It's said that the Black Country gained its name in the mid-nineteenth century from the smoke from the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges.Other theories mention the abundance of coal in the region - the working of the shallow and 30ft thick seams.But when you come from a place that you are proud of, and that has very little recognition, it becomes second nature, and well deserved to get all defensive!The black country is a region defined not so much by borders but by people.Other authors, from Charles Dickens to William Shenstone refer to the intensity of manufacturing in the Black Country and its effect on the landscape and its people.Today the Black Country is described, by the government, as most of the four Metropolitan District Council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.To traditionalists the Black Country is the area where the coal seam comes to the surface - so West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and parts of Halesowen, Wednesbury and Walsall but not Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Smethwick or what used to be known as Warley.
Holbeche was owned by the Littleton family who had been involved in many of the Catholic uprisings, and it was to be the last stand of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators.
I tend to believe that Dudley Borough, parts of Sandwell and the places I mentioned above are the Black Country.
Live in France now, but was born & bred in West Brom - 'Brammich' We doh seem ta get a menshun from yo lot in Dudley 'n' Odebury! Nowt wrong with Brammich, except the football team!! I have been living in London now for 4 years after growing up in Tividale.
Or telling someone from Northern Ireland that they are from Ireland!
Dont get me wrong - to outsiders it doesnt really seem to matter that much.