It is a thrill to have written a local history book in conjunction with the Express and Star. The paper is not only the biggest-selling evening newspaper in the country outside London, but also it is marked out by its commitment to its region and the people of that region. There can be few papers that are as local as the Express and Star and that commitment to localness affects positively every aspect of its reporting and coverage. The Black Country is fortunate to have a paper so dedicated to the well being of Black Country folk. I thank the editor of the Express and Star, Adrian Faber, and its management for giving me the opportunity to write so extensively about the Black Country.