As this version of the Black Country Society website is being 'retired' in the next few weeks, we have removed some pages. All publications are now on this page and our other publication pages have been deleted.
Here is a link to our new website, which contains many of our current publications: publications
For payment via Paypal you can now order here. You will notice that postage is included for each book you order, if your order contains a number of our titles any excess postage added to your order will be refunded via Paypal after your items are despatched.
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Please note, We have settled in our new house. Below is the address:
If you wish to order books and pay by cheque then please make it payable to 'The Black Country Society'. Please add 1/3 of the publication price for postage and packing, up to a maximum charge of £2.80 per order. This applies to orders to be delivered to UK addresses only. Larger orders may also qualify for a discount. Please contact via email for further details. Trade customers please get in touch before ordering online.
The Tommy Mundon Story by
£9.99Postage & packaging: £2.00
This is the story of Tommy Mundon, a legend in his beloved Halesowen as well as the Black Country and beyond. Tommy Mundon was one of the best-known characters in the Black Country. Dubbed ‘the king of Black Country comedy’, he was the man who could ‘mek yo loff at the drop of a hat’. You couldn’t see Tom without smiling and he always had a smile on his face. Tom’s death in 2014 ended an era for Black Country comedy; he is irreplaceable. This book encapsulates the man, his humour and his life; it contains plenty of Tommy’s gags along with a wide selection of photographs both on stage and with his family. Many of his friends have contributed, making this a very personal account of his life..
Our Stour by
£13.50Postage & packaging: £2.00
This is the story of the river that shaped the history and industry of the Black Country. Graham Beckley is a former professional photographer and has used his expertise to document the River Stour from its source to the point where it enters the Severn. He even managed to find an alternative source of the Stour during his investigation of the river. The photographs are outstanding, as we expected they would be. The book is beautifully laid out, each image has a grid reference as well as the date and time it was taken. There is also a short description of the image. This is an important biography and you will not find a book of its equal on the subject.
Confessions of a Newsagent's Son by
£9.95Postage & packaging: £2.00
James Morgan was born in Lye and grew up in Amblecote, an urban village in the south corner of the Black Country. He was educated at local schools and the University of Leicester where he graduated with a degree in Economics and Local History. In 2010 James became Chairman of the Black Country Society and is a regular contributor to the Society magazine The Blackcountryman. This is the story of his childhood in Amblecote in the 1950s; told irreverently and in hilarious detail. Amongst the pages are vivid descriptions of endearing yet sometimes irascible characters, schoolboy scrapes and a little local history. If 'Carter's Little Liver Pills', 'Brothel Creepers' and the 'Lone Ranger' evoke distant yet pleasurable memories then "This 'ens for yow ar kid'
Dudley War Memorials by
£10.00Postage & packaging: £3.20
This major new work has been published in conjunction with the Society’s Heritage Lottery Fund award. It has been well-documented by John Hale, who has researched the 720 names on the Dudley War Memorial. Aside from an alphabetical list of the names and the information John has unearthed, there is much more information, including the story of how the memorial came to be. Looking at some of the names John found a number of brothers, as well as evidence of men joining together, probably friends. The evidence for this is that their service numbers were consecutive, probably queuing together to sign up. John also details the group of Dudley men who ended up in the 10th Lincolns; these men, with others from Tipton, Smethwick and other Black Country towns. They were drafted there because the Lincolns were struggling to man a battalion about to go to the front. This book is much more than a list of names; the photographs, descriptions of the men commemorated, photographs, campaign information and much more make this an authoritative record of the fallen of Dudley. Sorry about the high postage, it is a heavy book.
In Cramped and Sooty Caverns by
£12.95Postage & packaging: £2.20
This book is not a traditional study of industrial history. Instead Michael, President of the Black Country Society for 2013-14, uses the portrait of nail-makers and nail-making created by Halesowen author Francis Brett Young, across nine novels set between 1800 and 1930. This account allows the real people, real places and real lives to tell the story. The book is well laid out and contains many images within its pages; in parts it reads as an anthology of all things nails and Michael has a very readable style of writing. Of course, the novel nature of the book is the thread of the writings of Francis Brett Young, which enhances and complements the rest of Michael’s research. There are plenty of notes and references should you wish to dig deeper into the subject, and the book is very well researched.
