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Archive for the tag “heritage”

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

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Conservation time!

I’ve been a busy little bee these past few days and today was no exception. I was invited on a tour of the conservation studios at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

At first I thought I would simply be watching some of the processes going on, but oh no, I was handed the chemicals and told to have a go haha!!

So here is what I did…

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Into the archives…

On Friday the 12th of October I finally got round to visiting the Shakespeare Museum, Library and Archive Collections who had kindly provided me with lots of information on Anglo-Saxon archaeology digs across Warwickshire, specifically the ones at Bidford and Alveston. I also had a read of the Wasperton dig too as there was an amazing book in the reading room about it.

Here is a map to show the distribution of pagan Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in the Avon valley where the archaeology digs took place. By contrast with the sparse, peripheral Anglo-Saxon archaeology of Staffordshire, that of Warwickshire shows the valley of the Avon in the southern half of the county, to have been an important focus of pagan burial practices. Map from ‘The West Midlands in the Early Middle Ages’ by Gelling, M. (1992):

The collection is situated right by where I work, at the Shakespeare Centre itself, and looks after the largest collection of Shakespeare related materials in the UK. Their collection includes rare manuscripts, books, photographs, artefacts and works of art. One of their great treasures is the First Folio which is believed to have belonged to Shakespeare. Obviously the collection isn’t all about Shakespeare though- it is a local history archive too with records dating back to the 12th C- hence why they have archaeology records and artefacts…with items like this beauty…

Anglo-Saxon Large Square-Headed Bronze Brooch

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Digging for history

I’ve only just managed to find time to post about my escapades on Saturday, but here it is!

I was invited out for the day by the Bloxwich Research and Metal Detector Club. I had never been metal detecting before, so it was a great chance to have a go! I was really excited about spending the day out and about hunting for items, and it was really sunny so we were fortunate with the weather. I didn’t even need my coat really as the sun was that hot. Considering it is October it was a rarity to even see the sodding sun!

So, back to the day! I had great fun, mostly due to the company who were a great laugh. I am sure I was the source of much of the amusement as I didn’t have the strength to actually dig to find items- in my defense  the ground was incredibly hard. I couldn’t get my spade to break the surface :(. Luckily I had a lot of help with that bit. Hehe.

My arms killed after doing it for four and a half hours- in fact, they still hurt, and I feel as though I have been weightlifting for a few days. But at least I got a workout! So, I’m sure you all want to know what I actually found…

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I particularly love the vintage OXO sign I found. That’s going to get framed and put in my new house for sure. I found a lot of old buttons, that I think are from the Victorian period. There was a beautiful piece of metal which may be either Roman or Anglo-Saxon (the piece with the zig-zag pattern across it) so I need to get that checked out at Birmingham Museum. Some of the coins I found were really in a bad state, but the large one that you can hardly see much detail on, which was examined by one of the guys I was with, might be from the Victorian period.

One of the buttons has a beautiful little bird design on it, which is the Bridgnorth Bird I think. I really need to do some research on these items! If anyone knows what some of the items are, do feel free to comment!!

Anyhoo, I’m hopefully going to do it again in the future, I had a fantastic day out and it was such a laugh.

You’re my souvenir

Now, you all know I write about art and heritage right? Right. But this has got me thinking about some things. What about our own personal heritage? What is it that we carry around with us, that makes us feel connected to where we are, our past, our lives? I know, this is getting deep!

Since my previous post talked about connections, reflection and memories through the art of Goudie, I have been thinking about my own past and, in particular, the people in my life who have helped me to become the person I am today. I studied heritage at University, but it has always been ‘the whole picture,’ the ‘grand scale’ of world heritage, or national heritage. But what about our own heritage? And what exactly is heritage?!

The Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sri LankaThe Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, a World Heritage Site…do you feel connected?

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