Colors: Blue Color


Sandwell Council has lined up an exciting free programme of Halloween events this half-term for all the family with virtual events aimed at children of all ages.


These events, aimed at young people aged 11-19, will be hosted on the Just Youth Sandwell Facebook page throughout half-term: 


Online activities include competitions, spooky stories, a nightmare walk with Malthouse Stables, upcycle your own costume and a dance video competition for staff and young people.


For younger children aged five to 12, Go Play Sandwell is hosting virtual Halloween parties through Zoom and will be bringing spooky fun to the homes of those who join in. Children can dress up and get involved in fun games at these virtual sessions.


Parties take place with six sessions each day until Saturday October 31 and can be accessed through the Go Play website:


Councillor Joyce Underhill, cabinet member for best start in life, said: "We wanted to offer some extra sessions this Halloween for children and young people to enjoy from home.


"There is fun for all the family to get involved in and we hope young people will log on to get involved with our half-term Halloween events."



Recently discovered Great War memorial plaque of the first Black officer to be killed in World War One to be sold at Dix Noonan Webb


A recently-discovered Great War Memorial Plaque that rewrites Black History in World War One will be offered by Dix Noonan Webb in their live/ online auction of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria on Thursday, November 12, 2020 on their website The plaque of Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who is believed to have been the first Black officer commissioned into a British army regiment during the Great War and is also believed to have been the first Black officer casualty of the Great War, when he was killed in action on April 25, 1915, at the Second Battle of Ypres is estimated at £600-£800.


Discovered by former Member of the European Parliament, James Carver, who is a keen collector of medals relating to West African soldiers of the Victorian

and Edwardian era. He spotted it for sale on the open market, bought it on a hunch, and since researched Lieutenant Lucie-Smith’s military career and family background.


He said: “With this month being Black History Month, the timing of this discovery seems all the more poignant. Until now, the best-known Black soldier of World War One has been Walter Tull, however I now believe Lucie-Smith to be the first Black officer.


His background was quite different to Tull’s – coming from a privileged Jamaican family, he was undoubtedly from the so-called “Officer Class”, having attended two English Private Schools.”


As Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison (Associate Director) of Dix, Noonan, Webb commented: “We are delighted to be offering this Memorial Plaque and celebrating the career of Euan Lucie-Smith. Much has been written about Walter Tull, who was till now erroneously assumed to have been, (and regularly referred to), as the first Black officer commissioned into a British army regiment during the Great War, (on May 30, 1917) and the first Black officer casualty of the Great War, when he was killed in action during the First Battle of Bapaume on March 8, 1918.”


“Another well-known Black Officer was Allan Noel Minns, who was commissioned as a Lieutenant in September 1914, days after Euan Lucie-Smith – he was fortunate and survived the War. But now we have Euan Lucie-Smith, who was not only the first Black officer commissioned into the British army, but was also the first Black officer killed in action some three years before Walter Tull was.”


Like Walter Tull, Euan Lucie-Smith hailed from a mixed heritage background. He was born at Crossroads, St. Andrew, Jamaica, on December 14, 1889 to John Barkley Lucie-Smith, (the Postmaster of Jamaica), and Catherine “Katie” Lucie-Smith (nee Peynado Burke). His father hailed from a line of distinguished white colonial civil servants.


His mother was a daughter of the distinguished ‘coloured’ lawyer and politician Samuel Constantine Burke, who campaigned for Jamaican constitutional reform in the late 19th century through his desire for Jamaica to have greater control over her own affairs than Whitehall.


His advocacy on behalf of both the Black and “coloured” populations of Jamaica, helped create a reputation that even led him to later be referred to, by name, in an essay of the renowned Black activist, Marcus Garvey. Euan Lucie-Smith was educated in England, initially at Berkhamsted School, before Eastbourne College, (His address during his Great War service is noted as Berkhamsted School).


Returning to Jamaica, he was commissioned into the Jamaica Artillery Militia on November 10, 1911. He appears as a Lieutenant in a later, pre-war, Forces of the Overseas and Dominions list. Just six weeks after the outbreak of war, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the regular force of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, appearing in the supplement to the London Gazette of November 30, 1914: “Dated September 17, 1914, The undermentioned candidates from the self-governing Dominions and Crown Colonies to be Second Lieutenants. – Euan Lucie-Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regiment....”.


