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Black Country Museum

Golly, where does the time go?  I can’t believe it’s 2 weeks since my visit to the West Midlands, where the Black Country Museum is based.    It’s called the Black Country in that area because of all the mines and industry which abounded in the 19th century. 

This is the house which my great great great grandparents, Benjamin and Elizabeth Meredith, lived in in the latter half of the 1800s.  It is called the Tilted Cottage because of the effects of the subsidence caused by mining in the area!   Apparently the Museum took great care to rebuild it that way when they moved it brick by brick to its new home.

Tilted cottage, Black Country Museum

Benjamin was a bricklayer but I don’t know if he built this house.  Most of my other ancestors were coal miners, potters and farmers, though the butt filers listed on several of the census returns amused the kids!  Typical male teenage humour…

The main part of the museum consisted of a reconstructed village – here are the ‘back to back’ terraced houses typical of a lot of Victorian workers’ buildings.    They are two houses put together only one room wide.  I used to live in a terraced house till I was 11 and it felt strangely familiar, although it wasn’t a ‘back to back’ type.  Click on the link if you are unclear what I mean – I was a bit vague about it and looked it up on Wikipedia!

back to back houses

I liked it because you could wander around all the back gardens and yards and see exactly what was there, the washrooms and coal houses and chicken coops…

The museum also links up with the canal system and going down there I saw these geese with their goslings:

geese and gloslings

It reminded me of the train journey up there, where the train driver stopped for some geese and their young family who were crossing the railway track!

This was the view from my cafe table when I was eating my lunch:

Black Country Museum

You could also go down a mine but I passed on that as I’ve been down several already and preferred to stay in the warm sunny outdoors!

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