The Sunday Ramble: Black Country Day
I thought I would mention Black Country Day, which will last about a fortnight… It’s on Monday the 14th of July. We’ll be having the Carnival in Wednesbury, on the 12th… Darlo will have it’s Party in the Park between the 11th and the 13th. That starts about 10am to 4pm. They’re going to have a boating pool…
Black Country Night Out
We have our own accent, dialect and humour in the Black Country. You can still hear some of the humour on YouTube from the likes of Harry Harrison and Dolly Allen of the Black Country Night Out. It’s a shame we don’t have anything like that these days. I think the humour is struggling to survive, as is the Black Country culture. One Black Country school tried to ban the kids from talking in the dialect not long ago, so they wouldn’t get discriminated against when they were older and went for a job. Yes, people do get discriminated against if they don’t talk with a posh accent like royalty. Without people who spoke with regional accents the posh crowd would have nothing. While they enjoyed the champagne and strawberries at Wimbledon and Pimms at Royal Ascot there were people grafting in factories and down mines. We can thank Thatcher for putting an end to most of that.
Carnival and Party in the Park
Anyway, I’ll try to photograph the carnival and if I’m up early I might pop up Darlo and photograph their Party in the Park. I hope the weather is better than today, it is dark and miserable today. I’ll still go out and take a few photos. I photographed the horse drawn carriages from Tipton last month at the Fiery Holes pub. They put that series of photos in the Express and Star, the regional newspaper based in Wolverhampton. People in Wolverhampton weren’t too sure whether they were in the Black Country or not, until they created the Black Country Development Corporation and there was money to be had. That’s long gone now too, but we did get the Black Country Route as a result of it. That’s an interesting road to drive on. It is in Sandwell anyway. The 50 miles an hour part is quite good, but in Sandwell it’s called the Black Country New Road and is 40 MPH. It’s a dual carriageway with 2 lanes that go to 3 lanes on approaches to roundabouts. The roundabouts are a nightmare. Most roads have traffic calming now and so it’s a bit of excitement when we are able to go over 20 miles and hour.
University of Wolverhampton
We have a university in the Black Country with campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford. I wonder why there is no campus in Sandwell? I’m trying to think what courses might be popular in places like Tipton and West Bromwich. Tipton needs courses in equestrian pursuits perhaps? West Bromwich is quite sporty; watching it, not playing it. We definitely need a campus in Wednesbury. I could study no ends of things or even teach something. I become involved with the university when I started helping students at the business school at Hubei (Xiaogan) University in China. One of them is just finishing her Master’s degree in International Business in Wolverhampton. She’s finding that even a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree isn’t all that useful when it comes to getting a job in this country. A posh accent is much more useful, so is friends in high places. Apparently, it’s easy to get a job in China; maybe they don’t have posh accents to divide people there?
I think there are now a lot of crap jobs in the UK and I suspect the great United States is similar. Jobs are advertised with OTE, where basic pay should be. That usually means selling crap that only the gullible would buy at stupid prices. The problem is gullible people are a bit scarce in the Black Country, we are quite down to earth. We tend to resist the jargon of the politically correct crowd too. We have problems, not issues. We are affected by things, not impacted. We are not into robust solutions either…
The Black Country is a good place to visit. We don’t have much of a river, but if you’ve seen my photos, it’s worth seeing. Even a walk along the canal can be interesting. We also have Victorian parks. You’ll also notice it’s multicultural, not all white and ‘not in our backyard’, like in some of the posh places. Come here with a friendly attitude and leave your prejudices at home and you’ll be accepted.
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