Celebrating the Black Country Festival at Sandwell's libraries

Published 2nd July 2019

Black country flag

Sandwell Libraries have drawn-up a packed programme to celebrate the Black Country Festival throughout the month of July.

The programme will include chances to see local comedians, musicians, storytellers and historians and to get along to a local fun day. 

Councillor Bob Lloyd, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said: “There were so many talents across the Black Country and we have our fair share in Sandwell. 

“The libraries have come up with a wide-range of activities to show the skills of people interested in knowledge quizzes, the history of the local towns and local history.”

Local Historian Ian Bott and librarian Mo Waldron will give several talks and local councillor Steve Melia will give a lecture on the Friar Park area of Wednesbury. 

There will also be a “Brains of the Black Country” quiz at Blackheath Library.

On Black Country Day itself – Sunday 14 July – there is the Black Country Variety Day from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Great Bridge Library, which will showcase the best of local talent like comedian Jonny Sorrow, magician Alex Vann, and magician Ron Popple as well as many more. 

Tickets for this ever popular event, hosted by the Boonyeds are available from the library for £3. It's a ticket-only event, so please call 0121 569 4930 to book in advance.

Other events:

Friday 12 July sees Black Country Radio’s Billy Spakemon at Bleakhouse Library along with Tom Stanton for a morning of music and storytelling, taking you on a journey of Black Country life 11am – 12.30pm. Free admission.

Monday 15 July ‘Black Country Man’ at Central Library, West Bromwich. Join Neil Price to hear the stories of the working men who made the Black Country great, 3pm. Free admission.

Tuesday 16 July at Wednesbury Library – Paul Garrett and Pete Wain bring you Black Dust, an interpretive history of the region with live music and discussion, 7pm. Free admission.

Thursday 18 July at Community History and Archives Service, at Smethwick Library, hosts a special afternoon in conjunction with The Living Memory Project including a talk from project lead Geoff Broadway, with unseen material from the CHAS strong rooms and a presentation from award winning photographer Andrew Jackson, 1pm – 4pm. Free admission.

The following free events are all also happening at various libraries as part of the festival:

Monday 8 July - Midlands Mystery Talk by Ian Bott at Stone Cross at 2.30pm-3.30pm.

Tuesday 9 July -  Hospitals and Workhouses of the Black Country – talk by Mo Waldron at Smethwick, 1.30pm.

Thursday 11 July - John Whitehouse Memorial Lecture at Tipton, 10am -12noon.

Thursday 11 July - Steve Melia, History of Friar Park, at Great Barr, 2.15pm-3.15pm.

Thursday 11 July -  Afternoon Tea with CHAS – Black Lake Colliery Disaster – talk by Mo Waldron at Thimblemill, 1.30pm.

Saturday 13 July - Black Country Fun Day at Tipton, 10.30am – 12.30pm.

Monday 15 July - Ian Bott talk at Blackheath 1.30pm-2.30pm.

Tuesday 16 July - Sunday 28 July,  Living Memory Exhibition, Community History and Archives Service, Smethwick Library.

Tuesday 16 July - Ian Bott talk at Cradley Heath, 2.30pm-3.30pm.

Tuesday 30 July - ‘Ere we bin - spoken word event at Wednesbury, 7-9pm.

Throughout July at Central Library, West Bromwich,  Sandwell Stories photography exhibition.

To find out more and book your place, please contact the host library.

Full details of the Black Country Festival