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Previously unseen works from Sandwell-born Beano and Dandy artist at Wednesbury museum

By Luke Bartlett | Attractions | Published:

It was the opening day of an exhibition celebrating the life and work of a famous illustrator.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Alex Howell (Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery)

And it has unearthed some of the never before seen intimate and telling pieces of Sandwell-born cartoonist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg including hand written notes and unpublished drawings.

Visitors flocked to Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery for the opening of exhibition on Wednesday – which will look to honour the cartoonist known as the man behind The Beano and The Dandy.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Alex Howell (Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery

The show will give those attending the chance to see artefacts, original drawings, letters, unseen and unpublished images, and video interviews with Charlie who lived in the Rood End area of Langley as a young boy.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: The Dandy Book.

Museum service manager Jane Hanney said: "We have had lots of interest in it and certainly lots of people have phoned up and been interested in the exhibition.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture

"Lots of local people have expressed an interest and they did not know he was a local person.

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A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture

"I think we will get lots of people that read The Beano and The Dandy when they were younger – it is a good opportunity for them to come along and see the works.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture - Feature for the Black Country Bugle on his family

"There are things in here that were never published because he was a freelance cartoonist at one time. There is some really nice stuff that has come from his son who is keen to get the story told.

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A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture

"We have got his desk on display that he used to do all the drawings on. We are hoping to get lots of people come through who are not necessarily into traditional artwork.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture - Feature for the Black Country Bugle on his family

"We want to do lots of projects around the exhibition with schools and locals looking into cartooning and illustrating.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Notes he would make when listening in to conversations

"The hope is it will put the museum on the map so we have some really nice visitors, who did not know we existed before, to come along and relive some of their youth at this behind the scenes look."

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Piece from when the Millennium Dome opened

The exhibition, which runs through until November 2018, will later tour in a smaller form around local libraries.

special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture - Splodge

It will be open at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday and Thursdays from 11am-4pm and on Saturdays from 2-5pm – with last entry at 30 minutes before closing.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Henry Hope & Son's Sports Day 1938

During the exhibition run, there will be many other events, such as the launch of the book Our Best Kept Secret written by Billy Spakemon, otherwise known as Dr Brian Dakin, which tells the story of Charlie’s life as well as the project itself.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Copy Picture

There will also be an opportunity to buy exclusive commemorative T-shirts produced by Black Country T Shirts.

A special exhibition celebrating the work of Sandwell-born Cartoon Artist Charlie 'Chas' Grigg to be launched at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery...In Picture: Henry Hope & Son's Sports Day 1938

The exhibition is the latest move to mark the work of Charlie and follows the installation of a blue plaque at Rood End Primary School where he was a pupil in his younger years.

The plaque for Charlie, which describes him as a children’s comic illustrator, celebrates his work for the two comics and describes him as one of the best illustrators in British comics.

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via luke.bartlett@expressandstar.co.uk.

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