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How To Spake Black Country This Christmas

Wednesday, 28 November, 2018

Taych ‘Em How To Spake Black Country This Christmas With This Quick Guide To The Black Country Language… Christmas Style.

1, “BIG AS A BONK OSS”
Means ‘ A fat un’ & What You Will Be After Christmas Dinner!

2, “LUMMOCKS”
The Clumsy Member Of The Family Who Falls In The Tree!

3, “KAYLIED”
Drunk
(Like Ower Nan After ‘Ers Been At The Sherry)

4, “BLARTIN’”
Crying,
What The Babbies Will Be Doin’ When Yow Ay Got The Right Batteries on Christmas day

5, “TAIRTERS”
Potatoes,
You’ll be eating lots of those round a Black Country Christmas table

6, “BOST”
Broken.
At least 1 New Gift Will Be Bost By 12pm Christmas Day

7, “FIZZOG”
Face,
Yow’ll Be Stuffing It & The Kids Playing It

8, “THE CUT”
The Canal,
Where Yow Goo To Walk Off Ya Dinner

9, “NAIRUN”
What You Say When Mother Asks If You Want Parsnips Or Sprouts
“ I Dow Want Nairun”

10, “IT WOR ME”
It Wasn’t Me.
Said Right After Summat Is Magically ‘Bost’

11, “BOSTIN”
Great…. ‘Ave A Bostin’ Christmas Folks!!

Get The ‘How To Spake Black Country Christmas Card Below:

black-country-christmas-spake card

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15 Words and phrases you’ll only understand if you’re from the Black Country

Friday, 3 February, 2017

Do you know your Riffy’s from your Donnies?

If so, here is a short list of 15 word’s or phrases you’ll only really understand if your from the Black Country…How many do you know?

  1. Loffin’
    -Laughing, we’m always avin’ a loff!
  2. Blairtin

-This refers to crying, usually heard when trying to calm down a screaming child, Stop ya Blairtin!

 

  1. Bostin!

-if something is particularly excellent, we say “it’s bostin tha ris!”

 

  1. Gorra cob on

-Used to describe someone who is in a bad mood

Gorra Cob On

 

  1. Cor be bovvered

-I was going to give a really interesting explanation of this one, but….I cor be bovvered!

 

  1. Bost

-A word meaning broken

 

  1. Gulley

-A small alleyway or the gap between two houses

 

  1. Cobs!

-not barmcakes, not baps..them COBS!!

cobs

  1. The Cut!

-The black country has a beautiful network of canals, but we call it the cut.

 

  1. Nahhhh!

-the Black county’s own way of saying no

 

  1. Tatters

Not to be confused with taters (potatoes) tatters are men in lorries that drive around playing a bugle on a Sunday morning, looking for free scrap metal.

Tatters Meaning

 

  1. Riffy

-Another word for dirty, no-one likes a riffy git!

  1. Tay!

-We don’t drink tea in the black country, we drink a cuppa tay!
…Unless yow’m being called for ya tay…that’s different.

 

  1. Saft
    -a word meaning silly, stupid or out of the question “yam saft!”
    Bonus– someone saft might also be referred to as a ‘daft aypeth’
    Daft Aypeth
  2. Tara A Bit
  1. -That means this list is over…. & Goodbye 🙂

CHECK OUT LOADS OF BLACK COUNTRY GIFTS ON THE LINK BELOW

Black Country Gifts

Or See the Black Country Dictionary Here

 

Black Country Canals

Thursday, 15 December, 2016

 

The canal systems of Britain were in its heyday the motorways on water.

Traffic from all over the isle would pass goods, post and even prisoners via the waterways.
The Midlands canal system which includes Birmingham and the Black Country was one of the busiest in Europe.

Illegal booze and arms were smuggled back and forth (as portrayed in the BBC drama “Peaky Blinders”) , industries relied on the canal system to deliver goods to sell at high prices in the South, and eventually all this come to halt with the railways and eventually motorways which Industries relied more and more on.

 

Through careful conservation, The canal of the Midlands have been preserved, taken care of and refurbished for all to see and use.
They are still used to this day, but more now for canal boat homes, which in the summer season are filling the waterways with holiday goers.

 

I would like to focus on a few important Black Country canals and why they are so important to the history of the Black Country Industry.

 

The Dudley Canal.

Dudley Canal

The construction of the Dudley canal began in 1776, to be joined as part of the Birmingham canal to connect Dudley with Stourbridge for various mining industries.

