Homes built for rent by local authorities are a common feature of the modern Black Country landscape. They’ve been built over more than a century in the area and in 2001 for example they made up one in every four homes.
But despite their contribution to the area and influence on people’s lives, relatively little has been recorded about their history in the Black Country.
We want to try to put that right.
We are very pleased to say that our bid to Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful and we have been awarded £52,500 to support our project ‘Block Capital: A Participative History of High Rise Council Flats since 1960’.
The project, which will run during 2013 & 2014 is supported by a number of groups, including tenants’ and residents’ organisations in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton (details below). It will train and support volunteer researchers to investigate the history and heritage of tower blocks. It will also create an accessible archive of material relating to their story and the stories of the people whose lives have been connected with them.
We will focus on high-rise flats built (and some demolished too) in the Bilston, Darlaston, Tipton, Wednesbury and Willenhall areas. For a full list read our press release, or go to ‘High-rise in the Block Capital project’ or ‘The Block Capital archive’. You can also listen to local people (such as Brendan, left) talking about their experience of high rise on ‘Sharing Storeys’.
You can help!
We are looking for people who might give some time to researching the history of the flats in our target area.
Volunteers will receive training in the use of public archives, how to investigate council housing history, and how to record people’s experiences and stories about living in the flats. We particularly welcome anyone with a personal connection to the story of the flats. If you are interested please contact Chaz Mason on 01902 55204001902 552040 or send us a message here.
Our project is supported by Sandwell Community Information and Partnership Service; Walsall Tenants and Residents Federation; Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Associations; The Centre for West Midlands History; Wednesbury History Society; Wolverhampton Culture, Arts & Heritage Service