Black Patch Park

Copyright Notice

In 2003, Dennis, a popular accordionist at The Lighthouse Folk Club, explained that Black Patch Park in Smethwick was due to be built on and that a group of people, The Friends of Black Patch Park, were campaigning against it. He asked whether anyone could put a song together to help the cause, and handed out some background literature. After reading this and checking out some information on the web I discovered that at the turn of the twentieth century Black Patch Park was home to a thriving gypsy community. Better still, it is said to be haunted by the ghost of Queen Henty. It occurred to me that if I was a developer the last thing I would want to do would be to annoy a ghost and so that became the focus of the song.

Fortunately The Friends of Black Patch Park were successful in their campaign and plans to develop on the park were abandoned in 2007. If you want to find out more about the park there is an excellent article in Wikipedia giving a lot of background to the park and the gypsies.

You better think before you touch her park
You really don’t want to break her heart
You’d better stop before you start
To develop Black Patch Park
The name of the Gypsy is Queen Henty
A well respected Romany
She still cherishes her memories
As her ghost walks on Black Patch Park


I’d be careful if I were you
I wouldn’t do what you’re thinking to do
Queen Henty might put a curse on you
If you develop Black Patch Park

 She remembers the Gypsy Kingdom there
They traded horses and peddled their wares
There was magic hanging  in the air
All round Black Patch Park
On the day that the Gypsy King died
She wept as she stood at his bedside
When they burnt his caravan the deeds were inside
As the smoke rose from Black Patch Park


 They were evicted in 1905
Their belongings were callously thrown aside
Their gardens were trampled and  the women cried
Their tears stained Black Patch Park
Years after the gypsies had gone
Queen Henty was seen - her hair still black and long
With a black dress and red cape she walked along
A pathway down in Black Patch Park