded £1.1million Heritage Lottery Fund  to relocate the building  brick by brick to BCLM ensuring its...

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Toll House

The Woodsetton toll house was probably built in 1845 when the Sedgley to Tividale turnpike road was built, though it ceased its function for collecting tolls in the 1870s. Turnpikes were gated roads which levied a charge, or toll, on those and their animals travelling it. The interior has been recreated, from...

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Tram Rides

There were many different ways of getting about in the Black Country and we have some excellent examples in our transport collection, which help you explore the Museum. The 3'6” gauge tramway runs from the depot outside the Entrance Building to the School by the Museum village. The tram fleet comprises 3...

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Underground Mine

Mind yer 'ed!. Take a trip with 'Lija Wedge' into the world of the Black Country coalminer in the 1850s. The Black Country was famous for the Staffordshire Thick Coal, which lay beneath much of the area. The coal occurred in seams of up to 10 metres thick, far bigger than anywhere else in Britain and the...

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Veal's Baker's Shop

The baker's shop is a replica of the one which stood in front of the bakery in Birmingham Road, Oldbury. The original was probably built in about 1840 with the single storey shop front and extension added later in the 1870s. The period setting of the shop interior is based on a photograph of 1910 when the name...

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Vehicle Display

This building has been created to showcase the Museum’s magnificent collection of Black Country manufactured vehicles. Inside, visitors can view cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles including brands such as Bean, Clyno , Westfield, Sunbeam, Diamond, Guy and AJS. The 1950s appearance of the building is...

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War Memorial

The War Memorial is a figure of a British soldier mounted on a granite plinth was originally erected in 1923 at William Butler's Springfield Brewery in Wolverhampton to commemorate the firm's employees who had served and fallen in the First World War.  In 1949, the firm added a Second World War roll of honour on...

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