Express & Star

WATCH: Boris Johnson wishes region a happy Black Country Day

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reflected on the history of the Black Country as he wished the region well on its special day.

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Boris Johnson enjoys a drink in the Lych Gate Tavern in Wolverhampton last year

July 14 marks Black Country Day in the region's calendar, but the celebrations have had to be majorly scaled back due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Prime Minister, who once lived in the region while working as a reporter at the Express & Star, wished the people of the Black Country well as they celebrate the day.

WATCH the Prime Minister's message here:

He visited during the election campaign, enjoying a pint with locals at a pub in Wolverhampton and was back in Dudley recently to speak of his plan to safeguard jobs following the coronavirus crisis.

The Black Country won prestigious Geopark status from Unesco last week because of its industrial and geological history.

In a short video message, Mr Johnson said: "It is over 300 years since Thomas Newcomen first fired up the world’s first practical steam-engine. Where did he do it? In the Black Country.

"As a proud former resident of Wolverhampton, the Black Country, I am very happy to wish everybody a happy Black Country Day."

More Black Country Day coverage:

Dudley South MP Mike Wood had asked Boris Johnson if he had a message for the people of the Black Country on the annual day of celebration of their heritage.

Mr Wood added: "Black Country Day is about celebrating not just our proud industrial heritage but also the strength of our community today.

"Gracie Sheppard’s flag has provided an amazing focus for our regional identity, boosting local business and cultural organisations.

"This is obviously a very different Black Country Day to the normal month-long Black Country festival, but it has never been more important for us to be promoting our local businesses, local tourism and all the Black Country has to offer.

“To have the Prime Minister join us in this celebration of the Black Country is a real boost for our region.”

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