Express & Star

How agency stepped back in time to recreate 1940s-60s high street with the Black Country Living Museum

Marketing communications agency Plum Ideas has stepped back in time for a unique creative design project with the Black Country Living Museum.

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From left; Plum Ideas client services director Andrea Hopkins, midwife 'Edwina' played by Louise Small, new mum 'Cynthia' played by Tasha Plant and Plum creative director Stuart Marsh

The Stourbridge-based agency created over 500 historic collection pieces for the Museum’s replica of the Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre, part of the Dudley museum’s new 1940s to 1960s high street which has opened in stages since July.

This interactive installation will give visitors a unique opportunity to step into the 1960s and discover the stories of Black Country midwives, childcare and the birth of the NHS.

The creative team developed authentic-looking packaging, signage, posters and leaflets from the era to go on display in the Museum’s shops and buildings.

Plum Ideas client services director Andrea Hopkins, who oversaw the project, said: “Having always had a base in the West Midlands, Plum Ideas is very proud to be a Black Country business, so we were really excited about the opportunity to work with Black Country Living Museum.

“This is one of the most interesting and challenging projects we have taken on to date. It involved hours of archive research into historic marketing materials and meticulous creative work to achieve realistic designs that are truly reflective of the era.

From left, Lynn played by Jen Kettle, Plum Ideas client services director, Andrea Hopkins, midwife 'Edwina', played by Louise Small and Plum Ideas director Stuart Marsh

“Even sourcing credible paper and packaging materials required a lot of consideration, as the shiny materials we use today weren’t around back then.

“Seeing our artwork on display at the Museum, for thousands of visitors to enjoy, has made all our hard work worthwhile and I am incredibly proud of the team.”

Chloe Taylor, collections manager from Black Country Living Museum commented: “We are thrilled with the fantastic results delivered by the Plum Ideas team. Their authentic artwork really expands the Museum’s storytelling and brings our new high street shops to life.

“Plum Ideas were a great partner for this project and took on all its challenges with enthusiasm. Their talent, commitment and attention to detail has been amazing, and we have received lots of positive feedback from visitors to the new high street.”

This summer, Plum Ideas celebrated its 25th year in business. The marketing communications agency works with well-known brands such as NIVEA, Golden Wonder, Kenco, Weetabix, Ryvita and Tayto Group.

Since 1998, its focused, passionate and creative team has brought brands to life through outstanding communications for local, national and international clients of varying sizes and across very many sectors.

Plum Ideas is committed to supporting its local community and is a proud sponsor of the junior teams of Swindon Cricket Club, local charity Openstage and charity event Love Stourbridge.