Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery

Passing by on Wednesbury High Street

by Loribee

When you shop in the High Street, look around you, do,
You never know who may pass by, I’ll tell you a bit about two.
John Fletcher went to the Boys’ High School,
Later had a great vision, a dream
He knew the smutty Black Country was more than pit bonk and coal seam.
He imagined a park showing history of the places where industry grew,
Helped found the Black Country Society, many members soon grew from a few.
Crowds saw them reopen the tunnel, soaked on a rainy Spring day
Later Lenny Henry would leg it, just as had been the only way.
Sadly John’s life ended early, but his vision came true all the same,
He’s remembered still by many and a roadway bears his name.
Raj Patel ran Wednesbury’s Art Gallery, put on shows right here in the town.
London artists were doing some new things and their prices soared up, never down.
They’d moved on from pictures to jewelled skulls, dead cow, unmade bed,
Some said ‘What wonderful concepts!’ Others, ‘This does in yer ‘ead’
But there were other artists still happy to be stuck in traditional ways
They put paint on paper with brushes, didn’t need pretension to amaze.
So Raj decided to invite them for local people to see,
Did you come to enjoy paintings by Stuckists in 2003?
Happy to be invited, to their first public showing they went,
On the walls hung many fine paintings, no bed, cow, skull or tent.
So a big hand for the man who did the Stuckists well, 
Wednesbury should be grateful to enlightened Raj, Mr Patel!