Express & Star

Echoes of the Black Country: An exhibition in celebration of Black Country Day

Local photographer Ian Hughes of Pendeford, has created a celebratory exhibition of photographs and ephemera called Echoes of the Black Country on display on the first floor of the Central Library, Wolverhampton on Snow Hill until Friday, June 27.

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Ian and his exhibition - Wolverhampton Central Library. Photo Ian Hughes

Early in 2024, Ian was asked to supply images to celebrate Black Country Day on July 14 for the library.

As a person of a ‘certain age’ that did most of his growing up in the area, he enthusiastically rose to the challenge. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm was short lived as he soon realised that what we think of as ‘The Black Country’ no longer exists in any truly recognisable form! It's all been swept away by ‘progress’!

But he kept searching and slowly, small ‘nuggets’ came to his attention – but they are just echoes of what once was.

Travelling around the area, covering over 350 miles, he captured a wide range of images covering almost all aspects of the Black Country, including industry, the canals, mining, education, religion - even the pub!

Still at work! Plowden & Thompson Glass Cone, Stourbridge. Photo Ian Hughes

It turns out that the Black Country 'is' still there - if you know where to look!

With over 150 photographs covering all walks of life as well as other bits and pieces - you could easily 'lose' an interesting half hour just looking at the exhibition - and recall fond memories of times past or make interesting new discoveries of things you never knew were there!

A natter over the garden fence! Black Country Living Museum. Photo Ian Hughes

Ian has also made an online version of the exhibition for those that can't get there in person and also co-runs an upbeat and positive Facebook group all about Wolverhampton and the wider borough:-

By Ian Hughes - Contributor

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