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Sea of red, white and black as Black Country flies the flag

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 16, 2014

You are never too young to celebrate Black Country Day as six -month-old Ella Ashby proves

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THE sun shone on Black Country Day on Monday this week and it seemed that the streets of our region, from Wolverhampton to Wednesbury and Sedgley to Smethwick, were transformed into a sea of red, black and white as Black Country folk proudly few their flags, designed by Stourbridge schoolgirl Gracie Sheppard.

Old and young celebrated, as this picture, right, shows, sent in by proud grandparents Heather and Clive Corbett of Kingswinford, of six-month-old Ella Ashby of Brockmoor, daughter of Matt and Emily.

Over the weekend there was a host of events across the region for the first Black Country Festival.

Thousands flocked to Wolverhampton's West Park as the annual City Show was renamed the Wolverhampton and Black Country Show.

Alongside the fun fair there was a monster truck display, the Devil's Horsemen stunt team and live music.

Also at the show was the BBC's World War I at Home tour, with railway expert and pop impresario Pete Waterman among the guests.

Dudley prides itself on being the unofficial capital of the Black Country and Stone Street Square was the centre of the Black Country Festival organised by Garry Sawers, known as entertainer Black Country Gaz.

Garry said, "The event at Stone Street Square, together with hundreds of other events taking place across Dudley and the Black Country, are the result of months and months of planning and hard work. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in the community and to Dudley Council for their support in bringing this vision into a reality."

Amid the stalls there was live entertainment with music from the Empty Can, who had a recent hit with their Black Country anthem I Vow to Thee Black Country, and many more acts from the region.

And at the Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge, inspiration for Gracie Sheppard's iconic flag, there was a weekend of celebrations.

On Friday, July 11, the museum hosted a return of the Black Country Night Out when Aynuk, alias comic Alan Smith, was joined by the comedy group Fizzog, a Dolly Allen tribute by Emma Rollason and others.

Saturday saw a day of live music at the 18th century glass works, while Sunday was given over to the spoken word and a celebration of Black Country dialect and poetry with Brendan Hawthorn and Billy Spakemon.

The Black Country Living Museum celebrated, the Old Hill Festival had a Black Country theme and there were many more events at pubs, libraries and community centres across the region.

How did you celebrate Black Country Day? Send us your stories and pictures to The Bugle and we will try to print as many as possible. Email editor@blackcountrybugle.co.uk, log on to www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk or write to us at The Black Country Bugle, Bugle House, 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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