The West Midlands and the development of the English tinplate industry, c. 1735-c. 1835.
My decision to undertake part-time doctoral research followed the completion of the MA in West Midlands History which I found to be a very rewarding experience. The support and encouragement from Dr Malcolm Dick was invaluable throughout and continues as he supervises my PhD.
During the two years of the MA programme I was also involved with the local history group in Kings Bromley in Staffordshire in the transcription of a letterbook belonging to a tinplate manufacturer who operated there at the end of the eighteenth century. The company and the contents of the letters became a key feature of my dissertation as I examined the early tinplate industry in Staffordshire through three contrasting sites and businesses. My PhD continues that research and is an exploration of the first hundred years of the English tinplate industry from about 1735. England has been neglected in previous research into the industry in Britain which has been dominated by activities in South Wales. I am especially interested in the West Midlands through its connections with early attempts at tinplate production, the sites of the first English tinplate works in Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and the uses of tinplate in the tinware and japanning industries of the region.