Ron Moss and Family self-portrait, 1962. Courtesy the Ron Moss Collection

Upcoming Event: Haden Hill House Museum

The Living Memory team is pleased to announce that our first temporary exhibition and a related programme of activities will take place at Haden Hill House Museum in Cradley Heath, Sandwell, 21st-30th June.

We will be presenting a selection of photographs and stories that have been shared with us from the local area with a special spotlight on the Ron Moss collection. The exhibition also features new work around the collections by Walk Works, first year photographic students from Sandwell College and pupils of St Michael’s CE High School, Rowley Regis.

We have organised a special celebration day that includes talks, archive sharing sessions and a creative writing workshop. We will also be in residence at Haden Hill House on several days to talk about the project and record more stories and photographs around local people’s collections.

Our programme has been developed in collaboration with the wonderful team at Haden Hill House Museum, which is part of the Sandwell Museum and Arts Service.

Read on below to find out more about what we have planned at Haden Hill House Museum.

Haden Hill House Museum: Exhibition

Ron Moss

A selection of previously unseen work from the Ron Moss Collection curated by his family and the Living Memory Project team. His photographs of family life taken between 1940 and 1970 are a unique and outstanding collection that captures the lives of his family and friends.

Family Stories

First year photographic students from Sandwell College have been busy producing their own creative responses to the project and will be showcasing some of their work-in-progress as part of the exhibition.

Local Collections and life stories

A showcase of some of the rich photographs and stories shared over the last few months during our workshops and events that took place in Rowley Regis, Grace Mary and Lion Farm.

Then and Now

Fran and Vicki from Walk Works share samples of their work-in-progress currently in production as part of a series of community workshops around Cradley Heath and Blackheath.


Pupils from St Michael’s CE High School, Rowley Regis, have been collaborating with local residents and project worker Rich Franks to create their own exhibition called Seven.

Pupils will be on hand to discuss their work on 24th June, 11am-2pm.

Exhibition opening times:

21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th June - 10am - 5pm

23rd, 30th June - 2pm - 6pm

24th June and 1st July - 12-6pm

Keith Hodgkins: Kates Hill, Dudley looking north east across the Black Country, 24th March 1977

Haden Hill House Museum: Talks

In Perspective - Photography Collections and The Black Country

Saturday 30th June 11.00am - 3.30pm

A day celebrating some of the key photography collections and archives from across the Black Country.

We are delighted to bring together five specialists to discuss the unique collections that they have created over many years. We want to share some of the stories behind these collections and explore what the future may hold for these collections.

Booking is essential as places are limited due to room restrictions.

  • Geoff Broadway leads the Living Memory project and will be talking about what has been achieved so far and shares our exciting plans for the next 18 months.
  • Keith Hodgkins, President of the Black Country Society, will talk about his own extensive personal archive of over 25,000 images that re ect changing face of the Black Country landscape from the 1960s onwards.
  • Anand Chhabra from the APNA Heritage project will be discussing their award winning work around photography and Punjabi migration to Wolverhampton between 1960 and 1989.
  • Brendan Jackson will share the story of the Jubilee Arts Archive. This online and physical collection documents the work of Sandwell based Jubilee Theatre and Community Arts Company between 1974 and 1994.
  • Maureen Waldron from Sandwell Community History and Archives Service (CHAS) will talk about some of photo collections held within Sandwell’s own archive.
Moya Lloyd with part of her photographic archive. Photograph: Geoff Broadway

Haden Hill House Museum: Writing workshop

Louise Palfreyman: Writing around collections

Saturday 30th June - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Louise Palfreyman will lead a short story writing workshop using archive images as a starting point. Expect fun exercises to get your creativity owing, expert guidance and come away inspired. If you have a personal image that you want to write about then we encourage you to bring it along on the day. Louise Palfreyman is currently Writer in Residence at the University of Wolverhampton and the force behind the writing hub Black Country Arts Foundry.

The two hour session costs £4 and booking through Eventbrite is essential to reserve your place.

Archives Collections on view

Saturday 30th June - 11:00am - 4:00pm

Sample materials from the Living Memory project, The Jubilee Arts Archive, The APNA archive and Sandwell Archives will be on view on Saturday 30th June. You can come and talk to us about each of the collections, look through some of the work and learn more about the background stories.