Memories of Private Ted Galley MM Worcestershire Regiment 1900-1919 edited by
£5.00Postage & packaging: £1.30
The Great War diary of Ted Galley span almost 20 years, they cover the latter phases of the Boer War as well as the Great War. They reveal the courage, loyalty and determination of a regular soldier, conveying graphic descriptions of military action and astute comment on events. Private Galley fought at Gheluvelt in 1914 and in 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He was taken prisoner at Messines in May 1918, spent time as a POW at Metz and returned home in 1919
The Tipton Slasher, His Life and Times by
£4.50Postage & packaging: £1.40
William Perry is one of those Black Country legends who crosses the boundaries of both sport and Black Country history. His early life mirrors the life of so many people in the early 19th century; harsh living conditions, hard and physical labour, low life expectancy and the grime and dust of the emerging Black Country. His transformation into the Tipton Slasher and bare knuckle boxing’s Champion of England is a remarkable tale. His demise, at the razor sharp hands of Tom Sayers gives a poignancy to the story that fiction could not hope to re-create. This book is a refreshed and amended re-print of one of our earliest publications by Tom Langley. Extra material has been added and a lot of effort has been put in to ensure this is a book that is relevant to the 21st century. The original format has been changed, so that accounts of the fights between Perry and his opponents run alongside the account of his life. Then there is poetry, further comment on his life, a glossary and a number of images of fighters of his day. Extra images have also been found, together with an additional account of Perry’s clash with Charles Freeman (The American Giant). The cover has also been totally re-designed and all in all this is a most attractive publication at a very reasonable price.
Bilston, Bradley and Ladymoor Eighth Selection by
£12.95Postage & packaging: £1.50
This is Ron's eighth and probably last book of photographs from this most Black Country of Black Country areas. It has been a very popular seller so far and for a good reason. The images portray the rich industrial heritage of the area, but as important, focuses on many of the characters living in the area through their own photographs. There are images showing industrial decline, the loss of old buildings as well as the creation of new developments. Pictures tell the story of the communities, with events including the Queen's Golden Jubilee as well as school and sport teams.
The Seventeenth Century Foleys: Iron, Wealth and Vision 1580 - 1716 (revised) by
£12.95Postage & packaging: £2.75
This book is about the Foley dynasty and the fortune that originated with its patriarch Richard Foley, born in Dudley in 1580. Richard followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the iron trade as a nailer, but over the years made the transition to ironmaster and acquired a number of forges and furnaces in and around Dudley and Stourbridge. He was a respected member of the community in Dudley being elected Mayor at the age of 36 and building an almshouse for the poor. He married twice, fathered 13 children over 27 years and moved from Dudley to Stourbridge in 1630. By the time of his death in 1657 the family ironworks accounted for more than half the West Midlands production and around a third of the total for England and Wales. The need for a re-print prompted the author to add a few extras that came to light after the first edition was published
Blackcountryman Volume 11-20 DVD-ROM by
£6.00Postage & packaging: £1.50
This DVD has been a long-time coming, but it is now available. It contains 40 digitised issues of The Blackcountryman magazine from 1978 to 1987 and it includes free pdf reader software. If you haven't got room for 40 magazines on your shelf, but still want to be able to read the older issues of the Black Country's premier magazine then this DVD is for you. Compared to volume 1-10 the scan quality is much higher and over time the magazine has grown in size and stature during its 2nd 10-year history and this shows in this re-creation.
Streetnames of Stourbridge and its vicinity (Vol 1) CD-ROM by
£4.00Postage & packaging: £1.65
The printed edition is long out of print, but is the most requested book in Stourbridge library. Comes with viewing software (Adobe Acrobat). All 390 pages are included on one CD. Streets are indexed for easy searching.
Blackcountryman CD-Rom (volumes 1-10) by
£5.00Postage & packaging: £1.65
Now available, covering the first 40 issues from 1968 to 1977. These magazines are long out of print and very hard to find. Over 2600 pages of information in pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format. The Acrobat reader is also included on the CD, as is a full index of the contents (including names of those mentioned - essential for those researching family history.
