News Column

Celebrating the Industrial Might

May 7, 2014

Museum opens doors after hours To celebrate the Black Country as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, Black Country Living Museum will be opening its doors after hours for a special half price evening of Red By Night on Saturday 17 May 2014, showcasing the industrial might of the Black Country in a way that’s never been seen before.


In 1868, whilst visiting the Black Country, American diplomat and travel writer Elihu Burritt described the area as “black by day and red by night” due to the coal fired furnaces and collieries spreading smoke during the day and lit a fiery red throughout the night.

Partnered with Dudley College Arts students from the Evolve campus, the Museum will be brought to life by creating a catalogue of sound, lighting and art in a way that’s never been seen here before. Delving into the Industrial background of the Black Country the students have selected the usually unoccupied areas of the Museum.

Acts during the evening will include light and sound projections within the buildings, stomp-style dance routines exploring the noise of the industrial towns and students embracing the Black Country dialect through thought-provoking drama pieces telling the story of the hard working people of the region, who created a turning point in Britain’s national story.

Laura Wakelin, Director of Communications and Marketing at Black Country Living Museum said: “The Museum is delighted to be working with Dudley College. Red By Night is designed to celebrate the Black Country as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution therefore to be working directly with the local community makes the evening even more poignant.”

Lowell Williams, Principal of Dudley College said: “I’m thrilled that the college’s partnership with the Black Country Living Museum is providing such a unique experience for our performing arts students. It’s exciting to see that Black Country history and heritage can inspire young people to be creative and I’m looking forward to seeing the performances, music and art that’s developed by our students, in conjunction with the museum, for the national event."

Level 2 Performing Arts Student Jack Fern said: “We are really excited to be involved with Red by Night and have spent lots of time researching the history behind our performances. It’s good experience for us to be able to transfer our skills to a real organisation and work in a professional setting. I am from Sedgley and proud of my Black Country roots. This project has allowed me to get a better understanding of my local heritage and the responsibilities of my family during the 1900s.”

The night will also bring the Museum's staff and volunteer groups together to fire up the furnaces, visitors can witness chemistry at work, watch the infamous rolling mill in action and soak up the atmosphere as the Museum is transformed into a glowing plethora of smoke and fire. And for one night only -  be amazed by the work of our glass blower.

Red By Night is part of the annual Museums at Night festival which sees museums, galleries and heritage sites all over the UK opening up at nighttime to put on a diverse array of events offering visitors the chance to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way.

Tickets are available at half price rates – Adults £7.95 and Children £3.95. Gates open on Saturday 17 May at 7pm and close at 10.30pm. The event is advanced booking only at or telephone 0121 520 8054. Note to Editors:

About the Museum Established in 1978, Black Country Living Museum is one of the UK’s leading open-air Museums.  Designated by Arts Council England for the quality and national significance of its collections, it is a remarkable place to explore, enjoy and spend time.  Set in 26 acres with over 150 historic buildings and features, and attracting 240,000 visitors each year and over 8m people since it first opened, it offers a glimpse into 200 years of history like no other.  The Museum (a registered educational charity) records and exemplifies the contribution and impact of the Black Country region since the 18th century to the development of the modern industrialized world.  Black Country folk changed the world, and the Museum tells the story of a very special time and place in history and some of the most hard-working, ingenious and influential people you could imagine.  It offers a visitor experience that few others can match.

About Dudley College

Dudley College is a long established general Further Education college situated in the Black Country Metropolitan Borough of Dudley in theWest Midlands. The college’s history can be traced to the Dudley Institute in 1862.

The college is the preferred choice for over 12,000 students, including young people, adults and employers, all of which study on one of the 4000+ courses offered in all the key sector subject areas. Strong partnerships exist with universities and local schools and some collaborative work is undertaken with other colleges. The college is also actively involved in employer engagement, working with almost 1,500 employers on an annual basis.

The college was last inspected by Ofsted in February 2013. The report, published on 9th April 2013, finds that all areas of the college are ‘Good’ or better noting the college’s many outstanding features. Inspectors particularly praised the college for its ‘very high’ success rates, ‘outstanding’ accommodation and resources across the new Learning Quarter. The college’s Visual Arts provision area was awarded the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’.

The college employs approximately 750 staff and is a major employer in theBlack Country.

For further information please contact:

Laura Wakelin, Director of Communications & MarketingTel: 0121 521 3514

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