A REAL ale and history fan has published a book telling the stories of 80 popular pubs across the Black Country.

Almost all of the public houses featured are still standing, with a notable exception.

Steve J Pratt, press officer for the Stourbridge & Halesowen branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) has published the book, Tales from Black Country Taverns, under his pen name Steve James.

The book, launched at the Waggon & Horses pub, Halesowen, tells the histories of 80 Black Country pubs, most of which are still in existence today – apart from the Crooked House at Himley which was destroyed by fire and a bulldozer last August.

Steve, a lifelong member of CAMRA and a member of the Black Country Society, put the book together following the success of his previously published Pubs and Breweries of the Black Country.

He said: “The research involved has been extensive and time consuming, and this book alms to cover a selection of some of the more interesting pubs in terms of their history and stories.”

The book is dedicated to the late Tony Hitchmouch and John Richards, who helped with the research, and the memory of the demised Crooked House.

Copies are available from the Black Country Society books website and from selected pubs and breweries throughout the Black Country.