Stourbridge Glass Museum; how it came into being by Graham Fisher (with a Foreword by Lynn Boleyn MBE) is a comprehensive and absorbing account of how Stourbridge Glass Museum, spearheaded by the British Glass Foundation, was created on the vandalised and burnt-out site of the former Stuart glassworks in Wordsley.
Graham’s new work, which took more the four years in the making, covers the intense period of just thirteen years - a remarkably quick timescale - from the formation of the British Glass Foundation through to the official opening in 2023 of a brand-new, purpose-built canalside facility that will conserve and promote both the heritage and the future of local glassmaking for generations to come.
Graham Knowles, Chairman of the BGF said: ‘Graham has captured the essence of creating what we consider is a ‘People’s Museum’ from the relics of a former glassmaking site that, more than 20 years after its closure, is still regarded locally with great affection. His latest book is a fascinating narrative in its own right but his recording of how we arrived here will doubtless prove of immense value to researchers and historians yet to be born’.
The British Glass Foundation (BGF) is the driving force behind the creation of Stourbridge Glass Museum. BGF was formed in response to uncertainty over the future of the internationally-renowned Stourbridge Glass collection following the loss of its former home at Broadfield House in Kingswinford. In addition to successfully creating the new facility to display the collection, BGF has since become an umbrella organisation representing the wider interests of glassmaking in general, and that around Stourbridge in particular. GlassCuts is the regular email bulletin of BGF. It is available free of charge.
Stourbridge Glass Museum; how it came into being
Sparrow Publishing : ISBN 978-1-7399212-2-4 : 56pp softback, lavishly illustrated in full colour : RRP £10.00
Available via Amazon and usual outlets including Stourbridge Glass Museum or by post direct from author (+£2.50 p&p). Click here
Note: All sales proceeds will go to British Glass Foundation in furtherance of its work. See BGF website (above) for details.
Made In Stourbridge; the story of The 2012 Portland Vase Project is the latest instalment in the extraordinary on-going tale of the 2012 Portland Vase, a replica of the original iconic Roman version, that was created in Stourbridge by a team of contemporary glass artisans.
Lifelong glass-man and Project Coordinator Ian Dury wanted to demonstrate that the glassmakers of Stourbridge still possessed the inherent skills and talents that are a prerequisite in producing one of the most enigmatic pieces of ancient glass ever seen. His efforts to recreate not only the vase but also several other ‘mini-masterpieces’ including the Auldjo Jug, caused a sensation on their launch in 2012, with a proud Ian promising they would be housed in the new Stourbridge Glass Museum as a testament to the area’s rich heritage and its promising future.
That moment has arrived; the new museum is now open and the 2012 Portland Vase is on display. Made In Stourbridge, jointly created by Graham (GFEnts) and Mary (Sparrow) both working pro bono and with Ian Dury kindly funding printing costs, is a pocket-sized commemorative brochure explaining the significance of the vase to visitors and identifying its place within the global world of glass. It is available at nominal cost from the museum with all proceeds to British Glass Foundation (more here). Those wishing to learn more can also read The 2012 Portland Vase; Replication of a Masterpiece, the full authorised biography by the same author and publisher, which is also available from the museum or this website (below), again with proceeds to BGF.
Made In Stourbridge; the story of The 2012 Portland Vase Project
ISBN 9 781739 921217
Softback fold-out brochure format, text with full colour illustrations
Nominal cover cost £1.00 (+ postage if web-ordered) with all monies to BGF
Available March 2023
IN MY OPINION: essays and comment on contemporary social issues was released on 5th September 2021. This is Graham's 11th book under the Sparrow Publishing banner and is based on his popular series of podcasts (see Podcasts, this site) that have been brought together in the form of a book collating the first 20 episodes and illustrated throughout in full colour and b&w.
It is presented in velveteen-effect hardback with ribbon place-marker and will in itself present a handsome appearance on any bookshelf.
