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You are in: Black Country > History > Local History > What and where is the Black Country?

Racecourse Colliery

The Racecourse Colliery in Dudley

What and where is the Black Country?

Where does the Black Country start and end? Who coined the phrase 'the Black Country'? Read on to learn more about the region.

Where is the Black Country? Where did it get its name from? Use the box, below, to have your say!

It's said that the Black Country gained its name in the mid-nineteenth century from the smoke from the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges. Other theories mention the abundance of coal in the region - the working of the shallow and 30ft thick seams.

View, Barrow Hill, Dudley. Pic: C. Jones

There are many definitions of where the Black Country is

To traditionalists the Black Country is the area where the coal seam comes to the surface - so West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and parts of Halesowen, Wednesbury and Walsall but not Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Smethwick or what used to be known as Warley.

The region was described as 'Black by day and red by night' by Elihu Burritt, the American Consul to Birmingham in 1862. Other authors, from Charles Dickens to William Shenstone refer to the intensity of manufacturing in the Black Country and its effect on the landscape and its people.

Today the Black Country is described, by the government, as most of the four Metropolitan District Council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The term is used as a marketing tool to sell and promote the West Midlands region to the west of Birmingham.

Stewart Aqueduct

Stewart Aqueduct. Pic: BCNS

Arts and literature

The Black Country has a long association with the arts and literature. The poet William Shenstone lived in Halesowen as did the writer Francis Brett Young, who celebrated the industrial Black Country and city of Birmingham in his novels. Poet Sir Henry Newbolt was born in Baldwin Street, Bradley.

Historical Black Country - Gunpowder links

The region also has its celebrated links with historical events - Moseley Old Hall was where King Charles II hid after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

The Black Country played its part in the Gunpowder plot. On the evening of November 7, 1605, a group of the fleeing plotters arrived at Holbeche House near Dudley.

Holbeche was owned by the Littleton family who had been involved in many of the Catholic uprisings, and it was to be the last stand of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators.

That evening, several of the plotters were injured by an accidental explosion which occurred while they were drying powder in front of an open fire.

The view from Beacon Hill, Sedgley

Dusk view from Beacon Hill, Sedgley

Between this evening and morning of the following day, several members of the group fled, while others still tried to rally support from the surrounding area. Just before midday on the 8th of November, the Sheriff of Worcester arrived with a posse of men and surrounded the house.

After several attempts to have the conspirators surrender, a skirmish developed. Several were fatally wounded and the remaining known conspirators were apprehended.

Do you have a Black Country story? Where and what is the Black Country? Have your say, below.

last updated: 11/03/2008 at 10:06
created: 15/03/2005

Have Your Say

How do you define the borders of the Black Country?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Paul B
Tim from Bristol. Our culture, history and identity is completely different from Birmingham and we would never ever accept being part of a "Greater Birmingham". I think the BBC has pretty much summed up the Black Country. As a whole, Wolverhampton and Walsall not in the Black Country as its historic ties are to Staffordshire, although some of the towns between the two are Black Country. Similarily Stourbridge is historically linked to Worcestershire as are parts of Halesowen. I tend to believe that Dudley Borough, parts of Sandwell and the places I mentioned above are the Black Country.

Not all of Stourbridge, for example Wollaston is not in the BC!

Heather Higgins
Live in France now, but was born & bred in West Brom - 'Brammich' We doh seem ta get a menshun from yo lot in Dudley 'n' Odebury! Why not? Nowt wrong with Brammich, except the football team!! Tara a bit!

Stacy Goodenough
I have been living in London now for 4 years after growing up in Tividale. Everyone I meet down south calls me a "brummy" which drives me mental! I am not from Birmingham!! Whenever I tell them that there is a huge difference between Birmingham and the Black Country they just think I am making some kind of racist comment!! I don't think they realise that it is as offensive as me telling some posh dude that has grown up in Chiswick, that they are a Cockney! Or telling someone from Northern Ireland that they are from Ireland! Dont get me wrong - to outsiders it doesnt really seem to matter that much. But when you come from a place that you are proud of, and that has very little recognition, it becomes second nature, and well deserved to get all defensive!

john green
The black country is a region defined not so much by borders but by people. My definition of the black countryman is a hard working and honest man who puts pride and respect above wealth a man of honour who would give his life for family and country. sadly they are a dying breed instead of those men we have a mixture of people who do not understand the qualities i have mentioned let alone displayed them.

marlene watson
The Blackcountry is where a Blackcountry man says it is an woe betide anybody who says any different Described as the Blackcountry but full of the most colourful characters that yow would ever waant ter meet includin me a Quarry Bonker

I was taught that anywhere within 'an hours weary trudge' of Dudley Castle is in the Black Country.Meks sense to me.

June Jones - Canada
I was born and raised in Blackheath, the center of the Black Country. My family still live there and they consider it to be in the Black Country as well.

Mary Murray (new Hodgson)
I was born in Sedgley in 1946 and lived at the shop, 1 Temple St. Lower Gornal until 1948 when my parents bought a shop in Dudley Wood.My mother Rachel ran this shop until she died in 1959 and then my life changed completely. Does anyone remember my family, my brothers are David and George.My definition of the black country was connected to the coat seam and heavy industry of the region. Near to where we lived was Dudley & Dowells who made drain covers and chain, in fact the whole of Cradley was a very industrialised area of chain makers and various furnaces. I have also written an account of my childhood in the blackcountry.

Russell Pearson
I was always yold the heart of the black country was Tipton however i have always thought it was more dudley sedgley way. i am 25 and am proud to be from Cradley Heath, when at uni in Truro Cornwall i was constently correcting locals that i was not a brummie, and once again the pull of the black country has me grounded and the Black Country accent is still going strong I really know as i work in Netherton at the Public Hall

Paul Arthrell
Where’s the Black Country By E.P.Arthrell 2008 (Paul)Where’s the Black Country? It’s in Bushbury Ay it It must be because I was born there I’m a black country Mon don’t you know. He aye never swung a sledge, smacked a dolly or linked a chain, Or slerked his thirst in the Bulls yed or the Annie lie.Oya, where’s Catchums corner me Black Country Mon.Where’s the Black Country? It’s on top of a seam of coal that lies just under groundIt’s where the sky glows red and the foundry chimneys belch black It’s where Pit head wheel spin day and night.Oya, why did they stick the pig on the wall me Black Country Mon.Where is the Black Country, I’ll tell ya that, I’ll tell where the Black Country atIts where Men Women and Children worked until they droppedScraping a livin mekin chain nails locks, digin coal. Oya, have yow learnt Bilston backchat yet, me black country Mon.It’s were I worked with the Black Country menFlat caps and mufflers when you earned the right.Skilled, quick of mind and fists of steel.And how they made those sledge hommers peelOi’, yow had grey pays and bercon bits yet me Black Country monIt’s where Arthur Portmon, Big, Hard and StrongMed me fetch, and med me tarry for 5 years longWelding, Plating, grinding and hommerin.He med me into a Black Country mon.So were’s the black country at, It’s where ever I hang me capOya’ Black Country mon lets go down the forge hommer and have a pint.

brenda handy was hackett
did anyone go to macefields secondary school old hill 1955 1960 love to hear

i waz born and bred in da blak country what rong wid ya all get a grip we live where we live hello to all the hadlingtons in pensnett

John Moffitt
I grew up in Dudley. I was born in 1946 and moved to Canada in 1977Since then, I have had frequent nostalgic moments about my old "stomping grounds"To me, Dudley was outside of the black country. The black country seemed to form a semi-circle around Dudley on the east, south and north but what were the boundaries?On the south, Quarry bank, Cradley Heath, Overend, Netherton, parts of Halesowen maybe, but Stourbridge was not part of it. On the east, Tipton, Dudley Port, Walsall and on the north, Sedgley, Gornall and parts of Wolverhampton.I may be way out of line here but these are my recollections as a kid growing up around there.I was an avid GWR train-spotter hanging out at Blowers Green Station at the south end on the tunnel. I can still smell the smoke and steam now.Regards to you all(PS - I remember legging a boat through the canal tunnel in the very, very early days of the preservation society)

Ken Bristowe
I was born and went to school in Oakham (the council house part) near Dudley. I believed the BC ended where you had to change buses at the boundary near the Baggies ground and included Wolverhampton. I now live near Manchester and insist I am from the BC when people here call me a Brummie

rachel linacre(nee cox)
I was born and bred in dudley the heart of the Black Country.Dudley has to be the centre because of the castle standing proud on the top of Castle HillI have lived in Liverpool for 25 years but I still have my Black Country and I am proud to say so.

Steve Southwick Worcester
I bet you did not know that a family from teh Black Country (Kingswinford an Tettenhall) were amongst the founding fathers of America? If your name is Southwick or if you have these ancestors in your family, look them up on the webb.What you will discover is for some part quite disturbing.A hint; Cassandra and Lawrence Southwick, and then find out who George Southwick is; who printed the Declaration of Independence for Rhode Island and finally who invented the Electric chair.

The surrounding areas centreing on Dudley, includi
I bet you did not know that a family from teh Black Country (Kingswinford an Tettenhall) were amongst the founding fathers of America? If your name is Southwick or if you have these ancestors in your family, look them up on the webb.What you will discover is for some part quite disturbing.A hint; Cassandra and Lawrence Southwick, and then find out who George Southwick is; who printed the Declaration of Independence for Rhode Island and finally who invented the Electric chair.

Linda. Wolverhampton
Hi, My mom always told me when I was a little girl that Hitler said: Your next dirty little Wolverhampton in the Black Country. Is this correct?

Black country borders?
roughly 2 miles N/E/S/W of dudley. The place is of histrical heritage plagued by other town and villages that join the band wagon because they have no real heritage. When all is said and done it's still a district of Birmingyam.

I don't know about this coal seam thing, I have live in the Black Country since I was 4years old am now 65 years and I feel the centre of the Black country is Cradley Heath then you go out from there two or three miles and then you have what I consider the Black Country.You have only to listen to the dialect from the different area's to know what I am saying.I live in Stourbridge.

jane perkins
I was brought up in Willenhall. Is this town part of the Black Country?

the black country is disapeering,the industry has all but gone,the accent has almost gone,but i am still proud to be from the black country.

