Bugle Ambassador Ian Henery had his work cut out during the Walsall Town Festival between 18th – 25th July and used the opportunity to promote the Black Country Bugle. Ian`s book, Black Country Blues, contains his poems which have previously graced the Black Country Ballads section of the Bugle. The book is being sold to raise money for Cancer Support at The White House in Dudley with a foreword by Councillor Pete Lowe, Leader of Dudley MBC. Black Country Blues is published by Thynks Publications and is now sold out.
One of the poems is dedicated to Adrian Bailey MP, Wednesbury, Woden`s Town and this poem appeared in page 2 of the Bugle in 2013 to mark the renewed interest in the 1913 Wednesbury Tube Workers` Strike. Fellow Bugle Ambassador Brendan Hawthorne had written a play about the strike to mark it`s centenary and Adrian Bailey MP publicly thanked the Bugle for shining a spotlight on this forgotten period in history. The strike concerned the minimum wage and trade union recognition and resulted in 40,000 workers across the Black Country laying down their tools in solidarity.
Adrian Bailey MP wrote to Ian to say “Thank you very much for the book of poetry. I was delighted to receive it and feel very honoured to have a poem dedicated to me. I am pleased to let you know that “Black Country Blues” now adorns my collection of local history books”.
Ian marked the opening of the Walsall Town Festival with a book launch and signing at Walsall Central Library with the Deputy Mayor & Mayoress of Walsall and Walsall Poetry Society on 18th July. In the evening there were further poetry performances at Rift & Co Cocktail Bar in Walsall with Creative Walsall network and the Walsall Poetry Society.
On 25th July Ian marked the conclusion of the Walsall Town Festival with a final book launch at the New Art Gallery with Wendy Morton MP, Big Centre TV, Walsall Writers Circle and the Mayor & Mayoress of Walsall. All copies of Black Country Blues have now been sold – a second edition is eagerly awaited from Thynks Publications.
Walsall Town Festival has been developed by members of Creative Walsall Network, in partnership with Walsall Council`s Town Centre Management & Creative Development Teams, plus Creative Black Country. It is fuelled by the sheer enthusiasm from local creative people who were keen to volunteer and add their skills to the mix and see what could be programmed. The ethos of the Festival was to promote Walsall and give local people a platform. The resulting programme offered a great number of local people the opportunity to showcase or sample Walsall`s creative talents, encouraging visitors into the town centre and boosting local pride.
I would like to use this opportunity, through the Bugle, to extend a huge thanks to all the people associated with the Creative Walsall network, local venues and businesses for getting into the spirit of Walsall Town Festival and showing that, together, we can make a difference and be proud of our town centre.