Publications

We now have another page dedicated to publications. These include titles from the History Press, as well as independent publication. You will still be able to pay using Paypal or by cheque and you can switch back and forth between the two pages.

Here is the link to the second page: Additional Publications

For payment via Paypal you can now order via our on-line shop. You will notice that postage is included for each book you order, if your order contains a number of our titles you will have excess postage refunded via Paypal when your items are despatched. This applies to both Paypal and cheque payments.

Overseas customers MUST contact us for postage and packing details before ordering. Let us know what you would like to order and we will send you a request for funds via Paypal.

If you have any queries please email us for clarification.

To order any of the publications and pay by cheque, please contact:

Mr Alan Pilkington 
19 Honeytree Close
Kingswinford
West Midlands
DY6 8NY

** NEW **

Confessions of a Newsagent's Son
by James Morgan

£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'

The Tipton Slasher, His Life and Times by Tom Langley

£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.

The Seventeenth Century Foleys: Iron, Wealth and Vision 1580 - 1716 by Roy Peacock

£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.

** NEW **

Blackcountryman Volume 11-20 DVD-ROM
by Ron Jenkins & Mike Pearson

£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 H Jack Haden (digital version by Mike Pearson)

£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 Mike Pearson on behalf of The Black Country Society

£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.

Artists in Cameo Glass by H. J. Haden

£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 Pat Purcell

£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.

B. C. Humour compiled by Winston Homer and Harold Parsons

£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 Stan Hill

£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 Harold Parsons

£2.95Postage & packaging: £1.40

This book is worth purchasing for the Shirley Bonas cartoon on the cover. Over 46000 copies of this collection have been sold, and it is now in its 10 re-print.

Mushroom Green by Ron Moss

£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 Kate Fletcher

£2.99Postage & packaging: £1.40

This volume covers the books of Genesis through to Deuteronomy. Recently re-printed with a new cover. This book is one of the Society's best sellers.

Old Testament in Dialect - Part Two by Kate Fletcher

£2.70Postage & 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 Old testament Part 1.

The Gospels in Black Country Dialect by Kate Fletcher

£2.70Postage & packaging: £1.40

Covers all 4 Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This book has 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 May Cox, 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 Black Country Society

£3.99Postage & packaging: £1.40

At last we have this popular line back in stock. Very reasonably priced. This one would be an ideal 'tongue in cheek' present for the man in your life..

Tea Towels in Dialect - Woman Tay Black Country Society

£3.99Postage & packaging: £1.40

The woman tea towel complements the 'man' version.

Tea Towel - alphabet Black Country Society

£3.99Postage & packaging: £1.40

The alphabet tea towel finishes the trio of tea towels, this one will teach you some aspects of the Black Country dialect.

The Lost Canals of The Black Country by Eric Richardson

£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 H Jack Haden

£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.

William Fowler's Kingswinford, The Man, The Map & The People & Places of Kingswinford by William Fowler

£2.70Postage & packaging: £1.40

Apologies, this book is temporarily out of stock. Once re-printed it will again be available to purchase here.

Essays & Reviews by Charles J. L. Elwell

£1.50Postage & packaging: £1.40

New sale price.

Blackberrying by the Black Country Society, a compilation

£3.75Postage & packaging: £1.40

We now have only 10 copies of this book remaining. It is a gathering of 53 poems by 16 Black Country writers and was first published in 2000. Writers include Jim William Jones, Kate Fletcher, Geoff Stevens and Olive Hyett.

The Black Country as seen through Antique Maps by Eric Richardson

£6.00Postage & packaging: £2.00

Reprinted 2012.

Blackcountry Bagatelles by Arthur Truby

£2.00Postage & packaging: £1.40

This book was published in 2002 and includes a series of 'trifles' (bagatelles). Trifles are meant to be savoured and should provide the reader with some light relief. The events are personal to the author, who was a regular contributor to The Blackcountryman for many years. We only have a small stock of this book left now, so buy before it runs out. This book is in new condition, but the staples have begun to rust, as often happens with books in storage for a long time. On request these staples can be removed and replaced.

Miles and Milestones by Arthur Truby

£2.00Postage & packaging: £1.40

Another book in short supply by Arthur Truby. This ones gives his recollections of 40 years of youth hostelling. Arthur joined the YHA in 1938 and reckoned to have spent 2100 nights in 376 different hostels by 1979. This book is in new condition, but the staples have begun to rust, as often happens with books in storage for a long time. On request these staples can be removed and replaced.

57 Black Country People by Stan Hill

£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 Michael Hale

£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 Patrick Talbot

£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 David Cox

£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.

James Foster of Stourbridge (1786-1853) by Editor: Roy Peacock

£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 a museum in Ohio.

A Sketchbook of the Black Country and Its Environs by Eric Richardson

£6.99Postage & packaging: £2.00

The late Eric Richardson enjoyed a long and fruitful retirement, much of his time was spent walking in a variety of regions. During his Black Country walks he concentrated on specific aspects of the region, especially canals and antique maps. This work is the product of a more leisurely need to record some of the highlights of these excursions into this rich and inspiring terrain.

A Lady of Wednesbury Forge Edited by Charles JL Elwell

£5.99Postage & packaging: £1.40

The Diary of Georgina Elwell 1868-1869 was an early Black Country Society publication. First published in 1976 it has been long out of print. This edition is a reproduction of a later edition edited by Charles Elwell. The diary provides a vivid and often humorous glimpse into a Black Country manufacturer's family life as seen through the eyes of a young woman member who began it when she was 20. The book also contains a number of contemporaneous letters from other family members of the family.

Smethwick Gas Works (a brief history, 1875-1949) By DJ Dimmock and RJ Wilding

£0.80Postage & packaging: £0.80

This was one of a series of Industrial Archaeology studies conducted by the Society. It was thought to have sold out, until a box was found in the Society book store. The books are in good condition, but the staples have began to rust, a common problem with books that are 'stitched'. These can be replaced before the book is despatched.

Black Country Vicar and Great Aunt Polly Stories by Reverend Carol Hathorne

£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.

Cricket Lyrics by Thomas Disney

£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.

Towpath Tale: The BCN Remembered by Arthur Truby

£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.