Black Country Day
It’s Black Country aye it? I live in Wednesbury which is the heart of the Black Country. We have our own dialect and our own culture. We’re not much for messin’ about. The officious morons who ask us to fill in a shed load of forms just to get something simple done gets on our nerves. In the Black Country, you could just turn up at factory gates to get a job at one time. Now you have to talk to a bleedin’ computer online and if it dow like ya, yam buggered.
Our manner of speech isn’t very eloquent, but don’t let that fool you. We aren’t as stupid as some people would have you believe. This was the powerhouse of the country at one time, before some well-educated people ruined it. The metal-bashing industries were dirty but they did make Britain great and now we have people who want us to acquire ‘soft’ skills. They want the men of the Black Country to talk nice, like soft wenches. I think some of the young lads are adjusting to this new paradigm for the Black Country but not us ‘old ‘uns’.
It is true that some Black Country people are a bit like cavemen, but they are changing. The Black Country is awash with 40-inch televisions and smartphones. We’re really into technology but the days of Learndirect teaching proper computing are long gone. It’s all social media now and few people in the Black Country are making money from that.
We are into nostalgia in the Black Country and we like our Victorian parks and we have the Black Country Living Museum. The Black Country is proud of its heritage and we hate seeing it destroyed. Some of it gets saved and re-sited at the museum but more needs to be done. More of our heritage needs to be listed. We have a pub in Wednesbury that has stood on that site for 500 years and was once frequented by the infamous Dick Turpin and it’s not listed.
Traditions have been destroyed. I remember carnival floats, the parade and the carnival queen. I remember Wednesbury market staying open until after dark and the hurricane lamps swinging as the wind caught them on a cold dark evening. I remember Christmas lights that covered the whole shop frontage of the bigger shops. Now they are a bit pathetic and last year the Christmas tree was half dead. Christmas was less commercial years ago and more festive. Shops decorated their windows, the Salvation army band would play Christmas tunes and there were often carol singers in the streets. Many things have changed for the better but we need to hold onto some things from the past. It gives us a sense of continuity and community.
I think I’m going to end with some pictures of Wednesbury and the Black Country. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Dow they?
If you would like to follow this blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar and I’ll send you an email every time there is a new post. You can also follow me on Twitter for updates. Want to see more pictures? They are on my Facebook page.