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Black Country Festival IN PICTURES: Thousands have a bostin' time at events across the region

By Robert Cox | Dudley entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

'I'm proud to be a yam yam - it's bostin' ay it.'

That was the mood across the Black Country over the weekend as thousands of people attended celebrations as part of the now annual Black Country Festival.

There were no fewer than eight feature events which unified communities around the much-loved Black Country flag, hundreds of which were displayed with pride.

The month-long festival's flagship 'fun day' was held in the heart of Dudley on Saturday.

The town centre around Stone Street Square was packed with families out to enjoy themselves.

Highlights included live wrestling, live music, a classic car display and a giant Black Country deck chair on which to be photographed.

Enjoying the Dudley Fun Day, part of the Black Country Festival, Ashley Colley, 13, Demi-Leigh Mocroft, 10, Tyler Mocroft, 7, and Tegan Mocroft, 8.

Broadcaster Billy Spakemon, who helps organise the festival, said: “The weather was a bit miserable early in the morning but that improved and the whole day gelled and brought the community together which is so important with everything going on at the moment in the world.

“You can always guarantee you will get support when we put on these events. It’s been a day for the community to enjoy their town.

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“Our industry has gone to an extent, which was a community in itself, but because the language is starting to become more relevant there is a resurgence in the pride in who we are and the way we speak.”

The event in Dudley also featured a Punch and Judy show, dozens of stallholders and a play bus for children.

Black Country festival weekend

Dave Brownhill, one of the festival’s organisers, added: “I’ve had really positive comments from the traders. I know the hot pork sandwiches have completely sold out.

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“The stallholders on the square are telling us it has been better than the last two years.

“A big part of the day is reminiscing and there are many people seeing each other and meeting up for the first time in years which is great. It's what it is all about”

Kelly Moses, the landlady at The Old Priory pub, was out enjoying the day with family and friends.

She said: “We have been on the bus which is parked up here and looking at the old cars.

“The day is great. It is a chance for us to pull together and it generates an atmosphere and we all celebrate who we are.”

Among those who paid a visit to the event was Dudley North MP, Ian Austin.

Speaking by the town's market, he said: "I am from Dudley and I love this place. Nobody could be more proud of the Black Country than I am.

"There are lots of place around which claim to have started the Industrial Revolution but the truth is that it started here in Dudley.

"That changed not just the Black Country but the whole world benefitted.

"I want that history to inspire people now and I want to ask how do we get new industry here now and how do we get a new revolution."

Elsewhere across the borough of Dudley, the Black Country Living Museum hosted a 1940s weekend, taking visitors on a nostalgic journey back to the sights and sounds of wartime Britain.

1940's event at Black Country Living Museum
1940's event at Black Country Living Museum

There was a 'teenage market' held at Red House Glass Cone in Wordsley - itself a symbol of the industrial revolution.

Wordsley also held a carnival at King George V Park while at Wolverhampton's West Park there was a huge 'fiesta' featuring monster trucks and a giant fun fair.

The Fiesta in Wolverhampton
The Harry Jones funfair at West Park, Wolverhampton

Down the road in Bilston, member of the local Lions Club organised High Street entertainment which was enjoyed by around 2,000 people.

Stuart Richmond, President of the Bilston and Willenhall lions Club, said: "The day was absolutely excellent. Last year we had three different stages but this year we condensed it to one and that worked a lot better.

"We probably had twice the numbers that were here last time, somewhere in the region of 1,500 to 2,000.

"In the afternoon there was live music from Canis, a band made up of Bilston boys, and come 5pm the town was still buzzing."

In Sandwell there was the Old Hill festival featuring tribute bands and a Del Boy impersonator.

And in Wednesbury there was a music festival headlined by Andy Bennett, formerly of Ocean Colour Scene.

Robert Cox

By Robert Cox
Senior Reporter - @rcox_star

Senior Reporter covering news in Wolverhampton.

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