ALMOST 333,000 people visited the Black Country Living Museum last year - an eight per cent increase on the year before.

Throughout 2017, the Dudley tourist attraction welcomed 332,717 people through the doors, which is its highest ever recorded annual visitor figure.

Laura Wakelin, the museum's deputy chief executive, said: “Eight per cent doesn’t really do the increase justice – that’s 24,000 more people visiting the museum than in 2016 which in itself was a fantastic year.

"It’s so pleasing to see so many more people choosing to learn about the heritage of the area and a testament to all of our staff and volunteers who work so hard to make sure they have fun at the same time."

The Tipton Road attraction hopes visitors will continue to flock in as its £21.7m Forging Ahead project gets under way.

The ambitious plan will see a bustling new town created to extend the museum’s story into the 1950s and 60s and will include a hairdressers, newsagents and a blast from Dudley town centre's past - Stanton's Music Shop.

Stourbridge News:

Plans are afoot to recreate the once popular Castle Street haunt, which was opened by James Stanton in 1895.

To help bring the shop to life, historical research assistant Simon Briercliffe, is urging people who have memories of Stanton's prior to 1960 to get in touch.

He said: “Stanton’s Record Shop will allow us to talk about the music and culture of the Black Country in the 1950s, including the rise of rock’n’roll and changing fashions. We’ll be using relevant memories and objects to bring Stanton’s story to life so please do get in touch if you or anyone you know remembers this once iconic high street shop.”

People can call 0121 557 9643 or email to share their memories.