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Online archive tells story of Wolverhampton's famous Queen Street

By Marion Brennan | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton nostalgia | Published:

A new audio-visual guide to a historic street in the Black Country has been launched as part of a £2.2 million initiative.

Illustration of Queen Street in the 19th century

The scheme will help repair and enhance important buildings in Queen Street, Wolverhampton, providing grants of up to 85 per cent towards the works.

As part of the project, a digital trail of the street has been created, providing background on the properties, many dating back to the early 19th century.

Launched on Saturday at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, it follows an exhibition telling the street’s history in words, craft pictures, sketches, models and collected stories – all illustrating why it was singled out for conservation.

The ‘web app’ also includes images and a video of 3D models of the street’s building created by University of Wolverhampton students who completed a laser scan not only of the exterior of the street, but also an internal peek inside one of the street’s typical Georgian townhouses.

The Express and Star offices in Queen Street in around 1967

The Townscape Scheme is backed by a grant of £864,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The council has also committed £250,000 of match funding to the overall project as part of its wider regeneration plans and £1.1m will come from investment by the owners of the buildings who receive grants.

The guides draw on research by Friends of Wolverhampton Archives and the Queen Street project volunteers.

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The results have been published in a series of booklets that can be downloaded via www.wolverhampton.gov.uk

The biggest queues form in the business centre of town round about 5.30pm in Queen Street on July 1 1960

Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for city economy, said: “As a council, preserving the rich heritage and conservation areas in the city is as important to our regeneration plans as the millions of pounds being invested in new development.

“This new Queen Street Digital Trail emphasises that, and all involved in the project deserve a lot of credit for what they have produced.

“In terms of the overall scheme, we will continue to work closely with the property owners, tenants, and our project partners, to develop proposals. This will help breathe new life into the area and its businesses, while at the same time staying true to the history of these wonderful buildings in our city.” The Townscape Heritage Partnership includes the Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID), the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Cultural Arts Organisation, Wolverhampton Partners in Progress, Wolverhampton Society of Architects, The Friends of the Archives, Wolverhampton Building Regeneration Preservation Trust and Wolverhampton College.

The digital trail is online at wolverhampton.audio-guide.co.uk

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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