Graham Fisher MBE FRGS is a devoted son of the Black Country, a heavily-industrialised area of the West Midlands that was key to the industrial revolution of the 18th & 19th Centuries due to its vast mineral wealth of coal, iron ore, limestone and fireclay. On obtaining a B.Sc in 1975 he pursued an eclectic range of interests en route to establishing himself as a writer, broadcaster and presenter. In 2013 he ‘took a step outside for a while’ and relocated to the Welsh borders but maintains connections with the Black Country in pursuance of his passions as a waterways specialist with an interest in glass - albeit nowadays more via the miracles of desk-top technology and a healthy broadband connection.
A regular contributor in both fields on topics ranging from informal reportage to Government Select Committees, he was an inaugural member of the West Midlands Waterways Partnership (latterly known as the Regional Advisory Board, part of the Canal & River Trust) from its inception in June 2011 - CRT going 'live' in 2012 - through to an extended tenure in November 2018. He is currently a Trustee of the British Glass Foundation with responsibility for PR & Communications and a former Director and initial member of the Chance Glass Works Heritage Trust, since renamed. In 2015 he sat as a jury member for the International Festival of Glass Biennale.
He was invested for services to inland waterways in 2001 and in 2005 was voted by his peers as Inland Waterways Personality of the Year, assuming the mantle from John Craven OBE, David Suchet CBE and Timothy West CBE. Graham is recognised in his former home town with inclusion on the Living Literature 'Ceiling of Honour' created by internationally-acclaimed monumental metalwork artist Luke Perry in The Crown Centre, Stourbridge, where his plaque hangs alongside personalities associated with the area that include authors JK Rowling, and JR Tolkien, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, cameo glass engraver John Northwood and Frank Foley, who helped thousands of Jews flee the Nazis during the Holocaust. (see below)
A qualified Boatmaster, he has steered narrowboats extensively around the waterways both at home and abroad and for several seasons was captain of mv Oliver Cromwell of Gloucester, the largest passenger boat operating on the inlaid waters of the UK. (more here)
For many years he was freelance Review & Special Features Editor for a well-known monthly waterways magazine before 'going solo'. Author of numerous books and articles since, Graham’s 2015 work Whiskers on Kittens completed his ‘Jewels’ trilogy comprising the groundbreaking Jewels on the Cut, first published in 2010, and The 2012 Portland Vase Project that collectively examine the local glass industry and the inland waterways that served them. His revision, Jewels On The Cut II, is a complete reappraisal of the original and takes into account the extraordinary changes that have occurred since, not least the creation of a new world-class glass museum alongside the Stourbridge Canal Main Line at Wordsley in the heart of the historic Stourbridge glassmaking quarter. Tales From The Barn (see TFTB) is an illustrated hard-copy of his podcasts from the borderlands. His launch of five books at five successive biennial International Festivals of Glass from 2010 onwards is unprecedented and, at the time of writing, unequalled.
Graham Fisher has made frequent television appearances with key contributions to the pioneering Central Television series Waterworld and alongside household names including Julia Bradbury (Countryfile), Johnny Vaughan (Mud Men), Alistair Appleton (Escape to the Country) and John Sergeant (Barging Round Britain). He is a former Chairman of Stourbridge Radio Group Ltd, the operating company of 102.5 The 'Bridge, where he also presented the flagship Breakfast Show.
In addition to producing his own independent podcasts he currently broadcasts on Black Country Radio, the successor to 102.5 The 'Bridge, and is ‘the voice of the Black Country’ for History West Midlands (see Links and Films)
Graham was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in February 2021 in recognition of his work with the Society on the Midlands inland waterways network and the Stourbridge Glass industry, together with his wider involvement in social, environmental and educational matters over many years in both the professional and voluntary sectors.
Living Literature 'Ceiling of Honour' in The Crown Centre, Stourbridge, by internationally-acclaimed metalwork artist Luke Perry (see Links).
With over 50 years of experience on the public speaking circuit Graham can cater for your speaking and presentational needs incuding
* Formal meetings
* Business clubs
* Colleges & Universities
* Media support including radio, TV, print and online
These can be undertaken either with support of PowerPoint and exhibits or as a solo 'Talking Head'.
GF is the holder of professional instructional qualifications and has previously undergone CRB (since renamed DBS) clearance.
Subjects offered vary as projects are taken in hand but currently include various aspects of inland waterways (particularly those of the West Midlands), glassmaking (general), The Portland Vase, Stourbridge Glass Museum and others.
Fees and expenses by negotiation; please contact us to discuss your requirements.