Peter Millership
The foundries created, as a result of the Industrial Revolution,and certainly the Soho Foundry in Smethwick, where Watt, Murdoch and Boulton worked, has to be included in the Black Country.

Them ay bad bay winda`s, bin em? bay em? Dow talk saft and keep out the hoss rode...if you can understand that then Yome a Blackcountry mon!
I was born and bred in the black-country, and its all dissapering, Owen st, has gone, great bridge, well there's no shops down there anymore, only hairdressers pizza shops, and betting shops, and the spine rd they built has made great bridge so heavy with traffic,well it makes me so sad to think what it used to be, and the dirty hole its become now, the black country dos'nt belong to us anymore, when is this council going to stop destroying our heritage
By any rasonable definition, Smethwick is in the Black Country - the South Staffordshire coal seam reaches that far and there was a pit at the end of Lewisham Road, on the borders with West Bromwich, until the 1950s.The BBC is way out on this one. Like Kath Hughes, I'm aghast at the misleading information given here!Len Webster, Warley

OK People,The Black Country is the Black Country, I was Born and Bread in Dudley all my life, 23 years that I've lived and Ive always seen Dudley has the Heart and Soul of the Black Country. If you ever Engine Search for Dudley, it always mention's the Black Country, so the debate is over.Loving ya Black Country Born and Breads xxxxxxxxx

Dave Leeson
Set a pair of compasses at a scale of 5 miles on a map.Put the pointy end on Dudley Castle and I don't think you'll be far off.(Former member of The Blackcountrymen folk group)

Kath Hughes
Oh my God, I cannot believe what I have just read! the comments would wipe out my rich history of a black country girl born and bred - in Smethwick!!! How can this definition be used? Look at all the industry and canal network in Smethwick. From Chance's, Raleigh, District Iron and Steel, Drop Forge, etc etc. Please do not exclude Smethwick from the Black Country - maybe you shou8ld ask those of us who were born and bred there?

Black Country mon
I've always been led to believe the Black Country is the industrial conurbation between, but not including Brummagem, and Wolverhampton. I've also thought it's name derives either from the coal field it once stood on or the colour of the soil when wet. I agree with most of the other contributors, I live close to Brummagem, but not that close!

many years ago i was told by a friend that wolverhampton vehemently denied being part of the black country until the black country developement corporation came along and started giving away millions of pounds then they wanted to be part of the black country so they could get "their share" of that money.

val d
i think our accent means home to us all

juna ocker hill
wolverhampton has one claim to the bc that is through the old coal mines at willingsworth where there the school lies today. that is a slim claim so let wolvo stay put keep the bc for bc people

karen skelding
My dad Ronald Skelding worked at the Round Oak for many years and it provided work for hundreds of local families. It was very sad to see it close and its closure meant many families struggled. Does anyone remember my dad from Round Oak they used to call him SAMMY TAY POT?

I was flattered to read Mike Wrights comments about me, it was a very long time ago and I retired from Round Oak Steelworks in 1980 and was sad to see it closed and demolished to be replaced by the Merry Hill centre. I am now 83 years of age and still living in Kingswinford. I remember you Mike you left us to join the Police and I think you lived in Dennis Hall Road at that time. Am I right ? Agreat Company caught up in business politics after denationalisation in 1952/3 and a tragedy for the host o f loyal workers who were the best. I came to the M accent !idlands from LONDON and soon came to appreciate the wit and humour of the Blackcountryman even if they did have a funny accent!

Vivo from OZ
Born,Bred & PROUD to be a blackcountry mon.I might live downunder but i did not forget my roots, be proud of who we are and lets not worry too much about geographical boundaries.

the Ole Mon
Hodgy and Mick i agree with your statements entirely.Toolkit i can also agree with most of what you say.Again when Henry viii made reference to the black country therre was no geographical definition like 'these places are the black country'.The 4 'boroughs' incorporate what the government call the black country.All were dependant on each other.wolves & dudley breweries.When at school in the 60s we did a big project on the area.It would be good to teach the history of the black country in the area - then people who have never left their own town might relaise what went on every where else.We all need educatuing before everything is lost for ever.remember the Baggeridge works went at least 3miles into wolverhampton- hilton main and essington works also went deep into wolves. Walsall alos had mining at bentley,bloxwich,pleck.dont forget the part the canals played too.

Clockmill Kid
Read the statement by 'the ole mon' (8th from top)his statement is true. The BC is a much bigger area than many people realize and has to do with the industry in the general area not individual towns and villages. Too many purists about these days!

I don't know why the emphasis on Wolverhampton and other towns on the edge of the Black Country, Dudley has always been the capital of the Black Country.

Bob Surch
I was born in Walsall, a Black Countryman, I now live in Canada but I wholeheartedly agree with Ann Wallace, you can take the man out of the Black Country but not the Black Country out of the man

includestourbridge in BC as they had a rolling mill in Stourton and the tram ran all the way to Kinver,so less of the snobbery you stourbridge lot.

Wolverhampton is part of the black country and allways will be west brom /birmingham no chance

Ann Wallace
I have lived in the Black Country all my life and don't like it when outsiders say that I am from Birmingham. The Black Country accent and the Brummie accent are totally different. You can take the person out of the Black Country, but you can't take the Black Country out of the person. I am proud to come from the Black Country.

paul wolfindale
I used to live in brandhall,and as a kid in 1950 suddenly it went quiet as the founderys went hush , was that a result of the end of the war

celtic jim
Matt can i just point out that Whitmore-reans was built as a separate town and was incorprated into wolverhampton like Bilston.It was an area where many miners went to live as well as many other working class people from the foundries and factories.There was mining there too.Not all mining was legal.And within the last 10years there has been subsidence in the area from previous mine shafts.So like alot of things somethings have been lost in time.Like the fact that Walsall had mining in the 13th century !

the ole mon
as stated by the blackcountry tourism the government called the 4 boroughs of wolverhampton,walsall,sandwell and dudley as the black country.And so they are.Even in Henry 8 time it was the government that called the area the black country.Not the people.Lets face it Sedgley borders wolverhampton and dudley - how many people from Henry 8 court or london would have been there ? So they are referring generally to all that area.Yes some parts didnt start mining,and other industries until later but they would have been associated with it due to their proximity.Remember the motto of Wolverhampton - 'out of darkness cometh light' that should stand for all of the black country which is no more.Yes it is more fashionable at time but thats like anything else.It has become fashionable to be of irish descent now - it wasnt in the 70s.Prosper together or fade away.

K Slater
Anyone interested in Dudley. Kates Hill. Lower Gornal. In the heart of the Black Country 50 years ago would find a series of books by John R Stenson very nostalgic (you can borrow or buy copies from Dudley library).John takes you on a tour through the areas mentioned above, remembering Streets, Buildings and characters, with some excellent drawings of buildings of that time.Lots have “Gone but not forgotten” a titles to one of his books where John takes you on a walk around Wolverhampton Street and the Dock area of Dudley.Very nostalgic reading.

I was born in Walsall, Staffs. To reassure all the Staffs loyalists the majority of the Black Country is still in Staffordshire for many purposes such as sport, non governmental organisations and clubs. We are not Brummies- that is the most important fact!

I was told that Wolverhampton only claimed to be part of the Black Country when the Black Country Development Corporation was formed and started throwing a lot of money around for business in the black country

Jim Yam yam
It is quite clear from reading all the messages that very few people have an idea of other towns history.This is mainly due to the fact that people hardly left their neighbourhoods and listenend to gossip and hear say.If you did a study of the black country like i did when we were at school you will find some of these areas people say had no coal/industry were in fact rich in it.Wolverhampton had over 100 mines in areas such as Goldthorn hill,rough hills,heath Town/dunstall,wednesfield,eastfield etc -Walsall too had mining.Dont just look at the town now look at its past= places change.A refernec from London gazette 1872 refer to wolverhampton as'a place where the ground is black,the sky is black and even the people are black@ now if that isnt black country then you dont know what your on about.Everyone has differnet ideas of wherer it is so:Less of the jealousy join together as the 4 boroughs of the black country.

Celtic Jim
wolverhampton was and always has been in the Blackcountry.Wolverhampton had more industry than all the other towns put together.Look at the 19th century history and all the references to wolvos coal,mines,industry,everywhere being black ! have u seen the coat of arms ?I am from the northwest of the town and i have deeds to my house which show coal mining was done in the past there and there were shafts there.Its not just about the coal but the associated industries like iron,and steel,lock making,guns,traps etc which Wolvo is well famous for.Wolves was in South Staffs which is where it was, Dudley was in Worcestershire but yoh ay gonna tll me it ay in ? Wolves,walsall,Dudley and Sandwell am all part of black country.If yo can find official lines them yam codding ! Doh do what the southerners want and argue- join together as the 4 boroughs of the black country.Lets do some canting to the rest so they know where we am !

Wednesfield wasn't always within Wolverhampton's boundaries - it had its own council until 1966 and some parts of Wednesfield are now in South Staffordshire.

Terry Myring
The Black Country also should include Darlaston and should not include Wednesfield as that was always part of W'ton

Mack P
Born in Quinton 1922 ,moved to Blackheath aged 5 later Rowley &Oakham renamed "Tividale

I disagree with Gary, his history of Walsall is wrong.Walsall well Known for the leather trade, but before that Walsall was know for its engineering and mining,Yam Yams are not from Walsall at all, if anything we are Yo,Yos, ie Yo'A Yo'r.I totaly agree with Mike Wright.I was born in Walsall Staffordshire (Black Country)NOT WEST MIDS so give us back our birth place.To be called a Brumie on Holiday or anywhere else is an insult

Mike Wright
In 1956 I was a yound lad at the old Constructional Dept in Level Street. Also there was a man called R.A. Lockheart(Bob) who was a great bloke. He became the General Sales Manager at Round Oak. Does anyone know what happened to him after the Steel Works closed??

Mike Wright
Born in Brierley Hill. People are the salt of the earth. Proud to be Black Country. Born in Staffordshire. Can we have our heritage back. I am not a West Midlander, but a Staffordshire Lad.

