LIBRARY - Black Country Society Publications and Descriptions

The Tommy Mundon Story by Angela Daniels

 

Tommy Mundon was for many years a comedy legend in his beloved Halesowen, throughout the Black Country and further afield. Dubbed ‘The King of Black Country Comedy’, Tommy was the man who could ‘mek yo loff at the drop of a hat’. His warm personality and the ability to put a smile on everyone’s face made him a much sort after entertainer. He certainly always had a smile on his face as he led his audiences down memory lane with jokes and anecdotes, delivered in the style of true Black Country humour. He passed away in 2014. As a local entertainer he is irreplaceable because he was one of the greatest exponents of comedy in the Black Country dialect and Angela Daniel’s book, ‘The Tommy Mundon Story’ encapsulates all aspects of the man, his life and his humour. It also contains many of Tommy’s gags and sayings, along with photographs taken of him on stage and with his family. Many of his friends have contributed their own personal memories of the great man, making this book a unique and very personal account of his life.

Our Stour by Graham Beckley

 

This is the story of the river that shaped the history and industry of the Black Country. Graham Beckley is a former professional photographer and has used his expertise to document the River Stour from its source to the point where it enters the Severn. He even managed to find an alternative source of the Stour during his investigation of the river. The photographs are outstanding, as we expected they would be. The book is beautifully laid out, each image has a grid reference as well as the date and time it was taken. There is also a short description of the image. This is an important biography and you will not find a book of its equal on the subject.

Confessions of a Newsagent's Son by James Morgan

 

James Morgan was born in Lye and grew up in Amblecote, an urban village in the south corner of the Black Country. He was educated at local schools and the University of Leicester where he graduated with a degree in Economics and Local History. In 2010 James became Chairman of the Black Country Society and is a regular contributor to the Society magazine The Blackcountryman. This is the story of his childhood in Amblecote in the 1950s; told irreverently and in hilarious detail. Amongst the pages are vivid descriptions of endearing yet sometimes irascible characters, schoolboy scrapes and a little local history. If 'Carter's Little Liver Pills', 'Brothel Creepers' and the 'Lone Ranger' evoke distant yet pleasurable memories then "This 'ens for yow ar kid'

Dudley War Memorials by JBE Hale

This major work has been published in conjunction with the Society’s Heritage Lottery Fund award. It has been well-documented by John Hale, who has researched the 720 names on the Dudley War Memorial. Aside from an alphabetical list of the names and the information John has unearthed, there is much more information, including the story of how the memorial came to be. Looking at some of the names John found a number of brothers, as well as evidence of men joining together, probably friends. The evidence for this is that their service numbers were consecutive, probably queuing together to sign up. John also details the group of Dudley men who ended up in the 10th Lincolns, with others from Tipton, Smethwick and other Black Country towns. They were drafted there because the Lincolns were struggling to man a battalion about to go to the front. This book is much more than a list of names; the photographs, descriptions of the men commemorated, photographs, campaign information and much more make this an authoritative record of the fallen of Dudley.

In Cramped and Sooty Caverns by Dr Michael Hall

 

This book is not a traditional study of industrial history. Instead Michael, President of the Black Country Society for 2013-14, uses the portrait of nail-makers and nail-making created by Halesowen author Francis Brett Young, across nine novels set between 1800 and 1930. This account allows the real people, real places and real lives to tell the story. The book is well laid out and contains many images within its pages; in parts it reads as an anthology of all things nails and Michael has a very readable style of writing. Of course, the novel nature of the book is the thread of the writings of Francis Brett Young, which enhances and complements the rest of Michael’s research. This book is very well researched and there are plenty of notes and references should you wish to dig deeper into the subject.

Memories of Private Ted Galley MM Worcestershire Regiment 1900-1919 - edited by Dave Galley

 

The Great War diaries of Ted Galley span almost 20 years, they cover the latter phases of the Boer War as well as the Great War. They reveal the courage, loyalty and determination of a regular soldier, conveying graphic descriptions of military action and astute comment on events. Private Galley fought at Gheluvelt in 1914 and in 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He was taken prisoner at Messines in May 1918, spent time as a POW at Metz and returned home in 1919

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