Forget Kindles and all the other e-book readers - nothing can compare with a “real” printed book! And there are plenty of good local books about the local area, some of which we feature here together with details of where you can purchase them.
Details of the books are below and on the following pages. In some cases they are limited editions and stock may be limited so don’t delay, buy now!
THE BENCH WILL RETIRE
Written by Chris Smith, the editor of VILLAGE VOICE, the book looks not only at the duties that magistrates have had over the years (including setting the price of wheat and marrying people) but also at some of the more light-hearted events that have occurred in court over the years.
Other chapters give details not only of the magistrates who have sat in Dudley but also other important groups—the court clerks, probation officers and the police—without whom the courts could not function.
The book is full of facts that are not always appreciated about local justice. Did you know, for example, that there have been courts in seven different parts of the borough (Dudley itself, Sedgley, Stourbridge, Halesowen, Kingswinford, Wordsley and Brierley Hill), that one magistrate who regularly sat at Dudley was a former Wimbledon champion, or that Buffalo Bill once attended court at Dudley? You will do after you’ve read this book.
The price is £8.99 and, for a limited time, this includes postage and packing from Arcos Design, 50 Redhall Road, Gornal Wood, Dudley DY3 2NL.
TRACING YOUR BLACK COUNTRY ANCESTORS
Mick Pearson is a well-known author and editor of the Black Country quarterly magazine “The Blackcountryman” and his latest book “Tracing Your Black Country Ancestors” not only gives a concise history of many aspects of the most important elements of Black Country life through the centuries but also includes some valuable tips for those looking to trace their ancestors from the area.
The book assumes that the reader is not a complete novice in family history—no mention of Ancestry, Find My Past or BMD, for example, but there is a comprehensive list of some of the more specialised resources for transport (including the canal network), workhouses, theatres and some of the sports from the area.
The book is extremely readable—as you would expect from such an accomplished author— and provides an excellent overview of the Black Country. Price: £12.99. Available from all good bookshops.