The canal took 3 years to complete, costing a reputed £92000. Lord Dudley was the main backer to the canal & the canal incorporates  the now famous 9 locks on the Delph in Brierley Hill.

 

Immediately once the Dudley Canal was complete, a bill was put in for a Dudley Tunnel to have a junction to connect to Tipton. Work started in 1785 with disastrous effect. The tunnel was not straight, engineers resigned and the tunnel was vastly over budget. It was completed in 1792, 4 years after the original completion date.

 

Once again, as soon as this tunnel was complete, a bill for another canal (Now called Line 2, with the Dudley canal called Line 1) to reach the collieries in Netherton.Funds were raised and original costings for this second canal was estimated £61,500. It was agreed to join Lapal (Halesowen) so a further £28,000 were raised by investors.

Construction began 1974 and once again plagued with problems. Different engineers were brought due to the death of the original engineer, tunnel problems with bad foundations of sand and water pumping issues caused the majority of the funds to go here. In all the total cost of the Line 2 canal was around £120,000.

 

Used extensively for the next hundred years, the canal was a hub bub of tourists and commercial workers passing through. As the age of the motor car was in the canal system was very quickly become archaic and outdated, with parts being decommissioned in the 1950s.

 

As mentioned above, the canal trust have preserved both routes and as recently as Feb of 2016 the canal was officially used, parts of it not having a vessel travel through it since the 1920s.

 

The Netherton Tunnel.

Netherton Tunnel

As a child my Dad took me to the Netherton tunnel on a bright summer Sunday. Its dark tunnel was frightening to a 10 year old.

As soon as I entered the temperature dropped and both me and my Dad realised that we should have brought a jumper. We walked in the darkness with just a simple torch to guide us through the slimy walled construct.

At times we both nearly fell in due to the walk way barrier just being missing.

Occasionally we would be greeted by another humanoid travelling through the tunnel, hoping there intentions were as innocent as ours. All the time you could see a dot of light, a speck of white brilliant light up ahead that showed how long the vast tunnel was.

 

My dad explained to me a few facts.
It was linked to Tipton as way of transporting goods.
The tunnel had air vents meaning diesel run boats could work in the tunnel unlike most tunnels.

He also mentioned that people over the years had scrawled the names inside the tunnels, which you could see the more you walked through. Some were dated back to the 1930’s.

 

What I’ve learned since is that the tunnel was opened in 1858, after 3 years of construction with a budget of £302,000, quite a substantial amount , even for back then.

In the 1980’s various repair has been taken on the tunnel to preserve it and in 2013, more work has been made to repair the degrading tunnel. It is still in use today nearly 160 years from its opening and mainly for used for boating tourists.

 

As we finally came through to the daylight on the way back, the sun was quite down in its orange dusky glow, it made me smile to think of who had walked that tunnel, who had boated through the tunnel and who had left its mark in the deep dark silent tunnel.

What’s Your Black Country Name?

Monday, 5 December, 2016

Try our quick fun tool to find out yower Black Country name.
Don’t forget to comment your name 🙂

SIMPLY USE YOUR 1st INITIAL TO GET YOUR 1st NAME
& YOUR 2nd INITIAL TO GET YOUR LAST NAME

What's Your Black Country Name

Reasons to Be Proud You’re From The Black Country

Thursday, 24 November, 2016
  1. The Rich Industrial Heritage
    Rich Industrial History

The Black Country was most famous for its heavy industry with metals and coal. Economic historians have even said that within ten miles of Dudley Castle there was in the region of 20,000 smiths in the 1620’s. Of course this industry has all gone now, but this region is still famous for iron and steel works, coal mining and the manufacture of the Titanic’s anchor.

 

  1. Duncan Edwards
    Duncan Edwards

Duncan Edwards was born in 1936, in the Woodside are of Dudley. Immensely talented as a youngster, he signed for Manchester Untied whilst still in his teens and went on to get his first England cap against Scotland in the April of 1955. At the time he was the youngest player to have played for England at professional level. Tragically on February 6th 1958, whilst returning from Belgrade, the plane that the Manchester Untied team and its staff and Journalists were travelling on stopped off at Munich to re-fuel, after failed attempts to take off the plane crashed, Duncan survived for a further 15 days. He was later given a burial at Dudley cemetery, over 5000 people turned up to the service.

 

  1. The Accent
    Black Country Accent

Love it or loathe it me babbies! There’s no denying its totally unique and one of a kind. Possibly the oldest accent in England, it’s even rumoured that William Shakespeare spoke with a slight BC accent! To an outsider, it will all seem like gibberish but to us local folk easy ay it?!

