We cor wait for our Black Country Day

Dudley | News | Published:

Yow cor mek it up - hundreds of Black County flags, an anthem released into the music charts and dozens of ales to fit the occasion.

Three weeks away from Black Country Day on July 14 and proud residents, dignitaries and businesses are gearing up for the special event.

Although launched last year, it is this year community leaders hope the event will kick-off, providing a family-fun testament of all things Black Country.

And although it is 15 days away, celebrations, as well as preparations, have already started.

Among the first off the mark were the breweries Black Country Ales, Holdens, Back Yard brewery and Kinver Brewery - all have produced specially made ales for the event.

Carol and Dave Kelly, from Kinver Brewery, Austin Morgan from Backyard Brewery, Steve Bainbridge from Holdens, Martim Wilkins from Black Country Ales, and Black Country Gaz, look forward to Black Country Day.

More than 200 Black Country flags have also been ordered by Black Country Ales to adorn the inside and outside of the Lower Gornal-based brewery's 25 pubs.

Staff will also be wearing t-shirts to commemorate the event, while only Black Country beers will be stocked over the weekend beforehand, including their own, Chain Ale.


Director Angus McMeeking said: "I think Black Country folk have always had a pride in the area and a desire to shout about it, we have kept that too quiet in the recently, this is a golden opportunity to shout about it."

"The Black Country has dozens of small breweries and we believe the best beer in the country comes from the Black Country."

Others ales produced include Black Wassin by Kinver Brewery, Ay' It by Holdens and Bostin' by Back Yard brewery.

At the Duke William pub in Stourbridge are David Hardcourt, Keith Horsfall,Jo Treby, Peter Lowe and David Craddock


Pubs across the region are getting in the Black Country spirit, including The Duke William pub in Coventry Street in Stourbridge which will be putting on a 'bostin' selection' of eight local ales as well as serving of home made faggots and peas.

Pub manager Jason Taylor said: "We are a traditional Black Country boozer and this even is in keeping with what we do.

"It is a fantastic way to promote everything that is great about the Black Country and we are looking forward to being part of the celebrations."

The pub's promotion will tie in with the Stourbridge Carnival, which will see the region's colours decked through the town. Th event on July 6 will feature a carnival with thousands of people expected to attend including the Mayor of Dudley Margaret Aston.

But it is not just about the booze.

Last month, Black Country band The Empty Can released 'I Vow To Thee Black Country', a re-work of the patriotic classic, 'I Vow to Thee My Country'.

The charity single is raising money for Compton Hospice in dedication of former Wolverhampton City Council worker and magician Steve Evans, who died in January aged 52.

On the first day of its release, the single went to number 11 in the Amazon charts. It is available for 79p, with Steve Edwards, a factory worker in Brierley Hill, among those backing it.

Mr Edwards, who runs the Facebook page The Only Way Is Dudley, said: "We posted the song on the site a few months ago and the response was phenomenal.

"People want an anthem to go with the flag and the national day that we have on July 14. This song is perfect."

Those unsure about their Black Country origins can rediscover the old dialect and create their own nickname.

Staff at Tipton library will be holding the 'Wot's yow Black Country naerme' on July 5. A friends group of the library will send a guide to the Black Country dialect along with a flag to Buckingham Palace following the event.

Manager Robert Hazel said: "The guide is a fun way for local people to celebrate their words and for a new generation to discover lost words."

July 14 was chosen for the Black Country Day due to it being anniversary of the invention of the Newcomen Engine, the world's first steam engine created in the Black Country in 1712.

The flag was designed by schoolgirl Gracie Sheppard last year. The red, white and black colours are a reference to the description of the Black Country by Elihu Burritt, who said it was 'black by day and red by night'.

Dave Brownhill, aged 56, managing director of a promotions company in Netherton, has ordered about 5,000 Black Country flags. He said: "As soon as we get them in stock they sell out." People can buy them at Black Country T-Shirt Shop in Cradley Heath and The Black Country Living Museum.

They have been seen around the world including Afghanistan and Brazil during the World Cup.

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