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Community ideas

Black Country Festival 2014

Carnival crowds

You might have noticed I’ve been promoting the Black Country Festival just lately. If you haven’t, then I’m doing something wrong. Today’s picture is of Wednesbury Carnival last year. This is the second year for a Black Country Day and the first year for a festival and so it needs more people to support it.

There are a lot of events anyway in July and bringing them all under the same name can help promote them. If they are coordinated into one event, then in future years carnivals in different towns can be arranged so they don’t clash with one another. There can also be events in the same town that follow on from the carnival and offer an evening out on the same day too. It means more money spent locally. The multinationals might get it eventually, but at least it can stay in the Black Country for a day!

The Black Country is to receive some money for road improvements and for filling in pot holes. I suppose that will go to the governments favourite contractors. It won’t benefit us, very much. Pakistan is getting double the amount of money for this year and they get aid every year; the Black Country only gets money once in a blue moon. No wonder it’s a deprived area. Then they bring in more cuts to kick us while we’re down.

Wednesbury Carnival will be on Saturday and it’s important because it gives many local charities an opportunity to be seen in the community and raise funds. The local police will have a bus and that is also meeting the community and presenting a friendly image. Image is important, the Black Country had a rather dirty and uncouth image; that has all changed. The industry has largely gone and although the Black Country can’t be regarded as pretty by any means, it has some nicer parts. It is mostly pubs and pound shops, but what do they expect? All the money is down south. We used to have wealthy people live in Wednesbury, we used to have a theatre, we used to have three cinemas, we used to have a pub on every street, we used to have industry and five banks to serve it. Then along came Margaret Thatcher with a religious belief in monetarism  and now we have another round of destruction.

I’m more concerned about the weather than the economy at the moment. I want to photograph the carnival and try to contribute to it’s success. I took photographs on Sunday and they are popular and the weather wasn’t very good. I’ve improved my photography to take into account bad weather and I can use  my speed-light (flash) on Saturday. If we all contribute a little something, we can make the Black Country better. The same applies wherever you live; communities are important. We need shared aims and shared values.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter. If you’re at the carnival on Saturday, say hello. I might even take your photograph!

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