Book search – can you help?

Hi folks. Everyone knows that local history books get rare once they sell out of their initial runs. Very often, titles appear fleetingly, and disappear into the ether without ever really being seen again.

I’ve spent years tracking down some local history books – It took three years and five times the cover price to buy Gerald Reece’s ‘A Walk Into History’, for instance (although it was well worth the cost, I can tell you). Without the auspices of reader David Evans, we’d never have had access to several works, including Margaret Brice’s brilliant history of Walsall Wood.

With this in mind, I’m after a copy of the work below – ‘The King of Norton Canes’ by Jack Harrison, and his previous book, ‘Above the Black Diamonds’. I’m not even sure they’re books, they may just be pamphlets.

I know nothing of the author, although the name seems very familiar – possibly from local newspapers or other media. If you have a copy of this book, and would be prepared to loan or scan it, please do drop me a line. I’m after any information available really, please.

Cheers. Comment here, please, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

One sold on eBay a while back. Can’t find another anywhere. Do you have a copy you’d be prepared to share?
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  • If it is any help, I have a feeling that the picture may be of Albert Stanley addressing miners at Hednesford? In 1884 he was elected agent for the Cannock miners. In 1912 he celebrated twenty five years of his official connection with Cannock Chase miners, and died in 1915.

    However, at the bottom of the picture is…Scenes from the Cannock Chase collieries between the wars.

    Unable to find anything about Jack Harrison or the best seller in the archives. So strange to say a sequel to a best seller!

  • Put in the title on google,it mainly came up with Chinese takeaways in Norton. At the bottom is the aforementioned listing. Good luck.

  • Hi folks

    Thanks for the help. Sadly, the one on eBay shown in Google expired and is no longer available. I have messaged the seller for information.

    It seems there’s a copy in the South Staffs library system, so hoping to get someone with a Staffs library card to order it for me.



  • Hi,

    I’m actually living in Chattanooga, Tennessee – but I’ve read and can probably put my hands on my granddad’s copy of “Above The Black Diamonds”. I’m from Norton Canes originally – and my parents still live there and knew Jack personally… My memory of Jack is shouting at the kids using the “gully” in between houses of Burntwood and Norton East roads!!!

    I also remember the stories about “The King of Norton Canes” – and even used to go to church with a lady who was the self-professed “King of Norton’s” daughter, Lily Jones.

    Let me see what I can dig up. But feel free to contact me 🙂

    • Hi Richard

      Greetings from Brownhills.

      We actually managed to obtain copies of both books – thank you very much for your kind offer.

      If you have any memories you like to share, you’re most welcome to.

      Cheers, and thanks.

    • Pam

      Just wondering if you know if Lily had any brothers or sisters.

  1. The Wimblebury Pit Accident of 1927: A Cover up? | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  October 15, 2013

    […] qualified than myself has already made an attempt to give a version of the accident, and that is Jack Harrison in his book of ‘The King of Norton Canes’ (1990), which has featured on this Blog. On reading the whole book you may come to the conclusion […]


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