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J. L. Greenway Freedom Casket Launch

In 1937 James Luther Greenway, a leading Bilston industrialist, was granted the Freedom of the Borough of Bilston in recognition of his investment in the town. To mark the occasion he was presented with a ceremonial casket decorated with enamels.

In 2012 the museums, galleries and archives of Wolverhampton (WAVE) was able to acquire this important object for display at Bilston Craft Gallery thanks to the generous support of the Friends of Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Black Country Memories Club and Bilston Historical Society.

The Casket


On the 8th of June 11.30am-1.30pm the Bilston Gallery is inviting the public to celebrate the new display of this important piece of Bilston’s heritage, followed by a light buffet morning tea with cakes. There will also be the opportunity to see the Bilston Craft Gallery’s Summer exhibition entitled Once Upon a Time in the Midlands which explores the rich storytelling traditions of the region through contemporary craft…

Have you heard of the polar bears that escaped from Dudley Zoo and roam the limestone caverns beneath Dudley Castle? Or what about the Anglo-Saxon King Wild Edric who sleeps beneath the Stiperstones in Shropshire with his army… it’s said they will wake and ride out to protect Britain if danger threatens the nation.

The Summer exhibition (running from the 25th of May till the 24th of August) will explore some of the rich stories, folklore and urban myths of the Midlands brought to life through imaginative and magical works of contemporary craft.

Betty Pepper, Where

Viewers will be intrigued by a varied range of objects including toys and automata, jewellery, glass and embroidery that illustrate local stories, whether humorous, romantic or mysterious.

The exhibition includes many new craftworks created in response to some of these stories by makers and artists whose work is inspired by narrative and character.

So, two new events to get excited about!

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