Rock The Beacon 2019

Rock The Beacon: Music and Food Festival 2019 featuring local poetry group Poets Against Racism


Rock The Beacon is a brand new festival for all the family. Following a very successful weekend in August 2019 they are now in the planning stages for its second year. The festival takes place on Barr Beacon on the outskirts of Walsall and North Birmingham in the West Midlands. It is supported and funded by private businesses, performing arts education establishments and local government departments ensuring that a quality community event like this is possible and available to the North Birmingham and Walsall area each year.

They have many festival partners, Robannas Studios, CUE Stage, WCR FM,  Birmingham Sound Hire and have the full support of Walsall Council and the Trustees of Barr Beacon. Poets Against Racism were happy to perform in the Acoustic Tent on both the Saturday and Sunday and look to offer their support again next year in 2o20 for Rock The Beacon’s second year!

Rock The Beacon was a fantastic weekend of live entertainment with TICKETS ON SALE VERY SOON for 2020.


For more information, please visit

Sandwell Words – Celebrating World Poetry & Storytelling Day


                         We Are Sandwell

(Unity & Progress)

If people are talking about Sandwell
They need to know we`re a community;
Together, we`re all in it to excel,
A furnace of progress and unity.
They might mention buildings and statistics,
A service industry never stopping;
Or engineering, widgets and plastics,
The art galleries, theatres and shopping.

When critics are talking about Sandwell
We`re dismissed when they say “been there, done that”
Recession and all hope for us dispelled.
It might`ve been true, where we were once at:
A hard-working Borough, we`ve done and been –
Mining out the iron, limestone and coal,
Powering the nation, we were once seen
Tunnelling deep in the Black Country`s soul.

If people are talking about Sandwell
They might mention our festivals and beer.
How can anyone wish us a farewell,
Collective strength tackles every fear.
Six towns – Rowley Regis and Oldbury,
Smethwick, West Bromwich (where the Baggies play)
Tipton and the ancient-named  Wednesbury –
Sandwell is our home where we want to stay.

When people are talking about Sandwell
We`re not just a quaint Black Country theme park,
Exhausted and awaiting the death knell.
We are industry, our people are sparks
Not just boasts in silly fishing stories,
Stereotyped cartoons that say “Yow Wot?”
It`s a place where we always find glory
Sandwell, our six towns, we know what we`ve got!

If critics  are talking about Sandwell
Never forget our fantastic people,
Our precious resource, it`s where we all dwell.
The mosques, gurdwaras, temples and steeples
Reach up to the sky and proudly proclaim:
“We are here!  Look, this is where we belong!
One people, though we have different names
And together, as one, our hearts beat strong”.

What defines the Borough of our six towns
Is summed up in our humour and manners;
Our Black Country grit, nothing gets us down
Not redundant like a box of spanners.
We like to say “please” and even “thank you”
But we`re more than genteel or civilised;
A Borough to be counted on, it`s true,
Unity and progress now realised.

Sandwell – where cultures are strung together,
A united rainbow with many tongues:
Urdu, Punjabi, Chinese forever
Kurdish, Hindi, Polish, together strong.
Combined, woven into a tapestry,
Collective design is what makes us more
Than just our separate identities
United progress under common law.

Multiculturalism working for once
And we have influences from A – Z:
Taught in schools and no one`s the classroom dunce.
We range from Antigua to Zimbabwe,
Diversity and inclusion, in peace.
Reinventing ourselves, we always try,
Ambition an industry, we don`t cease,
Our hearts are so big that they touch the sky.

We are more than an industrial past:
We`re canals, theatres and art galleries
Together, a strength that will always last.
We recycle and live sustainably,
Believing  in lives beyond just our own,
Living for “today” not “some other day”;
Harvesting seeds our forefathers have sown
Knowing “someday” soon becomes “yesterday”.

When critics  are talking about Sandwell
They say we focus on the one true goal;
There are thousands of us – who needs hard sell,
Lots of different people but one soul.
Tomorrow, we reap our aspiration
Where our joint efforts reach joint goals we`ve set
Through toil, teamwork and perspiration
We go forward together, no regrets.

