Black Country Living Museum to build £9.4m historic new town

Thanks to £9.4m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands, will undergo a huge transformation to share stories of life in the 1940-60s.

The project, BCLM: Forging Ahead, will see an entire historic town built within the grounds of the museum. It will recreate landmarks of the Black Country to provide an evocative snapshot of what life was like in the 1940-60s.

Several buildings that were of great significance to the local community will be recreated or replicated using archive material and historic photographs, while others will be translocated brick-by-brick to their new home at the museum.

The Elephant & Castle public house that stood in Wolverhampton is one of the buildings being recreated. Controversially demolished in 2001, the pub will be painstakingly rebuilt as it was in its heyday, including the distinct green ceramic brickwork on its outside walls.

In the 1960s, the pub was a watering hole for customers of all backgrounds. Irish, Jamaican and South Asian workers often met, drank and played dominoes together.

The Black Country Living Museum will bring to life the stories of the workers who gathered in the pub after their shifts.

Work has just begum on this major project and is set to be completed in 2022.

The museum currently offers a host of places to eat and drink including Bottle & Glass Inn, Hobb's Fish & Chip Shop, Workers' Institute Café, Crown Tubeworks Café. There is also a sweet shop and bakery.