‘This represents something of a departure from my more usual output and I believe it offers an account of a period in our development that will not only be of interest to readers now but will continue to offer a valuable resource for historians yet to be born’.
Mary Spence (Publisher): ‘Graham focusses here on topics as diverse as history, philosophy, science, religion, politics and more in a collation of themes all tinged with his usual penchant for the unusual and arcane. Penetrating and thought-provoking, this is Graham at his most incisive in a combination of wit, critique and piercing analysis’.
IN MY OPINION: essays and comment on contemporary social issues
Hardback, 136pp with full colour & b&w illustrations
Available through usual outlets including Amazon and local retailers in & around the Black Country and Hay-on-Wye ('town of books'), via the contact below or from the publisher at email@example.com (both + £2.50 p&p). It can be signed on request at no extra cost. (Please indicate if, and to whom, you would like it signed). A contribution from direct sales will be made to the British Glass Foundation of which Graham is a Trustee (see Links). Bulk and trade discounts are available.
TALES FROM THE BARN: the musings of a Black Country ex-pat now domiciled on the Welsh border was officially launched at the biennial International Festival of Glass (IFoG) in Stourbridge on 23rd August 2019. The 10th book under the Sparrow Publishing banner it is also his 5th to be launched at 5 successive IFoGs, an attainment that is unprecedented.
Citing his broadcasting hero Allister Cooke’s Letter From America as the inspiration, Graham has sought to elucidate and contrast the people, places and events in and around his new home on the Welsh border with those of his native Black Country.
Tales From the Barn is based on his popular series of podcasts (see TFTB, this site) that have been brought together in the form of a sumptuous book collating the first 25 episodes and lavishly illustrated throughout in full colour by Sparrow Publishing. The result is a pot-pourri of acute observations including, but extending well beyond, Graham’s already-established specialties of inland waterways and crystal glass into an eclectic range of areas that also include geology, crime fiction, ley-lines, industrial archeology, ecology and climate change, sport, language, the Norman Conquest, World War II heroes and much more.
Tales From The Barn (TFTB) is available via the usual outlets and the internet at a UK price of £15.00. Locally it is available throughout the Glass Quarter (Stourbridge), and Richard Booth's Bookshop (Hay).
Alternately, it can be obtained direct from the author (+ £2.50 p&p) via the contact below and can be signed on request at no extra cost. (Please indicate if, and to whom, you would like it signed). A contribution from direct sales will be made to the British Glass Foundation of which Graham is a Trustee (see Links). Bulk and trade discounts are available.
Also known as 'The Trilogy', this series started life in 2010 with the publication of Jewels on the Cut; an exploration of the Stourbridge Canal and the local glass industry. The book referred to the famous Portland Vase, a Roman cameo glass piece that was replicated in canalside facilities twice in the 19th Century. When Ian Dury and his team decided to recreate the vase in another canaliside facility in 2012, Graham was invited to be the official biographer for this unique project resulting in The 2012 Portland Vase Project; Recreation Of A Masterpiece. The Trilogy was completed in 2015 with Whiskers on Kittens, an idiosyncratic and unashamedly personal appreciation of the Stourbridge Glass industry. By this stage the original Jewels On The Cut had not only been taken over by an incredible series of events, it had also sold out. So, a completely revised and updated version, JoC II, was officially launched at the International Festival of Glass (IFoG) in August 2017.
All four books were launched at four successive IFoGs, a statistic that is unprecedented (and which was further consolidated by a fifth launched at IFoG 2019, TALES FROM THE BARN - see above).
Softback, 96pp, full colour. Sorry; sold out, but collector's copies available via the usual internet sources. Or we might just find you the odd one here if you'd like to contact us. Worth a try.
Softback, 96pp, full colour. Including a separate free Postscript (12pp, full colour) that brings the entire project to its conclusion, this is available at £12.50 + £2.50 p&p but see 'special promotion' .
