NEW BOOK just launched

The definitive book on the Black Country, describing the areas second Industrial Revolution.

Written by Simon Briercliffe, this beautifully published, full colour publication will be available from History West Midlands in July 2021.

Members of the BC Society will be offered

a discount on the published price so look out for the announcement in the Summer issue of the Blackcountryman magazine or go to the website and enter the code BCS.

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.

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Pictured opposite are Thomas & Emma Houlston. He was a miner and she a nailmaker. They lived at 21 St. James Terrace, Dudley and later in an area known as Old Mill, near Shavers End where there used to be a reservoir. Do you know where Old Mill was?

JUST ADDED - Read the ancestry trail so far by clicking onto the pdf, and if you can add anything to it email: rokkopots2@hotmail.co.uk

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John Benfield completed

this tile panel as a tribute

to his ancestors, some of

which were nail makers in

the mid 1800’s. The lived

at Old Mill then later in

St James’s Terrace as it

was back then. The Old

Windmill was demolished

in the 1930’s.

St James’s Terrace was

redeveloped. It is still

there, a gated road

to a Sub Station. 

DO YOU KNOW WHERE this place is?

It is a watercolour painting of a place in Dudley once known as The Gully.

It is described as “The Gully", St John’s, Dudley.

If you have some information as to where exactly the location of "The Gully” is and if it still exists?




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The UNESCO Global Geopark status puts the area known since 1846 as the Black Country, on the world map and creates the opportunity to celebrate the unique character of the area and its varied population.

The Society are delighted to receive the news and look forward to being a part of the bigger picture in preserving the valuable heritage and promoting its culture, both past and present.

40 Geosites including Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve in Dudley and Red House Glass Cone in Wordsley will be amoung the first to be developed.

If you want to know more as plans develop or would like to join us in celebrating the past 50+ years of research, visit the Membership Page.

Martin Peake is looking for any information about the Roller Skating Rink that was located in Bilston. email:martinpeake@yahoo.com

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Brierley Hill Traders

How many company's can you remember from the 1950's.

Click on the pdf to see the names of some of the

businesses that were around then and some still are today.

WALSALL's 1st Women Police Officers

BCS is promoting Women of the Black Country and two names have

been added to our list - Miss Katherine Tearle and a Miss Williams

who became women Police Officers in 1918. We believe they were

the first women to be appointed in the Midlands Police Force.

If you have any further information about them, please visit

the Contacts Page and get in touch so that we can give

them the credit that is due as fine examples of strong

minded and willed Black Country women.


Congratulations to Dudley’s latest singing superstar, Blessing Chitapa.

She won the public vote in the final of ITV’s ‘The Voice’ show. Blessing

was spotted singing on instagram by the shows producers. They invited

her to audition and although she was studying Biology, Physics and

Chemistry at Dudley College, she took up the challenge and won through

to the last four participants and then the last two singers on the weekend

programme. Blessing’s musical inspiration is Brandy (USA). She sang

‘Angels’ (Robbie Williams/Guy Chambers) in her performance. It will be

released as a single prior to her show prize of a ‘recording deal’ album

in 2021.

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Bilston Online

Click the button to view this site for local history

Bilston Community Association

 Click to see the latest information 


MATT MILLS has created a website about the Coseley Avenue of Remembrance which he researched from 2011 to 2016.  He has included photos of the trees and information on how the memorial came about.  I am sure you will find the website interesting.




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




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



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.

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Price £7.50

incl Post/Pack



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.


Amblecote History Society


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

Click the button for