Midsummer Music in the Park

Sunday 24th June, 12-4pm

We will be taking part in this year’s 1950s-themed event that takes place throughout the lovely park grounds. We be running a Living Memory stall and sharing some more of the fascinating stories and photographs we have collected. Bring along your own favourite photograph to share with the project or just come and say hello and arrange a time for a more in-depth sharing session. We will also be giving guided tours of the Living Memory exhibition.

In Residence at Haden Hill House Museum

Thursday 28th June, 11am-3pm

Our team of skilled volunteers are setting up a special recording and photo digitising studio within the Haden Hall House for the day. We are inviting you to book for a special session where you can talk about your own album, photography collection and record your story in your own words. You will need to make an appointment rather than simply ‘drop-in’.

Contact Rachel at to book your slot. We will also be available on the day for guided tours of the exhibition and to talk more about the project.

John Henry Price (back row in sailor’s uniform) and his family photographed outside their house in Warley Road, Oldbury, in 1950.
Project volunteers James Ribble and Juantia Williams at the Lion Farm Action Centre

Guest blog by volunteer Juanita Williams


Juanita Williams shares her experience of working on the Living Memory project.

On Saturday 13th May I went along with fellow volunteer Jim Rippon to the Lion Farm Action Centre open day as part of the Living Memory project.

I lived on the Lion Farm estate when I was just 18 and I was surprised how much it has changed and yet much of it is still the same.  The row of shops are still there next to the library and the pub on the corner has had a refurb, but it’s still there serving the community.

We were there to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Lion Farm Action Centre whose team works hard to support the local community. As part of the event we shared stories and images collected as part of the project from Lion Farm and Grace Mary area over the last few months.

We also had a pop-up exhibition of specially printed photos that we presented around the centre. Everyone was really keen to talk to us about the images and the photographs that we presented as a slide-show the screen. 

The Lion Farm Action Centre have been in their new building since September last year and it was really friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  There was a slow but steady stream of people passing through, many of them spending time in the sunny garden. 

Going out into the community as a volunteer for the project made me realise just how interested people are in old photographs and the stories behind them.  Most people comment when they see something they recognise from their own life experiences and this is why this project is so important. I love listening to people's stories. and feel it's so important to create the space for others to share their memories. One photograph can trigger thoughts about a time that we had forgotten, recalling people, places and feelings. 

At the event I met so many different people and talking about their lives and their own photographs it's clear to me that although we all have our differences we always have so many things in common. Talking about our own photographs and those of other people can helps us talk about our lives and share what really matters to us.

Part of our temporary exhibition at the LFAC
Part of our temporary exhibition at the LFAC
Sharon Ofley with a photo of her father and his friends from 1968
Sharon Ofley with a photo of her father and his friends from 1968
James Ribble shared some of his own family photographs. We are doing a feature all about his collection over the next few months.

If you want to get involved in any way with this project you can come along and do as little or as much as you are able.  You don’t have to have advanced technical skills to volunteer, just coming along to our events and helping people share their own stories and photographs is a really important part of the project.  Do get in touch if you would like to help on the project.

Workshops with Walk Works

Walk Works are offering the opportunity for keen photographers to reinterpret some of the Living Memory collection through five creative photography workshops, led by Vicki Smith and Fran Wilde, around Rowley Regis.

Each workshop will begin with exploring archive images and learning more about Living Memory’s collections so far, then going out and about in the area to recreate the images using camera phones.  These images will be showcased as part of Living Memory’s Summer programme of exhibitions and events.

You are welcome to bring your own photos and stories from life in the Black Country to explore and recreate.  During the workshop you will look at examples of how other photographers have reinterpreted older photographs, think about why
they did this, work out how they took the photos and any adjustments they made.  You will then spend time visiting sites, planning reinterpretations, producing simple props where needed and taking photos.

Details are below – please follow the links to Eventbrite to book your free place on each workshop.


Geoff Broadway talking about the Living Memory project.

Are you intrigued by the Living Memory Project?  If you want to learn more about what we are doing, what we are planning and how you can contribute, then come along to a free illustrated talk by Project Manager Geoff Broadway as part of the Reclaim Photography Festival.


Thursday 10th May, 7:30pm-8:15pm

Light House Media Centre, The Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite.

About Reclaim Photography Festival

Reclaim Photography Festival is a community arts project dedicated to promoting the very best in art photography, through an annual programme of events and exhibitions, in collaboration with children, young people, photographers and partners, here in the West Midlands and internationally.  There is a full programme of events happening across the Black Country over the next month - check their What's On page for more details.

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