 

  1. The Views
    views

As it says on our Sedgley t-shirt design ‘The views am bostin up there!’ And they certainly are. Not all of our region is covered with old industrial yards or disused factory units, we boast some of the most impressive greenery in the country. Take for example Baggeridge park, Sandwell valley and Himley Hall. Beautiful places within an area that gets a bad rep for being all doom and gloom industry.

 

  1. Black Country Day
    bc-day

Every year, around the 14th of July, the official Black Country day is held, the main one being in Stone street square Dudley, but there are numerous events held up and down the region throughout the month. It’s a massive celebration of our region and the accomplishments of the past. The reasoning behind being held on July the 14th is that it’s the anniversary of the invention of the Newcome steam engine. With the festival came the design and production of the Black Country flag. Designed by school girl, Gracie Sheppard, it depicts the chains across a glass cone, with red, black white colours.

24 Classic Films Made In The Black Country (spoof)

Tuesday, 22 November, 2016

Ok, So These Aren’t Real….But Some Of Them Should Be!

 

  1. 3 MEN AND A BABBY (3 MEN AND A BABY) –
    “3 men, 1 babby and only 1 child tax credit!”
  2. EVIL JED (EVIL DEAD) –
    “The Evil Jed awaits 5 teenagers camped up in Priory Park”
  3. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE DUDLEY (LITTLE CHINA) –
    “A Newcomer Tries To Muscle In On The Tuesday Morning Kareoke At The Castle Pub.
    Big Trouble In Little Dudley
  4. TAY (E.T.) –
    “E.TAY goo um!”
  5. THE GOD FARETHA (THE GOD FATHER) –
    “I med im an offer E cor refuse!”
  6. MAD UN (PSYCHO) –
    “She’s jed within 5 minutes and he’s propa tapped!”
    Mad Un - Black Country Movie
  7. BACK WINDA (REAR WINDOW) –
    “He’s a nosey bugger!”
  8. BATMON (BATMAN) –
    “The caped crusader watching the Black Country streets”
    Les Is ...Batmon
  9. THE WENCH OF BOSTED FAECE (THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) –
    “IT’S ALIVE, an she looks like a welders bench!”
  10. SOME LOIKE IT BOILIN (SOME LIKE IT HOT) –
    “Ar know its hot, but ar dow like it this hot!”
  11. THE AH KID, THE BAD UN, AND THE BOSTED (THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY) –
    “The political leaders debate live at Dudley Town Hall”
  12. DOW LOOK NOW (DON’T LOOK NOW) –
    “There’s an old wench gooin around!”
  13. THE CLAMMED THE JETH GAMES (THE HUNGER GAMES) –
    “In the future you will be that hungry, yow might ate a scabby oss”
    Clammed To Jeff Games
  14. FREEZIN (FROZEN) –
    “Cowin cow’d ay it”
  15. IRON MON (IRON MAN) –
    “Black Country Heavy Metal”
  16. UM ALONE (HOME ALONE) –
    “This Little Un Smoshed These Two Yampy Un’s Yeds In!”
    Um Alone - Black Country Movie
  17. JEDPOOL (DEADPOOL) –
    “it ay arf hard bein this awesome”
  18. WENCH AND THE RIFFY UN (LADY AND THE TRAMP) –
    “When the moon its ya eyes, like a smart price pizza pie,…… ‘that’s a pownd love’ !”
  19. JAMES BOND DR NAH. (DR NO) –
    “Shekken, not stirred”
  20. IT’S A BOSTIN LIFE (IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE) –
    “Everytime a bell rings, an angel lights up a super king!”
  21. RUSH HOUR (err RUSH HOUR) –
    “One Mans Attempt To Navigate Dudley’s Burnt Tree Junction On His Way To Werk.”
    Rush Hour Ay It
  22. GOOD MUCKERS (GOOD FELLOWS) –
    “How do I mek yow loff?”
  23. BRIERLEY HILLS COP (BEVERLEY HILLS COP) –
    “A Young And Reckless Detective Arrives In Town Expecting Sexy Cases Of Intrigue & Mystery, But Is Overwhelmed Simply Trying To Stop People Pissing In The Street.”
    Brierley Hill Cops
  24. FROM RUSHALL WITH LOVE (FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE) –
    “A Charming Yet Tragic Story Of A Woman’s Attempt To Open A Card Shop In Rushall . Only To Find Out The Natives Ay Got No Love For Nobody.”
    Rushall Movie

 

An Introduction To The Black Country

Wednesday, 16 November, 2016

Heres a short, slightly tongue in cheek video introduction to the Black Country for people who might be thinking of visiting the area, giving you tips on how to make the best of your time. The video also has lots of references in there to make Black Country folk chuckle.

