Express & Star

Museum's 'Glad Tidings' provides great joy for a bostin' Black Country Christmas

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas at Black Country Living Museum.

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Black Country Living Musuem

There's nothing better to get you into the festive spirit then a hearty rendition of traditional Christmas carols, so when carol singers greet you with 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' just minutes after arriving at the attraction the tone is well and truly set for a bostin' night.

Traditional carol singers perform at Black Country Living Museum's Glad Tidings event

It's one of many heart-warming sights and sounds at the Glad Tidings events, which run on selected evenings in the run up to Christmas at the Dudley venue.

The museum gives visitors the opportunity to explore Christmases of the past and it's all lit up for the festive season, with pretty Christmas trees and decorations, a sparkling fairground and open fires to keep you cosy on a chilly winter evening.

Brass band music entertains visitors at the musuem

And the fact there's music on virtually every corner helps create a merry atmosphere as you step back in time visiting the attraction's recreated shops, businesses and homes.

A host of talented musicians serve up a variety of sounds from the past, from the traditional Victorian carol singers to a brass band and vintage vocalists performing Christmas classics. You can also get a taste of a Caribbean Christmas as a steel-pan band performs on the High Street, while Providence Chapel is the venue for the gospel choir.

If you're feeling peckish there's plenty of tasty treats on offers from a host of food stalls as well as the museum's usual food favourites. If you're feeling more than just a bit peckish, I can vouch for the hot turkey cob with stuffing and cranberry sauce from Marsh & Baxter butchers. It was delicious.

Costumed characters sing Christmas carols near the museum entrance

There's also a Christmas market at the museum with a variety of crafts and home-made items for sale, so if you've still got Christmas shopping to do, it's worth a visit.

The museum's history has recently been brought right up to the 1960s as part of the Forging Ahead project and it was wonderful to be able to see the new high street and pop into the many shops, including Marsh & Baxter - providers of the delicious turkey cob - Stanton's Music Shop and Burgin's Newsagents, among others.

The Starlight Sisters perform at Black Country Living Museum

A particular highlight for me was the iron houses, especially the 1968 property. I felt like I'd walked into my childhood home.

All decked out for Christmas, it has the concertina-style sparkly ceiling decorations which seemed so glamorous back in the day (and I think my mother still has some that come out every year!)

The detail in this recreated house was amazing, and all the more special as it's within living memory. From the the telephone to the bottle of Babycham on the drinks trolley, it's such a fantastic blast from the past.

All in all, a wonderful night out which make for a bostin' Christmas celebration.

Glad Tidings runs from 6.30pm-10pm on Saturday, December 9, Friday December 15, Saturday December 16, Friday December 22 and Saturday December 23. Tickets are £22.50 each for adults, £15.50 for children. For more information visit