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Black Country Allotment Society

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This is a specially commissioned publication by Susie Parr, author of the critically acclaimed ‘Story of Swimming’. Susie writes about the lives and experiences of plot holders from eight allotments set in the heart of Sandwell, using the wider Black Country as context. Her closely observed stories are a celebration of community, resourcefulness and ingenuity, beautifully produced in a box of delights. Multistory also commissioned local film-maker, Chris Keenan, to make Bee Movies, a film that tells the story of Black Country beekeepers, a community that is growing rapidly as more people become fascinated by bees and try out beekeeping for themselves.

There are nine essays presented in a specially designed box together with a series of postcards, two maps, a commemorative allotment society pencil, plant markers, wildflower seeds and the DVD. The project was commissioned and produced by Multistory and further information can be found here.

Please note: Multistory is selling this item for the lower price of £15.00 to residents of the Black Country (plus P&P).  If you live in the boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall or Wolverhampton, please choose the ‘Black Country delivery’ option below. If you live outside of these areas but choose the Black Country delivery option, we will have to refund your money and ask you to re-order.   The price outside of the Black Country is £25.00 plus P&P (UK second class; EU and the rest of the world is economy rate); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Chains, Dogs & CHAOS

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Cradley Heath, located in the borough of Sandwell in the Black Country, is a town rich in cultural history and heritage and one with personal connections to the filmmaker, Sara Tibbetts.  Sara discovered that her grandfather was an important figure in the local community. He was both the local doctor and the first President of the Cradley Heath and Old Hill District Amateur Operatic Society. Over one 100 years later, Sara finds that the Society is still very much at large and proudly holds the title of the longest established amateur operatic society in the Black Country.

As Sara spends time with the current Chair, Hilda Faulkner, the stories of many local people and their interconnected lives linked through genealogy, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and chain making begin to unfold.

Price is £5.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Black Country Stories by Martin Parr: photography book

Martin Parr has now completed his four-year commission for Multistory to photograph every day life in the Black Country. We have collaborated with Dewi Lewis Publishing to produce a beautiful 140 page photography book with 105 colour images that can be purchased from Dewi Lewis Publishing.

Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories: compilation DVD

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Over the last four years, Multistory has commissioned Martin Parr to make four films about the Black Country: Teddy Gray’s Sweet Factory; Mark goes to Mongolia; Tudor Crystal; and Turkey & Tinsel. These have been brought together on one DVD, along with a specially commissioned interview with Martin from August, 2014. Three of the films can also be bought individually; details below.

The compilation DVD is £20.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories: shopping bags

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Three of Martin Parr’s wonderful images have been digitally printed onto 10 oz high quality, heavy weight bags in 100% natural cotton canvas. They have a 10 cm gusset for extra strength with a capacity of 30 litres. Choose your favourite from the selection below, or perhaps have more than one! The price is £6.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories: Tudor Crystal DVD

Martin Parr’s third film for Multistory (running time approx 26 minutes). Stourbridge, in the Black Country, was once world famous for its glass. Established in 1922, Tudor Crystal is the last, multi-furnace company producing 30% lead crystal, within a traditional glassmaking cone.

Martin filmed in April 2013, during the last three days that the owners, Barbara and Richard Beadman, remained in charge before they handed the company over to the new owners.

The film is part of the Black Country Stories body of work commissioned by Multistory to document life in the Black Country.

Price is £5.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories: Mark goes to Mongolia DVD

Martin Parr’s second film for Multistory (running time approx 43 minutes), Mark goes to Mongolia tells the extraordinary story of Mark Evans – pigeon auctioneer, breeder and entrepreneur – based in Moxley in the Black Country. This film documents Mark’s trip to Baotou in Inner Mongolia, in November 2012, where pigeon breeding, pigeon racing and Mark Evans are hugely popular.

The film is part of the Black Country Stories body of work commissioned by Multistory to document life in the Black Country.

Price is £5.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories: Teddy Gray’s Sweet Factory DVD

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Magnum photographer Martin Parr returns to working with moving images in this wonderfully engaging documentary about Teddy Gray’s sweet factory in Dudley in the West Midlands (running time approx 20 minutes).

Established in 1826, Teddy Gray’s has always been a family owned and run business. Five generations have worked and contributed towards the business of keeping the traditional, hand-made methods of sweet making alive.

The film is part of the Black Country Stories body of work commissioned by Multistory to document life in the Black Country.

Price is £5.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories: Norman Soper Tea Towel

You can buy your very own Martin Parr tea towel featuring Norman Soper who was the best pot leek champion at Sandwell Show in 2010.

The image of Norman was taken by Martin Parr as part of the Black Country Stories body of work commissioned by Multistory to document life in the Black Country.

Price is £8.50 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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‘Black Country Women’ magazine

This magazine is the result of a unique project, commissioned by Multistory, that celebrates women in the Black Country. Novelist, Dame Margaret Drabble, has written short stories and Magnum photographer, Martin Parr, has taken all of the photographs; plus there are contributions from local women on all things ‘Black Country’. This has all been brought together to make a very special women’s magazine.

Price is £10.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Mark Power’s Black Country Stories (Signed Copies)

A 28-page full colour ‘magazine’ (A3 size) that showcases Mark’s work over the course of this 15 month commission with Multistory which was completed in 2012. Mark explored the landscapes and life of the Black Country both from afar and up close; at a distance and at street level.  Working mainly in large format, this publication also illustrates a selection of stills taken from short films made in beauty salons, tattoo studios and gentlemen’s clubs.

This item has been signed by the artist and is part of the Black Country Stories body of work commissioned by Multistory to document life in the Black Country

The publication will arrive in a cardboard postal tube 17.5 inches in length. Price is £7.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Mark Power’s Black Country Stories (Unsigned Copies)

A 28-page full colour ‘magazine’ (A3 size) that showcases Mark’s work over the course of this 15 month commission with Multistory which was completed in 2012. Mark explored the landscapes and life of the Black Country both from afar and up close; at a distance and at street level.  Working mainly in large format, this publication also illustrates a selection of stills taken from short films made in beauty salons, tattoo studios and gentlemen’s clubs.

Signed copies are also available.

The publication will arrive in a cardboard postal tube 17.5 inches in length.  Price is £5.00 plus P&P (UK second class); please choose the correct delivery option from the drop down menu below.


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Where We Dream

Where We Dream, written by François Matarasso, follows West Bromwich Operatic Society (WBOS) as they stage Mel Brooks’ The Producers from rehearsals to curtain call at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, in November 2011.

The book describes the whole project but also ranges widely over the company’s history to explore the place of amateur theatre in a disadvantaged urban area. It includes a short film, made in collaboration with Ben Wigley, which captures the group’s performing spirit, as well as images by Kate Jackson.

Please choose the correct delivery option (second class) from the drop down menu below.


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