Although there are several pieces that I have written for various projects (found in relevant sections) my main contributions have been to the Black Country Societies “Blackcountryman” and to the “Black Country Connections”. I'd like to thank Mick Pearson and Dawn for allowing me to compile the pieces. They are very different magazines. Within the Black CountyMan there are longer more semi-academic pieces that engage with a variety of subjects, life stories, notions of identity, lived experiences among others. The Connections is more of a reflection of life, mine and others in a sort of condensed sometimes funny and slightly twisted way. I've always wanted to get them all together, so here we have them. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them, and hopefully continue to do so.
The Black Country Connection
I have been writing for the Connections for some years now. It is a totally different kind of writing than the Black Countryman which is more academic in many ways. James has given me the opportunity to group all of the articles on the site and I hope you enjoy skipping through them. They were and are great fun to write as in the main they are snapshots of my life or observations of the world examined through the eyes of half a Boonyed (Brendan Hawthorne being the other). Dip in and out of these short stories and maybe trigger your own memories.
The Blackcountryman (The quarterly magazine for the Black Country Society)
I've written for the Black Countryman for many years. Mick Pearson who still is the editor kindly accepts and reads everything I send him. The articles could range from accounts of individual's lives (Sam Wilkes the World Wood Whittling Champion) to examinations of identity through voice and place. Several of the essay developed out of my PhD work so there is quite a variety of pieces now all together in one place. They are in sharp contrast to the short Connection pieces.
Black Country Echoes
Echoes is a Heritage Lottery Funded project I was involved in and the essay included was directly influenced by my own self examination of who I was as a Black Countryman. As we grow older, it becomes clearer the methods we use to become accepted by a wider society. We continue on that journey or claim an identity we are comfortable with.