We`re more than a Borough of football fans
Providing a bridge through hammers and nails;
A great choir singing the truth – “Yes, we can!”
A becalmed vessel, with wind in it`s sails.
We`re more than the Black Country tradition,
A bridge for those willing to walk across;
More than a Borough of musicians
But a lost and found for those at a loss.

Sandwell – be who it is you really are,
Not transparent gloss and boring glamour.
Live music in Sandwell`s pubs, be a star,
Come play and listen to the crowd`s clamour.
We respect opinions of others:
We are all uncles, nephews and nieces,
All fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers,
Grandparents and missing puzzle pieces.

Sandwell Borough – see winters and summers,
We are Black Country temperate seasons.
We`ve room at our table for newcomers
And, wanting to stay, we are the reason;
More than just whatever we say or do,
Heaven within reach, exceeding a grasp,
A helping hand for others to get through,
Mouth-to-mouth help for those on their last gasp.

Sandwell – it`s not just a laundry list,
A destination place for you to see;
Opportunities, they`re not to be missed,
Come and check us out in the Black Country!
A place to relearn all your past mistakes,
A place that`s all the ways you want to live;
No hesitation for those who can`t wait
To love again  and those who want to give.

Sandwell?  We`re progress and variety,
A choir of individual voices
Together, but rich in diversity,
People taking control of their choices
Sandwell – it is a gift life has for you.
We defy the sneer, “been there and done that”;
We always ask “What?”  as in, “So, what`s new?”
And without us all the beer would be flat.

Sandwell – your first aid kit for those in need
When you`re sick of the same old, the same old;
A tonic for all the times your heart bleeds
Or when you`re gunning for Olympic Gold.
We`re a balti or stir fry of places
To explore and a story for your friends:
Kaleidoscope of colour and faces,
Possibilities that can never end.

Sandwell Borough – it`s a rich tapestry:
If you  come here, you`ll soon want to come back;
Each story unravels differently,
Memories to remain when you`re unpacked.
So – don`t make luggage define your travels,
Please leave space for those extra bits next time.
My dedication is now unravelled,
My ode and plea to you all told in rhyme.

By Ian Henery

Poems written by students at The Coseley School during Black Country Day Workshop

The following poems were written by students at The Coseley School when Ian conducted a poetry workshop there in support of Black Country Day along with Councillor Pete Lowe;

coseley school 2

4 Million years


Over 4 million years ago

In a Black Country meadow

Below the very old ground

Belonged years of multitude

Fossils never found.


Above the sea

We call the ground

And above the ground are the flowers

Not any old flowers

A meadow full of

The wildest finest blossoms.


Aimah. 8.1.


100 Metres


The Black Country

The Black Country

Hundreds of metres below the grounds

Hidden under grassy terrain

Are a multitude of small,

fist sized rocks

A swathe of meadow full of

The finest wild flowers

Bordered by a mountain of limestone

Which reach back 400 million years

The air is full of a multitude

Of insects, bees, butterflies

The Black Country

Our Black Country.


Arousa Rabbani.


A Black Country Poem


Black is all around

Black is all I can see

Here there is no sound

Here there is only me.


Amaan Azhar.


A Street


A Street waved like a river

And the houses wake

Like an old train falling

From her track.

The houses are so old

Sand without colour

And it looks like you’re standing

In a strange world.

The women wear old colourful cotton

Give them beautiful colour and the Dudley Castle.

Make the people proud

Because it is beautiful on colourful hills.


The Dudley Castle animal’s noise

Like an airplane touch the sky

And at the night time at Dudley Castle

Light like moon and sun shining

At the time the canal.


Sufiya Asif.


Acrostic Poem


B   lack Country

L   inked to Coal

A   lso black gold

C   arrying coal from 100 feet below

K   nowing below my feet is precious coal.


C   atching a pinch of light through the ground

O   nwards we go, so low

U   sing your time to find coal

N   aming those who helped

T   rying to find as much as you can

R   eading stories from time ago

Y   our families dug coal from as long as we know.


