Rainbow Friday by Jonathan Humble

 

 

I once knew this girl. Small like a mouse she was … big eyes. And colourful ribbons; dancing kite ribbons in the playground. Red one day, blue the next and rainbow ribbons Friday. Didn’t say anything in the uniform rules about it; no mention of ribbons. Nothing I can remember about how far the socks must be up the shin. She always wore one half-mast. Always. I wondered how she managed it. Willpower, my Mam said.

Our family lived down a terraced street not that far from the school. The houses had seen better days; a time in the past when the port was thriving. Now, years of decline showed in the rows of back to backs; in cracked roof tiles, sagging guttering, and layers of industrial grime that clung to the walls. As children we played games in the lanes that bound these rows together, and loved home for what it was.

This kid’s family had moved in at the end house, the biggest on our terrace. It dominated the street and had been empty for as long as I could remember. I was fascinated by it. Large and old and different, with funny-patterned brickwork. I believed I could see people moving around inside … shadows from its past that couldn’t quite let go; memories from a more prosperous and happy time, perhaps. They must be sad, I thought, at the state it was in.

For a while, the shadows disappeared to be replaced by a hairy grey cat that stared back at you from an attic window.

‘My cat Sacky,’ she said, ‘and nobody else’s, see!’

I wasn’t arguing. The rest of the back lane mafia, through experience or word of mouth, had got the message pretty quickly as well. They were wary in the presence of the scruffy new kid with the ribbons. There was a strangeness. The accepted rules were not being followed. There was no desire to conform or join in. She stood apart from the rest of us, unaffected by her isolation. A confidence was evident that was out of proportion with her size.

I wasn’t arguing, but I was curious.

The invitation came a month later, most unexpectedly, one green ribbon day in spring while I was walking back from school at the end of an awful afternoon. One moment I’m alone, the next I’m aware of mousy hair, ribbons, and a face with a question in it somewhere around my shoulder.

‘Do you like cats?’ the face asked.

They made me nervous.

‘You’d like Sacky. She’s dead friendly. She was a stray, but she’s got a home now. We’ve nearly had her a year … she just likes us. Well, she likes me. And she really likes this place. Must be the mice.’

We stopped outside the big house.

‘I’m having a party for Sacky. Sandwiches in our front room. You can come if you like.’ The big house stood before me, all brickwork and promise, with Sacky the cat, fat, grey and hairy, staring down. ‘See you tomorrow.’

There was a flash of green as she turned and skipped up the path in the front yard, disappearing into the depths of the house. The door closed behind her, leaving me to stare at the coloured glass and cracked paint and funny brickwork.

The next day I left for school and met up with the back lane mafia as usual. We made our way noisily through the streets, dribbling discarded cans round lampposts, sticks cleaving the air in imaginary combat. Our conversations were never mundane; which animals saw best in the dark and how you might survive in a jungle with only a penknife. We’d compare all manner of institutions and people; various football teams, television programmes, our parents and our teachers. This particular morning it happened to be prominent neighbours. The arguments and shouting at the end house were discussed; incidents involving the family were described and embellished. I didn’t join in but listened uneasily and then lagged behind, a feeling of gloom descending as I walked along.

The morning dragged. My teacher, who was usually alright, happened to be in a foul mood and no one seemed to be able to do anything that pleased him. Even the swotty kids weren’t putting in enough effort. As I worked at my topic writing, I noticed that the girl’s pen had leaked and she’d made a dreadful mess of her writing. She had to go out to the front of the classroom.

‘How am I going to read this?’ he asked, holding up her book in evidence. ‘This isn’t the standard of presentation we expect from top juniors, is it? If you spent a little more time concentrating, dear, rather than staring out of the window, we’d see an improvement in your work. Don’t you agree? Isn’t that true?’

And then it happened. Without a trace of emotion, she wet the floor where she stood.

A confused silence from the rest of us was punctuated only by the occasional splashing of urine on tiles. We all stared at the small, motionless kid who in turn fixed her eyes unflickeringly on the open-mouthed adult.

Fazed as he was, he managed a ‘Well, Miss Crompton, I don’t think that was called for,’ before suggesting she sort herself out in the girls’ toilets. She didn’t move, but continued to stare up at him until a tear trickled unopposed down her cheek and onto a grimy collar. I watched her standing there and felt anger well up inside. But I said and did nothing.

