A beast for the Black Country

Updated: Aug 11

In a recent e mail to the Black Country Society committee, the chairman gave notice of the broadcast time of an ITV interview that he had given concerning the historical context of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony and the animatronic bull. At the end, he asked a question.

The bull, of course, is a symbol of the Birmingham and not the Black Country. It could be worth thinking about what might be a suitable Black Country animal symbol!

There then followed a somewhat less than serious exchange of emails that attempted to answer the question. Perhaps it was too hot to do anything else!

One of the first suggestions was that it should be the "Pig on the Wall", based on the Gornal folk story that can be found here. Other areas have similar stories however - not least Droylsden in Manchester. Another was that it should be a homing pigeon. However this again is not a wholly Black Country activity - for example there is an elderly lady in Windsor who I believe also runs a pigeon loft.

There were also a couple of equine suggestions - a tethered 'oss and the stripey 'oss from Dudley Zoo. But the former have been used in industrial districts elsewhere, and the Black Country does not have the extensive Savanah to be considered a true home to the latter.