Nell Tustin   7.2.


Always working


B   lack Country

L   imestone

A   lways working hard

C   oal

K   nowledge in the rocks


C   oldfield

O   ldbury Oakworks

U   nder the ground

N   ever sleeping in the rocks

T   rains thud and hiss

R   eally deep beneath the ground

Y   ours and mine the Black Country.







The Black Country is amazing

The Black Country is Black

It’s wonderful like a wonderland

And beautiful like dry land.


The Black Country houses are tall

But I call them cool

The houses are high

And I call them Ties.


The Black Country sun is bright

Just like the moon at night

The air is black

Like a curse from the past.


It’s there something black

Let me go closer

Oh, it’s black coal

And I feel like it’s staring through my soul.


I’m at someone’s house for a day

And they say “I want you to stay”.

I could hear a baby

I mean a babie and it’s crying

Ooops again, I mean It’s blartin!!


Leena Ali   7.5.


Among the Flowers


Be careful where you tread

Among the flowers

Hidden in the grassy terrain

Is a place where deceased animal lay

Which people call fossils

Whilst drinking a bottle.


Needless to say

The hill was once at the bottom

Of the sea and roughly

428 million years ago

When boys wore dickey bows

Looking sideways at the Dudley beach

Which is ours to preach.


The black country is know

For its glass

But we never forget the time

We had to wear masks

Save us from the fog

Save us from the smog

That choked our loved ones lungs.


Holly Harper.


Ancient Gold

Dark like coal, the ancient black gold

Is what we see in the Black Country.

Beautiful, unusual and unique

It is more than meets the eye

Ruby red during the night

But smoky black again.


Brilliant sights Loud sounds

A summer haze of inky black waste blinding our gaze

Deserted and unwanted houses remain

Bricks fallen down to the town’s grave

But remains in our heart

The love and passion for our place.


200 years been still loved and respected

Once hidden and unseen

But now inviting and expected.

Littered with people

Working hard in life

Working underground in mines.


Black country is yours

Black country is mine

Together we bond to urge our town

Along to mourn the souls

Who made the country who it is and who it was.

Let the future bring our town to peace

And hope our flag will ever fly.


Zara Batool.


Ay it.

The Black Country is amazing ay it?

The streets are quite desolate

Houses big and tall


Windows open everywhere

People playing out

Having nice times.


Tower Street

You can see Dudley Castle

Hills trees everything else

I love Dudley Castle. So cool

It’s really really tall.


Paths are rocky

Roads are smooth

They look like coal


They have no cars

They look like mars

The coal is fossilised trees

That’s cool as well.


Black Country is a nice place to stay

Long long road houses

Filling up the streets.

Cool streets

I must be a fool, it hasn’t any treats.


Elle Russell.


Beauty and power

Arising from the furnaces

The stench of burning rocks

Black gas filling the air

Filling it with noxious fumes.


But out of the fire steel was built

Unbreakable yet glistening

To think this came from rocks

Nature always recycling.


And for the fossils deep in the earth

Death creating energy

This would be stored

Deep deep within.


Yet even with all this power

The landscape is unchained

Beautiful meadows grow

This is, the Black Country.


Edward Symonds.



Black country, we began from coal

Our pride belongs in our soul

Below our feet under the ground

Are the rocks that made us.


As the chains are churning

In the dirty mines

There is black all around

Everywhere I go.


Black in the day

Red in the nights

Black cloudy smoke,

Rises the air.


Choking on the air

Full of black

No birds around

If they were, they’d be dead.


Men as strong as the chains

Always linked together,

The coal and smoke

Choking its’ victims

As dark as the dead.


Jack Carter.


Beneath the grassy terrain

Hidden beneath the flowers

Rocks containing mysteries

Mysteries from the past.


Zoya Ahktar.




No birds, just darkness

Black all around

Chains are being made

Churning sounds.


Cottages swallowed up.


Iqra Anam.


Black as Night


Black as night

Living with the fossils

All is dark at day

Created all the coal

Kings and Queens use for warmth.