If I was to really (& truthfully) sum up the Black Country culture as short as possible, I would say it is made up of
The Dialect, The Humour, Love Of Food , Love OF Drink & Of Course The People.
So I decided to make sure I hit those subjects in a video that should last under 2 minutes….this was the result.

Below Are Some Of The Designs We Used In The Making Of This Video

yow-cor-spake-propa-mug   Owbinya

Arm Gerrin Kaylied    wench-t-shirt

See More Here

Famous Bands & Musicians From The Black Country Part 2

Wednesday, 9 November, 2016
  1. Slade

Black Country Slade

One of the most successful rock bands of the seventies were to come from the Wolverhampton and Walsall areas of the region. Slade were huge, both in record sales and stage presence, always putting on a excellent show for fans.

They started off life in 1964 under the name The ‘N Betweeners, with both gigging and recording experience under their belts, helping them gain a reputation and eventually helped them get spotted and signed to Phillips records in 1969, they spent a week at the  studios recording and were eventually asked if they would sign to London based record label Fontana records if they would change the name. They agreed to change to Ambrose Slade, named after the famous Ambrose handbag brand and Slade shoe brand.

Later in 1969 they recorded and released and album Beginnings, which was a commercial flop for the band as well as the lead single. After the failure to make an impact, the band drastically changed its look and became essentially a skinhead band and embraced the youth mob culture at the time. After new management stepped in and decided some changes needed to be made, they were signed to high profile record label Polydor in the hope of boosting sales and getting the name out there.

The band again drastically changed its look and sound, growing their hair and taking on a more hard, glam rock sound. In 1972 the band released Slayed? And the singles Mama Weer All Crazee Now & Gudbuy T’ Jane. Both were smash hits going in at number 1 and number 2 in the UK charts respectively. The following years were good to Slade, with a slew of hit singles and albums and finally breaking America.

They’re credited with influencing a number of other famous bands and artist including, Nirvana, David Bowie, Oasis, Def Leppard, Kiss, Motley Cru and Ozzy Osbourne.

 

6.Judas Priest

Judas Priest Black CountryAlthough formed in Birmingham in 1969, numerous members of the band are from West Bromwich, Walsall and Blackheath. They played their first gig in Walsall in 1969 and then toured Scotland up until 1970.

By the time 1974 rolled around, the band were signed and in the studio recording their debut album Rocka Rolla, the album itself was recorded poorly and this in turn showed through record sales. The record company had given them a budget for their first two albums and after the flop of the first they decided to produce this themselves and take a different direction musically. This proved to be a successful decision and were signed to Columbia records for their third album. After this they’ve sold over 45 million albums and gone on to become one of the world’s most successful heavy metal bands, going on numerous world tours and are still going strong today.

 

7.Clint Mansell

Clint MansellEven though he was born, only up the road in Coventry, he never the less grew up here, in Stourbridge. After his band Pop Will Eat Itself split in 1996 and becoming friends with Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, he became involved in film score, his most notable works include all of Darren Aronofsky’s films, Smokin’ Aces, Moon, High Rise and the game Mass Effect 3.

He’s become one of the most sort after composer’s in Hollywood.

 

 

  1. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

Neds Atomic Dustbin

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin were also another band associated with the ‘Stourbridge Scene’, See Famous Bands &  Musicians From  The Black Country  Part 1, number 3,. The band formed in 1987, some members were still at college when the band was formed and this helped gain a good teenage fanbase, with an energetic audience with mosh pits and crowd surfing.

From the off they had a very good fanbase and established themselves within the rock scene, getting a support slot from The Wonder Stuff to tour with them throughout 1989 and 1990. They eventually caught the attention of Birmingham indie label Creation 22 and released their debut E.P. The Ingredients EP in 1990. Also later that year they played the main stage at the Reading Festival and garnered enough attention for Sony records to take notice.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin recorded three studio albums in all and did world tours, they eventually disbanded in 1995 and all the members went their separate ways, numerous reunion shows have happened over the year, but with alternate line-ups to the original.  