Softback, 96pp, full colour. Think of Julie Andrews a'warbling in The Sound of Music and the title suddenly becomes clear ... 'these are a few of my favourite things'. An enchantingly eccentric yet eminently informative appraisal of Stourbridge Glass, as related by the author's beloved 'puddy-tats'. You'll never look at that glass vase on your granny's mantlepiece in quite the same way again. Also available at £12.50 + £2.50 p&p but see 'special promotion'.
Softback, 144pp, full colour. The absolute biz. Probably the last word on the Stourbridge Canal and its glass industry for some time to come, including authoritative contributions on the Canal & River Trust, British Glass Foundation, White House Cone museum of glass, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and much more. This is the one. £15.00 + £2.50 p&p but see 'special promotion''.
Whilst stocks last; purchase all three in 'The Trilogy' for just £30.00 + £5.00 p&p.
All books can be signed by the author on request, prior to despatch. See our contact details for more.
A 30-minute DVD The Crystal Mile (above) made to accompany JoC I is still available in limited quantities and can be included with the bundle for an additional £3.00 or separately at £5.00 + £2.50 p&p.
Please note: p&p rates are UK mainland only. Separate rates apply beyond these shores.
DISCOUNT RATES FOR TRADERS AND STOCKISTS - PLEASE CONTACT US FOR DETAILS.
Softback, 176pp, b&w. Subtitled 'A compendium of Chairman's Notes and addresses (2005 - 2008) plus other contributions to Broadsheet, the magazine of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society', this is an absorbing account of the author's tenure of the eponymous role during a time of unprecedented change at British Waterways, and prior to his subsequent recruitment to the Canal & River Trust that ultimately superseded BW. A contemporary account that can only gain in historical provenance. £9.99 + £2.50 p&p.
Hardback, 240pp, full-colour. GlassCuts is the voice of the British Glass Foundation. Launched as an ad hoc bulletin in 2011 it has become a fortnightly 'must read' digest of the world of glass, particularly the Stourbridge Glass industry and the new White House Cone museum of glass in Wordsley. This sumptuous hardbound limited-edition collation of the 'best bits' from the first 50 editions is a true collectors item and is only available to a) those who give meritorious service to the BGF or b) those who send a cheque to BGF with a lot of zeros on the end! Which will it be? Contact us.
Softback, 22pp, full colour. For those seeking a concise overview of The 2102 Portland Vase Project in 'The Trilogy' this is a synopsis of the entire venture, with additional notes and comments, that was featured in GlassCuts 34, the email bulletin of the British Glass Foundation.. £3.50 incl free p&p.
Hardback, by commission-only. A tantalising gem for Sherlock Holmes aficionados, this is the author's definitive (!) interpretation of Baskerville Hall being not on Dartmoor but Dalmunzie Castle in the Scottish Highlands, as told through the experiences of a man who is based on a real-life colleague of the author - but who is not identified. Intrigued? Available to special order as a 'one-off' print run. 'Extraordinary' - Alex the narrator. Contact us.
Softback, 80pp, some B&W illustrations. Still a popular 'evergreen' this concise guide to Type 2 Diabetes features a forward from a Doctor with a special interest in the subject It has been described as 'all the information your GP would love to be able to give you but doesn't have the time'. So why not find out for yourself.? What is Type 2, what are its effects and, most importantly, how you can treat and manage it? An invaluable and easily assimilated first reference for anyone diagnosed with 'The Big D' or wishing to know more about the condition. £4.99 + £1.50 p&p.
GUEST PUBLICATION (2017)
Softback, 96pp, full colour. Now in its second edition, having been completely updated and revised to include sections on thematic mapping and web mapping, this is a superb - and essential - practical guide to making better maps, written by two of the UK's leading cartographic practitioners, one of whom is Mary Spence MBE of Sparrow Publishing. (see Sparrow in navigator bar, above) £12.99 + £2.50 p&p.