Believed to have been the only name on this list from the Caribbean, or East and West Africa, he appears as the first of fourteen names, giving him seniority above the other men also commissioned from Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and New Zealand. (Confirmation that he was commissioned two years and eight months before Walter Tull).


He landed in France on March 17, 1915, and, just over a month later, although initially reported as missing, he was later confirmed as being killed in action on April 25 1915, aged 25, during the Second Battle of Ypres. (Becoming a casualty two years and eleven months before Walter Tull). A statement made by a Pte. F. Jukes, at Suffolk Hall Hospital, Cheltenham, stated “Lieut. Lucie-Smith - Was told by his servant that he was killed, and had seen him dead. Shot through the head”. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 2 to 3 of the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. He is also commemorated on the Berkhamsted School Memorial, the Eastbourne College Memorial and has an entry in “Jamaica in the Great War”.


Due to the current COVID 19 situation, this auction will be online only and there will be no room bidding available. Customers are able to bid live online (DNW make no additional charge for this service) or leave commission bids prior to the auction. Lots may be viewed prior to the sale by appointment only.



Two employees from Enoch Evans LLP have decided to swap life at the West Midlands law firm for the clouds to take part in a charity skydive to raise money for Acorns Children's Hospice


Trainee solicitor Jessica Hubble, who jumped on Saturday 19 September, alongside HR manager Melissa Greatrix, who will take to the sky on Saturday 28 November, smashed their initial target by raising over £1,100 for the law firm’s chosen charity of the year. 


Jessica said: “I did a skydive when I was 21 and didn't think I'd ever do it again - but when the opportunity arose, I was so motivated to help a good cause that I agreed straight away.  A colleague circulated an email about the events taking place to raise money for Acorns this year, and the skydive seemed like the most adventurous and dramatic way to raise money. I thought the more drastic the challenge, the more money we would be able to raise.


“I did odd jobs for people to raise more money while Melissa added £200 to the total by holding a car boot sale.


“I am delighted that Melissa and I have been able to raise such a large amount for such a worthy cause and we would like to thank our families, friends and colleagues at Enoch Evans LLP for all their support and donations.” 


Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.


The charity has been at the forefront in the battle against coronavirus, providing children’s hospice care and support to the most vulnerable families caught up in the pandemic.It costs Acorns, which cares for families across the West Midlands, almost £11 million every year to continue – the bulk of which comes from donations and fundraising.


Zoe Baggot, senior manager for community fundraising at Acorns, said: “We’re extremely grateful to daredevils Melissa and Jessica for their bravery in completing their skydives and raising a fabulous £1,000 towards our work.


“The money they have raised by leaping into action for Acorns will go directly to the local children and families who rely on our care and support.”


Enoch Evans LLP has its head office in Walsall in addition to a branch in Sutton Coldfield.


The 136-year old firm has grown to over 90 staff and is listed in the Legal 500 which ranks the world’s best practices. 





Known as one of America’s greatest civil rights activists, the legendary Malcolm X is remembered, in the Midlands, for bringing his fight against racism to Smethwick.


The civil rights campaigner visited on 12 February 1965 because at the time Smethwick was considered a hotbed of racial tension.


And, more than half a century on the man who became so incensed with racism in his own country is still celebrated for his visit to the Black Country town after hearing of plans to stop Black and Asian residents buying houses.


The late Tory MP, Peter Griffiths, won his seat there a year before the much heralded visit with the campaign slogan: ‘If you want a n***** for a neighbour, vote Labour’.


Locals successfully petitioned the council to buy up empty homes in a street and ban non-white families from moving in.


Smethwick proved an eye-opener for Malcolm X.


As Malcolm X walked down Marshall Street, on February 12 in 1965, he was jeered by white residents who told him they didn’t want ‘any more Blacks living there.


He was ejected from the smoking room in a local pub down because he was Black.