9. Mark Willott

Mark WillottMark Willott is an Emmy winning composer and producer from the centre of the UK in Stourbridge. He has been involved for many years in the games and TV industry, producing emotional, creative and bespoke music in all genres. Mark received an Emmy for outstanding achievement in composition in 2007 & further  emmy nominations in March 2010 & 2012.
In 2012 Mark completed his first original score for the international theatrical release, the Snow Queen and has clients including FOX, TNT, & Bazelevs.
Marks credits include work for
MOVIE – The Snow Queen (1&2), Paws, Bones & Rock n Roll
GAMES – Dirt Rally & F1 2015
SPORTS -NBA ,NASCAR , PGA Tour &Major League Baseball

 

bands-of-the-black-country

 

Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?

Wednesday, 19 October, 2016

Long before the Hollywood gave us frightening visions of zombie apocolypes’s, slasher fiends, psycho chainsaw wielding maniacs and angry poltergeists running amok and scaring us in high definition wonder, local black country folks were scared by the supernatural tales and ghost stories of old.

One such tale was known from just at the end of the 2nd world war.

During the world’s most bloodiest war, Britian was coming to terms with the fact that shell shocked soldiers  would be coming back to civvie street… whilst a lot would never come back,  to become  fading memories for there loved ones.

For a lot of children the war didn’t mean terrifying bombs and gun totting Germans. It meant time to scavenge in bomb hit buildings, to venture out into unmanned factories and disused parks. Curiosity became enwrapped with some children.

For 4 young boys from Stourbridge, curiosity came from exploring Hagley woods.

Wychbury Hill situated in the Hagley woods has been shrouded in mystery for many years. Containing an example of Neoclassical architecture, it has been a magnet for pagans to hold celebrations and practice supernatural rituals.

Unfortunately for these boys they were completely unaware of the woods dark past.

If they had known this then maybe this story would never have been told.

Robert Hart, Thomas Willetts, Bob Farmer and Fred Payne were great friends and had spent many times trespassing into to the woods to poach. A place to find wild birds eggs, the boys would climb the trees without a care.

It was one of these trees that Farmer made the discovery of a skull inside a rotten tree.

The boys presumed it to be an animal skull but after picking it up they could see large chunks of human hairs still attached to the scalp.

Frightened of witch curses and that they were trespassing the boys made a pact to not to tell anyone and head home as quick as they could.

Thomas Willets was the youngest of the boys and also the most scared.

He confessed what he had found to his parents and soon Police were sent to find the skull remains. They discovered the skeletal remains of a woman, including personal items nearby.

The strangest thing was that she has hand missing, which was later found buried not to far away.

Police now set up a murder investigation.  Local gossip soon began to spread to who was inside the wych elm.

Was it a murder prostitute? A horrific satanic ritual with human sacrifice? Was it simple foul play?

Throughout the war reports of missing people, runaways and strays was very common place. Had they run off to join war effort, had they abandoned society to get away from the evils of war or even just constant drain of the war mixed with family life mad some just pack up and go, But some had disappeared without trace, and not to ever be heard from again.

The gossip got to some that a certain prostitute named Bell from the local area had gone missing around the time of the supposed death. Could it be her? Reports of a drunk prank gone too far from to men from a local pub were banded around but no evidence.

One of the men reportedly has been sectioned and ultimately died, but not before confessing her kept seeing the eyes of the woman from the tree staring at him. Un-nerving stuff indeed.

The plot thickens when we discover that the remains have vanished, the same also with the autopsy report. Is someone trying to cover things up in a higher place? The initial reports said that the body had been placed inside the tree still warm, before riger mortis had set in. Was the bodies location be predetermined?

Also the report had said she suffocated. Was it the early works of a potential serial killer only to have died or imprisoned to stop further killings.

Further to this mystery is the fact that over the past 70 odd years varies graffiti has been cited over the area saying “Who put Bell in the Wych Elm”. Could this have been the killer themselves trying to get further attention, or a hoaxer trying to get their own attention from the horrible crime.

More graffiti as resent as June of 2016 where a sign was placed on a nearby road island.

One thing I believe will remain and that is that we will probably never know the identification of the body. A case of wrong place at the wrong time, but maybe one day some evidence will arise to show us who indeed put Bell in the Wych Elm.

Some More Black Country Ghastly Goings On Here

 

 

 

The Black Country Dialect (Pt 1)

Thursday, 13 October, 2016

Many moons ago, back in 2010, we produced a couple of short clips interviewing our customers, friends & folk we dragged off the street. Getting them to decipher whatever Black Country dialect we can throw at them.

This is the 1st instalment of the results.

Watch as Black Country Folk Get Tangled Up With Their Very Own Dialect.

 

SEE PART 2 HERE