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LGBT+ History Month: “one night after 8 hours of especially difficult work…”

It's LGBT+ History Month in the UK in February. A queer history of the Black Country has yet to be written - most gay histories focus on big cities, and in particular London. The LGBT Archive and the Pride of Place project has gone some way towards restoring a regional focus - it's well worth … Continue reading LGBT+ History Month: “one night after 8 hours of especially difficult work…”

Place to Place: Stan Cullis and Wulfrunians on The Wirral

I don't often talk sport on this blog, but I can make an exception today. While researching my book Forging Ahead, on the Black Country in the post-war decades, it quickly became obvious that alongside the economic and industrial vigour that helped the region hold its head high, its sporting success also cemented the Black … Continue reading Place to Place: Stan Cullis and Wulfrunians on The Wirral

Place to Place: M. Joseph, Smethwick’s Celebrity Chef

M. Joseph, photographed by Carjat for The Sketch, 13 April 1898 This post is (albeit tangentially) part of a series about translocality in relation to the Black Country: see other posts here. Over this spring/summer I've had a lot of fun running walks, workshops etc. for the Chance Heritage Trust, and this is a story … Continue reading Place to Place: M. Joseph, Smethwick’s Celebrity Chef

Place To Place: Translocality from Bilston to Barnsley

Monckton Colliery, Royston, South Yorkshire (source) This post follows the last about 19th century Irish people moving from Joyce Country to the Black Country. Full disclosure - some of this research was for the Black Country Living Museum. Firstly, my thanks to Dr Lucie Matthews-Jones who introduced me to the concept. You can read about … Continue reading Place To Place: Translocality from Bilston to Barnsley

Place to Place: Translocality from Kilmaine to Wednesbury

Lough Corrib viewed from near Cong. © Copyright Joseph Mischyshyn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. One of the things that has linked a lot of my recent work has been the idea of translocality: that is, that when people move they don't necessarily think of themselves as nationals of a certain nation state moving to another … Continue reading Place to Place: Translocality from Kilmaine to Wednesbury

“A somewhat novel case”: a Black life in the Black Country

It's Black History Month, and as I have a little spare time I wanted to share a story that came up during my PhD research. Black history is often (wrongly) regarded as separate to Black Country history, or as something recent, but I turned up loads of Black people living their lives in mid-Victorian Wolverhampton. … Continue reading “A somewhat novel case”: a Black life in the Black Country

Who made the ironwork for the Crystal Palace?

Lithograph by T Picken after an original painting by Phillip Brannan I've been working recently with the Chance Heritage Trust, who are busy whipping up enthusiasm for the restoration of the huge Chance Glassworks at Spon Lane in Smethwick. Chance's were an iconic local employer and had many claims to fame, but the most enduring … Continue reading Who made the ironwork for the Crystal Palace?

Farm to Vaccination Centre: geographies of industry, politics and religion in Tividale

Sri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple, Tividale (Wikimedia Commons) I submitted my thesis on Wolverhampton and its diasporic Irish space at the beginning of December, and my brain is slowly starting to unclog so that I can think about things outside the four walls of my home office again. With a bit of luck I might have … Continue reading Farm to Vaccination Centre: geographies of industry, politics and religion in Tividale

Carnival marching bands in the Black Country

Recently, Stuart Cowley got in touch (coming via Brownhills Bob's excellent blog) to talk about something I knew almost nothing about. He's very kindly agreed to write a guest post documenting the history of children's marching jazz bands in the Black Country (and wider region), and it's fascinating. Without further ado, over to him: Burntwood … Continue reading Carnival marching bands in the Black Country