Black Country Power by
£5.00Postage & packaging: £1.50
This book tells the story of Ocker Hill Power Station, its machinery and men from 1897 to 1977. It was first published in 2001 by the Black Country Society in paper form. This is the digital reprint, also by the Society. The book is illustrated throughout and is a thorough examination of this Black Country power station. For the first 25 years or so of its existence, the history of Ocker Hill Power station was inextricably linked with that of its then owner, the MEC. The story of the power station itself has ever been told before, except briefly in Malcolm's two-part article in The Blackcountryman in 1996, the content of which is incorporated in this, more complete, history. The power station as a landmark was familiar to everyone who lived in the area, surprisingly few had any idea what 'made it tick', and even fewer, even among those who worked there, had any idea of its origins, or its importance to the industrial history of the area. I hope that this book will, in its small way, help to correct that situation.
Artists in Cameo Glass by
£1.50Postage & packaging: £1.40
Last few at special price. This book incorporates Thomas Woodall's Memoirs, read about the Portland Vase and the men who re-created this great Roman piece of cameo glass, including John Northwood, Philip Pargeter and Joseph Locke.
Bostin' Fittle (recipes and hints) by
£1.95Postage & packaging: £1.10
First published in 1978, this book has been re-printed many times. Learn how to freeze pigs, make grorty pudding and homemade wines Black Country style.
Black Country Humour compiled by
£2.50Postage & packaging: £1.40
A collection of jokes, sayings, cartoons, verse and a section from a 1930s volume by John Freeman. Now in its 9th re-print since first published in 1980. This is a new edition, with a re-designed cover, but the contents are as previous versions. Still THE best-selling book on Black Country Humour
More Black Country Humour, Tales & Verse compiled by
£2.70Postage & packaging: £1.40
A second and larger collection than the original Black Country Humour, first published in 1994, now in its 4th impression.
B. C. Stories edited by the late
£2.95Postage & packaging: £1.40
This book is worth purchasing for the Shirley Bonas cartoon on the cover. Over 49000 copies of this collection have been sold, and it is now in its 10 re-print.
Mushroom Green by
£1.00Postage & packaging: £0.90
A glossy re-printed in 2001 concerns the restoration and history of the Mushroom Green chainshop. Possibly dating back to the late 18th century the chainshop was on land once owned by the Earl of Dudley.
Old Testament in Dialect - Part One by
£2.99Postage & packaging: £1.40
This volume covers the books of Genesis through to Deuteronomy. Re-printed a while ago with a new cover. This book is one of the Society's best sellers.
Old Testament in Dialect - Part Two by
£2.99Postage & packaging: £1.40
This second volume comprises the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Job, Jonah, the first and second books of Samuel. It complements perfectly the new version of the Old testament Part 1.
The Gospels in Black Country Dialect by
£2.70Postage & packaging: £1.40
Covers all 4 Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This book was also been revised in December 2012 with a new cover and new size to complement other society publications.
"Aspects of Life" - An Illustrated Anthology by , compiled by Dr David J Cox
£3.50 Postage & packaging: £1.40
This short collection of verse contains 16 poems, with themes ranging from humorous observations on aspects of everyday life to serious and thought-provoking writing on suffering and the human condition. May Cox (1929-2009) was a Black Country-born writer, and a contributor to numerous publications including ‘The Blackcountryman, the quarterly magazine of the Black Country Society. Her son, Dr David J. Cox (former Editor of The Blackcountryman) edited and produced the anthology as a lasting tribute to his late mother. The anthology was originally designed to be handed out to friends and family at her funeral service, but as so many people who read the anthology commented on how much they enjoyed it, he decided to have it professionally printed and published under the auspices of the Black Country Society, and to donate all profits to the National Association for Colitis & Crohn’s Disease (www.nacc.org.uk).
Tea Towels in Dialect - Man Tay
£3.99Postage & packaging: £1.40
Tea Towels in Dialect - Woman Tay
£3.99Postage & packaging: £1.40
The woman tea towel complements the 'man' version.