Walsall is not in the Black Country at all it is known to all as the place for the leather industry and thats why the football team is called the Saddlers. We in Walsall have a speech of our own and we have always been known as YAM YAMS. yAM yAM has nothing to do with people from Dudley Lye Stourbridge or tipton (YACK ! )

martyn cd
ask a brummy they will tell yow if yow are yam yam

i was born in oldbury and proud to ba a yam yam god bless the black counrty

Ruth Lock
I live just a mile out side of Bilston and when I was a kid there was an open cast mine right behind our house, it had fences and security all around it but in those days we all had coal fires and on a weekend my mom would say, kid gu and get us some coal, so we would all break through a whole in the fence avoiding security as we went and get on our pieces of cardboard and bomb it down the side of the pit billowing up puffs of coal dust as we went. We would fill up our bags and then climb back up out of the pit and go home. We loved to slide down the side of the pit but as we all know coal dust is explosive so we would occasionally cause dust explosions as we went and get blowed off our card board skiddues.

kevin drummond
having been born and bread in dudley.i thaught i new where and what the black country was.until i started going into pubs.i then found out every black country man or woman have there own understanding of THE BLACK COUNTRY. and each and every one are correct. cus they were born and bread here.

come to Gods Little Acre ie Gornal wood, lower Gornal & Ruiton, not Upper Gornal though. Sorry.I understand Wolves & W Brom were not in the real BC. Be proud all you Black country women & men

Glad to hear Wolverhampton isn't in the Black Country, when will our council remove those stupid welcome to signs.We also don't want to be in the West Midlands. We always used to be in Staffs and that is our rightful place.By the way Dudley isn't the capital of the black country - that honour belongs to Lye. and the black country has nothing to do with coal.The black country is named because of all the heavy metal industries coating everything in a layer of soot, and the air being thick with black smoke 24/7.

Worroh yo lot! I was born in Smethwick which was then in Staffordshire (postal address Smethwick 40, Staffs). Borders changed during my childhood and Smethwick "moved" to Warley, Worcestershire. Now it's West Mids. NEVER in the Black Country! I've worked in the Black Country for nearly forty years, with jobs in Cradley Heath, Dudley and Brierley Hill, I don't consider myself "Black Country", but I like the accent and varied dialects, every town and village is different. Stand up and be proud! At least we're not Brummies!

edward slater
the name blackcountry was coined by an american business man to he neared the area of dudley,he noticed that the soil had gone from red to black, turning to a colleague what do they call this area the blackcountry and the name stuck.

damian from London
Very interesting comments - tho had to read some a bit carefully to understand them. Now I sort of know where the BC is even tho apparently some confusion.It seems quite amazing that there is so much rivalry in such a small area. I guess one day you'll sort it out between you and meantime it gives you something to do.

I agree with Mick that many parts of Wolverhampton are in the Black Country - as well as the areas with coal mines, there were also other parts of the town that had many industries. The one thing I dislike is not the fact that Bilston, Wednesfield and other areas were taken over, but the way Wolverhampton Council has made them lose their identities- it just wants to think of them as "Wolverhampton" and not consider their separate histories and identities. Walsall and Dudley Councils take a very different and more postive attitude as they always consider the distinct identities of the smaller towns they took over. Stourbridge and Halesowen are good examples- no-one really thinks of them as "Dudley".

Oi Mick,Your impressive argument regarding Wolvo being in the BC, because it had umpteen pits- & yer grandad, uncle, auntie & da de da all worked down `em, does not hold any water. There are pits in Yorks, Lancs ,Notts indeed all over the UK, it dont mek-um part of the BC. Also you make the rash assumption that it is all to do with coal,there are many theories as to why the BC, is"Black"coal is only one of them.Although I doubt it`s validity, the one about the Domesday Book, written in many coloured inks, & the place we all love is written up in black.Nice thought.

Its always been popular myth that the more famous and larger neighbour of Wolverhampton had nothing to do with the BC....a sort of elitist preserve of certain historians from smaller neighbouring towns. Whilst I do sympathise with Bilstonians who did not like being swallowed up by its larger neighbour, I think the elitism of some stinks. As for Wolverhampton being too posh dont mek me laugh. Look at your history books, parts of central Wolverhampton affected by coal dust were far worse than central Bilston or oher areas and it has always had the poorest parts of the city even since Bilston was amalgamated.I would also remind people that whilst Bilston was undoubtedly a main area in the whole BC with its 132 coal mines, Wolverhampton/Wednesfield had 73. Many of these were wihin one mile south and east of the town centre - colliery's were at Cockshutts, Old Heath, Chillington, Bowman's Harbour (by Heath Town flats), and Parkfield/Rough Hills, So whilst the north and west of Wolverhampton were NOT BC (just as Smethwick was not - it had just one attempt at coalmining), the south and eastern areas of Wolverhampton (excluding Bilston) certainly were. My relatives worked in mines and subsequently in steel and iron works in Wolverhampton - who the hell are others do deny them that right to be BC born and bred.I guess certain residents like to retain for themselves this character of hard working people.

Tim Grizzell
In all honesty, is there really a difference between "Black Country" folk and "Birmingham" folk.I personally can't see it.........Is that because i'm from Bristol, or is it just rivalry?

Sean Branigan
"Smevik" not beeing in the black country is a shock. From a concerned, now in Austria, born in Smevik (Bolton place) 1964 lad

s crompton
Every one agrees that dudley is the capital of the black country so do i im a dudley bloke. but untill the early seventies duley was part of worcestershire,so you cant say halesowen is not in the black country using the shire arguement ,also stourbridge being a marcket town. To this day the capital of the black country dudley remains a six day a week market town.

hi ya all i am Wednesbury born and bred,went to school in Darlaston, spent the last 30 years living in Telford all my family was born black country, and wolvs and Brum where never considered black country

wolvo is not blackcountry lolbilston born and breedstrong in the armand thick in the head

glad to see wolverhampton is not in the blackcountry, even thou im from bilston, so why does beacon radio say its the black country station .

To Luke, Bilston wasn't always under Wolverhampton, like Darlaston, Wednesbury and Willenhall it was a separate town that was taken over. Many people in Bilston like to see the town promoted as it own town- it is not just an area of Wolverhampton like Whitmore Reans, Penn Fields, Heath Town and Bushbury are.

What about poor old Darlaston - Black Country through and through, but don't even have a postal address of our own, our mailing address is shown as wednesbury (and they are in the borough of Sandwell - so why?

sam mea
i watched central news ,, i think black country is as far as wolverhampton and as far as smethwick , were i grew up as rolfe street baths is in the black country museum. s j meah

luke frm wolvo
i fel that wolvo is in the black country. how can yow people from dudley say we r 2 posh 2 be in the B.C ??!!it makes me angry!!! im a large wolves fan and when i gu 2 the matches we always feel we r in da B.C. i liv in the south of wolvo and i was told only the south was part of wolvo in the B.C. how can people from bilston say that they are in da B.C but wolvo isnt even tho bilston is in wolvo. 2 be fair iv lived in wolvo all my life n iv always spoke wiv a black country accent. all my family do and they r all frm wolvo. when yow gu 2 wolvo market they all talk wiv a B.C accent . so how very dare the people in the centre of the B.C say that wolvo isnt in the black country. if it wasnt 4 wolvo bein in da B.C alot of things wudnt hav happend in the B.C. i will always speak wiv a B.C accent and i also believe i liv in da B.C no matta wat.

Simon B
Sorry keith I thought tividale was in Tipton.

Steve ( Tiptonian )
After reading everyone's comments is apparent there is also an internal BC debate also being fought - the 'heart' of the Black Country.To be honest, the heart and 'soul' of the BC is Tipton. No-one should ever dispute that. Quite a few have agreed with me on this point. Dudley may be the capital, but never the heart. People from Walsall, Stourbridge, Wolverhampton and Birmingham are just Black Country wannabe's. Isn't is just a complete and utter insult to every 'black cuntrymon and wench', in being called a detestable 'brummie'. Hope every 'Black Country' person, even the wannabe's has a nice Christmas and New Year. ps. from Toll End and prade on'it !

We can start to define the borders by putting a gate on the M6 at Great Barr. To keep the Brummies out of the B.C.

freddo 1939
Maggie Thatcher`s govt, formed the B.C Development Corporation - which put Wolvo in the B.C. They poured lots of money in, building the B.C Route which opened up backland for business development,plus industrial business sites in Dudley & other projects throughout the B.C. Look you know & I know Wolvo aint in the B.Cbut Maggies quango has made a lot of money for the area,so lets be big hearted & forgive her. There`s no such thing as "A" B.C accent, there`s lots of `em.I`m a Tiptonian & d`ont speak anything like a bloke from Gornal, who d`ont speak anything like a bloke from Ode-ill and so on.But it gets yer goat when some git calls yer a Brummie, I recently got me own back calling this posh bloke from Brighton a Cockney-- guess what , he day like it.

John Ashcroft
The Black Country will be defined by the people who stand up and say NEVER to the futile attempt to introduce "Greater Birmingham". All BC foke must oppose this insanity.

paul palmer
ar bist.The heart of the Blackcontry is inits name ay it.Rudy BLACKHEATH!!!!!!!

craig warwick
wolverhampton is in the black county

Fil from Bil
BC is generally a 5 mile radius around Dudley with perhaps Bradley at the beggining of it with one of the 1st Blast Furnaces built by James Wilkinson

The best definition I have heard is Stan Hill's - "The Black Country is where the Black Country mon says it is".

I was born in BLACKHEATH in 1940, moved to OLD HILL in 1944 lived there untill 1958, I am proud to say that i am from the black country.i attended MACEFIELDS SECONDRY SCHOOL. nOW MARRIED WITH GRAND CHILDREN have lived here in torbay for 37 years,but allwaysraise my voice to rebuke people when they say i am from brum .

Carl in Amblecote
Worro ar kid. Wull Oyle goo ter Broyerley 'ill. Moost o' wot's bin sed abaert wheer the 'Black Country' bist or bistn't is a load o' cock's eggs! It's all epidemic ay it. The Black Country is onnywheer they loff at Aynuk n' Ayli jokes, 'cos they understond 'em, not 'cos they soundin' straernge. Aynuk; "Weem avvin antie Lil fer tay tewmorrer". Ayli; "Oh ar, ah day eavun know 'er wuz jed!"And remember... them bay bay winders bin 'em!

