Category Archives: Housing

That particular articulation of social relations which we are at the moment naming as… Doulton Brook

A break from the Irish this week. I’ve been mostly reading Doreen Massey this week – if you’re not familiar with her she’s an urban geographer of major importance, who died earlier in the year (2016 striking again). She was … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, History, Housing, Space, Stourbridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Birmingham’s furthest outpost: Michel de Certeau and the strategies of Elan Village’s builders

 I was very fortunate recently to get to camp in one of the most beautiful spots in the country, in the Elan Valley, Powys. It’s among the most sparsely-populated parts of the UK, falling within what John Henry Cliffe described as … Continue reading

Posted in Birmingham, half baked theories, Housing, Landscape, Powys, Space, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Other immigrants of Carribee Island: Wolverhampton’s Jewish community 1

My PhD research focuses on a small section of Wolverhampton town centre in the nineteenth century that was well-known – perhaps notorious, even – for it’s substantial Irish immigrant population. “Carribee Island” and the “Stafford Street district” became by-words when … Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Space, Wolverhampton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Plumbing; or, Wolverhampton’s Great Stink

I am in no way, shape or form a practically-minded person. So when last weekend was dominated by some DIY plumbing I felt fully out of depth, although as a team (my wife, me and Youtube) we managed to get the … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Housing, Public Health, Wolverhampton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Naming spaces: the Kingsbridge passageways

Somewhere out there, there’s a project waiting to be written on modern seasonal transhumance – the annual trek of the scattered to the lands of their fathers during the Christmas holiday, like Joseph returning to Bethlehem. In both my and OH’s cases though, … Continue reading

Posted in Devon, History, Housing, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country

We’ve come to the end of this series on some of the distinct areas of the Black Country that found themselves with a special stigma in the nineteenth century. Based on the Birmingham Daily Post‘s 1866 series on the sanitary condition I’ve had … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Housing, Slum, tower blocks, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country: Anvil Yard, Cradley Heath

Not far from the Lye Waste lies the ancient manor of Cradley. At the first talk I gave at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in the summer, somebody mentioned to me that I ought to check out Anvil Yard. It turns out, the history of … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, environment, History, Housing, Slum, Space, Worcestershire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country: Waste Bank, Lye

The South Staffordshire coalfield defines the Black Country for many purposes, but as a culturally-defined region, its borders are highly porous. Wolverhampton is in or out, depending on who you ask; Walsall preferred to be out, at least in 1866. The … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, environment, History, Housing, Landscape, Maps, Slum, Space, Stourbridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country: Town End Bank, Walsall

Class distinction, democracy and proper drains. John Betjeman, In Westminster Abbey The protagonist of Betjeman’s satirical poem unwittingly summarised the approach of mid-Victorian society to many issues. As we’ve seen, poor drainage is one of the emblematic signifiers of a unsanitary area, and was the … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Housing, Irish, Maps, Picture, Poverty, Slum, Staffordshire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“Slums” of the Black Country: Gold’s Hill, West Bromwich

The Black Country is constructed not just upon topography but upon geology. Mines can only be built where there’s something to mine; other sorts of works require proximity to those materials; infrastructure is built around, and to meet the demands of, the geology. … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Canal, environment, Housing, Maps, Public Health, Slum | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments