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Black Country Muse

Black Country Photographs, Postcards, Stories, Recollections, Memories, History, Folklore, Murder, Genealogy Tips, and Forums. Social History Events,Time Lines, and General Regional Mining History.

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Black Country General History.TopicsPostsLast updated

Blackcountry Factual History. Locked_color_btn

Historical events and facts, dates, names, places, which can all be placed within the area that covers the Black Country, from the 1800s to more recent times. Over 100 stories contained in this section.
8 days ago
by Alaska.

Memorabilia From the past. Locked_color_btn

Many Tales and Storie's from the past, including Work and Social History among the 100 different tales. Some of the Regions Characters, Places, Events, Scandals, and in fact, anything that may help others with their family research.
2 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Dead and Buried. Locked_color_btn

57 stories of folk who were dead long before their allotted time, killed it was said, by overwork. Others from accidents at work, caused by their unscrupulous and wicked employers. Poor food, unsanitary housing, invited a visit from the grim reaper.
13 days ago
by Alaska.

Post Box.

A place for any comments, or requests, concerning the topics within the website. You will need to be registered with the site, it's free, and anyone with an interest in the Black Country, is very welcome to join.
7 months ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Social History.TopicsPostsLast updated

Living and Working Conditions. Locked_color_btn

From birth to the grave, with many hardships and troubles in between. How our Ancesters put up with half of what they had to endure, I will never know. The phrase, " The good old days ", wouldn't have cut much ice if they could speak today.
47 hours ago
by Alaska.

Beliefs and other Oddities. Locked_color_btn

Some strange behaviour and weird customs from the past, leading us to believe our ancesters may have been a bit on the funny side. What do you believe in, God, Ghosts, or Quack Doctors, our dear departed ancesters could do all three and not bat an eyelid.
7 days ago
by Alaska.

Ghostly Footsteps. Locked_color_btn

Just a few old tales from around the region that may keep you amused. If there's an old one from your area, that isn't posted, send me the details, and I will list it for you. Sorry folks, I don't do the modern stuff, far too many ways to fake it all.
3 months ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Miscellaneous Subjects.TopicsPostsLast updated

Tale's from the region. Locked_color_btn

Some very sad, others quite funny, but most of them will enable you to understand how our ancesters lived: or died. These selected stories come from all parts of the Black Country. Members are invited to add to the subject matter. Click the blue Button.
3 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Words from the Dead. Locked_color_btn

What does one do, to pass the time, before or after a a Wedding, Christening, or a Funeral. Have a good look around the old gravestones thats what. Well thats what I generally do, looking for any interesting words of wisdom. Add your own if you wish.
5 days ago
by David Steventon

Genealogy Researching. Locked_color_btn

Once you get the bug, its difficult to stop, so here are a few tips on the basics, and a few examples of just how difficult it can be at times. Enter the name of a relative in the search box, and see if anything comes up. There is help available.
2 months ago
by Alaska.

Can you Help ?

A place to post a request for that bit of information you may lack. All in the best possible taste, via a private message, or through admin if you are a bit shy about posting your request. Copyrighted material though, should be avoided.
10 days ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Transport.TopicsPostsLast updated

Carriages of Convenience. Locked_color_btn

By Foot, Horse, Cart, Coach, Canal, and then Bicycle, our Ancesters made their way around the region. Then came Steam power, the Railways, Tramcars, and finally the Internal Combustion Engine. I wonder what comes next.
2 months ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Murders.TopicsPostsLast updated

The Ultimate Crime. Locked_color_btn

This section contains over 85 vile and very nasty Murders, events that shocked the local population and sometimes the whole Country. Foul Murders page above, and biography of local Hangman George Smith, see " Executioners Page "
4 months ago
by Alaska.

Other Crimes and Punishments. Locked_color_btn

Drunkeness, dishonesty, general misbehaviour, our Ancesters were quite adapted to do any of them. Sometimes, all at the same time. Not only the men either. the woman, at times. were even worse. Over 190 tales of Murder and mayhem. See Prison Conditions.
2 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Murder Case Reviews Locked_color_btn

Extra information and background on some of the cases covered, a closer look at some of the motives, and a few questions that seem to have not been asked. 21 updated murder stories.
5 months ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Mining HistoryTopicsPostsLast updated

Mining History. Locked_color_btn

The use of the search facility when searching for names, is recommended in this topic. Not just Coal, but Ironstone, Limestone, and Fireclay were mined in the region. From the 16th Century onwards, untold Men, and some Women, gave their lives for profit.
2 days ago
by Alaska.

