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How Dudley Council and the local community put the Black Country on the map 

Black Country Flag

The Black Country Festival 2014... A year to remember

The first ever Black Country Festival has featured events and activities across the Dudley borough and has seen the Black Country flag fly proudly from businesses, homes and cars.

At Dudley Council, we're delighted to have supported the community in making the festival a reality. Thank you to everyone who took part and thanks to those of you who responded to our survey around the celebrations.

We're delighted to report that following the festival and publicity that accompanied it, 91.5% of people are now aware the Black Country has its own flag, while 88.5% are aware of Black Country Day, compared to just 11.5% before the festival.  

Black Country Festival civic reception

Community activists who made the festival are honoured by the Mayor of Dudley

Individuals who all played an instrumental role in creating the first ever Black Country Festival have been honoured at a civic reception.

The Mayor of Dudley welcomed in a number of people from the community yesterday (TUES) who helped create a month of celebrations in July to mark national Black Country Day on July 14.

:: more on civic reception to honour the community

Black Country Festival at Stourbridge Carnival

Black Country Festival celebrations 2014

A celebration of all things Black Country took place across Dudley borough during July 2014 after the community expressed a desire to create a festival of activities.

Official Black Country Day was on July 14 and as part of Dudley Council's Love Your Community initiative, council bosses supported the community to create a festival of celebrations.

The background:

Following Dudley Council’s high profile launch of the Black Country flag in January 2014, which is still flying with pride from Dudley Town Hall, council chiefs were inundated with community requests to get involved in celebrating the region.

Garry Sawers, a musician who goes by the name Black Country Gaz, led the community involvement and the council presented Garry with a Love Your Community certificate for his efforts.

Black Country food and drink, live music, comedy, arts and crafts all took centre stage in July across Stourbridge, Dudley, Brierley Hill, Halesowen and other parts of the borough.

The officially registered Black Country flag was designed by Stourbridge schoolgirl Gracie Sheppard. July 14 was officially registered as national Black Country Day as it is the anniversary of the invention of the world’s first steam engine, the Newcomen Engine, which was created in the Black Country back in 1712.

Black Country Gaz has set up a website at www.blackcountryfestival.co.uk and a facebook page which has around 800 followers.

People and organisations wanting to know more should email info@blackcountryfestival.co.uk

Black Country Flag

People can continue to show their support for the Black Country by going to the Black Country Living Museum shop in Tipton Road or the website at
http://www.bclm.co.uk/shop.htm where they can buy a range of Black Country flags and badges.

Merchandise is also available at the Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge and www.teetshirts.com in Cradley Heath also has a range of Black Country goods.


Dudley Council supported the festival with a range of events. A list of news releases issued by the council can be found here:

News releases:

  • Feb 12th - Community leads Dudley’s Black Country celebrations
  • April 3rd - Top of the charts ambition for Black Country anthem
  • May 20th - Black Country festival acts urged to come forward
  • May 27th - People urged to help get the Black Country on the map
  • June 4th - Family fun day in Pensnett to celebrate Black Country Day
  • June 11th - Stone Street Square takes centre stage for Black Country fun
  • June 13th - Come and have a laugh at "kum-n-avaloff" as part of Black Country festival
  • June 16th - Black Country Festival at the Red House Glass Cone
  • June 17th - America comes to Dudley in a musical extravaganza
  • June 20th - Black Country culture celebrated at Red House Glass Cone
  • June 20th - Exhibitions planned at Himley for Black Country Day
  • June 24th - Black Country flavour for Stourbridge Carnival
  • June 24th - One-off citizenship ceremony for the Black Country
  • June 26th - Black Country art at the Cornbow Hall
  • June 27th - Black Country Festival at Stone Street Square
  • June 27th - Black Country Day celebrations in Dudley
  • July 1 - Festival Flickr snaps wanted
  • July 1 - Flying the Black Country Flag at Red House Glass Cone
  • July 3 - Black Country Day at Dudley Museum
  • July 4 - Borough libraries celebrate Black Country Day
  • July 6 - Mayor set for Black Country comedy at the Cone
  • July 6 - Black Country festival kicks off at Stourbridge Carnival
  • July 8 - Disability in Action joins in with Black Country Festival
  • July 10 - Libraries give Black Country Day stamp of approval
  • July 10 - Black Country flag's bostin'
  • July 14 - Black Country Festival at Stone Street Square
  • July 15 - Black Country Day fun lives on in Coseley
  • July 16 - Another chance for Black Country Festival fun in Halesowen
  • 22 - Black Country Festival success

  • November 26 - Civic reception to honour the community

Community links: