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This attractive and pioneering new book explores the rural history of the area, describing how it became part of the West Midlands industrial conurbation. Much of it is based on the author’s original research. Among the many, beautifully produced illustrations are reconstructed plans and maps that have never before been published, as well as some splendid photographs from the author’s own unique collection. No full history of Rowley Regis has been published to date, and this splendid volume will captivate past and present residents alike, in addition to making a valuable and long-overdue contribution to the history of the whole conurbation.
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Phillimore & Co Ltd (1 Sep 2006)
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Anthony H. Page
Blackheath, in the heart of the Black Country, only came into existence in the 1830s, as a variety of industries grew up in the area. Many of the people who lived here were quarrymen, miners and nailmakers. Life was not glamorous here: abject poverty was almost universal, and privation that is unknown and unimaginable today was commonplace. Despite or perhaps because of this, a strong sense of community has existed here since earliest times. Anthony Page’s new book draws on previously unpublished photographs from a variety of sources, including family albums, to chronicle Blackheath’s streets, people, industry and events.
Following the good reception of the first selection of old photographs of Blackheath, many requests for a follow-up book have been received, so local author Anthony Page has compiled this second volume. The rough boundary for this book is the old prewar postal district of Blackheath, in the Black Country, and so there are more pictures from the Hill and Cakemore district, as well as those from the established township. Many of these images are from private collections and family albums, and most of them are published here for the first time. The reader will find evocative pictures of the area, including much that has vanished under the guise of redevelopment, as well as scenes of work, leisure and family life, which should bring back memories for people of all ages.
A collection of pictures, many previously unpublished, covering the town of Blackheath throughout the last century. Blackheath is best described as a working-class community, with many home-based industries and mining as the main sources of employment for its residents. Its history is relatively short, not being recognised as a separate entity until around 1830. This close-knit community is still populated to a significant degree by descendants of the people pictured in the book.
Rowley’s premier historian, Anthony Page, has once again uncovered over 200 photographs to illustrate bygone days in this distinctive Black Country town. Streets and buildings, people at work and play, events and special occasions, churches and pubs – all aspects of life in Rowley Regis are featured here. Enthralling to anyone who knows this area, especially anyone with family roots here, Anthony Page’s new book will bring back many happy memories, and will also be a valuable record for future generations.
Rowley Regis is one of the oldest settlements in the Black Country, although little remains of its earliest origins today. The old village was perched on the slopes of the Rowley Hills, gathered around the Parish Church of St Giles, and remained virtually unchanged until the massive redevelopment of the late 1950s. The wealth of the village derived from the rock formations of the hills, with the basaltic quartz yielding an extremely hard material known as Rowley Rag, which was used for road-making. Quarrying, together with the expansion of coal mining in the nineteenth century, meant a hard life for the residents, and many families engaged in the cottage industries of nail-making and the production of Jew’s Harps in order to survive. This volume contains in excess of 200 photographs and illustrations showing the life of the village and its surrounding hamlets. Many of them are published for the first time, having been obtained from individual family collections as well as established archives.
Royston & Janice Slim
A historical & contemporary picture of the area around Blackheath and Rowley Regis. Full of black & white and colour photographs, many unavailable elsewhere. The book features a new collection of pictures and focuses on the industrial, social, agricultural and educational history of the area.
The overwhelming success of the first volume of Cradley Heath in Old Photographs in 1998 has led one of the original co-authors, Ron Moss, to compile a second fascinating collection of photographs. Again the book focuses on the plethora of industries which existed in the towns in days gone by – the coalfields, chainmaking, the railways – all are featured here, along with a mix of people, street scenes, schools, shops and pastimes. The end result is a captivating glimpse of Cradley and Old Hill’s past which is sure to bring back many memories for those who know and love the area.