Nine days after his trip to Smethwick, Malcolm X was assassinated in a New York ballroom - aged just 39.




Tickets are now on sale for Wolverhampton’s first-ever Creation Day festival. - two days of incredible live music from legendary UK bands who are set to rock West Park as part of the new festival next summer. 

Happy Mondays, Editors, Ash, Echo & the Bunnymen, Black Grape and Sleeper are just some of the amazing acts set to take to the stage in West Park over the weekend of May 29 and 30 2021. 


Creation Day festival forms part of City of Wolverhampton Council’s ongoing commitment to re-light the city, help boost the local economy and offer high-profile events to attract visitors. 

The two-day event is organised by the council in partnership with Toura Toura Festivals and Alan McGee, founder of the iconic Creation Records label - formed in 1983, becoming one of the key labels in 80s and 90s indie music. Over the years, he has worked with such major acts as Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Oasis. 

Next year’s festival will see stars from Creation Records join forces with other well-known bands to perform their biggest hits from 12.30pm to 10.45pm. 

Bands playing on Saturday are Happy Mondays, Echo & the Bunnymen, Cast, Black Grape and Echobelly as well as new artists Shambolics, The Clockworks and The Illicits. The line-up includes a Creation Day exclusive as it will be the first time that frontman Shaun Ryder has performed with his two bands, Happy Mondays and Black Grape, at one festival. Acts lined up for Sunday are Editors, Friendly Fires, Ash, Sleeper, Glasvegas, The Wedding Present as well as up and coming performers Heavy Lungs, Cat SFX and Marquis Drive. 

Editors met when they were studying Music Technology at Staffordshire University and gigged around the Midlands before receiving Mercury Prize and Brit Awards nominations. 

Other attractions at the two-day event include a fairground and a wide variety of food and drink stalls. Support for festival goers with access requirements will be available. 

City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield said: “Creation Day is a really exciting event for our city and I’d like to invite all our local music fans to get their tickets. 

“Thanks to our partnership with Alan and his many years of experience in the music business, we’ve been able to offer a great mix between old favourites and some up and coming acts.” 

Creation Day will be fully risk assessed to reflect the latest safety requirements at the time of the festival. Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, details may be subject to change. 

It has been announced that the Birmingham Hippodrome is among the latest recipients of emergency government arts funding and will be receiving almost £3m from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund. Town Hall Symphony Hall in the city has been awarded £2.53 million. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is to return to Symphony Hall Birmingham, as its doors open for the first time in over seven months to enable live concerts for socially-distanced audiences. 


The announcement follows the decision by Arts Council England to also award Town Hall Symphony Hall £2.53 million from the Fund which is designed to help the sector until March 2021 – while the CBSO received £843,000 earlier this month. 


Birmingham Repertory Theatre has also been awarded a grant, of £1.38 million, with its Artistic Director, Sean Foley and Executive Director, Rachael Thomas saying; “COVID-19 continues to have a devastating effect on our communities, city, and industry. We are hugely grateful to The Department for Culture, Media and Sport for the grant announced today for Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of the Culture Recovery Fund. 


“Without this essential grant there is no doubt that the future of our historic theatre would have been greatly compromised. Thanks to the support from DCMS and Arts Council England we can now channel our efforts into securing the future of The REP, protecting jobs, and employing freelancers”. 


Birmingham-born actor Adrian Lester, a Trustee of the Board of The REP, said the £1.38m would allow it to "inspire and entertain again" when it is able to reopen.


Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the "vital funding" would secure the recipients' futures and "protect jobs right away".


"These places and organisations are irreplaceable parts of our heritage and what make us the cultural superpower we are," he said.


The government said the grants were being awarded "to places that define culture in all corners of the country".


Shakespeare's Globe, the Sage Gateshead, the replica Elizabethan theatre in London, Birmingham Royal Ballet,the CBSO and the Lichfield Garrick theatreare amongst those who will receive almost £3m from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.


Museums to benefit from this tranche of funding include the Ironbridge Gorge Museums in Shropshire and the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.


More than £500m has now been allocated from the Culture Recovery Fund to almost 2,500 cultural organisations and venues.