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Bosses at New Art Gallery Walsall are hoping that the Damien Hirst exhibition which opens to the public next week will attract record numbers.

The gallery will be presenting work from Hirst, who became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved in formaldehyde, from Saturday October 6th 2012 for a full year until October 27th 2013.

Arthur Russell, a brickmaker from Walsall who was a member of Walsall Harriers' Athletic Club, won the men's 3,200m steeplechase at the 1908 London Olympic Games.An exciting new exhibition at Walsall Local History Centre will reveal some of Walsall’s remarkable sporting history – just in time for the Olympic Games!

Walsall’s Sporting Links will highlight several of Walsall’s own Olympians of the early 20th century, as well as numerous local sporting organisations.

Stuart Williams, who has prepared the exhibition with centre colleagues Paul Ford and Cath Yates, said: “The contribution of Walsall people to the Olympics and to sport in general has been remarkable, and Walsall Local History Centre has been able to preserve many documents, memorabilia and photographs relating to local sporting activities and prowess.

Workers at a Chuckery company were treated to a VIP visit back in 1962 when Queen Elizabeth II joined them on the factory floor.

And Walsall Museum wants to mark the 50th anniversary of the unforgettable day at the Crabtree factory with a display as part of the borough's celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Year.

The factory, at the Lincoln Works, was once one of the biggest private employers in the town, manufacturing plugs, switches and other electrical items for a global market.

A dedicated volunteer at Walsall Museum has had her 30 years of voluntary service with the Museum receive special recognition this month after being selected as an Arts and Business Cultural Champion for the West Midlands.

Sheila Shreeve began volunteering at Walsall Museum in 1982, bringing her passion for historic costume to the care and management of the Museum’s clothing collection. 

An acknowledged expert in the field of costume history, Sheila is an inspiration to her colleagues and a source of friendship and advice to all the staff at the Museum. Thanks to her hard work and dedication several generations of school pupils, college students and university researchers have been given the opportunity to learn from and study the collection through her public talks, educational sessions and regular costume displays.

Have you compiled a family tree but want to know more about how your ancestors lived? Then Walsall Local History Centre has just the thing for you!

A workshop  in Essex Street will  examine archives and other sources which you can use to bring your ancestors to life if they attended a non-Anglican church or chapel.