BIG ART, High Sheriff News


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Multistory, the Black Country Agency that has been at the forefront of high quality community photography launched their new publication, HOME MADE in SMETHWICK  in local Library with photographer Liz Hingley.  The book is a good mix of food and families from “the town with everything on the menu”.  A good turn out heard from Liz and Emma Chetcuti, from Multistory, about how it was important to focus on the many varieties of family food that are prepared across Smethwick, by a wide range of families.

albert explains spirtual values

Albert Smith actively explained how he prepares and bakes his speciality bread and how sharing bread has a spiritual dimension. ” @bertie126

Short video of the book.  There are very few left! Best be quick to get in touch with Multistory for your copy. Each photograph is accompanied with the family recipe printed on transparent tracing paper which makes for a unique good quality and value book.” There are great variety of food favourites from around the world including cheese on toast, Lipi, Ginger Cream Stacks, Gadjrela (carrot Halwa), Chin Chin Cookies and Crayfish.

irene takes her own pic

And Irene Sawyer was there having travelled to be at the event and see her Mother and son in the exhibition.

sawyer family by liz H

More information and tour dates at  and about Liz’s work –

albert, emma and liz

Albert, Emma and Photographer Liz Hingley listen.

Liz is described as a photographer and anthropologist and it becomes clear when talking to her and reading her introduction to Home Made in Smethwick that she does not ‘parachute’ into communities to ‘record’ them, but spends time with her subjects to understand who she is photographing: ‘puting the simple question”what is your favourite recipe”, from door to door, I was welcomed into homes to join the preparation of personal dishes rich with meaning and memory.’ The positive results of her approach are clear to see in the book and exhibition, which will be aired in libraries across the Black Country.

smet bearwood school

On my journey back to Birmingham I passed by an intriguing collection of metal pages on Bearwood School railings.

High Sheriff News

Sandwell Civic Service

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What a beautiful end of Summer morning it was in Rowley Regis for the Lord Mayor of Sandwell, Cllr Barbara Price’s Civic Service at St Giles Church.  rowley regis sunThe Church sits on the highest point in the vicinity and can be seen for miles.  In Fact the deputy Mayor says she knows she’s near home as the church appears on the horizon.

st giles with owl

The Church has a resident owl – can you spot it!

st giles refurbised monumentIn her first months in office The Mayor has assisted the Church fund raise for the cleaning of the monument of remembrance in the grounds.  Bringing it back to former glories and in recognition of those who gave of their lives in the first world war.     st giles singers

The service was graced with the voices of the St Giles Singers who accompanied the hymns chosen by The Mayor and a special anthem was sung in latin: Misericordias Domini in aeternum.rev ian sheldon The St Giles Vicar is the Reverend Ian Sheldon and his sermon captured the history of Sandwell and the place of St Giles and far back in history the relevance of Jerusalem and the Middle East. However he concluded by referring to his recent ‘long journey’ to Wolverhampton in the North of the Black Country and to his visit to the city’ Art Gallery and in particular to one painting that hangs in the staircase –  Christ on the rubbish Dump.

christ on the rubbish dump painting

This 1955 painting by george warner allen depicts the Black Country and two of its deprived inhabitants against a backdrop of the ‘dark satanic mills’ and Jesus Christ offering help and protection. It was commissioned by the Cannon Abel Wood  of the Black Country Industrial Mission. christ on the rubbish dump




mayor oathThe worshipful Mayoress read aloud her vows to serve Sandwell and were witnessed and welcomed by the congregation, Deputy Lieutenant Stewart Towe CBE and Mayors from Dudley and Walsall.   Sandwell’s Mayor and Julie Webb her Deputy lit candles for those to close to them and Sandwell, before the procession was led from St Giles  across the busy road to the Church hall where all enjoyed light refreshments and good conversation.
mayor and deputy light candlescoclusion






Standard bearers included young people from the local Scout Group whose welcoming hut is a but a stones throw away.

rowley regis welocome to our scout hut

High Sheriff News

High Sheriff Awards 2015 – Inspiring Young People

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The High Sheriff was proud to present his ‘Inspiring young People’ awards on the 23rd July, at his Garden Party held in the GardenTerrace of the Library of Birmingham. The awards are nominated by the Mayors from across the County and it was a wonderfully uplifting with young people from across the County being recognised for their positive and inspiring actions in their local and creative communities. HSWM15 GP Programme      HSWM15 Programme details The seven High Sheriff Mayoral Awards were augmented by a special Creative Award from Selfridges&Co. Click to enlarge the award winners pictures below.