Eventually the secretary was sent for, who appeared minutes later with the head teacher. They guided the girl out of the classroom. The event had the effect of subduing everyone for the rest of the day. I didn’t hear anyone laughing about it as I half expected. There was an instinctive understanding that the strangeness of this girl was rooted in problems of which we could only guess.

I didn’t see her again for the rest of the week. When she did come back, she sat next to me in class. Again I was invited to tea. It would be on Friday she said. I didn’t say anything … I just nodded.

Down our street, as the week progressed, the ‘goings on’ at the end house continued. The details were discussed the following morning as might be expected, but I walked away. I didn’t want to know. It was rainbow ribbon day; Sacky’s birthday. Nothing else should get in the way.

At school I searched for the girl, but there wasn’t a sign of her in the playground. She wasn’t in the classroom either and I sat at my desk, quiet and alone.

Come dinnertime, there were the usual gatherings and games, discussions and pressures; the future trying out its lungs after a morning’s restraint, grabbing and pulling and limbs not quite mastered.

Where was she?

I wanted to talk, to make sure it was still alright, to look forward to whatever sandwiches would be on offer at the end house. I wanted to explore the secrets of Sacky’s new home and to be a friend. It all felt so urgent. I wasn’t sure why.

‘Hello. They’ve finished with me now. Are you coming?’

Beneath the multi-coloured ribbon and mousy hair was the face with the question in it; smiling, insistent. She’d appeared out of nowhere, her eyes persuading me to follow. We walked away from the noise and out of the yard at the back of school.

‘Where are we going?’ I asked pathetically.

‘For sandwiches,’ she said, and we went on our way through the high street, two kids out of school when they should have been in it. I looked in disbelief at my reflection in shop windows, my hand grasped as it was by this diminutive, boldly striding anarchist, a rainbow floating in her wake.

‘But we’ve got RE,’ I said, my hand falling free and the ribbons coming to rest.

‘This is more important. Come on, Sacky’s waiting.’

And with that she was away again, leaving me to watch, standing outside the Co-op on the corner of our street. Ordinary people continued with their shopping whereas I struggled with weightier matters. There was the school, with the teachers turning the place upside down in order to find us. There was the girl, part way down the street, offering friendship and sandwiches. Going back was out of the question. The boundaries were breached and I’d have to wait until the ebb and flow of children at home time carried me back through those yard gates again.

She brought out a key.

‘There’s no lights,’ she said, ‘but it doesn’t matter.’

The front door closed behind us. Tall and narrow, the hallway was cold, made more so by the echo of our footsteps on an old tiled floor. ‘This way,’ she said and we carried on through the gloom of a clearly empty and abandoned house.

‘Where are the carpets?’ I asked.

‘They’ve been removed. The removers have removed them,’ she said bouncing through what I assumed had been a living room. I stood at its centre and looked around me while the girl, with great purpose, went into the kitchen. Even in the light offered by the smallish window, the wallpaper was obviously well acquainted with the walls they covered. The floorboards, mottled and damp, made you wonder what manner of creature lurked beneath them.

I stood and shivered and thought once more of the shadows I used to imagine here.

The girl reappeared, smiling, holding a plate of hacked up sandwiches, jam oozing. ‘Front room’s cold. Let’s go up to my room.’

We climbed up a flight of stairs to a high place and found a door painted blue, as roughly as the sandwiches had been cut.

‘I’ve finished it now,’ she said and opened the door, allowing a flood of colour to rush over me, for inside was a rainbow. Reds and yellows, blues and greens and purples and every colour worth having, enveloping walls and woodwork. Scenes of summer surrounded us, a mixture of childish gaiety and wild imagination; pictures of butterflies, birds, flowers, and fluffy clouds. A sun, painted on one wall, radiated diverging orange rays from one corner, and real light poured through the window to make it a truly magical place; glowing, warm and friendly.

She walked over to a cupboard set in the wall, the doors of which, adorned with all manner of strange and wonderful flowers, were ajar. Opening it fully, she brought out a tiny bundle of writhing grey fluff, sightless and helpless, and placed it in my hands. I looked down and marvelled at its vulnerability. Revealed in the space behind the door was Sacky, serene in motherhood on a plaid blanket, three other bundles nestled in around her, nuzzling and competing for position.

‘Happy birthday Sacky,’ she said as we knelt and shared out the sandwiches.

