'An Evening with the President'

17 January 2020 at the Quality Hotel, Dudley DY1 4RN

The Black Country Society are pleased to announce a Special Social Event for the

New Year!  ‘An Evening with the President will combine a variety of Black Country

themed entertainment hosted by ‘The Star of the Show’ - our President, Marlene

Watson who is a well known, and celebrated Black Country comedienne. The

Quality Hotel is a sponsor of the Society and provides a stylish local venue for

what we predict to be "a great fun evening" starting at 7.30pm.


TICKETS are £5.00 each - CONTACT: Keith - Tel: 0121 520 0080      

email: staffs.munchkin@btinternet.com



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.  

The book is now being published and will be available from end January 2020.

Visit the Gift/Book Shop to order your copy for delivery pre-Christmas!



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

Wednesday 25th March - Black Country Society AGM 

followed by A Tribute to Ron Moss; an illustrated talk by Keith Hodgkins.


Ron Moss was one of the great stalwarts of the Black Country Society. His passing in April 2019 deprived the Black Country of one of its most significant local historians and researchers of the past 50 years. Ron became an early member of the Society in the late 1960s, chaired the Industrial Archaeology Group from 1978 to 2006 and served as President in 1996-97. The IA Group gave Ron a platform from which he could explore, record and expound on all aspects of the industrial Black Country, in particular the chain and anchor trades of his home district. Alongside his writings, his lectures and his photographs, Ron will be forever associated with the rescue, refurbishment and running of Mushroom Green Chainshop on behalf of the Society. To honour his memory the Society is planning to unveil a commemorative plaque on the Chainshop in the near future.


Keith Hodgkins, Society President 2016-18, joined the BCS in 1973 and straightaway became involved with the Industrial Archaeology Group where he became firm friends with Ron Moss. Since 2012, when Ron`s mobility became restricted due to a stroke, they worked together on digitising and cataloging Ron`s extensive photographic archive. A selection of these images, mostly of Black Country content and portraying Ron`s interests and passions, will form the basis of the presentation.




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.


The annual conference, now in its’ tenth year, is the brainchild of Sid

Calderbank from Lancashire, who aims to bring together native tongues

from all over the country to celebrate the diversity of language and

word usage we enjoy in England. Participants come from Lakeland,

Northumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Kent, Devon and

Cornwall, but the search is always on for more regions and areas to

be represented.


The rich historic past is marked by talks and exhibitions, dialect societies producing publications and CD’s and performances throughout the weekend, but the present was very much to the fore this year, when Professor Paul Salveson from the Universities of Bolton and Huddersfield spoke passionately about the need to keep these varied and vibrant dialects alive in the 21st century.

As a judge in the Written Poem Competition, Professor Salveson must have had his own words ringing in his ears when he heard Brendan’s composition The Black Country Joins in the Space Race about a tatter who decides to salvage scrap floating in space, so duly Brendan was awarded the Bill o’ Bowes Cup. It was a popular decision, with keen applause from the audience.

On being presented with the cup, Brendan said, It is an honour to win this award and it’s a great pleasure to bring dialects to a wider audience. Sid and I were on BBC1’s The One Show translating Shirley Bassey lyrics into our dialects to the Dame herself for her to guess the song titles. She didn’t find it easy!

This is the second year running that Brendan has won this prestigious silverware but he will be unable to make it a hat trick next time as he will be heading the team hosting the 2020 gathering and the host is exempt!

The event will take place in the Black Country 16-18 October 2020 and will be open to the public. Details of venue and times will be released in the New Year, so keep your eyes peeled for details.

Contact: brendanhawthornepoet61@gmail.com/ 07970 441110


Brendan Hawthorne with National Dialect Festival judges

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


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!!!

NEW FOR 2019

The Society has purchased some very smart looking silicon finished Badges in black and white with a 'clutch pin' on the reverse for easy application.

We also have a re-usable coffee/tea mug with a Black Country motto and the Society log displayed.

Both these items will be on display and for purchase at the next Talks Event on 27 November 2019 at The Station Hotel, Dudley.

Price £6.50

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

James Watt Page 1.jpg



Inventor WHO



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.


Discover more about the events to celebrate the life of James Watt at the following URL


Click for WM Historic Building Trust

Black Country Society

West Midlands, UK

Design & Production: www.magnum-designs.com


©2019 by Black Country Society. Proudly created with Wix.com