Chance Glassworks: Everybody's Story

MADE has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this project to explore the heritage of Chance Brothers Glassworks.

The company was one of the most important industrial employers in the Midlands region, at its height employing 3500 people producing specialist glass at a scale unprecedented in the UK, exporting a wide variety of products, including its famed lighthouse lenses, around the world. The Glassworks, in Smethwick is a building of great historical and cultural significance, these days only a few buildings remain, they are grade II listed and site is a scheduled monument.

This project, which will be delivered during 2015 and 2016 will act as an important vehicle to capture and develop interest in Chances whilst producing stand-alone results such as a new website and publication, for the first time telling the story of Chances in an accessible, single account for the many. Through a diverse and creative programme of activities and events the widest possible range of people from the local community and beyond will be able to explore and engage with this fascinating story.

The main outputs of the project will be:

  • Chances Research Groups - groups of volunteers who will collate and interpret information relating to the company and the site
  • Lighthouse Links - a programme pairing individuals, groups and schools with lighthouses across the globe and their corresponding communities
  • Walks, tours and talks - A series of walks exploring the company, the site and the impact it had on the local community, alongside a programme of talks about various aspects of Chances at venues across the Black Country
  • Workshops and activities for families
  • Events - for the general public to find out more about Chances and the project and also events for heritage and built environment professionals
  • Website - a new website collating existing information and sharing new information uncovered by the research groups
  • Publication and learning materials - a short publication acting as an introduction to the company and the site alongside a series of resources for schools and local centres
Come back to this project page as we add more details of the project and links to resources and activities about Chances