The people came with my head teacher at around midday. Apparently things had been wrapped up by morning playtime at school and so the way was now clear for the final removal. My Mam tried to explain about the eviction and how the girl would probably have a better chance now that the authorities were looking after her, but I’m not sure that either of us were convinced. As she got into the car, the ribbons resting on her shoulders, the girl suddenly looked out at me, her face urgent and questioning: ‘Look after Sacky for me …?’

And then she was gone, leaving me and my Mam standing outside the house with the cracked paint, the funny brickwork and the grey cat staring down from the attic window.

 

 

Biography

Jonathan Humble is a teacher in Cumbria. His poetry has appeared in a number of publications, including Big Issue In The North, Ink Sweat & Tears, Obsessed With Pipework, Curlew Calling, Zoomorphic, Milestones Anthology, Riggwelter, Amaryllis, Atrium, Fairacre Press and on BBC Radio. His short stories and poems for children have been published in The Caterpillar and Stew Magazine. A collection of his light poetry called My Camel’s Name Is Brian has been published by TMB Books.

http://www.northernjim.wordpress.com

 

Banner image: Back alley, Adeline Street, Goole, by Mick Garratt

 

Editor’s note: We like to keep things local, as you know, but occasionally we are sent work so wonderful, it would be rude to turn it down. Jonathan Humble’s Rainbow Friday is regional writing at its best, and we hope you enjoyed it! 

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Black Country horror: a chilling new tale…

Safe in My Arms

Storm Mann

 

He found her mingled with the leaves. Spotless, sacrificial. The hum of a vehicle faded in the distance and the woods lapsed into silence. Blake crouched in the space between a fence and a fallen tree and swept the dirt from his sister’s cold cheeks.

Here she was.

‘Hi sis…’ His voice was hollow, like it didn’t belong to him. He instantly regretted breaking the silence, throwing a glance over each shoulder. Right, to the valley of trees leading to the Volvo. Left, to blackness.

No stars were out tonight.

Blake hooked an arm around Hazel and supported her head as he raised her from the ground. Her dark hair fell from her face, revealing the whites of her eyes and the dry blood. Her blood, or someone else’s? He wanted to spit on his fingers and rub it away, make her clean again, but there wasn’t enough time.

The car waited in the shadows, not far from the road alongside Northycote Farm. Still, it was a good ten-minute walk from the woods behind it. Blake dithered, his arms aching with the weight of his sister.

He remembered climbing a tree here at ten years old, trying to reach a bird’s nest high up in the branches. Hazel stood at the bottom, terrified. She jumped and made swipes for his shoelace with her small, white hand.

You’re gonna fall and die and it’ll be your own fault, Blake. You bleedin’ idiot.

He fell alright. Hazel caught his lace and pulled off his shoe. He lost his hold on the branch and as he slipped, the nest tumbled to the ground.

Blake decided to walk the long way through the trees, out of sight. He headed off the main path, stumbling, breathing too loud.

‘Nearly there,’ he whispered to Hazel, to himself. He wished she would wake up, walk for herself. Her weight was slowing him down. ‘We don’t have time for this,’ he hissed, suddenly frustrated. His grip on her tightened. He could have sworn he heard footsteps.

By the time he could see the car, Blake’s arms were burning. He wasn’t much bigger than his sister. They were both skinny and tall. Proper Jones’s, people called them, before Blake left.

He lowered her to the ground, stretching his tense muscles. Behind him, he could hear leaves crunch in the distance. He felt panic rising in his throat and watched himself pick his sister up from the ground, the pain in his arms replaced by numbness. The crunching of the leaves continued. Blake broke into a run.

When he reached the car, Blake placed Hazel in the passenger seat, then got in and slammed the door. His fingers danced around the ignition. No keys. He was certain he had left them in the car, ready for their escape.

‘Shit,’ he breathed, straining his eyes to search for them in the foot well. ‘Jesus, Hazel. What am I gonna do?’

Three knocks at the window.

Blake fixed his eyes straight ahead, suddenly very cold. To his right, he could sense a man outside move, lighting a cigarette. He saw a flash of bloodshot eyes.

‘Stay here,’ he told Hazel. Blake opened the door, touching the outline of his pocket knife through his jeans. He regretted leaving his gun in the boot of the car.

‘Should’ve guessed I’d find you here.’

