Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Grand Day Out

Up early, hearty breakfast partaken.  Extra comfy shoes on.  A day out in store to the Black Country Living Museum. 
We walked along the towpath (looking at phone maps Sue) I was convinced it was right, David was convinced it was left, however where he was pointing there was not a tow path….  With my Henry Kissinger hat on, I did what no man ever does and asked two elderly gentlemen walking past.  That settled it, partly right, then left.  

What a great place, every visitor to the Black Country should come here.  Firstly onto a vintage bus.  It was as bumpy as the Steam Railway last week, a short ride was fine but the thought of going three miles! 
Next into a 1930’s gentleman's outfitters.  A charming man, I asked him when they had filmed Peaky Blinders where exactly did they film it? 
He replied “Wherever they want to!”  which I thought a good answer.  There was a film production team here today,  huddling in a group here and there,  always in the way,  everyone called Nigel and Piers, 1930’s man swore me to secrecy but all I can say is to watch out for Martin Clunes in the near future.

It seems one simply must have the Fish n’ Chips here.  They are made in the traditional way of cooking in beef dripping.  We took the precaution of ordering one cod n’ chips to share.  Great chips too. Lovely.  It was to prove a day of culinary delights.

Next stop, The Workers Institute and learnt all about the 1910 Nail Makers Strike.  A strike that lasted ten weeks, this was at the time women chain makers who worked from home in little “Workshops” with a furnace in back yards at their homes hammering link by link smaller thinner chains.  They earned a pittance for a very long days work, having to buy their own tools and fuel out of their earnings.   Men on the other hand made bigger thicker chains and got much better paid as it was done by weight. 

Later in the afternoon we were watching a man make a link, he told of a chain maker who lived in Cradley Heath, earned very good money for that time £2 a week, but crucially saved, eventually he brought property and rented it out and carried on doing well.  He went on to become a councillor too.  Much of other earnings got spent in the pub.  Sad.

Anyway.  This museum is a MUST for anyone who happens to be passing by, it is constantly growing and the volunteers are wonderful.

Chain making demonstrator 

As good as they looked

All sized chains were made.

Very bouncy bus.
Anchors from the Black Country went on the Titanic

Biscuits brought loose and cheaper for broken ones.

Hard ware shop

1930's living room which I loved.

1930's bedroom which I loved

1930's kitchen not too dissimilar to ours when we first married, but I had two taps.

Victorian range.

At the end of a brilliant day, we set of for the small route march, to the next of Nicks’ Pub recommendations.  The Pie Factory.  Oh boy this was fun.  As you would imagine they serve pies, but not only pies.  I ordered a “Posh n’ Becks” which was divine, steak and stilton and David had steak and mushroom.  They do a “Cow-Pie” which is a bit large, it comes with pasty horns on the top.  The pub give out certificates for customers who order this one even if they don’t finish it.  The beer here was good he says but not quite as good as The Bull & Bladder/Delph/Vine but said it was a close second.
The food was great and it was busy.

Nuff said.

Delish pies and battered chips, much nicer than triple fried chips I had at a gourmet burger place.

If you have any sense you'll come here.

A short walk home to the boat and Downton Abbey plus a coffee.


  1. Crikey those pies and chips look divine! So glad you and Davide are having a great time--it really comes across in your writing Lisa. Les has been to the museum but I have not and it is on our list of places to visit.

  2. Dear Both,
    Certainly so far this trip has been great fun. The BCLM (Black Country Living Museum) is totally brilliant, a bit like the Olympics in that the volunteers are fantastic with so much information to impart.
    Put it on your list of places to go for the Spring, including all these pubs which although off the canals have been great.
    Lisa xxx
    Lots of big fat kisses to Les