Len Gough
Before border change.Staffordshire was the blackcountry.

Tipton is the heart of the B.C. Coal for industry andcanals for transporting.What was once the borough ofTipton,had its own electedmayor and council.Gas works,power station and a hive of industry.The council building was called the Municipal Buildings and isstill there today (sedgleyroad)I would say W/ton is onthe border of B.C. Beforeborder change it was not part of the B.C.? I was bornin Ocker Bonk (Ocker Hill)1931 and have lived here allmy life.I have read all thecomments,they are all goodand very interesting.

What everyone should consider is when the Black Country becomes part of Greater Birmingham! It will eventually happen.

maiden name JANET ALLEN born in quarry bank1943,wolverhampton is not the black country.i now live in san antonio texas.

I was born in Bloxwich in 1968 and have lived all my life in the Pelsall/Bloxwich areas of Walsall when ever i've asked older people if Walsall is in the Blackcountry they say no South Staffordshire but when Walsall pinched Darlaston and part's of Willenhall then they were in the Blackcountry when i watch the Saddler's then we sing song's about coming from the blackcountry i find it all very confusing if i venture out of the Midland's and people ask me if i'm a Brummie i alway's say no i'm from Walsall in the Black country even though i should really say Walsall South Staffordshire but it's not worth going through all the explantion's of how the West Midland's pinched some of Staffordshire/Warkshire/Worcestershire and Shropshire (or Salop but that's another argument) i try not to think about if i'm from the Black Country or South Staffordshire when i'm drunk as i get even more confused and stick to the north of Walsall!

bill g
wot a site great !!! I ave lived all my life in the Black country, I travel the country and am often asked if I am from Brum, No way i'll always be a Yam Yam and proud, The old saying is " if you've made a friend of a black country man you've a friend for life"

Den Payne
Matt, Not strictly true about Dudley not taking away the identity of other Towns, I think people of Brierley Hill, Kinswinford, Wordsley and various other Towns around Dudley will maybe disagree. Look what has happened to BRIERLEY HILL glass

Lyn (Wellington witch)
I was born in Halesowen and have lived here in Somerset for quite a while now but will always be a black country girl at heart. The brummies don't even speak the same language as us! My father worked at Walter Somers and I can still remeber the "Big Hammer" sounds while in bed as a girl. One of the nail makers grates in the Black Country museum came out of one of my Aunts houses in Halesowen. As for the reference to Queen Victoria she did the same when travelling through Bridgewater (closed her carriage curtains) so she didn't have to see it. I still think the Black Country gets its name from the heavy engineering and coal mining from many a distant era. Halesowen is very much Black Country. Even if it had a worcestershire post mark once, hav'nt the bounderies and borders changed for many places over the years. Home is where the heart is and I will always be "Black Country: and pround of it.

Steve.H(west brom)
worro yow lot !arm black country born an bred, and ar got one sayin, as did me mom and dad un their parents afower um...Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today, cus if yow like it, yo can do it again tomorrow..see ya aer kids.

I agree with Christina's comment- Wolverhampton has indeed taken away Bilston's identity in a way that Walsall and Dudley never have done with the other towns they took over. Too many people now think of Bilston (and Wednesfield. not to mention Tettenhall)as just "Wolverhampton"- they are, of course, their own towns with their own identies and histories.The idea of the Black Country's boundaries has also been confusing because of the way all four Metropolitan Boroughs are maketed as "The Black Country".

I have lived all my life in Bilston and I feel that when Wolverhampton enveloped the town it took away Bilston's identity and individuality. I have always considered Bilston to be very 'Black Country'; you've only got to walk around the market on a Friday morning to tell that! I have always considered the area that stretches between Bilston, Darlaston and Wednesbury reaching down to Tipton, Great Bridge, Dudley and Cradley Heath way to be part of the Black Country. Wolverhapton was too posh to be Black Country! I've never believed that Wolverhapton, Walsall and Stourbridge areas are Black Country - they want to be part of it today because of our fabulous heritage, but they would have looked down on in the past. Black Country people are in a league of their own; 'salt of the earth' type people, and wherever I got I always let people know exactly where I'm from. Those who dont appreciate the area and it's people dont know what they are missing out on!!!

Daniel Connolly
Within 1 Mile of Dudley Castle

June Dunbar
I don't know where the borders are but my grandparents told me they came from the Black Country and they came from Smethwick.

keith juna jones
i would agree with simon b, but he missed out tividale,ou=therwise the BC IS FROM WALSALL TO DUDLEY TOMJUST THE OTHER SIDE OF WEST BROM

There are two types of people in the world, those from the black country and those who wish they were !!! I think this says it all. Gornal born and bred - The centre of the universe let alone the blackcountry! I for one am sick of outsiders trying and failing to imitate the blackcountry accent.

Richard Bateman
I now live in Walsall, which I have always been led to believe is not in the Black Country. But, peculiarly, Bloxwich is. No reason given, just tradition.

The location of the black country is dictated by the surface coal. Historians suggest that it is more likely that the name existed even before the Industrial Revolution; outcroppings of black coal scarred the surface of the local heath, and the presence of coal so near the surface rendered the local soil very black. Check out if you want a good explanation.

I agree with John J, Bilston and Wednesfield are definately in the Black Country, but they are more than just areas of Wolverhampton- they are towns in their own right- especially Bilston. Sadly, Bilston is often misconceived as being "part of Wolverhampton" and not a separate town with its own history, I don't think the same kind of thing happens with Darlaston and Willenhall in terms of their relationship with Walsall.

John J
I'm Wolverhampton born and bred and I can tell you now "Wolvo aye in the black country!". While Bilston and Wednesfield are the rest of Wolverhampton is not. I believe that the centre of the Black Country lies somewhere between Cradley Heath and Tipton (Ocker Hill) these would appear to have the strongest accents. I believe that parts of Smethwick mark the southern boundary.Most of Walsall with the exception of Willenhall and 'Darlo'is also not in the Black Country. Wolverhampton has always been big enough to stand on it's own feet!

Lye Girl
Being a Lye-er born & bred I cannot understand how any one can say Wolves is in the black country! That's as bad as calling as calling a yam yam a brummy!! Wolves sits on it's own, it's not wanted by us black country folk & not wanted by staffs, they don't even talk like us for a start. I say wolves get your own heritage & stop trying to jump on our band waggon. Black Country my left foot!!!!!

wolverhampton is not a part of the black country.

Benjamin Riches
There's a difference between yamyams (from the Black Country) and Brummies (from Birmingham / Brummagham as we say in the Black Country). And no, Wolverhampton bay (isn't) in the Black Country in my opinion - this is a modern reference, but one that's regrettable for the Black Country in my opinion.Yamyam gets its name from the common 'yow am, yow ay' sayings.

John S
Birmingham born and Black Country bred; I now live in Brierley Hill and work all over the country and when asked, I answer that I'm Birmingham born, Black Country bred; where-ever I go I find that there is no place like home; THE BLACK COUNTRY; every body else is ignorant to each other; where else can you go and still be greeted in the street by "Ow am ya, or were yow bin?"

I live in Dudley, in the Black Country, and have done all my life, and no matter what 'outsiders' say, i have loved every minute of it. the thought of living in places like liverpool or even london, is not a nice thought for me. I dont believe it really matters what the borders are, i agree with the article however, with the towns that are listed as being black country, ESPECIALLY walsall, it is as much a part of the black country as dudley and black heath.

You're very wrong, Lisa.

Walsall the town of walsall is not and never has been black country people just asume it since now adays the joining of the towns mix but in the days when the borders did not over lap walsall stood alone. i believe theorgin of the name comes from henry 8th but the mean changes several times from colour of soil to smoke to pollution. i come from walsall and i am very happy to NOT be in the black country

I was once told that the northern edge of the Black Country was just south of Wolverhampton where Baggeridge Colliery, near Sedgley used to mark the northern edge of the area where coal could be found near the surface. Beyond here to the north the coal is still present but was much deeper, Hilton Colliery (that was) on the Cannock road north of Wolverhampton being the first of the deep pits that make up the Staffordshire coalfields. But I'm from Wolverhampton and happy to describe myself as Black Country.

I'm from West Brom and i'm seein some ppl dispute whether it's BC or not which is clear nonsense - i reckon it's jealous Wolves fans. Theres no doubt Bromwich is in the mighty BC, it's a simple geographical fact. As i've read it, most of Wolverhampton is in Staffs and not the BC. The only parts that are included are Heath Town and then towns within the Wolverhampton borough like Bilston etc. The town centre and football ground are outside the BC official boundary though and lie in staffs.For me, Dudley is the capital but the true BC folk come from Tipton - where i work - as for the chap who reckons you have to be within 4 miles of Dudley Castle well, West Brom is 4 miles away from Dudley with only Tipton in between. Walsall ay the Black Country at all but parts of it's borough is like Darlo. Thers only 1 football team in the Black Country un'all - the Albion.

For the 'Shirests' within the comments - Three Shires Oak Road, Bearwood marks the joining point of Staffs (north), Warks (east/south) and Worcestershire (west) - handy way of seeing the old shire boundaries.

another reason the black country got its name was because when queen victoria was travelling past in the royal train she said " i do not wish to look upon such a black country"

Look m8s - it's ackchelly called the black country 'cos we day see the skoi for tew 'undred yeer!Itsa loff ay it!