Coal for everyone not for just royal

Our produce is the revolution

Using mines we get ores

Now to smelt to get the valuables

To sell, to keep, to make into things

Raging smoke pours out of the blacksmiths chimneys

You will benefit from the black country ways.


William Dowler.


Black Black Black


Black, Black, Black

Just like the smoky day

White, white, white

Just like the glass cone

Red, red, red

Just like the blazing night.


Chains of steel

Made from heat

Coal burns bright

In the red night

Glass gets made

From heated breath

This is how everything is made.


Down in the mines

Is where you find coal

Deep deep down

Here is a black heart.


Shahzar Ahmed.


Black Country Poem


B lack

L iving

A ncient

C ountry

K ingdom


C hains

O ceans

U sed mines

N ow we are civilised

T rains

R ipple beds

Y am yam.


Tom P.


Black Gold


Coal, the black gold

That fuelled industry

The natural dead flat

If often broken by high hills

Of cinders and spoil

from the miners.


Steam engines thud and hiss

Long chains clank

A perpetual twilight reigns

The land by day

And a fiery glow

Lights up the dark landscape.


Owen Brevitt.








Known for mining riches.








Yuh yeah man.


Ben Silk   7.2.




Underneath the flower blooms

Abundance of fossilised shells

Lay still for millions of years

Discoveries approaching.


Yet, far away

Burning fires

Creating fires

Above the coal.


Katie Huffer.




Boom, crash bang!

Down falls the remains

Of this wonderful paradise

Hearts are last in the thought

Of the mines being broken.


This is a never ending war

People risk their lives for power

The world

It must stop

Our power is from energy.


Black soot scattered everywhere

Its pitch black, one light coming

From a gas canister

There is no turning back

It’s what we chose to do

And it will stay as our job.


As time went on the mines

Have changed into a paradise of the past

Fossils created on the floor

To symbolise the Black Country

As it was in the 1800’s

That’s what makes it special

To the local community.


Amy Butcher   7.2.


Candle and Kitchen


Black Country has history

Loads of fossils

A swathe of meadows

Candles for light

Kitchen stove


Danish Hussain 7.2.


Centuries Rocks


The Black Country is ancient

The Black Country is well known

The Black Country’s name

Came from Black coal.


Found beneath our feet

For over a century

Comes rock and black coal

Which represent the Black Country.


Covered in black smoke,

The sky feels lonely

This has been tradition

For nearly 200 years.


Many people dug for minerals

Many people dug for fame

Many just wanted help

But some only for self-gain.


The Black Country is great

The Black Country is positive

The Black Country is special

The Black Country deserves a very high rate.


Sana Ambreen.


Coal Country


Coal country,

Black like coal

It’s getting out of control

Too much rain

Is too much pain.


Loads of hills

Too many bills

Always grey skies,

But the black country never lies.


But, we love this country

Even though it has a black sea

We’re here to stay

Even if we have to pay.


Lewis Brookes.


Coal Faces.


B   elow the ground 40 – 50 yards

L   ots of pollution in the air

A   ll there was were destroyed country sides

C   oal in faces and all is dark.

K   nown as black gold instead of coal.


C   ould have been invented to work cogs

O   ut under the fields at night fall

U   ltimate pain in our muscles

N   ew revolution of the British Empire

T   oppling houses because of mining

R   eaching below for their goal

Y   ou should be proud of what they have done.


Maaria Azad.   7.2.




Coal runs thick, smokes the air and rains dead

Walk the whole street

Oss by side carrying load

Pick axe in hand coal on shirts

Mine shifts erupt with the blast

Last light

Deeper deeper into the mine

Pick axes crack and crunch

Smack and bite in to the stone

Ores leak like a stream above

Hotter and hotter rammed into small space

Then bomb!

It gets dark, ground shakes

People die.

Smog grows thick as fire grows

Higher and higher

Coal comes from the dark

Taken to the canal by oss

Kids run darn the roods

Toys in ond

Miners rise sit in charcoal stains on

White ripped shirt

The eyes burn as they get awt

At the back one being carried awt

His mining days had gone

Is he dead or alive?

