What is the Black Country and how did it get its name?
This is a map of the areas and towns which made up the Black country boundaries...
Black Country metal Works started its life in Wolverhampton.
Coal & coke
The Black Country is the industrial region to the west of, and separate from, Birmingham in the Midlands of England. It acquired its name during the Industrial Revolution of the mid nineteenth century due to the smoke and smog created by the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges springing up in the region. The effect of this on the surrounding countryside, was to cover it with dark spoil from the working of shallow and relatively thick (30ft) coal seams.
Today the Black Country is made up of most of the four Metropolitan District Council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The industries that flourished at the time included:-
Iron & steel
Locks & keys
Beer & Stout
Cars and motor bikes ( Star, AJS, Jenson, Stuart, Stevens, Clyno , Sunbeam etc)
The Black Country Living Museum, And Black Country Metal Works
The Black country, Open Air living Museum, deals exclusively with the history of the black country and epitomises everything we remember about the Industrial revolution, both here in Great Britain and indeed the world.
The Museum itself was established 35 years ago, with the intention of preserving a way of life that has now become legendary, throughout the world. Old Shops, Houses, workshops, and old “PUB” and even a Coal mine shaft are all there to be visited and studied.
The name, “Black Country” referred to the industrial revolution that was born here and the dust and spoil that accompanied it. However, rather like the amazing and wonderful items that were created and given life here, so was the strength and resilence of the people who lived and breathed this smoke filled and dust ridden existence. Etched into every face and running like a thread through every wearied body was a great sense of pride, and commitment. The rest of the world could only sit and marvel at the wonders of what this amazing and surprisingly small region could and were able to invent, design and give birth to.
From the finest, most intricate of jewellery, which made its way around some of the most wealthiest royal families in the world, to the huge chains and anchors, and Iron work that is still in use to day. If it was made from metal, then chances were that it had been given life here in the Black Country. The Metal working skills that seemed to exist naturally in the hands of every black country man, were passed from father to son, from generation to generation, like a special, god given gift that could not be replicated anywhere else in the world, at this time.
Our Commitment to the Black Country Museum
Here at Black Country Metal Works, that same level of pride and committment continues.
Although many of our products are made in many parts of the world, we are proud to say that their design and originality can be traced in some part back to their historical roots in the heart of the Black Country.
Modern ideas and expectations have changed radically the way we live today and the speed at which we live our lives, but we hope in some small way to help to keep alive the best of what was great about the black country, and what it was able to create. We are doing this in part, through our collaboration and involvement, albeit in a small way, with the Black Country Living Museum.
Black Country Metal Works involvement in Keeping the Memory of the Black Country Alive
We have been able to recreate some of the beautiful iron work, for the home, and for the garden. Cast iron work for the kitchen as well as many other items. We have been able to study and recreate the beautiful, hand painted pitchers and water carriers, that were made for the wonderful canal boats that worked tirelessly transporting the newly made cargos to the towns and cities to be shipped to Europe and around the world.
We were able to create and supply a wonderful set of “Pull handles” for the W I building at the Museum, in keeping with the originals, which were sadly missing.
We also have the great pleasure of making and supplying the “Rudolph Shoes” in hand cast brass that are used each year for the, much loved children’s, Xmas Shoe Hunt.
Vintage Vehicles, The Black Country Metal works contribution
To help support the work done in keeping these old vehicles here in the black country, we have been fortunate enough to acquire a small number of old vintage vehicles and motor bikes, that were made here in the black country. These and many others are gathered together each year and displayed at the museum to be admired and appreciated, by its many visitors.
1929 Star Luna, owned by Black Country Metal Works and loaned and on display at the Museum, for their annual Vintage Car Rally.