Kate Aged 12
I Was Born In Dudley Which Is The Middle Of The Black Country. I Have Only Came ON This Website Because Im Researching For Geography. Thank You For Reading My Comment. Good-Bye.

i think it comes from the coal and the smoke

John Leavesley
I was born at Montague Rd smethwick, and lived for several years at Oliver Rd smethwick. smethwick is not Black Country or B'ham. Its in Staffordshire end of story regards john

John H
The term "Black Country" has nothing to do with Industry (although there was a heck of a lot of it), but it has a lot to do with the "black stuff". Coal. The term was coined in documents dating back to King Henry VIII, so maybe Queen Vic was borrowing a phrase from her ancestors time - but seeing as though she (allegedly) ordered the carriage windows to be covered while she passed through our fair region I don't know how she knew it was Black, Blue or any other colour come to that. You can half hear her saying "Thats where we get all our money from isn't it ? - drive on". Wolvo - ha ha - no chance, likewise Walsall - I'll tell you what, you can have the name that our dear Sandwell Council once mooted, (until we booted)you can call yourselves "the Grey Country" or "the Offish White Bordering On Light Grey Country". Thats as close as you get. Brummies - ya gorra luv 'em - but as for sleeping with 'em - no chance. As for me, Tipton is the centre of the known Universe - always has been - always will be. I know its hard for non-Tiptonites to come to terms with but the Industrial Big Bang happened right here. "He said 'Let there be black, and there was black' - and he saw it and knew it was good, and all the land ran abundant with mushy pase and bercun". And on the seventh day he did rest !!

I beleive that the Black Country to be the smaller towns, many specialising on one type of trade. To say Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley just generalises the area. I'm Darlo born and bred. I don't consider myself Walsall, yet Darlaston is Walsall now. I think there is a north and south Black Country, Dudley, Cradley to the South and Bilston, Darlaston & Wednesbury in the North. Tipton is the Heart and Dudley is the Capital.

John F
Cradley Heath is the heart of the black country, with Old Hill, Rowley Regis, Blackheath, Dudley, Tipton, parts of Tividale, Lye and Quarry Bank as the borders. Anywhere else is not part of the Black Country and I was born and bred in Rowley Regis and proud of it!!!

Nicola Stewart
I grew up in Sutton Coldfield, but was proud to be an honourary yamyam for a few months! Forget the north/south, Birmingham/Black Country debates - the Midlands just rocks, fact :)

the blackcountry is the heavily industrialised areas north west of birmingham! the name blackcountry isnt a real place but a nick name given to these areas to distinguish them from other midlands areas such as birmingham and staffordshire.the real blackcountry as we know it is the areas where the 30ft seams of coal touch the surface,these areas were as follows west bromwich oldbury smethwick tipton wednesbury blackheath cradleyheath bilston dudley and tipton! these facts can not be disputed as the legacy of these blackcountry towns still survive to this day.wolverhampton and walsall are not effectively blackcountry as they dont fall into the catergory i stated above.i was born and bred in whiteheath in oldbury before moving to smethwick and now living in tipton so ive had a real blackcountry upbringing and follow the albion to boot.....what more could you wish for? "english by birth blackcountry by the grace of god"

Stefan Morawiec
I was born in Willenhall, in "a yard" and there is no question that I am a Black Country mon. Many of us from Umpshire acknowledge our role in developing the Black Country and whilst there might be some argument about who belongs and who doesn't, (Hodgy has it right, it's an entity) for those of us who definitely belong, isn't it a pleasure that there are those who may not but claim to be? I am proud to be associated with an area where 'men are men and women are glad of it'. I live in Dorset now and whilst it is absolutely splendid, when I journey up to the Midlands after 35 years of being away, it still feels like home. Banks's beer, a nice chase un uniun cob and a wam day at Molineux, abolute heaven. You have no idea of how lucky you are!

Blackcountry james
The 4 boroughs Wolverhampton,Walsall,Dudley & sandwell are all blackcountry.Birmingham is not Blackcountry.Read and know your history before saying where the black country is not.Wolverhampton had more industry than the rest of the towns put together.It was a jack of all trades where most Blackcountry towns specialised in One industry thats why Wolves has survivied and prospered. There was coal mining as far west as Dunstall in wolves,iron,steel,jappanning,lock making,amongst others. Stick together and be proud to come from the black country otherwise we will all split up and fall further behind the rest of the country.Yam the saerm as me a yoh ?

Louise Randle
Proud to be born & bred in Wolverhampton - live in Melbourne, Australia now. Caught every West Midlands bus / train on the timetable for 20 years and always felt I was passing through the heart of the Black Country as I travelled to Brum from Wolves on the train. I can still picture every factory wall, canal lock and black horse! Overseas, if they haven't heard of Wolves, I usually say "BY Birmingham, IN the Black Country" - they know Birmingham but I don't want them to class me as a Brummie. If they ask how they talk in the Black Country I always do the "Oim from Dudley oi am etc..." so for me - Dudley has always been the heart. Being from the Black Country is a lot more meaningful than just being from West Midlands (although at least the foreigners can work out where that is!). Even though I am Wolverhampton - I feel like Black Country is our family, our neighbours and I would rather be Black Country than just West Midlands or worse, Brummie. I thought Black Country was because of the industrial smoke & pollution - which Wolves had - but if it is the coal/soil I guess we didn't have too much of that - But Dudley is BC capital definitely.

Just moved to Darlaston from Hereford and love it here. From an outsiders point of view, always thought BC consisted of Dudley, Wednesbury, Bilston Cradley, Coseley Wilenhall, but didn't think of Walsall and Woverhampton as part of the BC. anyone know the best pubs to go to in Darlaston?!

Ex-Pat from B'Ham came to live in Black Country in Hales Owen!!in 1970's,my granparents,mother and her ancestors came from and worked in Tipton,Brierley Hill,my house was over 100 years old,had remmants of old nail factory,archway at frontage for the horse an carts to go throu, Walsall,Wolverhamton are definately not Black Country,I have a video BBC Birmingham, which states the Late Queen Victoria named us Black Country as she travelled by train to the jewelery quarter to receive a neckalace they had created to give to her, as seeing the clouds of smoke from the industry, hence she gave the name. B'ham is only trying to latch onto us for their own means, because of the Industry and still the old way of traditions,as they lost all theirs from demolishing it!!!

Simon B
To moosemalloy isn't the black country a reference to the coal mining industry though? although to be fair it is sometimes used as a reference to the industry in the midlands.

Simon B
Dudley, Cradley,Sedgley, Coseley,Tipton, Bradley,Bilston,Moxley,Willenhall and Bentley in Walsall (and maybe a couple of other areas) roughly make up the black country i reckon. Walsall and Wolves tend to be classed as black country by the government as when the boundaries extended for both of them they took in black country areas.

Yo walsall is in da black country so i doh no wot sum of u am on a bou im black country through and through an im proud im any 15 and i was born in da manor hospital in walsall so i shud no tnx x

Hey, since when was my beloved Stourbridge not allowed to join the club? So we havn't got the coal industry, we made the worlds finest glass. If we're going to be considered an industrial region, you cant just segregate us because were not strictly part of the SAME industries. Surely if were proud to consider ourselves members of the Black Country, we should be allowed to call ourselves black countrymen?

irene hale
the black country by edward chitham when satan stood on brierlel hill, and all around he gazed, he said never shall again at hells flames be amazed

irene hale
bilston to me has and always will be the heart of the blackcountry born and bred in bilston and spake it prad of it

Mary Wheat
Live in Canada now - another BC! Grew in smethwick, ancestors emigrated to Smethwick from Cradley and Old Hill! At least that's what they thought it seemed ike back then. I never thought Smethwick was in the 'real'BC, the truly great accents come from the more refined Old Hill, and Blackheath. I went to Dudley Teacher college back in the 60's - never knew I was in the Black Country! Have never been in all the places in the Black Country but will now I know there are more than OH, BH and Cradley.

I hear that Manchester is industrial. Perhaps they like Halesowen, Walsall, Stourbridge and Wolves would like to be BC too?

I'm born black country and always considered it to be Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and maybe Walsall. Deffinately not Wolves or Stourbridge and I keep trying to ignore West Brom (with not much luck). The main thing though is it aint Brum. Aye it great to be popular again!

the black country is the black country and that's all


2 way
i am from Dudley it is a brilliant place i live near beacon hill in sedgley (bout 1 mile) oh yeah i hate the word mush

A Merry Christmas to all, be it inside or outside the Black Country!

i was always told by friends that the black country was lye, duddly, howsowen and im not even from the west midlands myself, but i do know the diffrence between yam yams and brummies even i hate it when people get it wrong, the black country mon's (yam yam) accent is the best! the history of the black country is amazing.

I don't understand why people still refer to Stourbridge as being a "market town". It was a market town around two hundred years ago, but I agree with Hodgy- the town had many industries by the Victorian era that were the same as those of other local towns. Halesowen and even Dudley were also market towns originally.

DJ Andy Hicks
I agree with Andi of the Bonk. All of a sudden, all the people who used to cringe at BC, now want to be a part of it. Well its ours, an we bay gunna let it goo. Where is it? Dudley, Wednesbury, Oldbury, West Brom, Tipton and the like. Stourbridge, NO. Wolves, NO.

Brian John Shortland
14 miles square north west of the BRUMMIES

Brian John Shortland
WALSAwLin NORTHORN to Netherton in South

im 9 and i went on a trip to the black country and it is called the black country because of all the black smoke bellowing from the houses from amy aged 9 1/2

Andi of the Bonk
I am from Quarry Bank. I believe The Black Country to be the areas from Dudley, Wednesbury, Tipton to Blackheath, Oldhill, Cradley, Lye and good old Quarry Bank to be the true Black Country. Wolverhampton Is a seperate place entirely and Stourbridge is just outside - or so i have a lways been lead to believe. Seems like a lot of places are trying to cash in on what some once looked down there noses at!!!!!

Stourbridge never was part of the Black Country.... end of!

Lila Spencer
In response to the various comments of the Black Country dialect being non existent, although I too agree it is slightly hyped up - they don't use 'ow b'ist you' and 'winder' in every sentence, but considering you don't hear people from the surrounding areas using the colloqial language where else does the dialect emerge from?

ivan colbourne
dudley and tipton

Stourbridge is and was part of the Black Country. The claim that it is a separate 'market town' (and therefore not BC) are saft. Look at any C19th map of Stourbridge and you will see iron works, pits and other related industries, just like in Dudley, Tipton etc.... The first steam locomotive to run in North America was built in Stourbridge. Coal was mined on the outskirts of Stoubridge until (I believe) the early 70's (there may be people here like me who remember the Miners' club in Wollescote). The notion of the BC having a center or capital is also ridiculous. The BC came into being through the gradual growth of what were originally villages and small towns on or near the South Staffordshire Coalfield. These places gradually merged together as they grew and do not require a physical urban connection to substantiate their BC-ness. Black Country folk of 1930 would have often walked through farmland to move from one town to another. Even today the BC is not a thoroughly urbanised place, this is a good part of its charm. County boundaries are also irrelevant. The BC exists on the boundaries of Staffordshire and Worcestershire. These boundaries have shifted over the years for various administrative reasons and in any case do not delineate the distribution of coal and iron deposits or industrial activity. More than anything else though, the Black Country is a cultural entity. In this sense it is pointless to try to impose a geographical limit to it.

