Sebastian Groes, Professor of English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Smell is unique because it has the ability to take us right back to our childhood. Snidge Scrumpin’ maps the specific smells that belong to the Black Country, from Banks’s Brewery’s hoppy stink to groaty pudding and spicy curry.
“Our community events will build on research into the so-called ‘Proust Phenomenon’, which suggests that odours can trigger childhood memories. We will be conducting an interactive psychological experiment that collects Black Country smells and tastes that trigger different memories. People attending the events will be exposed to these and they will be asked to retrieve and describe memories, and then rate their intensity and emotionality.
“It is hoped that the Snidge Scrumpin’ research will demonstrate the importance of the smell and taste for our sense of regional history, and shows how place shapes us. The project will draw up the lost odours belonging to this post-industrial region whilst charting a new 21st-century palate.”