Here’s a bit of a plug for an old friend of the blog, Paul Robinson, who created a site of which I’m rather fond. Way back in September 2010 following a comment from Paul upon the blog, I was introduced to the site digDeeper. digDeeper is a curious and wonderful edifice that swallows whole evenings, and consists of everything from articles on Coven Forge to Ordnance Survey Benchmarks, and even stuff on filming stop motion videos with Lego.
I particularly like the site’s focus on psychogeography, and what I’ve always loved about digDeeper is the commonality with the great, lost Tamworth Timehikes – that off-kilter way of looking at history, geography and mapping.
Tales from Four Towns – Death, Destruction, Crime and Notable News from 19th Century Walsall, Wednesbury, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.
By Paul Robinson
This unique compendium is based on more than two hundred nineteenth century news stories and gives a fascinating glimpse into the Black Country at its industrial peak. From short news snippets to longer articles, the stories range from sad to amusing to truly shocking. The stories include all manner of crime, from petty theft to brutal murder, along with accidents and disasters in and around the canals, railways, collieries, factories, streets and homes of the area. Further articles tell of the diseases that afflicted the towns, how they were spread and eventually controlled. Unlike some general interest local history books, precise sources are quoted for every article. The book also includes a handy list of almost five hundred surnames, streets and businesses mentioned in the text, to assist those who wish to engage in further research. Please note that many of the stories are unsuitable for children.
It’s clearly taken a huge amount of graft to create this work, and it seems at first glance to be an excellent book. I shall read it over the weekend and write a decent review later.
Please do invest in a copy.