Simon B
also West Brom is a grey area because although Hill top which is now in West Brom was a black country area I am unsure whether it was in West Brom at the time of the mining. Also most of the people that live in or just north of the black country areas speak with a black country DIALECT, there aren't that many people that speak with a black country ACCENT,it tends to be the older people that speak it with the younger people either having a Dudley, Wolverhampton or Birmingham accent (for instance depending on the person and/or what area somebody lives in Walsall they either share an accent with Wolverhampton folk or birmingham folk/brummies and may or may not speak the black country dialect)and speaking the dialect. Sorry to be patronising to any black country folk. I am writing this for the benefit of anybody from outside the midlands researching the topic.

Tracey Billingham
I was born and raised in Oldhill and Dudley Wood and now live in Kingswinford.As far as I am concerned the road running from Oldhiil cross to the Fiveways in Cradley Heath is the centre of the Black Country if not the Universe!Forget the wannabees of Wolverhampton, Walsall and anywhere on the Birmingham side of the M5 motorway.

The Purple Piglet
Having lived in the Black Country all my life (of Quarry Bank/Cradley stock), I can never remember Wolverhampton being referred to as Black Country until it decided to jump on the industrial heritage bandwagon to promote itself. As a child I recall the industrial area finishing around the Wordsley area. Travelling further west or north towards Wolverhampton took you into countryside and farmland. The spread of the conurbation has lead to a large uninterrupted sprawl of urban development from the heart of the Black Country towards Wolverhampton and beyond but this does not mean they can claim to be part of the original area. Perhaps the best way to define it is that the 'true' Black Country is centred upon the Cradley/Old Hill/ Blackheath area, with the blackness getting progressively less further away from the centre. Using this as a yardstick, I would describe the centre of Wolverhampton as 'off white'!!!

Frank Smith
I am Walsall born and bred and have never believed that Walsall was in the Black Country. We are seperate from it. Years ago my aunt from Liverpool was in a bus queue in Walsall and she heard someone say that it was in the Black Country. She interrupted and said, "Do you think I would come on holiday to Walsall if I thought it was in the Black Country?".

Rob Wood
I'm originally from Bloxwich but have worked most of my life in the Black Country, and have lived in Darlaston, Wesnesbury and lastly Dudley for the last 16 years so I class myself as a Black Country mon. I also agree with most of what is said about the boarders what make up the Black Country area, and get fed up with ignoramuses calling me a Brummie when they hear my accent.

Chris Whitehouse
I totaly disagree that West Brom or places like Blackheath were considered in the Black Country.Being born in Dudley myself,i always say that if you was,nt born within 4 miles of Dudley Castle,You could,nt hold the proud label of being from the Black Country.Walsall...Please..

I'm from stourbridge and i think its part of the black country

Mohammed A
I'm born & bred & PROUD to be from Walsall. I consider it to be part of the Black Country. I got a black country accent & always get called a " yam yam " by brum folk. Which brings a smile to me face as I know im different to them. Black country folk are bostin & hard working, salt of the earth. Theres no better place to find nicer folk!! Ive lived away from home for a few yrs now & always come back once a month for a few days to hear the banter & to see my roots All this talk about Walsall not being part of the black country i beg to differ!! Walsall has had its fair share of heavy industries , alas they are all but gone now but the peaople are geniune black country & no matter of progress is gonna change that. Im black country till my dying day!! ta ra a'bit

I live in Stourbridge, Born in West Brom but lived here for most of my life and I have never considered Stourbridge to be part of the Black Country. I see it as it's own little town and not really part of anywhere inparticular. All of my family are from the Black country and they have always said it wasn't included! I was always led to believe it was Wednesbury, Tipton, Wolverhampton, Oldbury and part of Dudley. Then, my geography has always been a bit ropey!

steve Ballymena / WEST BROMWICH
well the BLACK COUNTRY is in our blood when like me you leave it and live in another country you are still BLACK COUNTRY inside so lets not moan what is and isnt the black country as long as BIRMINGHAM isnt part of it ha ha

Wolverhamton and Walsall are definately not in the Black Country, but I disagree about Smethwick. Wasn't the Soho Foundry in Smethwick integral in the Industrial Revolution? Smethwick had the biggest foundries, a huge glass works, and lots of engineeering works. The Black Country starts west of Brum and that starts with Smethwick.

Holly, from Lower Gornal
A true Black Country person, when asked if they are from Birmingham or Wolverhampton will say NO defiently and correct them with "Im from the Black Country"

I agree with everyone who says that Walsall and Wolverhampton are NOT in the Black Country and that Stourbridge and Wordsley are on the periphery. The thing that gets my goat is the constant omission of word "BUSINESS" from "Wolverhampton Business Airport" which is what the former halfpenny green airfield is now called. Will Wolverhampton stoop to any level to try to gain access into surrounding areas and eventually the BLACK COUNTRY.

I've never kown Wolverhampton to be part of the Black Country, yet I think that Stourbridge, Smethwick and West Bromwich are. Coming from Gornal, part of the heart of the BC, I'm proud to be from the area. Yet I've noticed that the Black Country does get confused with Birmingham, to those outside the Midlands anyway!

Industrialisation in the Black Country goes far back. It was already an area where metal working was important as far back as the 16th century, due to the presence of iron ore and of coal in a seam 30 feet (about 9 metres) thick, the thickest seam in Great Britain, which outcropped in various places. Many people had an agricultural smallholding and supplemented their income by working as nailers or smiths, an example of a phenomenon known to economic historians as proto-industrialisation. By the 19th century or early 20th century, many villages had their characteristic manufacture, but earlier occupations were less concentrated. Some of these concentrations are less ancient than sometimes supposed. For example, chain making in Cradley Heath seems only to have begun in about the 1820s, and the Lye holloware industry is even more recent. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, coal and limestone were worked only on a modest scale for local consumption, but during the Industrial Revolution by the opening of canals, such as the Birmingham Canal Navigations, Stourbridge Canal and the Dudley Canal (the Dudley Canal Line No 1 and the Dudley Tunnel) opened up the mineral wealth of the area to exploitation. Advances in the use of coke for the production in iron enabled iron production (hitherto limited by the supply of charcoal to expand rapidly. By Victorian times, the Black Country was one of the most heavily industrialised areas in Britain, and it became known for its pollution, particularly from iron and coal industries and their many associated smaller businesses. The area soon gained notoriety. Charles Dickens's novel The Old Curiosity Shop, written in 1841, described how the area's local factory chimneys "Poured out their plague of smoke, obscured the light, and made foul the melancholy air". In 1862, Elihu Burritt, the American Consul to Birmingham, described the region as "black by day and red by night", because of the smoke and grime generated by the intense manufacturing activity. The area is popularly said to have got its name because of pollution from these heavy industries, which covered the area in black soot and led to the name of The Black Country. There is a famous but dubious anecdote about Queen Victoria ordering the blinds lowered on her carriage as the royal train passed through the area. However, historians have suggested that it is more likely that the name was given earlier, arising from above-ground outcroppings of black coal seams that scarred the early heathland. Also, the coal seam just below the surface meant the soil in the area was very black. It is said that J.R.R. Tolkien based the grim region of Mordor on the heavily industrialized Black Country area in his famed novel The Lord of the Rings. Indeed, in the Elvish Sindarin language, Mor-Dor means Dark (or Black) Land, and is sometimes even referred to within the novel as "The Black Country".

I was told in Junior School - many many years ago that the Black Country is called the Black Country because Queen Victoris stuck her head out her carriage window and said 'My, my this country is black ....'

Reg Walker
I am Black Country Born and Bred originally from Moors Mill Lane, Great Bridge, Tipton STAFFS!!. I now live in Wordsley Nr Stourbridge WORCS!!.I never can and never will except that Wolverhampton is in the Black Country, and I always believed that Wordsley / Stourbridge were just outside the Black Country on the periphery. However I am now beginning to change my opinion as I have been working in the garden all day and I am riffy. The ground in aer back yard is as black as the grate, so it must be in the black country.

David Bartley, Black Country Wordsmith.
AN ALTERNATIVE A TO Z OF THE BLACK COUNTRY, BY DAVID BARTLEY. A is for Amblecote - Let's make that crystal clear. B is for Brierley Hill - The Round Oak works stood here. C is for Cradley Heath - Where Buglers purse their lips. D is for Dudley Port - The port that has no ships. E is for Eve Hill - It's near to Dudley town. F is for our footballers - Remember Bomber Brown? G is for Gornal - Where the pig sat on the wall. H is for Harrison - The best poet of all. I is for industry - Our workers bust a gut. J is for Joe Darby - He used to jump the cut. K is for Kingswinford - The home of Geoffrey Bubb. L is for The Lye - Delicious Balti grub. M is for Mushroom Green - Where fun guys hang about. N is for Netherton - Ma Pardoe's ale and stout. O is for Ocker Hill - Once famed for cooling towers. P is for Primrose Hill - The place named after flowers. Q is for Quarry Bank - It's near to Merry Hill. R is for The Rowley Hills - The views give such a thrill. S is for Stourbridge - World famous for it's glass. T is for Tipton - Sheer Black Country class. U is for Urbanites - Folk like you and I. V is for a Vindaloo - You'll get one down The Lye. W is for Wednesbury - Where churches stand so tall. X is for X-Rays - Just nip to Russells Hall. Y is for Yesteryear - The pride is there to share. Z is for the Zombies - The few who do not care. David Bartley.

the black country is my home town :)


Nick Smith
Wolverhampton is commonly presumed not to be part of the Black Country except the Bilston section which has subsequently been integrated. This presumption is wrong, there was much shallow coal mining (gin pits)in the south and east parts of Wolverhampton, such as Old Heath, Bowmans Harbour, Heath Town, Monmore Green, Parkfield and Ettingshall. Bilston and Bradley had deeper coal which required full excavation. On th eother hand all of north and western Wolverhampton (the bulk of it) are not Black Country. So in conclusion, irrespective of what is popular belief, certain areas of Wolverhampton, as well as Bilston and Wednesfield of course, are as much Black country as anywhere.

