Photos of the throbbing heart of mediocrity.

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Mention Kingswinford in a crowded room, and you'll probably find that someone's heard of it, or driven through it, or has an uncle that worked somewhere near it. It's that sort of place. It's pleasant to live in, but it's not noted for arousing strong emotions. It used to be the home of the UK Clint Eastwood Fan Club. Kingswinford also has Holbeache House, where the Gunpowder Plotters made their last stand. That's an old people's home now. That's about it, really. Oh, and there's this idiot who dresses in Tudor gear and plays a hurdy-gurdy......

Kingswinford is in England, about 12 miles west of Birmingham, on the western edge of the area known as The Black Country. The borders of this area are hotly disputed, but it comprises a number of towns and villages which were highly active in such areas as mining, brickmaking, and various "metal-bashing" trades, during the Industrial Revolution. A sense of community grew out of common purpose and often common hardship, which formed a distinct psychological separation from surrounding areas, particularly from the Birmingham conurbation.

Many people have an image of the Black Country as a grimy, run-down area of dying industries and wasteland. Those areas still exist, but recent extensive redevelopment has reduced them to small pockets. There is a great deal of fascinating history to be found in the Black Country, and open countryside is within easy reach. Since the question has arisen a number of times recently, I was persuaded to upload a photo of Kingswinford. I've also uploaded a few pictures of two of my favourite haunts, namely Kinver Edge and the rural parts of the local canal network, both of which are within a few minutes' drive from Diabolus HQ. Click on a page and enjoy!