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Has Joe's rich local legacy long since died?
Birmingham is set to celebrate (probably not the right term) the centenary of the death of its most influential figure.
The painter who shaped the lives of young ladies
Chris Upton looks at how one of England's greatest painters found himself at a boarding school for ladies in Herefordshire.
World Cup 2014
An anthem for doomed footy players
Sadly we're manacled to our national anthems, however laboured the lyrics and pedestrian the tune, because they were forged in the fires of history.
Hard-hearted curate liked to put the record straight
A 19th century Black Country vicar who squabbled with his parishioners had the last word - by penning his frank thoughts about them on a burial register. Chris Upton reports
Taxing times - unless you go to Greece
One of the reasons Greece is in the mess it is is that people are disinclined to pay any tax; cash changes hands and the till (along with the government) sees nothing of it.
'Silver pictures' could be first photo images
They may be most famous for their pottery but one of the Wedgwood family was also a pioneer in creating a process which would lead to the invention of photography, writes Chris Upton
Smashing enterprise really takes the biscuit
This week's visit to a Studley garden centre woke me from my existential angst, and took me back to places I haven't been since the 1960s.
Miracles abound in the cult of de Montfort
The body parts of Simon de Montfort, killed for leading a rebellion against the king in 1265, were considered to have magical powers, writes Chris Upton
Trouble afoot for those who need to use city podiatry
The Birmingham community healthcare website proudly boasts "citywide access to podiatry - all in one place".
All the makings of a box office smash
If filmmakers are keen to follow-up on the success of TV epic Game of Thrones they don't need to search far to get inspiration. Chris Upton looks at historic blood and guts action which took place on our doorstep.
The corset that radiated beauty...and death
Back in the fifties, one of Shrewsbury's most successful companies was Silhouette, makers of swimwear, bras, girdles and corsetry.
Remarkable adventure of 'murdered' tax collector
Chris Upton unearths a mysterious tale of a missing man who returned home two years after his servant was executed for his murder.
Carpet of bluebells is a dead cert this year
Any lover of bluebells will tell you that it's been a vintage year for the little fellows.
Feelings started to run high as death toll began to rise
Growing hatred for Germans during the First World War sparked acts of violence against foreigners in Birmingham. Chris Upton reports
Log on for a friendly welcome to Birmingham
Much as we try to plan our days out, spending hours on the web in advance seems a trifle obsessive, and certainly lacking in spontaneity.
Visionary made town a tree-lined paradise
Chris Upton looks at how two Victorian philanthropists helped to make their Shropshire towns green.
Keeping our neighbours on side for greater good
Recent history has made "greater" an unhappy euphemism for territorial annexation.
Trojan Horses and a school lesson from history
In 1870 England turned away from a secular model of education, and embraced instead one of religious diversity. And we have never looked back (or, indeed, forward) from that point.
‘Colossus of roads’ driven to distraction by villagers
It was the biggest transport project of its time but Chris Upton discovers how a simple water pump upset the engineer Thomas Telford
Solving mystery of the epitaph that got Wordsworth musing
Lying close to the final resting place of nobels is a grave with a rather derogatory one-word epitaph. Chris Upton reports
How war brought out the best in Birmingham
Adolph Scott did indeed possess a whole filing-cabinet full of papers concerning British Army regiments. Could there be an innocent explanation?
Medic's pioneering study of public health
Chris Upton looks at the work of a 19th century surgeon who researched the health of Birmingham's factory workers
The last pubs are still open, just don't tell head office...
The Birmingham public house is alive and well after all, a perfect measure of what we have lost, and what we need to hang on to.
The perfect place more by accident than design
With its dark secrets and dastardly deeds, Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire has a rich history, as Chris Upton reports.