Tag Archives: smethwick

Clay miles: Henry Doulton in the Black Country

On the North Worcestershire Path, not far from Iverley, there is a broken water pipe lying to one side of the track. It’s a bit forlorn, but clearly a very nice thing: it’s glazed, and the makers have taken the trouble … Continue reading

Posted in Birmingham, Black Country, Canal, History, industry, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The desi dialectic

Recent blog posts have been a little sparse, and that’s mostly a function of learning to be a freelancer – sometimes, apparently, work comes in thick and fast and leaves little time for much else. However, it has it’s upsides: … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Irish, Migration, Wolverhampton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“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

Reformers and racists

I’m no political historian, and I’ve no desire to get here into the whys and wherefores of last week’s general election. Suffice to say, I’m appalled to be under a Conservative government; and feel defrauded by the most disproportionate election … Continue reading

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Concrete Jungle

Many thanks to Kate Gordon, who got in touch after last week’s post on the concrete jungle of the West Smethwick estate. She very kindly provided some fantastic photos showing just how the estate got its nickname – doesn’t take … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Block Capital, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

It’s like a Jungle sometimes

I’ve come across a couple of people lately who have mentioned that they grew up in the “concrete jungle” in Smethwick, online and in the flesh. It’s one of those folk names that will never be recorded officially, but that … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Block Capital, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Smethwick: canals upon canals

There are few particular advantages to working an admin role within a university, but one of the best is called Shibboleth. This wonderful beast allows me, a layman, full access to academic papers, a host of archive sources, and most … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Canal | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Local government in the Black Country

Having had a look at the authorities that built council housing in the Black Country, I ended up a touch confused. The history of civil governance in the Black Country is somewhat maze-life, so I’m laying it out here for … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment