Subtitled 'the musings of a Black Country ex-pat now domiciled on the Welsh border' Tales From The Barn started life in 2016 as an ad hoc contribution to Talking Books www.beaconvision.org that GF has supported in one way or another over many years. The general theme is the narrator's observations on aspects of his former homeland from the perspective of his present one and often features some element of direct contrast or comparison twixt the two.
TFTB has since become a popular regular feature and is now distributed widely. It is presented here as an archive of free-to-access resources that will be of interest to education establishments, historical societies, researchers or anyone with an interest in what defines the Black Country and helps make its people so distinctive.
Episodes are independently produced by GF and typically around 8 - 9 minutes duration.
The 'Barn' referred to, by the way, is not a figment of poetic licence but does actually exist and lies in the lee of the Black Mountains, with the stream behind the trees to the right denoting the Herefordshire - Powys border. It's delightful and we love it.
And the flag on the background to the SoundCloud? Well, that's the official flag of the Black Country. It owes its design to a quote by American Consul Elihu Burritt who, in the opening line of his Walks In The Black Country, first published in 1868, describes the area as ‘black by day and red by night’, a reference to the smoke and flames constantly belched out by numerous furnaces. The flag is thus both red and black, with chains showing a typical industry of the area (the chain for RMS Titanic was made at Netherton) whilst the central white cone represents the region’s glassmaking heritage that has been a staple for over 400 years. It was designed in 2012 as a result of a competition held by the Black Country Living Museum in response to a campaign by the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee encouraging local communities to design their own to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. The flag’s context is discussed in episode 10 What’s in a name?
With commemorations for the centenary of Armistice Day on 11.11.18, and TFTB (25) offering the author's perspective on this unique occasion, it was felt an appropriate juncture to conclude episodes 1 - 25 in the form of an illustrated book. This was officially launched at the International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge over August Bank Holiday weekend 2019 and is available now via this site (see Books).
Select a track and play or pause by clicking the button at top left.
For mobile devices you may need to first download the free SoundCloud app.
Please allow a few seconds.for the bed to load.
Click on 'view track' that appears when selected for a brief description or to post a comment.