‘Hunter! But… how?’ Blake moved swiftly to block the view into the car behind him. He felt the panic coming again. ‘Give me my keys, Hunter.’

Hunter’s jaw tightened. ‘Bit stupid, aren’t you? Leaving your keys in the car.’ He tried to look in through the window.

‘I was in a rush,’ Blake licked his dry lips, stammering. ‘Move. Just move.’

‘I knew you had her,’ Hunter said, shoving Blake aside. He threw open the car door and looked at his wife sitting up in the passenger seat, chin resting against her chest. The blood had dried around the gunshot wound on Hazel’s left temple. She had been out here for a while. Hunter dropped his cigarette, stumbling away and moaning.

‘Oh god. Oh god,’ he sobbed. ‘Fucking hell. You sick bastard.’

‘It wasn’t me,’ Blake said, wringing his hands, his voice high and false. ‘I swear. I swear it. Swear on my life.’

Hunter let out a cry and took Blake by the shoulders, shaking him hard. He was saying things, but Blake couldn’t tell what they were. Then he stopped, and started to pace aimlessly, eyes glazed.

Blake held onto the car door, chewing his thumb. He felt far away, a spectator. ‘At least she doesn’t have to deal with this family anymore.’

Hunter stopped pacing. He stared at Blake for what seemed a long time. ‘Hazel was happy,’ he said, voice breaking.

Blake frowned. He tried to imagine her laughing, but couldn’t. He shook his head. ‘No. Our parents don’t make people happy.’

‘They didn’t make you happy.’ Trembling, Hunter opened the back door. ‘Get in the car.’

‘Give me my keys,’ Blake mumbled, taking his knife out of his pocket. He pointed it shakily in Hunter’s direction, holding the handle with both hands. He threw a glance at the boot of the car. ‘Give ’em to me.’

Hunter blinked at him, voice wavering. ‘Put that down.’ He took the car keys out of his back pocket and headed towards the boot of the car, eyeing him. ‘Put it down.’

Blake remembered the gun and lunged towards him, grasping for the keys. Their bodies slammed together hard and hit the floor. Blake slashed at Hunter’s face, tasting blood, cutting himself. He couldn’t tell where he began and Hunter ended.

In the distance, a siren sounded on the street. They both froze as it faded away. The knife was gone but Hunter’s face was covered in gashes. It made Blake smile.

‘Fuck you,’ Hunter spat from above him, pinning Blake’s wrists to the ground.

Blake flinched. ‘How did you find me?’

‘She wasn’t picking up her phone, and it had been nearly 24 hours… so I drove to your parents’ house. They didn’t answer the door, but your car was on the drive.’ Hunter paused to blink blood out of his eye. ‘Thought that was weird considering you don’t speak to them. I waited for you to come back. You got straight in your car, looked like you were in a hurry. I followed you for a while and then lost you.’

He remembered a blur of panic, breaking the speed limit, driving around aimlessly. ‘Something told me I’d find you here.’

Blake spoke distantly, staring past him to the boot of the car. ‘I wanted to bury her here but it wasn’t special like I remembered. Too much dog shit. I was going to find somewhere better.’ He paused to look at Hunter. ‘Don’t look at me like that. She was safe here.’

Hunter swung a fist hard into Blake’s face. He pulled him to his feet, steering him towards the boot.

‘What’s in here? Why do you keep looking at it?’

Blake shrugged.

He thought about his parents; the carefully placed photographs on the shelf. One of Hazel, one of him. He thought about the colour red. He thought about Hazel. He let the panic bubble rise and burst in his chest.

‘Open the boot, Blake.’

‘No.’

Hunter opened the boot himself.

He began to retch. Blake’s parents lay curled up together, collapsed, like puppets whose strings had been cut. His mother’s eyes were still open. Blake looked into them, remembering how she had sung him to sleep with lullabies when he was small.

Safe in my arms, china doll. Safe in my arms.

Hunter uttered a noise Blake hadn’t heard before.

‘I was going to take them all away together. I don’t know where,’ Blake murmured, looking into the boot, fingering the dry patch of red staining the collar of his father’s shirt.

Hunter was shivering. He grabbed Blake by his sleeve and pulled him away from the boot and round to the front of the car. He went to shove him inside.

‘Wait…’ Blake said. ‘I want to ride with them.’

Hunter stared at him for what seemed like a long time. ‘No. That’s fucked up.’

