Illustrated Talks and Performance Events

A free evening events programme was arranged to add another dimension to the Brierley Hillness project. It enabled us to involve experts and Council Officers in the project, and the public to learn more about the history and heritage of Brierley Hill.

There were also performance nights, showcasing the talent of the young people who had been involved in creative workshops. We held six evening events at Artspace,which has a seating capacity of 40 people per event. Audience numbers averaged at twenty people per event.

The illustrated talks on local history did attract people we hadn’t already met, although mainly from a traditional heritage audience. The performance nights, on the other hand, brought in young people, friends and family and we were able to engage with a wider audience.

There was a further evening event to showcase winning work from the photo competition; images were projected on a nearby building. This part of the project was organised by Audiences Central (see Photography).

The Brierley Hillness evening event programme included:

Brierley Hill’s Historic Landscape

Pete Boland, Principal Conservation Officer and Borough Archeologist, explored the evolution of character in Brierley Hill; how the area has developed over time and the heritage assets that contribute to the town’s distinctive character. It was a fascinating talk brought to life by a suite of Historic maps of Dudley Borough.

Watch a clip of his talk.

Pete Boland  from Jonathan Lee on Vimeo.

Brierley Hill: Past and Present

Ned Williams, Black Country author and historian, took us on a journey along Brierley Hill High Street using old and new photos; reflecting on the buildings and trades that once lined this street and the stories and memories associated with them. See Selection Selection of old images of Brierley Hill High Street used in Ned’s presentation.

Watch a clip of his illustrated talk

Ned Williams – Local Historian from Jonathan Lee on Vimeo.

The Future of Brierley Hill Town Centre

Principal Planner Nicki Dale talked us through the plans to regenerate and redevelop the new town centre of Brierley Hill, focussing on how the area will be redesigned to allow better integration between the High Street, Merry Hill and the Waterfront. It was an informative and interactive evening with an opportunity to comment on the new design guidance for the town centre. See sections of Nicki’s presentation:  An overview of Brierley Hill’s Urban Design Guidance and An overview and update on Brierley Hill’s Area Action Plan.

Watch a clip

Nikki Dale from Jonathan Lee on Vimeo.

Remembering Round Oak Steel Works

We were joined by Borough Artist Steve Field and Performance Poet Brendan Hawthorne for a nostalgic evening about Round Oak. They shared some of the stories and poetry that ex-workers have been giving and the audience were able to see a temporary exhibition of memorabilia donated by local people who was curated at Artspace. Steve unveiled initial memorial sculpture designs to the Steel Works. The audience was full of ex-workers at Round Oak.

Watch a clip

Remembering Round Oak from Jonathan Lee on Vimeo.

Brendan Hawthorne from Jonathan Lee on Vimeo.

The Brierley Hill Project presents… Verbal Eyes

This was a very special evening showcasing the young talent of Brierley Hill. Features spoken word, Mc-ing, performance poetry and other entertainment – much of which will be inspired by the town. All the live performances from this evening were filmed.

Steve started the evening with his song inspired by Brierley Hill.

Steve from Jonathan Lee on Vimeo

One Boy. One Town. One Big Idea!

We screened the film version of the Dudley Performing Arts Production “One Boy. One Town. One Big Idea!”  Originally performed at Brierley Hill Civic Hall earlier in the project. It was an evening filled with much laughter and excitement as the cast of  Buzz Youth Theatre watched themselves for the first time, along with a few members of the community.

Watch the performance. Read extracts from the script. Find out about how the script was devised and methodology working with local schools.


Download Approaches to Community Engagement and Lessons Learnt for a slightly extended and print ready version (PDF). Download a TEXT ONLY VERSION Approaches to Community Engagement and Lessons Learnt (Word).


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