Will he make it?


Thomas Hindmarsh.




Smoky sparrows

Thick coal

Black gold mines

Clusters of deserted cottages

Dingiest black

Sinking Pits

Black Country

Tart Arian region

Night fires light up the dark landscape

With a fiery glow


Black gold

Fuelled industry

In the 18th and 19th century.


Sonia 9.3.


Covered in smoke.


Covered in smoke and lots of coal

All those years ago

A dark day

Even darker in the night


The coal and the mines

And minerals more

Shadowed the Black Country

Years and years ago.


Men as strong as stone

Women tough as chains

Yet put them all together

And we are sharp as nails.


Loyalty passion and humour

Makes us who we are

As we are all different

We are never the same.


Daylight and flowers dwindled away

As darkness showers them for days and days

Yet fossils and coal stick around today

So the black country is mostly the same.


Jessica Conroy.


Dark Houses.


The dark houses lean together

Like people leaning on each other


Niki Cottrell.


Deep deep below.


In the dark blue of a sea

Where sea creatures roam wild and free

Unknowingly swimming off

What a great land is below them.


Years have passed from the sea

A people mining down to the past

When it was a tropical paradise

They find coral, shells and more and

Take to the sunlight again.


They see the light again but oceans pump

Freely building what it is again today.


The amazing land the Black Country

is a time machine to the past

Where sea creatures roam wild and free.


Ben Robins. 7.2.




Bin (been)

Lickle (little)

Ay (haven’t)

Cud (could)

Kay (key)



Chuck (throw)

Owt (nothing)

Up the wooden hill (up the stairs)

Nah (no)

Tay (tea)

Riffy (dirty)

Yo (you)


Nikkita Hyde 7.2.


Dinosaur Seed.


Like stepping into the Garden of Eden

Mountains of limestone that date back a million

The finest wild flowers

The hidden rigged fossils

Buried in tropical paradise

For over a million years

In the Black Country



It’s ours forever.


Daniel J.   7.2.


Down in the Mines


Down in the mines

Back in time

Down in the shafts

Covered in Ash.


Millions of years ago

Miles and miles below

Animals lived under water

Dinosaurs that were slaughtered

By a meteor

When there was water.


Now the land is filled with fossils

The water gone

Replaced by grass

Has been like this

For centuries past.


Finlay Hodnett 7.2.


Dudley Castle


The Dudley Castle sits on a hill

Like an eagle sitting on a crag

Looking down to Stourbridge.


The light is shining like a bright

Golden star

The Dudley Castle is like a massive mansion.






The Garden of Eden

Full of flowers

Dudley stands above the rest

Like a tower.


Limestone is a fine stone

People used to mine stone

People should not moan

This beautiful town we do roam

This town isn’t on loan

It’s ours forever

Shout it loud and clear

Black Country has no fear

Fossils we found

Our history in the ground.


Iblal Hussain   7.2.


First Began


When the mining first began

Smokey sparrows flew over the skyline

Above the towns littered with winding fear

Towers, towering the gold mines.

The thick coal was hauled up from the mines

With sweaty tired men heaving

Then, no birds to be seen

Flying over the hills of cinder

Black and gold mines

When the blind gin horses walk

There dutiful rounds

While cottages sink into the sinking holes.


Callum Ward.




The flowers nodded their heads to the beat of the breeze

The fossils stirring beneath the earth



Embedded in limestone

Yet to be discovered

Unlike coal.


Powering the furnaces

Creating the flames

Welding the chains

That add to the churning chaos of sky

Black as the chains born in fire

Red as the flames that create them.


Yet in the meadow the rocks lie in peace

A graveyard of deceased

In unmarked graves

A sea of discovery

Lies untouched for eternity.


Amy Perks.




Coal, the black gold

That fuelled the industry

Without it the black country

Wouldn’t be

No birds,

Black smoke

Making chains

Cottages swallowed up

In sinking pits

Black is all I can see

Smoky sea like fog

You cannot see.


Sam Bywater.

Read more