The Robe of Providence

The Robe of Providence – A Relic of West Bromwich The relic of advance preparation. West Bromwich is one of Sandwell’s biggest market towns, with both an indoor permanent market and a thriving street market that date back to the early 18th century. Markets have traditionally been a place of commerce and community, and the […]

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The Bibble Crown

The Bibble Crown – A Relic of Rowley Regis The relic of knowing the worth of solid foundations. Rowley got it’s Regis in the 12th Century, when it was proclaimed Royal Hunting grounds. Its famous hills are made of  ‘Rowley Rag’, a volcanic dolerite stone similar to the rocks used to make Stonehenge.  This stone […]

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The Chalice of Chance

The Chalice of Chance – A Relic of Smethwick  A relic of experimentation and uncertainty Like many Black Country towns Smethwick had several companies making leaps forward in industry. The Chance Brothers glassworks was one such place, developing new types of glass such as the opaque panes used for the face of Big Ben and […]

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The Gauntlet of Mercia

The Gauntlet of Mercia – A Relic of Wednesbury   The relic of self reliance. A thousand years ago much of the Midlands was the focus of great conflict as the Vikings sought to continue their expansion South-West. Æthelflæd was the daugheter of Alfred the Great and, like most King’s daughters, was married off to seal […]

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The Pollyknocker

The Pollyknocker – A Relic of Oldbury The relic of defending oneself from unwanted attention. Oldbury (once known as the town of four moons) was once the home of an ornate cast iron drinking fountain, topped with a life-sized figure depicting Europa, her right arm aloft and holding a torch. Forged at Coalbrookdale and opened […]

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Barley & Potato Wine

Another day, another Um Brew recipe. Uncle Jon has provided another fantastic concoction from the book  of his pal Denis, this one involving Barley and Potatoes. Barley is something which has a long history – at least 12000 years – with humanity and has been a staple food item being used in making bread, beer […]

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The Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory – A staple of horror films, most notably seen in British Lion’s ‘The Wicker Man’. Legend refers to to being the preserved arm of a hanged man, which either had its fingers lit or held a candle made of the rendered fat of…. a hanged man. The town of Walsall has […]

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Parsnip Wine

Parsnips! Glorious Parsnips! Long lauded as an aid to digestion, a tonic for the lungs and (alongside other suggestively shaped veg) something to perk up a particular aspect of ones anatomy, they are now mostly referred to as ‘The one that isn’t a roast potato’. Uncle Jon is my go-to guy for all things Um […]

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