Published March 2004
Ron Moss, Bob Clarke
This addition to the “Britain in Old Photographs” series brings together a collection of black-and-white pictures spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Drawn from family albums, local collections and professional photographers, they show the way things were and how they have changed. Every photograph is captioned, providing names and dates where possible, revealing historical and anecdotal detail and giving life to the scenes and personalities captured through the camera lens. Bringing together all aspects of daily life – celebrations and disasters, work and leisure, people and buildings – the collection should inspire memories, as well as serve as an introduction to visitors.
Nigel A. Chapman
This book covers the collieries of the Black Country.
Nigel Chapman is an expert on the Black Country mining industry (covers the Cannock and South Staffordshire Coalfields). He is the author of ‘The History of the Sandwell Park Collieries’ and ‘History of Coal Mining Around Halesowen’.Paperback 128 pages (July 25, 2005)
This second photographic collection centred on Quarry Bank follows on from Ned Williams’ first book, Quarry Bank in Old Photographs, which was published in 1998. The pictures in this volume have been drawn from a number of different sources – not least Ned Williams and the other members of the Mount Pleasant Local History Society’s own collections. With chapters on schools, churches, work, leisure and the changing environment, Quarry Bank Past & Present is sure to be of great interest to residents of this Black Country settlement.
Paperback 126 pages (December 4, 2003)
Volume 2. It is a thrill to have written a local history book in conjunction with the “Express and Star”. The paper is not only the biggest-selling evening newspaper in the country outside London, but also it is marked out by its commitment to its region and the people of that region. There can be few papers that are as local as the “Express and Star” and that commitment to localness affects positively every aspect of its reporting and coverage. The Black Country is fortunate to have a paper so dedicated to the well being of Black Country folk. I thank the editor of the “Express and Star”, Adrian Faber, and its management for giving me the opportunity to write so extensively about the Black Country.
Paperback – November 1, 2005
Historian Carl Chinn has produced a book which combines memories of The Black Country’s people and places together with their long and proud industrial heritage. Chapters cover traditional industries such as mining and chainmaking and there are tales of colourful characters including boxing legend The Tipton Slasher and chainmaker Lucy Woodall. Carl also describes the development of The Black Country dialect and the close community spirit of the area.
Published November 2004
For 250 years chapels have been at the heart of Black Country life – both social and religious. Poor social conditions in this heavily industrialised area stimulated the growth of religious nonconformity, and chapel influence is strong even today, despite many closures and demolitions over the last few years. While compiling this book, Ned Williams has spoken to chapelgoers from all over the Black Country and from a wide range of denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Independent and Quaker) and has recorded their memories. This is, therefore, a first-hand account not only of the buildings themselves – including tin chapels, those converted to other uses, and some that have vanished altogether – but also of the wide-ranging and active social life that surrounded them – Sunday schools, Scouts and Guides, choirs, youth groups, parades and carnivals, outings, sporting events and so on. Illustrated with a wide range of old and new photographs, drawings and paintings, posters and other ephemera, Black Country Chapels will bring back memories for anyone who was born and brought up in the Black Country, and records a fascinating aspect of the region’s history that was at the heart of every community – from Amblecote to New Invention, from Tipton to Gornal Wood, from Hell Lane to Paradise.
Published October 2004
David Vodden has been asking Black Country folk for photographs from their family albums and collections, and interesting stories they have to tell about growing up, living and working in the region over the last century. The best of these images are being selected for inclusion in Our Black Country, which will provide a fascinating record of everyday life in Wolverhampton and Walsall, Bilston and Blackheath, Great Bridge and Lower Gornal – and all the other towns that make up the Black Country. By turns poignant, fascinating and entertaining, this collection of over 300 previously unpublished photographs will enthral everyone who knows and loves the Black Country.
This volume was recently published by Black Country Society. All proceeds from the book will go back into the Society funds to support new projects. The author believes this book is unique in that it is the only publication which contains the civic arms of ALL the Black Country local authorities, which existed before the reorganisation of local government in 1966. None of the three standard works on civic heraldry contain all the Black Country civic arms. In this book all the civic arms of the Black Country are illustrated and described.
Peter has carried out painstaking research into this subject, successfully finding images of some of the arms, which at first proved difficult to track down.