Tea Towel - alphabet
£3.99Postage & packaging: £1.40
The alphabet tea towel finishes the trio of tea towels, this one will teach you aspects of the Black Country dialect.
The Lost Canals of The Black Country by
£2.50Postage & packaging: £1.40
This book records the loss of the canal system in the light of excursions made by the author during the 1980s and early 1990s. This had been a period of significant change and there were irrevocable alterations within the Black Country landscape due to the acceleration of the demise of canal cross links and branches. This is a new impression with a re-designed cover for the 21st century
Streetnames of Stourbridge & Its Vicinity Vol 2 by
£2.00Postage & packaging: £2.40
Now reduced in price, this books title "Volume 2" belies its usefullness. Volume 1 is not needed to make use of this volume. This volume widens the area covered by volume 1 to include many Halesowen streets.
The Black Country as seen through Antique Maps by
£6.00Postage & packaging: £2.00
57 Black Country People by
£5.99Postage & packaging: £2.00
A collection of profiles of Black Country People, which appeared in The Blackcountryman magazine between 1988 and 2002. Subjects have included Bert Bissell MBE, Julie Walters, Sue Lawley, Ken Downing and Baronness Heyhoe Flint. The book shows that the Black Country continues to make a great contribution to the life of our nation. Also, see the companion volume "57 More Black Country People" also available on this website
Index to The Blackcountryman compiled by
£1.00Postage & packaging: £1.40
Another long-standing item from the Society collection. This covers the first 25 years of articles in the magazine. It is alphabetical and is also subject-related, so there is some cross-referencing. Like many older publications this one has some staples that have rusted, though the books are new. The staples can be removed on request and replaced.
White Shirt, Black Country by
£5.99Postage & packaging: £2.00
This book provides readers with a history of Black Country-born footballers who have played for England. It provides details of players from 1881 through to publication in 2004. Notable names include Steve Bloomer, Jesse Pennington, Bert Williams, Don Howe and Steve Bull.
The Dunsley Murder of 1812 by
£3.99Postage & packaging: £2.00
The murder of Benjamin Robins of Dunsley Hall by William Howe, an itinerant carpenter, became something of a cause celebre at the time, due to the brutal nature of the attack and the subsequent gibbetting of Howe’s body at the site of the murder. David concentrates on the 3 aspects of the incident: detection, justice and punishment. The book also explores the role the Bow Street Runners had to play in the investigation of this heinous crime. Recently it sold out and has now been reprinted.
James Foster of Stourbridge (1786-1853) by
£9.99Postage & packaging: £2.00
Now re-printed and back in stock. This project grew from a celebration of the life James Foster on 150th anniversary his death. It was a cooperative effort on behalf of Stourbridge Historical Society, the Black Country Society and St. Mary's Church, Old Swinford. The Foster family was one of several Black Country families whose efforts produced fortunes in the iron industry. Foster was responsible for building railway engines, some of them are iconic engines and synonymous in the Black Country. The 'Agenoria' will be well-known to readers, as will the Stourbridge Lion, the first locomotive to run on tracks in America. The Agenoria is preserved in York Museum and the Stourbridge Lion is owned by the Smithsonian in Washington, though the remaining parts are on display at the Baltimore & Ohio museum in Ohio.
Black Country Vicar and Great Aunt Polly Stories by
£3.00Postage & packaging: £1.40
Carol is a prolific writer and should be well-known to Black Country Society members. Her Black Country Vicar tales have featured in the pages of The Blackcountryman and Great Aunt Polly has been a regular feature in the Black Country Bugle. In May 1994 Carol was ordained as a priest, she has served in a number of Black Country parishes. The incidents described in Black Country Vicar stories all happened, Carol has changed the names to protect the innocent. Great Aunt Polly is a fictional amalgam of moms, grans and aunties we have all known and loved.
Towpath Tale: The BCN Remembered by
£3.50Postage & packaging: £1.40
This book is a re-print from a 1978 Black Country Society publication. The re-print is from 1999. It is not a history of Black Country canals, but intended to be a ragbag of memories of incidents concerned throughout the life of the author and the Black Country canal network. It contains pictures, drawings and a map of the canal network.
