Civic Society Meeting – St Michael's, 5.30pm, tonight

The next meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society which will be held at 5.30pm on 21st September 2009 at St Michael’s Church Brierley Hill.Our main speaker will be Pamela Smith – who you may have heard me wax lyrical about before.

Pamela devises and publishes, amongst other things, botanical walks and enables us to see our local neighbourhoods with astonished new eyes.   Even better news is that Pam has secured funds via the University of Birmingham from the OPAL project to produce a walk in the Black Country and she’s chosen Brierley Hill!!!  You can read about the OPAL project by clicking here:

It would be great if we had a really good turnout for our meeting to welcome Pam and so if you could invite anyone who you think might be interested that would be terrific.

The agenda for the meeting is given below, followed by the notes of the last meeting.

Look forward to seeing you on Monday.  I’m really excited already!


  1. Apologies
  2. Notes of previous meeting (see below)
  3. Matters Arising
  4. 4. Key Speaker: Pamela Smith
  5. Communications
  6. Constitution
  7. Any Other business
  8. Date of Next meeting

Notes of the Meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society Steering Group held on Monday 27th July at the Dudley Infracare Lift Offices, Off Little Cottage Street, Brierley Hill


Shane Birch-Bastock,  Dave Elson (Carillion), Barry Gilbert, Alan Gill, Cllr Rachel Harris, Samantha James (Dudley Infracare LIFT), Cllr Karen Jordan, Alan Miles, Jenny Sunter, Tim Sunter, Rosemary Tomkinson


Cllr Judy Foster, Cllr Sue Greenaway, Steven Masters, Zafar Islam

Visit to the new LIFT building in Brierley Hill

A presentation was given by Dave Elson and Samantha Worship on the new ‘LIFT’ (Local Improvement Finance Trust) Health and Social Care Centre in Brierley Hill.  Members listened to the presentation with great interest and expressed themselves as very impressed with the quality, design and scale of the new building.

Notes of the Previous meeting

The notes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record.

The Brierley Hill Walk

Stephen Masters could not be at the meeting and was jetting to Turkey as we spoke.  However he had managed to produce a copy of the walk leaflet he had created in 1980.  The walk was written as recently as 1980 and offered an exciting description of Brierley Hill as it was then – with Round Oak and the glass industry still going strong.  It was very striking that the area had changed so much in the intervening time.

The leaflet triggered  discussion on whether it would be worth (with Stephen’s consent) trying to find a sponsor to fund republishing the walk.  It would also be interesting to do some further walk to add a parallel text describing what the plans are for the area in the future.

Pamela Smith had given a talk on botanical walks at a recent event in Brierley Hill.  Barry Gilbert commented that she had since been in touch with him to talk about doing further work in the area.  TS agreed to follow up and see if she could come to our next meeting.

The draft Area Action Plan also talked about green corridors, and it was agreed that a council officer should be invited to our next meeting to discuss how these would be implemented.


TS gave an update on the constitutions of other civic societies.  These were all very similar and followed a model provided by the Civic Trust.  The meeting asked that TS take the model and adapt it for consideration for adoption at our next meeting.


Recent publicity in the papers had indicated Dudley College’s proposal to close its operations in the International Glass Centre in Moor Street.  Members felt that this was a fine building of importance to the town’s heritage, whilst accepting that it may no longer be suitable for Dudley College’s purposes.  It was believed that the outside of the building was listed and therefore development would be strictly controlled, but that the inside had more flexibility with regard to future development.  It was important to try to ensure that important Brierley Hill heritage was not destroyed.  It was agreed to ask Dudley College if the Society could visit the building.

The discussion then moved to consider the recording of other buildings of significance in the Brierley Hill Area and how the society might help in their restoration and preservation.  It was resolved to invite Pete Bolan, the Council’s conservation officer, to our next meeting to lead a discussion on this matter.

National Youth Theatre in Brierley Hill

There is to be a performance of a new play, “Flight”, at the Ruskin Centre, Amblecote, on 8th August and 5.30pm and 7.30pm.  The play will be written by young local people and will examine the issues relating to the first flight across the channel 100 years ago.  It was agreed to circulate details to members.

Next Meeting and launch

The next meeting will take place on 21st September at 5.30pm.  Venue to be determined.

It was agreed that we should have a soft launch of the Civic Society and that members would pass on the details to acquaintances.  It was suggested that we should try and get a report of our meetings in the local papers – where coverage of Brierley Hill Societies seemed scarce.

3 comments on “Civic Society Meeting – St Michael's, 5.30pm, tonight

  1. Bloggers,

    I am delighted to read of the forthcoming meetings of the Civic Society. I would like to set the new Society a
    challenge and or an Agenda item for their next meeting.

    Youth unemployment and disaffection is a huge issue across Breirley Hill, out of 24 Wards we now have the highest level of unemployed and, indeed longer term unemployed in Dudley.

    Can we organise a positive opportunity for local young people to engage in an Annual Art Competition encouraging painting, drawing, music, poetry, sculpture that can be highlighted at venues throughout Brierley Hill and, showcase local talent. Arts Awards at the Civic Hall and Waterfront!

    We need to develop creative comunities. Why not start with celebrating our local Artistic talent. What about it?

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