Black Country Muse


Welcome to my Blog Page. Members are free to post comments on the Blog concerning the site, ask for information, appeal for help with lost relatives, and post photographs to assist the process. I will also use the Blog to try and keep members up to date with subjects, and take on board any comments about the site. Please bear in mind though, this is not a chat room, general or otherwise. The other facilities will all remain, the Private Message system, and the Contact Me are still at your disposal. Besides, it gives me a place to occassionly have a little rant, and rage about the injustice from the past, and sometimes, the present.

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hargate lane

Posted by joan on March 24, 2017 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

hi any one from hargate lane to chat to :)

Questions and Answers.

Posted by Alaska. on March 13, 2016 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I have dealt with a great many in the past few months, sadly, I shall have to confine the answers to mainly members, for it takes up a fair bit of time researching. I will however do my best to respond to all that come in, so do keep asking. Very pleased to see that some volunteers at The Black Country Living Museum are using some of the information on the Website, to enhance the many visitors experience of their excellent site. I am flattered. The Mining section continues to grow, thanks to the efforts of Pedro, for a series of well researched and informative articles on the subject. For those who have read the many topics, you may by now be aware, that beneath the surface, lies not just Coal, but a little scandal and underhanded tricks as well. Not just the owners either, for almost every " Butty Miner " I have come across, owned a little grocery shop, for they were very quick to follow the owners in operating the deplorable " Truck System ".  This comprised paying the miners in tokens and goods, rather than proper money, goods, which were not up to standard, and tokens, that they set their own value on. Despite the method being declared illegal, it operated in the Black Country well into the 1890s. There have been many other Potographs and Postcards added to the Gallery as well, and I hope you all enjoy viewing them. The website continues to grow, with visitors from around the World increasing, searching for information and background details on how their ancesters managed their lives, amidst the ups and downs of a turbulent industrial period. If you have a story to tell, and it falls within the scope and area of the website, do please contact me, and I will endeavour to include it in the appropiate section. Finally, I have re-installed the Guest Book Page. Your general comments about the site and the contents, are more than welcome. To all the many members who regulary use the website, thank you for the continued support, and thank you for reading this bit of a rambling blog.

Warship Model.

Posted by Alaska. on January 28, 2016 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Plank on frame model warship. No power tools used in the building of the vessel, just a spot of elbow grease and a great deal of tea drinking.

Busy Times Ahead.

Posted by Alaska. on January 25, 2016 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (2)

Keep the mind occupied. Well thats what we all get told when we get a bit older, isn't it. I think I may have taken on a bit too much lately. Not that I have been neglecting the website, I haven't, it's just that a few of my hobbies have taken up a little more of my time. First of all is the ship building. No, not anything you could sail away in, but currently a 3 foot long wooden warship, The Soveriegn of the Seas. This was Charles II conceipt, a largely vanitiy project that produced, at over a 100 guns, the biggest Warship of her time. It also very nearly bankrupted the country with it's elaborate decorations, and the many alrerations during her construction. I have, at the time of writting this blog, taken a break, and have included a picture of it's current state.

The website, I am pleased to say, is doing well, and over the last few months, many questions have been asked. I am grateful for the input of some of the members as well, who have added some very valuable information to various topics. Sharing material is one of the aims of this website, for it all adds to the pot of knowledge,which many involved in Genelogy Research will find useful. We will continue to do our best to answer, and help as best we can, but please bear in mind, research takes time. I would also like to thank the large number of members, who responded to the Christmas and New Year greetings, and a big thank you for all the sentiments and compliments we recieved. And now, a mention of my other hobby.

In 1983, I passed the Amatuer Radio Exam, and duly recieved my call sign. Unfortunately, some years later, I fell very ill, and had to call a halt. Late last year, I was " found ", by a previous fellow enthusiast, and encouraged to pick up the threads again. ( after nearly 25 years ) I now don't seem to have enough hours in the day to cram it all in. " Keep the mind occupied ", I said at the start of this blog, and I have certainly done that. What with erecting Long wire Antenna's, talking to Hams around the World, researching stuff for the Website, and fitting and rigging the ship it's no wonder I can't seem to find a few spare hours. If anyone else has the same problem, please contact me via the message service, or click the blue contact button, for I would be grateful for any hints on how to manage it all. In the meantime, I will take the opportunity of wishing all those that read this, a Happy and Properous 2016. Once again, thank you all for the support.

A sad year.

Posted by Alaska. on October 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (4)

I have had some difficulty these past few days, trying to remember just how I have managed to survive through the last 12 months. Well, here I am, not exactly fully up to scratch, there's a long way to go yet, for you simply can't put 52 years of married life to one side and forget it all. My late wife would now be delighted at the progress the website has made, now up to 2 million visits since I started it , and all without any expensive advertising. She read every word I published on the site, making suggestions and alterations,  up untill three days before she died. My admin and my best friend, I miss her every single day. I am also extremely grateful, to all those who have recommended the site to friends and relatives, in almost every corner of the planet. I didn't realise just how big it has become, until I had to use the search engine to find the answer to a question posed by a visitor via the Contact Button. I also took a break from the website for a few months, and I was overwhelmed by the response when I began posting items again. Asked what I had been doing with my time off, I have had to admit to being a bit of an anorak, I love building Model sailing ships. I started when I was eight, carving Balsa wood, using lollipop sticks for masts and spars, and black cotton for the rigging. The latest model, over three feet long, has so far taken me nearly five months, and thats just to complete the hull and deck fittings. No Balsa Wood now though, it's plank on frame stuff, and the time consuming job of details and scale. In a strange way, it's very much like the website, the detail added to the story, which enhances the overall picture. The site has now had a recorded two million visits, ( yes, I missed the first million )  and I must admit to some surprise, for I have never kept count before, it not being my main priority as I have already said on the Home Page. I did have a stab at facebook, but it's not really the right format for local history, is it ? Items get quickly pushed down the page, out of sight, and it's impossible to maintain a thread. I have not entirely given up, it's still there if anyone wants to take a look, and I do add an item or two when I get the chance. Membership of the website continues to rise, it's nice to see that interest in local history of the area is still very much alive and kicking. If you have a story to tell, or want to include a few photographs of interest, please feel free to do so, and you don't feel confident with that, just e-mail them to me, and I will do my best to present them as you would wish. Once again, my thanks to all who have supported the website, and I look forward to your continued interest and questions.