‘Please. I want to be close to them.’

Wordlessly, Hunter watched Blake climb in beside his parents and close the boot.

In the dark, close to them again, Blake smiled, then slipped his hand under the rug he had wrapped around his parents to tuck them in. The cold metal of the gun touched his skin. Blake held his mother’s hand. But it wasn’t hers, it was too still.

He pulled the gun free and closed his eyes.

 

 

Biography

Storm Mann is Fiction Editor at the Black Country Arts Foundry. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Creative and Professional Writing and English, and is now studying for her English Masters.

As a freelance copy editor for her online business, Storm genuinely enjoys proofreading written work and preparing it for final publication.

During her time at university, she wrote for the campus newspaper, and her short story Purple Spandex was published in Electric Reads’ Young Writers’ Anthology 2016.

For more about Storm and her Arts Foundry colleagues, see our Meet the Team page.

 

Gorse Road: new fiction by R.M. Francis

 

Every now and then I’ll get some liver from the butcher. Try that meat jelly, metal-flesh, aspic snap again. I can’t figure it out, fully. There’s something that draws me in. Like how we enjoy our own smells, sometimes. Enjoy being fetid.

Bernadette Carlin looked after us on dark nights, sometimes. There was seven or eight of us. Auntie Carlin, that’s what the moms made us call her. They’d go up The Spills Meadow for dominoes. The loser’d have to look after her on a Sunday. Dad said she looked after him when they were kids, too.

We loved it and we hated it up on Gorse Road. There was so much clutter. Too much. One thing bled into the next, no start or end to any of it. Novelty teapots pushed into every inch of shelf space. Old ’oss brasses tacked to the fireplace. Wall racks of pipes – corncob, clay, meerschaum – framed the hall, stairs, and landing. Plates nailed to plaster traced every royal event. Piles of magazines. Bowls of sticky suck. Too much to see. Always open-ended.

She must be dead now.

‘See yo’ Sundee, Bernie,’ Mom or Dad’d say. That’s when you knew you’d be back in two nights’ time.

She’d make liver and onion and we’d do her tops or weed the garden or make sure she wor behind on her bills. She’d always make liver and onion. We’d always have a job.

‘Doh’er know the war’s over?’ Dad laughed. ‘’Er doh ’ave to ration an’ ate the giblets an’ gizzards a stuff these days.’

‘Tek ’er to Nando’s, Dad.’

‘‘Er’d ’ave ’eartattack.’

Some of the dads on The Wrenner worked with steel and car parts and went scrapping. The liver tasted like they stank. It gave me that back of the mouth top of the nostril feelin’. Like you might sneeze and you might be sick and you might like it too. One day I’d give John’s Dad’s arm a lick – just a quick lap of the sweat and the oil and the steel. Liver.

 

*

I’m sure she’s dead now. She only ever looked after us on those winter nights.

‘Yo’ doh see ’er when iss hot.’

The only time you saw her when it was getting warmer was on one of those bright winter days that come February half-term. You’d sometimes catch her collecting branches in the woods.

I saw Olwen coming out of there quite a bit. She always looked a bit creased round the edges. Lovely though. One day she came out with a big stick in her hand.

‘Here,’ she said, and prodded me with it. Not hard. Just playful like. But the end of it was freezing. Freezing. I mean, Jack Frost cold. Made me jump out my flesh.

‘See this?’ Dad said one Sunday. He held up a box of corn dollies. A shoe box filled with writhing and interlocking straw limbs.

‘On the fust day a Spring every year, yower Auntie Carlin sticks all of these out in the garden, ’er does.’

I screwed my face up.

‘Iss true. An’ on the fust day a’ Autumn, ’er brings ’em all back in.’

‘Why?’

‘Summat about the seasons. Harvest Festival. The moon. Summat like that.’

I thought of that when they put the Wicca Man on at Christmas.

 

*

Liver made the back of your teeth hurt. Metallic. Pissy. I relived it years later when we did shrooms up on Poplar Crescent. Cold copper absorbed in muck of grasslands. Earthy. Makes you spit.

‘One Sunday,’ Nick told us weeks after, ‘’Er ’ad me an’ our kid doin’ ’er tools.’

‘Ya wha’?’

‘’Er come in the front room,’ Nick said. ‘Me an’ Paul on ’er rug. An’ ’er was ’oldin’ a big case of tools. ‘Er put ’em down an’ ’ad us clean ’em.’

