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Mixed reaction as we flag up Black Country Day to shoppers and our readers

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: May 09, 2014

By David Edge

  • Mandy Baker

  • Rachel Jewkes

  • Doreen Cartwright

  • Gary Link

  • Sheelagh Richards

  • Sarah Link

  • Sian Rutter

  • Dennis Stokes

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THE Black Country is famous for its rich heritage and history with those living here remaining fiercely proud of the area.

But how many recognise the Black Country flag, know when Black Country Day is and will be celebrating the occasion.

The Bugle went out on to the streets of Cradley Heath to find out shoppers' answers and we discovered that only some recognised the flag and knew about the event on July 14 and even fewer were celebrating the day.

One of the first people we spoke to was Dennis Stokes, who's lived in the area all his life. "Every day is Black Country Day!" he exclaimed, and while recognising the increasingly famous flag, featuring a chain on a black, white and red background, he insisted he has no plans to mark the occasion. "I won't, I'm too old now mate!" he said.

Mandy Baker, a market trader who buys The Bugle every week, was aware of Black Country Day and said that she would be marking the occasion. "I'm going to see what events are on," she added.

Sarah Link, who, along with her husband of 9 years Gary, run their own butcher's in Cradley Heath Market, found out about Black Country Day on social media. "I don't know much about it but I have seen it mentioned a lot on Facebook," said Sarah. Gary added: "We might put some flags up and might do something here at our stall!"

Pat Jewkes heard about the Black Country Day on the radio and plans to have a traditional Black Country dish of faggots and peas to mark the event. Her daughter, Rachel, said she had seen the Black Country flag, first registered with the Flag Institute in 2012, on many occasions.

"It's to do with chain making, and I've seen it on the Mary McArthur march," she said.

But many shoppers and traders seemed unaware of the July 14 event. Doreen Cartwright said: "I've never heard of it, I've been out of touch with everything, but I think I might do something now I'm retired, probably attend an event or something."

Sian Rutter, who also works in the Cradley Heath Market, was not aware of Black Country Day either, and hasn't any plans to celebrate it. "I don't know when it is, I have never heard about it before. I've no plans to do anything at the moment".

Sheelagh Richards, a local shopper in the town, said she did not know when Black Country Day was. "No idea" she said. "I've never seen the flag before and probably won't be doing anything for it."

Tell us how you are celebrating Black Coun- try Day. Write to us at 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL, or email editor@blackcoun trybugle.co.uk or log on to wwww.blackcoun trybugle.co.uk

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