Since the development of photography in the middle of the last century, the picture of our pasts provided by the written chronicle, the museum artefact or by failing memory has been augmented by the most vivid and immediate relic of former times, the photograph. Authenticating even as it describes, the photograph is of its time in a way that other representations of the past are not. Comprising the work of both professionals and gifted amateurs, this fascinating volume makes available for the first time in collected form many photographs that have all but disappeared. For those old and lucky enough to remember, it offers a delightful trip down memory lane: for others, it will be a voyage of discovery and surprises.
Bilston, Bradley and Ladymoor have had their share of colourful days. Industries, communities and individuals have all left their mark on this corner of the world and all are represented in the pages of this book. This third volume of photographs of the three communities picks up where the first two volumes left off and the legacies of the past are so rich that more memories are certain to come to light in the years ahead. This volume contains over 250 images of local industry, people, sports, pastimes, streets, churches and schools. It should revive many memories for all those who know and love this part of the Black Country.
Paperback 128 pages (July 24, 2003)
This fascinating collection of over 200 archive photographs highlights some of the changes and developments that have taken place in Dudley over the last 150 years. Originally a medieval market town, Dudley was shaped by the Industrial Revolution and occupied an integral place at the heart of the Black Country. Detailed captions bring colour to each photograph and provide a valuable insight into life in the town. Every aspect of Dudley is explored, from the people and buildings of this strong community to market days, transport and shops; from the highest tower of the castle to the subterranean limestone caverns beneath Castle Hill. This book will serve as a touching reminder of the past, awakening memories of Dudley as it once was, and it will be a useful resource for anyone interested in the history of the town and its people.
Paperback 128 pages (May 1, 2005)
Hilary Atkins, Diane Matthews and Samantha Robins
This book contains black and white pictures spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries, drawn from family albums, local collections and professional photographers. Each photograph is captioned to provide names and dates where possible and historical information. In the BRITAIN IN OLD PHOTOGRAPHS series.
David L. Eades
A second selection of photographs of the author’s hometown. Halesowen was a small working class town and as such was closely knit, until the redevelopment and mass expansion of the 1960s and 1970s.
B. Clarke, M. Reuter
Customer review from Amazon:
This book captures in photographs the people and lifestyle of the industrial areas of Lye and Wollescote in the Black Country of the West Midlands. Whilst there is no text, each of the photographs is well captioned, including historical details and the names of places and people where known. For a genealogist with research interests in the Black Country, this is a treasure trove. For those with an interest in the industrial history of England, this should likewise prove useful. For others, a fascinating glimpse of this corner of Britain.
The first ever commercially produced collection of old photographs of the Manor drawn from local archive and private collections. The book was an immediate sell out in the Sutton series ‘Britain in Old Photographs’.
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Author Trevor Genge has brought together another fine selection of images for this, his fourth book on Sedgely in Sutton’s ‘in Old Photographs’ series. The book covers not only the town of Sedgely, but also the surrounding district, including Coseley and The Gornals. Bygone images of local people at work and play, events and places are all featured and this new book will be a welcome dose of nostalgia to anyone who knows and loves this area of the Black Country.
Sedgley: A Fifth Selection will be essential reading for anyone who bought Trevor Genge’s previous books on the town. A seemingly inexhaustible supply of images of yesterday’s Sedgley continues in this, his fifth volume of fascinating pictures. This selection features the schools, industry, streets, pubs, sporting life and changing landscape of this Black Country town, and is sure to bring back countless reminiscences to those who have grown up and lived in Sedgley.
