Chairman’s Letter: May 2016

Hi Everyone,

The May 2016 edition of our magazine is very special as this is our 100th edition. This edition is a little different to the usual format to celebrate this landmark in our history. It also gives me the opportunity to give a big thank you to all our friends and volunteers over the years who have supported us . This magazine is really important to us, as it is our only regular form of income, which is vital in running our museum and to keep the history of our town alive. Over the years we have been so grateful, initially to Chris and Terry Westwood, then Bob Baldwin and now Chris Sutton for editing and producing the magazine. Our thanks also to the loyal local advertisers who have contributed to the cost of the magazine.

Although this year, we did not have an early Road show we have been very busy at our museum. On the first Saturday we opened in March, we hosted a Lightwood’s exhibition,  to promote an oral history project to find out and record people’s memories of Lightwoods Park. We also had a small exhibition to what would have been Ken Wharton’s  100th birthday – both of which were well attended.

In April Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reached her 90th birthday. She has seen and lived through some extraordinary times during the 20th century of invention and progress. She is the longest reigning monarch, overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. She has been served by a dozen Prime ministers and presided over six decades of British history. To celebrate this we have put together photographs of the Queen and her family, snaps shots of events in Smethwick and major events worldwide during the 9 decades of her life. This exhibition will continue throughout the summer.

We had a successful ” Volunteering Day” in April. As you all know our museum is run almost entirely by volunteers who work very hard with enthusiasm and commitment but   we still need more help to maintain the high standard that we have set ourselves. Just a few hours a week, or month to help us would be appreciated – help to staff the desk, cataloguing our collection research and help with exhibitions. History is ongoing and we are still looking for an enthusiastic photographer to take photographs of the changing face of Smethwick for our archives and help with editing our magazine.

Our first Road Show will be on 21st of May at St Hilda’s Church when we revisit one of our old venues. The theme will be “As we were and as we are now “ depicting how Smethwick has changed over the years and the important dates which made changes in our town. We are always looking for photographs of building which have disappeared especially from the 1950’s onwards. Windmill lane flats, High Street shops, Six Ways, clinics, pubs, cinemas, churches and schools so many have gone forever. So please if you have any photographs bring them along to the museum so we can scan them and use them for our exhibition.

 Best Wishes – Mary Lee

Mary Lee