Business leader Sir Digby Jones went back in time - as he looked to the future at a controversial regeneration scheme.
The CBI director general visited the former Cape Hill Brewery site on a fire engine stationed there in the 1960s.
He said: "Regeneration is so important to the survival and growth of communities like Sandwell. It's vital that schemes like Cape Hill are built."
The project is being developed by Persimmon Homes and will be one of the largest residential developments in the UK with 1,000 homes.
However, the scheme came under fire in August from the Government's architecture watchdog, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
It said the redevelopment failed to meet eight out of 11 objectives for Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's housing market renewal initiative.