To Steve, I didn't mean that all of Haklesowen was rural- anything but- I just meant that theborough of Halesowen contained some rural areas which remain in Dudley's authority. The Manor of Halesowen also included rural areas. It's similar with Stourbridge- which was once a market town, but was industrialised quite early on.

Halesowen rural? I've never heard of coal mining and nail making being classed as "rural". Perhaps people have forgotten that you needed coal to run industry in those days. Prehaps someone will decide to class Walter Somers as rural as well!!!

u go Sonya Roper tipton is the best and the hart of the black country i was born here and expect to die here its the best

Paul Taylor
I am Australian born to parents and siblings all born in the Black Country. My roots are well and firmly entrenched in the Black Country, and am proud to say so. Cmon you Wolves!

There are two types of people... Those from the Black Country and those that wish they were.

To Mark, you could be right about Halesowen. Boundary changes have definately altered the perception of the Black Country. The borough of Halesowen stretched into rural Worcestershire, as far as the tiny village of Illey, near Romsley and in fact Dudley Metropolitan Borough still stretches to Illey. I've also heard that the old Manor of Halesowen covered a very large part of rural Worcestershire.

Will Hopkins
What sort of whale do you find in the cut? A bicycle whale.

To Matt, with regard to your question relating to Halesowen, I could not say for definate whether or not it should be part of the Black Country. It is possibly another "grey area" like Stourbridge due to it's heritage prior to the industrial revolution. Indeed, it was a rural town which when it was a manor, it was affliated to Clent and the Lyttleton family who bought the estate, hence the association with Hagley and indeed Worcestershire. However, as the industrial boom started the rural community was replaced with the industrial jobs, namely nail making, hence it's association with the Black Country. Possibly another agrument is to do with border/boundry changes in the last 50 years?

Sonya Roper
I was born in the Black Country and am very proud. All my ancesters come from there too..I live in Tipton, and i HATE it when people call me a yam yam..i'm not a Brummie, I'm a BLACK COUNTRY WOMAN. Tipton is the heart of the Black Country.

Daniel Scriven
black country is my home .. i dont care what anyone has to say about it. its my home to me and my generations of family an will be for a long time. i live in wordsley. by stourbridge and its a great place to live in. i dont care what nanyone will say.

To Mark, what are your opinions on Halesowen? I have often heard or read that it was also originally a market town in Worcestershire, so, in your opinion, is it also not part of the Black Country? I've also heard Halesowen had a very rural background to begin with.

bill phillips, wollongong
there was this kid leaning on the canal bridge at friar park, crying. a oasser by said what you crying for, the kid said "me mate,s fell in the cut", the passer by said " i cor see him", the kid said i mean the mate off me bread.

Ron Anthony
I agree Wolverhampton is not part of the black country and we should alter the signs back to just Wolverhampton its only because the boumdries were altered to include Bilston as they started to call us the black country

tony hughes perth western australia
hi im formerly from tipton and i think the blackcountry is west brom and dudley side of the m5 wednesbury side of the m6 and as far north as bilson not wolverhampton or walsall

Malcolm Evans
Now living in Cyprus, I always feel proud to tell any one I come from the Black Country, although many haven't got a clue where I'm talking about! I was born in Langley & I was always under the impression that the "Official" Black Country was any area within 5 miles radius from Dudley castle?

bill phillips
i always thought it was where the other bloke lived,iwas born in roebuck street, west bromwich, and i call myself a black country man because i want to be.

sick of being away and people saying hes a brummy when i was born and bred in dudley example in spain getting on a boat trip a girls says hes a dummie brummie shes never seen me before birmingham is ten mile away

To Sarah and Philip, if you do your research you will discover Stourbridge was never classed as the Black Country. It was originally a market town in Worcestershire with a rural background which changed when the French came across to commence the glass making. This is where confusion reigns, Stourbridge may be on the borders of the Black Country, but it is not part of it. More recently with the conception of the Dudley MBC and boundry changes, Stourbridge was swallowed up, hence the Dudley postcode!! If I had my way, Stourbridge would again become a council in it's own rights back in it's native Worcestershire.

Stourbridge should definitely be has a Dudley postcode after all.

Philip Haddon
Stourbridge is definately Black Country,which was never an exact description,it has to do with the dialect and the areas particular history, including the Industrial revolution

jo gordon
I am a true black country wench.I could see the castle from my bedroom window and got fed gray pays un bacon by my nan!I now live in hampshire and miss the black country folk.Honest, hard working and salt of the earth.I fight my corner when called a brummie and take offence to be so!I have to visit every so often to hear the accent and eat the best pork scratchings in the world.I'm proud to be a black country babby!

katrin watson
we ay brummies get it right!

Chris B
The Black Country is mainly the towns to be found in Sandwell and Dudley, not Wolverhampton or Walsall, I'm a Yam-Yam from Oldbury and can see the old mines in Rowley from my window!

Frank J Bartling
Goodday to you all! I,m a Dutchman from Dudley now living in Holland since the 60,s.To me the Black Country has always been the area between Brum & Wolver- hampton &Walsall & Stour- bridge,correct me if I,m wrong!Yo Black Country,you will remain with me forever! FJ Bartling,Hilversum ,the Netherlands

Trevor Brown
I Live in Queensland Australia now but con orwiss tell wheer Black country folks come from I met a Bloke at work and he said that he kerm frum Brum, I said yo doh you come from somewhear west of there he said yoer rite om from Oldbury ah kid

i am a proud yam yam from west bromwich-wednesbury border and consider myself black country and very different from the brummies who's accent has generalised the whole west mids. as i work away a lot many people mistake me for a scouser rather than a brummie!

tony hill
I have been living and working in Germany for 26 years, with my wife. Every time I return home, to Quarry Bank, the Black Country seems to have grown bigger and bigger, with Welcome to the Black Country signs all over the place. Cow me! there's even one in snobby Hagley - a place that didn't want anything to do with us previously. My personal definition of the Black Country is to look from the top of Dudley Castle, down or up towards Clent, everything in the dip is the real Black Country. The borders are roughly the A458 in the south, the A4101 in the north, the A491 in the west and the A459 in the east. Over the other side of the hill, north of Dudley, is either Wolverhampton or Birmingham which is NOT the Black Country. Stourbridge, Halesowen and Rowley Regis are also NOT the Black Country. So keep out of our back yard!!

John Wyatt - Canada
For those interested in the Round Oak Steelworks, you may like to know that Limestone that was used in the making of the steel was taken from the Seven Sisters Cavern under Dudley Castle. It was taken by narrow boat through the Netherton Tunnel. To power the narrow boats through the tunnel, The Bargee (Boat Mon) would lie on his back on his cabin and leg it through the tunnel, by walking on the tunnel roof. 40 odd years ago I suba dived in the Seven Sisters tunnel where the water was as clear as gin as all the sediment had settled out of the water. The caven is called the Seven Sisters because of the 7 large pillars that are supporting the roof.

Andrew Moss
I was born in Hallam hospital West Brom in 1951,My mother was from wednesbuty and my Father from Pelsall where i grew up and went to pelsall secondary school, I Moved to East London in 1972 to marry and have lived in Canada and Usa, but i am and will always be a black country man, There is truly no place on earth like the black country, gud on ya mi oad cocka

I'm doing the industrial revolution in History. The assignment is to produce a booklet based on teh question; How Hard Was Life in the Black County. It's okay i guess. The information on this was helpful, ish. Need more sites? x

can you explain why smethwick baths rolf street is in the black country museum

dandy from russals hall
the pic from barrow hill, is wrong. that is top church dudley. you can not see that from barrow hill i live by it and walk my dog up there 2 hours ever day. the view is far more spectacular then that.

Will Hopkins
I was born in Hallam Hospital West Bromwich, grew up on the Yew Tree estate, Walsall and went to school in Wednesbury, does this make me a Black Country man.

Brian Hickman
Why doh anybody mention WEDNESBURY, yow doh get beteren WENSBURY as we call it, bostin part of the Black country, born un bred here all me life in Friar Park, freindliest folk yow wow find anyweer.

Kerry, Tipton
I was led to believe that the Black Country was so named due to the continual blackness of the skies at the height of the industrial revolution. I was born in Tipton, and still live there today. I am proud to be from the Black Country!! The only annoying thing is being called a 'brummie' by silly people who don't know the difference!! =0)

Dennis Blades
As a proud Black country lad, I have never excepted Wolverhapton as being part of the Black Country. But when you drive into Wolverhampton there is a sign saying 'Welcome to the Black Country', if they are proud to be Black Country I am happy to make them honoury members.

Paul Hubball
Gornal was the place where you sat the pig on the wall to watch the band go by!

AD, Rowley Regis
It made me smile to read the comments regarding the Black Country. So many of you are proud to have come from the area, but no longer live there! Thankfully it is an area no longer in depression and infact becoming a very desirable are to live, as the house prices reflect.

Some books I have read, one of the Black Contry Elites, the other a book af photographs by Alton Douglas state that "Wolverhampton, Walsall, Smethwick, Stourbridge and Halesowen" are at the edges of Black Country. This will still cause arguments, though. I consider some areas of Wolverhampton to be in the Black Country, such as East Park, Deansfield, Heath Town and Fallings Park, but not Penn, Bradmore or Finchfield and definately not outer districts like Oxley and Pendeford. I'm referring to actual areas of Wolverhampton, not places such as Wednesfield that the council took over. I would agree that Wednesfield is definately part of the Black Country. "Mark", you said about Stourbridge originally being a market town in Worcestershire- wasn't Halesowen, also in Worcestershire, origianlly a market town? Also, I believe that Aldridge, Brownhills, Pelsall and the surrounding areas have never been historically part of the Black Country, they were actaully on the Cannock coalfield. I've read a book called "The History of Staffordshire" from the 1920s and it states "Aldridge, Brownhills, Pelsall and Walsall Wood are the mining villages of Cannock Chase"

Willenhal and Darlaston are Black Country towns. Why are they not mentioned?

