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Pride in heritage: Duo's t-shirt design pays tribute to Wolverhampton and Goodyear factory

By Heather Large | Features | Published:

It's a city with plenty to be proud of - that's the belief of Lindsay and Tim Baker who want to celebrate everything that makes Wolverhampton great.

Jack Fletcher, Tim Baker, Bob Wiggin, Lindsay Baker, Ayesha Bal and Chris Baker at Molineux Credit: Brodie Weatherill

Together they have founded lifestyle brand True Reverie to create designs that share a message of positivity for the city and the Black Country.

They believe there is no better time to encourage local pride and honour the city's rich and diverse heritage.

They launched in January this year with their debut t-shirt design Good As Gold which pays homage to workers of the city’s iconic tyre plant Goodyear, which also sponsored Wolves for 12 years.

It was inspired by Lindsay’s dad Bob Wiggin who worked at Goodyear for 25 years and was a turnstile operator at Molineux for six years during the Jack Hayward era.

"We wanted to tell a story and bring back memories for people who worked there or had friends and family who worked there.

"It's been very popular and has sold out three times. Tim has seen people wearing the t-shirts at Molineux.

"We've had orders not just from people in this area but all over the UK and abroad.

"I think even though people have moved away from Wolverhampton, they are still proud of the city and their roots," says Lindsay, 36, who is the founder and owner of graphic design studio Sister Minor.

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The Good As Gold design was also backed by Wolves with players from the men's and women's first teams wearing the t-shirts.

They followed it up with their limited-edition Midlands Musique collection of t-shirts that aim to celebrate the music genres they've grown up with and been influenced by in the West Midlands.

Their first designs were Black Country Disco, Soul Bab and Black Country Rock and as part of the project, they set up the Wolverhampton Music Archive on Facebook so that people can share their stories and memories of music culture in the city.

"We wanted to shine a light on Wolverhampton’s great musical heritage and we put a call out for people to share their stories of Wolverhampton music.

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"We want to celebrate the different music genres, venues, bands and record shops that are part of the city's history," says Tim, 37, who works at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art.

Earlier this month the couple released two new designs which included Free The Roses inspired by one of the more bizarre stories from the city's past.

It remembers the time when the Stone Roses found themselves hitting the headlines for reasons that had nothing to do with their music’s success.

In January 1990 vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield and drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court.

Tim and Lindsay want to encourage local pride and honour the city's rich and diverse heritage. Photo:Brodie Weatherill

They were charged with causing around £20,000 worth of criminal damage to Wolverhampton record company they had been signed with 18 months earlier.

Stone Roses were signed to FM Revolver Records when they started on their road to stardom, but later left the label to join the bigger-name Silvertone Records.

But the Wolverhampton firm, keen to capitalise on their increasing popularity, re-issued their single Sally Cinnamon and put out a promotional video to promote it.

While the band didn’t mind the single being re-released, they objected in strong terms to the video.

After pleading guilty, they could have faced a custodial sentence but in the end the judge decided not to jail them - partly because he felt that the impact of such a sentence would actually help the band to gain notoriety.

Tim and Lindsay, who live in Tettenhall Wood, say they wanted to mark the moment the respected and much-loved band became intertwined with Wolverhampton’s history.

The second design is a Good as Gold Blimp t-shirt which remembers the iconic sight of the Goodyear blimp proudly flying over Wolverhampton - something many people will look back on fondly.

As well as priding themselves the quality of their designs, Tim and Lindsay, who have also created pin badges, tote bags and prints,want their products to be kind to the environment.

All of the t-shirts, which are unisex, are made from 100 per cent organic and sustainable cotton and are hand screenprinted with water based inks in the West Midlands.

The couple will be celebrating some of the region's talented musicians and artists on December 5, when they host their Christmas Carnival, for one night only, at Blossoms Liquor & Grind.

The event will kick off at 7.30pm with DJ sets from Ian Davies, owner of Wolverhampton independent record shop Stay Loose Records, and Stewart Kendrick, All Hands on Decks.

There will be live acoustic sets from local singer-songwriters Alex Ohm and Bryony Williams. Accompanying this will be pop up shops selling prints, scarves and accessories from midlands based artist and designer Maisie Baker, photography from Black Country Type and vinyl from Stay Loose Records.

A True Reverie pop-up shop will also be open and selling their t-shirt and pin badge collections, including the Good as Gold design.

“We wanted to do something in the heart of the city that brought together great local music talent and independent artists who are designing and making great things.

"You will be able to enjoy a night out, support a local charity, discover amazing music, buy from local artists and support local businesses all in one night - Christmas shopping has never been so much fun,” says Lindsay.

Tickets to the event will cost £5 and all profits from ticket sales will go directly to the Wolverhampton homelessness charity The Good Shepherd.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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