The Black Country is the industrial region to the west of, and separate from, Birmingham in the Midlands of England. It gained its name in the mid nineteenth century due to the smoke from the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges and the nature of the countryside which had been covered by dark spoil from the working of shallow and relatively thick (30ft) coal seams.
The region was described as 'Black by day and red by night' by Elihu Burritt, the American Consul to Birmingham in 1862 and other authors, from Dickens to Shenstone, refer to the intensity of manufacturing in the Black Country and its effect on the landscape and its people.
Today the Black Country is made up of most of the four Metropolitan District Council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton and the collections and displays are derived from throughout these areas.
The industries included:
coal & coke
iron & steel
locks & keys
beer & stout
Black Country Museum (BCM) located in Dudley which is only 30 mins away by car from Birmingham University. The trip to BCM was organized by my School of Computer Science. Around 10 international students joined the trip, i was in too as usual ^^ . The weather was freezing that day :(
Inside exhibition halls
The Black Country was famous for the Staffordshire Thick Coal, which lay beneath much of the area. The coal occurred in seams of up to 10 metres thick, far bigger than anywhere else in Britain. I joined "Into the Thick" , an underground experience created by the Black Country Living Museum to show how miners worked the Thick Coal and other seams in the Black Country in about 1850. It is a drift mine, with a sloping tunnel down. No photographing allowed but I still managed to capture one shot on the way out of the tunnel ^^
The 1920s cinema showing silent movies: we were watching Laurel & Hardy ^^
19th century street setting
Cast iron house ^^