The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Department of Art and Design, Wolverhampton. Diamond, Redfern and Partners, 1968-9. Photo: University of Wolverhampton

West Midlands

Wolverhampton Walking Tour

Saturday 15th July 2017 at 10 am

The impetus for change in pre- and post-war Wolverhampton came from a drive to improve housing, to give the central area ‘civic’ presence, and to remove traffic congestion. Compared to nearby Birmingham, the city did not receive heavy bombing, and its modern industries council were quick to adjust to changing conditions.

The Express and Star’s ‘Reconstruction Forum’ of 1943 saw the public asking for ‘underground crossing at busy centres’, ‘in busy shopping centres [construct] balconies round main buildings for pedestrians level with first floors, leaving roads free for traffic’, and to ‘make town centre more impressive’ (Larkham, 2000). Whilst not all of these demands materialised, these and earlier visions remain evident in the city.

This walking tour will take in a number of pre- and post-war locations including Weedon’s deco Odeon Cinema (1937), Brown’s Express and Star (1934 with later additions), Lyons and Israel’s Civic Centre (1936-8 with additions by Penoyre Prasad 2004), Madin’s Barclays Bank (1965-9) and Diamond, Redfern and Partners’ Department of Art & Design (1968-9).

The tour will be led by Michael Dring, architect and course leader at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design at Birmingham City University and founder of Birmingham Modernist Society, and Katriona Byrne of The Twentieth Century Society.

We will meet at Wolverhampton Train Station (RL Moorcroft 1964-7) at 10am and there will be a break for lunch.

There will be a charge of £5 for C20 members (please have your membership number to hand) and £10 for non members, payable on the day in cash please. The cost of lunch is not included.

Numbers on our walks are always limited for practicality, so please email us at to reserve your place.