I come from Wolverhampton, which never was and never will be,in the Black Country.I now live in Quarry bank (or Bonk),which together with Brierley Hill ,Cradley,Netherton, Dudley and Gornal ,most definitely is!

Phil , USA.
My Granmother always defined the Black Country as the area bounded by Dudley, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.

Someone said that wolverhampton should never ever be considered the black country. However that is not strictly correct. If you read on the article what is considered to be definite black country wednesfield is listed. In todays boundaries this falls under wolverhampton, theres PARTS of wolverhampton ARE black country. I was born and have always live din wednesfield and consider myself black coutnry to the bone.

R Gutteridge New Zealand
I was Born in Coseley (Rosevill)and agree with T Millard, Coseley is part of the BC and coverd a large area some of the places mention in the list I dont think are in the BC but like to think they are.

my great grandand worked at the jubilee pit in west brom my nan told us stories of that and the canals live in devon now but i am proud to have been born in the black country (smethwick)

Is there anybody out there who remembers "BROOKES ENGINEERING TI LTD" rounds green, Oldbury 1957-1980. Memories appreciated.

To "V.Dudley" I am pleased you are proud to be Black Country, but I stand by my comment that Stourbridge was originally a market town of Worcestershire. Live and let live.....

I disagree with the boundaries. I was born and I have lived in Wordsley all my life and I consider myself and I am proud to be Black Country.

i need to no more about the Round Oak steelwork as you have told me nothing!!!!!!! You should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!

Margaret Mansell nee Roberts
I was born in Oliver Road Smethwick with M&B and the laundry at the bottom of the road.Iwas always told that we were part of the Black Country because of the heavy industry that surrounded us. My great grand father was a fireman whose plaque is in the fire station.

MERVYN HOLLOWAY AGE mervynholloway@btinternet.c

I love the black country!And, i disagree!I've lived in Stourbridge all my life-but i am still black country at heart, as my dad came from dudley!!!

T Millard
All the talk in the Black Country and no where is the area of the Parish of Coseley mentioned it was also an important part of the industrial area of the black country I was born a Coseley man and very proud of it and hate being associated with the sandwell borough i still live in the area that used to be part of coseley on the sandwell wolverhampton boarder.

kevin lewis
im workiong in norway for most of the year but always return home to sedgley.

to julie, your nan was wrong, Walsall is in the black country, no industry! Bates'- metal finishing,Chamberlin@Hill- foundry works, and all the coal from Bentley, Pelsall but name a few.

Marlene Watson
The Blackcountry is wheer a Blackcountry mon says it is!

aimee aged 14
plz help me i need to know as much info on round oak steel works as possible

My belief is that the Blackcountry was called so because of the thick seam of coal which lies underneath it. Industry was developed here because of the wealth of natural resources. When I was a child Round Oak steel works was known as 'the Earls' because it was owned by the Earl of Dudley. As a child, I used to watch the sky go red when the furnaces were opened at night. My grandfathers and their fathers worked there my mothers ancestors coming over from Shropshire to find work in the industrial revolution. I was born in Merry Hill when it was a street with houses in it. I am proud to have been born here and have made my way in the world. Try reading the local history books of the Blackcountry - there are many of them and they are fascinating - or join the Blackcountry Society. Brierley Hill was an important town in the industrial revolution. The Blackcountry did not include Wolverhampton or Stourbridge- which was once a market town. It seems fashionable to belong here now(but it's almost disappeared!!)

V. Dudley
Please inform 'Mark' that Dudley was also in the county of Worcestershire before West Midlands was introduced. I was proud to be born in Dudley Worcs. As well as being blackcounty. And now you can see I have a very apt surname!

john freeman
So pleased that someone has mentioned round oak brierley hill.I have been tracing my ancestors. There name was stanyard does anyone know of them from 1800s or any useful web sites for such.

J Reeves
I have to disagree,Smethwick is very much part of the black country. Names of some of the companies;- Avery ( James Watt foundry) Evereds. Smethwick Drop Forging. Dartmouth foundries. Hopes. Carriage works. District Iron and Steel. Phillips Cycle Factory.

John Abbey
Its my first time here, and I am highly delighted to be able to pick up some of the threads of my past, I live in Yorkshire now, but I was born and lived in Oldbury for the first 24 years of my life and consider myself a blackcountry man wherever I might be. Now I like many others believe that Industrial waste ie: smoke and dust etc was the reason for the term Blackcountry, but who coined the term will never be known, so why blow your brains out, just tell the world your Blackcountry and proud of it. Oh by the way, why tell us in your introduction to this page that we should use the term Blackcountry as one word and then print it as two, Tut Tut

Dennis - aged 87.
Not going to ramble on why i think the black country is called the black country but the earliest reference ive found is from a book called Its only Life by J.A.Bastable. I'll let you all see it for yourself rather than me give you the answer.

Philip Australia.
Cradley Heath & Old Hill, because of the huge amount of chain making mainly done in the out houses at the back of the houses'

mick turbo
stourbridge may not be in the blackcontry but being on the edge of the area it is whear alot of the oweners of the factorys lived .

could anyone tell me any info on the round oak steelworks? thanks

coal mining in the Black country covers the areas of Dudley,wolverhampton and stretches around West Bromich

the black country is made up of dudley, tipton, wolverhampton, tividale, bilston, smethwick, walsall, brierly hill, quarry bank and netherton. It is named the black country by foreigners when they saw the smoke make everyones faces black.

The black country is called so because an american came over here and called it that because of all the smoke and pollution making the skies black and dark.

The black country is called that because all the coal was settled on the greenery, which made it black.

Stourbridge should never be included. Until the introducion of the new county of West Midlands, Stourbridge was always in the county of Worcestershire, something I am proud of. I am sure the "true" Black Country folk feel the same way.

Stan Hasketh
Must include Darlaston but never ever Wolverhampton

I think you will find that the Blacke Countrie was named so by King Henry which was long before the industrial revolution. This was in a history book and I will try to look up the reference for this. I think it was localised around Rowley and Cradley. It was called so because the surface coal made the ground black. Wolverhampton was never in the black country its history was in sheep farming. I can understand that once the coal was mined and used it made the atmosphere black and people would start 'expanding' the Black Country though.

I have lived in Walsall all of my life, and my grandparents were from Darlaston. They told me that Darlaston was in the Black Country, but Walsall was not, as Walsall's main trade was Saddlery, not polluting industry.

Cradly heath has loads of coal mines but in tipton they have all the main coal entrances, and dont have thick coal like the black country has.

does anyone now any names of coal mines in the black country 01/09/2005

re Ian Beach's map - SPOT ON. BBC announcers please take note! "Today, in Wolverhapmpton in the Black Country..." !!**!!

Lye is definately part of the Black Country,Dudley is only the "capital" in the minds of it's council who have been stealing from everywhere to try and make out it's important ie it's now Dudley Glass and Crystal etc

Jason Lavender
obviously dudley is the capital of the black country. wolverhampton have just jumped on board to bask in our rich history. wolverhampton.....really!!!

jim the lad
All of them areas mentioned are Blackcountry.Its due to the black soil,industry,and coal.In the old Books from the 19th century Wolverhampton was always considered the Capital(remember London is the capital of England but its not the centre) Coal mining was in Wolverhampton,walsall,Bloxwich,Wednesbury amongst other places.Instead of trying for one upmanship embrace the fower boroughs of the Blackcountry and keep the name afloat. Wim all the saerm round ere and we all tek from one another even doh we doh all spake the saerm.

i have lived in the black country all my life,from what i understand it was named black country because of all the pollution during the industrial age in the early 20th century.

m golding
Oldbury,Rowley,Netherton at the heart and surrounding areas of approximately 10 miles, ware the locals cor tork rite but theyr the salt o the earth

janice capewell
you have left out brierley hill ,this should be mentioned as round oak steel works used to in the heart of brierley hill

i was told by a relative that the black country was also named not just because of coal/industry but because of queen victoria when she passed in her carriage she used to shut the curtain which were black, can any1 shed any light on if this is somepart correct or not? Thanks.

malcolm Evans
i now live in cyprus, but i lived in the black country for 50 years. The official border for the black contry is 5 miles radius of "Dudley castle".

dave turner
as any one looked at the map of friar park ..if you stood in the centre of friar park you can only leave the estate by crossing water canals ..brooks .. it is surrounded water ..could friar park have been a strong hold hundreds of years ago cause of its fact that water has to be crossed to gain access or to leave the estate ...has any one noticed this .as i have lived on friar park all my life an with a true friar park name of melia ...i know what im talking about ....

sheila dodd (nee Sharman
part of the Blackcountry stopped at the Boundry by the Albion Grounds.I am Bcnty tho I live in Nz now born and bred in West Bromwich.Still have a strong accent,and proud of it.No KIWI twang after 40 years.

i have always believed and told that it is black country because of all the smoke and everything from the factories in mid 19th century etc...

Actually, I am rather sick of the Black Country being wrongly defined. Contrary to popular belief, it was not given its' name because of the industrial revolution. It was in fact referred to as the black country by Henry VIII who gave Rowley Its' royal charter,thus enabling it to become Rowley Regis. The area then known as the Blacke Countrie was Rowley,Blackheath, Oldhill and Cradley. It was so called because of the black soil, caused by coal being so near the surface. Wolverhampton, Wednesbury and the like, were only ever called black country because of the industry. People living there do not speak the Black Country dialect.

The four Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton make up the area internationally known as the 'Black Country'. Says the government /

Ian Beach
My definition and map of the BC

Margaret Hill
I believed as a child that I lived on the edge of the Black Country in Stourbridge and that patrts of the town e.g. Lye and Amblecote were part of the Black Country

My knowledge is that it the name the Black Country was derived from the black soil found only around the named area from the above mentioned coal seem. This naming was older than the actual industrial naming.

Steve Whitehouse
I have always been led to believe that the black country was any area lying above the south staffs coalfield.

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