Important FOOTBALL BOOK update

The most exciting news of the year so far involves the forthcoming reprint

and update of the society's publication 'White Shirt - Black Country' which

relates the careers of the 52 Black Countrymen who as footballers have

represented England. More players than any other area in the country.

This is a fascinating book for all fans of football.  

White Shirt - Black Country is in stock and available for purchase online - visit the Gift/Book Shop page.



In January 1984 I started as a young Head of History at Rowley Regis Sixth Form College and bought a house in the area where I still live. The landscape and society of the Black Country was largely unknown. During my time at the college, however, I was introduced to a former teacher, Edward Chitham, who had established a reputation as a writer about the region. I didn’t know then that I would also develop a deep interest in the history of the Black Country.

I was born in Lichfield and as a child I recollect a school visit to Dudley Zoo and shopping trips to Walsall and Wolverhampton. I can remember the bus journeys which crossed the geographical and cultural divide which separated the cathedral city from the industrial and commercial towns of the Black Country. In turn, I was conscious that I was different from most of my Lichfield contemporaries as a son of immigrants in a place where most had local roots. I was a council estate child in an affluent municipality. I was to find out later that Lichfield’s history was interlinked with that of the Black Country as the ecclesiastical centre for the district’s parishes and the source of much of its fresh water. The connection between the wealth of Lichfield and investment in the economy of South Staffordshire was also an important relationship.  

My journey toward Black Country history was complex. After university in Hull and Leicester, I taught in London before I moved to Rowley and would probably have ended my career as a lecturer and educational manager, had not I, fortuitously, been made redundant in 1999. I was employed to lead a lottery-funded history projects, Millennibrum (2000-2002) and subsequently, Revolutionary Players (2002-2004). Though based in Birmingham Central Library, they introduced me to the extensive and under-used historical resources of the region and the opportunities that existed for uncovering, recording, publishing and digitising archives, images and objects and also working with heritage and community organisations. I acquired a post at the University of Birmingham in 2004, where I lecture full-time and currently lead the Centre for West Midlands History.  

My work and interests provided other opportunities. I became a trustee of Archives West Midlands, the Black Country Living Museum and the Newcomen Society, which promotes the history of technology and engineering. My interests lie in industrial history and its relationship with the history of ideas, the environment and cultural life. I have been lucky to work for History West Midlands (https://historywm.com/) which has supported the history of the region. Amongst my books, I am especially proud of The Black Country: A History in a 100 Objects (2019), co-edited with David Eveleigh and Janet Sullivan. I am especially interested in bridging the division between universities and local history and engaging with the diverse histories and cultures of the Black Country. I hope that my tenure as Chairman of the Black Country Society will enable me to fulfil these intentions. 


Dr Malcolm Dick OBE


Palethorpes - World Famous Sausage & Pie Maker

The Black Country Society are to sponsor a book researched and written by John Dunn who worked at the company for 30 years. The book will feature the Palethorpes family history and contain over 100 black and white images, taken from the original 'glass' plates used by photographers of the time. Palethorpes were one of the largest and most benevolent employers in the Black Country and were said to be 'The Largest Sausage Manufacturer in the World'. It is a fascinating read and part of Tipton history. The images show all stages of making sausages and pies, the promotion and delivery of products.

The book is A4 size with 96 pages of Palethorpes history, products, production, premises, vehicles and advertising. BCS Launch 'introductory' price: £15.00

Reserve your copy by contacting the Treasurer today - bcs.treasurer@virginmedia.net

Are You Looking for a Special Gift for Someone?

Send them a surprise BCS Membership or choose a Book about the Black Country from our Library - Humour, Personalities, Cooking, Religion, Football, Rivers, Boxing and much more ... visit the Membership page and send them a surprise that will last a whole 12 months.




She is a post graduate student at the University of Worcester and researching cinema audiences, their response to films and employment within cinemas in the Midlands during World War Two. She would love to hear from any of our website visitors in relation to Cinemas in Worcester, Stafford and the Black Country. 

So did you enjoy ‘going to the pictures’ during the 1940s? 

Who were your favourite film stars (such as Tyrone Power, Clark Gable and Bette Davis or did you prefer the British stars like John Mills, Vivian Leigh, Patricia Roc?)

Was Gone with the Wind, Mrs Miniver and Millions Like Us amongst your favourite films or did you prefer war films such as Above Us the Waves, This Happy Breed or Old Mother Riley films?

Did you work in a cinema as an usherette or perhaps even a film projectionist, which was an opportunity for women to become technically involved in film presentation while men were at war.  

If this interests you please contact:

Linda Pike 

Linda.pike54@hotmail .com     Tel 01684 772028 or 07971 623767



The Gospels in


Black Country




Kate Fletcher was born in Bilston, attending school there. During the Second World War, at the age of seventeen, she commenced training as a nurse at ‘The Woodlands’ Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, where she acquired her Orthopaedic Nursing Certificate.

Kate wrote a number of poems in dialect verse, several of which were published in ‘The Blackcountryman’ and also broadcast on local radio. The success of her ‘poetic’ version of ‘The Old Testament in Black Country Dialect’ created great demand for this kind of work. This volume was first published in 1975, soon followed by Part Two. In 1989 Kate published this work: ‘The Gospels in Black Country Dialect’.

Visit the BOOK/GIFT Shop to purchase the books.


The Good Faggot Guide by G. Povey & R. James


This is the essential manual for any Gastronaut. It is a light hearted trip down memory lane

for all Black Country folks. It investigates faggot history, faggot pioneers and provides a

Directory of Faggoteers.

Ghislaine Poveyis Senior Lecturer in Hospitality & Tourism Management at the University of

Wolverhampton and writes a food column for the Express & Star.

Richard James aka Grorty Dick is a present day faggot pioneer. He is also a local entrepreneur

and consultant in Black Country Tourism & Marketing.

The Society has just 70 copies so reserve yours today!!!




Brendan puts Black Country on the map!


Wednesbury Poet Laureate Brendan Hawthorne has done the Black

Country proud yet again by bringing home a trophy from the National

Dialect Festival held in Blackpool 18-20 October 2019.

This is the second year running that Brendan has won this prestigious silverware.

Contact: brendanhawthornepoet61@gmail.com/ 07970 441110


Brendan Hawthorne with National Dialect Festival judges

L-R Catherine Harvey, Judith Addison, Paul Salveson.

Amblecote History Society

Price £7.50

incl Post/Pack


The Express & Star has just launched a website of its photo archive containing historical pictures of the public, architecture and events in the Black Country. BCS Editor, Mike Pearson was part of a group of volunteers who have helped prepare the first 3,000 files for digitisation. 

For further information see

Dear Members and Friends,


Due to the Governments updated guidelines on the current situation at the moment, we are cancelling our next meeting on Wednesday 8th April which would have been John Sparry ‘John and his relics’ 

I will try to rebook John for next years programme.


At present we are going by the daily guidlines of Government advice and will keep everyone updated about our future events and meetings.

Any question's please get in touch. helenjoy.cook@btinternet.com


Meanwhile keep safe and well.


Best Wishes

Helen Cook

Amblecote History Society


Tel 07975 765554

James Watt Page 1.jpg



200 YEARS AGO - James Watt was given a Newcomen Steam Engine to repair ... after the repair, it took him over two years  to come up with the solution of how to improve the design and performance. Click on the image to find out what happened next.


Click the button for

Click for WM Historic Building Trust

Black Country Society

West Midlands, UK

Design & Production: www.magnum-designs.com


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