‘So what?’

‘What wench of Bernie’s age ’as tools? What wench in ’er nineties needs ’em cleanin’? So I ask ’er, an’ ’er says: ‘Who’dya think shapes the limestone cliffs an’ the caverns on the Wrenner? Thass all ’er said.’’

 

*

How can liver be grainy and squishy at the same time? I still get it from the butchers when the mood takes me. I still can’t figure out the metal and the muck. The flesh and the steel.

‘Seems right to me,’ Polish Pete said once. ‘Liver. Flesh-metal, in Dudley. Seems right.’ He had a point.

She must be dead now. We don’t get much snow anymore.

 

 

Biography

R. M. Francis is a poet and writer from the Black Country and co-editor of Writing the Black Country, a blog which seeks to showcase writing from the industrial West Midlands. He gained a distinction in a Creative Writing MA from Teesside University and is currently researching his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton. Published in a wide variety of online and print publications, his first chapbook collection, Transitions, was published by The Black Light Engine Room in 2015 and his second, Orpheus, was published by Lapwing Publications (2016).

 

Banner image: Richard Samuel Chattock, The Wren’s Nest – Limestone Caves, 1872 © Dudley Museum Service

Punjabi daily life documented in Wolverhampton exhibition

More than three decades of Punjabi family life feature in a new exhibition exploring migration to Wolverhampton.

The Apna Heritage Archive Exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery draws on 2,000 family photos alongside present-day portraits from within the Punjabi community.

Daily life is recorded in all its ups and downs – photos of people arriving in the UK are set alongside births, weddings, work, and home life. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and at times emotional, says Anand Chhabra, Founder and Director of Black Country Visual Arts, the award-winning archive behind the exhibition.

‘We’ve had an astonishing response, and I personally felt an intense responsibility to get everything right,’ he says.

‘I watched a couple go round the exhibition, really taking their time, and when they realised I was one of the two people behind it, she came over and hugged me and said she’d just found her brother in a photo. He died twenty years ago.

‘It’s that impact, that meaning, and seeing tiny prints from photo albums projected 50 times larger and at the highest resolution that has meant the most to me.’

The Apna Heritage Archive Exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

 

The archive is set to become a vital community resource, as old photographs and documents recording Punjabi migration are added and digitised.

Anand considers the pièce de résistance of the exhibition to be the archival wall of projected images, which provides a visual commentary on the socio-political forces at work through the decades.

‘You can see social movements, subcultures, and how society progressed as a historical timeline from the 60s to the end of the 80s.

‘The intention was to fuse art and archive and encourage people from the Punjabi community to get involved, to interact with the curation.’

The archival wall takes the visitor on a historic journey through all the chapters in the Punjabi Black Country story. It also offers insights into the progression of home photography through the decades.

The 1000th archived image featuring the Dass family in Heath Town

 

‘We have black and white 35mm shots, through to polaroids, passport pictures, negatives with ‘handle at edges’ written on the packs, and, of course, the cameras and photo albums themselves.’

To the younger generation, the concept of sticking pictures in an album is entirely alien. ‘They seem captivated by the archival images and are shocked to see tiny two-inch square photos in an album,’ Anand adds.

‘These are valuable heirlooms, and it’s great we have interest from universities, so that younger people can come and study at the exhibition, and maybe bring images of their own families along.’

There’s a serious message behind the exhibition. ‘Words can never fully articulate what it was like for Asian families in the 60s and 70s here. But you see the images, and they speak to you what a thousand words cannot.

‘We were determined that all the participants who gave us their albums would be represented, and the present-day portraits have their own power, in catching up with people years on from when they first arrived here.’

  • The exhibition runs until 18 March at Wolverhampton Art Gallery
  • The Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara, Wolverhampton, will house the Apna Heritage Archive for at least five years
  • Following the exhibition, a digital archive will also be housed at the Wolverhampton City Archives

 

Apna Heritage Archive is frequently on the road, giving talks. For more information follow @apna_heritage on Twitter

 

Apna Heritage Archive is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has worked in partnership with the following groups: Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara, St Luke’s Primary School, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton City Archives and the University of Wolverhampton.

Banner image: Faqir Singh leaves home for the ceremony of his wedding, Dartmouth Street, West Bromwich, 1965.