Tuesday 21 August 2012

Black Country Roots

I have mentioned before that I was born and brought up a Black Country wench, and although I have now lived away from Dudley for more years than I ever lived there, there is no escaping my roots. With relatives still in the area there are occasions when visits are made. One such occasion being made this past weekend.

The reason for this visit was to introduce a new member of my family to the relatives; the place; the heritage and, slightly more difficult to grasp, the language. Going around the place pointing out items of interest was no problem. Visiting the relatives was a pleasure, as it always is. Explaining the language and at times, translating for the outsider was more of a challenge but the heritage - that was easy!

The Black Country Living Museum is the destination to start when it comes to getting the flavour of what has shaped the place and the people. Even having visited this fascinating museum on a number of occasions, it is still a delight to make return visits, as each time there are exciting new additions to this expanding village. However, there are two places in particular which have been in place at the museum for many years now that hold special meaning for me. It was these in particular which I wanted to show to my family but first, there was ample opportunity for a spot of monochrome indulgence photography.
I can just recall the last trolley buses running between Dudley and Wolverhampton


 Preedy's, a name from my childhood. Here a tobacconist, later, also a newsagent

 One of two very popular fish and chip shops in the museum village.
Hobbs serve their fish and chips in the traditional way. Cooked in beef dripping and served in a folded paper cone.
only way to eat these delicious chips is straight out of the paper!

Food production of a different sort, with the pigs out in the back yard of Jerushah -
The Tilted Cottage

A visit to The Tilted Cottage was a must as it had originally stood not far from my own birth home.
However, it was the fact that in his youth, my father used to go scrumping in the garden of this house that made the connection all the more exciting.

 Podged rugs. Something I remember watching my maternal grandmother doing


St James's Infant School
(Or Little Jimmies as it was known locally)
A building indelibly imprinted in my memory. I couldn't tell you how many times I have passed through those gates. Apart from years of Sunday School in the Parish Hall which was behind this building, I actually spent a year of my school life in a classroom behind the windows on the far right. The school, in its original location even features in my own wedding photos from ** years ago

This was my classroom when I was an 11 year old.
OK, so it didn't look quite like this then as the ceiling had been lowered the whole school space divided into three and we had the luxury of chairs and tables but it all still seems so familiar.

I remember decorating these windows at Christmas with black taped mullion bars and spraycan snow to make it look windswept. The artwork from me and my school friends adorned the walls...

...which leads back to artwork of a different form

I'm not ashamed to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this visit down memory lane. Oh, and our newest member of the family had a great time too, even if the Black Country language does still baffle.

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