Spirit of the West Midlands

The West Midlands has a unique spirit embodied in the region's people, their creativity and bold thinking. It is the home of lawn tennis and rugby. As the birthplace of heavy metal and the ranking beats of 2-Tone, the region’s arts scene has created new music genres. Epic worlds and stories created by J.R.R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare sit on bookshelves alongside crime fiction enjoyed by millions around the world. The West Midlands' people are the heartbeat of the nation.

Curated by the West Midlands Growth Company, find out more at www.makeitwm.com.

1823-12-08 07:40:36

A Rugby Union

In Warwickshire, while playing football at Rugby School, William Webb Ellis picks up the ball and runs. He is credited with the creation of Rugby Union, Rugby League, and American Football.

1825-09-08 07:40:36

Economies of Scale

West Bromwich’s George Salter and Co. produced the first bathroom scale. The company would also go on to make the typewriter - another 'first' for the UK. The smoke alarm was patented by Birmingham's George Andrew Darby in 1902, while Birmingham-born Walter Griffiths built the first portable vacuum cleaner.

1827-05-08 07:40:36

Ampton Ace

Lawn tennis is invented and first played in Birmingham. Major Harry Gem creates the game with JBA Perera in a back garden in Ampton Road, Edgbaston.

1888-08-08 07:40:36

A League Of Their Own

William McGregor of Aston Villa FC invites 11 clubs - including Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion - to play regularised games of football. The Football League is created.

1910-01-08 07:40:36


In Cradley Heath, the National Federation of Women Workers strike in response to poor working conditions. After ten weeks of industrial action, 60% of employers agree to pay the minimum wage.

1930-11-08 07:40:36

Box-office Birmingham

Birmingham businessman Oscar Deutsch founds the Odeon chain of cinemas. Along with Birmingham-born film pioneers Michael Balcon and Victor Saville, he is instrumental in starting the UK's film industry.

1951-04-08 07:40:36

Good Old Country Folk

The Archers is broadcast for the first time in Birmingham. It has since attracted more than five million listeners across the country.

1954-05-30 05:32:55

European Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ match with Budapest Honved is instrumental in the formation of the European Cup, now known as the Champions League. Wolverhampton Wanderers’ match with Budapest Honved is instrumental in the formation of the European Cup, now known as the Champions League. Birmingham City becomes the first English club side to play in European competition when they played their first match in the 1955–58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on 15 May 1956.

1963-09-30 05:32:55


Coventry-born Delia Derbyshire creates the original theme tune to Doctor Who. A pioneer of electronic music, Delia’s recording was created before the availability of commercial synthesisers. Each note was individually created by cutting, splicing, speeding up and slowing down segments of analogue tape.

1970-09-30 05:32:55

Ska Quality

The two-tone music genre is developed in Coventry. West Midlands bands such as The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter are at the forefront of two-tone scene - a fusion of ska, reggae and rocksteady with elements of punk rock and new wave.

1978-11-30 05:32:55

Baggies Break Down Barriers

West Bromwich Albion become the first professional British football club to field three black players. Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis begin their journey to inspire a generation of black players in the UK.

1995-01-14 10:29:34

Rock Of Ages

Wolverhampton-born Robert Plant’s Led Zeppelin is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Birmingham-based Black Sabbath would follow in their footsteps just 11 years later. Influenced by the sounds of the region, Black Sabbath would go on to create a new style of rock, heavy metal, that took the world by storm.

2007-08-14 10:29:34

Broadcasting Breakthrough

Wolverhampton-born Jacqui Oatley opens doors for women in the broadcasting world when she becomes the first female to commentate on BBC's Match of the Day.

2008-07-14 10:29:34

In At The Deep End

Walsall’s Ellie Simmonds wins double Paralympic Gold at the Summer Olympics in Beijing at the age of just 13, triumphing in the 100m and 400m freestyle swimming events.

2019-01-14 10:29:34

Jorja On My Mind

Walsall-born Jorja Smith wins Best British Female at the Brit Awards and is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Spirit of the West Midlands

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d Game mode

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at: hello@tiki-toki.com.

You can also follow us on twitter at twitter.com/tiki_toki.

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at: help@tiki-toki.com


Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again