Famous People from the Midlands

The Midlands has been the birthplace of many people who have gone on to become famous in a variety of different fields. With the region being at the heart of the industrial revolution, it is hardly surprising that a number of these people have made name for themselves in this area.

Neville Chamberlain trying to broker peace with Adolph Hitler

The northern part of the Midlands is famous for pottery and one of the biggest companies to have emerged out of this boom period has been Wedgewood Pottery. The company is named after the owner Josiah Wedgewood who was born in Burslem in 1730. During the 1760s Wedgewood worked with chemists to advance the knowledge on producing glazes for his pottery. The lessons learned resulted in him mass producing pottery that became popular with the upper classes. The company became a global brand as they were the first potters to use modern day selling techniques such as using travelling salesmen and money back guarantee. The name of Wedgewood still survives today and their products are still keenly desired around the world. A number of politicians have also emerged from the region and in 1869 Neville Chamberlain was born in Edgbaston in Birmingham. He was schooled at Rugby School, and after a time travelling he settled into running a metal ship berths company which he did so for 17 years before entering politics. He initially was elected to Parliament representing Birmingham Ladywood in 1917 and held a number of prominent positions such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister for Health, before being appointed Prime Minister in 1937. Despite his best to find peace with Germany, the country went to war and in 1940 he resigned to let Winston Churchill take office.

Tony Hancock in partnership with Syd James

People from the West Midlands are not always known for their serious nature and the area has produced a number of famous comics. In 1924 Tony Hancock was born in Hall Green, Birmingham, and despite only living to the age of 44, as a result of suicide, he is regarded as one of the greatest comedians the country has produced. He was at his very best during the early 1960s when his program “Hancock’s half hour” was broadcast first on radio and then later on television. This was a time when many young talented British comics were emerging and his performances with Sid James are still remembered to this day. Jasper Carrot is another comic who was born in Birmingham but this time it was in the area of Acocks Green on 14th March 1945. His special field of comedy was stand-up and he emerged from his own club in 1969, “the Boggery” in Solihull. From this point he enjoyed great success both on tour and also on television. His series “An audience with Jasper Carrot” lasted on air for thirteen years. When this ended he performed in many other projects with his greatest success coming in the spoof drama “The Detectives”. Appearing alongside the actor Robert Powell, the series lasted for five years. The Midlands has also produced many sportsman, musicians, actors and other celebrities. The character of the region has successfully passed on through the character of its people.