Paperback 128 pages (April 15, 2004)
T J S Baylis
J. Brimble, K. Hodgkins
John Brimble and Keith Hodgkins
Keith Hodgkins and John Brimble
In 1906 the Black Country historian Frederick Hackwood wrote: ‘In Tipton, Vulcan is everywhere supreme; and from the thousands of hearths that constitute his altars, never cease to arise columns of incense. To the Tiptonian, therefore, a smoke-laden sky is always regarded as the outward visible sign of the town’s prosperity. “They dread it not, that stretch of smoke, from Dudley Port to Wednesbury Oak”. From the distance afar, busy Tipton can never fail to be marked on the horizon by “a pillar of smoke by day, or a pillar of fire by night”. For industrially, Tipton has been found a land overflowing not “with Milk and Honey”, but with Coal and Iron; and it cannot be denied that in this busy land of Promise, the best has been made of both. Long may Tipton flourish!’ These words were written almost a century ago and although the coal and iron industries have vanished they have produced a great legacy of achievements for the town. Today Tipton is cherished by its inhabitants, not as a postcard village but as a hardworking town with pride in its past. Tipton: A Third Selection will bring back happy memories for all those who know and love the town.
West Bromwich was a sparsely populated rural settlement during the 18th century, with the area currently occupied by the High Street (from Dartmouth Square to Carters Green) being little more than open heathland. The famous “golden mile” High Street, which evolved around 150 years ago, has changed in character quite dramatically within living memory, as indeed have many of the surrounding districts of the town. Most people will have treasured memories of long-gone delights such as Trows Ice-Cream parlour, Chads Fish & Chips, the Adelphi Ballroom and, of course, the luxurious Tower Cinema with its double seats – specially designed for courting couples. These changes and the social activities of local people in all parts of the borough during the last century are nostalgically recalled here in a collection of over 300 photographs compiled by Terry Price – the majority of the material originating from his own and private collections.
Paperback 160 pages (October 23, 2003)
Golden Years of Westbrom is a collection of photographs form a time not-so-long-ago. It is not a history book, rather a nostalgic look at life concentrating on that most eventful period in our recent past centred around the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Each picture is brought to life with generous, well researched captions that will rekindle thoughts of how things were in the West Bromwich of our childhood, the West Bromwich of our parents, and perhaps even our grandparents.
Inside this book you will find images of everyday life, including people at work, at play, on the move and in the town centre. Every facet of West Bromwich nostalgia finds a place.
Above all these images are intended to bring back memories of how things were in a time that seems like only yesterday…
Hardcover 104 pages (December 1999)
Robin Pearson, Jean Wade
Traditional pubs and traditional beers are among the attractions of the Black Country, where local independent breweries have survived to meet consumer demand for real ale. The photographs in this volume offer an insight into the history of Black Country pubs going back almost 100 years.
A unique walking guide that concentrates on the city of Birmingham itself and the Black Country – 30 walking routes within the city, in the Black Country and the surrounding countryside, of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty – A strong heritage theme – Walks through Birmingham and Coventry city centres and Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter – Several canal walks in Birmingham – including stretches of canal which pass by Cadbury’s model village at Bournville, Aston Triangle, Birmingham University – Walks in parks, country parks, along riverside paths and disused railway tracks, as well as conventional field paths and rights of way – Several walks along the Black Country canals, including the Galton Valley Canal Heritage Centre and the Black Country Museum
The Black Country has more miles of canal than Venice. During the Industrial Revolution this transport system developed to serve the steel coal, lime and glass industries. Now the canals remain to be utilised as part of the thriving tourist industry. this book includes a photographic and textual history of the canals in their heyday to the present. It will appeal to those with an interest in local history, or readers visiting the Black Country.
David F. Vodden
A pictorial history of the museum’s life and work so far. Situated in Dudley, it is one of the Midlands biggest tourist attractions and celebrates its 25th anniversary in October 2000.
Ghislaine Povey, Richard James
Alton Douglas has been well known in the Midlands for many years as a radio entertainer and a television presenter of such shows as “Know Your Place”. In recent years his carefully planned researched pictorial books on Midland themes have generated sales of over 300,000 copies, and earned him a loyal following. Each book contains between 350 and 400 illustrations, carefully captioned, and presented in a standard A4 format.
A total of 350 black and white images, previously unpublished, make up this overview of Birmingham during the 20th century.
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