DIGGING deep into the Bugle's picture archives the accompanying photographs have been resurrected from obscurity and published with the pride of the Black Country in mind.
There's a pride in the head gear worn by the ladies, both young and old, who had a connection with St Thomas's (Top Church) in Dudley; a pride in dressing up and being part of a carnival procession on the cobbled streets of a Black Country town; a pride in being a shopkeeper and supplying good quality merchandise to customers, in this case the bicycle fraternity; and a pride in doing an honest day's work. This final snap shot of yore was most likely taken at a lock company in Willenhall which employed both men and women.
The Black Country flag has stirred a new identity in the Dark Region in recent months, and no doubt, had it been available in days of yore, the picture shown bottom left would have been festooned with the chain and glass cone design.
Before the dawn of the big four boroughs (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) district councils such as Amblecote, which was the smallest UDC in the country with a population of just over 3,000, looked after their own purse strings and proudly defended their independent identity. Bilston folk still regret the day Wolverhampton took away their independence, and after being pulled from pillar to post and finally sliced into three Coseley UDC was also consigned to the history books. But folk who can still remember the old local councils look back in pride at the way they were run.
The people in the pictures came from different backgrounds and different locations in the Dark country, but because of them we can say collectively, "We'm Black Country and proud."