Proper bostin’ day out

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IF you don’t hail from the Black Country, you’re probably wondering what that headline means.

Well, for the unitiated, “bostin’” is West Midlands slang for “really good.”

And that’s exactly what you can expect from a day out at the Black Country Living Museum which nestles between Dudley and Wolverhampton, slap bang in the middle of Britain’s one time industrial heartland.

The area landed its name through the soot, smoke and grime that poured from the region’s factories - and while those gritty and hard times may now be a thing of the past, their legacy hasn’t been forgotten courtesy of the open air museum which takes visitors back to a bygone era.

Spread over a huge site, there’s stacks for people of all ages to enjoy. Take a trip down a mine and witness first hand the appalling and dangerous conditions endured by children as young as five during the pitch black, 12 hour working days.

Or set foot inside a Victorian school room where an ultra strict head mistress is on hand to make sure you come up to scratch with the 3 Rs. Needless to say, if you’ve got little ones, they’ll love taking a step back in time, nervously giggling as the cane is brought swishing out - and wondering whether they’ll be getting a taste (don’t worry, they don’t!)

The musueum recreates all aspects of Black Country life - there’s a working fairground with traditional helter skelter and cake walk, the spit and sawdust Bottle and Glass Inn from an era long before ball pools and family dining were the norm and you can even take a trip into the dark and mysterious worlds of the Dudley Tunnel aboard a canal boat to witness 427 million years of history in the stunning caverns below the town.

There’s a string of shops where you can pick up sweets and cakes, or simply browse products from a bygone age with shopkeepers on hand to offer advice - all delivered in that wonderfully rich Black Country tongue. And get there early to avoid the long queues for the world famous fish and chips - probably the best you’ll ever have. Bostin, in fact!

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