Cricket Lyrics by
£6.99 Includes Postage & packaging
This book contains a series of poems by Thomas Disney. Disney was headmaster of Halesowen Grammar School before the First World War. The poems had formed part of a huge archive of material collected by the late H Jack Haden. Much of the collection had been bought by Black Country Society Chair - James Morgan. In the 35th box James examined he found Disney's poems in printed form. It was decided that these delightful poems should be published and a number of authorities also agreed to contribute to the poems. Angus Dunphy, former Acting and Deputy Head of Earl's (formerly Halesowen Grammar) contributed an evaluation of Disney's teaching career at Halesowen; Doctor Michael Hall examined the connection between Disney and Halesowen's most famous writer, Francis Brett Young; and finally Ron Simpson carried out a critical appraisal of the poems. The result is a book that will appeal to a much wider audience than many other Black Country publications, the poems are not necessarily related to the region. Stan Hill also researched the cricketting prowess of two former pupils from Disney's school: Eric Hollies and Charles Henry Palmer CBE, as well as providing some of the images for the book.
The Midlands Zeppelin Outrage by
£12.00Postage & packaging: £1.50
The Zeppelin raids at the end of January 1916 shook the residents of the Black Country and beyond. This book, published to coincide with the centenary of the raid, tells its tale in ten chapters. It is well-illustrated with images of the devastation caused and of some of the victims. This is the first comprehensive account of the raids and focuses primarily on the people affected by the raid, making it a very personal account. It covers the raids across the whole of the Black Country, as well as providing background information on the story of the Zeppelin and how Britain managed to fight the menace.
Diary of a Young Englishman by
£4.50Postage & packaging: £1.60
Who was the highly educated and extremely rich young man who wrote this diary, found in Lye at the beginning of the 20th century? There is just one clue, the initials FIA stamped in gold on the diary’s red leather cover. Historian Pat Dunn’s researches over ten years have not resolved the mystery. It is hoped that someone reading the book might possibly find the solution! Like most diaries which are not intended for publication, the writing is personal, the description of events and the identification of the people encountered are scant. The reasons for the young man’s journey can only be surmised, but thanks to Geoff Beard’s copious historical notes, things become clearer: people are identified, events are put into their historical context, and thanks to Mike Pearson’s map and simplified itinerary, we are better able to follow the young man’s perigrinations during this period of changing political power in Europe. This is a book to delight historians, to inform those who are not and, who knows, you might have the answer to the writer’s identity!
The Origins of Stourbridge by
£10.95Postage & packaging: £2.50
Respected local author Roy turns his attention to the early history of Stourbridge, covering the period from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. The book is well-illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. The story is told into 120 pages, it is extensively referenced and very well researched. Another book well-worth having on your bookshelves. RRP £12.95, BCS price £10.95.
The Black Country Dialect by
£7.99Postage & packaging: £2.00
A modern linguistic analysis by Ed. The regional dialect may at first sound like bad English, but is in fact the product of 1500 years of history. With Anglo Saxon influences, unadulterated by the Normans so that only one word in seven in the dialect is French. This book is published by Laghamon and is a fascinating insight into the way we spoke in the past (and the present). Who knows what the future will bring. The book is a 2013 reprint.
Dudley Grammar School 1562-1975 by
£6.00Postage & packaging: £2.00
Published in July 2010, this history is written by a formed pupil, Dr Trevor Raybould. This book is the story of Dudley Grammar School (DGS) within the context of the town of Dudley and national developments. It reflects changes in the socio-economic and political structure of Dudley, and the impact of national events and legislation. The school survived through the English Civil War, industrialisation, religious division, population growth, elected local government and increased government intervention in the 20th century. DGS closed during the 1970s when governments abolished some, but not all, local grammar schools
The Kinver Light Railway by
£9.99Postage & Packing: £2.00
The Kinver Light Railway once linked the Black Country to Kinver, a popular village for Black Country people to visit on day trips. This was possibly the most picturesque tram ride in Rngland, as part of the route meandered through the Staffordshire countryside. Paul has done a great job selecting pictures, many of them not seen in print before, and describes the history, the route and demise of this popular tram service. Order from the Black Country Society and receive a £2.00 discount on the published price of £12.99.