Mining Accidents of the past. Locked_color_btn

A look at a few other area's mining accidents. Some samples of rather tragic events, involving children, supposed sabotage, and touching affection for a steam engine. Most of which may bring a few tears to your eyes.
6 months ago
by Alaska.

The Black Country at War. TopicsPostsLast updated

For King/Queen and Country. Locked_color_btn

Do you have a relative, who willingly put themselves in the line of fire, in the defence of our mighty Empire. Did they give their all, in some far flung foreign land, or some vast expanse of an unforgiving Ocean. This section has Colour Illustrations
2 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Heroes. Locked_color_btn

Some of the stories of the men of the region who gave long and faithful service in defence of the realm. If you wish to have something added to the subject, do please let me know.
9 months ago
by Alaska.

The Firing Squad. Locked_color_btn

For 361 men, the War produced not a proud and glorious end, but a Court Marshal, and a dawn march to a place of execution. Discipline was a priority, and maintaining it, a controversial and much discussed subject ever since.
5 days ago
by Alaska.


You will find over 1,100 different stories of numerous  Blackcountry Facts, Memorabilia, Murders, Crime and Punishment, Miscellanous Stories, Mining History, Military History, Heroes, and for the end, a few Epitaphs to send you on your way.  Hundreds of names, places events and dates to check, hopefully, an aid to your family history research. Contributions about the many subjects welcomed, just Press the Contact Me button, and I will endeavour to respond as quickly as I can. Alternatively, you can post a comment on the website in the Post Box, or the " Can you help " section.

Photo Gallery.

The Gallery is now back, and from now on, at least two of the albums can be viewed on the main pages, and will change on a regular basis. Thank you for your continuing support during the operation.

All the Albums in the Gallery, 22 in total, and containing almost 1,400 pictures, sketches and maps, are connected to the many Topics to be found on the Forum pages. Places you may remember, places and buildings that have long gone, events, faces, and a whole load of information that may help you, and many others, with their research. Members can post pictures on the subject matter into the appropiate Album, but please ensure the area is indentified and dated. You can also send me, via e-mail, or by using the Contact Me Button, any pictures you think would be suitable. Do have a good look around the website, you may be surprised what you find, and good luck with your searching.


Where the Devil am I.

It's a Long Way To Tipperary.

Update on the life of Harry Williams and Jack Judge, the Oldbury song writing duo, who made marching through Flanders in 1914, bit more uplifting.

Black Country Stately Homes.

The Nailers Cottage, 260, Hagley Road, Hasbury, Halesowen. Following a successful application, and consultation with all interested parties to list the building, English Heritage have now awarded it a Grade II.  Dudley Planning Dept, will now be in the process of preparing the regulation statutory notices, under the Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest Act, ( 1990 ) Absolutely great news. See under, Old House's, in my Memorabilia from the Past, on the website, or click onto my September Blog.


Subjects include, Local and National Executioners, Mines and Owners, Ironworking, Steam Engines, older Census Returns, Folklore, Coal Masters, Nailmaking, Foul Murders, Locally sponsered Warships, and Prison Condtions. Names, dates and Events are included in all the many subjects. A Blog page is available, for comments about the site, and how to contact us is easy, just press the Contact Me Button. There are more details about the site, on the Home Page.

New Page, Black Country Heroes and The Firing Squad.

Have you got a Hero you want remembered. Click the Blue Button and let me know. If you have a comment on the subject of Military Executions, or an ancester that mis-behaved, do let me know.


Updated, 18th Dec 2012.  A detailed look at the four local men who took up this gruesome task. Included, is a look at some other famous Hangmen, and a few facts you might not really want to know.

Words from the Dead.

A bit of prose, fancy words, insults, and a few of the more unusual inscriptions, found on Headstones and Memorials. You wouldn't get away with some of these today, but they can be very funny, as well as bitingly cruel. If you have a favourite one I have not included, get in touch and I will put it in.

Unsolved Blackcountry Murders.

14 stories, a mixture of various dastardly deeds that remain unsolved, and the poor victims unavenged. Some from the distant past, and many from more recent times. Who, for instance, brutally slew Esther Baggott,  bludgened to death a Dudley money lender, and why did someone snuff out the life of a Pregnant Tennis player.

Foul Murders.

14, very nasty and messy Murders. Sharp implements as well as some Blunt ones included. Even more in the Ghastly Murders Topic on the Forums.


A bit of a tongue in cheek look at History. In two parts, 1800-1816, then 1817 - 1901. A series of dates and events, that you may be able to fit into your family tree research.  Some of it may help to explain just why your relatives acted as they did.